Inspired by Living & Loving editor Tanya Kovarsky running her Q&As that weren't published in the mommy blogger feature in the May issue (you must check out her blog 'Dear Max'), I'm following suite.
Your name and kid’s name and age
Stacey Vee (30), Travis the Lionheart (3)
Your blog URL and domain?
What do you blog about?
“Living with a Lionheart – a kid with special needs – is challenging. So is phoning customer service at the City of Joburg, being stuck with an X in Scrabble and getting bubblegum out of your kid’s hair. You survive.”
Do you work, and if so, where and as what?
I own a copywriting and editing studio called Copy Candy. The best thing about being your own boss is inventing your job title. I’ve called myself ‘wordsmith’, ‘copy guru’ and even ‘alphabet wizard’.
When did you start blogging and why?
In July 2010. Travis was diagnosed with De Morsier’s syndrome, a congenital brain malformation, at eight months. It sounds cheesy, but after running the gauntlet of tears and grief, I had a thought: why would The Big Guy Upstairs give me, a writer, such an odd and unique child? That’s when Travis the Lionheart got his voice online – which is ironic, because he only speaks dolphin in real life, mostly squeaks and shrieks.
When do you blog, and with what laptop?
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays usually. I blog with my laptop and occasionally with my iPhone.
What do you get out of blogging?
It’s cheaper than seeing a shrink! I find writing about the trials and triumphs of our family helps me sort through my feelings.
Will you let your kids read your blog one day?
Not so much Travis. As he’s intellectually impaired, he may not learn to read. However, chances are good he’ll have a sibling. A ruggle – which is what I call a ‘regular kid’. I find it hard to believe that child won’t be embarrassed by me spilling my guts online about his/her disabled older brother. Playgrounds can be cruel places…
Have any of your blog posts ever got you into trouble, or have you had a most controversial blog post?
I’ve never been in trouble, but one issue of WTF Friday, which is a regular rant I post, I wrote about how stupid Baby on Board stickers are – only to get a flurry of stern replies. Apparently the sole purpose of those stickers is to tell paramedics to be on the look-out for an infant if you’re in a car wreck. Who knew?
What was the blog post you most regret?
The Lionheart goes to a special needs school. Last year, one of the children was expelled for reasons I won’t go into. I regret writing about that… it was not my story to tell.
Do you blog 100 percent honestly, or do you bear in mind that your colleagues/family etc will read it?
I am 100% honest, even when I know it makes my readers flinch in horror or wet themselves laughing.
What is the one thing you won’t blog about?
The usual: religion, politics... my secret Death by Chocolate cake recipe.
Do you have advice for wannabe or current bloggers?
Don’t start a blog unless you are committed to keeping it updated. Once you build up a fan club, you owe it them and yourself to post regularly.
What is the one blog you can’t live without (aside from your own)?
There are two: Jou Ma Se Blerrie Blog by Margot Bertelsmann and A Day In The Wife by a hilarious American gal called Julie.
What do you think makes a good blog?
In a mommy blog, people want to read your posts and think: “Man, have I ever been there…”
What do you hope people will get out of your blog, or are you simply blogging for you?
My blog is about a concept: Living Lionheart (join our Facebook group!) – accepting that life is sometimes unfair. Most folks are scared to make eye contact, for instance, with a person in a wheelchair. Not only are my readers okay with Trav’s disabilities, they laugh out loud at him and his antics.
What is the one thing you’d love to blog about, but can’t?
I used to write some racy stuff about sex and relationships. Now that I’m blogging about my kid, I’ll probably get lynched by a gang of outraged moms should I take it up again!
Have you made real-life friends through the blogosphere?
You bet! I correspond with moms in the US, the UK and Australia who have special needs kids… many on the autistic spectrum.
If you had to blog about Living & Loving, what would the blog post be called?
‘We’ve got that Loving feeling…’
What are your other hobbies?
Kamikaze cookie baker, amateur astronomer, thwarted novelist.
What did your last Facebook status say?
You know you're married to a tech junkie when we have two XBoxs hooked up to two giant plasmas... with four people playing Call of Duty split-screen. Two upstairs in the man cave, two downstairs in the TV room...
What did your last Tweet say?
Love is… being smeared in Weetbix smoosh and toddler kisses.
The last SMS you received said…
“You have used more than 98% of your data bundle...”