The Version my Editor told me to Write Except Still not Quite Approved:
Maddie is a talented and creative person, an animal lover, a halfway decent writer but will do horrid things like write long sentences. (This is interesting to Maddie's friends and family since they are forced to care. If you are bored, you can skip to the blog, but you'll miss the part below about the huge cash prize.)
She graduated with a degree in English (minor in Creative Writing) at West Texas A&M University. The pictures on the left are of her (past and present) and some family and some critters she has enjoyed. She writes informative animal articles on a freelance basis (contact for more info if you are interested in a talented but insane animal blog writer) and she writes some other stuff too. See below for more if you aren't bored to death yet. If you are now bored, skip past the part below and the prize info and go to the blog which is better stuff.
The Other Maybe Better Version - or not:
Maddie is still talented and creative and shit. She is still an animal lover but tries to hide the fact that human animals are terrifying. Maddie graduated with a degree in Creative Lying from a school that changed names and forced her to switch from having the Buffalo as a mascot and made her a Baggie. (They were really still the Buffalos but come on, once you force the name change to A&M, everyone is going to call you an Aggie or possibly a Buffaloaggie or the better version, a Baggie.)
Maddie does indeed do freelance animal blog writing and people really pay her (me - this feels weird writing about myself in third person) which is mystifying but helps pay for all the critter food and knives to sent the grandchild. (Don't worry, the kid is 15 and I didn't tell her to love knives as gifts. Wait, I'm supposed to be writing in third person still.) Maddie reads lot of garbage fiction, lots of non-fiction, she writes creative non-fiction, short stories, and is working on a short non-fiction book and a post-apocalyptic novel.
If you got this far, you MUST have been looking for the info about the prize because even my version of this bio came out really long and stuff. I really do give away prizes. I don't actually have enough cash to give out a huge cash prize right now, so that was a Creative Lie. However, if you sign up for my mailing list, you WILL get entered in a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. The only problem with that is that I feel guilty for leading you on, so I don't want you to sign up. If you still want to, the gift card is for real and you can sign up on my contact page if I was brave enough to put contact information on it or scroll down to find a mailing list join form below. (No excess spam, no more than one email a week and usually not that much!)
*Footnote for the really curious:
Why did Maddie (I, no longer doing this third person crap) choose "The Real Be Yourself" as a blog name and personal title? Well, basically, I asked my spouse what my biggest strength was. I was told that at my age (a hint that I'm old which is semi-true) I had really become better at being my real self, even when I'm scared. That seemed kind of awesome.
*Footnote for the really curious:
I wanted to encourage the four people** who will read my blog to "BE YOURSELF." I probably would have just used Be Yourself but other people thought they were more themselves than I am and they stole that title, so I did what cool people do and became the REAL "Be Yourself". That's it!
**The four people who might read my blog are: my wonderful Mom, my beloved spouse, my gorgeous daughter, and my sister. I hope one of them wins the lottery so they can be my patrons. Love you guys - especially whichever of you has the most money! (My granddaughter would have been included but at 15 - is she REALLY going to read this? My cats and horses and dogs would read it but they all need glasses.)
If you want to help keep our blog and our pets going, we appreciate even the smallest donations!
Legal and other Weird Disclosures:
This is a personal blog owned by Maddie. Other people sometimes author guest posts or other content. No one gets paid a salary to work on this. It costs money to run a blog like this even if the primary hosting is free since prizes are given away (and we get rare donations but we usually pay for the prizes ourselves) and there are advertising and domain fees, etc. So, we do use various affiliate links and we seriously appreciate those who buy through us. We only make a few cents on anything purchased in many cases. Even so, the FTC and some of the affiliate company owners want us to make it clear that we might benefit financially from purchases made through this site. We don't do a ton of product reviews and when we do, the person who wrote the post has had either direct or near-direct experience with the product or service. We are not paid in cash of any kind for the reviews themselves, we do it because we want to comment. So, to complete this goofy disclosure statement, we have a material connection with most or all of what we talk about because that's just how our lives work and how we made this blog. Amazon would like us to state: "We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites." In addition, we do collect email address through newsletter signups and book giveaways but we do not collect any other data when you just visit this site. If email addresses are collected, you are made aware of it when you enter yours. You can opt-out at that time on signups for our newsletters, if you opt-in you can unsubscribe anytime, and when you opt-in, we try to send no more than one email per week. The end. Thanks!