Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BREAKING NEWS! Sex and the Beach Is Too Fat For Its Pants!

trunk bay us virgin islands scenic panoramicThe sky's the limit. Trunk Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Photo by yours truly.

Sex and the Beach is approaching its fifth-year anniversary! Who knew the voice of Manola Blablablanik would have come this far? Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I've been blogging for that long, and as with any project of a creative nature, it's natural (and very healthy) for things to evolve. So here's a sneak preview of what's to come:


As some of you already know, I currently do travel writing about South Florida and moderate a local travel and living advice forum Florida at Miami Beach 411. But many years before all this online writing, I was an active travel writer specializing in Caribbean beach destinations. While I was wrapping up grad school, I worked part-time as an editor and staff contributor for Honeymoon Romantic Travel Magazine, penning an occasional article for Caribbean Travel and Life. Obviously I was all about the tropics back then, because my post-graduate work was in Caribbean studies, during which time I was planning on writing a doctoral dissertation related to Caribbean/South Florida history and literature.

It was a trip to Grenada that changed my life and tossed me into the heady seas of freelance writing, leaving academia behind. I knew that I had a passion for the Caribbean and South Florida, but that my audience should be broader.

Well, let's just fast forward to today. I put travel writing on hold for several years but that passion hardly ever lost its spark, so at long last, I'm opening up a whole new travel section here, which is a no-brainer, obviously. Sex and the Beach intends to cover as many romantic beach or waterfront destinations a girl can take!

To start with, I will cover much of Florida (yes I know, it's ironic because of the oil spill), and as soon as my passport is renewed, I'll be puddle jumping around our neighboring islands and eventually jetting beyond ... Mendocino and Madeira are on my list too!

Stay tuned in August for a premiere story about romancing the Keys! I'll be wending my way down the island chain stopping at a couple of romantic resorts. A special Hawaii edition for September is in the planning stages.


Expect more food stories whenever the fancy strikes me. I'm not really a "food writer" or "critic" but I do enjoy good eats and the bounty of friendships surrounding the experience, not to mention the sensuality, culture and history associated with food.


Yeah, a girl has to make a living, too. I've signed on to OpenSky, a new paradigm on monetizing blogs based on one's influence and reach in a community. As some of you know, I'm very active on Twitter, and while I may not (thankfully!) have a following of thousands, I do have a solid following that trusts my opinion. This has come from years of cultivating relationships and connections both online and in real life, which is what social media is all about, as far as I'm concerned.

From time to time, I will be posting here about products that I've personally tried, endorse and just think are way cool and practical, especially for the single woman or the single woman in you. And just like I did with the Ford Fiesta project, I'll make those posts interesting even if you're not interested in buying a damn thing. My intention is to seek out products that are as local as possible for South Florida readers to enjoy.

This is an experiment for now, so we'll see how it goes. I encourage other bloggers to try the OpenSky project too.


Expect to see more sponsor ads on the sidebar and occasional link ads on random blog posts. All my sponsors are businesses that I've talked to and checked out. Some may even be businesses that I really like and regularly support. What you won't see: a messy blog with intrusive non-contextual ads.


I used to joke about my big fat Cuban ass, but now I have to find a way of managing all this big fat content in a way that makes sense to readers. Eventually, I'll be moving over to Wordpress only because I need a more flexible content management system to separate out different sections of the blog. Don't worry though, I'll continue publishing here until the move is final.


I want to thank everyone who has been reading this blog from the get-go and those who have joined along the way! It's still business as usual around here, but because the blog is growing along with me, I need to adapt and expand.

It was always my dream to have my own publication. Guess what? I sort of got there, without even realizing I was doing it! I have always said that a blog is not a blog but whatever you make of it. This is what it is for me and I encourage everyone to explore the world of online publishing.


Miami Condo Shop said...

Congratulations and best of luck to all your future endeavors. Looking forward to your posts...

Unknown said...

This is awesome girl! Congratulations. You deserve it all and much more! xoxo Your student ;)

Rick said...

Six years and how many deletions? We'll continue following!


Maria de los Angeles said...

Thanks everybody!

Rick ... LMAO! I forgot about the famous deletion! Even that I've had to deal with.