Feature on Soapbox Jury

If you would like us to review your website, blog, product or service please email us.
If we're able to publish your review all we ask is that you link to Soapbox Jury in return. Please read here before submitting.

Blog Review: It's My Life

It's My Life


Description of site:

The frank, expressive story of the life of Erin - a soon to be single mom, from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. It’s happy, it's sad, it's ME (well not me, but Erin).

At one with nature. I seem to say that a lot about blogs because I have a natural attraction to greens and blues myself. The customised Blogger template looks very elegant. It has an image of autumn (fall) leaves fluttering in the breeze as a man walks his dog. I’ve seen this template somewhere before – can't quite put my finger on where, but it is distinctive and jogs my memory. Pleasant, but not a one-off original – or maybe it was the original and others have jumped on the bandwagon!


Navigation and Functionality:
Sidebar recent posts list and drop down blog archive. Scrolling BlogRoll.

No monetisation at all. There is a BlogExplosion ad button but that's all. Nice to see another blogger more interested in blogging than advertising.

This is a requested review.

The first thing I notice is that It's My Life is a continuation from elsewhere – the first post in the archive says "it's been a while since I posted". It’s a pity there isn’t a quick recap on the story so far – or maybe it just got lost from the archive and is drifting about in cyberspace. Another piece of evidence that lends itself to the drifting about in cyberspace theory is the fact that the archive list goes back to Jan 2005, whereas the posts begin in mid Feb 2005.

Despite the lack of introduction I manage to pick up the storyline within the first 10 or so posts. Erin has just moved to North Carolina from Rhode Island – she is trying to start a new life with her husband Michael and young son Matthew. But she can't. She is trapped in an abusive relationship with no job, few friends, unfamiliar surroundings, little money, an addiction to gambling and ever dwindling self-esteem. To add to her woes she is distant from her mother and twin sister. Erin hatches a plan to leave Michael – to get a job, some security and a place of her own – to get a life. To plug the gap she earns a few dollars doing mystery shopping (see her informative guide) until she gets the permanent position she's after.

But the break from Michael never quite comes – there is a grim acceptance that both parties are at fault – him for his erratic, drunken behaviour and her for her wreckless gambling fixation. Reconciliation is in the air, but times are still tough – not least because Michael, a painter by trade, is having trouble holding down a permanent job. After many soul-destroying set backs, angst over where the next dollar will come from, Michael gets a job as a flood/disaster refinisher. For a while life is rosy once again. The family move to a more comfortable apartment in North Raleigh and Michael is bringing home a decent wage. It doesn’t take long before Michael, fuelled with drink, reneges on all the promises he has made and assaults Erin. It's the end of the road.

The rest of It's My Life concentrates on the developing relationship of Erin with her son, the trials and tribulations of job seeking and how she settles into life as a single mom. Not just another mommy blog - a truly gripping read.

As for making adjustments, I'd leave it just the way it is – it's a reliable, well-tested format that I know attracts a large following of regular readers.



1 comment:

Miguel said...

You guys spend a long time writing reviews. You got me hooked on Its My Life: I couldn't stop reading about Erin's life. I've submitted my blog: I see the review and hard link as an investment for the future when Soap Box really takes off. Give me a thorough review like Erin and I'll donate! Its only fair for all your time and effort.