I know, it’s been a quiet week for me. And I also know I promised more photos, which I haven’t actually posted. I got hit with the sick last weekend, and as I write this post I am post-antibiotics (well, post taking antibiotics, supposedly they’ll be in my system until Thursday) and on only the second consecutive day where I did not wake up coughing at 3 in the morning.

I got hit with the triple-threat of sick – I got slammed with some sort of sinus infection + horrible allergies + a GERD resurgence all at the same time. The combination of the first two probably ended up triggering the third with all the coughing, but once it was triggered, it was hard to get it to lay the hell off.  I’m nowhere near 100% at the moment, but yesterday I was actually able to work with the guitar for more than 5 minutes before I started hacking, so things are coming along.

And, I managed to stupidly put myself in the situation of having two totally dead camera batteries (yes, I moved to my backup and forgot to charge the one it’s a backup to, then killed the backup. I’m choosing to blame that on the sickness because it sounds better than admitting to be really fricking absent-minded, but the latter is the actual reality), so I will be getting around to posting more photos soon.  The camera is sitting on my desk now, juicing up. I won’t be able to use it again until it’s got a full charge, so now is the time to haul those photos off of it.

But, today I want to write a bit about one of those weird internet-isms. I got contacted via instagram overnight with the following message:

Hello SZ Marsh,

We have come across your blog https://soundwavesandspraypaint.com/ and strongly admire your content on lifestyle. Your writing abilities and ability to engage readers is remarkable and a very rare asset in this days and age oversaturated blogging community. We would love to contact you with an opportunity. Please email us back at (note: I’ll leave the actual email address out because it’s good manners, or something) so that we can provide you with more details.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

My Trending Stories Team

So, my default setting for all things like this is ‘highly suspect’. Let’s turn on the bullshit detector, cut the crap, and see what they’ve actually got to say:

Hello SZ Marsh,

We have come across your blog https://soundwavesandspraypaint.com/ (insert: via instagram, where you post nothing but nature photos) and your content on lifestyle.We would love to contact you with an opportunity. Please email us back so that we can provide you with more details.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

My Trending Stories Team

Okay, there are a few danger signs on the road here.

The first is that I’m being contacted via instagram about my blog, rather than via wordpress about my blog. This just seems fishy, since what you want to talk about is my blog, and since I finally have a real about page. (Oh, yeah, btw guys, I finally wrote a real about page. Exciting stuff, that – and if you don’t read sarcasm in that ‘exciting’ you should. The deed is done, is my point.)

The next red flag is their reference to my “content on lifestyle”. I’m a music and arts blogger. My content has, admittedly expanded over time, but I remain a music and arts blogger. My lifestyle content? What magical unicorns are these? Let’s go to their website and check what the subcategories are:

Life And Styles:

Health, Healthy Living, Living, Style, Home, Taste, Wedding, Travel, Parents, Beauty, Inspiration, Fashion

Now, let’s take that same thing and cut out things none of my posts can possibly be by any stretch of anyone’s imagination, ever be categorized as:

Life And Styles:

Healthy Living, Living,  Travel, Inspiration

And, most of the ones I’ve left are rather significant stretches of the imagination, imho. I’m not even sure what “living” is as a lifestyle category.

I know, realistically, they contacted me via instagram so it’s almost certain what they’re after is my nature photos, which I don’t see any personal benefit in sharing with them, but I’m emailing them back the following:

Hello Unnamed Team Member @trendingstories.com,

I got your message about my blog via instagram, and I’ve got to admit, more than anything, I’m perplexed. I’m a music and arts blogger, but you specifically cited an interest in my lifestyle content. I’m honestly curious just which of my content you feel fits under the ‘lifestyle’ heading, and in what way you feel that categorization is appropriate. If you can’t be more specific, I don’t think we have anything to discuss.

But, if you are willing to cut out the empty praise and tell me what, specifically, you have on your mind, I am willing to listen.
Sincerely,
SZ Marsh
Will potentially update this later, depending on how they reply, but given what I suspect they’re after, I see no way in which it can benefit me. So, we’ll see if they convince me otherwise.
Coming soon – more photos, new song in the works, and hopefully the end of this horrible cough so I can have my voice back enough to get my butt in gear on those poetry albums.
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