My fab 5 for 2011

I read a fantastic post by Ginger Calem on her top five for 2011. I loved it so much I thought I’d do my own fab 5 for 2011. As Ginger pointed out, the “givens” are already understood. We all know everyone is grateful for their spouses, family, children, health, home etc. This is more about those 5 fabulous little ditties that made you squeal in personal delight. They changed your pleasure world and gave you something unexpectedly delicious. They gave you itty bitty butterflies in your belly. You know…the FUN STUFF!

My fab 5 for 2011 (in no particular order) are:

1.      My Kindle

My Kindle was a 2011 birthday present and it’s been one of my most delicious finds for 2011. I love it so much; hubby thinks I am having an affair it. Every night I dash into bed excited to curl up with the little bugger. I love the convenience of it, the highlighting, the dictionary, the page turns, and the light! Best of all, a few weeks ago I bought the first book to the Vampire Diaries. And there I found myself at midnight, finished book one with no book two in hand. Well instead of having to wait until morning to head to the bookstore, I just fired up amazon, ordered book two and in under a minute, I was happily immersed in the story again having never left the comfort and warmth of my BED! LOVE THAT!

2. Blogging/WANA711/ROW80/Twitter

I lump all my social media fun into one fab 5 because they are all interconnected. 2011 was simply a huge social media year for me. I started the year strong but my readership and enthusiasm for blogging waned 6 months into the year. That’s when I came across Kristen Lamb’s blogging to build brand course and my world changed. It was, as we writers like to call it, the inciting event. My world has not been the same since. Through her course, and beyond, I have connected with so many amazing people who are encouraging me to chase my dream in ways that has deeply touched my soul! I don’t feel like we are just a network…we aren’t just a community…we are a family! And I don’t know what I’d do without each and every one of you. You’ve enriched my life and brought me such joy and laughter. The truest gift of friendship and support I’ve ever received….thank you simply does not come close to expressing my gratitude!

3.      My 6 foot pre-lit palm tree

You might think this sounds odd but I’ve wanted one of these bad boys for years! I mean, we don’t live anywhere my beloved palm trees so there’s something that just warms my heart every time we drive by a house that has one of these things lit up. “Look hubby…ahhhh…isn’t that gorgeous!!!” I’d say time and time again. It’s just one of those things that tweaked my weird funny bone. This year, hubby delivered at Christmas in spades and when I opened this box up, I literally squealed and did the flash dance toe-tap! I couldn’t wait to tear into the box and set it up. Although we put it up for a bit over Christmas, I decided our winter weather will likely destroy its beauty too quickly so it’s tucked away until spring when I will create a palm tree oasis on my back deck! Eeekeee…I can’t wait!

4.      Shoes – all of them – but especially the newbies to the collection!

I gotta say, nothing makes me feel sexier than a hot pair of shoes. There’s just something about it. Something that makes me stand taller, walk prouder, feel more confident. I swear, hot shoes could solve world peace! I have a good friend who has an addiction to hot shoes that makes my collection look like child’s play. Lucky for me, she enjoys passing her hardly-worn, slightly used oldies to make room for newbies meaning my shoe collection is growing in size and style. It’s hot hot hot! Tara, if you are reading this, thank you – you make my shoe world a rockin’ place to be.

5.      Clothes that fit

Most of you likely read my post about how hubby took me shopping for some new clothes to fit my growing body (no, I am not pregnant, just put on 20+ pounds this summer). I had been refusing for months and months promising I was going to drop some of the weight. He couldn’t take seeing me so unhappy and told me to suck it up and off we went to the mall. I had no idea that accommodating my weight gain by buying bigger sizes and clothes that fit would actually make me feel wonderful about myself and…smaller?!?! It was a true gift and one I’ve been reveling in ever since. Definitely one of my fab 5 experiences this year! And the new loot hanging in my closet helps!

There are probably a hundred other things, experiences, and emotions that I could add to this list. 2011 was really a stellar year for me with a ton of growth and change, most for the better. It’s going to be hard to top that year but…I have every hope that 2012 is going to blow it out of the water. That’s the plan anyway.

Here’s to maintaining an attitude of gratitude like Tameri Etherton is doing beyond this post of fabulousness…but all year-long! 

What’s your Fab 5 for 2011? How do you embrace an attitude of gratitude?

If you enjoyed this post, check out more blog deliciousness here:

  • We’ve all heard the science, we do better at anything (writing, work etc) when we are physically fit and active. I know when I sit and watch TV, I slowly move into numb land. But if I take a walk, I come home ready to write. Well Ginger Calem has come up with the #writersbutt program that’s going to make us all better, more productive writers and more physically fit. I joined up immediately! Check out her post and get to it!
  • There’s been a ton of posts out there on resolutions and goals setting but I really loved Kate MacNicol’s post on creating breakthrough goals. Those goals that really push us outside our comfort zone and make us reach for the stars!
  • Another key to success is making sure our goals are SMART. Marcia Richards wrote a fantastic post with 5 tips that will surely help us all reach our goals!

ROW80 – Round 4 – 80 days in review

Well, I can’t believe it came so fast but it’s time for my last ROW80 progress update.

I’ve continued with lounging over in Slack Land with Jenny. Work, Xmas and some family stuff going on sort of took over. In the end, it’s all one big excuse….the bottom line is no words on the page. But let’s have a total Review of Round 4 Goals and I’ll share with you what I learned.

Work In Progress Goals:

  • Set up writing room (clean out DVDs and crap from office and set up laptop).
  • Get a new office chair.

I did get my office all set up for writing – it’s beautiful really! I didn’t get a new chair although in the end, with some rugs in there, the old chair is fine.

  • Read through old journals (7) to see if there is book material there.

Only read through 2 of the 7 so far…and I’ve come to realize my mother is a much greater SAINT than I previously realized. Someone give that lady an award already…please!

  • Read: Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland

Check!

  • Spend 5 hours a week on WIP outline – complete ½ outline including:
    • Define outline method
    • Craft premise
    • Create scene list
    • Develop key story factors – stakes, motive, desire, conflict
    • Determine setting
    • Define audience

5 hours a week for 11 weeks is 55 hours. I counted a total of 33.5 hours on my WIP outline…not bad. Not great but not bad either.

As far as ½ an outline is concerned, it depends on your definition. When I made this bulleted list, I had just started reading my first craft book and I had assumed that the outline ideas would work for me. And although it was great, I sort veered more towards James Scott Bell’s plot methodology. Since starting his book, I have completed major plot point outlines for 2 story ideas and I’ve roughly developed about a dozen story ideas (1 paragraph each). So I would say I’ve done “okay” on this goal.

What I haven’t done, is moved beyond THAT.

What I learned: I went a little askew in my planning. Although plotting is important and an hourly goal okay, without a word count goal and/or daily writing goal, I allowed myself to get quite literally lost in plotting. I just spun circle after circle when I needed to be spending time writing (ANYTHING….). I could have started with character interviews, bio, scene ideas, practice writing dialogue, done flash fiction etc. Whether towards one specific story idea or not…the point is, I could have been writing….which is what I need to do a lot more of.

Last night, I read a post by Jody Hedlund about how to drive yourself crazy as a writer. She said that (for the most part), your first 4 to 6 books are practice and are about learning your craft. This just brought home the point Jenny Hansen made to me last week about having thousands of lines of crap to get OUT before the good stuff would start flowing.

There are not many writers in the world who are naturally best-selling authors from the day they sit down pen and paper in hand. It’s a craft. It’s earned and learned through hard work, perseverance, and practice. And it’s not that I arrogantly thought I was this miracle writer. It’s just…I don’t think I realized how little I DO know, how big the learning curve is, and how much practice is required IF I am to take this “I am a writer” thing seriously!

I think I have a much better idea now and I will adjust my goals for 2012 accordingly!

  • Complete 2 character sketches with back story

I sucked at this goal AS WELL!

  • Find and order 3 highly recommended writing craft books (ask others).

Check! Now to read them.

Blogging Goals:

  • Blog 5 times a week.
  • Read, re-tweet/tweet, and comment on at least 10 blogs per week.
  • Report on ROW80 progress twice a week.

So here’s where I did kick butt. I am in love with the whole blogging and social media thing, and I nailed every single goal here.

As of tomorrow, the end official end of ROW80, in 11+ weeks I will have posted 59 non-ROW80 posts (maintaining my Monday through Friday schedule) and 23 ROW80 progress update posts for a total of 82 posts in 80 days. I am not sure how many re-tweets and tweets I did or how many comments I left but my guess is I average reading and promoting 20 to 30 blogs a week.

I reported on my ROW80 goals twice a week (although I think I was late twice). 

What I learned: this is also a bit of a weakness because I can easily get swept away in social media stuff rather than writing. It’s a crutch. My adjusted writing goals will help prevent this for next time but I’ll also be adjusting my blog schedule slightly to accommodate a more planned writing schedule.

Healthy Lifestyle Goals:

In the next round, I’ll be taking Kerry Meacham, Gene Lempp and Marcia Richards leads (like a lot of you) and I’ll be adding some healthy lifestyle goals to my plan!

How did you make out with your ROW80 goals? Plan to join up for January’s round?

Better late than never…linky love

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time to share the blog luv.

Better late than never. Sorry for the delay on today’s post but I’ve been home nursing a migraine. Hope you enjoy the line-up.

Social Media Out Loud:

  • Our furry little friend, Woodie and his creator Carrie Spencer, gives us a little WordPress magic knowledge on working with headers, footers, and widgets. Eeekeee…time to personalize that WordPress blog!

Write Out Loud:

  • Trish Loye Elliott did a fantastic post on how she lost her writing mojo but then, rediscovered it through reading!
  • Donna Newton did a fantastic post on writing with your active vs passive voice. Her examples really helped me see the difference.
  • Debra Kristi gets her writing inspiration from music. Then she uses photos to help solidify the ideas in her mind’s eye. She gives us all a beautiful and mystical peak into that world. I was simply blown away by the beauty of it. Definitely inspiring!
  • Ellie Ann Soderstrom did a very powerful post on what she learned from The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. It blew me away. I don’t think I’ll watch the movie (too much for me) but I do think I’ll read the books.
  • I absolutely loved Lani Wendt Young’s post on why she won’t ever be a best-selling author. Super cute!
  • David Gaughran did a fantastic and extensive post on Amazon’s new KDP Select program and took a look at the bigger picture of subscription models and how authors will collectively define future compensation for their work.
  • Jennifer Eaton gave us a great look at why beta-readers are so important. Because no matter how much editing you do, you will always be reading what you think you wrote.

Life Out Loud:

  • Lesann Berry did a great post awhile back that inspired me. It had THE greatest motivational image for women. It was about aspiring to be the best we can, and try to do right. As she wisely said “we might not always make it there – but efforts are meaningful.” I agree.
  • Marcia Richards did a truly wonderful post on how sometimes abstaining from venting for a period of time and allowing that steam to build, you can harness the power of your frustrations to cause a change in your status quo.

Laugh Out Loud:

I hope you enjoyed this week’s line-up of fantabulous blog posts. Stay tuned for next week’s. I promise to go and spend oodles of time (time away from friends and family I’ll have you know…) to bring you this do-or-die information…My god…you guys must really love me!!

Got any ditties of your own to share? Let me know and maybe they’ll be featured as part of next week’s line-up…

The latest (and greatest) around the blogosphere…

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time to share the blog luv.

Social Media Out Loud:

Write Out Loud:

  • A really poignant post of discovering yourself in your writing by the Hack Novelist. I loved it and I think it summed up quite wonderfully why we take our writing so personally!
  • Jami Gold did a great guest post over at Girls with Pens on how to make the most out of a scene. Whether you are a plotter or a pantser, this post will have appeal. I printed it off as another resource (my file folder is getting huge…)
  • Jenny Hansen serves up some writing gold with her post on how to use track changes in Word (she includes screen shots and everything…such a techie!). In my professional capacity, I’ve become quite a track changes pro and we’d be lost without it. I absolutely agree with Jenny on this one, a huge tool for writers.
  • I thought Jody Hedlund’s post on handling contradictory feedback was spot on! What…you mean not everyone’s gonna love my book? She provided fantastic examples to illustrate her point and when I read them, and put myself in her shoes, I could only imagine the sense of contradiction you’d be left with as a writer. Her advice was amazing!
  • Kristen Lamb gave us another FAB post on amping up our stories by working hand-in-hand with our antagonist. I loved how she gave concrete examples of different types of antagonist. It really helped me sink my teeth into the concept.

Life Out Loud:

  • When I read Kait Nolan’s post on why it’s necessary to dare to fail so that we dare to live, I was inspired and touched. It’s so true. If we live too cautiously, afraid to take a chance, we’ll never really experience Life Out Loud and our true potential.
  • Do you know a child with special needs? What have you taught your children about how to treat others with special needs? I read a touching post by Stacy Green on how she helped her daughter see and engage with special needs children in a loving and open way. It brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful!
  • And, with that, have you HEARD of Toronto’s Famous People Players?!?! OMG, you have to go check out Patricia Sands’ blog where she does a feature on this fantastic theatre troop that’s been entertaining audiences for over 20 years. Watch the video – totally uber!
  • Shopping for Christmas and no idea what to get your man? Well friends, Marcia Richards has combed the Web and found YOU some delightful little Xmas gift ideas that are SURE to put a smile on his face. PantyGrams, need I say more?!?!?!

Laugh Out Loud:

  • Piper Bayard and Holmes will have you rolling over in a huge giggle fest when you read their holiday survival post. Some damn fine advice guys!
  • I wasn’t sure whether to put Lani Wendt Young’s post under writing or laughing. It’s a cute and funny post about why writers hate Christmas. Cracked me up but you know, I could totally see it! While you are there, for God’s sakes check out her left hand bar and click to watch her book trailer for Telesa: The Covenant Keeper. It’s ahhhhmazing! I LOVED IT! You can also watch it on YouTube here. Wowzers!
  • And for my grand finale of laughter, did you SEE Jenny Hansen’s post on coffee-snorting holiday videos. OMG it’s HYSTERICAL!!! And…practical too because we finally get an answer on how to distinguish togs from underwear…thanks for that Jenny!
  • If by chance THAT wasn’t enough (by god you should all be on the floor after those videos…if you aren’t, check your pulse), check out Tameri Etherton’s blog for a delightful little dish of LMFAO’s video Sexy and I Know It! Now those boys know how to work the tog! I wonder if they’d teach hubby?!?!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s line-up of fantabulous blog posts. Stay tuned for next week’s. I promise to go and spend oodles of time (time away from friends and family I’ll have you know…) to bring you this do-or-die information…My god…you guys must really love me!!

Got any ditties of your own to share? Let me know and maybe they’ll be featured as part of next week’s line-up…

FAB posts on blogging, tweeting, writing, living and laughing…

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time to share the blog luv.

Blog/Tweet Out Loud:

Write Out Loud:

  • Since I am planning to embark on writing women’s fiction, I got a ton out of Roni Loren’s guest post by Sierra Godfrey on creating the all important dark moment. The post was super helpful on making sense of structure elements I’ve been reading about.
  • Jami Gold offered a fantastic gem on what makes a story feel realistic that’s a definite must read.
  • You HAVE to go read Shéa MacLeod’s guest post, the Phoenix and the Darkness, by Lizzy Ford. Lizzy is another of the amazing Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories and her post is powerful and left me a smidge speechless. I was enthralled with Lizzy’s story and her writing. You will be too.
  • Jennifer Eaton had a very serious scare for any writer. Go read her post and then go back up your stuff!
  • Kristen Lamb puts together another winner with her post on the importance of the antagonists. I hadn’t ever thought about it that way but it MAKES sense! I am just starting out and I am going to follow this little ditty to the letter. Besides, I think it’s one character profile I’ll have a blast doing.
  • Jody Hedlund did a great guest post on Writers in the Storm about 4 steps she uses for organizing plot ideas into a novel. I loved the post. It was practical advice that I think will totally work for me. Add a little of Kristen Lamb’s advice and any writer would be well on their way – I know I hoped to be!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed Kathy Owen’s post this week on how writing is like putting up your Christmas tree. I loved the parallel she made and how she tied it all together! Great analogy!

Life Out Loud:

  • I just ADORED Piper Bayard’s post on spreading the moxie. Essentially, you need to know what you want in life and then not be afraid to ask for it and go after it! Sometimes, it just works out! Her post inspired me to go after what I want – no excuses!
  • I loved Nancy J. Nicholson’s post on recognizing that sometimes the shortest distance between two points isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes taking a break, walking away, and letting the frustration slip away will only help your creativity blossom.
  • Did you SEE Marcia Richards NEW blog DESIGN!?!? Like O.M.G.! It’s totally up my alley and I love it! She also did a wonderful post on the history and meaning behind advent calendars. I had no idea. I love how she made her own that created ahhhmazing and meaningful family memories!
  • Friendships are sooo important. And if you are traveling around the world, making new galpals can be a great way to experience the real culture of the area. Patricia Sands made friendships that will last a lifetime half way around the world and got a real taste of France.

Laugh Out Loud:

  • TELL me…ASSURE me that you all read Jenny Hansen’s post on how her secret coffee concoction led to her friend Clair being…well…propositioned!!!! By a married man no less. He drank the coffee and lost his mind! RIOT! And the hubby and Jenny had a portmanteau-off in the comment section with Jenny pulling out the win (in my humble opinion…lol).
  • Have you seen what The Bloggess has been up to lately? She scored an enormous, wearable taxidermied wolf and then…she wore it to the opening of Twilight with a friend who dressed up like the Volturi – OMG the photos are hysterical! Seriously funny!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s line-up of fantabulous blog posts. Stay tuned for next week’s. I promise to go and spend oodles of time (time away from friends and family I’ll have you know…) to bring you this do-or-die information…My god…you guys must really love me!!

Got any ditties of your own to share? Let me know and maybe they’ll be featured as part of next week’s line-up…

Great bloggers are writing FAB stuff – check it out!

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time to share the blog luv.

Blog Out Loud:

  • Kristen Lamb (yes…I have a hero complex) did a fantastic post this week on why writers need a platform. It didn’t touch just on blogging but on the need to essentially build our brand by connecting with people so that no matter what “platform” you are on, people will always follow you. Writer, blogger, Facebook person. If you are interested in creating a following for any reason, this post is a must read!
  • I found this great post by Neil Patel on ProBlogger about the 6 laws every blogger needs to obey so they don’t get sued. I don’t know about you, but the title really caught my eye. It’s easy to understand and I always say it’s better to be informed and safe rather than sorry!
  • The ever beautiful Lena Corazon wrote a stunning post about the joys she’s experienced from blogging. The post touched my heart deeply as I could relate to her on so many levels. So beautifully said Lena!! My gratitude for the blogging family I’ve found swells my heart – each of you is a gift! Lena recognized that to and handed out some BLOG awards!!

Write Out Loud:

  • Last week, I pointed to Jennifer Eaton who did a fab job on explaining point of view. She followed up with two more fab posts that bring the concept that much clearer and answers the question of how many POVs are acceptable.
  • Have you been reading any craft books?! Most of you know I am in the midst of James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure. This week Nicole Basaraba did a wonderful review of Larry Brook’s Story Engineering. She got a LOT out of it! Would you?
  • Ever heard of a plot wheel? Kathy Owen did a fantastic post with a ton of visuals on plot wheels that Erle Stanley Gardner used in writing his novels. Hmmmm…this is NEAT stuff!
  • I’ve read about storyboards. I took a writing workshop a few years ago and the instructor used an entire wall in his apartment and yellow stickies to create a large storyboard. This week, Elena Aitken did a fantastic post on Wordbitches with GREAT PICTURES of her and Trish Loye’s storyboards. I loved it. It’s like your plot outline gone visual! Do you use storyboards?

Laugh Out Loud:

  • Menopausal cougars: the title says it all. Telling Dad did a hilarious post on how he will not write about menopausal cougars on his blog for anything less than $75000. I marvel at his morals!
  • I couldn’t stop chuckling at Noa Gavin’s post on stuff she hides from her husband. Hubby busted me this week singing Amazing Grace while the tub was filling up. Thankfully I caught HIM just before he got it recorded.
  • Y’all know I’ve been struggling with weight. Well this week Paige Kellerman broke up with Oreos with a heartfelt letter. O.M.G. I nearly died! I might use this as a template to breakup with numerous fast food restaurants and Kraft Dinner!

Life Out Loud:

  • The Hack Novelist has a dream manager. Shut the front door?!?! I KNOW, eh?!? Coolest thing ever. It’s someone who is helping him articulate and reach his dreams. I could definitely use one of those.
  • Earlier this month, Jenny Hansen guest posted at Marcia Richards’ with her 3 rules in writing and life. They were poignant and true. Check em’ out. And then Jenny guest posted over at Stacy Green’s (yes, she’s everywhere lately…) on how to avoid dating disasters and find “the” one. Her advice is dead on! I used her tactics to make sure hubby found me!
  • I loved Jillian Dodd’s post on the way a man smells. It was a great way to think about all the ways we can bring more intimacy into our characters lives and our writing but also made me think of the million things that made me fall in love with hubby.
  • Claire LeGrand touched on one my major pet peeves; the importance of etiquette! There’s nothing more annoying than going with someone to an event where they then seemingly refuse to introduce you to groups of people they know leaving you standing there like a douche! You go Claire – loved it!
  • Read a simply astounding guest post by Heather Marie Adkins on Shéa MacLeod’s blog about an author’s journey on finding herself. Heather is one the 24 women featured in the Indie Chicks anthology and the story is inspirational and empowering. Go. Read it now.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s line-up of fantabulous blog posts. Stay tuned for next week’s. I promise to go and spend oodles of time (time away from friends and family I’ll have you know…) to bring you this do-or-die information…My god…you guys must really love me!!

Got any ditties of your own to share? Let me know and maybe they’ll be featured as part of next week’s line-up…

Link love abound!

Better late than never. It’s still Thursday and that means it’s time to share the blog luv.

Blog Out Loud:

  • Blogging is hard work. We can all suffer disillusionment and burnout. I think Roni Loren did a great post on the life cycle of a blogger. It helps to recognize that even if you go through a period where you are down on blogging (or way up, like moi) that there’s ebb and flow to it and we just gotta hang in there.

Write Out Loud:

  • Have y’all seen Amy Shojai’s series on media tips? They are fantastic. The last one has what I consider to be some of the best tips yet. With over 10 years in the biz, I can tell you, she’s hit the nail on the head. Check it out and be sure to scan through for the rest of her posts on the subject. Wonderfully useful!
  • Patricia Sands did a wonderful interview with writer Torre DeRoche that is a must-read if you haven’t already seen it. It also includes a wonderful post by Torre on her journey to find the strength and determination to finish writing a book. I think you’ll all love it!
  • Have a little fun and check out Jennifer Meaton’s blog and her post on Wordle. I hadn’t heard about it until Jennifer introduced me to it but how cool! You load something you’ve written into it and it gives you a visual representation of the frequency of your words; the bigger the word, the more you used it. I think this would be very useful if you are looking for repetitive words in your books.
  • Shea MacLeod was invited to be a part of the recently released Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories. It’s an amazing story how the book, which features personal stories from each women as well as excerpts from their novels, came to be.
  • I loved loved loved Roni Loren’s guest post Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: Plot Building for the Character Driven Writer by Ashley March. Having just started out with the plotting thing, and been SUPER excited because I am an UBER planner, I was devastated when things didn’t just jive. How do I know what would come next, I don’t know what that character would do?!?!?!?! The pantsing/plotting technique Ashley describes in this post sounds like the exact mesh of plotting and simultaneous character development that would work for me!

Laugh Out Loud:

Life Out Loud:

I hope you enjoyed this week’s line-up of fantabulous blog posts. Stay tuned for next week’s. I promise to go and spend oodles of time (time away from friends and family I’ll have you know…) to bring you this do-or-die information…My god…you guys must really love me!!

Got any ditties of your own to share? Let me know and maybe they’ll be featured as part of next week’s line-up…

Thursday’s Links Out Loud…

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time to share the blog luv.

Blog Out Loud:

  • When I saw Roni Loren’s post “Is Blogging Dead?” I will admit, I nearly had a heart attack. What? It’s dead? But I just got to the party?!?! In essence, she actually points out that yes, the blogosphere is crowded. And yes, the blogosphere for writers is a wall-to-wall crowded room. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a blog or keep going with your own blog if it’s something you enjoy! Phew…good news cause I really didn’t want to give all THIS up quite yet!!

Write Out Loud:

  • Yesterday, I was at the dentist office listening to CBC Radio. One of the things I love about CBC is the nice, drawn out interviews that allow you to be distracted while someone shoves pointy instruments into your mouth. And low and behold, I got to hear a great interview with authors Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith who were there talking about whether young-adult fiction is intolerant of gay characters. These two caused a stir this month with an open letter calling on their colleagues to speak up about an unspoken rule in their corner of the publishing world: that gay characters aren’t particularly welcome. What’s your experience?
  • Jenny Hansen is rocking out over at her blog cause she knows the party is coming! She’s talking about how, in less than one week, the #ROW80 hashtag is going to light up like the stage at a rock concert. If you’re scratching your head, wondering what the hell ROW80 is, check out her blog and JOIN in the fun. I am!
  • Marcia Richards is excited because K.M. Weiland just released her new book, Outline Your Novel…Map Your Way To Success, and she’s having a contest to make the launch successful! Woot woot – who doesn’t love a contest! You could win a Kindle and over $100 in writing craft books. Sweet! Now, as a Canadian I don’t qualify (boohoo!!!) but that didn’t stop me from buying her new book anyway. Given that I am joining the ROW80 party and one of my goals will be to do an outline, this is what I like to call, perfect timing!!

Laugh Out Loud:

  • This week Piper Bayard decided to step up to the plate in a big way. In her post, Ok. I’ll do it. I’ll run for President, she spills the dirty deets on her campaign platform. My favorite line of the entire post: “And remember, great things grow in dirt and manure.” WAHAHAHA!!! Loved it and I am totally going to use it!!! And Piper, I’d vote for ya!
  • Have you visited the ever charming and hilarious Tawna Fenske lately? I nearly died when I read her post on her cat being a filthy pervert. Having been a cat owner for a number of years I can attest that they are all filthy perverts!
  • You all know that I’ve put my foot in my mouth a couple of times. Well Jenny from the blog makes my little “mishap” look like child’s play! She had the Freudian slip of all slips…in a VERY PUBLIC place….in front of children no less! SHE’s my freaking hero! LOL!

Life Out Loud:

  • Ever take on a major home renovation on your own? HGTV meet Jillian Dodd! She’s been working night and day to make her 17-year-old daughters dream room that included requests that it be comfortable, ethnic, casual, trippy, beachy, Asian and bohemian influenced room with black lights and a disco ball that looks grown up (who is this girl…I love her already!) And let me tell you, Jillian delivered in spades! The room is uberlicious and every teenage girl’s DREAM come true – way to go Jillian – you rock!
  • Ever felt overwhelmed by everything on your to do list? How do you make sure you get it all done AND write? Susan Bischoff wrote a great post this week on how a control journal worked for her in the past. I am in awe. I love it. This is totally something that would work for me (cause I am a wee bit of a control freak…I know…shocking?!?!?)! I mean, the name alone…control journal….come on…I must have one!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s line-up of fantabulous blog posts. Stay tuned for next week’s. I promise to go and spend oodles of time (time away from friends and family I’ll have you know…) to bring you this do-or-die information…My god…you guys must really love me!!

Got any ditties of your own to share? Let me know and maybe they’ll be featured as part of next week’s line-up…

Shut the front door – I wonder another blog award!

Poor hubby had to put up with me nerdjacking the entire conversation on our way to the camp this weekend about the blog award I won. To his credit, he listened with enthusiasm and congratulated me appropriately. But y’all in the blogosphere would understand a little better. I won a Liebster Award!

Break out the champagne! Woot woot!

I have to admit, I’ve been seeing the Liebster Award being awarded to my some of my uberlicious blog friends here and there and I was happy for them! Seriously…I was!!! I mean, I am!!! They rock and deserve the honor. But at the same time, I wondered “why not my little blog?!?! What do have to do to get your attention people???

And then voila, my good friend and ahhhmazing fellow blogger Tameri Etherton bestowed the honor on me. Thank you!!! I am gushing and blushing…again!

Tameri and I met at writer social media guru Kristen Lamb’s Blog to Build Your Brand course (another round starts in October/November – I HIGHLY recommend it). I gotta just say it straight up, Tameri rocks my world! Her trashy TV recap posts are a highlight of my week because she covers ALL of my favs. And her whimsy Wednesdays are always filled with something hilarious. It’s one of my go-to blogs for great content!

According to the uber fabulous Barbara McDowell, the Liebster Award originated in Germany and Liebster means “dear, sweet, darling, beloved.” The point of the award is to help bring a little more attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers (what??? You mean I don’t have 200 followers yet??? Hmmmm!?!?!)

Winners of a Liebster must:

  1. Post the award on your blog and show thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them via the award graphic. Check out the award in my right hand menu, it now links to Tameri’s fab blog!
  2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog or send them a shout out on Twitter. It’s all about spreading the love.
  3. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers (and bloggers).

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The five blogs I would like to honor with a Liebster Award are bloggers who make my blog world a way better place to be in. I love to read, comment, tweet and follow their blogs because they rock. The content is well written, fun, and informative. And the reciprocating support and the blog luv they shower on me fills my heart with gratitude and joy.

Now, I can’t be 100% each of these blogs has under 200 followers part but I am going with people I believe fit the criteria and that I read, adore, and want to promo. And I tried to find ahhmazing bloggers I love who hadn’t already received the Liebster honor. So, without further ado, I would like to award and congratulate the following bloggers with a Liebster Award:

  • Patricia Sands, author of The Bridge Club, is traveling around France and since we all can’t be there with her to experience it in person, she shares her journey with each of us through her blog. Filled with gorgeous pictures and amazing sights and stories, you’ll think you were right there with her. Merci Patricia!
  • Kate Wood will take you back in time to the glorious days of the ancient Celts, Picts, Druids, Boudicca, and King Arthur. She is captivated by history and legends and you will be to once you start to follow her blog. Take a cup of tea when you sit down with Kate. It’ll just feel right.
  • Diana Murdock, author of Again, writes a blog with posts that are intimate, extremely well-written, and often prompt me to think beyond the ordinary; to dig a little deeper. I love them. She writes from her heart and soul and you won’t be sorry you visited her.
  • Kait Nolan, author of Red (which I just finished – it rocked) and the Mirus series, posts on writing, life in general, and on Operation Goddess in Training. She’s funny, poignant and writes straight from the heart. The blog is easy to read, well written and chalked full of great content. I guarantee, once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop.
  • Wordbitches, with a name like that how could I not honor them with a Liebster. This blog rocks my writing world with amazing posts from three amazing writers (Leanne Shirtliffe, Elena Aitken, and Trish Loye Elliott). These writers use this blog as a means of accountability to their writing goals. Their posts cover a gamut of topics but are all mostly related to the real-world experience of writing with great tips, tricks, and ideas. Keep up the good work ladies!

There you go award-winning fellow bloggers! Enjoy your well-deserved honor! Now go spread the luv!

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