Thursday’s blog love fest…

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

Social Media Out Loud:

  • You’ve seen it around WordPress: Press This. I know…what the heck is it? Well our furry friend, Woodie (on behalf of Carrie Spencer) brings us the deets. Thanks Woodie…phew!

Write Out Loud:

Life Out Loud:

  • Last week I wrote about living our passion. This week I read an amazing post by Liza Kane on the art of letting go, which was super timely for me. It’s about letting go of the sometimes automatic overachiever in each of us so we keep the real priorities in sight.
  • So…I’m always worried after cleaning my bathtub how much residue is left behind that I end up soaking in!?!?!? Ever thought of cleaning your bathroom with a grapefruit and some salt??! I know…me either! Well, Myndi Shafter tested this little ditty out and says it works like a charm!! I can’t wait to give it a go!
  • This time of year, a lot of people lean towards the idea of giving puppies as pets. And who wouldn’t want to pass along that ADORABLE little face?! But is it the best idea?!?! Our resident pet expert, Amy Shojai, gives us some amazing tips and resources on puppy gift giving you must check out IF this is something you are considering.
  • Fears. They can wreak havoc in your life sometimes totally unbeknownst to you! Barbara McDowell wrote a fantastic post with some uberlicious resources on how to run toward your fears!
  • Have you heard of the Layaway Angels? I cried when I read this post by Diana Murdock and then the subsequent news piece. Wow. I had no idea and how cool is that?!
  • Christmas. A wonderful time of year for most people. But for some, it’s an extremely painful time of year dealing with grief and loss (my family still struggles with the pain of our third Christmas without Mamma K). Debra Kristi knows about that pain too well herself and she offers some most amazing suggestions on how to deal with grief through the holiday season. Thanks Debra – loved the candle burning idea!
  • Did you visit August McLaughlin’s blog and check out her ORIGINAL Holiday Tune (her gift to each of you). Ahhhmazing and beautiful!!! Thank you August!

Laugh Out Loud:

  • I nearly died reading Leanne Shirtliffe’s naughty letter to santa…OMG!
  • Piper Bayard and Holmes did another hilarious rendition of holiday survival advice that had me snorting coffee!
  • Are you at a loss at what to get that hard-to-by-for person on your list? Well then I have a real treat for you. Ellie Ann Soderstrom did a holiday gift buying guide for JUST that person…it’ll be just perfect! I nearly peed myself!
  • I don’t have children but I still got a huge kick out of Paige Kellerman’s post on how to have a cup of coffee after children. Thought all you parents out there might enjoy it!

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…

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A little linky love for US turkey day

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

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US peeps. I hope y’all have a wonderful day with family, friends, and lots of love and good food. Here’s to continued health and prosperity to all! Being Canadian, we celebrated ours in October.

Blog Out Loud:

  • If you haven’t been over to visit Annette Gendler’s blog to see her new design, go check it out today. The digs are beautiful. She’s got a gorgeous, bright, happy header; a quote that sort of sums her up; and a fabulous layout and white background. It’s all changes she learned and implemented from Kristen Lamb’s blogging to build brand course. Great job Annette – I love it!
  • Have you thought about doing vlogs on your blog? I just watched/read this post by Darren Rowse from ProBlogger on the benefits of posting videos on your blog and I gotta tell you, I am kind of sold. I am really looking forward to his upcoming vlogs on the “how tos”. I know Amy Shojai uses a lot of vlogs at the end of a number of her posts that I find really effective. Another of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay of Designer Wife, does vlogs and I’ve always enjoyed them. In both instances, they make the blogger seem more real and personal. Maybe I’ll do a little intro video on mine? Hmmmm…you?

Write Out Loud:

  • Loved this week’s post by Roni Loren on 3 things you can do now to prepare for published authorhood. I like it because I totally believe on what you focus on, grows. So, if you are focusing on what life will be like when you are a published author, then that is what will come. It was also practical advice. My fav tidbits; find balance and let go of guilt.
  • Patricia Sands gave a shout out to the recent, amazing success of self-published author Torre DeRoche. I went and read the whole story on Torre’s blog and it’s an inspiration. Essentially she self-published her book on her blog September 7 and by November 11 she landed an agent, four major publishing deals, and a movie deal. Shut up! She’s a walking success story for the power of social media!
  • Kristen Lamb has been giving us a steady stream of tutorials on structure (thank you Kristen) and this week she delved into the mastery of scenes. As she points out, it’s easy to get lost when dealing with a structure as complex as a novel so she gave us a nifty tool to keep everything straight.
  • Join me in sending a huge congratulations to Angela Wallace on the release of her self-published book Elemental Magic. I love the cover and the book description – sounds like a FAB read. Go check it out!

Life Out Loud:

  • Elena Aitken did a fantastic post on the importance of finding your inner athlete. What I loved most is that she helped me realize that I don’t have to be a pro on the court or the next swimming champion to be an athlete. My inner athlete is any size, shape and weight. She’s just a fitter, more active me.
  • Have you been to Nice, France? I haven’t. But when I visited Naomi Bulger’s blog, I took a most spectacular trip through her outstanding photography. Go get swept away!
  • For all you single gals, Jenny Hansen wrote a fantastic post on how she put a dating disaster record behind her with the help of a dating committee and landed herself a prince. You can to! Also, be sure to check out Jenny’s post on why she’s thankful for the military (there’s a book give away involved).
  • Jillian Dodd never ceases to impress me with her Philanthropy Thursday line-up where she encourages us all to be more philanthropic in our lives. And she reminds us that philanthropy doesn’t have to be donating to charity, it can be anything from helping a neighbor, lending an ear, or giving a thoughtful word. And Jillian puts her money where her mouth is. She donates 20% of the proceeds from the sale of her book, That Boy. In October, she donated $780 dollars to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the University of Nebraska Foundation. That Boy donations total $2010. Isn’t that amazing!
  • With the holiday stress on the way, we need all the help we can get to stay positive and upbeat. Angela Orlowski-Peart put together 11 simple, and practical, tips on staying positive that I know I’ll put to good use!

Laugh Out Loud:

  • I am sure you are all regular visitors to Noa Gavin’s blog but if not, you have to go check out these two posts. I nearly died watching the video her and a couple of friends made on brainstorming for shows for TLC – RIOT! Then she did another hilarious post on rules for DisneyWorld. Seriously? I nearly died! Just the laugh I needed this week.
  • Paige Kellerman was in true form when she wrote her letter to Kim Kardashian with some wonderful marital advice. I nearly peed myself.

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…

More blog awards – for me???

I am blushing and gushing (again…)! Two of my blogging sistas, whom I admire and respect deeply, recently honored me with blogging awards.

First, the ever funny and beautiful Jenny Hansen honored yours truly with…a STYLISH BLOGGER AWARD!

Stylish Blogger Award

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

I near fell off my chair.

I am honored beyond measure. I am thrilled to pieces!!! Thank you Jenny! Honestly, when I read her post and saw my name listed there with words like “always makes me laugh” and “got some seriously cool style,” tears came to my eyes. I was moved. I was filled with a profound sense of awe..

Then, much to my surprise and delight, the gorgeous and talented Angela Orlowki-Peart honored me with an I Love Blogging Award. What?!?!? Well I can’t argue with that, I do love blogging! Thank you so much Angela.

I Love Blogging Award

Being honored by fellow bloggers with these awards means a lot to me. When I started out blogging over a year ago, I kind of floundered like a fish out of water. It wasn’t pretty. There was wild flapping and water everywhere. Seriously. Nasty! I was trying but nothing felt quite right.

Then I discovered Kristen Lamb and her blogging course and everything changed. Not only did I find a community of bloggers that make this blogosphere feel like one giant family, I feel like I’ve finally found my blog voice; one that is authentic, genuine and that I love. I am having the time of my life writing these posts. Blogging has become energizing, fun, and exciting. Hubby says I am not only having an affair with my Kindle but with my blog as well. Opps.

Loving blogging and having fun is great and wonderful but as Jenny wrote about in her post on writers needing external validation, I still wondered if y’all enjoyed it? Ya know? I know we should all be filled to the brim with inner confidence and that as long as I am enjoying blogging and am taping into the joy of my writing passion, that “should” be enough but…I can’t help it…I do love a little external validation!

So these two awards, along with the two others I’ve been honored with recently (check out my right-hand menu…), are that little bit of external validation that says “they like me….they really like me…” and I gotta be honest, it feels UBERLICIOUSLY fahhbulous! It makes my heart sing and my confidence soar. So…all that lengthy stuff to say a heartfelt thank you. I feel truly blessed!

In keeping with both blog award rules to:

  1. pay homage to the blogger who gave you the award;
  2. list 7 random facts about yourself; and
  3. pay the blog luv forward.

I found Jenny Hansen’s blog after writers’ social media maven, Kristen Lamb, listed her as a best practice example on her blog. And voila, my Jenny Addiction began. Her blog is chalked full of valuable writing information (writers read differently than non-writers and building a writing team opened my eyes to new aspects of the writing world), hilarious posts (my favs HAVE to be dirty minds (I mean signs)gang banging chickens and the Christian panties posts), and you can’t miss her posts on high-risk pregnancy. All in all, I think she’s an uberlicious blogger whom I admire, respect, and adore. Not to mention, the girl throws a kick-ass Twitter Parrrrttttyyy!! My god…we are all still recovering!

Angela and I met when we both took Kristen Lamb’s course and we’ve been blogging sistas ever since. She is a YA paranormal and urban fiction writer so it’s no surprise that I love her blog. She posts a weekly mash-up of things that inspire her and they will inspire you to. And super cool, her flash fiction posts involves her readers! Her blog always leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy. It’s like curling up with a feel-good book.

Jenny and Angela; piles of air cheek kisses to you my friends!

Now, for 7 random facts about me (and you can always refer back to my other posts on 10 random facts and 7 random facts if interested) but given how lengthy this post is getting, I’ll keep this short and sweet.

  1. I have a dark brown birthmark on my knee that I used to be so embarrassed by that I hated wearing shorts. Now I don’t even notice it.
  2. I am a chicken shit. When at the camp, if it’s dark outside, I make hubby come outside with me to go to the outhouse (yes…there is no plumbing at the camp…it’s a camp, not a cottage). Even if it’s 4 am. To his credit, he never even grumbles about it.
  3. Keeping in line with chicken shit confessions, I used to love scary movies but I can’t handle them now.
  4. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect lipstick (shade and texture) for years. I’ve spent oodles of cash on lipsticks I wear once and then toss. I am still on the hunt…I wonder if it’ll ever happen?!?! (Note to hubby: it’s really not that much cash…I just said that for dramatic tension in my post. Kisses!)
  5. As a child, I dreamt of becoming an Olympic champion in gymnastics. Sadly, gymnastics was not a talent of mine and I struggled through many humiliating practices and competitions before finally giving up.
  6. I have a phobia of the drains at the bottom of pools (more chicken shit confessions). Especially the vents in large commercial swimming pools but even small, above ground home pools can creep me out. I think it comes from a traumatic swimming lesson that involved being shoved into the deep-end.
  7. I love fortune tellers and soul readers. I like to go at least once a year!

Now it’s time to share the love!

And….the Stylish Blogger Award goes to…

  • My fellow pink, glitter girl Jillian Dodd! Her blog has oodles of style and glitz. When I first started looking to update my design, her’s was a huge inspiration. What I love is that her style goes beyond the surface with content that is uberlicious. I mean, DID YOU SEE her post on her daughter’s room make-over?!?! Then…her MANday Monday’s….Seriously, need I say more?!?! Jillian’s got style in spades!
  • The ever uberfabulous Tameri Etherton. Hello…her blog header HAS a TIARA in it. Need I say more?!?! That just SCREAMS stylish! If you read my pageant post, you’ll know why I think so. Coupled with a gorgeous smiling pictures of herself and some uber content like her post on battling weight loss and her weekly trashy TV recaps that I live for, Tameri’s got tons of swag and style!
  • And last but not least, the ever hilarious and witty Twana Fenske. Her blog is another one that I gleaned inspiration towards my own design. I love the pink flash, the fahhhbulous header (hello?!?! She mentions WINE in the header) and her content often leaves me in hysterics. She’s full of charm and sass with her post on inappropriate public behavior (again) and her hilarious and touching post on making time for the important things in life.

And….the I Love Blogging Award goes to…

  • Amber West obviously loves blogging. She’s on vacation right now and STILL blogging. If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is. Like Angela, Amber writes a beautiful Friday Inspiration post. She started the #gowithout campaign encouraging everyone in the blogging community to go without a little something to give back a little something….it totally knocked MY SOCKS off! Genius! And her Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday posts have introduced me to tons of new shows to check out and be amazed by.
  • Amy Shojai loves blogging as well. Not only does she bring us the latest and greatest in pet information but Amy shares a wealth of knowledge about writing. Have I mentioned that in her pet posts she usually includes an Ask Amy VIDEO – thassss right – she’s ahhmazing! On Monday, we get a mash-up of great resources on pets, writing, social media etc; Tuesday it’s all about tips and tricks; Wednesday she talks everything dogs; and Friday she talks all things cats. Did I mention that she featured MY BABY in one of her posts? Oh yes, we like Amy!
  • Piper Bayard and her blogging pal Holmes definitely love blogging. They are constantly keeping me in giggles with their posts on invisible art and invisible porn and Piper’s quest to become President of the United States.
  • I would also like to honor Jenny Hansen and Angela Orlowski-Peart with an I Love Blogging Award because as you saw from above, these two uberlicious ladies obviously love blogging!

Ok – seriously, I could go on and on with tons of blogs to honor but this post is getting out of this world long (I’d be surprised if many of you are even still hanging in there…phew) so I’ll just close with that!

So there you have it! Congrats to everyone!

Thank you again Jenny and Angela for the amazing honors!

MUAH! xox

How have you been honored recently? Do you value external validation? Any ~clinking~ opportunities?

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