Steven Watkins has some big ideas and on my Monday’s Connections, I’d like to point others to his blog. I hope to be working with Steven in the future, blogging to make a difference. Check out his blog! Holly
Steven Watkins has some big ideas and on my Monday’s Connections, I’d like to point others to his blog. I hope to be working with Steven in the future, blogging to make a difference. Check out his blog! Holly
Awards, Beautiful Blogger Award, Blessed Virgin Mary, Blog, Christmas movie, Colorado, Diabetic, Estes Park, flowers, Goa, Holly Michael, India, Inspiration, Isle of Iona, Jake Byrne, Kansas, Lily Lake, Lily of the Valley, New Orleans Saints, One Lovely Blog Award, Scotland, Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, Spring, sunflowers, Sunshine Blogger Award, The Nativity, type 1 diabetes, White bell-shaped flowers, Wisconsin, www.writingstraight.com
I won a few awards! Just like the olympic athletes! Though I’m a writer, not an athlete, by any means. But if you read my blog, you might know my son is an athlete and a “saint.” (A New Orleans Saint and a saintly child, too). But, this post isn’t about him. It’s about ME and a few other fantastic bloggers. As part of my Monday Connections, time to connect with other bloggers. Come on in and join the fun!
Award Number One: I received a Sunshine Blogger Award….
…from fellow writer, Maribeth Graham over at Writing Like Crazy
Thank you Maribeth. In accepting this award, I am required to answer a series of questions and then pass the torch (aka Sunshine Blogger Award) to other bloggers who I think deserve the award too, link my nominees to this post and comment on their blog letting them know of their nomination. Below are my answers and the blogs I have nominated.
1. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
The Nativity Story, because without the true “Christmas Story,” we couldn’t celebrate Christmas. The scenes and costumes appeared so authentic. The movie renewed my admiration for The Blessed Virgin Mary, a young girl from Nazareth and Joseph, her spouse. I appreciate his faith in God and his trust in the words of the angel from his dream.
2. What is your favorite flower?
White bell-shaped flowers, Lilly of the Valley, grew around the perimeter of our white farmhouse where I grew up in Northern Wisconsin. I used to pick them for my grandma and for my mom. Sweet memories and their intoxicating fragrance takes me back to my childhood and to Wisconsin in the springtime. Thinking about them, I can almost smell the fresh dew on the morning grass and can relive my delight in those perfectly crafted charming little bells. God is so creative!
I also like sunflowers. My older brother Mark once planted fields of them on his acreage when I was a teenager. Recently, my husband and I discovered sunflower fields in the northeast corner of Kansas during a trip from Kansas City to Northern Colorado. Here’s a photo I shot:
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage? Chocolate milk!
4. What is your passion? Living life fully and giving glory to God while appreciating all of His creation. And if God’s plan is for me to be writing, then it works for me.
5. What is your favorite time of year? Spring. This renewing, fragrant, colorful time of the year fills me with hope.
6. What is your favorite time of day? Nap time!
7. What is your favorite physical activity? Riding bicycle. As soon as I get on a bicycle and pedal, I smile!
8. What is your favorite vacation? So many…hmm…I loved Goa, India.
It was magical. Walks along the Arabian Sea at night, hearing its mighty roar. We had such a nice time.
Loved the Isle of Iona, Scotland.
So green and lush and lovely
A recent get-away to Lily Lake in Estes Park, Colorado was also very refreshing.
Now, these bloggers have earned gold for their wonderful blogs:
1. Lada Ray is one of my favorite bloggers. Her site, http://ladaray.wordpress.com/ is totally worth the click over there. Lada was born in Russia and is a writer, internationally certified feng shui master practitioner, world traveler, linguist, financial consultant & investor, nature/animal lover and spirituality & metaphysics researcher. She’s really awesome!
2. Judith Evans at http://innerhomestead.wordpress.com/. I loved her post about “thin places” on her blog, Among the Pots and Pans. Her blog features her favorite aspects of everyday life, such as recipes, crafts, and natural health.
3. Cindy Dwyer’s: A Reason To Write is full of humorous terrific writing about the ups and downs of working full-time while raising a family.
Award Number Two: The Beautiful Blogger Award…
….from Daniela at Lantern Post. Her blog is full of lovely poetry, prose, quotes, reviews of books or movies, and reflections on the weird and wonderful art of living in our time. You’ll love it. Go check it out.
Here’s the rules of this award: Post seven interesting things about myself and nominate other bloggers who I feel deserve the award, and let them know about nomination.
And for the winners. These bloggers also deserve gold:
1. Meri at ourdiabeticlife.com is my hero. She is the mom of four boys, three of which have Type 1 Diabetes. She is courageously and amazingly managing life with her sons’ diabetes and her husband’s cancer diagnosis. She’s a true hero who inspires. Her blog says: Through this blog I hope to share our ongoing story, to help others see that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Like you, I have muddled through all the emotional phases diabetes has to offer a parent. I know of the worry that sits with you like an old friend, because he is my friend too. I just try not to make him the life of the party. Take the ride with me. Visit her site, offer a prayer for her and her family, and come away a better person.
2. Melody Lowes at Melody Muses is full of beautiful prose and pictures. One of my fav sites and sure to be yours, too.
3. Becky Doughty deserves all the awards for her inspiring blog, Braveheart: Tales From the Front Line. She’s awesome and so is her blog!
4. Check out Brother Jon’s blog at http://ldsconvertblog.com/. He’s got great stuff going on over there!
5. Don’t miss Hugh Curtler’s blog
Ok, Next award: Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.
Doesn’t it look cool?
Thanks Ashley over at Author Ashley. She’s a teenager who writes about life and writing and everything in between.
First I’ll list the rules, and then I’ll follow through with what I was asked to do…
1) All recipients need to thank the giver 2) Post 7 things about yourself 3) Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of their choice and let them know that they have been nominated. 4) Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog
It is my pleasure to nominate the following blogs:
1. Liza at http://mylifeisapictureshow.wordpress.com/ deserves this award. She’s an amazing writer and blogger who invites us to come along for the ride (if you dare). I took the dare and am so glad I did. She’s a wonderful person and very creative blogger.
2. All Things Boys is an awesome blog. Arnel’s humorous and inspiring blog is loaded with great reads and beautiful photography. She’s someone you want to get to know and check out her other blogs, too. I’m so glad I found Arnel and her blogs! You will be too. I promise!
3. I’ve been bragging about Glenda Mills in other awards I’ve given, so if you haven’t already checked out http://glendamills.com/, you need to. It’s so inspiring and beautiful!
4. Gracie Hill at Gracie’s Quest is full of Biblical, faith-filled messages. Check it out if you want your spirit to be renewed in the Lord
5. PT Bradley honors God with her stories
6. Emma Moore’s Blog deserves every blog award out there, dipped in gold!
7. And another great blog: http://pauletteharper.com/
And last but not least, the Lovely Blog Award…
…given to me by Julie at The Read Room, a reading, writing, and word-related blog that catalogs the journey of a struggling writer.
The rules of this award are:
Seven things about myself:
1. When I was fifteen, I purchased a solid little blue notebook and in it, I recorded funny and heartwarming stories about my little sister who had Downs Syndrome. I wrote about her every day and expressed my love for her and what a gift she was to our family. A week later, she unexpectedly died. I still have the notebook and used the basis of this story for my first novel, Crooked Lines.
2. I love coffee, but only with flavored cream in it.
3. On a long car ride recently, I had a Rollo Flurry from McDonalds and enjoyed every last bite with no regrets. It was awesome! And something good came out of that ice cream dream delight. I got inspired to…
4. …begin the “Couch to 5K” app run/walk program. I just finished day two. Gotta get in shape.
5. My current novel, I’ll Be Seeing You, centers around the American Indian people, in particular the Shoshone and Arapaho in Wyoming.
6. When I was in Kindergarten, at a small consolidated school in Northern Wisconsin, Mrs. King, my teacher wouldn’t let me be the princess. She said, “You’re too shy.” I remember being really mad at her because I wanted the part and I knew I wasn’t shy. How dare she judge me like that! Those words labeled me and affected me and I became somewhat shy after that. If I’d had that part, I probably would have been a much more outgoing child. But perhaps everything happens for a reason. Maybe I needed some humbling from the beginning. I grew up to be fairly outgoing after all.
7. I like this Bible Verse: Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV) 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
And last, but not least, Guilie, over at Quiet Laughter, nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Guilie has a lovely site where she blogs about: Musings and stories on blurred cultural boundaries.
There are rules, four hoops that I must jump through. The first, most important, is to thank my awarders and link to them (check). Then I must answer these ten questions: (if your sick of me, scroll down and check out the cool blogs at the bottom.)
What’s your favorite song? I love most all music and can’t say I have a favorite, but this morning, while walk/jogging, I heard, “I’ll fly away,” done in a southern gospel/jazzy rendition and I totally got into it.
What’s your favorite dessert? Well, that Rollo McFlurry I had the other day was pretty awesome.
What ticks you off? When I’m writing and my computer gets stuck and I lose stuff.
What do you do when you’re upset? Probably Cry, pout, or something like that. But mostly, I don’t have much that upsets me.
Which is your favorite pet? I grew up on a farm, loved animals. We must have had about 30 dogs during my growing up years, puppies galore, hundreds of cats. How could I have a favorite? The kids had pets, too. Now, I avoid pets because we are never home.
Which do you prefer, black or white? Black for clothes that slim, white for iPhone color
What’s your biggest fear? Being out of God’s will and grace.
What’s your attitude, mostly? Happy! Grateful!
What is perfection? God is perfection. I fall way short.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Sleeping late
Hoop #3: I need to share 10 random facts about myself. Hmm…I think we are all done with this Holly Michael show. Let’s move on.
Welcome to my blog, G.E. Johnson. She’s got some great stuff to share regarding connections!
As a self-published author, I have been solely responsible for the marketing and advertising of my books and what a journey it has been! I started out not knowing the first thing about how or where to get my book noticed. I used the universal strategy of contacting friends and family first, but as anyone who has published a book can tell you, this pool of potential buyers dries up very quickly. Now, I must tell you that before I became an author, I had logged 16 years in the Business Finance arena and had taken part in multiple business start-ups so starting from scratch was not a new task to me.
However, marketing books was new to me and I wondered if the same rules for selling applied in the literary world as in other industries. Well, I found out over time that they do! Selling books is all about creating a product that has value and getting that product in front of the people who will buy into the value that you have created. Therein lies the purpose of this directory. “Get Connected: 101 Places to Promote Your Book” was designed with the author in mind, as an all-in-one resource for getting started on navigating the many avenues for promoting your book.
You’ll notice right away that this directory places a heavy emphasis on promotion outlets that are connected to Facebook and Twitter. Why is that? Well, let’s face it – social media is THE fastest, most efficient way to reach hundreds, and even thousands, of potential readers all at once and all in the same place. In “Get Connected: 101 Places to Promote Your Book”, I have listed 101 social media resources that are specifically designed to connect you with potential readers. The owners of these websites, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, etc. are all dedicated to promoting your books and helping you expand your readership!
I’ve already done the work of creating a starter list for you so now all you have to do is browse through and start getting connected! Are you a newly published author looking for places to start promoting? Are you an established author looking for new avenues of exposure? Are you an international author looking to expand your readership into other countries? There’s literally something in the directory for every author and for less than $0.10 per lead, the value far exceeds the investment. Get started today!
I’m a “signs and connections” kind of girl. And I love how butterflies flit about in ways that draw our eyes and thoughts away from ourselves and onto other things, outward and inward.
I love butterflies!
Butterfly thoughts take me back to when I was six-years-old in the meadow on our farm in Wisconsin. Wearing my yellow butterfly dress, I laughed and twirled with the dandelion seeds as I basked in God’s immense love. I stretched my hands high and offered songs of thanks for the Creator of the myriad of butterflies, ladybugs, and zippy dragonflies. I felt the love of God then, as if He was there in the flesh, hugging me, warming my heart through the rays of the morning sunshine. I knew then that I was His child.
As I walked around the downtown area recently, and through the park, wondering and worrying, I’m not sure what God was trying to tell me or direct my attention to through the butterflies…
But when I signed onto my laptop this morning, there was a butterfly in the first blog post I read.
I smiled when I read Shari’s post: Life is Not Meant to be Easy. Shari said, “Just like a caterpillar struggles to grow and mature as he emerges from his chrysalis, we at times also go through a process of struggling through the hard of life. We have times of uncomfortableness, and pain to mature and grow into something new. In the midst of the growth I don’t want to miss out on the blessings in the process. Sometimes it’s so easy to get stuck in the rut of complaining that, I/we can miss the beauty of the butterfly that emerges from the struggle.”
My husband (an Anglican Bishop in the Holy Catholic Church-Anglican Rite) and I have been in Colorado helping out one of our churches where the priest recently passed away. As I walked, I prayed about the difficulties our church is undergoing-a church full of ministry opportunities and people needing God’s care, but no priest to serve them. We wonder what God has in mind as we wait for Him to send a new pastor for this wonderful congregation we’ve come to love. I was also praying about my own direction, my worries.
God is everywhere and He even uses the butterflies to speak to us and to direct our thoughts back to Him and to others whom He speaks through. His message to me today is that He is ever-present, ever-powerful, ever-omniscient. He knows our struggles and He will take care of us, especially through our difficulties. All we have to do is to come out of our cocoons and lift our hearts in prayer. We are His children. He’s in charge. We serve an awesome God!
And thanks to Shari for her wonderful blog that carried a message to me today, via the wings of a butterfly.
Well written blog that says all that I would say myself! Good job! Enjoy this Monday’s connection to an awesome blog!
Like many others who’ve seen the latest cover of Time Magazine, I got a little fired up about it.
But not for the reasons you may think.
You see, the picture isn’t what bothered me. Sure, its an awkward image (I’ve never known a mom who stands her children on chairs to nurse them) and I’m sure that poor guy is really going to catch crap about this picture once he’s in high school. But what got under my skin was the cover line, “Are You Mom Enough?”
Obviously, this, paired with a photo of a mother standing while nursing her 3 year old son (who stands on a chair to reach her breast), is meant to make you question your “enough-ness” as a mother and prompt you to buy the magazine to determine just how “enough” you are or aren’t. As though Time Magazine has the answer…
View original post 628 more words
Bishop Kenneth Kinner, Blog, Brian Gaynor Photography, Crooked Lines, Finding Subjects.com, HCCAR, Holly Michael, Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite, India, Inspiration, Jake Byrne, Kevin George Travel Photography Blog, Kimberly Beer Photography, Michael Fiveson, Mike's Look at Life, New Orleans Saints, Novels, Photobots, photography, type 1 diabetes, Writing, writing and photography, wwwwritingstraight.com
Writer’s block? Quit staring at a blank page. Let go of rearranging words that refuse to coalesce into art. Come away from your aphotic state and sneak a peek at photos that enlighten and inspire a thousand words. Today, I visited photography web sites and found several thought-provoking photos, beginning with this one from Brian Gaynor Photography. I want to know who stole the flowers. And why is this shop closing?
Michael Fiveson, at Mike’s Look at Life, says on his blog about this post: “A group of small town fellows who enjoyed beer to excess would gather here and discuss prospective conquests. Unfortunately, none ever occurred, but it was great fun to imagine themselves as playboys and lovers extraordinaire.” Yeah, I imagine a great novel about the guys who built this club, or the women in the red house behind it sharing a glass of wine and talking about their husbands/boyfriends who are boozing it up in their “Playboy Mansion” out back. Lol! Great site, Mike! One of my favs.
For inspiration with scenes, especially in the western genre, check out Kimberly Beer’s photography. Here’s a few of her photos. This man looks like a real hero with a story to tell.
Finding Subjects Magazine: one man, one camera, one journey to motivate and inspire others by sharing photographs, stories, and humor with the world is awesome. Tony’s site is chock full of photos that make you laugh and ponder, including the one below. I’m curious about the guy who owns this puppet.
Kevin George Travel Photography Blog also has some great photos if you’re a writer looking for inspirational settings. Thanks for the permission to use this one Kevin:
And last, but most prolific, Charlie and Tom over at Photobots.com have put together PhotoBotos to create an open forum in which a HUGE community of friends can discuss photography and travel openly. Visit this site every day for a new photo awe-inspiring experience. Here’s a couple of photos from their site:
So, if you have writer’s block, peruse photography sites, like the ones above. Your muse will thank you.
Fortunately, I don’t have time for writer’s block. My first novel, “Crooked Lines,” is about ready to hit publisher’s doorsteps. Now working on my second novel, “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
This setting (my own amateur photography) in Tamil Nadu, India is seen through the eyes of my character, Sagai, in Crooked Lines.
Below, Bishop Kenneth Kinner of the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite and the scenes in Central Wyoming inspire me in my current WIP, “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
I also have the bones of another novel coming together for an inspiring book about connections between people, from the beginning of time. By the time I get the next two books published, my son, Jake (newly signed on with the New Orleans Saints and a type 1 diabetic) will be have a platform to write his book about kids, sports, and diabetes. (Read about his journey here) As a ghostwriter, it’s a future project I look forward to working on with my son. He’s a great kid and destined to be a fantastic NFL football player. I’m a proud mom of a saint!
The A to Z Challenge is over. The NFL Draft is over. I survived both! I’m back to my regular schedule. This is my Monday Connections, connecting writers to photography sites. NOW LET’S GET INSPIRED!!! Kill Writers block with photography!
ABNA, Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award, Betsy Byrne, Blog, Crooked Lines, Diana Symon, Dreams Come True, Holly Michael, Iona, Jake Byrne, NFL Draft 2012, Nick Byrne, Novel, photography, Scotland, travel, www.writingstraight.com
No Monday Connections this week. No Tuesday Book Review. Wednesday’s sneaking up on me. But I have an excuse and lots of good news to share. (I feel like that happy sheep in the meadow that I photographed on the Island of Iona in Scotland.)
First the excuse for no blogs: The last few days, my husband and I had traveled to the east coast on church business.
Now before I share my flood of good news, since I missed Monday Connections, I’d like to mention Diana Symon’s (Christian Writer, Thinker, Dreamer) blog post today: When Dreams Come True because it connects with this blog post
Here’s what I read on Diana’s blog: May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. Psalms 20:4 When I think about how wildly awesome God is, I love Him more. He wants to give me my heart’s desire. He wants to make my dreams come true…
Diana’s inspirational post continues, and I encourage others to hop over there to read the rest. Visit her blog any time you need inspiration. I love her blog. And I love that God is making dreams come true.
A few months earlier, I’d traveled to the west coast for Jake’s Rose Bowl game and discovered this water stain on the sidewalk in front of the room where we stayed. (For more on this story, click here)
I stood before this image and prayed for a long time, asking God to heal sick friends, to bless loved ones who needed blessings, and to bless my husband and our church. I also prayed special intentions for my children’s futures and for my novel. I asked Mother Mary to pray before the Lord, for the same.
I thank God for hearing and answering those prayers. Incredible blessings are rolling into our lives now. Jake did well at his Pro Day and is hopeful about the upcoming draft. My youngest son, Nick got offered a football scholarship from Arkansas State and Betsy, my daughter, is making her plans to study abroad in England become a reality. (Nick and Betsy below)
And my novel, Crooked Lines, is now an ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award) quarter-finalist. You can download and read the first three chapters for free here.
Diana Symon’s is right. Read the rest of her post. God is wildly awesome, and I remain humble and grateful for His blessings and that He wants to make all of our dreams come true. I’ll keep you posted! More to come soon!
Allon, Author's Central, baaaaa.com, Behold the Dawn, Blog, Catherine Fruisen, David N. Walker, Every Point Matters, great sites, Holly Michael, Hugenot Sword, K.M. Weiland, Kristen Lamb, Navjot Bajway, Resisting Gravity, Shawn Lamb, Social Media, Sukriti Mukherjee, Taj Mahal, Where the Heart Is, Wordplay, www.writingstraight.com
I was thrilled to visit the Taj Mahal and check it off my bucket list. The Taj Mahal is a great site that inspires. Interested in visiting some great sites to get inspired, learn new things and meet new friends? Minus the jet lag?
Then, come with me. Today I begin a new blog category. Each Monday, I’ll introduce readers and writers to new friends. We’ll hang out at their great sites. It’ll be fun. C’mon, let’s go meet the cool peeps I ran into last week while wayfaring on the web.
Catherine Fruisen, (my new bff) wife of PGA Pro Fred Fruisen, (a.k.a. Violet Lemay) is an illustrator, writer, Bible study teacher, and professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Catherine illustrates her own blog, Resisting Gravity, a Christian Artist’s Thoughts on Life. She says “follow me as I learn how to write.” Pshawww! She’s so humble and her true servant heart shines through her very well-written inspiring posts. Catherine also supports writers and inspires readers on baaaaa.com, a Christian writing collective: a verbal oasis of fresh voices in a tumultuous world.
During a late night “tweet message” session, Catherine introduced me to two new friends: Navjot Bajwa, a seeking Sikh and aspiring writer who lives in Mumbai, India and Sukriti Mukherjee (Calcutta, India). Navjot wrote Every Point Matters, on baaaaa.com. It’s a lovely article that I lifted this quote from, ” Just as we need points of reference to measure day or night, or to measure distances, we need people as points of reference in our lives. It’s all about people, and how we affect one another.” Great article! (I didn’t even have to take the twenty-some hour long flight to India to meet Navjot and Sukriti, two lovely souls who are now my new Facebook friends.)
Just this morning, on Author Central, I stumbled upon Shawn Lamb’s beautiful website and blog. If you write, read her article, “beginning, middle, and end.” Retweet it, Facebook it, or LinkedIn it and you’ll gain new friends. Yes, it’s that good! Your friends will thank you for it.
Shawn is the author of the epic YA fantasy series ALLON and new Christian historical, THE HUGUENOT SWORD, set in 17th Century France and complete with swashbuckling Musketeers. She recently became named among the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading 2011 – e-book coming soon! What a delightful new friend who will take you on incredible voyages through her books. And I found her on Twitter. Yay!
I found David Walker from Texas, on another bloggers site. His blog, Where the Heart Is, is a place that makes you want to grab a cup of coffee, then another, then order delivery pizza as you laugh, learn, and get inspired. Dave writes about current events and other things of general interest, often sharing his platform with guests on Fridays. Even if you’re not a Texan, you’ll love his latest post, Understanding Texans. David N. Walker is a freelance writer and co-founder, along with Kristen Lamb, of Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp.
I was going to stop after introducing three new friends, but then I met K. M. Weiland on Twitter and she is just way too cool not to introduce right away.
Her website, Wordplay, was chosen as one of the Top Ten Blogs for Writers in 2011 by Writer’s Digest. If you’re a reader, you will love her latest release Behold the Dawn, a tale of redemption in the Middle Ages. Clicking the Books link on her site, readers will discover reading guides, book club information, and updates about upcoming projects. Author’s will want to hang out in the For Writers section for tips and encouragement via her blogs and books. Fantastic helpful links and resources! She’s even got goodies up for grabs on the Free Stuff page.
Isn’t it fun seeing new sites, meeting new people, learning, getting fresh ideas and perspectives? (and getting souvenirs-thanks KM)
I began my blog to connect through social media, to inspire and to be inspired, to learn and to share what I have learned. People are the dots on the lines that connect our lives from one day to the next, from one place to the next, from one success to the next. Thanks for coming along today. As you trek about the internet, if you come across any (or already have one of your own) great, inspiring sites, please let me know. Thanks for joining me and meeting my new friends. Aren’t they awesome?
(I have a list of other great sites and cool people that I’ve met who will be featured upcoming Mondays)
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