Visiting an older blog and reblogging. About this time last year, we were in Goa, India. What a lovely place. Did you know the remains of St. Francis Xavier are there. Gotta love Goa, India.
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.
- I’m left-handed.
- I have a novel with an agent that’s being shopped around to publishers. Please say a little prayer that one grabs it soon because…
- I’m impatient.
- I’m crazy about a big-hearted guy who sticks a white band in his shirt collar every day and dresses in vestments on Sunday. (My husband! He’s an Anglican Bishop in the Holy Catholic Church – Anglican Rite)
- I’m very proud of our kids and their accomplishments (The dynamic and cute diabetic NFL player, the beautiful darling who’s going off to study in London for a semester, and the sweet handsome boy (also an awesome football player) who will graduate before the year is over. They’ve been great kids and I’m one totally blessed mom.
- Both my husband and I are the seventh child in our families
- Um….I like chocolate
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:
- Give credit to the awesome person who nominated you,
- Describe seven things about yourself,
- Nominate 15 other bloggers.
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.
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!
When my husband celebrated the Mass at a Tamil/American wedding this past weekend, I offered to take photos for the couple. It was an eclectic blending of traditions: A Tamil-American groom (our postulant in the Holy Catholic Church, Anglican Rite-HCCAR). An American bride. A traditional Anglican wedding from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, officiated by Bishop Edmund Jayaraj, Bishop in our Holy Catholic Church, Anglican Rite. Below, Bishop Jayaraj’s nephew, Alfred Sturgis and Alfred’s bride, Michelle.
Mass in our traditional Anglican way is said kneeling and, Ad orientem, which is Latin for “to the east.” In all of HCCAR churches, the priests celebrate Mass in the eastward direction, facing the Altar, as a deep reverence to God.
Traditional Anglican Mass, elevating the Body of Christ.
Below, Alfred, the groom, ties the thali (a necklace) in three knots around his bride’s neck, in the South Indian ancient tradition. The first knot binds the husband and wife, the second knot binds them to God, and the the third knot symbolizes their matrimony before the eyes of the society. The knots also symbolize: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
In the Anglican tradition, the priest ties his stole around the hands of the couple, an tradition that symbolizes the binding of the couple to each other and to God.
A lovely wedding, followed by a wonderful reception with a delicious South Indian menu.
Another blogger, blogging about Tradition is: L. Catherine Tayler, A Common Sea. I’m a sentimental person. I love nostalgia, and keep myriad pictures and other memory-provoking items in my home. I find the past, even a past I didn’t live in, to be fascinating. This longing to stay connected to the past is one of the reasons I minored in history. For more, click here.
Tomorrow is U. Unless, I finish my edits, I can’t post a blog. I better get to work!
M is for Monkeys because I have about two thousand pictures of monkeys. I just think it’s cool to see a monkey on the roadside (Tamil Nadu, India)…
…or wake up in the morning to a monkey outside your hotel window.
The only monkeys I ever saw, growing up on the farm in Northern Wisconsin, were ones like this:
And M is also for Lucky 7 Meme. One of my really cool Author/blogger friends, Edith Parzefall, tagged me on her blog and sent me a Lucky 7 Meme Invitation.
Sorry Edith, I’m a rule breaker. I cheated. Hope the Lucky Meme police don’t arrest me. I decided to post a short section from Crooked Lines that I just added a couple of days ago. And it mentions…tada…a MONKEY:
Sagai knelt and picked up a small round stone and rolled it in his hands. Perfect ammunition. Those pesky monkeys, now awake and watchful, were known thieves. Would knocking one of those screeching troublemakers out of a tree be a sin? Before he could ponder further, a young novice approached, smiling, and handed him a package. An entire loaf of bread. Enough to share with all at home.
Sagai smiled. “Thank you Sister.”
The novice bowed her head, nodded, and walked away. Before Sagai could run, Sister Mercy marched toward him. She eyed the loaf under his arm. Her nostrils flared. Smack. Her palm cracked against his cheek.
“No, Sister.” Sagai pointed, blinking back tears. “That novice gave it to me.”
Sister Mercy wagged her finger. “Even so, you know that I usually give you the bread. You should not have accepted it from her.” She snatched the loaf from Sagai’s hands and thrust her two slices toward him.”
Sagai reluctantly took it, then ran all the way to Little Lake without stopping. On the grass beside the water, he stared at the bread. He didn’t come to church to get free bread. He came to serve the Lord. He rubbed his cheek. A monkey stared at him from the rock. Sagai tossed the bread at him. “Have it. I don’t want it.”
If you’re still with me cool. Thanks!
And I’ll list seven A to Z bloggers that I visited and liked today: (You can Lucky Meme if you want. No pressure.)
1. Our Life in a Caravan A mesmeric blog about living life in a caravan in the UK.
2. Anna Smith, also from the UK at Universal Gibberish blogs about dreams, movies, writing, and all that’s in between. Mighty fine!
3. The Anglers Rest is a blog about the ramblings & obsessions of a fisherman’s wife! ~ a real assortment, with snippets of genealogy, books, cross stitching, scrapbooking, collectables,our travels and photographs,web pages and general ramblings. A Masterpiece!
4. A Heart 4 Heaven by Elaine Bride is Magnificent. She blogs devotions of hope and encouragement for those who are longing for Home. Nice post today about motherhood: A Mother’s Prayers
5.Elaine Smith’s blog: Not Exactly Blogging has a memorable blog about living, learning, and writing.
6. Amanda Saint has a blog worth mentioning. Saintly Writer blogs about reading, writing, food and life.
7. Small World Big Dreams is a Marvelous blog by Alyssia, an Award-winning aspiring romance author who loves Animals, Junior Mints, Harry Potter, Sneaker Pimps, and doing stuff with her fabulous hubby.
Tomorrow is a Sunday break..See you on Monday for N.. Never can tell what I’ll think of next.
A to Z challenge, Anglicanism, Anglo-Catholic, Bangalore, Betsy Byrne, Bishop Leo Michael, Blog, Episcoblog, Holly Michael, India, Jake Byrne, Karnataka, Kings Highway, Nick Byrne, www.writingstraight.com
Whew! Busy day today! Here’s a quick K using my “person, place or blog” theme in the A to Z challenge:
K is for Karnataka, where we traveled to last fall and discovered…
…cow parking in Bangalore…
…Bangalore’s colorful markets…
…places of worship…
…and crap on the menu: (see my post previous post about this)
My kids were shocked!
And since this is random and silly, onto something more serious. The King’s Highway. I stole the following blog from my husband’s site (Bishop Leo Michael’s Episcoblog). He’s also blogging the A to Z Challenge. Thanks Dear!
The Kings Highway by Bishop Leo Michael: As I completed several hundreds of miles on the highway. New shoots and blossoms on branches still wearing a wintry look appeared along landscapes transitioning into spring. This reminded me of Isaiah 35: 1The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. 2It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. 8And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. 9No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
And just because there are so many other great blogs out there:
Another world traveler, Jarm Del Boccio’s blog, Making the Write Connections, has some great travel pictures today.
And on the Quirky Creative blog, Beth blogs about six things she’s learned from Kids
Tomorrow, I hope I’m not to lazy about something lovely for L.
Goa is the most fascinating place I have visited in all my travels around India. You hear the roar of the Arabian Sea and the sudden whoosh of tropical monsoon rains. You smell earthy bouquets, spices and oils from Indian open street cooking, and salty sea air. You see…well, let the photographs show what I saw in Goa…
…lush tropical flora and fauna
The Banyan Tree
The Arabian Seashore…
Ruins of The Church of St. Augustine, built by the Portuguese in 1602
Goa remains very Christian
And before we left, I shot this from a table at a seaside restaurant.
While wondering what “E” word to blog about, thinking of E for Editing those 20 thousand words my agent wants me to trim from my novel, the word of the day from dictionary.com dinged on my iphone: Ephebe. Curious, I clicked the link.
Ephebe [ih-FEEB] – noun. A young man.
Look at this young man from India, a seminarian, serving in an orphange in Madras, (now Chennai) years ago. He’s my husband now and I am very blessed.
And another E word: Easter. This week, my husband (an Anglo-Catholic Bishop) and I are preparing for Easter at St. James Anglican Church, our parish in Kansas City. He is also doing the A to Z challenge. This morning he blogged about the word Eucharist on his Episcoblog.
That’s all for E today. Tomorrow is Good Friday, and F.
Author, Beth Camp, Bishop Leo Michael, Blog, Courtney Bode, Darjeeling, Darjeeling Tea, Holly Michael, India, Jake Byrne, Nick Byrne, Roxanne Barbour, Sherry Gloag, Tea Garden, www.writingstraight.com
Keeping with my Person, Place, or Blog theme, with the letter D, I bring you:
One of my favorite places I was blessed to visit: Darjeeling, INDIA. In the picture below, look how close the shop is to our car on the way there.
My husband, Bishop Leo Michael, shopping
And you gotta have Darjeeling Tea in Darjeeling
And Darlings, well…I gotta say these guys are darlings: Son Jake and his girlfriend Courtney on a visit home this week and below them: Son Nick and Delightful Daughter Betsy during Christmas break. Great kids!And for Delightful blogs, today I found these:
Downright creative blog about the word, “Discipline” by Sherry Gloag at The Heart of Romance: http://sherrygloagtheheartofromance.blogspot.com/
Beth Camp has a dandy educational blog about writing, using the word, “Deceptive” at http://bethandwriting.blogspot.com/
Roxanne has some lovely pics of “Daffodils” @ http://roxannebarbour.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/d-is-for-daffodils/
And for some inspiration, Determined Jessie blogs about Dancing: http://livingalifeoftruth.wordpress.com/
My theme is: Person, Place or Blog. Today I’m posting photos of four people who are blessings, three places I’ve been in the last year where I’ve felt blessed to visit, and three A-Z blogs that are Blessings. All begin with B.
1. My husband, Bishop Leo Michael
2. Beautiful daughter, Betsy:
3. and 4. Best Boys: Jake and Nick
Beach in Goa, India
Writing Like Crazy: http://ninidee.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/believe-2/ (Inspirational)
Sarah Mogran’s A Gringuita in Costa Rica: Expat Reflections from the Free Zone (Always a blessing to learn something new)
Brand New Day: http://www.evolvingsoul11.com/ (More inspiration)
Get ready for Cool C!