Category Archives: Awards

I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl: Criminally Overdue Post on Award Nominations

This post is extremely, dreadfully, appallingly, even criminally overdue. Yes, I know I’m tacking on the adverbs {Gasp!} but since I’m so depraved I might as well go all out, right? Maybe I should plead insanity? “What I need is a good defense because I’m feeling like a criminal and I need to be redeemed to the one(s) I’ve sinned against…”

Speaking of the ones I’ve sinned against, I want to formally thank the following amazing bloggers who nominated me for a total of twelve awards, some dating as far back as June  (Yeah, I know. “Send her to the gallows!”):

I was previously nominated for some of these awards, with the exception of the ones listed below. For the nominees, please don’t feel obligated to accept the nomination, just know that I appreciate you very much.

I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award

1-family-awardThe Rules:

  1. Link back to the person who nominated you
  2. Display the logo
  3. Nominate 10 bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.

My Nominees (in alphabetical order):

  1. Charles Yallowitz @ Legends of Windemere
  2. Daniel Budiarto @ sairyoume
  3. Ionia Martin @ Readful Things
  4. James Ramsey
  5. Jill London
  6. John Howell @ Fiction Favorites
  7. Julian Froment
  8. Kate Sparkes @ Disregard the Prologue
  9. Katie Sullivan @ The D/A Dialogues
  10. Kira Lyn Blue
  11. L. Marie @ El Space – The Blog of L. Marie
  12. Sarah Cradit @ and then there was Sarah
  13. Susan Nicholls @ mybrandofgenius

I know I listed 13, but it’s my lucky number, so I’m going with it.

Inner Peace Award

The Rules:

innerpeaceIn order to accept this award, you simply have to say something nice about your nominees. These bloggers have suffered tremendously in their lives and yet they continue to bring peace to others through their blog. My hope is for them to be paid back tenfold for their kindness.

My Nominees:

  1. Barbara @ Barbara C Rowe Author – suffered from neglect during her childhood but she still offers others a Glimmer of Hope.
  2. Ionia @ Readful Things – suffered the loss of a spouse and sister and now she’s battling cancer. She’s having treatment next week so please send healing thoughts & prayers her way while she is Whooping Cancers Ass .
  3. Lori @ Lori’s Inner Goddess   She was the first person to welcome me to the blogosphere and her comments brightened my day. She has suffered a tragedy but hasn’t been able to discuss it on her blog but she’s Still Kicking. Sending wishes of inner peace for Lori’s Inner Goddess.
  4. Patti @ The Write Place– also suffered the loss of a spouse and paid tribute to him in  Measure of a Man .
  5. Patty @ Petite Magique  – she too has suffered much and although I don’t know her entire story I do know that she is grieving the loss of fellow blogger Shane Ellis. They are Friends Forever Family for Life.
  6. Scott @ Human Writes  – the title of his blog and the post The Silence of Friends says it all.
  7. Shaun @ Looking for Reasoning to a Complicated World –suffers chronic pain from fibromyalgia but still manages to find the beauty in each day such as One of the most remarkable songs I’ve ever heard.

It seems proper to end there with the Hallelujah song that Shaun posted. It’s one of my favorites and will bring anyone a sense of inner peace.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-awa[2]The Rules:

  • Post the logo on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Choose 10-12 other ladies who blog, as your nominees.
  • Post the links to the nominees’ blogs and notify them on their blog

My Nominees:

  1. Deanie @ Thoughts and Ideas from Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
  2. Ionia Martin @ Readful Things
  3. James Ramsey
  4. Jill London
  5. Jill @ The Wandering Barefoot Editor
  6. Kate Sparkes @ Disregard the Prologue
  7. Katie Sullivan @ The D/A Dialogues
  8. Kira Lyn Blue
  9. Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie @ Keep Calm and Write On
  10. Lilicasplace
  11. L. Marie @ El Space – The Blog of L. Marie
  12. Sarah Cradit @ and then there was Sarah
  13. Susan Nicholls @ mybrandofgenius
  14. Victoria Grefer

Because You’re Fantabulous Award and Awesome Blossom Award

awesomeblossom

The Rules:

“However, for a variety of reasons there are those who choose not to accept or pass on awards. For those who like the idea of having an award or two on their site, but aren’t up to the work involved or feel like they’ll somehow betray those they follow by narrowing a list down to just 10 – here’s two awards you are welcome to put on your site if I’ve followed you, Liked one of your posts or left a comment that included the link to this page.

You are also free to bestow these no-strings attached becauseurfantabuloussmAwards to others as you see fit – these images are free to use as long as you and others don’t pretend they are your own. If you wish to link back here, Fantabulous – but not required.”

I’d like to nominate anyone else who has been kind enough to “like” or comment on my blog.

As for the rest of you, and you know who you are, don’t be afraid to say hi. I promise I won’t bite; well, maybe just a little sting. I am the honeybee, after all. Really, all you have to do is, “Speak friend and enter.” And if you can say it in elvish, even better!

You’re still here? Amazing! Just for that you’ll be treated to a song. Enjoy!

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A Long Overdue Thank You on Award Nominations

This post is long overdue so I want to apologize to those bloggers who nominated me. Please know that I appreciate the nomination and mostly my interaction with YOU very much! I was nominated for the following awards:

I’ve already been nominated for the Wonderful Team Member Award and the Best Moment Award. If you are interested in reading my responses, just click on the link.

L. Marie is a children’s fantasy writer who has an innate curiosity about everything and is a huge LOTR fan (like me). I knew there was a reason I liked her so much 🙂

Patty (Petite Maguique) is a YA fantasy book writer, poet and photographer. A beautiful soul who bravely allows her feelings to bleed onto the page.

Daniel (Sairyou) is a deep thinker who pens some incredibly insightful posts. I could say finding his blog was serendipitous but I have a hard time believing in happy accidents. I believe that things happen for a reason and it’s up to us to find the meaning in it. His blog really makes me ponder things.

Lauren (Paranormal Perspective) is a paranormal fiction writer who, like me, shares an appreciation for stories about good vs. evil. Her favorite book is Paradise Lost which, if you haven’t read it, is a book of poems based on the biblical story of the fall of man.

Please take the time to visit their blogs. You will be glad you did.

liebster-blog-awardliebster-award

The Liebster Award/Liebster Blog Award

The aim of this award is to spotlight up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers. There are no set rules for the award, but the guidelines are as follows:

  • Copy and paste an image of the award onto your blog
  • Write a post on your blog to thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • Nominate some blogs for the award. There is no rule for the number of blogs you nominate, but the general recommendation is at least 5 blogs that are similarly up and coming with fewer than 200 followers.
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you in your post.
  • Ask at least 5 questions on your blog for those you nominated for the award to answer.
  • In addition to the questions and answers, list at least 5 random facts about yourself.

ANSWERS to Daniel’s Questions:

1. If money were a nonissue, what would you do?

Write, of course, but I’d travel the world with my family while doing it.

2. If there were a giant DELETE button, what would you erase completely off the earth?

It’s said that money is the root of all evil, but I believe it is greed. Money can be used for good (see # 11). It is the intent behind the acquisition or utilization of it that can be the real evil. Greed is the insatiable desire to acquire wealth, power and/or possessions far beyond what is necessary to be comfortable. Greed leaves an endless trail of crimes such as slavery, child labor, deforestation, poaching, white collar crimes (fraud, insider trading, embezzlement), war and on and on.

3. Name anybody famous, living or dead, whom you would like to have dinner with.

Abraham Lincoln.

4. What would you talk about with (3)?

Not only was he the greatest American president in history but he was also a writer. Unlike most presidents, he wrote his own speeches. He didn’t look to someone else to put words in his mouth. I’d ask what inspired his speeches. I’d ask him about perseverance. He didn’t let past failures stop him. He kept trying and preparing. He fought for what he believed in, regardless of popular opinion. He put much at risk, even his own life, to bring about great change. He didn’t take himself too seriously. He used humor to weather the bad times. He kept his priorities in order, even as the leader of the free world, by taking time out to spend with his family. How can you read these words and not be moved:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

5. Summarize why you write in one or two words.

Longing fulfilled.

6. If you had one one-way ticket to live in outer space, would you go?

Absolutely not. We are not meant to be alone. Relationships give life meaning.

7. If all books were to disappear from the universe but one, what would you want it to be?

For me it is the Bible. I’m drawn to stories of good vs. evil and so many writers have been inspired by it.

8. Describe your writing routine.

I write while my kids are at school or when they’re asleep.

9. How do you get inspiration?

I run or listen to music (usually concurrently) and read.

10. If you could be anybody other than yourself on Earth, who?

I can’t think of anyone. I know that sounds incredibly narcissistic but I’ve never wanted to be anyone else. Sure, there are people who I admire or respect but they inspire me to be a better version of myself. We each have our own set of talents, abilities, life experiences and perspectives. I believe we should embrace who we are; otherwise, we waste everything that makes us unique by wishing we were someone else.

11. What was the kindest thing you have ever done to a complete stranger?

I sponsor an adorable little girl named Kimberly who lives in Columbia. I send money every month that allows her to attend school and have hot meals. I send extra money on special occasions like Christmas so she can have new shoes, clothes or toys. I write to her and have received some of the sweetest letters and pictures that she has drawn for me in return.

ANSWERS to Lauren’s Questions

1. How did you become interested in blogging?

When I decided to become a writer, I started reading everything I could get my hands on about the craft of writing. Eventually I came across a book that referenced blogging which led me to writer blogs. Those blogs recommended that writers become involved in social media like blogging.

2. What’s your favorite food?

I love green apples and pretty much anything with lemon in it. I also love chips and queso.

3. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I’m an aspiring author.

4. What is one thing you wish more people knew about you?

I had a friend tell me that an acquaintance thought I was a snob because I didn’t talk much. Fortunately, this friend came to my defense. I’m generally shy and reserved with people I just meet and would rather listen to you talk than myself. If we’re not involved in a conversation then I probably have a story swirling in my head.

5. What’s your favorite book?

It’s hard to pick just one so I’ll name a few: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Expectations,  and Pride and Prejudice.

6. What’s your favorite movie?

Again it’s hard to pick just one. I’m not much for chick flicks. I love stories about good vs. evil, the unlikely hero, or one who is granted power without seeking it and doesn’t use it selfishly but for some greater good. I also love stories about the power of the human spirit,  overcoming insurmountable odds. Here is the list, in no particular order:

  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Braveheart
  • Harry Potter
  • Shawshank Redemption
  • Gladiator
  • Cinderella Man
  • The Pursuit of Happiness
  • Seabiscuit
  • Lincoln
  • Pride and Prejudice

7. What do you watch for TV?

I got hooked on The Walking Dead and have recently discovered Downtown Abbey but I don’t watch much TV. I’m sick to death of reality shows and unfortunately that’s what is popular. Toddlers and Tiara’s? Honey Boo-Boo? Jersey Shore? Housewives of…whatever? Teen Mom? Seriously, what is wrong with our society? But I guess there is an upside. They can give you ideas if you’re looking for flaws to blend into your characters but I can’t bear to watch them.

8. What advice would you give to fellow bloggers?

Be yourself and for heaven’s sake, don’t fret over things like stats or the number of followers you have. Enjoy the authentic connections you’ve made. That’s the real treasure of blogging.

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Name anybody famous, living or dead, whom you would like to have a conversation with. What would you talk about?
  2. What is your favorite book?
  3. What is the one thing you’d like most to change about the world?
  4. What advice do you have for writers?
  5. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do with your newfound wealth and how would you spend the rest of it?
  6. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
  7. If you had six months to live, what would you do with the time?
  8. Do you have any regrets?

The Nominees:

Alice Huskisson Author

Author A.J. Adwen

Book Marks

Where Do I Go From Here

Destiny Allison

Disregard the Prologue

Lauren Sapala

versatileaward1The Versatile Blogger Award

The Rules

Thank and link to the person who gave you the award.
Tell seven facts about yourself.
Pass it on to seven other bloggers.
Link to specific posts on their blogs so they’ll be notified by pingback

7 Facts About Me

  1. I have implants. No, not those kind, silly. Dental implants. I had perfectly straight teeth without ever wearing braces and then four of them were crushed in a car accident.
  2. I still have my tonsils and wisdom teeth but had my adenoids removed when I was losing my hearing at age five
  3. I am taller than average at 5’8”
  4. I love to draw, paint, and create.
  5. I owned a scrapbook store while working full-time at my former job (no, I didn’t sleep much).
  6. I don’t like to cook. In our home it’s often said, “If it ain’t burnt, it ain’t Mama’s!” (No we don’t normally talk that way). I just don’t have the patience to stand at the stove. I’m easily distracted by things I’d much rather be doing (i.e., writing) but I’ve found that a glass of wine can keep me in the kitchen.
  7.  I do love to bake, though and am often told that the creations I make are better than store-bought, which bewilders me because the creation generally originates from a box cake. I won the award for best creation at the neighborhood cookie swap. Don’t laugh. It was a highly coveted award (LOL). I didn’t know what I was going to make until just before the party. I found out later that the women in the neighborhood spent weeks planning and scheming, even finding out the favorite flavors of the judges. When I won, it was highly contested that my creation of chocolate covered, caramel filled cherry mice didn’t qualify as a cookie, but it was all in good fun. 🙂

The Nominees:

Christa in New York

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Destiny Allison

Disregard the Prologue

Sairyoume

The Other Side of the Story

The Write Niche

More Awards? I’m Not Worthy.

I’m speechless yet again. I was nominated for three more awards last week. I apologize for the delay in expressing my gratitude to those who nominated me. My days have been busier than usual lately. My beautiful niece asked me to help plan her wedding and I’m doing my best to live up to her expectations. No, she’s not a bridezilla but she seems to hold my skills in high regard so I don’t want to disappoint.

veryinspiringblogawardChildren’s book author Deanie at Thoughts and Ideas from Deanie Humphrys-Dunne nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and I’m very honored to accept. Thank you so much Deanie!

The Rules:

 1. Display logo on your blog to show you’ve been nominated.

2. Link back to your nominator.

3. Share 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.

5. Notify your nominees.

Seven Things About Me:

Feel free to skip this part, I’m not that interesting but these are some incredibly stupid things I did when I was young and fearless and thought I was invincible {shaking my head}.

  1. When I was five my brother and I crashed the family car into our neighbors front yard, barely missing their house. The car was parked on a steep driveway. We released the emergency brake and shifted it out of park (imitating my mother’s daily actions).
  2. I often climbed to the roof of my house while playing with my brothers (army, most likely) and fell on one of those occasions (fortunately the injuries were minor).
  3. I rode on the back of a motorcycle travelling at 120 mph (yeah, I know…stupid, stupid, stupid).
  4. I switched places with the driver of a vehicle while driving down the highway (yes, you read that right, the car was in motion).
  5. I’ve been cliff jumping at Pace Bend Park in Austin, Texas (enough said).
  6. I accepted a ride from a stranger when my car broke down. He turned out to be a nice guy but I still cringe when I think of what could have happened (a uniformed security guard doesn’t automatically equal a person you can trust).
  7. I swam across the lake with my sister (we could’ve easily been overlooked by a passing boat and well…you get the idea).

I’d like to thank my guardian angel for working overtime while I was an intrepid (okay, imprudent) youth. I sincerely apologize for these random acts of sheer idiocy.

The Nominees:

I’ve been inspired by so many people in the blogosphere but I’ll follow the rules and only list 15. Next to their name I’ve listed the post(s) they inspired me to write and/or other inspiration I’ve received from them. Please visit their blogs, if you haven’t done so already. You may find inspiration for that next post or scene in your book or life in general. I don’t have a fraction of the talent they do so I feel completely unworthy of being lumped in the same class with them.

  1. Become An Author  inspired one of my first posts: Be Courageous…Be a Writer.
  2. Kristen Lamb’s Blog inspired the post Are You in Your Right Brain? and Wordle:  A Nifty Little Tool for Writers.
  3. Lori’s Inner Goddess inspired the post: ACUBA (Acronyms Commonly Used by Authors).
  4. James Ramsey inspired the post: Had to Rush My Baby to the ICU.
  5. Legends of Windemere inspired me to write: Shoot ‘Em Up! Rawhide (We Write)! after reading his adventures with self publishing.
  6. Jill London inspired me to play the piano again and to write the post: Inspiration for Writers Spending Themselves in a Worthy Cause.
  7. Barbara Crowe inspired the post: A Longing Fulfilled is the Tree of Life.
  8. Creative Writing with the Crimson League inspired the post: When Your Characters Come to Life. No, REALLY come to Life.
  9. Digging History inspired me to write about something in my next book by visiting his blog.
  10. Julie Green Art inspired me to brush up on my photography skills and dust off my art supplies.
  11. Author A.J. Adwen inspires me to persevere on my journey to becoming  an author.
  12. Petite Magique inspired me to dig deeper into one of my characters.
  13. Time to Write: I’d heard of pinning pictures of images that remind you of characters and scenes in your book but one of his posts inspired me to create a board of favorite book covers.
  14. 101 Books blogs about his quest to read Time Magazine’s Top 100 Novels and inspires me to keep up with a similar pursuit I started in 2011, to read the Modern Library’sTop 100. I’ve merged the Time Magazine Top 100 with my list.
  15. Free Little Words inspires me to keep my priorities in order and focus on what really matters.

copper-sunToria at Temitoria’s Wit nominated me for two awards: The Shine On Award and The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. Thank you so much sweet Toria! Visit her blog and you will see that she has the soul of a poet. I’ve already accepted The Shine On Award here so I won’t bore you with more things about me.

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

The Rules:

1. Display the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award logo on his/her blog.

2. Nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little, as most convenient to the nominee.

3. Name the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or post(s).

The Nominees:

  1. Book Reviews & Poetry
  2. Daily (w)rite
  3. Human Writes
  4. Readful Things
  5. James Ramsey
  6. Jill London
  7. John W Howell
  8. Julie Israel
  9. Kira Lyn Blue
  10. L. Marie
  11. Legends of Windemere
  12. Petite Magique
  13. Sairyou.me
  14. Temitoria’s Wit

Congratulations to the nominees of these two awards. Please do not feel obligated to accept just know that you positively affect the lives of others and this blogger in particular appreciates you very much.

Wow! I’ve been nominated for FOUR more awards. Thank you!

James at Digging History  nominated me for the Shine On Award! He writes about his adventures in metal detecting. He is a history buff and cares deeply about wildlife and the environment so you can expect each post to touch on those topics as well. Reading his blog is like going on an adventure with him. It’s fascinating and fun to see what he has discovered. I seriously got lost on his blog for hours!

Thank you so much for this nomination James!

shineon1SHINE ON AWARD

THE RULES:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME:

  1. I’m a licensed CPA. Still not sure how I passed that exam when I hated every minute I spent studying for it. I guess I have masochistic tendencies.
  2. I can run like the wind blows. Ok, not really but I was fairly fast when I was younger. I ran the 200, 400 relay and 800 relay in track.
  3. According to our family genealogy records, we are descendents of the Mayflower, along with millions of other Americans.
  4. I’ve completed a triathlon in support of my mother who survived breast cancer. Before you start getting all impressed, it was a little sprint distance triathlon (1/2 mile swim/5k run/12 mile bike ride) NOT an Ironman (2.4 mile swim/marathon/112 mile bike ride).  BIG DIFFERENCE. HUGE. I am not that much of a masochist.
  5. I’ve completed the MS 150, a two-day, 180 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin to raise funds for MS. I thought it would be brutal (not sure why I insist on torturing myself), but I really enjoyed it.
  6. I was on a dance team in college. I’d never taken a day of dance in my life (I preferred sports) and tried out on a whim. I bombed the routine when the girl next to me almost kicked me in the face and I couldn’t stop laughing. When they posted the team, somehow my name was on the list.
  7. I’m known as the Queso Queen, the closest to royalty I will ever get. Chips and queso are my weakness.

THE NOMINEES:

  1. Legends of Windemere
  2. Life at Full Throttle
  3. Deanie H. Dunne
  4. James Ramsey
  5. Jill London
  6. Fiction Favorites
  7. Julie Green Art
  8. Disregard the Prologue
  9. Kira Lyn Blue
  10. Laeken Zeakemp
  11. Laura Anile
  12. Lori’s Inner Goddess
  13. Book Reviews & Poetry
  14. Temitoria’s Wit
  15. The Noif Matrix

I know some of you have already received this award so please don’t feel obligated to accept. It’s just your nature to shine, so SHINE ON!

Toria at Temitoria’s Wit   nominated me for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, The Sunshine Award and The Super Sweet Blogging Award! It is my second nomination for the last two awards so I will respond to the first. Toria is a writer and dancer who loves poetry and music. She has a zest for life that comes through in her posts.  Check out her blog. I’m sure it will have you smiling too! Thank you for the awards Toria! You’re a sweetheart!

dragonsloyaltyawardDRAGON’S LOYALTY AWARD

THE RULES:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your website.
  • Announce your win with a written post and link to whoever presented your award.
  • Present the award to 7 deserving bloggers.
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have nominated them in the post.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself
  • If you don’t have a blog but have a website, Facebook, or Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back.

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME:

Seven more? I apologize if your eyes start to glaze over. Let’s see…

  1. I’ve been parasailing. It’s like living out all the dreams I’ve had about flying.
  2. I was a tomboy. I preferred to play army or sports with my brothers over playing with dolls.
  3. I was a spelling bee finalist in elementary school. We received a list of words to study over the summer and I never even looked at it. What kid wants to study over the summer, anyway?
  4. My sister taught me to shave my legs when I was 10. She didn’t do a very good job of it because I shaved off a two-inch slice of skin from my shin immediately after. The scar is still slightly visible.
  5. My sister pierced my ears with ice and a needle when I was 12. I’m not sure how she talked me into this. I was her guinea pig on more than one occasion.
  6. My sister taught me how to drive when I was 13. If you haven’t guessed by now, my sister was a bad influence on me.
  7. Like Harry Potter, I’ve raised a pet owl. His name was Buddy and he was a screech owl. My sister and I found him at the base of a large oak tree after a storm. We thought the ball of grey/brown fluff was a baby rabbit until he turned his head and two large yellow eyes stared back at us. My oldest brother taught him how to fly and hunt. If you held your arm up he would fly to you and land on it. Then he would inch his way to your shoulder and hang out there.

THE NOMINEES:

  1. Legends of Windemere
  2. Deanie H. Dunne
  3. James Ramsey
  4. Jill London
  5. Kira Lyn Blue
  6. Lori’s Inner Goddess
  7. Book Reviews & Poetry

Again, I know some of you have already received this award too so please don’t feel obligated to accept but you are just too awesome not to mention. So glad to have met you on the blogosphere!

Another Award? The “Other” Sunshine Award

other sunshine-awardSomebody slap me. Throw a glass of cold water on me or something. I must be dreaming.

Patty, an amazing writer, photographer and poet, nominated me for an award: The “Other” Sunshine Award by. If you haven’t seen her blog yet, you must check it out. I want to point you to a particular post titled “Hardest Post for Me Ever…” . It takes a tremendous amount of courage to open up like she did and I was in complete awe of the raw beauty of this post. Talk about baring your soul! What I want to tell her is, “You’ve got guts, kid! And you’ve got spunk! Not to mention moxie! You’ve got guts, spunk, and moxie!” Name that movie (most parents should get this one).

The “Other” Sunshine Award

The rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your Blog.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 Bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their Blogs, letting them know they were nominated.
  • Link the person who nominated you.

Ten Things About Me

  1. I took a nose dive off of a retaining wall while riding my tricycle when I was three. My parents thought they were looking at a dead child when my neighbor carried my seemingly lifeless body to the door.
  2. I was ambidextrous until I was forced to choose in elementary school. I chose the  left  since most of my classmates were right-handed, guess I’m a rebel at heart.
  3. I have held a hummingbird in my hand before. It was trapped in a newly constructed house. I thought it was a large moth fluttering against the window trying to break free. I cupped my hand against the pane and captured it. I went outside to free it and was astonished to see a hummingbird when I opened my hands. It stared at me for a moment and then flew away.
  4. I’ve had a screw loose. Literally. I have two screws in my head and one of them had to be tightened, but that’s a story for another day.
  5. I have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). The first time I heard the diagnosis I thought the doctor was pulling my leg (LOL). Sometimes it keeps me up late into the night/early morning. I try to make the best of it by being productive (i.e., writing).
  6. I can produce an ear-splitting, glass-breaking, blood-curdling movie scream. Really, I could be paid big money for it. I’m not sure when or how I discovered this talent. It’s ironic, though, I’m often told to speak up because I have a soft voice.
  7. I‘ve seen a living thing take its last breath. I rescued an orphaned baby bird and nursed it back to health. I set it free, only to discover other territorial birds attacked it while I was gone. I tried to save it but it was too late. It spread its little wings, took a breath, shuddered and died. I cried. My attempts to save it only prolonged its suffering.
  8. I have experienced love at first sight three times in my life. When I saw my husband for the first time and when both of my children were born. It’s real. It happens.
  9. God talks to me through bumper stickers.
  10. I got a second chance at life and I plan to make the most of it.

I chose the following blogs for the wealth of information and support they give authors and aspiring authors such as:

  • Hosting writing, publishing or social media experts
  • Interviewing guest authors
  • Conducting book reviews
  • Providing advice in their area of expertise (e.g., social media)
  • Helping bloggers get traffic to their site (e.g., blog blitzes)
  • Sharing the lessons they’ve learned on their writing journey

I know they’ve been nominated for countless awards so I suspect they won’t have time to accept another one nor do I want them to feel obligated to. Mostly I want to make other writers out there aware of them (if they don’t follow them already) so they can benefit from their posts as I have.

 My Nominations:

  1. Ionia Martin: Readful Things Blog
  2. Kristin Lamb: Kristin Lamb’s Blog  
  3. Catherine Howard: Catherine, Caffeinated
  4. Sarah Cradit: AndthetherewasSarah
  5. Laura Stanfill
  6. Victoria Grefer: Creative Writing with the Crimson League
  7. Laekan Zeakemp
  8. Joanne Wadsworth
  9. DL Hammons: Cruising Altitude 2.0
  10. Marjorie Brimer: The Write Niche

Thank you for the nomination, Patty. I am honored.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I’ve been nominated for another award!

super-sweet-blogging-awardShane at Book Reviews & Poetry nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. As the title of his blog suggests, Shane posts book reviews (primarily non-fiction) and writes poetry. He’s very talented and well, just adorable and of course, Super Sweet.  If you haven’t seen his blog, you must check it out. Thank you Shane for this award!

The Rules:

  • Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
  • Answer five Super Sweet questions.
  • Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in your blog post.
  • Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees on their blog.

The 5 Super Sweet Questions:

  1. Cookies or Cake? Cookies, but not pre-packaged. I’m not a big cookie eater, but when I do eat them they must be fresh out of the oven so I can top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla (see number 1).
  3. Favorite Sweet Treat? Skor candy bar (I love toffee).
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? When I’ve decided to give them up. Funny how that works.
  5. Sweet Nick Name? Tootsie, a nickname my father gave me. My husband has given me quite a few “sweet” nicknames: Sugar Bear, Sugar Britches, Shoogs, and Sweet Melissa (after the Allman Brothers song). Wow, can’t believe I just revealed all of those.

The Bakers Dozen (13) Nominees:

  1. Charles Yallowitz  – sorry Charles, I know you’ve been inundated with awards but you didn’t have this one  🙂
  2. Darlene Steelman
  3. Deanie H. Dunne
  4. James Ramsey
  5. Jill London
  6. John W. Howell
  7. Julie Green
  8. Kate Sparks
  9. Laura Anile
  10. Lilith Colbert
  11. Lori
  12. Tuan Ho
  13.  Random Acts of Writing

I tried to avoid duplicate awards so if you already have this one, well, then you’re just SUPER DUPER SWEET. Don’t feel obligated to accept it, I just wanted to recognize the wonderful people who have been so incredibly sweet to me and made me feel welcome.

The Best Moment Award

best-moment-award-winner1Wow! Just wow! I was nominated for The Best Moment Award by the lovely and talented Jill London.

The Rules:

Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video recorded. Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awardees! The re-post should include a NEW set of people/blogs worthy of the award with notification sent to them of the great news. Display the award’s badge on your blog/website.

Resources: What makes a good acceptance speech?

  • Gratitude. Thank the people who helped you along the way.
  • Humor. Keep us entertained and smiling.
  • Inspiration. Make your story touch our lives.

Get an idea from the great acceptance speeches compiled in MomentMatters.com/Speech.

My acceptance speech:

“Hi, my name is Melissa Janda and I’m a writer… this is my story, my journey to becoming a published author. I hope it has a good ending.”

I didn’t expect to make that announcement on the blogosphere. When I started this journey, I expected to walk alone, or rather sit alone at my laptop and type thousands of words each day until I had completed a novel. Well, I did that. I submitted my first queries in February and received six fairly quick rejections. I realized I had a lot more to learn. That is when I discovered blogging.

The quote above is an excerpt from my first post and I didn’t know if anyone would ever read it.  But they did and they commented too. Their words encouraged me, inspired me, and told me I was not alone. It led me to their blogs where they shared what they had learned in their own journey. It’s shared in pure benevolence, in respect of other writers and the craft we love. I’m honored to read their words, to absorb the wisdom. They poured their hearts out by sharing hopes and dreams, tragedies and triumphs. At times I was left speechless by the beauty of the writing. Other times I literally laughed out loud. I was even brought to tears.

I dedicate the following video to those of you who have visited my blog, liked my posts, and shared your thoughts, and to all the bloggers out there who are sharing their story. You mean more to me than you know.

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here are my nominees for the Best Moment Award

  1. LorisInnerGoddess.wordpress.com
  2. KiraLynBlue.com
  3. ShanesBookBlog.wordpress.com
  4. LegendsofWindemere.wordpress.com
  5. ContentbyDawn.com
  6. Petitemagique.wordpress.com
  7. LauraAnile.com
  8. Dhdunne.blogspot.com
  9. James-Ramsey.com
  10. JohnWHowell.com

The Sunshine Award

Okay, calm down, dork. This isn’t the Oscars, but wow! I really am very honored that someone would think enough of my little ramblings to nominate me for an award. A very special thank you to Kira Lyn Blue (Don’t you love her name?) for the nomination. Kira means “like the sun” according to the Russian translation.  How do I know this? I was tossing this name around for a character in a novel I’m writing and I always have to find out the meaning of the name. There are other translations but I really liked this one. Seems fitting that Kira “Like the Sun” Lyn Blue nominated me for the Sunshine Award.

So what is the Sunshine Award? It’s “recognition from fellow bloggers to those who sunshine-award1positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” I have received so much positive energy from others in the blogosphere. I never imagined I’d be included in that category. That just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, sort of like sunshine breaking through the clouds and warming my face.

The Rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Link to the person who nominated you
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs letting them know they have been nominated

10 Things about Me

  1. Favorite Color: Can I just say ROYGBIV? I mean, it’s really hard to pick one. In high school it was red and black because I was going through a rocker phase and yes I owned a pair of parachute pants, in red to go with a black “zipper” shirt. Did I just admit that? When I met my husband it became the color of his eyes. Think of the beautiful hue of the Caribbean Sea as it reaches the sandy beaches of the shore – that’s pretty darn close! When I got married my favorite color was fuchsia (that’s hot pink for all you guys) because I love Stargazer Lilies and well, everything had to match. No, I wasn’t a bridezilla, at least I don’t think I was. And now, it’s orange because it just makes me HAPPY! See why I can’t pick just one?
  2. Favorite Animal: Dogs. Like I stated in a recent post, they have a way of wiggling into your heart.
  3. Favorite Number: My horoscope says I’m ruled by the number 9 (whatever that means). Any number added to 9 yields that number and any number multiplied by 9 yields a 9. Like karma, you get back what you give out. But, I like 13 {GASP!} I always felt like 13 got a bum rap, so I kind of adopted it. It was my jersey number when I played soccer. And wouldn’t you know it, some of the best things have happened to me on the 13th. My daughter was born on that day and she is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
  4. Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Decaf Chai Tea Latte. Drinking one right now.
  5. Favorite Alcoholic Drink: Mexican Martini, with salt and extra olives and it must come with the shaker or I feel gypped. Oh, and another one that I’ve been introduced to recently: Diet Crush with Whipped Cream Vodka.It tastes like a creamsicle, remember those? Maybe that’s where my affinity for the color orange comes from.
  6. Facebook or Twitter: Before I started blogging I would’ve said Facebook but I agree with Kira. It’s WordPress all the way, baby!
  7. My Passions: Spending time with my family and friends, running/biking/swimming, reading and of course, writing.
  8.  Prefer Getting or Giving Presents: Giving because seeing the delight in their face is like getting a gift too. It’s a “twofer!”
  9. Favorite City: Austin, Texas. Although I’d love to visit Auckland, New Zealand, really any place in New Zealand. And yes, that was before they filmed LOTR, although that just increased my desire to visit. Okay, back to Austin: My family moved here when I was a little girl and I was horrified at the thought. “Won’t there be cactus and desert and cowboys wielding guns and shootouts? I’ll have to wear cowboy boots and eat steak and drink iced tea!” Well, Austin isn’t the cactus-filled desert I had imagined. It’s a beautiful place, with rolling hill country and lakes. It’s also known as the live music capital of the world so it has a rich nightlife. Oh, and I ended up liking tea and steak, and I own a pair of cowboy boots.
  10. Favorite TV Shows: The Walking Dead. How long must we wait for the next season to start? It’s torture! Never thought I’d go for post-apocalyptic zombie land but I’m hooked. It’s the best thing I’ve seen since Lost.

And my nominations are: {drumroll please}

  1. Lori’s Inner Goddess: My first friend on WordPress. She’s a writer/editor who has been going through a rough time lately. I miss seeing her comments. Hopefully this award will cheer her up a bit.
  2. Jill London: A children’s author who lives in the UK. I hear a distinctly British accent in my head when I read her blog, especially when she uses words like “lovely” (which I use too but I’m certain doesn’t sound nearly as eloquent). Oh, and sometimes when I comment I inadvertently convert to the UK spelling of certain words. I guess it’s the blogging equivalent of picking up the accent of those you converse with.
  3. James Ramsey: Author of Andromeda Rising, the first book in her paranormal fiction series coming out in May. Check out her blog. I think you’ll be as excited as I am to read it.
  4. Legends of Windemere: NY based fantasy fiction author Charles Yallowitz, who has released a new book: Legends of Windemere. It’s available on Amazon and will be free this weekend only (Friday – Sunday). I just bought my copy and have been reading it. The opening scene makes me think of the Prancing Pony in the LOTR. Yeah, like Charles, I’m a LOTR fanatic. I can practically speak Elvish, mellon (that’s elvish for friend, by the way).
  5. Disregardtheprologue: Don’t you love the title of her blog? YA/NA Fantasy author Kate Sparks.
  6. Thoughts and Ideas from Deanie Humphrys-Dunne:  Children’s book author who always has a kind or encouraging word for me. Her comments brighten my day so I wanted to return the favor.
  7. Readful Things Blog : Writer, book reviewer, prolific blogger, Ionia Martin. She posts several times a day, all very well written. Not sure how she does it. I’m wondering if she possesses magic powers or maybe she’s a vampire and doesn’t require sleep.
  8. The Wandering Barefoot Editor: A lover of books who offers freelance copyediting and proofreading services.
  9. Tricia Drammeh:   YA fantasy/paranormal author blogging about her experience with writing and publishing.
  10. Julie Green: An Australian artist/writer/photographer/intern/college student/whew! She is immensely talented and only twenty two! I hear an Australian accent when I read her blog.

Hmm…that’s got me wonderin’ if people hear a Texan accent when they read mine. Just so you know, I really don’t have that southern twang, at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Thank you again, Kira, for this MAJOR AWARD! I’ll end with a clip from one of my favorite movies: