Archive for the ‘awards’ Category

Laura Best, author of Bitter, Sweet, which was recently nominated for the prestigious Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, has generously awarded me the Versatile Blogger award. Thank you, Laura.


The rules involved with this award require me to share 7 things about myself and pass on the award to recently discovered blogs I enjoy. After much thought, I’ve come up with a list of things that even my closest friends might not know, but also won’t embarrass me to admit. Here you go:

1. I hide the candy I don’t want to share in the top drawer of the file cabinet on the right side of my desk.

2. I totally dislike wearing shoes, but love owning lots of them.

3. My favorite ride at Disney World is Splash Mountain.

4. I cry every time I watch the movie Ghost, but it’s still one of my favorites.

5. I am a compulsive list-writer, but I seldom follow the list.

6. Of all the things I would like to do before I die, taking a cruise to Alaska is number 1 on my list.

7. My favorite way to relax is to sit on my deck early in the morning with a cup of coffee, a book, my dog, and a camera.


I’ve repeatedly referred you to my Blogs I Like page, and still think all of the ones listed there are awesome. This time, however, I’m going to list some that aren’t already mentioned there in order to give other good blogs some exposure. I haven’t spent a lot of time on these, but they each offer a variety of posts I think you will enjoy.

My nominations for 5 recently discovered blogs I like (I’ll add more as I run across them):

http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/  great for those interested in writing for children

http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com/ spotlights agents and gives tips for writers

http://wordsharpeners.wordpress.com/  lots of good stuff here for writers and nonwriters

http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/  useful tips for writers and bloggers

http://writeitsideways.com/  has good tips for writers


Anyone have secrets you’d like to share today? What’s your favorite amusement park ride? What’s the number 1 thing you’d like to do before you die? What movie makes you cry no matter how many times you watch it?



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My dear friend Elizabeth has awarded me the Blog with Substance Award on the basis that she thinks my blog has substance. In order to accept it I must share five words that sum up my blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience. Though I may not always provide posts that live up to my ideals, here are 5 words that describe my intentions for this blog:

1. Informative: I try to provide information that I think is helpful for anyone interested in improving their writing or in learning about the writing craft.

2. Concise: I try not to be too wordy.

3. Relevant: I try not to get too far off track from my goal of keeping my topics related to writing.

4. Encouraging: I try to respond to comments in a positive way, and to be supportive of the people who read my blog.

5. Responsive: I try to reply to all comments, and to provide posts that correspond to the search terms that appear most frequently in my blog statistics.

I’m also supposed to nominate blogs that I feel qualify as blogs with substance. This is hard as all the blogs listed on my Blogs I Like page qualify for the award on that basis. Instead, I’ve decided to list the blogs I check most often. (A few of my favorite bloggers post only once a week or less, so I’m not mentioning them here even though I check for new posts weekly. I’m also not nominating Elizabeth’s blog since she’s the one who gave me the award, and therefore automatically qualifies. 😉 )

In random order, I regularly read posts by the following bloggers:

Lua Fowles  http://likeabowloforanges.wordpress.com/

Barbara Ann Wright  http://barbaraannwright.wordpress.com/

Jon Strother  http://jmstrother.com/MadUtopia/

Laura Best   http://lauraabest.wordpress.com/

Carol Garvin  http://careann.wordpress.com/

Carla Gade  http://writingtodistraction.blogspot.com/

What are the blogs you read most often? With so many blogs out there, what makes you choose certain ones to read regularly? What causes you to skip a blog, or a blog post, when you are browsing blogs?

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Super Peeps

I want to thank my friend Stephen and also my friend Elizabeth for honoring me with a Super Peeps Club badge. These two are dedicated writers with blogs I admire and enjoy, so I’m happy to be a part of the Club.

Everyone who visits my blog regularly, and especially those of you who take time to comment, are my special peeps. I appreciate your encouragement and support.

In addition, there are several people I have become friends with over the years through forums or blogs. A few already have received this badge, including Stephen and Elizabeth; some others don’t have blogs but are still “Super” to me.

Jon Strother, John Towler, and Mary Wooley are just 3 of those who I admire as writers and also as friends. They are truly Super Peeps.

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My friend Stephen Book, at Powder Burns and Bullets, has bestowed the Honest Scrap Award upon me. Apparently this award is “for bloggers who put their heart on display as they write from the depths of their soul.” I’m deeply honored to receive it.

I’m supposed to write 10 things about myself, but since I used up the most exciting details in an earlier post, I haven’t much of interest to add. However, being an ardent writer, I won’t let that stop me.

Here are 10 more things you probably don’t know about me, all of which are related to writing or books.

1. My favorite suspense author is Dean Koontz, and I especially love his Odd Thomas series.

2. I own, and have read, the entire set of Tarzan books (paperback), by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

3. The book I value most is the old King James Version Bible that my mother gave to my grandmother in 1967, and then gave to me after my grandmother’s death.

4. Some of my favorite classic books are: To Kill a Mockingbird; The Odyssey; Tom Sawyer; and Don Quixote de la Mancha.

5. While in college, I wrote all my notes and stories in shorthand, including some highly philosophical essays. Years later when I tried to transcribe them, I couldn’t read my own writing. 

6. I’m currently reading Dare to Lose, by Shari Lieberman, which recommends a weight loss regime based on lifestyle changes.

7. One of my favorite children’s books is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle. I’m pretty sure I can still recite it by heart as I read it out loud to my kids at least a bazillion times.

8. One of my favorite series of books is the tales of Alvin Maker, by Orson Scott Card.

9. I read A Dog of Flanders once when I was a child, and I still feel like crying when I think of how it ended.

10. My favorite stories as a child were fairy tales. Now that I’m older, those same stories are too violent for my taste.

It was hard to narrow down my choices for bloggers deserving the Honest Scrap Award. I wanted to give it to people who haven’t already received it, and who touch my heart whenever I read their blogs. I spend lots of time reading blogs, but there are only a few that I check every day. Two of my favorites are Carla’s Writing to Distraction, and Elizabeth’s Ramblings. Both of these ladies write from their hearts.

Carla always has inspiring posts, and she shares her thoughts about writing and life in a sincere, interesting way. I enjoy following her writing journey, and am rooting for her to achieve her goals.

Elizabeth shares personal anecdotes from her life, and comments on what she sees going on around her. She is the friend I turn to for support when life feels overwhelming. She never lets me down.



What book from your childhood still sticks with you? What’s your favorite genre to read? What type of book are you currently working on?   

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Two of my blogging friends, Jai and Elizabeth, have awarded me the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award. I’m not sure what the criteria are for receiving this, but since they think I deserve it, I humbly accept. This comes with the responsibility of mentioning 10 things other people may not know about me, and also passing on the award to other deserving bloggers.

I’m sure there are many of you who deserve it, so I would like to offer you all the opportunity to nominate your own blog, or someone else’s, for this award. Leave a short comment telling me why you or the person you’re nominating is a Sugar Doll, along with a link to the blog. I will visit those blogs, and if I agree they qualify I will post the links in a special spot on my Blogs I Like page, and pass on the award.

Now, for 10 things most of you don’t know about me:

1.  I hate to cook, but I make awesome chicken noodle soup.

2.  My favorite television show is Hoarders, on A&E.

3.  My favorite vacation spot (so far) is Orlando, Florida.

4.  I used to raise pheasants until a hunting club opened up down the road.

5.  I received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and a minor in Spanish, from Purdue University.

6.  My parents had 9 children. I’m the youngest, and the only one born in a hospital.

7.  I worked in Chicago for 13 years before moving to the country.

8.  Making my bed as soon as I get up in the morning is the only household chore I’m fanatical about.

9.  My favorite game is Scrabble, and I can beat everyone I know except my mother.

10. I enjoy collecting salt and pepper shakers and keychains.

Well, that was really hard. I didn’t realize my life was boring until I tried to come up with things people might think are interesting.


What’s interesting about you? What’s your hobby? Do you deserve the Sugar Doll Award?

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One of my favorite bloggers, J.M. Strother, has honored me with the Kreativ Blogger Award. I’m not exactly sure what the criteria are for this award but it is now my duty to pass it on  to 7 deserving bloggers. Although I would like to give it to Jon in recognition of all the hard work he puts into helping other fiction writers, it doesn’t seem fair to hand it back to him after he just gave it to me. Therefore, I’m selecting 7 previously unawarded blogs, in no particular order, that I enjoy reading.


 Careann’s Musings, by Carol J. Garvin, is full of beautiful pictures and thoughtful postings. Some are on writing and others are reflections on Carol’s life. All are a joy to read.


  Terri Tiffany Inspirational Writer is a wonderful blog for romance writers and nonfiction enthusiasts. Terri shares stories about her life and keeps readers thinking about writing from the heart.


  Divinest Sense is Jen’s blog. She’s combined her love of music and writing in posts that reflect her witty, enthusiastic personality. You never know what she’s going to write about, but for sure it will be entertaining.


  Tricia Sutton’s Blog is full of humor and cat pictures, and I like cats and funny stories. Tricia is a writer, and even has the same blog template as I have, so she deserves this award.


  A Novel Idea is written by Anna Claire Vollers, a journalist/editor working on a novel. She offers good advice, personal insights into the writing business, and she likes cats.


  Damian Daily is where Lisa Damian reviews books and shares author interviews, as well as other things writers might be interested in. I like her writing style and enjoy her blog.


  Eventide Unmasked is a fantasy writer’s blog that I recently discovered. Though I don’t write fantasy myself, Hayley E. Lavik has an entertaining style that had me reading posts I wouldn’t normally be interested in. She seems to have some good insights for writers that would apply to more than just fantasy writing.

As for the second phase of my duties as a recipient of the Kreativ Blogger Award, I’m supposed to list 7 fiction authors I enjoy reading. Here are some authors that I think provide good reads:

Mary Jane Clark—suspense

Dean Koontz—suspense

Brenda Coulter—inspirational romance

Sigmund Brouwer—everything from youth fiction to adult thrillers

Orson Scott Card—science fiction/fantasy

Iris Johansen—suspense

Terry Brooks—fantasy

Who are some of your favorite authors? What writing blogs do you read regularly?

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