Friday, June 17, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things and The Liebster Award

Today, I am joining host Lexa Cain and co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog to Celebrate the Small Things! Each Friday, this group blogs about an accomplishment in writing, reading, or life. 

This is the last week I'll have to work alone, uninterrupted. Next week, school is out. I'm savoring my final, quiet hours by blogging. I finally got one of my short story collections up on Amazon. (Yay!) That wasn't easy, but compared to marketing a book, posting one is the smaller accomplishment.


I also got nominated for The Liebster Award. Thank you to Susan Brody at The Art of Not Getting Published.

Step 1: Answer the eleven questions posed by Susan. Here we go:

1.   Is your blog your best friend? Why or why not?

No. This “friend” of mine demands constant attention, sucks up all my free time, and really doesn’t care if I disappear for a solid year. Then again, I have met cool people through this friend, gotten a publication, and it’s my only hope main conduit for spreading word of my books, so like it or not, I’m stuck in this relationship for the long haul.

2. Blogging feels to me like a job ___ percent of the time, and like a joy ____ percent of the time.

Job: 80%

Joy: 20%

When I first started blogging, I’d post and then wait around for comments. What a maroon! Blogging is not writing a post. Blogging is writing the post and then going out to comment on as many other blogs as you can before your eyeballs fall out of your skull, participating in blog hops, co-hosting blog hops, hosting guest bloggers, and so on.

3. What rules of Blogger Etiquette are most important to you?

If someone comments on my blog, I make an effort to comment back. If I don’t, it’s because I couldn’t find the comment button, or I got foozled by Disqus. If someone follows my blog, I’ll follow back (unless it’s not obvious how to).  Plus, always strive to leave an interesting comment and never be a jerk. Respect other opinions.

4. Do you have any great tips for attracting readers to your blogs?

Get out there and participate. Blog hops are the best way I know to get more traffic, but you have to be willing to visit others—as many as possible.

5. What do you wish you could change about the education you had?

Well, this is going to be interesting since I’ve been educated out the wazoo. I got a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of South Carolina. Considering what I’m doing now, maybe I should have thought a bit about the enormous amount of time I spent reading fiction, how much I loved it, and taken creative writing classes and more literature classes.

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My mother. She is so awesome. Also at various other times: a professor (check), marine biologist (closest I got was raising baby penguins at a zoo), and best-selling author (I’m not holding my breath on this one, believe me).

7. Of all the places you lived, which one is your favorite and why?

I grew up in Anderson, SC, which is right next door to Clemson. Even though our house was in a neighborhood, the lots in front of and on both sides were undeveloped woods. Behind the house was a short path to an inlet of Lake Hartwell. Surrounding this was more woods. I could walk for hours, climb trees, explore the crumbling remains of an old house, and wade up streams.

8. If you had a time machine, what era would be your first stop?

Hmm, tough one. I’d hesitate to go into the future, because for all I know the earth would be gone via nuclear bombs or so polluted I’d choke to death within seconds. So that leaves the past.

Maybe I’d be opportunistic, go back to December 12, 1980 and invest heavily in Apple.

9. What’s the best thing that happened to you in the past week?

My collection of short stories, Heart Stopper And OtherStories, went live on Amazon.

10. What is the fastest way to get on your bad side?

Ask my daughter. No one can piss me off faster or with such intensity.

11. What’s the one thing that never fails to inspire you?

Too much time away from writing. I deflate like a rotten piece of fruit when I’m forced to take a break from creative outlets. Writing is like a drug. I need it to stay sane.

Step 2: Provide 11 random facts about myself:

1.  I broke my arm when I was five. That elbow cracks mightily to this day.

2. One of my great-grandfathers was the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota a long time ago.

3. Our first dog was named Benji, even though she was a girl.

4. I can rollerblade backwards.

5. I hate talking on the phone.

6.  I was working in the movie theater (in the concession stand) that hosted the world premier of The Boneyard, but never saw the movie myself. 

7. I love to kayak.

8. I’ve developed a problem with vertigo even though I’m not scared of heights. 

9. My house has a wisteria tree in the back. It plans to take over my house, literally.

10. My long haired cat gets terrible mats every winter and spends several months pealing off his entire coat with his teeth in the spring.

11. I can’t stop watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. Is there a support group?

Step 3: Nominate 5 to 11 bloggers (with less than 1000 followers) for this award.

This is the hard part. (But is was much harder when it was limited to bloggers with less than 200 followers.) This award takes a lot of time to complete without hunting down nominees. A lot of people are no longer interested in doing this sort of thing. I understand that. However, if you are participating in today’s Celebrate the Small Things AND you have less than 1000 followers, consider yourself nominated.

Here’s what you have to do: (sucker)

Rules of the Liebster Award

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and you choose to accept it, write a blog post about the Liebster Award in which you:

·                Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog in your post.
·                Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
·                Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
·                Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
·                Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
·                Create a new list of 11 questions for the nominees to answer.
List these rules in your post (copy and paste from here). Once you have written and published it, you then have to:

·                Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Eleven questions for my nominees:

1. What are you reading now or what was the last book you read?

2. What was the last movie your saw? Would you recommend it?

3. What is your favorite TV show?

4. If you could be a guest star or extra for a movie or television show, which one would you pick?

5. Your favorite dinner is…

6. You refuse to eat…

7. The craziest thing you ever did was…

8. The worst decision you made was…

9. Ultimate vacation would be…

10. If you won $1,000 in a lottery you would….

11. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, it would be…

Have you participated in these types of rewards? Why or why not?

(If you like a chance to win my short story collection, click on over to Crystal Collier's blog. At the bottom is her two truths and one lie game. Happy guessing!)

Note to Wordpress friends: For some odd reason, I can't leave a comment today. Error says something wrong with my G+ profile.


  1. Great answers to good questions. I like your idea of going back in time to profit, more than to experience. I've never thought of that answer when posed with a time travel question. Also, agree about your assessment of blogging as Job: 80%, Joy: 20%.

    In answer to your question, I've participated in these sorts of awards, but don't anymore because I'm old and jaded... and because I found that my readership didn't grow after doing them, which seemed like effort wasted on my part.

  2. I like your Blogger Etiquette rules.
    Going back and investing in Apple. Don't we all wish we could do that now?

  3. Loved your time machine answer! And I'm with you on the whole talking on the phone thing. I do it but ugh.

  4. Great questions and answers. Congrats on the award and the book!

  5. Great job with the answers and congratulations on having your essay published on Amazon. A milestone for sure. Have a great week.

  6. Hi Tamara, thanks for your comments on a couple of my guest posts this week. I'm following you now, and what a great post to join you on - I feel like I know everything about you!

  7. Congratulations on the award! Sometimes people do recognize the work you do and show their appreciation.

  8. Congrats on the award! Ha. I never thought of my blog in terms of being a friend. It's more like a pet. A needy pet. :P Congratulations again on Heart Stopper!

  9. I love a good bloghop, but they aren't always easy to find.
    The Grey's Anatomy/ We Love Shonda Rhimes support group meets on McDay at the site of a certain crash in the middle of the woods. It's tradition to wear only 1 sneaker.
    I have over 1000 followers, so no award for me. But I like your questions and shall take a crack at them.

  10. Congrats on the award... Loved reading your answers to the Qs.

  11. Hello and welcome to the hop! I used to watched Grey's Anatomy for years and years, then I just stopped. Have a nice weekend.

  12. I actually enjoy blogging! I can't say it's sold tons of books...but it has sold some. It's more about building a network. There are people who will support us when our books come out...those people are the ones I'll do anything for. Need a cover reveal hosted? I'm there! I've found it really does help to focus your efforts on finding new people who will support you and support that we all can be there for each other.

  13. "What a maroon!" LOL!!! You channeled Bugs - so funny! Believe me you're not the only maroon. I write book-blogger queries and every few hours I'm looking at my email, wondering why they haven't all replied yet! Congrats on the award and have a great weekend!

  14. Congrats on the award and the short story. Marketing is rough, good luck with it.

  15. Congrats on the short story collection! If you ever need help on spreading the word, feel free to poke me. Good luck!

    1. I will absolutely take you up on that some day soon.

  16. Awesome that you got your short story collection up on Amazon!

    I think it was fun to learn about your thoughts on blogging. I totally agree with you that I try to comment on everyone's blog who comments on mine. Sometimes I can't find a button- or it may take me a few days- but I do whatever I can to find them. :)

    I hate talking on the phone too!

  17. I love uninterrupted working time. Great stuff here. I just downloaded your collection.

  18. Congratulations on your award! I agree about blogging--it seems like a job some days. But a good job. As for wisteria, let it take over--it is so beautiful!!!

    @Kathleen01930 Blog

  19. Congrats on your short story collection and the award. Blogging can take lots of time but I still enjoy it even if I get a little behind sometimes!

  20. Great news about your short story collection, and congrats on the award. I have participated in awards before, and I think they're wonderful tributes to people, but, regretfully, I've had to bow out.


I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)