Category Archives: Awards

The Inspiring Blog Award

Well, I think you should get on your knees, fan your arms and tell me that you aren’t worthy…because I’ve been bestowed with the Inspiring Blog Award by the sensationally lurid Jlee over at Jlee’s Blog.

As many women of my mother’s generation would say, Jlee is a “scream.” She simply does not hold back. She experiments (see the Banana Diet), she crafts (check out the leopard print wine glasses), and she reviews Lifetime movies (Lindsay Lohan never saw it coming).

But Jlee is more than that; she’s a serious writer who speaks candidly about her personal struggles and in a single blog post can have you feeling every emotion known to mankind. Plus, she’s a loyal blogger friend who always has your back.

That being said, you’d be crazy not to check out her blog.

Here are Jlee’s revised rules—the rules I’m following:

1. Display award image on your blog page
2. Link back to the person who nominated you
3. State what inspires you
4. Nominate 5 others for this award
5. Notify said bloggers

What inspires me?

I’m motivated by the attainment of peace. I tend to struggle with stress and anxiety, and long to achieve my own personal nirvana. Each day I search for small ounces of peace, things that bring me serenity, even for only a moment. A lighted candle, a single cardinal among a bunch of sparrows, the fluid movements of my cats, old family photographs, or simply the delectable quietness I can sometimes find in any given situation.

I don’t fear getting older, because I believe that as I grow I’ll get closer to peace. I’ve always said that it’s my ultimate goal in life—to achieve a strong sense of inner strength, to find the spring of calm deep within me.

2happy → in Sky & Clouds

Who inspires me?

Kirsten at A Scenic Route has shown me the importance of writing as a process as opposed to the final product. She’s also inspired me to have actual conversations with my characters!

Deborah at Living on the Edge of Wild has inspired me to see past the fast-paced world of 2013 and slip into the beauty of nature. She’s taken me (and many other readers) on virtual “walks” with her beautiful photography and mystical observations.

Abrielle Valencia has taught me many valuable lessons in obtaining personal strength and using it to my advantage. She’s shown me how to look my critics in the face and say, “nobody’s going to bring me down today.”

Vikki at The View Outside has shown me the power of tenacity. Vikki never stops working and her persistence will likely lead her to success. This has taught me to keep strong, keep going, and keep writing.

Julia at Defeat Despair has inspired me to always lift the positive energy up from the depths of ‘despair.’ The beautiful images on her blog convey a sense of beauty in a sometimes sad world.

Thanks again to Jlee and these five wonderful bloggers who help remind me why I do all of this in the place!


Filed under Awards

Killing two awards with one post


Some weeks back, I was presented with not one, but TWO blogging awards in one day. Way to feel special. However, I’ve thus neglected to accept these generous awards from these two awesome bloggers until today. So, my sincerest thanks (and apologies) go out to Jlee from Jlee’s Blog for bestowing the Illuminating Blogger Award upon me, and Stacie Renee Brown from Writing What Needs Written for granting me my second Liebster Award.

I’ll begin with the Illuminating Blogger Award…

Nothing is off-limits my hilarious nominator, Jlee. Reading her blog is like reading Fifty Shades of Grey in the sense that your jaw…will…drop. Did she really just write that?! The truth is, Jlee’s work is thoroughly enjoyable, and so verbally adept, it’s a wonder she’s not already a bestseller (of course it’s only a matter of time).

So thank you (again) to Jlee for honoring my efforts!

The rules for accepting The Illuminating Blogger Award are as follows:

  • Visit the award site, leave a comment, tell everyone who nominated you, and thank the blogger, including a link back to their site.
  • Share a random thing about yourself.
  • Select 5 or more nominees and notify them that they’ve won the award.
  • Put the award on your blog somewhere.

Random thing:

I’m always cold. Even in 70 degree weather. My birthday and Christmas presents usually consist of fluffy socks, cuddly pajamas, toasty slippers, downy robes, wool scarves, electric blankets, and yes…oh man, can’t believe I’m doing this…The Snuggie. Hey, at least I don’t wear it to Walmart…

*And the nominees are:

Michelle Ziegler’s Blog: I’m always happy to see a new post by Michelle in my inbox. She covers all the important writing topics, and relates them in a clear, concise fashion. Her “Fun Fact Friday” feature is one of my favorites.

The KnowledgeMaven: A blogging guru if there ever was one. Her posts are insightful and meaningful—I often find myself thinking about the things she says even days after I’ve read her blog.

*I’m cheating a bit and only picking two. I still have the Liebster award to cover, so I’m storing some steam here!

Thank you again to the fabulous Jlee!


Stacie Renee Brown is my nominator for this award. Like me, I believe Stacie is an ‘intrinsic writer.’ It’s simply part of who she is. A great post of Stacie’s recapped her early literary life and what turned her onto the art as a child. Her writing is both thoughtful and filled with wonderful imagery.

That being said, thank you Stacie for presenting me with this award J

And here are the rules:

  1. Each person must post eleven things about themselves.
  2. Answer the eleven questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create eleven questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  4. Choose eleven people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.
  5. No tag backs.

Eleven Facts About Me

  1. I have a herniated disc in the lumbar region of my back. I love heels, but can’t wear them. The only shoes that won’t send tingles down my legs are the Dansko brand. Thank goodness they have some fashionable looking styles!
  2. I have a weakness for psychics. Love going to visit them.
  3. My favorite “accents” are English and American southern. Oh and my very own ‘New Yawk/New Joisey’
  4. I love early rock ‘n roll (Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, etc.)
  5. My favorite month is April
  6. I can’t get enough white wine. Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are my faves.
  7. My favorite time of day is late morning
  8. I feel stupid whenever I watch an episode of Jeopardy!
  9. I drink a fruit and soy milk smoothie every morning
  10. My husband is a Briefcase carrying tax accountant/Tattoo sporting heavy metal drummer/Computer and video game geek. Interesting guy.
  11. I often light candles in every room of my house, and then forget about them

My 11 Questions to Answer

1. What would you change about humanity, if you could?

No violence. Nobody hurts each other.

2. What kind of relationship do you/did you have with your parent(s) or guardian(s)?

It’s always been strong, solid. I know I’m a good person, and I attribute much of that to them.

3. What is the cutest or most unpredictable thing you have ever seen a child do?

My sister’s boyfriend’s three-year old niece once took a nap in my cats’ bed. Of course, the cats themselves won’t go anywhere near the thing.

4. How do you think the world will have changed by the year 2050?

I think the biggest change will be technology. Tough question. I’m actually afraid to find out!

5. What is the most frustrating part of your craft?

Line-by-line editing. And researching. Or I should say, making use of the research in the story.

6. Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?

I believe in immediate attraction, and inklings towards love. But true love takes a lot of time to development.

7. What kind(s) of books do you like to read?

Literary fiction with a commercial bent. Lately I can’t get enough “chick lit.” I also have a soft spot for the classics.

8. Who is your idol and why?

I don’t know, really. Probably some idealized version of me.

9. If you were a billionaire, how would you use your money?

First, I’d make sure that I was set for life (i.e. no money problems, I can now write all day, every day) After that, I’d pay off my family’s debts and give money to a number of charities/causes that I care about.

10. What do you like to do for fun?

Write, of course. Read. Go on mini-road trips to wineries. Hikes. Just spend time with friends and family.

11. Where is your favorite place and why is it your favorite?

Cape May, NJ. Best beach resort in the world—at least to me. My family took vacations there every year as I was growing up. There’s something about the ambiance that makes everything in the world seem OK.

My Questions for Future Recipients:

  1. Have you ever seen a ghost/spirit? If so, tell me about it. If not, do you believe in ghosts/spirits?
  2. What’s your favorite movie from the 1980s?
  3. What do you wish you knew in high school that you know now?
  4. What’s your favorite cocktail or alcoholic beverage?
  5. What’s your favorite vegetable?
  6. What’s one band or artist you love that goes against your normal range of musical taste?
  7. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
  8. What do you think was the most interesting news story of 2012?
  9. List all the major cities of the world that you’ve visited. Which was your favorite?
  10. Who is your favorite figure from history?
  11. What current song can’t you stand?

Eleven, err, five bloggers I’m awarding

These five are some of the most hardworking, interesting, and loyal bloggers out there today. I’m so happy to be acquainted with all of them. So often, they just plain make my day! Congrats to all you wonderful writers.

Thank you again to Stacie Renee Brown


Filed under Awards

The One Lovely Blog Award

Better late than never! Today I accept The One Lovely Blog Award granted to me (um, two weeks ago) by fellow blogger, Eva Rieder. Eva’s blog exudes enthusiasm, so if you’re ever down in the writerly dumps, I’d suggest stopping on by…she’s just a click away! Eva gives practical, positive advice, and is quite the prolific writer herself.

Like other awards swimming through Blogdom, this one comes with its own set of rules:

1. Thank the nominator (Thanks, Eva :))
2. Mention several random facts about myself
3. Nominate fifteen other bloggers

Here we go…

Seven Random Facts:

1. I love Thomas Kinkade paintings. I realize Mr. Kinkade is not taken seriously in the art world, but I find his work soothing. When I get stressed out—which is often—I like to flip through his coffee table books, and relish in the places he creates. Somehow, he engages all my senses. I have two-framed pieces and a stitched canvas hanging in my bedroom. RIP Tommy K.

2. I was named after my great-grandmother who died just a few days before my birth. She had wanted so badly to meet me 😦

3. There is a set of five sisters on both sides of my family. My paternal grandmother and her four sisters, and my mother’s first cousins.

4. Until I was twenty-five years old, I had all four grandparents in my life. And the two couples were such good friends! I realize now how rare that was and feel very blessed. I still have two left.

5. I have a gumball machine in my “office” (a spare bedroom in my house). It’s about half-full and takes pennies.

6. I used to be terrified of driving on the highway. Only when I got a boyfriend from a town where highway travel was necessary, did I bite the bullet and burn some rubber. I was about twenty-three years old. Laaaame.

7. My earliest memory is the day my Bichon Frise, Louie, was hit and killed by a car. I was three; I remember my mother running down the driveway with a pink towel.

And now for the nominations…

I’ve decided to take Eva’s lead, and nominate just one, very special blogger. Abrielle Valencia. Abrielle’s blog is like listening to Alicia Keys’ “Superwoman.” She’s empowering, inspirational, and one hell of a writer. Abrielle knows exactly (as she puts in a favorite post of mine) what it means to be a lady.

Thank you again to Eva, and all my followers. Keep writing.


Filed under Awards, Inspiration