Tag Archive: blogging

Lighthouse Blog Award

There’s nothing like the light of a Lighthouse Blog Award to brighten my day. Many thanks to Cat Lumb for nominating my blog for this lovely award. Her blog is a must for any writer as she documents the highs and lows of a writer’s life with charm and wit on her blog, The Struggle To Be A Writer.


The Rules:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
  • Write a post and link back to the blogger that nominated you.
  • Share three ways that you like to help others.
  • Nominate as many bloggers as you like.
  • Inform your nominees of their award nominations.
  • Have fun!

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Three ways I help others:

1. I’m a teacher, so most of my day is devoted to helping my students learn World History and Art History. Aside from content, I’m helping them read, write, and become lifelong learners. Most of all, I’m helping them find confidence in their abilities and the courage to think for themselves.

2. On the last Friday of every month, I bake a treat for my co-workers. It’s a simple, little thing, but it really brightens everyone’s day. Teaching is a difficult job, so even the smallest bit of light goes a long way.

3. For me “others” also includes animals. I regularly collect things the Arizona Humane Society needs to care for the animals they shelter. Towels, food, collars, toys, beds, etc. are brought to my classroom by anyone willing to donate. When there’s enough to fill up my car, I pack it all up and drive to the shelter.

Just recently I looked into how my new obsession with knitting might be able to benefit homeless animals and I found The Snuggles Project. This organization facilitates the distribution of hand-knit blankets to animal shelters across the country. As it turns out, my local humane society shelter is on the list of facilities that accepts donations. I can’t wait to start knitting warm blankets for puppies, kittens, and animals suffering from trauma or recovering from surgery.


Random Acts of Writing + [art] - Beautiful photographs, gorgeous words, tasty recipes, and fantastic pieces of art await you on this blog!

Heart to Harp - Whether it’s mastering the playing of the harp, taking beautiful pictures, or knitting socks and sweaters, the writer of this blog is full of life.

Metaphors and Smiles - Words weave together with vivid imagery and imagination on this poetic blog.

Crowing Crone - Travel alongside Joss as she goes on the adventure of a lifetime through France.

The Everyday Epic - Follow this blogger as she juggles the life of a teacher with the dream of seeing her novel published.

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c.b.w. 2014

With the close of 2013, my archive holds another year of blogging. Between documenting my adventures in novel writing, sharing photographs and poetry, playing with creativity, and exploring random thoughts, this blog has been a source of immense joy. Thank you to all of my readers for continuing to stop by to read and leave comments. Your presence here never fails to inspire me to write and pursue multiple outlets of creativity.

Thanks to the WordPress stats helper monkeys, I can share what we did together:

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 38,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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In 2014, my journey as a writer continues as well as pursuits in creativity. Here’s what I’m considering for the coming year:

  • A special series of Wreck This Journal posts or another Keri Smith adventure
  • The return of New Familiars (a series about everyday things around the globe)
  • Guest bloggers (I plan on inviting, writers, poets, and other creative spirits to share their talents and advice)
  • The continuation of Sunday Abroad
  • Continuation of photo art
  • Book Reviews
  • Posts about knitting (sorry, can’t help it), arts and crafts
  • The continuation of Favorite Thing Friday
  • A possible return of the Scribble Diary series

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What else would my wonderful readers be interested in reading about in this space? I’m all ears!

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c.b.w. 2013

After two and half years of blogging, it gets tough to keep things fresh with interesting topics. Admittedly, my muse is focused on other things, so I’m finding it hard to keep this space filled with quality posts and content. In many ways, I don’t think I’ve been entirely successful, but I’m hoping to change that over the next few weeks.

Over a cup of coffee, I asked my mom, “What do you think I should write about?” It took her less than a second to answer, “Travel.” I rolled my eyes because that is a topic I’ve explored time and time again with articles, fiction, poetry, and photography. Everybody gets it, I’ve traveled a lot. She stopped me right in the middle of my eye roll and explained that she wasn’t interested in the stuff she can find in any tour book, but rather the everyday life of people in other places. What do they wear? What do the houses look like? What’s in a grocery store? You know, the little things that are so normal for some, but strange to visitors.

I have journals full of those “little things” because my favorite thing to do when I travel is people watch. Part of my motivation for staying in London for an extended stay was to get a sense of what it’s like to live as a Londoner. Furthermore, wherever I travel, I am always more fascinated by local custom and the neighborhood experience than I am of the tourist trap. My mom is right – I should write about what I’ve observed and open up candid discussions about cultural perspective.  There are things I’ve seen and experienced that I still don’t understand. What better platform to explore those curiosities than blogging?

Starting next week, posts about the “little things” from around the world will fill this space on Wednesdays.

Some topics on upcoming agenda include:

  • Why Europeans wear shorter pants
  • What it’s like to shop in a communist grocery store
  • Shopping in a Chinese Wal-Mart
  • What Londoners do when it rains
  • Queuing up in a London post office
  • Water calligraphy in Changchun
  • Why left-handed people are clever in China
  • What a bed is like in Prague
  • The French are not rude
  • Dogs in China / Dogs in Prague
  • What Americans look like to Europeans
  • Riding the Tube
  • Eating at a pizza place in Prague

The list is endless and this is only the beginning. In addition to my own posts, I will also be inviting guest bloggers to share their observations and insights on the places they’ve traveled. If you are interested in contributing, please let me know!

Aside from this adventure into international normalcy, all the old favorites my readers enjoy will still be around. My writing journey, creativity, poetry, and photography will fill in Mondays and Sundays, while Friday will continue with Favorite Things.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2013

Making Changes!

After more than two years of the same image for my gravatar, I decided it was time for a change. The black and white road that has defined me on like buttons and comments was special to me as it had a special connection to my first novel.  While that image is still important to me, it does not represent my current obsession with Novel #2.

For long time blogosphere friends, I might look like a stranger on your sites, so I thought I’d introduce my new identifying image. As I gear up for WriteOnCon and the next steps for Novel #2, I wanted to create an image that not only reflects the novel, but also serves as a beacon of inspiration. The compass has always been a strong symbol to me personally, which is why it’s only natural it ended up in my novel. It’s only fitting that it should become my new gravatar:


My new gravatar image.

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What do you think?

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c.b.w. 2013

After looking at my stats for the first in months, I’ve decided it’s a good thing that I have a sense of humor. No amount of pretty graphics can hide the fact that my numbers are in a coma.

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 3.50.55 PM


There is one silver lining in that I’m still receiving lovely comments and likes which tells me the quality of my posts is not in question, (at least I hope it’s not), so the writer in me can’t help but speculate possible reasons for why my numbers are flatlining.

1. My inner critic is getting back at me for ignoring her for most of the last year or so.

2. The subscription thingy is out of whack.

3. My blog is imaginary.

4. Fate is trying to tell me to focus more on refining Novel #2 and finishing my query package.

5. My counter is either malfunctioning or messing with me.  Or mischievous elves are stealing my hit counts and hiding them.

6. My readers want to read my novel more than my posts and this is their way of forcing me to work harder on getting an agent, (if only . . . . Lol!).

7. The internet is broken.

8. There has been a disturbance in the Force.

9. I accidentally jumped into a parallel universe where I am not a writer.

10. The garden rabbit nibbled on my numbers thinking they were a snack.

11. My computer desperately wants to take a vacation and its purposely hiding my posts so people can’t find them.  It’s hoping I’ll get so discouraged that I’ll stop writing and it can rest.

12. Everybody is at the movies or watching TV, (Hmmm . . . Star Trek: Into Darkness is pretty awesome in IMAX/3D).

13. People are reading actual books instead of firing up the computer (which isn’t totally a bad thing).

14. The universe is collapsing and I’m so busy writing, I haven’t noticed.

15. I accidentally set my blog on private.

16. My stats are stuck in a time warp.

17. I’ve lost my mojo.

18. I was inadvertently mean to someone and I’m being punished, (unlikely, but worth investigating).

19. The gods are trying to teach me a lesson for continually breaking the dress code at work (I won’t stop wearing jeans and Converse sneakers).

20. Solar flares and black holes are acting up again.

My muse and I are both scratching our heads for a way to get out of this funk. Meanwhile, many thanks to readers who stop by each day!!

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c.b. 2013


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