Thanks For The Love!


Many thanks to Matrone Bell at Rambling and Other Nonsence for nomination me for the Leibster Blog Award. It’s been a little bit of a rough week, so it was really nice to receive a some blog love. Be sure to check out her blog as it is full of interesting muse fragments and poetry!

The Rules:

1) Paste the award picture into your blog.

2) Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards your nominees.

3) When you receive the award, you must post 11 random facts about yourself.

4) Pass the award onto 11 other blogs and let them know.

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Questions from Matrone Bell:

1) What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

I haven’t sold out for any reason.

2) If you could get away with murder, how would you dispose of the body?

I hope it never comes to that!

3) What’s your biggest pet peeve?

People who use cell phones in the movie theater. Seriously, I did not shell out money to watch your screen light up or listen to your conversation. (Rant over.)

4) Are you a carnivore or a herbivore?


5) What did you want to be as a kid?


6) What made you start blogging?

I needed something to do after finishing my first novel. I had a lot of writing time that needed to be filled with more writing.

7) What do you admire most in people?

Compassion. We all have it . . . some just bury it deeper than others.

8) What do you consider your best quality?

My relentless optimism.

9) Name one personality trait you hate about yourself?

I can be a little too competitive.

10) What thing would you like to see me post more about?

Poetry. I love your poetry!

11) How devastated are you that twinkies are gone?

Twinkies were good, but they were never my favorite. However, I am crushed at the loss of the cupcakes with the little white swirly on top.

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11 Random Facts:

1) I have a life-sized Edward Cullen standee in my classroom. He was a gift and I love him.

2) The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite YA series, along with its prequel The Infernal Devices.

3) I have a large Barbie Doll collection that I’ve been adding to since I was a kid. Among my favorites are the original dolls in the Barbie Fashion Model Collection and an original 1964 bubble cut Barbie.

4) Every year after Black Friday I clean out my closets. There’s no way I can buy that much stuff and keep everything I have at the same time. Goodwill usually gets a carload of clothes and housewares from our house during the last week of November.

5) I love broccoli. Steamed, no butter, no salt, no sauce. Just broccoli. Mmmmmm.

6) I know how to make my own lotion, shampoo, chap stick, etc. Everything is made with all natural ingredients, too!

7) I prefer blue pens over black pens. Pen over pencil. Crayon over marker.

8) I love snow, which makes it ironic that I live in a desert.

9) I love science fiction – Star Trek, Star Wars, or anything else half as cool!

10) Aside from Jane Eyre, The Fierce Bad Rabbit by Beatrix Potter is my favorite book.

11) All of my Christmas shopping is done.

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11 Nominees:

All of these blogs are full of inspiring and creative posts. I look forward to visiting each day and I hope you enjoy them, too.

All the Soft Spaces

Before the Ink Dries

Life Through Blue Eyes

Bag Lady Lulu

The World Poetized

The Writer Within

Lyrical Love

Three Daily Delights



Billie’s Craft Room

– – –

11 New Questions:

1) If you could have one superpower what would it be?

2) What is something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do? (What’s stopping you?)

3) What is your favorite movie?

4) Mac or PC? Why?

5) If your home was one fire and you had time to grab one thing, what would it be?

6) Who do you admire most? Why?

7) What do you think you’ll be doing five years from now?

8) What is your idea of a perfect day?

9) Coffee or tea?

10) If a magazine asked you to write an article about any topic, what would you write about?

11) What charity or organization means the most to you?

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c.b.w. 2012

The Booker Award


It’s always so nice to flip on my computer and find I’ve been nominated for a blog award.  Thanks so much to Emaginette for giving me The Booker Award. Your kindness truly made my day!

I love the requirements for The Booker Award, so I’m actually going to follow the rules to accept it!

1) Thank and link back the blog who nominated you.

2) List five favorite books

3) List five fabulous moments

4) List five things you love

5) List five things you dislike

6) Nominate five people and let them know

– – –

Here we go . . .

Five Favorite Books

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
  • Everything Matters by Ron Curie, Jr.
  • The Element by Sir Ken Robinson

Five Fabulous Moments:

  • The day I knew I met Mr. Right
  • The day I finished my first novel
  • Any day a student says they love coming to my class
  • Any moment filled with a creative epiphany
  • Reading the first page of a new book

Five things I love:

  • My family
  • Writing
  • Creating
  • Teaching
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups

Five things I dislike:

  • Arrogance
  • Animal cruelty
  • Disorganization
  • Liars/Cheaters
  • Poor cell phone etiquette

Five people who deserve this award:

Rustic Recluse

Crowing Crone Joss

Robin Coyle

Paula Acton

On the Homefront

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c.b.w. 2012

Tags, Awards, and Thanks


During the course of my blogging “career” I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a number of wonderful blog awards from my fellow bloggers.  No matter how many times I see one pop up in my e-mail or in a comment on a post, I’m always so excited to know someone enjoys my blog.

Over the last few weeks, more bloggers have been kind enough to include me on nomination lists. Due to my new shorter blogging schedule, I’ve fallen a bit behind on accepting and passing along blog awards.  I’ve decided my delay has just given me a little longer to be excited about the fact that my blog has made someone smile.

Thanks so much to everyone who has stuck with me as I follow my muse wherever she goes.  You are all amazing and I’m so lucky to count you as readers and fellow bloggers!  Thanks to each of you for passing these awards my way.  To accept my awards, I will be bending the rules a bit (shocker, I know), but I’m still putting the original requirements for anyone who wants to follow the guidelines.

I am so late on accepting this, but many, many thanks to Paula Acton for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Her blog is full of beautiful artwork, musings, and fantastic posts about writing.  My favorite thing about her blog, however, is her quirky sense of humor.

  • Thank and link the individual who nominated you
  • List 7 interesting facts about yourself.
  • Nominate some blogs you love and let them know.

– – –

The Lovely Blogger Award from Debbie Rea Johnston.  I’ve just recently started following Debbie’s blog and its turned out to be a wonderful reading experience!  Be sure to stop by and see what she’s up to.

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  • Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere.
  • Tell them seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.
  • Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated.

– – –

Liebster Award from Wings of Wonder. This is one of the first blogs I ever followed and it’s still among my favorites.  Between beautiful artwork and posts of creative exploration, I am always inspired by wings of wonder.

  • Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you
  • List 11 interesting things about yourself
  • Nominate 11 blogs and let them know!

The Very Inspiring Blog Award from The Madame’s Tea Party. A blog full of stories and poems that inhabit a world unlike any other.  I visit daily for a walk on the wild side and a wicked sense of humor.

Seeing as all the above rewards essentially require a list of interesting facts about myself, I’ll combine them with one list of 10 things.

1) Currently, one of my favorite television shows is Grimm.

2) When I grade papers, I use magic markers instead of the traditional red pen.

3) During the Olympics I watched gymnastics, rowing, beach volleyball, swimming, springboard/platform diving, table tennis, badminton, soccer, fencing, and archery.

4) I hate shopping for clothes.

5) I love foreign and independent films.

6) I have five pairs of Converse sneakers (black, gray, blue, green, and pink) and I wear them more than a woman my age should.  They are my favorite kind of shoe!

7) I save all my movie ticket stubs.  They are all pinned to a giant bulletin board in my classroom.

8) I’m letting my hair grow long and I like it better than I thought I would.

9) My favorite non-chocolate snack is crackers with cream cheese.

10) I love the smell of a new box of crayons.

– – –

Blog Tag – Vicki from The View Outside. Techinically I wasn’t tagged (although she did invite), but I thought these questions were so much fun, I had to play along!

1. If you could re-live a moment in your life when would you choose and why?

I would love to relive the day I drank my first Cafe Mocha, mainly because I don’t remember it!  It’s my favorite coffee drink and sometimes I wonder what made me fall in love with it so completely.

2. What is your first happiest memory?

Swimming in the lake at my grandparent’s house in Northern Wisconsin.

3. If you could have dinner with 3 dead historical figures who would you choose?

Jane Austen – I would love to just sit down and talk to her about her stories and what inspired them.

Cleopatra – This woman beguiled everyone around her and continues to cast a spell on historians.  A feisty woman like her would make for interesting conversation.

Frances Willard – I wrote a major research paper on this lesser known suffragist and I admire her greatly.  I would love to experience her personality and learn from her strength.

4. After a long, difficult day, what is your favourite way to unwind?

Either watching a movie off my DVD shelf or spending a few hours in my favorite bookshop with a cup of coffee.

5. What is your favourite singer/band to listen to while writing?

It depends!  Every piece I write has a separate soundtrack.  At the moment, I’m working on Novel #2,which means a mix of Muse, Delerium, and Junip are coming from my iPod.

6. If you sold your novel for 100,000 (dollar/Euro/Pound/etc.) what would you do with your advance?

Pay off my house.

7. What did you want to be when you were little?

I was too busy hanging out in my imaginary worlds to think about anything so serious!  I was 17 years old before I thought about what I wanted to do with my life!

8. What is one thing that you need with you when you write (on your desk, on your body, etc.)?

My iPod.  I can’t write without my playlists.

9. Would you rather write using a computer, typewriter or pen and paper and why?

Both.  When I’m writing longer pieces, I prefer my laptop.  Poetry, however, always starts with pen and paper.

10. What are 3 things that invariably make you smile?

My family, coffee, and being creative.

11. What does your favourite colour remind you of?

My favorite color is green and I think I love it so much because it reminds of the trees in Northern Wisconsin.

– – –

As for nominees, this is where I’m really going to break the rules.  Over the summer, I scattered blog awards to almost every blog I follow on  regular basis.  Aside from the fact that I’ve accepted most of these awards previously, there’s the reality that If I tag all of them again, I might be classified as a blog stalker! Therefore, in honor of the London Olympics coming to an end last week, I’ve decided anyone who has commented on a Sunday in London post is nominated for any all awards listed above.  Thanks so much to all of you for following and commenting on a series that means so much to me.

– – –

c.b.w. 2012

Tag! I’m It!


A little game of blog tag is always fun, so I thank my friend Vicki over on The View Outside for thinking of me to play along.  Give the link a click to read her delightful blog which is full of great writing advice and prompts!

The rules for playing blog tag are….

  • You must post the rules
  • Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post
  • Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged (or use the existing ones)
  • Tag (eleven) people with a link to your post
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged

There must be something weird in my coffee, because I’ve decided to play by the rules this time! Here are the questions Vicki passed along to me:

1. Who is your favourite author?

This changes frequently and I can’t choose just one!

  • Core Favorites: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, and David Foster Wallace
  • Perennial Favorites: Ivan Klíma, Vladimir Nabokov, Sandor Marai, and John Irving
  • Young Adult Favorites: Stephanie Meyer, Cassandra Clare, and Lauren DeStefano

2. If you could live in another time period, what period would that be?

This is a tough question for a geek World History teacher to answer.  I have to break it down into two categories.  In terms of professional curiosity I’d have to say Ancient Egypt during Ankhenaton’s reign. This particular time period is the focus of my personal studies and it is an era shrouded in mystery.  To witness the answers to questions that have been asked for thousands of years would be incredible.

On another level, I’d love see the world as Jane Austen saw it.  I’d even wear a dress to experience the Regency Era in all its splendor.

3. You’ve been published, and you’ve just landed a movie deal. They ask you, which 2 actors/actresses do YOU want, to play the 2 main roles in the movie of your book?

For my current WIP, Liam Hemsworth would be a perfect fit to play Ian.  As for Amanda, I haven’t seen the right girl to play her yet!

4. What is your most treasured possession? (not people or animals)

This is something that also changes as time goes by.  Like most everything in life, the object we value most changes as we move forward.  I try not to put a lot of stock in material things, but at the moment my compass necklace is my prized possession.

Here’s why: Finding True North

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, money no object (just imagine you’re Stephen King lol) where would you live?

London.  When I first landed in London 9 years ago, I felt like I was at home.  I keep going back and the feeling gets stronger every time I walk the streets.  One day, I will live there.

6. Who is your idol/hero?

I have two.

My mother is the strongest person I know. Put any challenge in front of her and she blasts right through it.  I’ve always admired her for that and I hope I’ve inherited her strength.

Try not to laugh, but Spider-man has always been my hero.  Ever since I was a little girl, I was in awe of his abilities to fly through the air.  The fact that he was a smart, geeky, skinny kid made him even more appealing.  I loved him and still do because he sacrifices so much to help people.

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

As a kid, I never really knew what I wanted to be.  I think my imagination always got the best of me, so I was always in another world.  However, when I was  junior in high school, I had an amazing history teacher who inspired me to go into education.  Six years later, I had my degree and my own classroom.  This year will be my 12th year as a teacher and it remains a job I love despite the challenges.

8. What’s your perfect day?

I only need a few key ingredients:

  • Rain
  • A hot cup of coffee
  • A good book
  • Time to write
  • Time with my family

9. You get a HUGE advance for your first novel, let’s say 250 thousand dollars or pounds. What’s the first thing you’d buy?

It would be the down payment for a flat in London.

10. How many times a day do you check your e mail?

Way too much. I lose count by noon.

– – –

11 Questions for those I tag:

1) What is something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do?

2) What is your favorite quote?

3) What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

4) If there were no rules, what would you do?

5) Stick shift (manual) or automatic transmission?

6) Mac or PC?

7) You are a published author at your first book signing.  What message do you write with your autograph?

8) What charity is closest to your heart?

9) Name something that you think is underrated.

10) If you could give yourself a new name, what would it be?

11) What book or event changed your life?

I am tagging:

Another 12 Novels in 12 Months

Believe Anyway

Lady Day

All Things Boys

Breathing Space

Edge of Reality

J. Keller Ford

Sky Diaries

Books and Bowel Movements


Christy Farmer

I’m looking forward to your answers!

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c.b.w. 2012

A Plethora of Blog Awards!


Over the last couple of weeks, fellow bloggers have been incredibly kind in nominating me for blog awards.  I am in awe of the blog love I’ve received and I can’t thank everyone enough for giving me a spot on their nomination lists.  You are all amazing bloggers and readers.  Thank you a thousand times!

As usual, I’m going to approach this with my own rules in mind!  Seeing as there are six awards, I can’t possibly run through all the requirements for each one without writing a ridiculously long post, (plus I’ve received some of these awards previously).  So, I’m going to use this space to highlight the bloggers who gave these awards to me.  They all keep wonderful blogs and deserve a bright spotlight!

Wings of Wonder is one of my favorite bloggers.  Between beautiful artwork from her paintbrush and poignant exploration of the creative process, her blog offers amazing insight into the soul of a creative spirit.  I’m so honored to receive the Very Inspiring Blogger Award from her.

I also received the Inspiring Blogger Award from Katie Jennings.  Her blog includes incredibly well-written book reviews and posts about writing, while also showcasing her own series of books.

Mrs. Peacock of The Madame’s Tea Party writes some of the most biting fiction out there.  She has a unique sense of humor that always makes chuckle and  an original perspective that always gets me thinking.  To receive a Kreativ Blogger Award from her is such an honor!

Emaginette keeps a wonderful blog full of useful information for writers and incredible book reviews! I can’t thank her enough for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Vicki from The View Outside writes a fantastic blog chronicling her journey as a writer.  Her humor, honesty, and amazing writing prompts keep me coming back every day.  I always catch her posts at night, so I love it that she gave me the Moonlight Blog Award!

J. Kellor Ford’s blog has everything from fabulous writing tips and prompts to updates on her path to publication, (one of her short stories will be in print very soon!).  Her blog is a huge reason why I’ve started to play in the realm of fantasy writing.  She may have given me the Inspiration Blog Award, but she is my inspiration for so many things!

Searchingtosee is a blog I visit on a daily basis because I know I’m going to see and read something beautiful.  She is a talented photographer with an equal finesse for words, which makes receiving the Reader Appreciation Award from her that much more amazing.

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Enjoy these wonderful blogs and maybe give some love by subscribing to them!

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c.b.w. 2012