The Versatile Blogger Award


Like most writers and other human beings, I enjoy a compliment every now and then.  Sara Evans at A Place That Does Not Exist recently awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award.  I’ve enjoyed Sara’s blog, so it was nice to know she has also found mine worth reading.  I particularly like the spirit of the Versatile Blogger Award in that it encourages you to immediately award it to other bloggers yourself.

I was just conversing with another blogger this week about how writing can be an isolating profession.  Encouragement from other writers traveling the same path can go a long way.  Thanks to Sara for providing that this week for me.  I hope the bloggers I have listed below feel similarly encouraged.  I have followed and enjoyed your writing, and I hereby bestow the Versatile Blogger Award to you.  If you accept, proudly display the award and then share the love with ten bloggers you have valued.  Also, share seven fun facts about yourself.  If you don’t do awards, just know you have a fan in me.

In no particular order:

Creative Writing with The Crimson League:  Victoria Grefer consistently puts out informative and interesting posts on grammar, style, plotting, sequels, you name it.  I don’t know where she finds the time to post so often, but I’m glad she does.

Michelle Proulx:  Michelle self-published her first novel, and she has been wonderfully candid about the process so that the rest of us can learn from her experience.  She also happens to be hysterical.  Her recent post on haikus, where the comments that followed were also done in haiku, is just one example of how she keeps me in stitches.

Kira Lyn Blue:  Kira has just finished up a great series about keeping urban fantasy fresh, and she is now working on one with systems of magic.  If you write fantasy, I highly recommend following her.  Or, if you like funny pictures of squirrels.  Kira is the queen of the squirrel graphic.

Mired in Mundanity:  Rhyan posts a lot of advice from successful authors, but I enjoy his original posts best.  I’ve bookmarked more than one in my writing folder because he gives such rich, practical advice for building better stories.

Page After Page:  If Vicki’s GIFs are any indication, we watch the same TV shows, but that’s not why I like her blog.  Vicki’s blog is for traditional publishing what Michelle’s is for self-publishing.  She is kind enough to share her adventures about searching for agents and making pitches at conferences.

The Writer Diaries:  Vicki kind of gets a double nod here.  She writes for this blog with eight other writers.  I found this one first, actually.  Some of the contributors are self-publishers, others are going the traditional route.  They do book reviews, answer questions, and cover writing and publishing topics.

Christopher Davis Writes:  He’s been writing off and on lately about social media and its effectiveness for writers.  As someone else who is trying to figure out where the balance between beneficial and time suck lies, I’ve appreciated them.

Andy English:  Andy is new to the blogging game.  In fact, he’s only posted four times so far.  He was kind enough to share three short stories from the world of his novel.  People, they are good.  He should have made us pay for them.  Read them while his stuff is free.

Readful Things:  Ionia Martin mostly does book reviews, but she also has amazing guest blog posts.  I’ve trolled her archives and found all kinds of helpful information.  She also does a great sassy comment.  I think I actually found her via comments she left on other people’s blogs.

The Self Publisher:  Michelle gets two nods, I guess, too.  This blog is another site with multiple contributors, all of whom consistently post helpful information.  Even if you don’t self-publish, they have good marketing advice any author can use.

And my seven fun facts about me:

1.  I also write a food blog, although it’s been sorely neglected since I started this one.  Its tagline should be:  Great recipes.  Terrible pictures of food.

2.  I like house swapping (like in the movie The Holiday), and I’ve visited three other continents that way.  If you want to know how to do it, I’ve written an article how here.

3.  I find the beach too wet and sandy.  My husband finds this humorous for some reason.

4.  I got married at 20.  Fourteen years later, I still think it’s the best decision I ever made.

5.  My cat has a middle name–Jayden.  We did not give it to her.  A precocious four-year-old named the cat after herself.

6.  I get so excited about pilot season and TV starting up again, every fall I make a spreadsheet.  Yep, serious TV nerd.

7.  I write prodigiously long blog posts, but if you’re still reading this, you already know that.

In Progress

I have not arrived.  Neither have most people I know.  It is not their stories that I hear, however, but those of experts who already have everything figured out.  There is certainly wisdom to that logic.  As someone who had the misfortune of getting a resident (doctor in progress) on an emergency room visit that went comically wrong, I understand why expertise is important.

There is a danger to only telling the stories of those who have made it, though.  We lose the voices of those still slogging through, still trying to figure things out.  By the time the expert goes back to write about the process they have conquered, they are no longer experiencing the frustration, fear, or elation that was so real to them in the moment.

I am a novelist who has just started trying to navigate the publishing world.  As I figure it out, I’ll keep you updated, but not just about what went right.  I’ll tell you what went horribly wrong, too, so you can avoid making my mistakes.  I hope to not just share technical details, though, but help you get a sense of what life in progress as a writer feels like.

Part of what I find so powerful about fiction is finding yourself in the world the author has created.  A character most resonates with me when I’ve felt what they are feeling.  I have made it very easy to leave comments on this blog because I want readers to be able to engage with me.  Was a post encouraging or helpful?  Tell me.  Was it confusing gibberish?  Tell me that, too.  Have a question?  Ask it.