Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tagged At Eleven

 Julie Fedderson from Gypsy in My Soul and Nancy S. Thompson were kind enough to both "tag" me with their versions of 11 Questions that have been circling around the blogosphere. I decided to combine the best questions from each of them, though this experience has made me miss my dentist.

1) What is your favorite scent?

Homemade chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.

2) If you could go back and do anything over, what would it be?

I should have started flossing earlier.

3) What is your most bizarre beauty ritual?

I used to sleep with rollers in my hair when I was in college. Freshmen year I lived on an all girls floor so I'd parade around in them in the wee hours. One night a boy came over for a surprise visit, and actually asked me out on a date rollers and all. He started wearing glasses shortly after.

4) What was the weirdest moment of writing inspiration you've had?

When I was in the middle of a conversation with my doctor during a colonoscopy.

5) What is the best character name you've ever come across?

Lili Von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles.

6) Plotter or pantster?

My goal is to become a plotter, but I'm still a fledgling pantster.

7) What's your anger style?

I become very patriotic when I'm slightly perturbed. My neck turns red, my blue veins in my forehead pulsate, and the rest of me is as white as this page.

8) What is your favorite quote?

"All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them." - Erma Bombeck

9) What was your favorite book in 2011?

I really loved The Help, and was thrilled when Octavia Spencer won the best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of Minnie.

10) What moment in your life would have won the $10,000 on America's Funniest Home Video's?

When I was about 10, my parents took us on a family vacation to San Diego. We were standing in front of the orangutan cage at the San Diego Zoo when all of a sudden I felt a sharp pellet hit me. A few seconds later, it happened again, but I couldn't tell where it was coming from. Then my dad started singing, "Who got hit by orangutan mmm...?" Of course it took a while until I put two and two together, which is exactly what the orangutan was doing, before I moved out of the way.

11) What's the coolest thing you've ever done?

I was campus editor for our local radio station, when G. Gordon Liddy was promoting his book Will at universities all over the country. At the preliminary press conference, I asked him for an interview when his speech was over. There was a huge turnout and everyone wanted to ask him questions afterward. One chapter of Will was about how G. Gordon Liddy feared rats as a boy. In order to overcome his fear, he killed a rat, cooked it, and then decided to eat it. I had to stick around until everyone left before he finally gave me a midnight interview. My hands shook as I read the questions, but at least he didn't notice the charred pages in my teeth.

Thanks to Julie and Nancy for this nostalgic trip down memory lane. Julie has the unique talent of being informative and entertaining while delving into the most unusual subjects at Gypsy In My Soul. Nancy S. Thompson is always encouraging writers to reach their goals by sharing her thought-provoking insights, and has just recently signed on to have her first book published. Be sure to visit both of these exceptional bloggers for the sheer joy of it, and you might learn a thing or two along the way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Affirmative Action

Stuart Smalley from
Do you remember "Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley" which appeared on Saturday Night Live in the '90's?  I'm channeling this inspirational guru to guide us through this month's edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.


Many of us are overcome with anxieties at this time of the year. How can we possibly keep up with Alex J. Cavanaugh's CassaFire book tour, and still have time to write about our insecurities for Alex's monthly support group? In addition, how many of us who are still in our childbearing years, will be giving birth to future sons and daughters named Alex?   
My daily dilemma is will I have enough material to write all of my posts for the  A to Z Challenge? Many bloggers' claim that they've already gone halfway through the alphabet, while I'm still stuck on "A." I know that I should've started planning earlier, but I just can't seem to get the ball rolling. Right now Stuart Smalley is whispering in my ear, "You're should-ing all over yourself." 

 I also suffer from  Cavanaugh's Commenting Conundrum, in that I can't help feeling if only I reached out to one more blogger. I try to comment often, and occasionally even read some of the blogs, but I know that I could be doing so much more. Stuart is teasing his hair and saying, "It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world."

 We can all learn so much from Stuart Smalley. Whether we're suffering from writer's block, or just blocked up in general, we can count on him to enlighten us. It's important to practice our "Daily Affirmations," by looking into the mirror, and reciting along with Stuart, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

Of course, you may want to do this in the privacy of your own home, and it helps to have dim lighting. Turtleneck dickeys and sunglasses are optional. Keep in mind, if your only companion is a mummified loved one, please seek help. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Get Fired Up Blogfest!

Melissa Sugar from Have You Heard is hosting the Get Fired Up Blogfest to encourage bloggers to help others receive the recognition they deserve. After we've successfully given a new blogger all our experience has to offer, we are to post about it today. Suddenly, I'm transported back in college with my number two pencil and blank blue book, about to take a final in a class I've never even gone to before. 

I tried doing the assignment by following new bloggers. Some had less followers than I did, while others had only been blogging for a few months and already had more than double. I still tried to be friendly and supportive, but I didn't exactly do any extra credit. I wish I could say that I helped someone write with more feeling, comment with more flavor, or eat with more fiber. 

Rather than receive an Incomplete, I would like to try to redeem myself by writing about someone who helped me "Get Fired Up"  when I first started blogging.  It was around this time last year when Rhonda at Laugh- Quotes and Kibitz Spot suggested that I sign up for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge.

                         A TO Z CHALLENGE

When someone has a tagline that reads, "Laughing Around The Globe," you know that you'll have fun cheering each other on. Since I had only been blogging for a short time, I was nervous about having to come up with a topic beginning with a different letter of the alphabet everyday except Sundays* for an entire month. Immediately after I signed up, host Arlee Bird welcomed me along with the co-hosts. Some of the other fellow participants also started following me before the challenge even began.

All of my fears subsided and new friendships were formed. On the first day we posted about everything from A is for Ant to Antidisestablishmentarianism. I went into A to Z expecting a blogging boot camp, and was thrilled to meet a friendly community of supportive bloggers. I also gained more than 50 followers, while some gained over 100.

Now I'm really looking forward to seeing the gang again this year. It will be even better than a high school reunion, because I don't have to worry about squeezing into a dress. There's still time to sign up, and the goal is to have 1000 participants by the end of today. The 2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge  starts one month from now on April 1st, so you can schedule your posts ahead or take it one day at a time. 

Thanks to Melissa who created the Get Fired Up Blogfest in the tradition of  "Pay It Forward."  Now it's my turn to point all of you in the right direction, and up to you to make the most of it.    

*April 1st is the only Sunday post