Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to those posts I enjoyed during the week.

It seems like this week’s theme was overcoming fear, which I appreciated since I’ve been struggling with that. (If you’re a writer, than you have too – so read up and kick fear’s a$$!) We have quite a bit on craft as well, and a TON that’s just for fun! Enjoy!

On craft…

David N. Walker continues his series on character outlining. This week’s post is about those other guys, the supporting characters.

Kristen Lamb begins her series on novel structure with Structure Matters. A must read.

Elizabeth Spann discusses outlining and its benefits in her post, Changing Our Book’s Game Plan.

Annalise Green gives her take on outlining in her post, That Outlining Thing, Or No Pants!

On publishing…

Bob Mayer stresses the importance of team building in his post, Reamde, Pottermore, Hyperion and other mistakes from publishing “experts.”

On motivation…

D.A. Watts at Writers On The Storm Blog continues their series on identifying and overcoming fear. These are excellent posts and I strongly suggest you read the other posts if you haven’t already.

Jenny Hansen follows it up with her post at Writers On The Storm Blog asking Do You Fear Your Dreams? These posts are so inspiring. Fear is the noose around a writer’s neck and these ladies are shoving it into the spotlight so we can all face it together. Totally awesome!

Kait Nolan inspires us in her post on facing and overcoming fear, Explore Your Ragged Edge.

Pam Hawley visits David N. Walker and shares her views on facing fears in her post, Sticking Our Necks Out.

Gary Gauthier is hanging out with Marcia Richards and talking about ways to beat procrastination in his post, How To Turn Your Goal Into A Reality. Great post, Gary!

Marcia Richards puts in her two cents on fear in her post she shares on Sonia Medeiros’s blog, Fear Not.

On Social Media and Networking…

Jenny Hansen offers 8 excellent tips for expanding your network with social media.

Kristen Lamb gives us a much-needed refresher on tips for branding our names and building our platforms.

Roni Loren talks about how she built her author platform and what she would do differently in her interview with Laura Barnes in her latest Savvy Sensation segment. Very insightful!

Techy Stuff…

Carrie Spencer, via her good buddy Woodie, shows us how to add HTML code in our blogs on WP in this segment from Woodie Knows WordPress.

For Fun!

Jenny Hansen asks Do I Have A Dirty Mind? Uh…yeah, Jenny, you do…and I dig it! :p

Steena Holmes announces a new release in the new Bandit Creek Series! 33 Books + 32 Writers + Multi-Genre = Awesomeness!

Piper Bayard announces her running mate for the 2012 Presidential Election…the Dream Team! Ok, seriously, how can we make this actually happen, ‘cause I’m so in!

Annalise Green offers a fun post on the dark side of Mermaids.

Gene Lempp gives yet another thrilling post from his Zoo Arcane with Slayer Spirits and the Unredeemed…muahahahahahaaa!!!

Jess Witkins shares her freaky and appropriate post, I See Dead People. (Cue spooky music)

Mums the word topic in this sweet post from Jillian Dodd, Is Bigger Really Better? (Get your filthy minds out of the gutter!)

I absolutely could not do this post without mentioning; yeah you guessed it, invisible porn! Piper Bayard opens her store and her heart in her post, Invisible Art? That’s Nothing. We’ve Got Invisible Porn. Bust out the credit card, you are not going to want to miss out!

Elena Aitken asks Fashion Forward, Or Totally Backward? in her post about models in magazines, and how ridiculous they all look.

Natalie Hartford shares the Urban Word of the week: Webtrovert.

Shéa MacLeod dishes on some of the sexiest paranormal studs around in her post, Zombies, Vampires, and the Delicious Mr. Spock.

Diana Murdock points out that tattoos aren’t just for gang members or street thugs…they can be inspirational, personal expressions of our inner selves. Awesome post!

Carrie Spencer shares a very cool video on pumpkin carving in her post, Get The Chainsaw Honey, Let’s Carve A Pumpkin!

And there you have it.

To David, Kristen, Elizabeth, Annalise, Bob, Deb, Jenny, Kait, Pam, Gary, Marcia, Roni, Carrie, Steena, Piper, Gene, Jess, Jillian, Elena, Natalie, Shéa, and Diana…  *takes a breath*

Slàinte…your health!

Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to those posts I enjoyed during the week.

I apologize for the late post, however germs and illness are spreading through my household like wildfire and I have been struck low. I explained in more detail in my post from New Kids on the Writer’s Block.

That said, I will endeavor to carry on. Here are, in my opinion, the best of the best from the past week:

On motivation…

Laura Drake at Writers On The Storm Blog tells us how we can overcome our fears of failure.

Fae Rowan, also at Writers On The Storm Blog, shows us the other side of the coin, and tells us how we can overcome our fears of achieving success – of which group I am a part. Excellent post, very motivating!

Marion Spicher shares tips on achieving self-discipline, something we can all use!

Jenny Hansen asks a question that, I think, we all struggle with: Do Writers Need Validation? Really motivating post, I’m better for having read it.

Steena Holmes reminds us that we need to create boundaries and learn to stand up for ourselves, especially when it comes to protecting our writing time!

Diana Murdock talks about looking deep down inside ourselves and asking the tough question, do we really want this? Yet another thought-provoking post from Diana.

Marcia Richards offers five steps we can take in order to keep our dreams alive. Very important for those of us struggling to stay focused on our goals while juggling our crazy schedules and demanding families. And don’t miss her post on health and fitness where she shows us nine really easy ways to stay fit and not give up our routines. Impossible you say? Nope.

Elena Aitken shares an inspiring story of her nine-year old daughter’s self-confidence. A learning moment for all of us.

Cate Woods reminds us that as world creators and trend breakers, we writers need to think outside the box. Or just recycle it. Great post!

Piper Bayard, guest posting at Writers On The Storm Blog, explains the difference between what we writers think we know, what we need to know, and how we can learn what we need to know.

On craft…

David N. Walker gives us another well thought out post on craft, this time focusing on the Protagonist.

Kristen Lamb explains how editors can spot novel illnesses usually within the first 20 pages or so. Very enlightening!

James Killick shows us how we can flesh out really great characters by asking them, yes the characters, 10 questions.

On networking…

Kristen Lamb offers us a few informative and educating posts on networking and social media. She dons her stethoscope as Dr. Twuth in this first post to explain the changes recently made by Facebook, and why we should embrace them. The second is a post on Mavens and why they are not only helpful, but necessary. Finally, Kristen shows us why blogging really IS important, and NOT dead as some insist on insisting – as long as you’re doing it right. Hmmm…I hope I’m doing it right… Check out my post from my writer’s group blog for more great info on Kristen and all she has to offer.

Roni Loren, Fiction Groupie, offers us five ways to protect our brand. Very enlightening, I learned some things I need to change in the way I network. Great post!

Just for fun…

Natalie Hartford shares with us this nifty little device that is at once useful and chic.

The wait is over! Jillian Dodd shares with us the results of her labor of love. Her daughter’s room turned out absolutely fabulous!

You all know how I love me some stories. David N. Walker tells a very interesting tale of Ruth and Boaz. It has some intriguing messages we can all take from it.

Jess Witkins tells us about her dream team of super heroines. This was so much fun! I only wish She-Ra had been included…

How simple it would be if we could simply spray on our clothing? Carrie Spencer gives us the deets.

Wow…we have quite a few peeps here again, so rather than list them all out, I’ll just say…

Slàinte…your health!

Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to those posts I enjoyed during the week. Without further ado:

Quite a lot on craft this week…

David N. Walker describes how important the antagonist is and how varied he, she or it can be. Very helpful and informative.

Jami Gold visited Writers in the Storm and explained the key elements in evolving your story from a simple thought or idea into a real, honest-to-goodness novel. A really awesome post!

Cate Woods shows us how we need to dig a little deeper to find our own hidden gems. Sometimes all it takes is a little, or a lot, of pruning – or ok, maybe bust out the weed wacker – to see the truly fantastic parts of our stories and how to nurture them and help them grow. Thought provoking, a must read.

Kristen Lamb never fails to deliver and this time is no exception. In this post, Kristen explains how we can add dimension to our settings, and how our settings can help show the story. Marvelous as always, I suggest subscribing if you haven’t already.

Tiffany Lawson Inman a.k.a. Naked Editor visited Jenny Hansen’s blog and offered great insight and analysis on Voice. Definitely a must read…right now. Tiffany also taught the many aspects of writing action, and broke it down so even I could follow. Read this one right after the other one…now.

James Killick asks Are you writing for the right medium? A question we should all take a moment to ask ourselves, and then evaluate our answers. Very interesting post.

Sharla Rae at Writers in the Storm gave valuable tips and advice on researching your historical novel. I found this information very useful, and don’t worry – there’s a link to Part 1 in the post. Or you can go here. ;)

Elena Aitken offers wonderful advice on time management – highly useful! Great post.

Whew! Ok, let’s see what other gems I found this week.

On publishing…

Steena Holmes offers great tips and advice on self-publishing – part 1 and part 2.

Kait Nolan explains why it’s so important for authors to publish on as many platforms as possible. Very informative!

On networking…

When I think of networking, the very first person to pop in my head is Kristen Lamb. Did you know she’s not only a writer, but also a teacher and a doctor? In her series, Dr. Twuth, she prescribes the perfect remedies for our ailing platforms. Check out her latest post here.

Again, Kristen Lamb gives us, pretty much on a silver plate, everything we need to know to build the most successful author platform. Another must read right now.

Roni Loren, the Fiction Groupie, asks a question that immediately depressed and frustrated me. Is blogging dead? After all the hard work I’ve been putting into this, it damn well better not be! LOL What are your thoughts on this?

Kait Nolan informs us of the pros and cons of The Back Matter Swap.

On life…

Marion Spicher talks about the power of positive thinking.

Piper Bayard asks quite the thought, and discussion, provoking question – Which one are you?

Diana Murdock shares very deep and personal insights in her post about forgiveness.

Jillian Dodd‘s post makes you think twice when she asks, Is it ok to lie to your love?

Bridgette Booth reminds us of the clues we girls can sometimes leave when we’re in over our heads and head over heels for those boys, in talking about Sense and Sensibility by the incomparable, Jane Austen.

…and here’s a few fun ones for ya!

Carrie Spencer shows us that there really are people out there who are crazier than the Crazy Cat Lady.

Natalie Hartford found yet another super cool and useful toy – one you should never leave the campsite without.

Gene Lempp describes the ancient island of Cyprus, from “its humble beginnings to its richly layered culture built by conquest and strife.” Fascinating!

Elena Aitken reminds us that, when it comes to parenting, we’re SO not alone…and thank god for that!

Shea MacLeod offers a clip from Ancient Aliens. Really cool, check it out.

In honor of my husband, who’s obsessed with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, I had to share this awesome post by my pal Barbara McDowell. Journey back to the time of flannel shirts, torn jeans, doc martens and moody, angry teens…those were the good old days…

Ok…yeah…I think that’ll do it. ;)

To everyone in this post (because there are just too many people on here to list, and I’ve got a wip to work on)…

Slàinte…your health!

Move Over Modern Family, it’s My Turn!

Welcome to Rudan Thursdays where we talk about…things! Anything from books and movies, to blog posts and authors, to food and drink. And boy, do I have something to tell you!

I won the Liebster Blog Award!

I would like to give a big THANK YOU to Natalie Hartford for bestowing such an honor upon me. If you haven’t checked her out yet, do it now. She blogs three to four times a week on everything from things to motivate and inspire you, to urban lingo, to driving-impaired awareness, to stripper poles on trucks! And each post is well worth the read.

In keeping with the traditions associated with receiving the Liebster Blog Award, I must now convey the following:

Winners of a Liebster must:

  1. Post the award on your blog and show thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them via the award graphic ~ Check!
  2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog or send them a shout out on Twitter. ~ Check!
  3. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers (and bloggers) ~ and, Check!

My good friend, Barbara McDowell, says the Liebster Award originated in Germany, and the word “Liebster” means “dear, sweet, darling, beloved.” The point of the award is to help bring attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers.

Now for THE most important part of the post! Here are the five awesome peeps I’ve awarded – I should note: I have no idea how many followers they have, but they’re too deserving not to be recognized:

Jenny Hansen ~ I was charmed the moment I saw Jenny’s blog page: “Cowbell, You Need More Of It.” Isn’t it true though? Jenny is very talented and very entertaining. She posts on everything from parenting, to craft, to wine. Did you know she keeps no less than 100 bottles of wine at home? My hero…er, heroine!

Carrie Spencer ~ It was love at first meeting with Carrie. Who doesn’t dig a smartass? Not only is Carrie witty and funny, she’s also one of THE smartest, techiest peeps I know. She blogs about all kinds of cool stuff like arts & crafts, fun drinks, and cats. She’s also friends with a super cool woodchuck named, Woodie. He knows WordPress, so if you need some help, let Carrie know. One last thing, you HAVE to check out is Romance University. Carrie blogs over there, and she and the other ladies give really great info on craft and romance.

Diana Murdock ~ This is one amazing woman. She never ceases to inspire and motivate me. And make me cry. Diana is very real, very human. She’ll open your eyes, and have you searching your soul without you even realizing it. In a world full of shallow self-servers, what a refreshing change to hang out with someone like Diana. Check her out!

Kerry Meacham ~ Kerry is a relaxed, chill dude. You can hang out at his place, have a nice cold glass of iced tea, put your feet up and chat. He always offers great info from out there in the blogosphere and some of the best videos youtube has to offer. Check him out and give him a ~clink~ from me.

Amber West ~ A new fave of mine, Amber delivers her two cents with, not only wit and humor, but really great pictures and quotes! I tweeted a quote I saw on a recent post, and its become my mantra: “Don’t Try To Win Over The Haters, You Are Not A Jerk Whisperer.” I’m always excited to meet peeps who are comfortable in their own skin, speak their minds responsibly, and take the time to find really great pics :) And while you’re getting to know her, read her post on classic tales – so great!

Thanks again to Natalie, and congrats to Jenny, Carrie, Diana, Kerry & Amber!

~*~ Kate ~*~