Blog Planning

One of the things I hope to accomplish this year, is to be more organized overall, but especially in regards to my blogging. If you know me real well…no laughing allowed. I know it seems a life goal of mine I’ve been at a while, but hope springs eternal. 🙂 It doesn’t mean there will be a dramatic surge in my blogging though. I still think twice a week is a good goal for my often chaotic life.

Now, I will never be one of those bloggers so organized that I have blog posts scheduled in advance to be sent out. No offense against doing that, it’s just not me. I tend to be one of those who just wings it and wants to blog when the inspiration strikes. In an effort to keep up with my little random notes about blog posts and maybe to blog with a little more regularity, I thought a blog planner might be just what I need.

I thought of creating my own blog planning sheet, but decided to go searching the internet. The blog planners I found ranged from a simple weekly page to creating a 60 page blog planning book you could have comb bound at the local office store. I decided to go with one of the simple ones. If you are looking for a way to be a little more of an organized blogger here are some links to several free printables for blog planning I found :

Oh The Lovely Things

Homeschool Creations

Living Locurto(This is the one I decided to use. It was simple enough for my needs and pretty!)

Infarrantly Creative

Mamma Jenn

Confessions of a Homeschooler(This one is so beautiful, but I do love the ornate as shown by some of my favorite writing notebooks. 🙂 )

Last but not least, Detail-Oriented Diva has a post about an incredible blog planner she made, which is a little different and has a neat ribbon velcro closure too.

Thoughts or ideas? Any good organizing tips for blogging you’d like to share?… 🙂

Blog of the Year 2012 Award

I’m running a little behind, but still wanted to take the time to say “Thank You” to Vikki over at The View Outside. She nominated my blog for Blog of the Year 2012 award. You can pop over to The Thought Palette blog, who created the award, to learn more about the Blog of the Year 2012 Award.

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I have one gold star, but anyone who is nominated can get nominated again for up to a total of 6 gold stars.

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen — there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required — and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award — http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5 You can now also join the Facebook group — click ‘like’ on the page above ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.

6 As a winner of the award — please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award — and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Yes — that’s right — there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once — this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award — and every time you are given the award by another blog — you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

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Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs — and even if they have already been given the award by someone else — you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

The nominations I’d like to make for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award are these bloggers, who are truly inspiring :

linneann

CC of One Honest Writer

Vikki of The View Outside(Nominated me…but think is very deserving of another nomination)

Be Kind Rewrite

Hannah of The (Writer’s) Waiting Room

Selena of Photographic Craziness (My daughter’s blog…relatively new but she has such an inspirational view of the world)

There are numerous amazing blogs, so it’s hard to choice, but these are especially ones that strike a chord with my heart.

Writing Balance

Balance

Balance (Photo credit: kmakice)

Balance is something I have been struggling with for a while, and this being December, means it is an even more unattainable goal. My blogging will suffer a bit this month. I turn into crafting and baking mode like mad in December. I’ve been crocheting gifts galore. I read a post over on ChantelC’s blog about perseverance tonight, go take a peek. It was interesting and got me to thinking about how my life is a continual battle to persevere. I think one of the biggest part’s of the battle for me is trying to find balance.

It’s a struggle and my life always seems to be in varying states of chaos. Writing, while a source of great joy in my life, has brought it’s own baggage to the balance equation. I have to be careful to balance finding enough time to write with spending time accomplishing other tasks involved in living like cleaning house, being with family, and working enough to pay the bills. Of course, I must also ward off the time vampires called social media and surfing the net(vicious little time consumers).

As if it’s not enough to get better at time management, there must also be balance in sharing enough in writing without sharing too much. I want my writing to speak truth, but reserved. I’m a southern gal, so there are some things I will never quite feel comfortable airing publicly and there are things you honestly just don’t want to know. There is also the people pleasing aspect and not wanting to offend, but I’m realistic enough to know you can’t please everyone and I won’t try to, I will have my say. I just don’t want my voice to come at the expense of others.

Until this year I had been quiet for so much of my life, that discovering the power of writing, was like letting a lion out of it’s cage. I just have to be careful and quiet the lion a little. Sometimes it wants to speak up too much. Those times I have to moderate myself before posting a comment on a blog or posting a facebook comment. I try to balance my need to speak up with compassion for others and being discreet. For example, there are some things about children or spouses, which should not be blogged. I try hard to just put some thoughts to bed in my secret journal.

Sometimes an escape happens. Usually it’s okay as what escapes often winds up a riddle most people would not be able to decipher without knowing more about my life. I just take comfort in the fact the riddles voice truths even if they are missing parts. In case I seem to be speaking in riddles right now, here’s an example of something I posted once : “Whoever said ‘silence is golden’ must never have had their voice squashed so many times.” I was feeling so strongly in the moment and wanted to say something and not silently in my journal either. The obvious truth was there, but I just left out assigning the tell tell details.

What areas do you struggle to find balance in as a writer? Thoughts on truth in writing?…

“Look”…It’s a Challenge

English: A Fairy Tale by Dorothy M.Wheeler

This was driving me sufficiently crazy enough that I had to go take a “look”.  Not too long ago, I remember seeing this on another blog about a blogger looking for the word “look” in her work.  I was convinced I don’t use the word anywhere in my writing, so I didn’t even bother to go “look”.  Don’t remember which blog now, but it so happened it has cropped up again.  I’ve been challenged by Discovery to find the word look in my writing and decided I would see what I could find(yes, I resisted the temptation to use “look” again…well almost…ha, ha). 🙂

Here are a few paragraphs from my writing :

I never looked like I’d been hurt or harmed on the outside, but inside my heart I hurt so much.  I had really gotten pretty good through the years at putting on a happy face and starting each day anew.  If anyone asked how I was doing or how everything was going, then I was one of those sweet southern gals that would always say, “Everything’s fine”, “Everything’s okay”, or “It’s good.”

Most of my life, I guess I have lived in a pretend fairy tale, where dust was swept under the rug.  Through all my talking to my therapist and others during the trying times, part of me just wanted someone, anyone to understand.  I didn’t want sympathy or someone to say I was right, so I don’t know for sure why that was so important to me.  I just wanted someone to get it.  Really, no one except for those of us who lived in it could ever truly understand.

Sometimes in writing this or in talking about the things which happened in my marriage, I feel a bit like a horrible person, like I’m being condemning or nothing was good in our lives.  There was a lot of good for so long, even though there were some not so good parts intermingled, guess that’s what makes it hurt worse sometimes.  The magic looking glass cracked and there was no repair.  Dreams spilled forth and were lost.  Never to be recovered.

I won’t make anyone insane by nominating this time.  Sorry, but here is the challenge if you dare :

The Challenge: The “Look” Challenge is for bloggers who are also writers. It is a way to let others sneak a peek at your work. Here’s how it works. You search your manuscript for the word “look” and copy the surrounding paragraphs into a post to let other bloggers read. Then you tag five blogger/writers to invite them to the challenge.

Come on, could be fun???….

Super Sweet Blogger Award

A super thank you to Vikki of The View Outside blog for nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogger Award!  🙂

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Here are the sweet questions I get to answer, than pass along the award :

1. Cookies or cake? Either as long as there is chocolate involved…

2. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate…as in question #1…easy choice… 🙂

3. What is your favorite sweet treat? No Bake Chocolate Drop Cookies…almost more like a candy…yummm.  My recipe and a photo of my daughter licking the spoon after a batch we made.  It’s over at my other blog.

4. When do you crave sweet things most? Mostly when stressed…then it’s a must have…if chocolate didn’t melt so easy, I’d keep an emergency stash in my purse…

5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?  Sweetie…simple & sweet…just the way I like it…

Now to nominate 5 sweet bloggers (hard to choose just 5) :

linneann

Cookiemomma’s blog

The Doodle House

be kind rewrite

The (Writer’s) Waiting Room

Related articles

Sunshine Award

I’m very happy Kat Collins nominated this blog for the Sunshine Award.  Thank you!  If you’ve read some of my posts before, you know she’s one of my favorite bloggers about writing.  I just finished reading a post over on her blog about journaling.

sunshine-award

I love questions, but then I’m a curiosity type person.  Here are the questions I’m suppose to answer :

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?

I’ll say C.S. Lewis, because much of what I’ve read about his thoughts on life make sense to me.  He was a faithful man and he loved nature.  I’ve enjoyed many post over at Mere Inkling, which have been about his philosophies.

2. What is your favorite number?    3 has always been, because there have been 3 people in my family

3. What is your favorite animal?  cats…still without a doubt…

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter?   on facebook my user name is sabrina.bullock.90…there is no twitter as I don’t tweet

5. What is your favorite time of day?   Night is my favorite time of day because I love the moonlight and stars.

6. What was your favorite vacation?   My favorite vacation was going to the beach with my daughter for her 18th birthday.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?   It’s a toss up between yoga or swimming.  I love both.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?   sweet iced tea

9. What is your favorite flower?   lavender

10. What is your passion?   This is a hard to narrow down question.  I’m passionate about many things :  family, faith, love, writing, reading, and the freedom for women to give birth where they choose (home, birth center, hospital).

My 10 Blog Nominees :

Mere Inkling

Honesty

The Doodle House

The View Outside

Linneann

Once Upon a Recipe

On Becoming a Wordsmith

Cookiemomma’s Blog

darla cooks

The Soulsby Farm

If you’ve been nominated, you can follow suit if you’d like and also know you put a bright spot of sunshine in my days. 🙂

 

One Lovely Blog Award

I just found out this blog has been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Susan over at her Women Making Strides blog.  Thank you very much!  When you get a chance, pop on over and check out her blog.  It’s inspiring.  I especially like her Eyes of Faith post from back in July about looking at our circumstances differently.  It’s something I’m continually trying to work on and need to take to heart.

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Now, I’m supposed to list 7 random random facts about me :

1.  I enjoy doing yoga and my favorite pose is child’s pose.

2.  I know how to waltz.

3.  I never eat the end slices of a loaf of bread.

4.  My favorite milk shake of all time is a banana milkshake from the Cook-Out.

5.  I sing aloud to the music in my car.

6.  I love being barefoot.  (I even dislike wearing shoes or shopping for them.)

7.  Pottery is one of the only crafts I’ve ever tried and didn’t like.  Made my hands feel too dry and you can’t get the clay but so wet!

Lastly, nominate 15 blogs for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Congratulations!  Difficult to narrow down, but here they are :

Honesty

The View Outside

The Doodle House

On Becoming a Wordsmith

The (Writer’s) Waiting Room

linneann

distraction no. 99

Baker on the Rise

Cookiemomma’s Blog

The Soulsby Farm

Mere Inkling

Once Upon a Recipe

be kind rewrite

little box of books

Kat Collins

I know life is crazy and quite often overloaded, so do not feel obligated to participate.  It’s fun to me.  If you would like to carry through with your nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award, just follow the handy instructions below.  If not, just smile, knowing I thought of you and your blog puts a little bright spot in my life.  Thank you so much either way.  🙂

For the nominees, the rules for the award are to:  

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

2)      Give 7 random facts about yourself.

3)      Nominate 15 blogs that you admire for the One Lovely Blog Award

Writing Our Stories

Broken Heart

Broken Heart (Photo credit: Gabriela Camerotti)

If you’ve read through some of my previous posts, you’ve probably noticed I have a leaning towards personal types of writing.  I love essays, journaling, and memoirs.  Our lives are stories and everyone has a story to tell.  My life is so overflowing that right now this is where my heart can find release to pour things out.  I have to write it down.

As with any form of writing you choose to partake, it’s said one of the best steps to do is read the form of writing you want to write.  I’ve been working on a memoir, so I’ve been reading memoirs.  Two memoirs I really enjoyed reading were Falling Apart in One Piece by Stacy Morrison and Eat, Pray, and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  The memoir I’m currently reading is The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming by Jennie Nash.  It is about her journey through breast cancer, which my step mother is currently having to face.

I’ll read anything if it strikes me right, but I tend to read memoirs written by women about their lives.  Either the book’s description or a brief flip through has to catch my eye with something I can relate to on some level.  I do have the book On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King on my wish list to read.  I love reading about writers’ lives.  Another memoir I have read was Literary Life by Larry McMurtry.  Unfortunately, it did not top my list for enjoyable memoirs.  It seemed to have a bit much pomp and a little too over factual for my tastes, but that’s just me.

One of my absolute favorite bloggers is Kat Collins.  She has a wealth of writing information and resource links on her blog.  She is also doing something I had never heard of before, but is an interesting idea.  She is blogging a memoir book she is writing :  The Good Wife.  She has some guest blogs on the topic of blogging a book at her Kat Collins blog, then you can go to the other blog to read her book thus far.

If you’ve ever been hesitant to write, maybe you’ll decide the truth is easier than fiction.  I’ve found my life is so unreal at times it seems, it’s just easier to write about it than try to make things up.  You can start small.  Start keeping a journal about your life or choose to write one story or blog post till you have enough for a book.  Two good organizations to learn more about writing memoirs are National Association of Memoir Writers and Story Circle Network.  Happy writing… 🙂

P.S. – I forgot another memoir I recently finished and thought was well written was If I Am Missing or Dead by Janine Latus.  Warning is it’s sad and a tragic story of abuse.  It’s a story I think many women need to read.

Back on Track

English: The train track at Ecser Magyar: A va...

English: The train track at Ecser Magyar: A vasúti sínek Ecseren (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately life has decided to throw in a few detours, so my blogging and other writing pursuits have been sidetracked a little.  The last two weeks of detours have included fixing the agitator in the washing machine, fixing the one time overload fuse on the dryer, replacing the car battery, and repairing the well.  Add into the mix the fact my daughter and her boyfriend moved to Tennessee and I can just say I’m glad I’m still sane.

Fortunately the running water was restored after much hard work.  Manually taking a well pump out 2 1/2 times is not easy work.  I do not see plumber on my list of future career choices.  I am also very glad to have my dryer up and running again.  I like doing things the old fashioned way and enjoy using the solar powered dryer, A.K.A. clothesline, but it doesn’t work well on rainy days.

Life seems to be getting slowly back on track, so one of my goals this week will be to try to get my writing back on track.  I’ve been writing a little, but not as much as I like.  Another goal is to catch up on blogs and email.  Right before I started to write this, I did manage to catch up on reading the blogs I follow.  Now I just need to work on posts for both my blogs.  My email has only had a preliminary skimming for important emails, so it will still take a bit to accomplish that goal.

I will work to get my straggly little train back on track this week.  At least my endeavors have given me valuable repair skills for future use.  I’ve even picked up a little more persistence and lots of material to write about, which are both good for any writer.  Lastly, a side track, thought of another goal :  eat less chocolate.  Unfortunately, I ended up downing a whole container of chocolate icing spoon by spoon during all the chaos.  I did exercise.  Think that counteracts it enough? 🙂

Happy writing… 🙂

Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award

Now to catch up on giving thanks for blog awards.  I would like to give a big thank you to Liz of the little box of books blog.  Pop over and enjoy a visit to her blog.  She nominated this blog for the Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award today.

For Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award…

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I need to answer some questions about myself, and here we go…

*Describe yourself in 7 words: caring, loving, gentle, thoughtful, friendly, creative, diligent

*What keeps you up at night? once in a while, it’s thinking about things too much (usually sound sleeper)

*Whom would you like to be? close to who I am, but be less stressed and more at peace

*What am I wearing right now? khaki capris and a lavender v-neck shirt

*What scares you? too many things; superficially it would be mice and spiders

*What are the best and worst things about blogging? best things about blogging are being able to share with others and feeling a great sense of community; worst things about blogging are feeling pressure to blog enough and thinking of things to blog about

*If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be? stop worrying so much, I’m a worrier

*Slankets, yes or no? don’t have a clue what slankets is or are either…

*Tell us something about the person who nominated you.  Liz is thoughtful, kind, and her blog inspires me to think of things in a new light quite often.

Lastly I need to nominate 15 blogs for the Inspiring Blog Award.  The order of blogs are not in any rhyme or reason, but I enjoy them all.  :

linneann.wordpress.com – Linneann

rosemarymint.wordpress.com – Rosemary Mint

thedoodlehouse.com – The Doodle House

bakerontherise.wordpress.com – Baker on the Rise

ccarothers.wordpress.com – Honesty

soulsbyfarm.wordpress.com – Soulsby Farm

darlacooks.com – Darla Cooks

christiepepper.com – CookieMomma’s Blog

elainecougler.wordpress.com – On Becoming A Wordsmith

the-view-outside.com – The View Outside

alreadynotpublished.wordpress.com – Already Not Published

distraction99.com – Distraction no. 99

sewingdork.blogspot.com – Sewing Dork

storycirclenetwork.wordpress.com – Story Circle Network

suebe.wordpress.com – One Writer’s Journey

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