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November Sketchbook

I joined the NaSkeFiMo Group for inspiration, and it worked – I’m taking an online sketching class over at Udemy. I guess I’ll be posting my homework assignments during the December run.
I totally enjoyed following Kate throughout November.

Art & Photos By Kate

This month I took on the challenge of filling an entire sketchbook in one month. The idea of this came from an awesome Facebook group called NaSkeFiMo (National Sketchbook Filling Month). We’re continuing in December if anyone wants to join in.

The only rule was to fill a sketchbook. Any size, any length, any materials. There’s some awesome work in the group. I love sharing and being inspired by other artists. Probably the number one positive thing about social media, come to think of it.

I chose a small Moleskine sketchbook that had been sitting on my table waiting for an idea. To start out with, I cut up some black and grey paper and a watercolor painting and glued in pieces to use as collage elements in my sketches. I really enjoyed coming upon these as I went through my pages. I used various pens and colored pencils for…

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#JoyToYourWorld

I’m joining Sonia on this month-long Joy Journey.

There’s still time for you to get in on it too.

Wishing you all JOY!
Frances D


Have you realized Christmas is less than a month away!!!Did that statement just make your blood pressure rise?

Are you someone who dreads the holidays, the hectic schedules, the lists of to dos, the gifts to buy, the decorating…Does it all seem too much?

Do you wish you could go back to the days of childhood when you counted the days down with anticipation and excitement, instead of the thought of deadlines and expenses?

Do you want to find JOY in the season again?

As a Joy Coach, I can help.

Join me for a Zoom call on December 5th and let’s talk about making this season one you will enjoy and celebrate.

We’ll talk about ways to manage those to do lists, and I’ll give you tips to navigate the rougher bits of the holiday season.

And for the month of December, from the 1st through January 1st, I’ll send you daily tips, notes of encouragement, and self-care check-ins right to your email inbox.

Let’s get together and have a Merry Little Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, December!!

Sign up now, and get the Black Friday through Cyber Monday price of $25. (nearly 45% off the full price of $44.44, which kicks in on December 2nd)

Use code “cyberweekend” for the discount.

http://bit.ly/joytoyourworld

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

BulgingButtons

A while back I wrote a back-to-school blogpost that was later modified and run by Scary Mommy. Scary Mommy is a huge website full of content for moms who may sometimes feel like they’re hanging on by the skin of their teeth. I can relate.

Well, that article generated quite a buzz, and it ended up being shared several times, on several different websites internationally. It was particularly popular in Greece, for some reason. I’m not really sure why, and I wouldn’t even know whom to ask.

The reason I bring it up is that someone visited the blog recently through the Scary Mommy link. Hooray! I was able to see what they saw, and came across my author page along with the article. I was so glad, because I thought I lost that link forever.

In case you’re interested, here it is: 10 Back to School Supplies Money Can’t Buy

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Meet Sonia Karina: She has Chosen Joy

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You are embarking on a whole new career: Joy Coach.
When did you choose Joy for yourself?
Was it a process? Or one of those moments where everything just clicked at once?

I am following my passion to start a new business (outside of my already full schedule with a full time job :)) because I am so passionate about helping others find joy. I began to choose joy for myself about 8 years ago, after being laid off from a job that was leaving me little time to do anything but work. Suddenly I had time to myself, and I began to work on healing and growing, and finding joy again. It was (and still is) a long, hard process. To be completely honest, joy is a daily choice I make. DAILY. I suppose there was a moment when it clicked, but the “click” was the realization that I have control over my choice to either live in misery, or live in joy, and I chose joy. And I choose joy. Every day.

Could/Should Choosing Joy be taught to middle or high school students?
ABSOLUTELY, 100% and it should be. As should gratitude.

What changes would you make to our country’s school system?
I would love to see teachers being allowed to teach to their students’ needs and not to a standardized system that doesn’t work for how different all children are.

We met through your blogging. Will you be getting your blog on again soon?

I have a blog on my new business website, and I do hope to blog more often on there as the business launches and grows. I miss the blogging world from when we began. I have such fond memories of that time.

What brought you to blogging in the first place?

My love of writing brought me to blogging. I actually discovered the blogging community, way back in the day, because of actor Wil Wheaton. He was a blogger then, and I was a fan, and that is truly how I found out about the whole blogging world. As a writer without an outlet, blogging was the perfect find.

Tell us what you gained from your past blogging, and what you hope to gain in the future.

Besides it being an outlet for my writing, and for me to be able to express all my thoughts, passions, etc., it was also a great way to meet some amazing friends.  Friends I met through blogging, decades ago, I am still very close with now. The blogging community in those days was pretty special. During the pre-Facebook time, we had a sense of community and networking that I actually miss today.

As far as what I hope to gain in the future, it’s not really what I hope to gain as much as what I hope to give. What I do now, what I write now, is my experience with my growth and my journey to a more joyful life. Through my writing, I just hope to spread a little bit of that joy, and to share some of the joy tools I’ve collected over the years.

Do you keep a personal journal?
Free-write?
Morning Pages?

I do, I have kept a personal journal most of my life. There are times when I write daily, mornings, or whenever, I carry it with me practically everywhere, so I can just open it and write when the urge strikes. Sometimes I’ll go weeks or months without opening it. But it’s always with me.

You’re a Big Sister. How long have you been one?  What inspired you to join the program? What tips would you give a potential big sister?

I have been a big sister to Kayla since she was 8 years old. This year she turned 23. So…15 Years. Over the years, she just became family, my sister. Period. Another one of the greatest blessings of my life.  I joined the program, quite honestly, because I was in a dark season of my life, I’d just had a falling out with my group of friends, I was newly single and broken-hearted and feeling as if I’d never have a family of my own.   I was feeling alone and adrift, and I saw an ad for Big Brother Big Sister (something I’d always wanted to do) and I thought “I could really do some good here for someone else, and stop feeling sorry for myself. Best decision I could have made. As far as advice? Just do it. Take the time. Listen. And most importantly BE PRESENT. SHOW UP. These kids needs a constant in their lives, you might be the only adult that is showing them that sort of respect and consistency. Keep the commitment.

You have many strong relationships with women in your life: your Mother as well as other family members, and friends. In a world where people seem to have a new set of friends on a yearly basis – how do you do it? Do you have an absolute best woman friend?

My friendships are my greatest blessing in life. How do I do it? I don’t know really. I think I just genuinely love people, and I treasure female friendships and bonds, so I’m always open to striking up a conversation and meeting someone new. I’m realizing that I’m very susceptible to energy, and I think I’m attracted to the energy of women like me, women who are open and loving and searching for a deeper connection with others. Because of that, my friendships last a lifetime. I think the key is to let my friends grow. I will sometimes go weeks, sometimes years, sometimes decades, without talking to some friends, because life happens…but when we come together again, the bond is always the same.

Do I have an absolute best woman friend? Yes. And no. Every one of my friends is at one time or another my best friend. I think we have specific friends for specific seasons in our lives. I truly do love all my girl friends immensely, and there is no way I could ever say one is “best” over another…some I’m closer to in this particular season in life, but all of them are dear to my heart.

I recently saw a childhood photo of you dancing. What a cutie. Did you want to be a dancer when you grew? Do you still dance?

That photo was from when I was in ballet at 3/4 years old. I loved dancing then, and I love dancing now. I did want to be a dancer, and if I have one regret in life, it is that I never pursued dance. To this day, when I watch dance, whether it be back-up dancers at a concert, or a dance competition, I get emotional. Dance does something to my heart I’ve never been able to explain. I still dance, but mostly around my house with my cat staring at me like I’m nutty.🙂

Do you have a Bucket List?

I have a 40 by 40 list, which was a list I made of things i wanted to try/do/accomplish before I turned 40. I am 41, I have only done a handful of them…I should turn it into a 50 by 50 list.
Would you mind sharing a few things for the article/interview?

Let’s see…

Learn sign language
Do an unassisted pull-up (much harder than you think)
Publish my writing
Go to the Ellen show

If you have a Bucket List what was the last item you crossed off of it?

Hmmm…fall in love. That was on my 40 by 40 and I met the love of my life 5 months before I turned 41.🙂

You took up running in recent years. What other exercise are you doing? Was there a time when you just wanted to give up and eat cupcakes? How did you get through it?

I LOVED running. I miss running. I had to stop running because my body let me know that part of my fitness life was no longer an option. I have bad feet, bad knees, and well, I’m really not built for running. I started weight training about 5 years ago and the added muscle mass made running tougher on me as well.  So now I still lift weights (which I absolutely love), I walk, I do yoga, I’ve done boxing and plan to get back to that as well. Since I started lifting weights, I honestly have never had a “throw in the towel” moment. I am a bit of a fitness addict and the gym has become one of my happy places. Sweating one of my stress releasers.  That said, I still crave those cupcakes (and indulge, more often than I probably should, lol), and there are definitely days when I’d rather come home and curl up on the couch than go to the gym.  However, I’ve created a non-negotiable schedule, and just as I have to show up at work every day, I have to show up at the gym on those days, unless I’m sick or out of town. And I do. Period. And I always feel better after.🙂

It’s the start of a day all to yourself and all on your own.
Where will you go? What will you do?

I lounge in bed just a little bit longer snuggled up to my cat, Drama. Then I make myself a cup of coffee and head out to my balcony for journaling and a piece of nature and zen. After that, since it’s a beautiful day, I head to the beach, with a book, my headphones, and of course, my journal. I spend the day enjoying the sunshine and the sound of the waves.

I should note, for this next section that picking favorites is something I CANNOT DO. It’s impossible for me, because my favorites change from day to day.  So, here’s my attempt.

Five Favorite Women Bloggers (general)

Oh man, I don’t really read blogs much these days (I know, for shame). So I’m going to say you, Lara Ruth Zioboro and…I really don’t know.

Five Favorite Books (general)

Books that made an impact on me growing up: Black Beauty, Lord of The Flies
Books that had a HUGE impact on me the last 8 years: 1000 Gifts – Ann Voskamp, A Course in Weightloss – Marianne Williamson

And…can I count the Harry Potter series as one book? lol

Favorite Inspirational Speaker(s)

Marianne Willamson, Wayne Dyer, Ellen Degeneres (because I think she fits this category), Arianna Huffington, Byron Katie

Favorite Inspirational Book(s)
1000 Gifts – Ann Voskamp
A Course in Miracles
Anything by Marianne Williamson
Anything by Wayne Dyer
Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Five Biggest Changes in Yourself in the Last Five Years

I am physically stronger than I’ve ever been.
I am so much happier, I LIVE in my happiness daily.
I am more awake and aware of the whole world around me
I love myself. Fully. I am confident, happy, comfortable in my own skin.
I am at peace and peaceful. I was always very quick to jump to conflict, these days I avoid it at all costs.

And now for my favorite part of any interview:

CREATE AND ANSWER THREE QUESTIONS YOU WISHED I HAD ASKED. 

OOH…let’s see…

I love to travel, what is it about travel that I love so much?

I LOVE seeing new things, learning about new cultures, having new experiences. There is something so exciting about getting on a plane and flying to another destination. I travel alone a lot, and there is something that feels so empowering about that as well. Some of my favorite places I’ve been: New Orleans, Savannah, Sand Diego, the Bahamas.

What gives me joy in my life:

Time with loved ones, my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my cat. Being in the sanctuary of my home, or being out in nature, among the trees, or by the ocean.  Listening to music.  Reading a good book. Learning. About myself, about others, about cultures, about religions, about energy, the universe. Helping others, being someone people can depend on to listen, to not judge, and to give advice and counsel. To spread joy as much as possible.

As an empath, how do I really feel about the state of the world?

I believe that as scary and dreary as things look, humanity, as a whole is loving and generous and beautiful. I believe that if we just take a little more time to pay attention, to share, to connect, our world will turn around. I am saddened and frightened often by the state of things right now, but I have so much faith in humanity that we can really make a difference and I know that life is beautiful, and a gift, and I feel my empathy is a gift as much as it feels like a curse at times.

Sonia Karina: Joy Coach Homepage

Awesome Articles by Sonia
Things single people (okay, fine, I) wish their (my) non-single friends would remember…

Settling Down

Moving Time Again (#607)

I found Annie aka Tin Can Traveler via Cee from https://ceenphotography.com/. Reading just one of her posts led me to reading everything in the Latest Posts section of her sidebar. She says a lot in her not very long posts which include her own beautiful photos. Nowplease excuse me while I go explore as her older posts. I’m an official Tin Can Fan!

Tin Can Traveler

In just two weeks I will be moving from Westport Beach.  It has been home since April.

Six months is a long time for me to stay in one place.  I have been learning though to be comfortable in one place but travel more in the area.  Adventures close to home are still adventures.

The ocean still surprises me every day with its gifts ~

Gift1Abalone Shell found washed ashore

oxo ~ Annie

Gift2another Heart Shaped Rock to add to my collection

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Boys

Meet Nona of Noner Says

Sometimes I wish I was a Fairy BlogMother. And if I were, I would wave my wand and give Nona her wish; to be a Stay at Home Mom slash ProBlogger.

We’ve been blog buddies since SWB’s early days, and I just love her.

She writes about her life as she lives it.

I have no doubt that you will enjoy her interview answers.

Much bloglove to all,
Frances D

1.) How long have you been blogging? How many different kinds of blogs have you had? What blogs are you currently updating?

I’ve been blogging since around 2001. I thought it was 1999, but visiting the Wayback Machine to peek at my first blog it said I joined in 2001.

I’ve had so many blogs in the 15 years between then and now that I can’t even begin to remember all of them. Many of them don’t even exist anymore.

Actually, the type of blogging that I do doesn’t really even exist anymore. Blogging now is a different creature than blogging in 2015. In a world of SEO, keywords, and affiliate marketing I’m still discussing what I had for supper the night before. And not because I’m a “food blogger” but just because I want to talk about what I had for supper.

I’ve been bouncing from one PPV and PPC blog to another, riding each one to earn a few cents until it goes under.

The ones I am active on right now would be my personal blog Noner Says, my book review blog Noner’s Bookmarks and my craft blog A DIY Day but none of them are as active as I WANT them to be.


2.) You are a full-time Mom with a full-time job. Tell us something about your average day. How you manage to fit in blogging and your art projects?

On an average day I usually set my alarm for 6, but I never crawl out of bed until 7 because I usually have to get up 3 or 4 times a night with my toddler who never sleeps through.

Then its a flurry of feeding. One dog eats inside. One dog eats outside. One son won’t eat anything but pop-tarts. The other one wants a hot breakfast. But before I fix his hot breakfast I have to get dressed (no hanging out in jammies even on my days off) because I have to go outside and carry the Labrador inside. No small feat since he’s almost 80 pounds and uncooperative.

Then I have to convince the older boy to take his vitamin and brush his teeth and get dressed. I have to convince my toddler to give his brothers underwear back and to come to HIS room so I can get HIM dressed.

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Next thing I know its already 9am, my coffee is cold and I’ve not even had breakfast yet but I have to get ready for work. Depending on the day I have to leave home at 9:30 or 12:30 to get to my job.

On a 9:30 day I get home around 7pm and have to cook myself supper while I wash the dishes that piled up all day. I usually eat while giving my sons their baths. Depending on whether he had a nap or not the youngest goes to bed at 8:30 or 9 and the oldest goes to bed at 9
during the school year. So I get to see them about 4 hours. After both of the kids are in bed I take my bath, and by then it usually bedtime,unless I have enough energy to try to write.

On a 12:30 day I get home around 10pm. The boys will already be in bed so I don’t have to bathe them, but I still have to wash a days worth of dishes while trying to find something to eat. And I will have gotten to see my kids almost 5 hours! I don’t usually take a bath on those nights either so if I ever smell a little off when you see me you can guarantee I didn’t get home till late the night before.

So any blogging that I do happens after 10pm. And that is if I have the energy for it. Some nights, specially the ones where I don’t even get home until 10pm, I just don’t have what it takes to form coherent sentences.

As for crafting…. I’ve almost forgotten the meaning of the word. I think that is why my craft blog is suffering the most. I never get to finish any projects.

At least with my reading I can do that on my lunch break at work, or a couple of chapters when when I’m in the tub, but I can’t really cross stitch in a bubble bath.

Just this week I did get a spurt of energy and as midnight turned into1am I was sitting at my tiny little desk with a 16″x20″ canvas and several tubes of craft paint doing a paint along with an artist on youtube. She was using artist grade paints and fancy paint brushes, and I had my 50 cent bottles of paint and I’m pretty sure one of my brushes came out of a kids color by number set.

But when I finished that painting I felt rather accomplished. Like, I did it! I CREATED SOMETHING.

I was going to blog about it, but…it was 1am and I needed to sleep a little before my youngest woke up again.

3.) Do you share your blog with family, friends, and co-workers?

Yes and No. I don’t go to any of them and say, “Hey, I wrote this thing last night that I think you should read. BUT I don’t exactly keep it a secret. Most of them are connected to me on facebook and I’m always sharing my blog links on Facebook.

Honestly, most of the people I know in real life don’t give two shakes about my blogs. Which is apparent by the way none of them click my links.

I have tried many times to talk to my husband about my blogging. How I would really like to make it professionally, and what that would take. I don’t think he even listens. If you asked my husband what my blogs name was he couldn’t even tell you. I lost him completely when I
muttered the phrase, “I could work part time to have more time to write.”

4.) You love animals. How many pets do you have? What are their names? Can you tell us something about them?

Well, you know all lovers of fur children love to talk about their pets!

Having lost our cat at the beginning of the year (She was murdered by a stray dog) we currently have 2 dogs and my fishies.

Boomer is a chocolate lab and he is ancient at 13 years old. He is full blooded and has been a pain in our backsides since the day we brought him home. Soooo many medical problems.

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Right now he looks like a science experiment gone wrong, missing most of the fur on his back half due to a skin problem he’s had most of his life. We just had to have a mass removed from his back
that was the size of a hamburger. It started out life as a skin tag. Parts of his spine are fused together and he can hardly walk. Carrying him up the ramp is part of my every morning. I’m starting to think it might be a mercy to ease him out of life, so to speak, but hubby won’t
hear of it.

Meanwhile there is the mutt, Rusty, who is only about half a year younger than Boomer, but looks and acts as if he were a decade younger! Proof that full blooded dogs are often not as healthy as the mutts.

We found Rusty in the parking lot of a store I used to work at. We were only going to foster him until we found his owners (he seemed well-fed and was housebroken even though he was covered in ticks!). Then we were going to foster him until we found a forever home. Then somehow we BECAME the forever home.

The vet said he’s part chow and part golden retriever (Best guess). And he’s pretty much a hair machine. There are dust bunnies of that dogs fur in the hallway big enough to be another dog.

Oh, did I mention they both live inside with us?

I have a betta fish named Bowie. He’s new. He only has one pectoral fin but seems to get along just fine. I have the urge to sing “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” every time I see him flapping his remaining fin for all he’s worth.

Then I have an aquarium with a big goldfish in it. His names George. He used to be one of a pair. Fred and George. But there was a horrible incident involving SpongeBob’s pineapple house. Lets just say that neither Fred nor the pineapple are still in the aquarium.

There are also 2 cory catfish in there. They don’t have names but moved in at the same time George did. And snails. Lots of snails.

If I didn’t have to work full time outside of the home I would have rats too. For many years this house was never without a pair of rats living in the breakfast nook. I miss them, but after child #2 was born I had to choose one thing that I was taking care of to give up and
since my husband won’t part with either of the human kids it had to be the rats.

(just kidding about giving away the kids, though I’m sometimes tempted to sell the husband)

5.) I know you would love to be a stay at home Mom. Describe your typical day and what you would do if you were.

I would sleep in. No more hitting the snooze button for an hour. Because I won’t have a job to be at I can sleep all the way to 8!

I’m sure my mornings would be just as hectic because…4 different mouths to feed…that’s always gonna be crazy.

After breakfast instead of having to run out to work for the next 9 hours I’ll get to stay at home with kids.

I see mornings being outdoor playtime. Then after lunch the little one would go down for a nap and the older one will start his homeschooling with his dad, which gives me a good 3 hours of mid-day writing time.

Then it would be some family time before supper. Maybe video games or board games. Maybe a movie. Then supper time, and all the baths, and cleaning the kitchen.

The evenings could be my social networking or simple internet goofing off time.

With some alterations though. I know eventually I’ll have to forgo some afternoon writing time for deeper house cleaning but….I’d have time to spare not having to be out of the house for 9 hours a day.

6.) Have you met any of your fellow bloggers off-line?

I have not. There are a couple of them who live in my state, but we never manage to be in the same place at the same time. I don’t travel much.

7.) Recommend five blogs that you read regularly.

Mrs. Happy Homemaker – We were actually BFF back in middle school. Then her family moved away. She started out on blogger some years ago and now she’s Pro and earns her family’s income through blogging. I DROOL over all the amazing things she cooks. But, I’m not a cook so it never goes far past the drooling
stage.

Someone else told me about The Bloggess and told me to check her out as a blogger who just randomly writes about her life without a niche (when I was bemoaning never being able to go pro because I’m nicheless).

Oh, and she’s also written a couple of books. She’s basically living the life I see for myself in the head. Also, she’s very entertaining.

Other blogs that I read regularly I bloggers who, like me, are not in the pro range, and write about their life as they are living it.

Rusty2Rusty’s Chatter covers a lot of subjects. She does blog about food a lot. And animals. She also does a lot of product reviews.

Learning to Live Free is a lovely lady who is trying to get off the grid. Ultimately she wants to run her home off of solar power and feed herself primarily through a garden that she grows. I started reading it when I was going through an intense “I want to homestead” phase.

Becky’s Homestead is another one that I started reading while in my “I want to homestead” phase. She updates pretty reguarly and also puts out a video on youtube every week.

8.) What are your five favorite blog posts on your personal blog?

I like my Ghostbusters Review because I feel like I found a little bit of my old blogging self in writing it again.

My Imiginary She Shed – because it is really fun to imagine what all I could do if I had an
office of my own.

A Motivational Letter to Myself –  I was in a good (mental) place when I wrote that one.

The “Game” of Life – While researching this one (if you can call it research) I got into a conversation with people I don’t normally talk to often, so that was good.

I’m having trouble picking a 5th favorite. I’d have to say pretty much any of my Wordless Wednesday posts. Probably because most of the feature my boys. I love my boys.

But there is “I Long for Adventure” which is simple, but still holds true whenever I’m reading a good adventure story.

9.) Is your first blog post ever still accessible online?

It’s not. That was on Xanga, which is still there, but not there. It seems to be in an endless reboot to Xanga 2.0, whatever that is. Go to the Wayback Machine and search for xanga.com/winona and you’ll get to see peeks of what it looked like here and there, but not the very
first post.

10.) You have a book review blog – Noner’s Bookmarks – would you like to do that professionally? Why or why not?

Funny, some co-workers and I were discussing this just recently.

I would LOVE to review books professionally, but ONLY if I get to pick the books I read.

I’m a lover of horror and thrillers and mystery. I like some contemporary fiction. But, if I had to sit and read book after book after book and all of them were Harlequin romance novels with Fabio on the cover then it would be just as bad as keeping my current day job.

Maybe worse! (not to offend any romance lovers out there. Its just not my genre.)

11.) If a friend wanted to start a blog what would be your top five do’s and don’ts.

DO

1. Write about something you love. If you pick your topic based solely on earning potential but you don’t love it, you’ll struggle to come up a minimum of 52 posts.

2. Visit other blogs. Leave comments! This can help you forge friendships with the bloggers you love, and the other people who read them.

3. Social Networking. Facebook. Twitter. G+. All those other places. You have friends there, right? Share your stuff, sure. But you know those other blogs you’ve been reading? Share THEIR stuff too!

4. Join blogging groups. Not only is this another way to share your content, and find other comment, but it puts you with other people doing the same thing you are doing. They might be able to answers questions for you. You might be able to answer questions for them.

5. Grow. Expand. Change if you want to. Don’t niche yourself in a corner. Sure, you might lose a few readers along the way, but you are sure to find others.

DON’T

1. Give up. It will be tempting as you put hard work into something that nobody seems to read. Just keep it up. Your audience will come.

2. Sit and wait for people to find you. Its not going to magically happen. You gotta act like an internet version of a sign twirler. Draw some attention to yourself.

3. Let your blog sit without being updated. I can’t give you exact numbers, but I know you lose a lot of readers if you don’t update on a regular basis. (at least once a week)

4. Give up your personality. Let all of yourself show in your writing.
Having a unique voice can make all the difference.

5. Quit your day job. At least not at first. People can and do earn their entire income from blogs. But chances are really good that its not going to happen overnight.

12.) Name five women you admire and tell us why you do. They can be anyone you know or someone from the media.

This one is actually hard for me to answer. You would think names would just pop into my head, but nope. I don’t really keep up with celebrities, and being raised by my dad and two brothers I tend to lean towards the masculine but…There is my Aunt Lavin. Sadly we lost her a few years back but it seems like yesterday. She hardly had a harsh word about anyone. She would go out of her way to help EVERYONE. She was the kind of person who would sit by a deathbed and hold hands to help ease a person over. She was amazingly kind, amazingly beautiful and amazingly talented. She would go from hobby to hobby, mastering a craft and moving on to another. As a child and an adult I loved sleep overs at her house. I aspire to be half the woman she was, but could only ever be HALF
because there is no way I’d ever reach her level of awesome.

Jessica Stewart is a woman who used to work where I work. I think of her as Sunshine because she really is a ray of sunshine. Her spirit just GLOWS. She radiates happiness. She does yoga, works with an animal rescue and is quick with a kind word when A kind word is needed. I regret that we are only connected through Facebook now instead of getting to see her in person every day!

And honestly those are the only two people who comes to mine as being real inspirations in my life. Two people I would love to emulate. I could make up 3 more I guess, but after thinking on it for a couple of days I think I’m gonna leave it at two and be a rebel.

13.) Have you read and/or reviewed any books on blogging?

I’ve read a book or two on blogging, but I’ve never reviewed one. The first one was something by Darren Rowse. I have found that blogging info is usually not that useful to me. Mostly because I’m not a niche blogger. I understand the concept of things like SEO, I just can’t seem to make them work.

Some days I feel like I need to pick up a copy of Blogging for Dummies and go back to basics.

14.) You use Blogger – can you tell us why it’s your choice?

For me, Blogger offers the most personalization with the best price. I mean, its free and I can make it look however I want it to look with minimal coding knowledge.

I’m a sidebar junkie. I like to be able to have sidebars and put things in them other than my blog archive.

I know WordPress is preferred by many professional bloggers, but the free WordPress doesn’t let you decide what to put in your sidebars! And a self-hosted WordPress site is out of the question because its out of the budget.

I also like that Blogger doesn’t care if I have adsense or throw in some amazon affiliate links. Other free hosts can be picky about letting their bloggers have advertising that is not THEIR advertising.

Which is another think I like about Blogger. Its free, and its not full of ads. So what if I have to have the blogger bar up top. I’m okay with that!

Two Questions I Wish I Had Been Asked

1. What do you want to be when you grow up?

My first dream for my grown up life was for me to be a vet, but when I hit third grade I decided I wanted to be an author when I grew up.

I’m all grown up now, bout to turn the corner onto “You’re Getting Old Avenue” and I still want to be a writer when I grow up.

But, I want to write fictional books. So, if my scribbles could turn into the next Harry Potter series, yeah…that’d be great.

So, to be ale to earn a living from my imagination, while staying at home with my boys. THAT’S what I want to do when I grow up.

2. If you had to live your life over, what would you change?

EVERYTHING. Well, almost everything.

I would want to be harder, not to wear my hart on my sleeve all the time. I would want to not be afraid of EVERYTHING (and I mean that literally, due to many anxieties.) I would want to spend more time with my family who I have lost, less time worrying about fitting in. I
would want to be better at voicing my thoughts and opinions. I would want to study harder, have gone to college, opened my own business.

I would somehow want to have my same two amazing children without having to have left my family and friends behind.

BUT….

I would want to keep my creativity (but maybe have a little more talent to go with it).

And I would still want to write…but I would be internet famous by now.

The world according to Noner Says…

Fiona McVie – The Mistress of Interviews Interviewed

FionaMcVieInterviewer

Fiona McVie is the force behind authorsinterviews. Her blog’s simple tagline; My interviews with many authors;  the perfect mission statement. Since beginning the blog in May, 2013 Fiona has interviewed over 3,350 authors, and she promises many more to come.

I discovered Fiona and her blog some months ago during a Google search for one book or another. Interviews are a passion of mine; printed, spoken, radio, TV, electronic. I read many of them that evening, and became a follower so new ones would appear in my reader. And they did – a lot of them.

When I decided to bring SWB back I made a wishlist of bloggers I wanted to interview. Fiona had a high place on that list, and I hoped she would say yes. She did.

Fiona is a single Mum working as a caregiver. She is also poet, but does not publish her own work, nor does she keep a personal blog. Fiona writes for her four children and four grandchildren, but you can read two of her poems: First Kiss & Hero, can be found at Four Foxes, One Hound.

Her father was in the British army. She was born in Germany, and lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, Cyprus and Malaysia, before her family settled in Scotland when she was twelve. All the moving made it hard for her to make friends, so books became her friends.

She has no favorite genre or author, and is open to reading any well-written book. Fiona does have a favorite poet: Robert Burns. And she credits one book, More by Rachel DeLune, for changing her life by showing her that her past relationships were boring. You can read her interview with DeLune here, and about the book here.

Her hobbies include walks with her dog Fly, photography, cross-stitching, and baking cakes.

Fiona answered two sets of interview questions via email which you can read at Fiona McVie – The Mistress of Interviews Interviewed Q&A.

I did want to include one of the questions here on the first page of the article. I asked Fiona to write and answer two questions she wished I had asked.

What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I’ll be back lol.

Readers: be sure to visit authorsinterviews to learn more about your favorite authors, and discover new ones.

Writers: if you would like to be interviewed by Fiona please write to her at inspirationforum@hotmail.co.uk

Fiona’s Twitter, Facebook & Facebook Group