Tag Archive | Interview

Connecting With Lovely Talented Writer, Ellis: L. S. Engler

My Easter Edition interview is with talented Ellis also known as L. S. Engler of ‘Worlds Unknown.’ Her byline alone is intriguing and, in her blog, she breathes stories. Do check out Worlds Unknown.

Thank you, Ellis for granting this interview.

Snippets of Me

Ellis Engler, Writer, Blogger, Interview

Hello! I’m L.S., a writer, reader, dreamer, creator of worlds. I’ve always felt that writing is something I was destined for. Growing up in rural Michigan, I could easily spend hours running around the woods, making up stories and characters and grand adventures, and I’m happy to say that the wonder of it all has never really left me. Now I just channel it all into words. I live in the suburbs of Chicago now, working part-time as a barista because those bills have to get paid. But when I’m not there, I’m reading or writing or exploring some of the really wonderful nature trails we have here in Northeastern Illinois. I’m vegan, I have two cats and a boyfriend, and my favorite color is green.

My very first story published ever was back in 2009, in Temenos, the graduate studies literary journal at my alma mater, Central Michigan University, where I studied history and creative writing. I started self-publishing in 2012, with my collection of short stories titled Bowlful of Bunnies, and have been hitting the publishing trail pretty hard since then, including starting my own literary journal, World Unknown Review. It’s been very gradual, glacier-paced start to a career, but it’s a start none-the-less.

Bits About My Blog

When you get into the world of self-publishing, you hear a lot about branding and building your tribe and the need to really reach out to people and get them to know you. That’s how I started blogging, as a way to meet with other writings and potential readers, sharing my thoughts and ideas. It’s sort of a catch-all for whatever I want to write about.

Mostly, I talk about stories that I’ll be publishing and upcoming books, but there’s also book reviews, recipes, and various other observances and promotions. I also like to use it to help promote the authors that contribute to my World Unknown Review. Nearly every month, we feature an author from the review, with a featured story and an interview. That’s probably my favourite part. I love spreading the word about stories I love and getting to know other authors, what makes them tick, what they enjoy to read, and things like that.

Staying On Top of Things

Sometimes, it’s hard to get posts up, whether it’s just a lack of time from trying to juggle too much or simply feeling like I don’t have any ideas worth sharing at the moment. What really helps is that I’ve started doing a weekly thing I like to call a “Monday Morning Reset.” On Monday, I mentally wipe the slate clean of all the stuff that may have dragged me down in the previous week, and I write a blog post talking about what was done, what didn’t get done, and what I hope to do in the upcoming week. I start reading a new book, I start working on a new story, I just try to keep everything new and fresh, and that’s been a great motivator. It’s important to sometimes look back at what you’ve done and give it a critical review. It’s also a great way to keep your readers up-to-date on what you might be working on and what’s going on in your world.

The Downsides and Yes, The Ups

So far, it’s just challenging trying to think of interesting things to say! There are so many blogs out there, so many of them talking about writing, that there are many times when you feel like you’ve got nothing new or interesting to contribute. That’s when it’s important to remember that people are reading your blog because they ARE interested, and you can’t let yourself get in the way of yourself. It’s your blog. Write what you want, even if it’s boring, even if it’s not too exciting. Even if it only get a small iota of views this time, maybe next time you’ll get more. But you won’t get any if you don’t post at all.

A Word of Encouragement

I would encourage other bloggers the same way I encourage other writers (and myself!): by emphasizing the importance of JUST WRITING. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you’re getting some writing done. Eventually, the good stuff shines through and you can run with it for a while. Even if you feel like no one is reading it, just write. Eventually, someone will.

Spend A Day With Me

My days are pretty simple and regular. I love order and I love consistency, so I try to keep a routine from day to day. I wake up around six thirty every morning, make some coffee, and settle in to read and write for about an hour. I have absolutely no attention span so I like to switch between reading for a little and writing for a little. After that hour, I hit the computer to write blog posts, answer emails, type stories, edit stories, send out stories.

Then I have a daily workout routine, then shower, and then a few video games before breakfast with my boyfriend, who, being a night owl, is just about getting up at this time. We always watch “Jeopardy!” with breakfast. Then it’s time to get lunch prepare and I usually have to go to work at this point. I’m an early bird, so I work nights so that I can have my sweet precious morning time to myself. Well, to myself and my cats, who intermittently want to cuddle while I work. I have two eight-year-old Siamese cats, brothers, one grey point, one seal, named Genghis Khan (leader of the Meowngal horde) and Baldur Cat (Bringer of Cuddles). They’re pretty affectionate and they keep me company while I work.

If I have the day off, I’ll usually spend the day running errands, preparing meals for the upcoming week, going out for a hike, or spending the day getting inspired at the Art Institute of Chicago, one of my favorite places ever. I’m trying to get into the habit of getting in some more writing before bed, too, though so far it’s been a little hit and miss. I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for my writing, as they have me temporarily full time at work, but I do what I can when I can, and a little bit here and there can really add up!

Going Forward

My next step is to finally finish my zombie trilogy, the Slayer Saga, with the final book, entitled “Fearless,” and I hope to get more books finished, too. And, of course, what I really wanted to share in this interview was information about the World Unknown Review. I started this literary journal four years ago, and it’s really been gaining momentum!

Last year, I received over a hundred stories from fifteen different countries, and the final product represented five of them. I’d love to see what this year will bring. So if anyone’s got some stories and they’d like to be a part of this hopefully steadily growing tradition, I hope they send them my way for consideration. You can find more about the journal and the submission process at http://lsengler.com/submissions

Other than that, it’s just more writing, more blogging, on to bigger and brighter things each and every day.

The One and Only Beautiful Gem Called Tanya Cliff.

A beautiful and fascinating lady writer whom I admire greatly. It is said that one’s words are a mirror into their soul and Tanya’s one amazing writer who’s words reach you on another level.

A Bit About Me

Tanya Cliff, Writer, Interview

My pen is a mighty tool. I’ve been using it all my life to tell stories and explore this world in all its natural wonder and human diversity. I write everything from the diminutive, but powerful, haiku to the full-bodied epic adventure. Of all my writing endeavors in the past few years, I’m most proud of the successful use of some of my work a juvenile detention center in SE Wisconsin to foster creative expression and encourage these children to develop their unique talents.

My passion for human rights manifests in a strong voice of advocacy for the persecuted and poor and an ongoing family effort that supports a range of humanitarian efforts. Watch where you step on my blog. I shatter a lot of glass of past hypocrisies with my pointed quill.

I love working with the camera and use my photography to illustrate the pieces I share on my blog, with a special emphasis on nature shots and work with a macro lens. The credit for all the photos of me goes to my talented 13-year-old daughter, who shares my enthusiasm for a good capture.

I’m a classically trained flutist with a rich and eclectic taste in music, performing everything from Mozart to jazz improvisation.  My favorite playing hours, however, find me behind the piano keys.

I am a graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

A Bit About My Blog

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The Prodigal 

I started my blog just over a year ago as a platform to support the fantasy novel I had just published and to grow my writing skills. On my blog, I write everything from the diminutive haiku to free verse poetry to short stories. I have even begun sharing stop-motion videos that I produce. My work often serves as a platform for social commentary and critique and a voice of support for those who have nothing. My passion for nature finds frequent expression through words and photos on my blog. I love my interactions with bloggers all over the world and take great inspiration from their friendships and encouragements.

Blogging Challenges

I recently retooled my blog to include new projects that I have and directions I’m exploring. This involved clearing a lot of old writing off my blog and completely redoing my home pages – a major facelift.

Projects

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My first-in-series epic, fantasy novel, Tales from the Valdaren – The Prodigal Son, was published just over a year ago and maintains a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. The second novel is in development.

I just published, A Haiku for Ricky Baker, a book of poetry including Haiku, Tanka and free verse poems telling the stories of neglected and at-risk children. All proceeds from that book go to fund art and writing programs for children in juvenile detention. I also hope to use this book to introduce Haiku and Tanka to these children as a method of developing strong writing and reading skills.

The second book of poetry and short stories, The Politically Empty Glass, will be released shortly. This book explores the hypocritical application of “liberty” in the United States through a combination of Haiku, Tanka, free verse poems and satirical short stories. It is a work that has come about, in part, due to the encouragements of my blogging friends.

I am also delving into screenplay work, using the development of stop-motions videos as an initial platform. I love the challenge of telling a story through this medium.

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Haiku for Ricky Baker

 

Meet Mick Canning – Story Teller, Writer and Photographer Par Excellence

I love to interact a lot with my male counterparts in this space because I glean so much from their intelligent discourse and inspiring posts. Mick has been a supportive friend in here and I appreciate his acceptance to grant us a view into his life.

Thank you,  Mick and I wish you all the best with your endeavours.

Bits About Mick 

About me? Gosh, I’m not that keen on talking about me, although I’m aware that I should be a lot better at it than I am since this is the sortportrait1 of thing I get asked at, well, interviews! A native of the UK, I’ve spent a number of years working abroad, mostly in the Middle East, and generally traveling, particularly in the Indian subcontinent. I’ve always been a bit of an artist, writing and painting on and off for most of my life, but since my first visit to India, I found that both the writing and painting has been largely focused there.

Otherwise, I make a tenuous living as an outdoor activities instructor, especially climbing, although as I get older and my back gives me more problems, I find that I am looking forward more and more to retirement from that.

I like a quiet life, which is probably why I am drawn to writing rather than, say, night clubs and politics, although the things that get me fired up are injustices. I try to avoid controversy on my blog posts, but I’m sure that it does come through at times. I do care passionately about the environment, hate all forms of discrimination and intolerance, and cannot understand why anyone of any gender or race can be considered as inferior to any others.

I try to be a positive person, but when I read the papers or hear the news it seems difficult.

A bit about my blog

I started the blog a little over a year ago, being persuaded that it was the thing to do if I was to promote the novel that I was then working on. I’m not, as I’ve mentioned already, all that keen on talking about myself, and up until recently, I’ve regarded blogs as rather narcissistic self-indulgences. While there are obviously a few like that, I’ve been delighted to discover that there are (naturally) a whole range of blogs out there and that the majority are both interesting and informative.

I had assumed, at first, that all my posts would be about my book or at least my writing, but quite quickly it seemed to morph into a mixture of posts on writing, travel, a little about my other artistic endeavours (such as painting), a few slightly political pieces, and, naturally, a few pieces about myself. This wasn’t particularly intentional, and certainly not planned that way. Naturally, some of them I was more pleased with than others, and some generated much more interest from readers than others – certainly not always the ones that I expected to! A slightly random selection:

The Mad Woman of the Hill Station

Nepal – Everest Region

And finally, a couple of months ago I published a post about why I sometimes stopped following blogs, never anticipating the huge interest it would generate:

Oh heavens, why on earth did I follow that blog?

Having been blogging now for over a year, I am now hooked on it! I think that the best thing about it, for me, is that after I had been blogging for a while, I discovered that I had become part of a community.

On staying motivated

Motivation is quite easy, actually. I usually find I have something I want to say, and a blog post is just the right length for what I want to write. In my case, somewhere around 1000 words seems adequate, which is about the length of blog post that I am also comfortable reading. Anything much longer, and I find I am put off. Perhaps this is because I also follow a lot of blogs, and to see one that is several thousand words long makes me avoid reading it. There just isn’t time!

I do keep a notebook, naturally, as all writers do. And I have maybe a dozen unfinished blog posts at any one moment, so when I feel a little stuck, I can go to one of those.

A little down but more ups

That’s a difficult one! We all have times when we feel that, despite everything, we can’t think what to write. But so far, the blogging journey has been a pretty smooth one.

As for my other writing, I think the worst thing is when I have been working on a story for a long time and I read it back and have the sudden epiphany; ‘this is complete rubbish!’

Would you encourage others to blog?

Absolutely! Next question?

A day spent with Mick

Oh dear, there’s no such thing as a typical day. If I don’t have any outdoor work, and as a freelancer that happens quite a lot, then I declare the day a writing day. This means that I begin by catching up with blogs I follow, perhaps posting a new one myself (I try to post twice a week, but it is a bit flexible!), which might take from an hour or so up until lunchtime. Afterwards, I would try to work on my novel, or perhaps on a short story, for the rest of the afternoon. I usually try to go for a walk at some point, often to try to resolve sticking points in my stories. I find I think best that way.005-1

To distract me, of course, are all those little jobs that we all have to do. Everything from housework (my wife has regular work, so I do a certain amount during the week) to shopping, and then, of course, we all have family to see. I can usually rely upon the cats to distract me regularly, too. They seem to think they should be fed at least once an hour.

The future and beyond

I’ve had the blog for just over a year, now, and am quite happy with the way it is going. Without any real effort by me, the number of followers is regularly rising and I’m not yet experiencing any difficulty thinking of topics to post about. I do have plans to add a few extra pages so that I can put in extra pictures and details on various topics, but I’m in no rush!

As for my other writing, I’m currently working on a new novel, after publishing my first one earlier this year; Making friends with the Crocodile, which is set in Northern India and explores how women are treated by society there. I’m delighted that although I have not sold a huge number of copies – it is available as a print on demand paperback as well as Kindle on Amazon, and now an e-book on Kobo – I have had some lovely and generous reviews for it. Unfortunately, the POD book is not currently available in India, but I am now speaking to an Indian publisher with a view to releasing it there in a few weeks.

My new novel is also set in India, but this time in a fictitious hill station in the Himalaya.

Thank you for hosting me today, Jacqueline.

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Bernadette is a friend to have in this place. She’s a lovely, smart, warm and totally inspiring woman.

I follow a lot of bloggers and interact with most of them as often as I can, but in this blogging journey, there are some people who you connect with and you see the beauty of their soul shine through their work. I read Bernadette’s posts every week and I never leave empty handed.

Her thoughts are enriching and uplifting. She’s supportive of her blog friends and to take it further, she and I (with other volunteers) are starting off ‘Writers Quote Series,’ this November.

Bernadette is a friend to have if you are not following her already. Please check out Haddon’s Musings, join the 52 weeks of thankfulness series or the senior salon 🙂

Thank you, my lady, for granting this interview. I appreciate you and wish you all the best in getting that publication done.

Hello, my name is Bernadette and I blog at www.HaddonMusings.com. Jacqueline has very kindly invited me for this interview.bernadette

My entire marriage my husband has told me I was a writer and encouraged me to sit down and take out the pen and put it to paper. I always demurred and explained to him and there are readers and there are writers and being an avid reader does not make a person a writer. But then about four years ago during my morning walk, I started to feel a need to express my appreciation for all the beauty my small village holds.

So I started to write about Haddonfield and its citizens. Hence the name HaddonMusings. Surprisingly, I became confident in my writing and was fascinated by the fact that anyone would possibly be interested in my scribbles. As I started to meet these fascinating bloggers from all over the world, my blog became wider in scope.

One of the outcomes of meeting so many people was I became curious about how many bloggers were of my generation. I wanted to see and read about their creative journey during the aging process. So, I actively sought out people over the age of 50 and formed a regular column called the Senior Salon.

At the Salon, I have been able to form a warm community of people who are doing many different and fascinatingly creative things during these bonus years. It has been my great pleasure to watch them interact with each other and form new relationships.

Three years ago my granddaughter was born and this led to a rekindling of my feminist ideals. I want her to know about the true strength of being a feminist. I want her to know that a woman can be whatever she wants and she doesn’t have to be strident or dislike men in order to do that. So, I started writing my regular feature called Feminist Friday. I have really enjoyed doing the research for these columns and I have been gratified by the number of woman of every age from all over the world that have supported this project.

This year I started writing another regular feature called 52 Weeks of Thankfulness. I am writing this in response to all the negativity and acrimony that I am encountering on a daily basis in my country. My hope is by refocusing attention to the good in the world, I can help eradicate the rampant negativity.

Jacqueline asks how I keep myself motivated. My motivation comes from reading so many other fabulous blogs and wondering if I can, as a writer, achieve the same quality of writing.

My Muse – Haddonfield

Jacqueline wanted me to share my most challenging moment during this blogging journey. I know that my biggest challenges when I started blogging was learning the etiquette of blogging. I had two very nasty encounters with long-time bloggers’ due to the fact that I didn’t understand the etiquette of this format. If you are just starting out, I would strongly suggest learning those rules quickly.

And yes, Jacqueline, I would very much encourage others to blog. Circling back to the Senior Salon, I think that blogging is a splendid creative outlet and as we age it become more and more important to find new creative enterprises in which to participate. Creativity is important for the mind and the spirit.

Jacqueline asks what is my next goal in blogging and I would say that I have a great desire to publish an online journal featuring the work of my peer group. From the research that I have done so far, the last time a journal featuring the creativity of the senior population was printed was back in the late 1960’s. It seems to me that such a publication is long overdue for resurrection.

Thank you, Jacqueline, for this opportunity.


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Meet Robin Baldwin and Her Gorgeous Family

I simply love getting to know folks better in this space. I keep thinking that one day in the near future, there’ll be a facetime opportunity to meet with all those whom I’ve connected with over these past months of blogging.

When you interact with someone for a while their warmth seeps through their words and Robin is one of the lovely souls I have been interacting with in this space and I believe in connecting my friends. Please, I implore you to take a bit of time to visit her blog and say hello.

Thank you, dear Robin, for sharing bits of you with us 🙂Image result for images to thank you flower

 

 

 

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A bit about me

My name is Robin Baldwin. I was born and raised in Southern California, where I still live. I have a Bachelor’s degree in business and a Master’s degree in mass communication. I am a senior manager at IEEE Computer Society and have worked there for 21 years.

I have been married for 19 years to my amazing husband, Michael. He is a wonderful life partner and father to our daughters.

I am a Christian and believe in the power and beauty of God. I converted to being Catholic about a year after my daughters were baptized at our church. So spirituality is an important theme in my poetry.

I try to have a positive outlook on life whenever possible. I treat others like I want to be treated and I always want the underdogs to win.

A bit about my blog

On my blog, you will find thoughts, mostly poems, about what’s going on in my life through the views of the various roles I assume in any given moment: mom of twins, wife, daughter, friend, manager, woman, spiritual seeker.

I’ve written poetry on and off throughout the years since I was a teenager. In the last several years I’ve been busy working and parenting, but lately, I’ve found small windows of opportunity to write. It has made me want to write more, so I decided to start a blog as a creative outlet.

I have been amazed at the generous support and love this blogging community gives. It keeps me motivated to keep writing.

One of my initial poems for my blog is at https: My Table

I also write a lot about my daughters, so this is my most recent post about when my husband and I decided to let our twins room in separate rooms for their class field trip: These Girls

How I keep motivated with blogging

I keep writing about the things that matter most to me. Seeing the likes, comments, and follows really helps!

What’s your most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

None so far and Yes, I would totally encourage others to blog! Especially if you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a writer. The feedback from this wonderful WordPress community is empowering.

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My typical day

I am up by 6:30 am to get ready for the day. Then I wake up my girls up and get them going for school. I take them to school and then go to work. I usually have several meetings each day either with my team or with colleagues to discuss various projects we’re working on.

After work, I meet up with my family at home where we have dinner together (my husband is the cook and makes fabulous meals!). While the girls finish homework, my husband and I try to catch up on each other’s days.

In the near future

I don’t have any specific plans for my blog other than to continue to keep nurturing it by posting at least a couple of times per week, visiting other blogs, and participating in blog parties like the ones you host each month.

However, my next goal in writing is to submit to poetry publications. And, now that I think about it, some day in the future I might publish a book of my poetry.


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Robert Doyle. The Charming, Talented and Wonderful Blogger Friend of Mine.

There’s something to say about a man who loves and has good taste in music and that’s what I first noticed when I met Robert in this space.

His posts not only give you a glimpse of the beautiful soul of the man behind the blog, they are equally rich in knowledge and the way he spins his posts around selected soundtracks is just awesome. He simply doesn’t spin just any vibes, but the post always reaches in and grasps me and leaves me better for it.

I’ve enjoyed following Robert since we connected over a year ago. Thank you, Robert, for taking the time to answer my intruding questions. I appreciate your friendship and support.

A Bit About Robert

My name is Robert Doyle, and I live in New York City along with my wife Jennifer, and our two cats. I grew up in and around the NY area and had a normal life with my parents and two older sisters. In college, my major was Foreign Affairs, which explained why after college I worked for 14 years in a Garden Center and Plant Nursery! In terms of likes, I love photography, baseball, and hanging out with good friends. In terms of dislikes, I dislike how difficult it is to find a meaningful and good paying job these days. I have dreams…but it’s tough. My general outlook on life is to always find something to smile or laugh about. There is always something silly or funny (even in the darkest moments) on the surface, and it helps to remember that.

Soundtrack Of A Photograph and it’s purpose

My blog is called Soundtrack Of A Photograph, and it explores the connection between my own photography and the music I love.When I started it almost three years ago I was having a bit of a personal crisis. I wasn’t happy with a lot of things, and I saw a video on Vimeo about some guys who made a documentary about a remote island. I read their story and thought…why didn’t I push myself to do those sorts of things. I had scrapped an earlier attempt at a blog a few months before, because after writing it, I realized there was no hook to it. So I took a day off from work, got out of my apartment, and sat in a coffee shop doing some research and writing things down. I decided to write my passions down on paper to help guide me. At the top of the list were music and photography, my true passions. A few moments later I had defined it as ‘soundtrack’ and ‘photograph’ and the blog was born!

I had no set goals in mind when I started, other than hoping that people would like it and that my concept made sense and would draw people in. The long form description of my blog is- Have you ever looked at a still photograph you have taken and had a song pop up in your head? Something that fits the mood of the photo, the season, or maybe even the weather? Just like with a movie soundtrack, I think music can really fit nicely with a still photo.

As to the blogging phenomenon itself, the reason I think it still is vibrant and growing is because unlike other social media, you really interact in a more meaningful way with a blog. So much goes into a blog, be it a travel, cooking, photography, or lifestyle blog that you tend to take your time when reading it. Blogs are a way to slow down this fast paced, short attention spanned World, and it is a big reason why I continue to do it.

My Blogging Experience

It has been wonderful, interacting with fellow bloggers from all over the world in a big shared community. Stats are great of course, but I’m more tickled by the fact that my posts have been read by people in over 80 countries now. It’s the coolest thing to know that someone in Guyana liked something I wrote. Or Norway, or Argentina. It doesn’t matter. The meaningful conversations I have not only on my own posts, but by so many others is perhaps the best thing. Its hard to pick a favorite post..I think of them all as ‘my babies’ but here are a few-

The Soundtrack of A Photograph – My First One

The Vinyl Edition

The Greenlands

Soundtrack of a photograph, Part 12

Motivating Myself To Keep The Blog Going

This is a tough one. Because of the dual nature of my blog; music and photography, I get stuck sometimes. I might have some great photos I want to show, but I can’t find the right musical match for it. Or I have an artist I really want to feature, but don’t know how to accomplish that with my photos. What has helped is to continue to take photos. All the time. Even of the most simple things because I found I never know where the inspiration will come! That is the big reason why I always keep my camera with me if I can now.

My Challenging Moment So Far

I think this was probably when I wrote a 4 part autobiographical series called My Four Seasons. It was a massive amount of work, and I wrote it while we were in the process of moving. I had spent the previous year photographing trees using a new technique. I realized I had these shots in all four seasons, and decided to use them as ‘markers’ to describe my seasons of life-spring for birth, summer for growth, fall for change, winter for a decline. Aside from the writing and layout work, the actual emotion behind the writing, about my youth, the worst period of my life, and then the happiness of meeting my wife was an emotional and exhausting journey. But it was still worth it!

My Typical Day

Oh! A typical day for me starts with an early morning run, which depending on if it’s a work day or not might be anywhere from 3-6 miles at the moment, though I want to get back up to 10. Then a cup of that magical elixir coffee, before I hop on the subway to go to work, where I typically read the newspaper, and then whatever book I’m reading while listening to music. After work, or on the weekends, I like to meet my wife for dinner and a drink or to sit out on our little balcony and watch the world go by. In between any of these moments, I may spend time thinking, or actually writing a new blog.

Going Forward

I am currently planning on a few options which are all directly related to my blog posts. One is that I have been urged by several people to produce my own photo book. I have massive self-doubt about my work, yet I know people do enjoy my work, so I do plan to have this happen some day.

I also am thinking of using the My Four Seasons idea and combining some of my other posts to become My Musical Autobiography. Key moments of my life, defined by the music that means the most to me. In some cases, I will expand my existing posts, or trim them back, but writing a book has been probably my number one bucket list item, and after three years of writing over 100 posts and thousands of words, I think I have a good head start!

A Word To Others

I absolutely encourage others to blog. If you have passion, you should blog. Be it music, cooking, poetry, travel, crafting…whatever. If you are passionate, you should blog!

Thank you so much, Jacqueline. I feel deeply honored to have been selected by you for this.


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Have you met delightful, warm Brigid? You Should!

The wealth that you receive in life is that which society entrusts you with and can only come from friends. Each day, I’m thankful for discovering the beauty of blogging, it not only gave a voice to speak but gives me friends like Brigid whose succinct words come enriched with soothing wisdom.

Thank you, Brigid, for your support and for letting us get to know you some more.

A bit about me

Greetings from County Donegal in the north-west corner of Ireland.  My name is Brigid and I moved here in 1999 after living in Scotland for 44 years.  I have had an “interesting” career path – I originally wanted to be a doctor but God had other plans!Displaying IMG_5428.JPG

Instead, I entered the world of Life Assurance working in the Actuarial and Life Underwriting departments before following my heart into a 20-year career in Natural Medicines.   I was a bit of a pioneer back then and fell into teaching which I really loved; I eventually set up a two-year training in healing skills and I also opened a healing centre and shop.

After the death of my father and the breakup of my marriage, I moved to Donegal – the home of my ancestors.

I retrained in Organic Horticulture in 2006 after a two-year hiatus due to a mystery illness which was eventually diagnosed as Fibromyalgia and autoimmune disease.  I taught Organic Horticulture in schools until recently.

About my Blog – Watching the Daisies. 

I started my blog as a social media platform for my book of the same name – “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow.”  I write to inspire others on their self-healing journey, particularly those who have a long-term illness. Slowing down has been one of my major Life Lessons – I used to be incredibly busy!

I am very proactive and I have shared many of my own self-healing tips in my posts such as:

https://watchingthedaisies.com/2016/08/31/walking-the-wild-atlantic-way/

I initially wrote posts on flower essences, Natural Medicines, and my personal healing journey but my blog is constantly evolving with new posts:

“Thought for Today” and “Small Steps Up Mountains” which includes links to other inspiring posts illustrating a SLOW route through life’s challenges.  I also link into Bernadette of www.haddonmusings.com weekly post on gratitude “52 Weeks of Thankfulness.”  I have kept a daily gratitude diary since the onset of my illness.

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of other bloggers and the incredibly supportive community on WordPress.

MOTIVATION

I find it easy to motivate myself to write my posts.  In fact, I look forward to creating them and to reading comments and likes.  I love to read other blogger’s posts and I am continually inspired by their wealth of creativity and ENORMOUS support .

MY MOST CHALLENGING MOMENT

I began my blog back in February while doing an online blogging course.  My posts took me a long time to write as I was working part time and my energy was low.  In April, I lost a dear friend – Danny and I wrote a post in his memory: For Whom The Bell Tolls

I lost a dear, dear friend on Thursday. His name was Danny; he played the guitar for our church choir and he helped me adjust to a new role, as the newest choir … For Whom The Bell Tolls

The shock of Danny’s death floored me and it was not until I had a mini break in Belfast to see Bryan Adams that I was able to pick myself up and post on a more regular basis.

Bryan Adams Rocks Belfast

I first saw Bryan Adams in Edinburgh on 20th February 1984, supporting Tina Turner on her “Private Dancer” Tour. On Wednesday last, I watched Bryan play live for the third time, in Belfast.

WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO BLOG?

Definitely.  Blogging flexes your creative writing skills and is a huge platform for positive change.

MY TYPICAL DAY

I like to walk regularly, weather permitting!  I also love to spend time in my garden “pottering,” planting and admiring nature’s gifts.  I belong to a Women’s Shed that meets weekly, to learn crafting, photography, make up… and share in a bit of FUN.  I continue to enJOY singing in our church choir.  My favourite hymn is “Holy Night.”

I meditate morning and evening, I pray daily; I take things gently and listen to my body if it needs to rest.

NEXT STEP

I am really excited about promoting my book which is on target to be published in e-format on 14th November.  I am delaying publishing any hard copies until I monitor the response.

Thank you once again, Jacqueline, for this interview.

Blessings.


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Getting to know Anna.

One thing that venturing into blogging has done for me, is the exposure to a plethora of beautiful, interesting and smart folks that I get to interact with such as Anna. I’ve followed Anna for some time now and one thing that strikes me is the conscientious effort, thought through information, and research that goes into her brilliant posts.

I’ve hinted to her that she has a wealth of experience that she can tap into and create a practical self-help handbook for Diabetes patients, from the standpoint of a person living with Diabetes. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see what time brings. Anna also happens to be one of my strategic partners in this place which in small words means a lot of support to me.

Thank you, Anna,for allowing me to poke my nose into your life a little 🙂

  • A brief introduction of yourself

Hi, my name is Anna; I’ve been a WordPress blogger for a year and a half now.  I was born & raised in what is Ukraine now; back in the day, it was USSR.  I have lived in the USA for a few decades. I am divorced and have two wonderful daughters; both graduated from OSU and live in Columbus, Ohio area.  Now I am happily divorced, although it wasn’t this way from the beginning.  But it is now; I’ve come a long way.

I have worked in the nursing field in both the old country and here in the USA.  Now that I am retired and on disability, I am trying to adjust to the changes in the scenery, so to speak, as well as to the studio living.  Things are so different when you don’t work anymore.

I like traveling, seeing sights, trying new food and meeting new people.  I dislike it when people have attitudes but generally get along with most everyone.  I enjoy being independent and take care of everything myself, DIY, crafts, selling on eBay, mastering my photo taking skills, and of course, writing.

  • Tell us about your blog and your purpose for starting it. How would you describe it? Did you have any set goals in mind when you were setting up your blog? What do you think about the blogging phenomenon itself?

I’ve been thinking about starting my blog for a while now.  Before that, I kept a diary but this was like writing in a vacuum.  I craved the audience, the comments, the feedback, the constructive criticism, and the whole nine yards to help me get on the right track.  What finally prompted me to start blogging, was a major life event when I was diagnosed with diabetes.  Initially, I was in shock but when this passed, I decided that the time has come to start blogging and registered with the WordPress.  The rest is the history.  

I have grown to be a big fan of blogging.  It helps to learn new things as well as thinking in a new way and sharing all this with my readers.  Spreading awareness when necessary.  Improving my writing skills which comes with practice.   I believe in the power of blogging, and love to capture life moments through printed words.  I derive satisfaction from knowing that my blogging articles provide help and inspiration.

  •  What has your blogging experience been like? Here, you can share some links of your top posts or blog posts that you particularly like with us.

Most of my posts are about type 2 diabetes, its complications. and related issues.  Prior to publishing a post, I always do a research on the subject.  Besides, I strive to write in a simple language that is easy to understand for those who are not in the healthcare field  and will avoid complicated medical terminology whenever possible.   

For example, last year I have blogged about describing Morning Highs which is a blood sugar spike that can occur in the morning hours to those having diabetes.   My goal was to demonstrate a connection between blood sugar levels and sleeping patterns.  I conducted a self-study that lasted a few days and involved checking blood sugar more often than I usually do as well as waking up in the middle of the night, then go back to sleep and up again in a few hours.  Keeping up with this sleeping pattern was inconvenient, to say the least, but I was determined to continue for the sake of my experiment.  Over a period of several days, I was able to establish a pattern that I graphed on Excel and included in my post.

https://comeinsitdown.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/my-self-study-of-morning-highs/

  • How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog going?

I have set up a folder on my computer, titled Unpublished.  It contains blogging ideas that I come across or happen to think about every once in a while.  This serves as a reminder of what I have to post and is a great motivator. I keep adding to it on nearly a daily basis so it becomes a long-term goal.  Pretty similar to what Obama calls rhymes-with-bucket list.  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/em-and-lo/why-everyone-needs-a-rhymes-with-bucket-list_b_7156196.html

In addition, the feedback or comments from my readers are invaluable and present a great source of motivation as well as continuous learning.  Recently, a follower has requested that I write about sleep disorders, and I sure did. Here’s my first post on the subject.  https://comeinsitdown.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/five-stages-of-sleep-and-what-affects-them/   More to follow.  

  • What’s your most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

Realizing that exposing certain details of my life on a large blogging platform that WordPress is, makes me vulnerable.  There is always a possibility of being misunderstood or labeled.  But I am a doer and not a quitter.  

  •  Would you encourage others to blog?

Absolutely.  Blogging has lots of benefits to it.  It is a great way to voice your opinion and learn in the process while building your writing strength.  The more blogs you write, the more confidence you build to eventually be able to discuss them verbally.  

Last but not least, you can eventually start making money from blogging.  What can be better than working from home while doing what you enjoy?  You can blog in your pajamas.  

As Katherine Graham once said, “To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun?”

  • Take us with you on a typical day spent with you. Show us a bit of your World and yes we love photos of your pets if you’ve got any.

In my typical day, I do some driving around, grocery shopping, visit with friends, take photos or just walk in the street.  At home, I read books, listen to music, and watch videos whether from YouTube or my own DVDs.  After having “cut the cord”, no more cable TV.  Chores, cooking etc.  Then if one of my items is sold on eBay, will pack and ship it.   And of course, writing.  Or just sit there and do nothing.

  • What’s the next pit-stop for your blog’s outreach and publishing?  Any plans in the offing? You can also share some of your published works here.

I am still in the process of further polishing and improving my writing skills, especially working on writing introductions.  A good introduction is an integral part of a well-written blog.   

Once I am through with that, will likely consider hosting my blog, to enable it see more of the wide world and further expand the circle of my readers.  


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Say Hello To The Beautiful, Smart Professor Kathy Garland.

This space has been a flourishing opportunity to meet with people from all walks of life and I find inspiration from each person whom I’ve interacted with.

They help me to grow in the mind and to push my self-progress envelope. My guest for today is Asst. Professor Kathy Garland.

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing bits about you with us. On the side, I smiled when I saw your book cover for ‘The Unhappy Wife’ which shows similar taste to mine ‘Out of the silent breath’ 🙂

Let’s get to know a bit about you.

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Hi, everyone! My name is Katherin Garland, but I write under the name K E Garland. I’ve taught high school English for ten years and post-secondary courses for fifteen years.

My most recent positions are at places like Georgia College and Florida State University. I’m currently an assistant professor teaching education courses at a community college in Florida while focusing on a writing career.

There are two concepts I live by:

1. Anything that you can think of can be actualized, and

2. What’s for you is for you and will always be revealed if you’re aligned with your passion and purpose.

Why blog? 

I began my blog when I wrote my first book, Kwoted. Like many authors, my editor suggested a platform was necessary. At first, my blog was just a place for me to house my quotes and hopefully sell a few books.

After a month, I realized that having a blog is about more than just creating a promotional space; it’s a community.

I was in awe of how many bloggers are here, writing about any and everything. Then, discouragement set in. I thought, Man, if there are so many people already here, then my voice might get lost.

It’s only after I participated in a few Blogging U classes, right here on WordPress that I began to get the gist of the blogosphere. Blogging really is about writing and sharing whatever your little heart desires while maintaining whatever you see as your niche.

After Blogging 101 and 201, I fine-tuned my purpose towards a more inspirational blog that includes authenticity through real stories and personal photography.

My blog is a place where people can come have a conversation about what they read and see.

I write about myself a lot, but the posts are not really about me, but rather some overarching theme. For example, Why I Refuse to Judge Any Mother is the first post I shared publicly. It includes feelings I’d harboured about my own mother, but it’s more focused on releasing judgment for those we call mom.

What’s your typical day like?

I’m not sure that I have a “typical” day and my Gemini self, likes it that way. However, my days are always structured. On any given day, you can find me doing the following:

Exercising: Five times a week, I either join a yoga class, run/walk a couple of miles or take a walk with my husband, Dwight.

Displaying kgarland_and_dwight.JPG

Meditating: Everyday I meditate on my balcony. If I’m pressed for time, then I take 5-10 minutes to get centred and focus on my breath. If I have more time, then meditations last at least 20 minutes. Sometimes, I do a guided meditation with Deepak and Oprah; they offer a 21-day free one every now and then.

Writing: My daily writing schedule consists of blog drafts, new projects (e.g., self-published books), contests, or publications. It depends on what I’ve decided for the day, but I make sure I write something, even if no one else will see it.

One month I decided to write each day and ended up writing an entire memoir. It’s saved somewhere safe until I feel the urge to publish it.

Teaching: Every semester, I teach five classes. Three of them are online, so that makes structuring the day a little easier for me.

The other two require a one and two-hour drive. On those days, I hop in my Honda Fit, turn on my Kanye West playlist and make my way towards educating future teachers.

Wifing/Mothering: As of September 21st, I will have been married 20 years. My husband and I know one another very well. Sometimes we spend massive amounts of time together, and other times, he’s watching Netflix, while I’m writing.

The same goes for my teenage daughters. Sometimes we hang out at the beach or the movies, and other times they’re closed up in their rooms on Snapchat, while I’m writing. However, every Sunday we eat together at 7:00 P.M. My youngest daughter came up with the idea ten years ago and we’ve kept it up ever since.Displaying kgarland_and_girls.JPG

For the past decade, my dog Rascal hung out with me during each of these activities. Unfortunately, I had to euthanize him in March. My post, simply titled, Rascal describes how difficult it was for me to release my beloved.Displaying rascal.jpg

As I continued to read advice from people like, Janice Wald, some posts were centred on offering advice and admiration for the blogging community. According to the stats, Three Reasons the Blogging Community is Better than Social Media is the one the WordPress community appreciated the most.

So, what plans do you have in the offing?

Right now, I’m doing a lot of marketing for my recently published book, The Unhappy Wife. It’s interesting because now that I have a platform, I don’t want to ruin my blogging relationships because I’m talking about my book all the time. You know? I don’t want to be that blogger.The Unhappy Wife by [Garland, KE]

There’s definitely a balance that I’m still in the process of figuring out. Other than my book, I’m maintaining inspirational posts based on photography and narratives. One of my goals is to connect with readers through my own raw and shared emotions. I always want readers to leave inspired to do something a little different or what I like to call #RethinkYourRhetoric. That’s what you can count on when you visit my blog, whether I’m marketing a book, or not.


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Please meet my beautiful, talented home girl and blogger friend Nedoux…

You meet some people and the connection is so awesome that you are simply thankful you got to meet them. ‘

‘Nedu is one of such people that I’ve met in cyberspace and when I call her my home girl and sister, it’s for many reasons that goes beyond enjoying her entertaining posts. Displaying At work.jpg

We are both Nigerians and of the Igbo tribe. I am not sure she knows this, one of my native names is also Chinedu – short for ‘Nedu like her’s and lastly, we both love Lagos. She currently blogs from Lagos and even though I left many moons ago, I’m still a Lasgidi chic.

Whenever I get to go home again, this enterprising, fine chic owes me some pepper soup and small chops. 😉

Thank you, sis, for granting this interview.

Let’s know a bit about you.

My name is ‘Nedu Ahanonu, I work as an Investment Analyst by day, Blogger by night and DIY sewist at the weekend.

I enjoy well-crafted satires and clever puns.  I like genuine acts of kindness and I dislike an unfounded sense of entitlement.

As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve come to the realisation that life is as simple as we choose to make it. One must learn to take full responsibility for both their enthusiasm and happiness.

Why blog? What’s your blogging experience being like?

It all started as a blog where I’d showcase my completed personal sewing projects, then it gradually evolved into a fusion of both my musings and the sewing construction process.

My main motivation was to show readers that sewing wasn’t rocket science at all, it simply required practice and a can-do attitude.

Blogging has been a wonderful experience, it’s giving me a platform to share my thoughts. I’m particularly thankful for the opportunity to build a supportive network of virtual friends.

The post about Lagos I-live-here was a big hit with readers because they could relate with the many idiosyncrasies of a fast-paced city.

My favourite post has got to be this one- I’m-not-giving-up-on-you because the underlying message about having a positive perspective, inspires me.

What’s your typical day like?

Displaying Fabric shopping at Tejuosho market.jpgMy weekdays are pretty much routine,  commuting to the office, working and commuting back home after conquering the monster that camouflages as Lagos traffic.

Weekends are far more interesting, there’s always something to do in Lagos! I go shopping for fabric and sewing accessories at least once a month, there’s something about fabric that excites me, I guess it’s the possibility of creating a beautiful garment.

So, what plans do you have in the offing?

I’m an avid muser and it’s my deepest wish to write a book someday once I convince myself that my past and present experiences plus my imagination are sufficient material for a best-selling novel.

With regards to the sewing aspect, I recently launched a Sewing Club, which is a nice transition from simply writing about my hobby to actually teaching a live class.

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