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Monday, August 31, 2015

Don't Drop the Ball

Fumble!!! If you're a football fan, you've heard that cry before. We're an enthusiastic football family and it's an easy game to compare to other things in life and that includes blogging.

When you're a running back and a hole opens in the line, you have to go for it and quickly. The same with blogging. When you have an opportunity to guest on another blog or exchange links with them, take advantage of it. Opportunities can disappear in the blink of an eye if you don't react as soon as you see it.

Be a team player. A successful blog is one with lots of friends and followers. Those wonderful people leaving comments are your team. They help you and you help them back. Promote others as they promote you. Link to them when they share something you really enjoyed and they'll have your back at some later opportunity.

Pick up your teammates when they get down. If they're not blogging as often as they used to or express discouragement in their posts, tell them how much you'd miss them if they stopped. Remind them of the fun things about blogging.

Keep your eye on the ball. Why did you start blogging? What did you enjoy about it? Make sure you're don't stray from what works for you. Eye on the target.

Play with heart. Blogging is work even when you love it. Put your heart into it and enjoy this wonderful network of like-minded people.

Don't be afraid to try something different if what you're doing isn't working. Adjust and blog on!

Hope you football haters didn't cringe at the comparisons. Or the football lovers. And as an extra, I should point out that it's easy to visit blogs while you're watching football. There's always time in between plays.

If you want more football goofiness, visit my blog, Susan Says, as I use football terms for some writing motivation. On another note, there is a big announcement coming to IWSG this Wednesday. If you're a writer, you should be part of that group.

Are you ready for some football?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Art and Labor Day

First post here this summer from me and I wanted to do it before Labor Day Weekend. Why? Because the celebration of Labor Day, even though we do it at another time from almost everyone else in the world, is an important event, something we should all celebrate, because A LOT of people worked/sacrificed for all workers/us to have this recognition. Here is a little history as to why…
Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.
Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre (this is worth reading about), which occurred in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.[1]
The equivalent holiday in Canada, Labour Day, is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. In many other countries (more than 80 worldwide), "Labour Day" is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers' Day, which is observed on May 1.  (From Wikipedia)

What does this have to do with us as writers/artists? We are a part of this labor force, a part of what makes our economy tick, through all our trials and successes, we should acknowledge our part and celebrate with eager anticipation all that being a part of our country/economy means. Go Labor Day!!!!

And just for laughs...!

 Images from:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Leisure of Summer Road Trip Visits

As I've said before, I have the hardest time choosing which bloggers to visit during the AtoZ Challenge. So many entice me with their interesting, informative or entertaining themes that I run out of time to make it to all of the ones I enjoy. 

That's why I decided to do a bit of touring this summer on the Road Trip and take a look at some I'll be sure to visit come April 2016. I'm still trying to go from Z to A on my visits (that was the plan I posted earlier this summer). Progress, however, has been slow, but Mario keeps egging me on. Wind him up and you can't slow him down. I call him my Muse on Steroids. Well, just look at his hair. Says it all, doesn't it?

Wild and Ready to Roll 
Here are bloggers I've visited recently and hope they'll sign up for AtoZ Challenge in 2016 because they post good stuff!

Are you doing a more leisurely tour during these summer months? Any special plan to wrap up this beautiful last month of heat and lemonade and hammocks? How's the AtoZ Tour treated you this summer of 2015?

Monday, August 24, 2015

In Memory of the Beloved Tina Downey...

Raise a glass for Tina,
the super organized co-host from our A-to-Z Team.
Known for lending a helping hand to newbie and veteran bloggers in need.

Ever the straightforward woman, unafraid to have hard conversations, she also had a knack for fine-tuning details, simplifying complex tasks and making sure we got things done.
Tina showed us what it’s like to juggle a full load as a mother, wife, friend, daughter and writer while still finding ways to stop and smell the roses, and have fun.

The witty sign-offs in her messages were like additional reminders that kept everyone in high spirits and often made us laugh.
So it's easy to see how, without her, we've come to feel very understaffed.

It’s been one year since Tina, the kindhearted Swedish woman who many of us had the honor of getting to know, was laid to rest.
Still her memory lives on through those she loved, those she helped and the examples she set for taking on challenges in stride while still putting forth our very best.

Though Tina battled chronic health conditions, she still enjoyed campfires, quoting the movies, hiking, and a glass of Chardonnay when she could.
So today, let’s give a big toast to Tina Downey, the Sunflower-loving powerhouse who taught us that if you just keep swimming, you will find something to smile about because life is good.

Tina with her husband Neal. Photo courtesy of the Downey Family via AJ Lauer.
Katrina Mai Downey passed away August 23, 2014 at Longmont United Hospital, surrounded by her loving family. She was 49 years old. She was born August 4, 1965 in Mölndal, Sweden to Leif and Bonnie (Schnebly) Bilen. Tina spent her early childhood in Sweden, moving to Silver Spring, MD in 1974 where she competed in gymnastics and cross country. The family moved to Englewood, CO in 1983. Tina graduated from Denver Christian High School in 1984, where she played clarinet in the band and met her future husband. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and a teaching certificate from Colorado State University in 1988. Her complete obituary can be viewed at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel and Crematory.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Characters Who Blog

Well, it's been a long hot summer (at least for those of us in Texas), and what better way to beat the heat than spending some time with a beloved fairy tale character? Let's check in with a with one of my favorite princesses as she works on her blog to pass the time. After all, she has more than enough time to herself, locked away in a tower with only a spunky chameleon for a companion. 

Let's take a sneak peek at the inner bloggings of the princess with a rope of golden hair . . . 

Well, she was certainly a sassy one, wasn't she. It's nice to see a princess with an attitude (and love of a good WiFi connection). I hope everyone enjoyed another installment of the Characters Who Blog! Have a great weekend and happy blogging!