Grow Your Blog. Be You. #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!


I used to dread blogging more than any other aspect as a writer.

Do I sound ridiculous or fake?
What if I’m boring?
How do I pick and choose topics of interest?

Tweeting was another story for me. Short statements of who I was seemed less daunting, and I loved the interaction piece. I could heart things. I could post a really great quote and the author who’d said it might find it and respond back to me.

Today, I’m reflecting on what is currently working for me regarding my marketing platform, and why I don’t dislike blogging quite so much. I spent months and even years on my blog with little interaction. Today, I’m feeling different about it.

  1. Blog what you like.
    1. What inspires you? Funny quotes? Quick tips? The most important thing I’ve learned is to be you and to post for you no matter the platform. When I started blogging, I dreaded sharing my thoughts from my life with the world. Now, I’ve found a balance between my life and my topics of interest.
  2. Network with those you want to reach. For me, I don’t want to write solely for writers. My tagline I use is: Author, writer, dreamer. I maintain a dreamy Cloud Nine Girl Facebook page on the importance of waking up every morning and giving your best to live your dreams. I try to post 2 to 3 times a day. It’s a huge effort, but the interaction is worth it for me. I do also really appreciate my writing groups. Being a writer can feel sort of lonely, and I’m grateful to Author Anna Simpson for joining the IWSG group so I could find them too. Without the IWSG group, I might not be feeling the momentum I do to succeed. I’ve met some really great friends in the group and I’m thankful.
  3. Visit and like fellow followers media efforts. Share their posts. Comment. I try to like everything I can relate to. Also along those lines, I try to reach out to blogs of different interests. Simply Ulna, Anja Ge, Maverick on the Move, are a few blogs I enjoy.
  4. Guest post with others when the opportunity strikes. This tip came from an article I found on a google search called the blogging wizard. The author also mentioned the importance of Triberr and I admit, I’ve never heard of it but I plan to explore it this month and will let you know how it goes next time.
  5. Promote others just as you hope they will promote you. When I have time, I’ve seen a technique on twitter work out pretty well, where you retweet a tweet and add your own comment and tags. It’s probably my favorite new twitter promotion tip and I also enjoy leaving comments to others when I can. When I post a tweet in a hashtag, I try to like others in the hashtag and forward a few of theirs along too.
  6. Frequency of posting. I recently went to a Writer’s Digest workshop in Kansas City and a speaker mentioned blogging once a month was enough. It wasn’t for me. The more I blogged, the more people visited my site. Maybe it was the combined efforts of twitter and blogging, and even though it was incredibly tough for me to maintain three posts a week, it really worked to reach a greater range of individuals. My topics also wove together my love for writing and my desire to inspire people with guest interviews on those real hero individuals who have inspired me. I can’t keep up with three blogs a week now, but I did enjoy jumping around other’s blogs and posts and commenting back.


I think the best success comes from the heart. I try to walk in the shoes of what I hope and want to achieve. I research a great deal, read a great deal, and try my best every day to do what I can to help promote others, and to not beat myself up if I can’t do more.

Celebrate the Small Things 8: Optimism Gets Me Everywhere #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.


What is optimism? Why do some of us have more than others?

op·ti·mism, According to google:

ˈäptəˌmizəm noun

  1. 1.

hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.


And Lucille Ball said: “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”

I whole heartedly agree, and to celebrate the small things, here’s what I’ve been most optimistic about:

  • Wednesday, June 13, I got the word from my real estate agent that a truly pesky bank and a last lien note on the house I worked to buy finally cleared through the underwriters. I don’t know if you know much about technical paper work and real estate, but I learned a lot about it these past couple of weeks. Every day, I waited, praying, hoping that the details would go through. My stomach is still all knotted up as I faced fears of where would I live, how would I afford moving twice, once to a storage place and second to the home? But at the last minute, my hope and optimistic outlook paid off.


  • Monday night, the kids and I made the best of our packed up home and built a fort in the living room and slept on the pull out couch. We watched a really great movie, A Dog’s Purpose. It almost brought me to tears, then made me smile, then brought me to tears again, and left me with the best feeling in the world about animals. I highly recommend it. Original, gripping, each scene and actor in the movie was spot on and held my attention.


  • Lastly, through all the mess of scheduling utilities, I am moving in my new home as you read these words today! So bare with me through the next week. I promise to be back with a force when I have my writing desk and all my things ready to go. Trust me, it won’t take long 😉

Happy Friday all, believe with all your heart you deserve your dreams.




IWSG Post 21: The Human Flicker of Doubt



[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner.

Thank you so much! And thank you founder Alex J. Cavanaugh!


  • I really wish I never screwed up.
  • I really wish my every last word and sentence I typed was exactly right on.
    • No typos. No forgotten punctuation, and every word flowed smoothly with purpose.
  • Why can’t my first draft be perfect? It’s perfect in my thoughts, right?
  • And why can’t I act the way I really want to act?

Every time I finish something I write, I want to believe inside it’s really great. After all, stories are alive inside of us, and why can’t we get it out perfectly the way we really want and mean to do the first time?

I just told my kids the other day no one is perfect, and we must forgive and admit we screw up and say sorry. Emotion is a tricky thing though, and in answer to this month’s IWSG question, “Did you ever say ‘I quit?’ If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?”

My answer is never on purpose. My philosophy is to try and to keep trying until the sport, the class, the project is over. Reflect. Think about what works and what didn’t. Ask others to help. But the honest heart felt thought should be, if you loved it, if you liked it, then I encourage continued steps. True, at one point in high school I walked away from writing. I think my own emotional chaos erupted and my thoughts shifted to graduation, college, and how to prepare myself for the real world. I walked away from me then, too, and always felt something was missing.

But I’m back, and I wake up every day with stories and words in my head. I can’t always write every day, but I know I will try as hard as I can the next time, the next day because there is always a next day.

Victoria Schwab, author of A Darker Shade of Magic, made a video about writing and how difficult it is to finish something and submit it to the world to analyze and decide whether it’s fit to print or not. Waiting is the worse step and a very emotional piece in anything we do. We practice. We perform. Then we wait for the evaluation. Yes, my head goes back and forth with whether my stories are good enough. One day I say, ‘of course it is.’ The next day, I find human doubt poking at me, and I say, ‘what were you thinking?’ According to Victoria Schwab though, writers never stop. The best way to get through human doubt is to create something new, and keep writing.

Question: Do you have words of advice you follow? What keeps your own fire burning past the doubt?


Celebrate the Small Things 7: Build Your Mental Strength #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.


Mental Strength takes an entirely different set of conditioning. Fears erupt. Calm has to be found. Emotion must be dealt with. Honestly, I’d rather hit the gym and tackle a new health regiment and up my weights than define a strategy to surf tsunami mental waters. We don’t always have a choice though, and in celebrating the small things this week, I have a few victory points to note as well as a few tips to make it through those rocky waters when you’d rather turn back and head to your own sandy warm beach.

What went well?

  • This week, I uncluttered my house to prepare for a move. Oh, I’m still packing as it never seems to end, but at least I’ve combed through the clothes, the baby toys, small bikes and old furniture. Good Will was my choice location to give away these unnecessary items. The best distraction from mental stress for me is to keep my hands busy.
  • I celebrated another birthday with my son. We went fishing with friends, then finished the evening in a game of kickball. Played a game of it lately with your own friends? It’s really freeing. Kick that ball as hard as you can and run and run and run …who cares if you get out. It’s great stress relief.
  • The end of the school year means the end of a stressful sprint for me in public relations. Since I work for a school district, I make events like high school graduation sparkle. Details are so important and you go over it, and over it again and pray you haven’t missed a thing.
  • I finished my synopsis for my new manuscript idea. Yay! Next is the detailed outline. Hopefully it will get done next week and I can finally begin the real writing work.
  • Lastly, I said “no” a couple of times instead of over committing myself. That is a huge step for me. I usually juggle a million things at once and what’s one more, right? Yikes!
  • And my biggest mental war? I still have yet to face it, but I’m planning my strategy with a few tips I found on and have included them below.



  1.    Revisit your values and core beliefs. Down deep, what matters most to you, then make a point to remember those things. Forbes suggests to be wary of “never” or “always” thinking statements in your head.
  2. Think about what you can control and what aspect is actual worry. Divert your mind. Set goals and priorities. Make an effort to switch your mental thoughts to helpful actions and topics. What’s happening that’s good in your life? What small steps have you made to accomplish your dreams? Have you done one today? If not, why not try? And may I suggest a quick game of kickball? 🙂
  3. Replace negative thinking with positive action. Do something that makes you feel great. Write great quotes to inspire your mind and place them where you need them the most.
  4. “Practice tolerating discomfort,” a phrase I couldn’t reword. Who do you want to be? Why not try?
  5. Always end or begin your day with the good things, the reason I love this weekly post so much.


We made it. It’s Friday. And don’t forget …