Friday, May 13, 2011

My Favorite Blogs and Bloggers!

Wow, Blogger has been having a meltdown, but I'm finally able to post my tribute to some of my fellow bloggers. I try to read the blogs of all my friends but, let's face it, it would take all day to visit each blog. So, I rotate visits to my faves. Here are some of my top picks.

Beth Trissel has one of the most beautiful blogs around. She generously uses photos taken by her and her family to illustrate her posts. She lives in picturesque Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and I always love the information she shares. See "One Writer's Way" at If you haven't read her books, do yourself a favor and read one today. Here's an excerpt from her blog:

Goldfinch from the garden of
Beth Trissel's mom
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Lou Holtz

Some of the cheeriest, downright euphoric, birds in this world are gold finches. And I don’t know how they’ve managed it, or if they’re responsible, but sunflowers have taken over my entire garden except for the plot where I’ve pulled them out and planted vegetables. This gradually expanding patch is absolutely hedged in by sunflowers. I don’t know if the birds flung extra seeds all over the ground, or how all these sunflowers came to be, but I’ve never known a garden to be overrun like this. (*Mom took this pic of a gold finch at her house.)

Kristen Lamb's social media blog is tops for learning your way around promotion and building an online presence via her "Warrior Writers" blog, She also gives great writing tips and is a dynamo of energy. She also has written WE ARE NOT ALONE to guide non-technical writers like me. Here's an excerpt:

Almost any of us who decided one day to get serious about our writing, read Stephen King’s On Writing. Great book, if you haven’t read it. But one thing King tells us we writers must be willing to do, is that we must be willing to, “Kill the little darlings.” Now, King was not the first to give this advice. He actually got the idea from Faulkner, but I guess we just took it more seriously when King said it…because now the darlings would die by a hatchet, be buried in a cursed Indian filing cabinet where they would come back as really bad novels. …oops, I digress.

Little darlings are those favorite bits of prose, description, dialogue or even characters that really add nothing to the forward momentum or development of the plot. To be great writers, we must learn to look honestly at all little darlings. Why? Because they are usually masking critical flaws in the overall plot.

Today we will address two especially nefarious writing hazards that like to lurk below the wittiest dialogue and most breathtaking description:

Sandra Crowley has her "Driven2Danger" blog at and I'm the featured guest today. See how cool she is? Seriously, she has some unusual and interesting guests on her blog and I've been impressed at her diversity and ingenuity as well as her writing ability.

Going Fast!

This week I'm thrilled to introduce D2D's readers to my friend and long-time critique partner, Caroline Clemmons. This multi-published, award winning author and fun loving woman is a delight to know as you'll soon discover for yourselves. Have a great time talking with Caroline...

"Sweethearts of the West" is a team blog (of which Sandra and I are members) of writers whose contemporary and historical books are set west of the Mississippi. Some of the blogs just amaze me! The authors are so resourceful and generous in sharing their research. Stop by and see for yourself.

Of course I love this blog and devour each post. I've learned some fascinating things. Do you like ghost towns? Here's an excerpt from Sweethearts of the West blog co-owner Celia Yeary's post on the coal mining ghost town of Thurber TX, which is about an hour west of Fort Worth:

Thurber miners
When my husband and I travel from Central Texas to North Texas on Highway 281, we pass under Interstate 20, which runs East-West. At that point there is a sign pointing west: Thurber-11 miles. After seeing this sign for several years, I wondered about Thurber, Texas, a small town I'd never heard of even though my place of birth was nearby. By researching Thurber, I found an amazing story of a thriving coal-mining town in the Nineteenth Century, now a ghost town with little remaining of the once-thriving populated area. Almost all signs of life are gone, including all the buildings.
"5 Texas Writers" are friends from my local RWA chapter. I've known four of them for many years and am I'm delighted to have recently met the fifth. Catch them at If you check them out, please follow them. Their blog is new and needs more readers an followers. Here's an excerpt of nurse practitioner and YA author Avery Michael's latest post:

Avery's avatar
Nourishing the Soul

I've heard this phrase often, but never knew exactly what it meant. We feed our bodies with all types of substances but what does a soul need?

A special kind of Chocolate? Italian? Mexican? Sushi? Cheesecake?

I don't mean to make light of the spiritual aspect of our bodies, but how does one go about feeding a system that is vitally important yet not actually a tangible thing.

After going through an illness lately, I came across the phrase again and there's nothing like your body showing you in a huge, big time way no one is immortal. So I decided to do a little research and lots of thinking. And I think I came up with what I believe is necessary to sustain a soul.

1. Know who you are. I don't mean as a wife, a mother, or whatever your day job is, or how others perceive you, but who you really are deep inside. How do you do this? Start by being still. Very, very still. Let all those labels fade away like a summer storm. In the calm aftermath, think about how you are feeling, think about what you know to be true about yourself. Embrace the bad as well as the good. Work on the bad and enhance the good.

That's probably enough for today. On the sidebar, you can see these and several other favorites listed. Of course, it's impossible to list all those I like. There are too many.
Allow me to remind you my backlist of books is available now at Smashwords and Amazon. Those books are the contemporary BE MY GUEST and SNOWFIRES, and the historical Kincaid duo, THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE (Book one) and THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND  (Book two).

Smashwords buy link:

Amazon buy link:

 Thanks for stopping by today!



Beth Trissel said...

How lovely to be included in your super tribute. And I read about some other blogs that sound most interesting. Thanks!

Celia Yeary said...

Wow. I'm thrilled and honored to be mentioned in your blog today. Thanks and I will check out the others. I know about Beth and Sandra, and not the one about writing. Thank you, Caroline, for making me feel better on a day when I feel a little under the weather. Celia

Denise McDonald said...

Thanks for the plug!

A few years back, I had a BIG blogger routine--I think I went to 40 - 60 a day (and no, not a joke or exaggeration). I spent hours doing it. I have pulled back to where I pretty much do it sporadically now (I know that's terrible); but I do enjoy popping into someone's world for a moment and seeing what they're up to :-)

Sandra Crowley said...

Oh Caroline, thank you for including me in with other awesome blogs. I'm honored!

You always come up with something new--I'll be checking out the writing/marketing blog.

Thanks. It's so simple to type but is heartfelt nevertheless.