If we were having coffee…

(credit:Church Designer Magazine)

If we were having coffee, I’d want to hear what you’re doing and what you’re up to. What’s important or new in your life right now? Is there anything that you’re trying to debate or decide? Tell me about your week.

I’d love to hear it because we’ve had a lot of news around here and it’s nice to get out of our bubble of concerns for a while. I find that hearing other people’s stories gives me a break from my worries and makes me feel better.

But it seems you’re on the quiet side today and aren’t saying much. So, here’s something to make you smile.

(credit:Thinking it Through – WordPress.com)

(credit: pinterest)

Note: The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster. Coffee Share is now hosted by Nerd in the Brain.

If we were having coffee…

(credit: wikimedia)

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that Ocean, one of our two super-spoiled akitas, might be a bit sick. She’s been licking herself to the point that she’s irritating her skin, driving my hubby up the wall and worrying me to bits. We have an appointment with the vet on Thursday and I hope they’re on a listening mood because I’m going with all my worries real and imaginary.

I’d also tell you that I finally have an appointment with a dietitian about our recent switch to plant-based food. I have to make a 3-day diary of what I eat and drink and then show it to them so they can tell me how balanced it is or how to improve it. I’m really looking forward to it because I want to know if we’re missing iron or proteins or vitamins as soon as we can so we can fix it. I’m also worried about my water intake. I might be part gecko because I don’t think I drink enough of the stuff.

Finally, before you started to think I was totally normal, I’d moan about our weather. It’s minus 26 with the wind and it’s March. Time for Mother Nature to get on with the program and start easing off. Worse, there’s a massive storm on our way for Tuesday. We already have warnings and special statements online and it’s only the weekend.

I am so not excited about this.

How about you? How is your weekend going?

Credits: Weekend Coffee Share is a meme developed by Part Time Monster and now hosted by Nerd in the Brain

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you around this time of year, I start to yearn for sunshine, longer days, warmer weather and less snow. The hairballs we have as dogs, however, would probably love winter all year around. To them, this is heaven.

Around here, though, Mother Nature rules with a cold fist and there are still weeks and weeks of the white stuff ahead of us. As I look outside my window, all I see is swirling flakes of snow. When the dogs come in from the outside, they are covered with the stuff.

In other news, my job changes tomorrow along with the start of February. I work with the public, so mine is not a predictable job. People come in with all sorts of interesting quirks, issues and stories, appreciating them is the highlight of my job…but it can also be the catalyst for nightmarish headaches. People are a funny lot. Logic doesn’t always apply to the them; alarmingly, neither does hygiene.

On the funny side, TV has never been this entertaining.

How about you? How is your February going?

Note: If we were having coffee is a meme created by Part Time Monster.

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee I’d ask you what you did for New Years and if you have already seen the Mariah Carey fiasco where she storms off the stage.

I’d ask you if you made any New Year’s resolutions and what they are. Personally, I never make them because I tend to break them faster than I can say them. But I do have the intention of writing…just what is up in the air. And to exercise more. That’s always important.

Then again, you might still be recuperating from the festivities of the past few days, and the last thing you want to do is chat.

What about that cup of coffee? It does wonders for my headaches 🙂

(credit:Wallpapers Craft)

(credit:Wallpapers Craft)

Note: If we were having coffee is a meme from Part Time Monster.

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my dogs are nuts.

(credit: wikimedia)

(credit: wikimedia)

We’ve made them this specially constructed dog house complete with every thing from shingles to extra room, to special floor so that they’re warm and they insist on ignoring it. Instead, they lay on the snow, rolling around in the stuff until they’re covered with it.

We’ve bought them all sorts of doggie toys and placed them strategically around the yard, even going as far as to attach a doggie rope to the fence for easier chewing but do they use them? Nope. They’d much rather chew on our deck.

Finally, we insist on giving them good quality dog food, mixed with chicken broth and other treats to warm up their bellies in winter. But, in complete defiance to all reason and nutritional advice, they insist on eating dirt from our plants.

About this point in time, I’d probably realize you haven’t blinked it two minutes and try to change the subject to something more appropriate for coffee.

(credit: her campus)

(credit: her campus)

How are you? How are things with you and your delightful little pet bird? I bet he eats his seeds without issues.

 

(Weekend Coffee Share is a meme from Part Time Monster)

If we were having coffee…

(credit:myvirtualcoffeehouse.com)

(credit:myvirtualcoffeehouse.com)

If we were having coffee, I’d be chatting about this week and asking you how it went. What was your highlight? And what part would you rather forget?

I’d tell you that we have a new addition to the house. My lovely hubby decided that our akitas were too ‘frail’ to be outdoors in our Canadian winters without some form of protection and called his handy-man, trusty Shane. Long story short, there’s a new small building in our yard, built specially for our doggies. It has a roof and everything.

Since I know for a fact that akitas are winter dogs, I have suspicions that my hubby and his friend were just looking for a reason to hang out and bang on things, but I’d ask you to keep that suspicion between us. No need to remove someone’s denial.

If we were chatting, I’d admit I took work home this weekend, something I seldom do. And hope you didn’t make the same choice and have a lovely, work free weekend ahead of you.

And I’d ask you what you were reading…and if you’ve heard of any good books you’d like to share…

And I’d thank Part Time Monster for this lovely meme. 🙂

(credit:parttimemonster.com)

(credit:parttimemonster.com)

Posts I loved this week

A wonderful week in posts, these posts made me grin, smile and be grateful I’ve started blogging and have found them. What a wonderful set of posts. A huge thank you to every author for their talent and wisdom!

If you’re thinking of advertising to boost sales or even just create awareness about your book, check out this fantastic post by Chris McMullen. It has the pros, cons and all the choices you need. A huge thank you to Chris for all the research that went into that post!

Are you editing? Here’s a great post with 5 steps to edit your manuscript from Nikki Woods, a Global Visibility Expert.

Having trouble getting motivated? Try this post with 8 suggestions on how to get going from Sage Weidner or this other one by Mazie Bishop both on Writerology.

Just adorable, this post on what writing and dog training have in common made me laugh. A huge thank you to James L’Etoile for the laughs!

Mystery vs. thriller? Urban fantasy vs. paranormal romance? If you’re having trouble classifying your WIP or have ever wondered about the difference between some genres, this post is for you. From Writers in the Storm, a great, clear way to know which is which with answers straight from agents! And while you’re there, check out this other fantastic post with 8 Tips on Writing faster!

Trouble formatting from Word to Createspace? Here’s a post with a video showing the steps on how to do just that. A huge thank you to Steve Vernon for that great post!

Julie Lawford has 10 tips to instantly improve your writing. They’re precise, easy to follow and hold a lot of sense. A huge thanks to her for the post and to The Story Reading Ape for finding this gem!

Need a little help getting your blog writing and other activities balanced in your life? Check out this post by Ronovan Writes: Blogging Personality: The Key to Success. Ronovan Writes is a fantastic blog full of great positive ideas like BeWow.

Overwhelmed with the WordPress Dashboard? You can customize it! Check out this YouTube video showing you how to do just that. A huge thank you to Barb Drozdowich of Bakerview Consulting and to Molly Greene for the great post that had this tip in it.

If you’re still debating having a blog or website, check out this post by Anita Lovett on that subject.

Looking for a great book to read? Check out the Top Ten Tuesday post from Part Time Monster with its choices for Spring Reads. What a great selection!

Both true and insightful, this post by the Crimson League hits them all, Six reasons why writers can’t write.

The Story Reading Ape is an incredible blog full of resources for authors, bloggers, book reviewers and poets. Now, even better, it has updated its resources. Check it out here.

If you’re looking for a great blog to follow, check out Sourcerer, a fantastic blog with a wide range of interests. Here’s a great post from this site telling you just what’s coming up and what you can look forward to!

Finally, a quote that I particularly loved.

(credit: worsonimages.com)

(credit: worsonimages.com)

 

 

Pay It Forward Friday:Part Time Monster

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I cast a couple of pieces of bread on the water and the waves bring me back a ham sandwich.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

Today I’m focusing on Part Time Monster.

Part Time Monster is “Part Time Monster is a collaborative and personal blog focusing on books, girls, monsters, and sociocultural commentary.” However, the main ‘Monster’ is Diana Gordon. She’s the mom in the picture.

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She says of herself: “I am the mother of a five year old son (the Little Jedi), partner of an independent filmmaker, and guardian of a rescue pup (Tank). I’m also a tremendous nerd trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life. I am a sufferer of panic disorder, a curator of the weird, a lover of the beautiful, and a pop culture aficionado. Writing here will thus feature an array of content; I am sometimes a monster.”

However, Part Time Monster also has contributors who need recognition. They are: “Brandie Ashe, Annie Bass, Jeremy DeFatta, Gene’O Gordon, Dawne Kennedy, Lyn Vicknair and Cat Whigham.” For more on them, go here.

This blog has several really amazing features that happen every week:

* Top Ten Tuesdays

* Wordless Wednesdays 

* Thursday Thirteen

* The Friday 56

* Weekend Coffee Share

As well, it also discusses Pop Culture topics with everything from books to gaming, has Series on LOTR and amazing photography and has been Featured on Freshly Pressed because of its incredible talent and content.

If that were all, this would be an amazing blog, but there’s actually more. Part Time Monster wants to encourage healthy interaction and acceptance. Check out their policy on comments:

“We rarely delete comments or flag people without explanation. But we do reserve the right. It’s about maintaining the safety and friendliness of the space.

We believe in freedom of expression, but in the event you trigger the More Robust Policy, don’t waste your time submitting a dozen messages and comments about your freedom of speech. If it happens, and you really want to work things out, it is best to disengage for awhile and come back later.

In short, we’re not the government, and our front page is not a public street corner. The Monster is a little more like a house party to which everyone on the Internet is invited. All are welcome, but no one is allowed to break furniture or demean other guests.

Comments deemed unproductive or inappropriate due to flaming, harassment, name-calling, trolling, or spam will not be published. Comments that add to the conversation in thoughtful and engaging ways are encouraged.”

It’s a blog that encourages self-acceptance and promotes equality. They have an incredible feature for women called Feminist Friday. It’s a very important topic and this blog treats it with both dignity and respect. I had an insight into what drives someone to choose this topic when I read this beautiful post by Diana. I can’t paste the entire thing in here but I want to give you a taste of the incredible posts from this blog.

1000speak

“…At 31, my body is scarred. I’m heavier than I’ve been probably ever in my life. My ankles and knee swell after high-impact exercise, and though I’ve stopped smoking, I’m still out of shape enough to be breathless after exercising in small bouts.

But I’ve come to see the value in what my body has been able to do, and I can forgive it for its shortcomings.

I’m choosing not just body acceptance, but body compassion and body love.

For me, this means holding myself accountable for what I put into my body now but not punishing myself for my past. It means that when I make a mistake (or 5 days of mistakes, like when Mardi Gras happens and then my birthday happens), I don’t beat myself up over it.

I have to re-choose body compassion every day.

My instinct is to get discouraged when I don’t meet the goals I set for myself, especially as concerns diet and exercise. But body compassion sets me up to say “oh well” and move along after a screw up. In some ways that’s more difficult for me.

But I choose body compassion.

I choose it because I need to be compassionate with my body before I can truly love my body. I choose it because I have to remember the life that my body has been through before that I can get to the life I want.

I choose body compassion. I choose me.”

Isn’t it incredible? I was so moved by this post. And that’s just one example of many on this blog. Why not check it out?

Karma

Posts I loved this week

This week the posts are filled with helpful tips and how-to’s. An absolute feast for the reader, this selection made me grin through a very cold, February week. A huge thanks to everyone for these amazing posts!

Looking to do a little blog promo? Suzi81 Speaks has an opportunity for you. Check it out here.

If your manuscript is finally done, check this list on how to self-publish with 12 handy steps. Don’t do what I did which was to do it wrong over and over until I stumbled on the correct way by sheer luck! A big thanks to The Sprint Shack for that very helpful post!

What would a Saturday be without me getting my WeekendCoffeeShare fix? I love these posts and this one in particular had everything from a good update to Mardi Grass, to Compassion. A big thanks to Part Time Monster for that gem!

Filled with his great sense of humour, Bill Ferris has this great post on how to Nurture Your Fan Base and it’s filled with great ideas. A huge thank you to Writer Unboxed for that wonderful post!

Another hilarious version of the Weekend Coffee Share, this one is by Write On Sisters and I laughed out loud because I’m from Canada too and I get those comments on the weather!

If you have a couple of minutes and are into this, check out this survey on reading and methods of reading. When you vote it’ll show you the results but here they are all tallied up. Pretty interesting stuff! A big thanks to Chris McMullen for setting that up.

Not only does April mean the start of Spring, it’s also the A to Z Challenge. This blog challenge comes with a Theme this year and it’s growing into an epic movement. Check out the sign up site and you can add your blog or find an awesome site to follow! Where did I hear about this? From the one and only Just Gene’O. Check out this post with all kinds of awesome announcements.

If you’re into Twitter, here’s a great post with links and tips just for you from Writer Christoph Fischer. If you’re into Facebook, here’s a great post with tips for for you from Ellen Meister at Writers in the Storm.

Thinking about joining WordPress.org and hosting your own domain and website? Check out this post from Jemima Pett, someone who did. They cover all the do’s and don’ts. A huge thanks to Chris The Story Reading Ape for finding this awesome post!

On that topic, if you’re not ready for your own domain and website, check out this step-by-step post on how to set up a blog of your own from On Blast Blog. It’s simple, easy and has not only links but buttons. What an awesome post from a fantastic blog filled with resources! And if you do set up your own blog, let me know so I can snoop around and give you a shout out! 🙂

Help me congratulate Winter Bayne on her debut release! Secret Identities is out and looks absolutely amazing! Typical of Winter, she humbly posts about her success while sharing the secrets that got her a publishing contract. A huge congrats to her on this great accomplishment!

The Annual Reader Poll for 2014 releases is in at All About Romance. Find out what book made it to the top of the Best Romance according to readers just like you, or the best Historical or Paranormal. It’s a great chance to find a new book!

Tiny Buddha had this great post, 10 Choices that Lead to a Happy, Fulfilling Life and I loved it. Maybe it was the coffee but I’d bet it was the wisdom in those 10 suggestions. If you’re looking for something to make you feel better, I couldn’t recommend a better post.

Jen Owenby has this great post with Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers. They both surprised me and made me laugh. A big thank you to her for this great post!

Finally, a little something to make you smile.

(credit: genius.com)

(credit: genius.com)

 

Posts I loved this week

An incredible week on posts, I was actually tempted to break this post into two parts because there were so many amazing posts out there. A huge thank you to everyone who’s written this inspirational, moving posts. They got me through a very snowy and tough week!

Suzie81 Speaks has a beautiful idea. She promotes a new blog on Mondays under the post Blog of the Day. Check out this wonderful idea here and meet a new blogger!

Hilarious and yet insightful, this post by The Story Reading Ape made me laugh. I absolutely loved it!

With her usual hilarious humour, Winter Bayne wrote this fantastic post on the Fifty Shades books. I loved it because it was not only insightful and incredibly honest but also so well written. Winter is an amazing, very talented author (check out the book covers she creates) don’t miss this awesome post!

A fantastic post on how to overcome the 7 worst writing barriers. Both true and insightful, those barriers are there in my head every day. A great post to get writing from Write To Done.

If you’re starting out your blog and wonder just how to get traffic, check out this post on how to create a loyal audience from Quick Sprout.

For those who love links and referrals, Nathan Bransford has his own post with them here.

The Top Ten Tuesday is quickly becoming a favourite feature of mine. Check out this week’s version on Part Time Monster and see why. Cute, adorable and funny, I just love that post!

A Writer’s Life For Me had a wonderful, insightful look at heroines and our attitude towards violence. I loved each and every word.

Molly Greene had a great post on blogging. She explains what authors should blog about with 6 things readers are looking for and things to avoid. As always, she’s a pro and the post is outstanding.

On the idea of the dangerous internet, check out this insightful post by Nathan Bransford on what happened to an author who reacted badly to an unkind review. Titled ‘Virtual Witch Hunts’, it scared me silly.

Just Gene’O, an amazing blog, had this fantastic series of posts on Internet Trolls. It started with Trollery, defining what it is and why it’s so hard to deal with it, moved on to Indicators, eight sure signs you’re dealing with a troll, How he handles it, with explanations as to why these ideas work, and finishes with a great series of questions to see How Vulnerable you are. We all hope to never meet at troll, but this is a great way to be prepared. A huge thanks to Gene’O for that incredible series!

Friday was a very special day online. Bloggers everywhere wrote about compassion. Instead of highlighting the ones I adored (and there were many) I thought I’d link you to one of the hosts and let you find the posts that move you. They’re all different but all on compassion, something we can all use more of.

#1000 Speak