Bloggy Award: 7 Random Facts and 13 Cool Blogs

From Microsoft clip art
I’m a rebel. Maybe you didn’t know that about me. Maybe that counts as an 8th random fact. Still. Though I do usually follow the rules, I either question them or find a way to peacefully stretch the lines without making them break. How is this relevant? Welp. Bloggy Awards.

Back in the days when I actually updated my nail blog (, these awards would go around. There’s Liebster, Versatile Blogger, and about a billion other awards that get passed from blog to blog, often with a horribly ugly graphic attached. Most of these awards are about as meaningful as a chain letter. You have to pick so many blogs to pass it on to when you win, so most people end up picking a bunch of their friends and maybe not necessarily choosing blogs for the best reasons because really, you get a few of these and every time you have to pick 11-13 blogs? That’s a lot.


A dear friend of mine choose me for one of these awards. Her name is Carolyn Menke and her blog is here. I recommend you check it out. She’s a writer and a mom and just an all around awesome woman. She makes me laugh often. You ever meet someone and have an instant connection with them? That was my experience with Carolyn. She’s very quickly become an important asset in my life and she helps me regularly with all things writerly. And momly. And! She’s about to have her first book published, which is so exciting!

So when Carolyn nominated me for this Bloggy Award, it was very special to me. Not because she put my name on some list because she had to come up with 13 blogs. But she actually took the time to write a very nice blurb about what my blog means to her. I teared up. I did. Because in all the times I’ve been awarded blog awards, no one has ever done this.

So, I will leave my rebellion behind today. I will play along. Here are the rules (though I have no idea where they came from or who made them):

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for your new fancy schmancy award, and be sure to include a link back to their site in your acceptance speech.
  2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  3. Pass on the award to 13 other versatile bloggers

7 Random Facts

I will try to make this interesting. Here are my 7 random facts:

  1. I refuse to use semicolons in my writing. I just never liked them and I prefer shorter sentences. I have a writer friend who uses semicolons often and sometimes just to torment me.
  2. One of my favorite movies is Stranger Than Fiction and my favorite scene is the scene with the flours. Creativity like that just makes me smile :)
  3. I like to nibble on my daughter’s (clean) toes. I don’t know why. It’s an Italian thing maybe? I get a strange urge to Bite The Child.
  4. I named my cat Lily after a character in my book. Names from books/authors often show up as pets. I also had a male/female cat combo at one point named Riddle and Merope.
  5. I collect unread books. Not intentionally. I mean I intentionally collect them, I just don’t intentionally leave them unread. I own hundreds of books I have not yet read. Hundreds. And I just keep buying bookshelves.
  6. My sweet tooth sometimes gets out of control. Like cookies-and-cake-for-breakfast out of control.
  7. As an eastern PA native, with a husband who is a western PA native, we argue constantly over shopping cart vs. buggy and soda vs. pop. You will never hear me call it a buggy or pop. Unless I’m making fun of him. Then maybe.

13 Cool Blogs

And now for the real fun! I get to choose 13 blogs that I really like. I’m going to follow Carolyn’s example and tell you a bit about why. For those I have now awarded blogginess to, feel free to follow the “rules” or to break them!

  1. I Am Not Lost by K Orion Fray Rion is one of my good writer friends. She is so fun and writes really interesting, often creepy stories. She is my NaNoWriMo buddy and you’ve seen her post here on my blog before. Her blog is full of writing and reading fun.
  2. Storyteller in the Digital Age by Amanda Young Amanda is another of my super awesome writer friends. You’ve seen her here before, too. Along with her love for Stephen King and cats (she has a bengal!), Amanda is also a big Dr. Who fan (so is Rion). She often has brightly colored hair and eyelids, and she writes about being a writer and, of course, books!
  3. Blog of Author Thomas R. Manning Along with being the co-founder of Literary Fusion, Tom is also a NaNoWrimo-er. He has a book out called Energize (read my review here), and has a few more in progress. Tom is a passionate writer, dad, and geek. His blog is full of book reviews and excerpts, and cool stuff about books and writing.
  4. Palace of Twelve Pillars by Christina Weigand Maybe you’ve started to notice a theme by now, but Chris is another of my writer friends who frequently helps beat my writing into shape with her great critiques. She has a trilogy out, published by MuseItUp, and she loves to write about dragons. And who doesn’t love dragons! When she’s not writing about dragons, she writes Bible studies and teaches women about faith. Isn’t that a wonderful combo? ;)
  5. Beth Peyton, Writer If you didn’t think I was biased before in listing my friends, I’m really biased about this blog since I built the site :) Beth is an alum at Carlow, where I’m earning my MFA. I met her through the program, and she has been a huge inspiration to me, not only in helping me help other authors navigate the treacherous online waters, but also in the terrifying art of memoir writing. I have just started reading her book, Clear Skies, Deep Water, which is out through SUNY Press. If the book is anything like her blog posts about Chautauqua, it will be very interesting. Beth keeps me entertained with her anti-social media antics. She’s learned so much in such a short time, and I can’t wait to see what she does with her new, shiny blog!
  6. Random Thoughts by Mike Coville Mike is yet another NaNoWriMo connection (man, I really met a lot of people through NaNo!), and he actually found me somehow. I don’t entirely remember how we got connected, except that during NaNo, he was a great support, and it was fun to watch his word count grow (albeit more rapidly than my own). His blog is full of books and other writer resources.
  7. The Write Place by Joe Kovacs This name may sound familiar since Joe just guest posted not long ago. I met Joe on Google+ and immediately checked out his blog. He is, of course, another writer writing about books and writing, which really, tends to be the only blogs I read. He has several posts on being an author online.
  8. And now onto the people who I don’t actually know in real life, but who I found online and have followed for a while. I look forward to their posts showing up in my mailbox. They are also writers writing about writing, but then, so am I!

  9. Kristen Lamb’s Blog Kristen’s posts are fun for their casual, transparent style. If you want to just get real, check out what Kristen has to say. She makes me feel like I’m not alone in the emotional turmoil that can plague an author.
  10. Terribleminds by Chuck Wendig Aside from the fact that he is absolutely entertaining in his posts, Chuck has frequent contests and other ways to connect with his audience and to connect his audience with his audience. He has many books out there, several of which I own but have not yet read (see random fact #5 above). I did read Under the Empyrean Sky, which is the first in a trilogy, and I really liked it. If you’re in the mood for some snark, Chuck is the guy you want.
  11. The Write Editor by Ellen Brock I have learned so much from this blog. Along with practical posts, Ellen makes great YouTube videos that cover everything from creating well rounded characters to having a decent plot. She also a fun thing called First Page Friday, where you can submit the beginning of your story and she’ll critique it, as well as opening it up for others to critique. My “first page” is scheduled for April, and I’m excited to hear what she has to say! :)
  12. David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants David has written tons and tons of books, which means he has tons and tons of experience. His “Daily Kick in the Pants” gives lots of advice for writers of all types. He also has workshops through his site. You could get lost in the all the great tips offered here!
  13. Miss Snark’s First Victim I don’t know if anyone has done more for the not-yet-published writers’ community than the Authoress herself. She holds contests and offers critique as well as awesome info on how to make your writing publishable.
  14. Query Shark This blog may be the ultimate resource for writing a query letter. I haven’t found a better query-writing blog than this. With hundreds of examples and critiques, as well as the ability to send in your own query letter and have it critiqued, don’t even think about sending out a query until you’ve poured through this site!

And there you have it. These are not all of the blogs I visit or rely on regularly, but they are my favorites. I hope you check them out and gain something from them as well!

2 thoughts on “Bloggy Award: 7 Random Facts and 13 Cool Blogs

  1. Denise, thanks so much for including me in your list of honoree blogs. It was fantastic meeting you on Google+ (the network that everyone’s heard about but no one quite knows how to use, LOL!) and sharing guest blog posts. Your enthusiasm resonates in all your posts, so it always fantastic to read your writing. I’m in the middle of a move right now–currently surrounded by boxes and furniture in disarray–but had to take five minutes from my busy schedule since I saw you were generous enough to include me in your list of cool blogs. Thanks for the honor and once the drama surrounding my move is over, I’ll be sure to plan a hell of a lot more shout outs for you and your blog, since you deserve it. Have a great weekend and keep writing! Joe Kovacs (The Write Place)

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