Last Minute Thoughts Before the New Year

Before I close the door on 2013, I wanted to leave a few thoughts about the past year on WP.

Personally, 2013 was a whole year of reflection and transition for me.  Blogging wasn’t at the top of my priority list, but I still felt the need to keep the blog afloat. Hopefully my regular posts for the past month have partially made up for the irregular posting schedule. Continue reading

February Spotlight Awards

Happy New Year!  I never did get around to posting a January Spotlight award, so I’ve just decided to skip ahead and start fresh with February.

For those of you new to the party, I spotlight 3-5 blogs at the beginning of each month that I think are deserving of some recognition.  I’ve created a page on my blog that contains the award logo and purpose of the award.  Check it out, especially if you’ve been spotlighted.

Below are the guidelines about the award.

1.  If I pass on the Spotlight Award to you, congratulations!  It means I thought your blog was awesome enough to mention on my blog complete with a short description to my readers about why your blog is awesome.

2. Unlike other blog awards floating around the internet, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TO ACCEPT THE AWARD.

3. If you want to paste the logo on your blog and let your readers know you’ve been spotlighted, that’s cool. If you think my award is bunk and you don’t want to mention it to anyone, well that is your choice.  But just know that you have been recognized and you don’t need to do anything else besides bask in the glory of your victory.

Before I head into a new list of awards, don’t forget to visit the blogs of December’s winners:

1. Live Laugh RV

2. A Small Press Life

3. Beyond Print

Without further ado, here are my picks for February 2013:

1. Across the Bored

Tagline: Presumptions and postulations with a twist

Blog Summary: Blogger Ideflex provides almost daily posts which range from amazing photos to contemplation on specific topics.  Forget the Daily Post challenges – Across the Bored finds the more interesting writing and photo challenges that bloggers come up with and participates in these challenges. Across the Bored features a weekly “this year in history” post every Thursday which summarizes the highlights and low-lights of selected years, starting with 1960 and moving in chronological order with each subsequent post.

Excerpt: While 1962 continued the trend in global politics towards civil war, skirmishes and upheaval, it also marked a time where vassal nations were achieving their independence. America felt the world getting just a little bit smaller with the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis yet still managed to look to the stars with their nascent space programme and the launch of the first commercial communications satellite able to transmit a Trans-Atlantic television signal.  

Youth were also starting to expand their horizons with Andy Warhol exhibiting the now infamous Campbell’s Soup Can, 007 getting a hit film with Dr. No and the Beatles recording Love Me Do –  3 convicts figured they could ride the tide of firsts and successfully escaped from Alcatraz.  Many of the ideas and trends put forward in that year have become embedded in our reservoir of cultural consciousness – 50 years later, Booker T. & the M.G.’s crossover hit single shows us exactly how relevant they still are…

One more thing: Tuesdays are reserved for an original Across the Bored challenge – Two Cents Tuesday.  This challenge gives bloggers a chance to interpret a topic however they wish and share it on their blog.

2. Jillian Levi

Tagline: Hello Greece! You ready for adventures?

Blog Summary: The tagline describes Jillian’s year teaching in Greece.  She shares some of those experiences on her blog, but continues to forge new adventures for herself now that she is back home in the U.S. Jillian’s posts on life are always packed with humor and authenticity.


Driving a stick, Day 2
My dad drove us out to a little town nearby. (And when I say ‘little’ I mean population 1,000.)

Lots of back roads, no people. The perfect place to practice.

Needless to say as I got behind the wheel I was petrified.

“There might actually be someone else on the road! What do I do if someone else is driving on the road too?!”

My dad just patiently looked at me.

Oh right. I know how to drive, just not the mechanics of the stick shift yet…

I pushed in the clutch, and started the car.

And everything about day 2 went better!

One more thing: Jillian proudly features a Not Featured on Freshly Pressed badge, but with her wit and humor, I would not be surprised if she has to remove that badge one day.

3. Darla Writes

Tagline: A Blog for New Writers

Blog Summary: Blogger Darla McDavid put together Darla Writes to grow as a writer as well as provide guidance and resources for writers.  In Darla’s own words, her posts can be categorized as follows:

  • to inspire writers to follow their dreams of being published
  • to present resources that will help them write better
  • to explain technology that can promote their work


The weather today was perfect for gardening. Warm rays through patchy fog offered a setting of beauty and a good temperature for sprucing up my neglected vegetable patch.

Especially at noon: Straight-up sunshine over a soggy lawn.

I went outside to the garden that kept me in tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, and peppers throughout the summer. I turned to other things once fall arrived. And so I came upon a sad sight of yellows and browns that had once been spring green. Two of the three tomato plants survived, but a family of crabgrass moved up and in through the newspaper layer of the raised bed.

The soil was moist, so it was an easy win as I wrestled with the weeds. Except for one rogue clump. It refused me. I yanked and dug through most of the bed, but the weed was strong.

I scratched through the dirt and touched the worms.

I disturbed ant homes and admired their scurry.

I stepped in spoiled fruit and fresh cat litter.

I noticed the rose and remembered the thorns.

And when I found the root, I worked at it until a tug ended the war.

After, I sat in the soil and thought about how those few minutes in the garden characterized this past year.

It took a while, but I managed to make room in my life — and my soul — for my writing desires. There was a lot to dig up, put aside, rearrange, sacrifice, before I could move along. And entwined through it all was that stubborn weed called Fear.

I pulled it up and out. And tossed it away.

One More Thing: included Darla Writes on the list of 100 Best Blogs for the Modern Writer.

A 3 Star Blog

I recently received my 3rd 2012 Blog of the Year nod from My Cruise Stories.  Realizing I have all of 2 days left to accept, I figured I better get going on passing out 5 more 2012 Blog of the Year awards.

Blog of the Year Award 3 star jpeg

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A Gargoyle for your Blog

I recently received another blog award.  This time, the recognition was bestowed upon me by Monica from Impressions of a Princess. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Monica’s blog, I would encourage you to do so. Continue reading

Blogging for Stars

December is quite a special month.  It is a time for celebration and a time for reflection. It is the part of the year where we look at what we’ve accomplished and discuss what we’ll remember about the past 11+ months before the calendar turns over another year.

To commemorate the past year in blogging, The Thought Palette has created a Blog of the Year 2012 award. In the past two days, I’ve received this award from Supernova over at Digging History and Jamie from Grandmother Musings.

Blog of the Year Award 1 star thumbnailBlog of the Year Award 2 star thumbnail Continue reading

November Spotlight Awards

Ah, November.  The weather is cooling, the leaves are falling, writers are furiously typing novels for NaNoWrimo, and stores everywhere are pretending it’s already Christmas.  What better way to celebrate such an awesome month than to spotlight some blogs! Continue reading

Those Zany Blog Awards

With the October Spotlights handed out and the excitement of discovering some new blogs, it is now time for me to recognize awards that have been bestowed to me this month.

Before I dive into shameless self-promotion, let me just take a moment to highlight the October Spotlight winners one more time:

1. Zen Scribbles

2. The Fuzzy Foto

3. The Tripping Pencil

4. ShareChair

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Double Shot of Blog Awards

Hello everyone,

Hope your September is going well.  I can’t believe we’re already 1/3 of the way through the month.  It seems like September just began!  Speaking of September, if you haven’t checked out the 5 blogs I’ve highlighted for this month, take a moment to do so after reading this post.  I also want to point out that I’ve added a page, Past Spotlight Winners, that lists by month which blogs were awarded a Spotlight.

In the meantime, I’ve received two blog awards. The first is the One Lovely Blog Award from Pat Wood over at Pat Wood Blogging.  The next award is the Beautiful Blogger Award from My Cruise Stories (which was a spotlighted blog for September).

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A Whole Lotta (Blog) Love

I’m going on two weeks now of getting award notifications and doing nothing with them.  Part of it is that I’ve been really busy at work and trying to spend time doing other non-blog related things while at the same time trying to keep my own blog going.   Continue reading

Best Follower Award

On the heels of the One Lovely Blog Award, I’ve also been given the Best Follower Award.  I know, we typically don’t like being described as followers in life, but this is different.  This award allows bloggers to recognize some of their biggest supporters.

As bloggers, we do look to our colleagues to motivate us to become better bloggers and validate whether what we are doing adds value to anyone else’s day.

Therefore, I am very honored to accept the Best Follower Award from Jamie at Grandmother Musings.

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