Tuesday, May 7, 2013

You Guys Light Up My Life

Thought for the day:  Even a small star shines in the darkness.


Pretty badge, huh? It's a blog award recently bestowed on me by the multi-talented Maryann Miller. If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Maryann or of reading any of her many books, check out her blog... and her impressive listings on Amazon. You'll find quite a few books by this talented gal, whose career roles include journalist, award-winning short story writer, novelist, screenwriter, actress, and director. (And probably some others I've forgotten.) Plus, she's really sweet.

At any rate, I'm honored that this talented writer passed an award to ME. Thank you so much, Maryann. I really do appreciate it.

Okay, so the smart thing to do when receiving one of these awards is to follow the rules, right? They're quite simple:
  1. Link back to and thank the blogger who nominated you. (Check!)
  2. Post the badge on your blog. (Check!)
  3. Answer the questions posed to you. (Wilco.)
  4. Nominate five bloggers who shine a little light in your day, and notify them. (I'll do something close to that.)
  5. Ask five questions to nominees. (Uh-huh. See #4.)
So here's Maryann's questions for me:

How long do you spend putting together a blog?
Too long. At the very least, an hour, but that's extremely rare. Most of the time, between researching for information, images, and quotations, and then compiling, writing, and editing, I take the better part of a day. Oftentimes longer.

What other writing do you do?
Now that you know how long it takes me to write most blogposts, you can imagine how much time I've put into writing a book. But in spite of myself and my incessant need to edit and improve, my long-suffering novel Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade is about to be (ta-DA!) published. I've also had a short story and an article about amateur radio published in national magazines... and even got PAID for them! What a concept. I say that because most of my writing over the past forty-some years has been pro bono. Yeah, I know. I'm an idiot.

Do you blog because you like to, or because you were told you have to by a publisher?
Like many others, I started a blog because literary agents said I should, but I've continued blogging because I enjoy it. To be more precise, I enjoy the wonderful people and sense of community I've found in the blogosphere. (Who knew?)

What is a story your family liked to tell about you?
When I was in school, it was standard practice to observe a minute of silence on certain days of the year...

As a first grader, I sensed the solemnity inherent in standing quietly in honor of Pearl Harbor Day, but was too young to understand the day's significance. That evening, I sighed, and with tears in my eyes, said, "Poor Paul."  Natch, my parents wanted to know what I was talking about, to which I replied, "The Japanese dropped a bomb on his head today." 

When you visit another blog, do you promote it on social media?
No. When it comes to social media, I'm woefully... unsociable.

***

Okeydoke, here's the part where I'm supposed to select five of you to receive this award. Impossible. Really. How am I supposed to consider all of you, and then pick only five who shed a little light on my life? The truth is, you all do. Every single one of you.

So, here's what I'm gonna do. If you want to take this lovely blog award badge back to your blog and answer all five of my questions in a post, GO FOR IT... with my blessings, and sincere gratitude for how much your posts always brighten my day. OR, if you'd prefer, pick and choose a question or two, and use your comment to answer right here. Easy peasy, right?

Now, all we need are the five questions:
  1. If you could possess any talent for a single day, what would it be?
  2. If you could host any three people (living or dead) at a party, who would you invite?
  3. What motivates you and makes you happy to be alive?
  4. If you could deliver a speech to the world's political leaders, what would you talk about?
  5. Are you a dog person, a cat person, or both? Mutt or purebred?

We all possess certain talents and gifts that are unique to only us. You already have everything that you need to start living an extraordinary life. It's up to you to turn the switch and let your light shine.  [Randa Mannin-Johnson]

                                Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
   
                                    Burn brightly without burning out. [Richard Biggs]


                                [Images courtesy of icanhascheezburger.com and seniorark]

Don't forget! During the month of May, every comment you leave here will earn you another shot at winning a FREE autographed copy of Hot Flashes & Cold Lemonade. And hey! If you mention my book on your blog, that'll earn you another two chances. 

78 comments:

  1. Good Luck with Hot Flashes and Lemonade!

    I already follow Maryanne's blog and I'm always learning something there.

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    1. Thanks!

      Yeah, ya never know what you're gonna learn from Maryann.

      Delete
  2. Now, all we need are the five questions:

    If you could possess any talent for a single day, what would it be?...

    The ability to make anyone I selected rich or poor.

    If you could host any three people (living or dead) at a party, who would you invite?...

    Jesus Christ, Joe McCarthy, and John Wayne (it's a "J" thang).

    What motivates you and makes you happy to be alive?...

    Absolutely nuttin'. (Well... good beer ain't bad.)

    If you could deliver a speech to the world's political leaders, what would you talk about?...

    What a bunch of a$$holes they all are!

    Are you a dog person, a cat person, or both? Mutt or purebred?...

    Dog J. McMutt.

    ~ Stephen J. McHonest

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    1. Thanks for your answers. It'd be interesting to know how you'd decide who should be rich, and who should be poor. Knowing you, I'm sure your criteria would be quite unique. I'm not surprised at three of your answers, but I am surprised you say NOTHING motivates you or makes you happy to be alive. Come on! The way you love to sink your teeth into a good debate? The way you like to research and ferret out answers? The beauty of a sunset? Your friends? Family? Love? Okay, a good beer, huh? Okay, I'll drink to that. (But I won't have beer... maybe a wee shot of bourbon.)

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    2. SUSAN ~
      I didn't say that "NOTHING" motivates me or makes me happy to be alive. What I said was: nuttin'.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. Stephen, I think I would give a similar speech to politicians. Then I'd tell them to get up off their asses and do something for us, not for themselves.

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  3. How long do you spend putting together a blog?

    Before the family computer went to shit I'd have to answer that one by saying when the mood hits and I have beer available.


    If I can swing some computer time at the house I will give the five questions a go.

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    1. Fueled by beer, eh? I'd be afraid to write a post while fueled by an adult beverage, but I HAVE been known to indulge in some late-night commenting a time or two when I was, shall we say, somewhat less than clear-headed and sure-fingered.

      Cool! I'll look forward to your post.

      Delete
  4. Hi Susan .. too long blogging in general - but I do love the interaction. Your book is on my list ... and will be purchased shortly ... cheers Hilary

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    1. As detailed and informative as most of your posts are, it's obvious you put a lot of time and research into writing them. Glad you want to buy my book. It hasn't launched just yet... but soon! (Didn't you get the Kindle version I sent you?) Cheers!

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  5. Congrats on your award!

    And yes, writing up a blog post does take up a lot of time.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, but it's a pleasurable use of time, isn't it?

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on your award! Yes, writing a blog takes tons of time, not just for you. Congrats on those paid shorts and articles. Those are always like little extra candies - a special treat :)

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    1. Thanks! You're right about getting paid for an article or story. Writing a novel is such a long-term project, taking a break to write something short... and selling it... can provide just the positive reinforcement we need to keep us going. (And I'm all for any extra candies I can get!)

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  7. Both indeed at my feed
    And pffft to rules as I read
    Those I skip
    And give them lip
    Congrats to you
    On the award that came due

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    1. I appreciate the head pat, Pat.
      And knew about your cat that
      Spends all his time
      Creating masterful rhyme
      But didn't know he shared his Pat
      With a pooch at your mat.

      Delete
  8. You missed your calling. You should be a game show host. String 'em along, string 'em along, got 'em sitting up and begging... then break for commercial telling 'em you'll be back in a minute and if you want a bone, come and get it. Thanks for the early morning smile.

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    1. I'm happy to oblige, but I'd much rather be a game show contestant than host. (I'd have to dose up on a bunch of that memory-inducing herb first... what's it called? I forget... HA!)

      Delete
  9. I'm just going to take question #2: Who would I invite to a dinner party?

    Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, and Nikola Tesla. The first two because they were so witty. The last one -- well, I know he wouldn't eat in front of us or shake hands (phobias) -- but I'll bet he could entertain the rest of us lighting up bulbs without any wires and producing mysterious balls of electricity in his hands.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh, now THAT'S one dinner party I'd love to attend! It wouldn't even matter what's on the menu; those three would guarantee an entertaining evening.

      Delete
  10. A beautiful award for a talented lady who truly does shine!You were very wise in not choosing five bloggers. I thoroughly enjoy all the blogs that I read and couldn't possibly pick favorites.
    It will take some time for me to ponder your interesting questions - - but I will admit that I have a fetish for felines.

    My cat is pestering the hell out of me as I'm writing this, so I could very possibly change my mind......WOOF WOOF!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, cowboy!

      Ah, but isn't it better to be pestered by our furry friends than it would be to be unpestered without them?

      Delete
  11. Shine on! Congrats on the award!

    If I had a talent for a day I would want a musical talent. To be able to sing and hit the right notes, to be able to play any instrument. That would be great! Well, maybe not. The depression of losing that talent after only a day might not be worth the joy of that day.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks.

      You bring up an interesting point. Better to have a talent for a day and then lose it, or never to have the talent at all? Kinda the same thing philosophers ask about love. Better to have and lose, or never to have at all? I'd opt to have. Joy, even if it only lasts for a day, is well worth it. After it's gone, memories of it can sustain us until the next joy comes our way.

      Delete
  12. Congratulations on a well deserved award.

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  13. Congrats on your well-deserved award!! I will take question #5. I consider myself both, but after having the last three years with Ruby (my grey tabby) I have now become a cat person :)

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    1. Thanks.

      I know a lot of people who didn't think they were "cat people" until they got one as a pet. Cats have a way of cuddling and purring their way straight into our hearts, and then staying there.

      Delete
  14. Well deserved award. And I'd say that yellow lab is a cat, uh, person, based on his embrace. :)

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, that lab is something else. He looks rather... romantically persuasive.

      Delete
  15. A very nice award. Congratulations. You deserve it.

    Love the last photo of the dog. I think they could have done the same thing to me after my recent prep for a colonoscopy.

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    1. Thanks.

      HA! I know what ya mean. I'm glad it's all behind you now. (sorry...)

      Delete
  16. Well-deserved--your blog does shine. :)

    And congrats again on your upcoming publication!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I never would have hung around the blogosphere this long if it weren't for people like you who befriended me right at the start and made me feel right at home.

      Delete
  17. I started blogging not because of a publisher, but because of my son who thought I had some funny stories to tell. At first I wrote quickly (a few hours) and often. Then it started to take up more time (a day) and I cut down on my blogging. Now I blog because of all the wonderful people I have met through this media and only when I think I have something to say or share. I have found that now I do more reading than writing and that is just fine with me as there are so many talented writers like you out there that make me laugh and/or touch my heart.

    I am not a writer, just a person with a few stories passing through.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Your son was right. You've had some terrific stories to tell, and you've done a terrific job in telling them. I hate to tell ya, but you ARE a writer. And a wonderful friend. I sure am glad our blogging paths intersected.

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  18. I love that smart ass. Bears a strong resemblance to someone I was married to. No, wait -- the ass is better looking. The dog and flashlight are cute, too.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Yeah, for some mysterious reason, I identify with that smart ass...

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  19. Your posts are very intricate with the way you tie all these disparate elements together -- and with humor! So I can see how that would have to be at least somewhat time-intensive. But blogging is a joy. :)

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    1. We tend to invest time in the things we most enjoy, so I must reeeeally enjoy blogging. (I DO!)

      Delete
  20. Congratulations on the book!!! Woot! When's the release date? (I checked Amazon, and it's not listed there yet.)

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    1. Thanks! I don't know the exact date yet, but it'll be before the end of the month.

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  21. Great to learn more about you!

    And thanks for stopping by my first page yesterday. :)

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    1. Thanks. My pleasure... your first page is terrific!

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  22. What a cool award. I hadn't seen this one before. Congratulations on your prize!

    I totally love that pic with the dog and kitty together! <3

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    1. It IS a cool looking award. (Help yourself!) You might put us in the deep freeze with some of your Polar posts, but you always brighten our day, too.

      Aren't they cute? We used to have a dog and cat who were real good pals, but they were never quite THAT friendly.

      Delete
  23. Paul Harbor Day - LOL!

    Congrats on your upcoming novel.

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    1. What can I say. I was a weird kid. (But that "Poor Paul" stuff still cracks me up.)

      Thanks. I do appreciate it.

      Delete
  24. Delightful post and questions, Susan. I feel strongest about #2 ["If you could host any three people (living or dead) at a party, who would you invite?"], and without hesitation choose "living".

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    1. Thanks. HA! You know how to tickle my funny bone, dude.

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  25. I love dogs and cats, living together, complete chaos! Congrats on the award :)

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    1. Controlled chaos, the only way to live. Thanks. You deserve the award, too, so help yourself.

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  26. Congrats on your award. You've written some pretty thought provoking questions too!

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    1. Thanks! (Does that mean you're gonna answer those questions on your blog?)

      Delete
  27. Congrats on your award -- I will check her out on amazon. You posed such great questions I feel compelled to answer a few of them:

    1. Know how to dance really well.
    3. Watching the sun rise.
    5. Both cats and dogs, Prefer mutts, but have a soft spot for German shepherd dogs. When I was younger, I would take any cat or dog that was in need of a good home that I came across

    Congrats on your book. I can't wait to read it..

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    1. Thanks, Inger.

      Great answers. Especially the one about the sunrise. That's my favorite time of day.

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  28. the pics with the answers...genius girl!!!

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  29. I will check out Maryann's books today. Thanks.

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  30. congrats on your award AND you book!!!!! wow!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! (Not nearly as awesome as a new grandbaby...)

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  31. Congratulations on the award. Enjoyed reading your answers and comments!

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  32. 'I sighed, and with tears in my eyes, said, "Poor Paul." Natch, my parents wanted to know what I was talking about, to which I replied, "The Japanese dropped a bomb on his head today."'

    This had me laughing loud enough to scare my dog. It reminds me of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and wondering who "Richard Stands" was and why we were pledging allegiance to him.

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    1. I'm glad you appreciated the humor in that situation. I was a very melodramatic little girl.

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  33. Congratulations on your award. All my best to you.

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    1. Thank you so much. I do sppreciate it, dear sir.

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  34. I'm not surprised at all about how long it takes you to put together a blog. Your effort shows!! :)

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    1. Yeah, I am kinda slow... and easily distracted. (Thanks.)

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  35. Congratulations on the award from Maryann Miller. I'll have to check out her blog next.

    OK - I'll answer this one: What motivates you and makes you happy to be alive? I think, it is me. Short of depression, which is an illness that requires treatment, I believe we are responsible for our own happiness. I make a conscious decision to be happy and do my best. Cynics might say that circumstances might have a lot to do with your happiness, but I've seen poor, sick people glow with joy and optimism and I've seen healthy, well-to-do people sullen and downtrodden.

    Of course there are days when I'm in a bad mood, too... ;-)

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    1. That is so true about happiness. It is also true that we have to make a decision about love everyday. Whether it is for our spouse or partner or children or extended family. We all get irritated with each other and have to make a conscious effort to get past that irritation and make the choice to love.

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  36. Thanks.

    I LOVE your answer. And I agree with you, too. Motivation and happiness have to come from within, and it begins with a conscious decision and choice to make it so.

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  37. Susan, thanks so much for your glowing words about my books and about me. I had to stop and ask, "who is that woman Susan is writing about?" LOL

    I am impressed with your blog, always have been since I first met you. I guess mine would be better if I put hours into it. I worked so many years on really tight deadlines for news stories and columns for the newspaper, I tend to spend no more than an hour or two on a blog piece.

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    1. HA! My pleasure, Maryann.

      To tell the truth, I would LIKE to spend less time working on posts so I had MORE time to do other things. Then, there's all the time spent responding to each comment and visiting other blogs. Maybe my hubby's right: maybe it IS becoming an obsession. (But everybody's gotta to SOMETHING, right?)

      Delete
  38. After reading most of the comments and hopping over to some of the blogs, I want to thank you for introducing me to some new friends.

    Since we just took in two more kittens that were rescued, I would have to say we are slightly tilted toward the felines. We have four cats and one dog. The dog does like the cats. In fact, that picture of the dog and cat you posted could be our Poppy and Harry.

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    1. Super! It's all about meeting new people, right?

      Sounds to me like you have a happy house. Gotta be with all those furry critters running around it. Our cats are more entertaining than the TV! (Wait. Never mind. With most of the shows on TV these days, that isn't saying very much, is it?)

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