Friday, April 19, 2013

Shine On Blog Award

Author Maryann Miller passed on the Shine On Blog Award to me. I know Maryann online through the blog that we both contribute to, The Blood Red Pencil. Maryann's blog is called It's Not All Gravy. Thank you, Maryann, for the award. (Incidentally, Maryann Miller is not only a great blogger, she's an author. I've read most of her books.)

Before I pass this blog on to others, I have five questions that I have to answer.

1. How long do you spend putting together a blog?
It really depends on what I'm blogging about. Some, especially the ones that are more or less opinion pieces, go fairly quickly. I also do the occasional book review. Those take more time, usually since I not only have to write the review, I have to go find a jpg of the cover. And after I post the review, I then go and put the review up on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N and other places I check and find they have it on their websites for sale. Even guest posts can take time since they take prep work, as well as cropping author photos or book covers, embedding links, etc.

2. What other writing do you do?
I post once a month on another blog called The Blood Red Pencil. Probably the most of my time each day is spent on writing. I have three non-fiction books in print with TSTC Publishing. They were doing a series on each of the degrees they taught. I wrote Automotive Technicians, Avionics, and Computer Gaming. I tried my hand at short story writing and two of those stories are included in the anthology, The Corner Café. In addition, my contemporary fiction, Angel Sometimes, came out in late 2012. My next book, which should be out before summer of this year, is a mystery suspense titled Dismembering the Past. This one is the first in a series starring Private Investigator, Hallie McAllister. The next in the series will be titled Deadpoint.

3. Do you blog because you like to, or because you were told you have to by a publisher?
I started blogging long before I published. I blog because I like to connect with others. I started writing a newsletter for writers. It's been going out to subscribers around the world for fourteen years now. Sometimes I keep doing something because once I start, I find it hard to quit. And, as with the blog, it's a way to connect with others.

4. What is a story your family likes to tell about you.
I’m glad you asked me, Maryann, and not my family. There's no telling what they would have come up with. I imagine they'd tell you about the ski trips we've taken over the years. My husband is a great skier. He would ski backwards while videotaping us. Both my son and daughter love to ski, although Paul can no longer find ski boots to fit him. I, on the other hand, can only snowplow on skis. I'm pretty good at sitting by the fire drinking a toddy, though.

5. When you visit another blog, do you promote it on social media?
Sometimes. Mostly when I feel the post is interesting or news or something I want to share. In cases like that, I'll post it on one of my Facebook pages and/or tweet it.
So now, I need to pass on this award to others. The rules are:

1.            Link back to and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2.            Post the badge on your blog.
3.            Answer the questions posed to you.
4.            Nominate five bloggers who shine a little light in your day and notify them.
5.            Ask five questions for your nominees.

Here are the bloggers I'm passing the questions and award on to:

Sia McKye      
Carol Kilgore      
Morgan Mandel     
Jemi Fraser      

And here are the questions to answer:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. How old were you when you started writing - and what did you write?
3. If you could spend one day doing whatever you wanted, what would that be and why?
4. If you were going to be on a television reality show, which one would it be and why?
5. Outside of writing, reading, watching TV, and eating pecans, what is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?


  1. Fourteen years is a long time for a newsletter. That's dedication.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. So far, I've not missed an issue, although I came close yesterday. It was about 9 a.m. when I realized what day it was!

  4. It was lovely learning more about you, Helen. I'm not surprised you can't ski, though -- MERMAIDS DON'T SKI, silly!

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  5. Thank you, Marian. Now I have a logical excuse for not being able to ski!

  6. Hi Helen .. I know you're very knowledgeable about the market - and enjoy your posts on trends etc ...

    Your 14 years of newsletters is incredible .. I love Marian's comment .. and I'd love to hear more stories from the Straight from Hel fold!

    Congrats on the award too ...

    Cheers Hilary

  7. I for one am glad you blog. It's been fun getting to know you and meeting you in person has been an added bonus.

    1. Ann, who would have thought when blogging first started that we could meet such great people online! And that those "online" meetings could end with in-person friendships!


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