Sunshine award

Thank you Daily Musings (check out that link to get inspired about planning) for nominating me for the Sunshine Award! Woo hoo!! Sweet. This happened over a month ago… I have been too busy to apply myself properly to this honor. But during the time between the nomination and my response, I have been buzzing around with a happy glow knowing the pleasure of an award acceptance and pay-it-forward awaited.

Note: For some bloggers, awards are a burden. If this is you, and this award comes your way, please accept your nomination as a hug.

Here are the rules:

– Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
– Link to the person who nominated you.
– Answer 10 questions about yourself.
– Nominate 10 bloggers.
– Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

This award requests that you give ten random facts about yourself:

1. I find photography thrilling, both seeing a shot to take myself and seeing what others do. And this surprises me… I never knew this about myself until I blogged.

2. I have to know what my philosophy is before I take a step.

3. I grew up surrounded by a huge library, a large hardback section and a separate paperback section.  

4. Listening to audio books is one of my great  pleasures. 

5. I have recently rediscovered the simple and amazing pleasure of taking a bath.

6. I sleep like the dead. 

7. I do not cry easily. But I get misty-eyed easily.

8. I am not fascinated by history at all, which is unfortunate, because my dad was a gifted history teacher. I like the future a lot more. I’m getting a lot better about being in the present, too. However, here is someone whose posts about history do, in fact, fascinate me: Ed Mooney.

9. I started writing when I was 8. But I count my start date as the year I started the first novel I would complete. Here is a picture of me holding my first completed novel.


10. I dislike doing things the same way twice.

 Here are the 10 Bloggers I’m nominating for their sunshine:

Sheri Kennedy

Laura Mackey

Cindy Knoke

Highlighting the Good and Beautiful Around Us

The Nice Thing About Strangers

Get Set and Go

Petals Unfolding

Delicious Daydreams

The Obvious and the Hidden

Margaret Lynette Sharp

Awesome Blog Content award

This honor comes from the author of It Goes On:  Suz Jones. Thank you, Suz. Check out that link. Suz has a great blog and her alphabet is really good.

awesomeblogcontent-award (1)

This award has some fun rules:

1. Display the logo in a post
2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back.
3, Using the alphabet, describe yourself in a word or a phrase.
4. Nominate eight (8) deserving bloggers and inform them of the nomination.

So here is my alphabet soup!

A is for aunt, I think I was meant to be an aunt! It’s a role I enjoy. B is for belated, I tend to be tardy, commit myself to being on time, am good for a while, then slip. It’s a constant battle. C is for cautious. I’m physically cautious, not the kind of skier who takes any risks. D is for dog lover. E is for enthusiastic… it’s one of my favorite ways to feel. F is for friendly. G is for grumpy, which I catch myself being, sometimes, when I’m tired. H is for honest. If a clerk gives me back too much change, I return it. I is for irregular. I don’t like to do things the same way twice.  J is for jazz, a favorite music genre of mine. K is for kind, a quality I value. L is for lucky. M is for malleable. N is for noodles, my favorite comfort food. O is for optimistic. P is for persistent. Q is for quality. I like things of quality. R is for reader. S is for storyteller. T is for tall. U is for understanding. V is for versatile. (Versatile Blogger Award, yay!) W is for writer. X is for eXiting (this post, not life yet, hopefully!) Y is for yes, my favorite answer. Z is for zone, my favorite place to be when I’m writing. And what I’m going to get into right (write) now.

And here are my nominees for awesome blog content:

Part of the WordPress Family Award!

I am thrilled and honored to announce that my friend Michelle of nominated me for a beautiful award called the WordPress Family Award. When I first found out, I felt recognition, like “that’s exactly how I feel about blogging”. In fact, I now include visiting friends I’ve made through blogging as part of my travel plans and those connections with my worldwide blogging family has made everywhere I visit feel like home.


Like all things in the blogosphere, the “Part of the WordPress Family Award” was created by one of us. I love that we get to just create how we want life to be. Let me introduce you to Shaun, your fellow blogger who invented this award to recognize the families that spring up around the blogisphere. Here is what he says about the award:

 ‘This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I started this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side as only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award. Thank you,

Shaun @

Now for the award rules.

If you receive this award it means someone really values all the hard work you put into your blog and the kind and considerate thoughts and comments you share with others through the WordPress experience. It means you’ve been identified as someone who is part of the WordPress family.

In accepting the award you are asked to:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having a positive impact on your WordPress experience; people you feel are part of your own WordPress family.

4. Let your 10 new “Family” members know you have awarded them

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the continue to spread the love.

In addition to KidazzleInk, I would like to nominate these bloggers who have formed part of my close family by commenting and participating in my world and sharing their beautiful perspectives on their own blogs. Some of you get nominated all the time for me… please feel free to just accept the acknowledgement if you are not up for following the award rules! You are very much part of my blog family so I have to mention you yet again! I always think about you when I’m taking pictures so it can be said you travel with me. Thank you for following and liking. It always makes my day.

And for new friends and occasional visitors, you make my day too! I mean it.


Versatile Blogger Award and new Romance: mine!

You toil for years and years, quietly putting words on the screen, deleting them, putting them on there again… kind of lonely, but it’s your life. Then one day, everything happens at once.

Disappointment was quickly replaced by relief when I learned my first-published story, The Last Straw, wasn’t coming out until November 13th. Ah, I said, leaning back in my chair, linking my fingers in front of me and stretching my back. Plenty of time to figure out some promo ideas. More like pick a few ideas out of a gazillion available in this writer’s sphere that has gone from quiet and lonely to tweetingly, bloggingly, noisily busy.

Well, my publisher (love saying that) just released The Last Straw for a 3 month exclusive on Kindle Direct Publishing! (The book will go out to all retail outlets 11/13.)

What’s that popping sound you hear? Yes, it’s the champagne.


Not only am I celebrating the release of my book here today, I’m also am celebrating…

A blogger award!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!! The Versatile Blogger!

This beautiful nomination was bestowed upon me by the fabulous Gynji, whose brilliant blog domesticgeekgirl makes me laugh and learn and catch a glimpse of what it’s like to be young (which I no longer really can claim to be), pregnant (which I never could claim to be) and married to a fabulous Navy man (which I usually can only experience through Romance novels)!


The rules for this award are as follows:

1. Display the Award Certificate on your website/blog

2. Announce your win with a post. Make sure to post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.

3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers

4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post

5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

7 Interesting Things About Me:

1. I’m collaborating on a novel with another author, a first for me, and I love it. I know a pair of authors who collaborate and always wondered how they did it, why they did it and thought I would never do it. They are an amazing team, though, and now I know why they do it. See #5 below.

2. I left my day job last September, a dream come true.

3. I started writing novels in 2001 and tried to quit many times over the next 12 years.

4. Quitting didn’t stick. I thought I was over it, but I started writing again 3 days after I left my day job. The story that was just published yesterday!

5. I actually loved my day job! I was a project manager and worked with really great people. I was sad to leave, but I’ve found I’ve recreated many things I loved about work: I have a critique group, belong to a couple RWA chapters, and now I even have a writing team for my novel(s). (It’s a series!)

6. I’m not a fast reader because I subvocalize. I think I’m an auditory learner. Or I just really like the sound of words. Both, probably.

7. I forget a lot of stuff but remember a lot of conversations verbatim. 

Now for the best part, getting to acknowledge more hard-working bloggers!

  • celebrates the joy of gardening and has lots of tips as well as photos from her travels.
  • Want pictures from all over the world? This one’s versatile!
  • Ren X. Kyoko delights and amazes with her funny and fascinating not to mention brilliantly illustrated posts. I cannot stop reading one of her posts, once I start. Can. Not. Stop.
  • You must see beautiful pictures and the beautiful island of Patmos offered by Manos, Flora and Marinos.
  • For a brilliant travel blogger offering a humorous theme and plenty of info, see Traveloops. (Isn’t that a great blog name?)
  • Check out the happy themes and get inspired with challenges here: Ese’s voice.
  • Getsetandgo produces very informative as well as beautiful posts on travel; learn how she gets in and out of exotic places on a budget.
  • I appreciate for great photos and for telling about his experience of living with a chronic illness. His blog is down-to-earth and inspiring.
  • This blog lives up to it’s beautiful name: thehourofsoftlight.
  • Scott at scott2608 has gorgeous photos of a variety of subjects.
  • ronscubadiver offers amazing photos from all over the world on his well-organized blog. That link will take you to Haleakala, for example.
  • Just about everything you need to know about traveling to Costa Rica is available from this team: costaricatravelblog.
  • Trinity is a wonderful and versatile artist who I bet will inspire you as much as she does me:
  • There are so many ideas and recipes to enjoy and keep you healthy at Moveeatcreate, and some fun ones like the second link provided here for whiskey sours.
  • And now for something completely different: The Leadership Freak. If you work on teams even if you’re not a project manager, I highly recommend his blog. Every post is brilliant.

A blogger award for my birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday and when I checked my email, I found a lovely birthday surprise… a blogger award!


From fellow blogger and July birthday gal KJ over at Now, KJ did not know it was my birthday and, being in Malaysia, I didn’t think she would find out how magical her nomination was until July 15, her time. But she was still awake when my email arrived and that’s how we came to discover we share a birthday month as well as this beautiful award.

I am very honored to be considered an inspiring blogger. I am an inspired blogger too, inspired by the connections and friendships I have made with people all over the world. Inspired by what I have learned from your blogs and buoyed by sharing in the challenges as well as the joys of life. It is magic.

The Rules for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

1. Display Award Logo on Blog

2. Link back to the person who gave you the award

3. State 7 Things About Yourself

4. Nominate 15 Other Bloggers for this Award and Link Back to Them

5. Notify those bloggers you have nominated.

Seven Things About Myself

1. My favorite color is red, but I don’t wear much red and I gave up driving a red car. I do have red geraniums, though.

2. Speaking of geraniums, I’m not very good with plants, but some are easy to grow and that’s what I have: philodendron, a spider plant, a dracena and geraniums.

3. I remember a lot of my dreams and the seeds of what I think is my best writing comes to me from my dreams.

4. It took me four years of college to finally figure out that now that I didn’t live with my father, dishes would no longer magically get washed. I had to wash them. Every day!

5. Speaking of college, It took me four years to figure out that I didn’t have to eat Cheerios and Shredded Wheat any more and I bought Cap’n Crunch. Once I made it through the box, I went back to the stuff I was raised on.

6. I was once a waitress but not a very good one.

7. I’m on my third career.

And now for the most important part, of all the very inspiring blogs I follow, I would like to nominate these bloggers for the award (keeping in mind, it’s hard to choose just 15):

  • Laurie Smith (check out the pictures of Australia right outside this writer’s window!)
  • Brickhousechick at Swimming to my 50s. (A wonderful blogger I met through the most inspiring human ever, Susie Lindau, who I’m not nominating only because I’m concerned she might be too busy at the moment to handle the work load!)
  • This blog, Sriram Janak Photography has inspired me to go to Africa, ASAP.
  • Scott at Greenhouse Photos inspires me with his photography
  • Brick Thomas makes me laugh while he takes me to interesting places around the world
  • (Pre) concept is an amazing artist, check out her portfolio and be delighted by her photos of Portugal
  • Love this man’s bucket list: The Rider
  • David Pasillas, at iPhone Photographer, inspires me not only with his photos but with his generosity
  • And cake. Who doesn’t like cake? Liz at My Favorite Pastime does a brilliant job inspiring me to take some time to bake and enjoy a cake with my friends.
  • There’s a lot of joy to be found embedded in this blog: Northwest State of Mind
  • I like these guys… they are doing something interesting! The American Male
  • And I like these guys over at the Patrons of the Pit. I am quite charmed that they liked my recent vegetarian posts. That’s a link to making peach cobbler on a barbeque! Who knew?
  • Ed Mooney at Ed Mooney Photography completely blows my mind with his photography and well-researched educational posts about Ireland.
  • And I’ve come to rely upon PhotographyArtPlus for a daily smile from a daily flower macro photo.
  • I am very inspired by the beautiful, informative, entertaining and moving children’s stories about veganism over at Violet’s Vegan e-Comics. Check out this story about Deidra.

7 things about me… Blogger award received!

Today, fellow blogger nominated with this award:

blogger award

I am very honored. Thank you!


1.) Display the award logo on your blog.
2.) Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.) State 7 things about yourself.
4.) Nominate 15 bloggers for this award.
5.) Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.

7 Things About Me

  1. My real name is Ántonia, from the Willa Cather novel, My Ántonia.
  2. My mother gave me the nickname Nia.
  3. But she expected me to use Ántonia when I became an author, partly because she thought it would look good on the spine of a book.
  4. I was born before electronic books (no spine).
  5. An African American woman once told me Nia means purpose in Swahili.
  6. I recently discovered I love blogging, the visual plus words aspect, meeting amazing people and learning.
  7. I was  stuck in the snow for an hour when I was 5 and didn’t mention it to a visiting family friend. He didn’t realize it until he came back outside and found me still there. He said, “Nia, why are you still there?” “I’m stuck,” I said. Of course, he rescued me. There’s a picture of him at the end of this post:

15 Inspiring Bloggers