What a beautiful way to start the week

This week, I’ve been nominated for four blog awards by Naphtali.   I am so honored.  She is one of several Christian bloggers I follow and I’m so glad I found her.

The four awards she nominated me for are:

blog of 2012 award


one lovely blog award

shine on blog award

I’m supposed to answer a bunch of questions about me, but I’m going to change it up a bit and ask you to respond to the following questions because I’d much rather learn about you.  I won’t make it too difficult.  Please feel free to answer any and/or all questions and elaborate as much as you want.

1.  Have you ever eaten a bug?

2.  Have you ever been bitten by a horse?

3.  Have you ever ridden an elephant/camel?

4.  Have you ever made a wish upon a star and it came true?

5.  Shoes or barefeet?

6.  How old were you when you got/gave your first kiss?

7.  Your favorite sound in the world?

8.  Your favorite smell?

9.  paper books or e-books?

10.  Happiest moment of your life?

I am passing on the awards to the following people:

WordPress Family Award:


Be Not Afeard


Blog of 2012 Award:




One Lovely Blog Award:

Dianne Gray

Dibbler Dabbler

Jamie Ayres

Shine on Blog Award:

C.B. Wentworth

Fabulous Realms

Kourtney Heinz

More Awards, Oh My

It seems the beginning of a new year always brings on more blog awards.  This month I’ve already been nominated for five awards!  While I appreciate these pretty little ditties and the thought, I think January will be the last month I accept them.  Why?   Because there are just so many people I follow and they all deserve recognition, so how can I just pick out seven or eleven to nominate? Besides, how much more stuff do you guys want to know about me?  🙂

Since I’ve been nominated for these this month, I’ll play along, so here goes. From the lovely Naphtali, I received the following:

http://lorischulz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/screen-shot-2012-12-31-at-11-10-56-pm.png?w=610Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 11.10.21 PMScreen Shot 2012-12-31 at 11.11.32 PM

Thank you, Naphtali!

From Layla, I received


These awards both ask that the recipient tell seven things about themselves so here goes:

1.  the only candy I really like (besides chocolate) are sweethearts.  I could eat them like…well, like candy.

2.  I love having fresh-cut flowers in my house.

3.  I hate the smell of tar and asphalt

4.  I’ve been parasailing

5.  I’m a hopeless romantic

6.  I won third place in a beauty pageant when I was 15 (don’t know how but I did)

7.  I’ve never received a love letter.

Okay, there you have it.  Now, who do I forward all four of these to?  Well, I’ll go with the top posters on my blog:

Susan Rocan

Jennifer M. Eaton – Side Note:  Jennifer is having more skin cancer removed today.  She has a post about it on her site.  Please keep her in your prayers that they remove all of it and this nasty disease doesn’t come back.

Kourtney Heintz

Julie Catherine

Robin Coyle

Carrie Ruben  


Vikki (The View Outside)

Another lovely blog award!

Lookie, Lookie!  I got an award today from the lovely and talented Jennifer Eaton!!   Thanks so much, writer buddy, friend, confidant and butt-kicker!  (she never stops hounding me to finish my novels.  Don’t let her sweet demeanor fool you.  She’s a tough beta!)

Anyway, I have to tell you guys seven things about me and then pass the award on to seven other unsuspecting bloggers so, here goes.

1.  I suffer horribly from ingrown toenails (yuck)

2.  I have a few more pounds on me than I did in high school (quite a few more, actually)

3.  My top 3 romantic comedy films are:  While You Were Sleeping, Kate and Leopold, and Simply Irresistable.

4.  I was a majorette in high school.

5.  I’m listed in the 1978 edition of Who’s Who Among American High School Students.

6.  I’ve been to, and fell in love with, Neuschwanstein Castle.

7.  I love live theater, operas and classical music performances.

Now, who to pass the torch to.

Jennifer Randolph

Amy Newman

Julie Catherine

Lori Freeland

Liza Kane


Joanne Wadsworth

Congrats, ladies!  Happy Saturday!!

‘Thanks for Writing’ Award

I love blog awards.  It’s not so much the award itself but why they even exist.

Think about it.  The person handing out the award recognizes the blogger who gave it to them, usually with a link back to the blogger. The receiver of the award recognizes and passes on the award to one or more bloggers with links to their blogs.  What a great way to spread the word about other bloggers!  Word of mouth.  The oldest and most successful marketing tool.  I can’t tell you how many fantastic people I’ve met because I hopped around to other bloggers’ sites who won these awards.  What an awesome way to drive traffic to other blogs and to get other people to connect from all over the world.

When I get an award, I don’t post it to say “Hey, look at me and how great I am.”  It’s actually to say, “Hey, check out the blog of the person who gave this to me AND check out the blog(s) of those I’m giving it to.  Sit back with them and strike up a conversation. They’d love to hear from you.”

I feel bad about singling out bloggers because all of the ones I follow are fantastic.  I decided for most awards when I get them, I’ll forward them all onto those who stop by my blog and want them.  Hopefully they’ll comment and say thanks and build more connections that way.

Today’s blog award is a little different because it is specific:  it’s the ‘Thanks for Writing’ award.

The lovely Charissa Stastny, author of Eyes of Light, gave me this very tasty delight on July 9 and I have been very lazy in thanking her publicly for the award.  Charissa…thank you so much.  It means a lot to me that you thought of me for this award.  I am humbled and grateful.  It was also one of the most original and yummy blog award giveaway posts I’ve ever read.

I’m going to pass this award to two ladies who have impacted not only my writing but my life so much that I can’t thank them enough:  Jennifer M. Eaton and Julie Reece.  I met both of them online through writer’s forums, Jennifer through Nathan Bransford’s website and Julie through Scribophile.com.  These two women, every day, keep me grounded, keep me laughing, keep me motivated, keep me reaching for the stars and have become my writing soul mates.  They are both amazing authors with hearts the size of the universe.  They are not just fellow bloggers, writers, beta readers and critiquers.  They are my friends and I would be lost without them in my life.

Jennifer, Julie…thank you for everything you bring to my life every day.  Because of you (and my family), I push on to complete my novel and get it published.  Because of you, I am reminded every day that there is nothing I can’t accomplish.  Because of you, I don’t feel so alone in this writing and publishing world.  Thank you for standing behind me to push, beside me to hold my hand, and before me so I may follow your lead.  You are both amazing women and I’m honored to know you and have you in my life.

There is nothing you need to do to accept this award.  Take it and know that what you do and who you are does affect someone in a positive way. Thank you for being you.  Thanks for Writing.

Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandment Award

Today I got a very pleasant surprise.  The lovely Vikki at The View Outside nominated me for an award I’ve never seen before – the Mrs. Sparkly Award.  Looksie.  Isn’t it pretty?

To accept the award, I have to answer seven questions about me and nominate 15 other bloggers (that’s the fun part).  Okay, so here goes:

Describe yourself in 7 words: loyal, caring, sensitive, creative, independent, strong-willed, stubborn

*What keeps you up at night? thinking about finances and my kids

*Whom would you like to be? me, only financially set with a few published novels  under my belt.

*What am I wearing right now? khaki capris and a teal spaghetti strap shirt.  Oh, and underwear.

*What scares you? physically, palmetto bugs and cockroaches.   Emotionally,  something horrible happening to my kids or grand-daughter.  I would flip out if anything happened to any of them.

*What are the best and worst things about blogging? My favorite part about blogging is meeting and connecting with visitors.  The idea of communicating with people all over the world in a single post thrills me.  I’m always looking at my map to see who visited and from where.  It brings home to me that we are all one planet, one people, no matter where we live.  The worst part is feeling my blogs are boring or that I fail to connect with the people I am excited to see visit.  It upsets me sometimes to see I had X number of visits a week and not one person signs up to follow.  It makes me feel like I’m letting my potential audience down, like what I have to say isn’t worthy.  But I enjoy it so much, so I keep doing it.

*If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be? stop worrying so much.

*Slankets, yes or no? No to slankets.  I’m a chenille blanket/robe kind of gal.

*Tell us something about the person who nominated you.  Vikki is supportive, funny and full of information she is willing to share with others.  She turned me on to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and while I have yet to post anything, I’ve enjoyed reading about other writer’s struggles and fears.  It makes me feel not so alone.  I love Vikki’s posts and she seems to always be up and cheerful.

Now for the fifteen nominees to receive the blog award.  There are so many great blogs out there, so if I miss you this time around, I’ll get you the next.

L.C. Smith

Katy Upperman

Kourtney Heinz

Victoria Writes

Julie Catherine

Julie Reece

Lori Freeland

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

Jamie Ayers


rachel coker

The Write Transition

Magic in the Backyard


Kristina Stanley

Catching up

I arrived home yesterday after visiting my friend for a week. While gone, I didn’t have a big chance to write on my blog, (though I did manage one post), or respond to other bloggers, for which I apologize for. I’m back in the swing of things and ready to rock and roll. This past Sunday, my very first interview appeared on mywithershins blog. Squeee! Pretty awesome, right? I was so nervous and I think that came across, but like everything else ‘marketing’, the more one does it, the easier it gets. Maybe the next time I won’t ramble so much, but I do have to say, I was thrilled beyond words she asked for the interview. Thank you, Susan! Also while I was gone, the lovely Layla at be not afeard nominated me for two blog awards, the Inspiring Blog award and the Reader Appreciation Award! Thank you, Layla!  You all should head over to her blog and check it out.


As a recipient, I have to list seven things about me before passing on the awards to seven other people.  I haven’t done this in a while so here goes:

1.  My first dog was a fox terrier named Gypsy.
2.  I collect small, ceramic lambs.
3.  I also collect music globes of all kinds as well as statues of fantasy related items (castles, dragons, faeries, etc.)
4.  TV shows I can’t miss this coming season:  Falling Skies, Merlin, Once Upon a Time and Smash.
5.  I have type 2 diabetes.
6.  I’ve ridden an elephant.
7.  I’ve been parasailing.  It’s amazing how many sharks swim with swimmers so close to the coast of Florida.

Ok, next step, nominate 7 bloggers to receive the awards.  I hate this part because there are so many blogs that I love and visit all the time.  I hope no one feels slighted.  Please know that all of you are inspirational to me in some way and I can’t thank my readers enough for being so loyal.    Anyway, here goes.  Please pop over to their blogs and check them out.

For the Inspirational Blogger Award:

Julie Catherine
This Little Light
Liza Kane
Katy Upperman
C.B. Wentworth
Darleen Steelman
Lori Freeland

The Reader Appreciation Award:
The Literary Mom
Kourtney Heintz
Victoria Writes
Alphaeus:  The Underground Stream
Julie Reece
Robin Coyle
TBN Ranch

What did I do to deserve such wonderfulness?

I opened up my e-mail to find that Deirdra over at A Storybook World gave me the following blog award!

Isn’t it pretty!  All my author friends should head on over to her blog and check it out.  This lady is a mom, a wife, an author, a graphics designer and  an artist.   She also creates animation for e-books!

According to her blog, when she’s not doing all the above, “Deirdra enjoys jousting in arenas, planning invasions, singing Celtic songs, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, going on adventures, and all forms of art, including martial arts.”

Head on over and say hi and tell her I sent you.


How would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar?

I feel like that is what I’ve been doing all week…swinging on stars and carrying moonbeams in a jar.

The week started with a cover reveal of the Make Believe anthology that my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, will appear in.  Tuesday, I received a blog award.  On Wednesday, the lovely Kourtney Heintz nominated me for two blog awards:  the Very Inspirational Blogger Award

and the Inspiring Blog Award:

Today I wake up to find the charismatic wantoncreation bestowed the Beautiful Blogger Award upon me.

I don’t know what to say.  You guys are so absolutely and completely amazing and I am honored you thought of me when nominating others.  It really means a lot, especially knowing how many blogs are out there.  I’m touched.  Really.

Wednesday also brought more good news.  The gals over at allthingsurbanfantasy gave two thumbs up on the Make Believe anthology cover.  To say I’m floating on cloud 9 would be an understatement; however, I do need to come down and address the issue of the blog awards.

As a recipient, I’m supposed to reveal seven things about me before passing the awards on to other bloggers.  As I am accepting all of them together, I’m going to list things that both inspire me and I find beautiful.  As far as picking seven other blogs…might I suggest you click on My Faves at the top of my page and scroll through the blogs and websites I visit almost every day.  I find them all wonderful, beautiful and inspiring.

So here are some things that inspire me AND I find beautiful…

Pregnant women – I think pregnant women are beautiful.  There is a magical glow about them.  Something peaceful and serene.  They are an inspiration to me because they carry within them the future – beautiful, blessed gifts of love, purity and innocence.

Creation –  Everything around us – the sun, the moon, the trees, animals, people – all of it started from somewhere, from something.  No matter one’s thoughts on how the universe began, the fact it exists is awe-inspiring and beautiful.

Music – music is the universal language.  It speaks to us.  No matter where we are from, whether we speak the same words or not, we all understand music.  The notes, the melodies resonate within us and evoke emotions, inspiring us in many ways.  If you have any doubt of the effects of music, watch this video.

The ocean – I love the smell of the salt air and the sound the waves make as they rush over the sand and shells.  The magical shells the waves drop at my feet as I walk along the beach enthrall me.  I am enchanted by sea stories of hippocamps and Poseidon, sirens and mermaids.  The voice and strength of the ocean call to me, inspire me to think outside my own shell.

A child’s look of wonder – Have you ever noticed the way a child’s face lights up at a puppy or a kitten?  The way a baby smiles when you coo to it and make funny noises?  Do you  know the joy of finishing Guess How Much I Love You for the tenth time and hearing that little voice, “Just one more time, Mommy”?  Children amaze me and inspire me to maintain my childish enthusiasm and always remain young at heart.

Last but not least, my four children.  Every day they remind me of why I’m here in this life.  It’s them.  If I accomplish nothing else in my life, I know I have given birth and raised four beautiful, unique individuals who inspire me every day to be more than I am.  I would go to the ends of the world for my children.  I would gladly give my life to save theirs.  There is nothing I would not sacrifice for them.  They are my life, my reason for living.  They are incredible human beings destined to make the world a better place.  I love them more than any words can express.

Thank you all for stopping by my blog and lingering a while.  Though I don’t know you, never forget how wonderful you are.  You may not think you mean that much, but to someone else, you are their world.  Feel free to take the awards for yourself and post on your blogs because you are an inspiration to many and each of you have beautiful qualities.

Until we meet again…

P.S.:  The artwork presented in this blog is by the incredible Josephine Wells.  Please visit her site and get ready to be dazzled by her talent.

Blog award follow-up

A couple of days ago, I thanked the wonderful people who passed on blog awards to me.  You can read it here.  I love blog awards.  I think they’re pretty and I enjoy handing them out even more than I love receiving them.

The other night I was so dogged tired, though, to pass on the instructions to the winners about what they needed to do.  If you’ve forgotten who won, they’re listed below.  🙂

For the Versatile Blogger Award Winners:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominates you. – check 🙂
  • Share seven random facts about yourself. – check 🙂 (see below)
  • Pass the award to five more blogger friends. – check 🙂
  • Contact and congratulate the blogs nominated.  – check 🙂
And the winners were:
For the Sunshine Award:
  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog – check 🙂
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself – check (see below) 🙂
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers – I nominated some and reserve the right to nominate more at any given time.  You never know when you might get some Florida Sunshine on you.  🙂
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated – check 🙂
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you – and done!
And the winners were:

Before I get to the next award (because it is rather lengthy), let me answer the little known trivia about moi since that’s part of the game.
1.  I love Arizona Green Tea.  I could drink it all day long.
2.  My very first rejection for my writing came when I was 11 years old.  I sent an article about baton twirling and a local competition to my local newspaper and they turned me down.
3.  I was a majorette for 12 years.  Placed 2nd and 3rd in a few competitions, and was solo majorette in high school.
4.  I used to perform in a lot of plays.  My first one was when I was 12.  I was a green monster who broke into a candy store and destroyed all the elves’ candy.  I forgot my lines.  The audience cracked up.  I recovered.  It was tons of fun.  🙂
5.  Dial is my soap of preference and it has to be bar soap, not liquid.  (don’t know why that’s important but, hey, this picking things about myself is hard to do)
6.  I love Scrabble, Yahtzee, Taboo, Pictionary, and Backgammon
7.  I despise house cleaning.  I really need a maid since I’m a princess in my other life.
8.  While You Were Sleeping and Kate and Leopold are two of my favorite romantic comedy films.
9.  My first concert was Elvis Presley.  It was July 3, 1973 at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia at 8:30 pm.  I’ll never forget it.  His music still soothes this savage beast.
10.  I had natural childbirth with all 4 of my kids. Two were born at home (on purpose), and two were born in a free-standing birth center.  Wouldn’t have done it any other way.
Now, onto the HUG award.
There is much content affiliated with The Hug Award, and while it is lengthy and seems a bit extensive to me, I do not want to maim or corrupt its potent message by leaving anything out.

Please do not change or use another image for the HUG Award Image©.  Please do not alter–by changing, shortening, or adding to–the text about the award and how to share it with others.  Either copy the entire article as it is on this page, or please include a link back to this article, when you post on your blog or share award with others.

I ask you to please honor this request and help me keep the integrity of the award as originally designed, so that future award recipients will know what an honor it is to receive this award.  Thank you, Connie Wayne


Hope is an expectant desire; a confidence in a future event; a ground for trust and confidence; to think; to look forward to with trust and expectant desire.”

 The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at A Hope for Today athttp://ahopefortoday.comwhich promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people.

 The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they:  Hope for Love; Hope for FreedomHope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and HappinessHope forCompassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness

 The HUG Award© recognizes and honors those who help keep hope alive in our current world, which is plagued by war, natural disasters, and economic recession.  They nurture hope, in any of the above areas (in italics),  by the work they do, or in their personal lives with things such as blogging, public speaking,charity work, etc.

The HUG Award© is for anyone, anywhere in the world, who meets theguidelines and wants to be nominated for the award. Please leave a comment on this page if you are interested in receiving this award, or if you would like to nominate someone else for the award.

The HUG Award© is for people who, without giving up or compromising their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, are able to nurture hope and respect the dignity of all people.

 The HUG Award© is for those who, without bias or prejudice, use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.

 The HUG Award©is for people who have a hope or an expectant desire that the work or talents they use in things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc., will make a positive impact on the world.

These people do not have to actively use the word “hope” in their work or creative talents.  They only need be conscious of their desire to make the world a better place for everyone.

These people use their available resources–a smile, a hug, a helping hand, a listening ear, a voice, time, money, possessions, education, personality, talent, websites and blogs—to make a positive impact on the world and make the world a better place to live.

The HUG Award© is not specifically a website or blog award.  It can be given to people in your community, at your employment, at your place of worship, etc.  Please make sure they have a copy of these Guidelines, and please don’t forget to submit their names back to this site.


HUG Award© Image:   Those who receive the HUG Award© may paste a copy of the original HUG Award© image into an Image widget on their website or blog by simply copying and pasting the following image URL into an Image widget:   http://hopesfortoday.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/hug-award1.png.  As the link URL for the imageplease inserthttp://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/.


1.  If you receive a HUG Award©, you may nominate others who also meet the above guidelines for the award.  You may nominate as many people, websites, or blogs as you want to nominate to receive the award.  I do ask that, upon receipt of the award, you nominate at least one other person.  The award is also not time limited, so you can nominate new people or sites you encounter in the future.  Please try not to nominate those who have already received the award.

2.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTACTING YOUR NOMINEESand telling them you nominated them for the  HUG Award©.  AND when you contact them…

3.  Please link this page:  When you contact your nominees for the award, please include a link to this page,http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/so they will have the same information you received about the award.  Then, they also can perpetuate the award by nominating others.  AND…

4.  Please post a comment on this page athttp://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/ with the name and the complete website or blog address of the site(s) or person(s) you nominate.

5.  If you know, I would appreciate you informing me of the geographical location of your nominee(s) and /or their site(s).

6.  Social Media Sites:  You may also copy and paste unchanged copies of the original HUG Award© and HUG Award© Guidelines’ wording to other social media sites such as Facebook and Linkedin.  You may also print original copies for your personal use for display, etc.

7.  You may print a copy of the HUG Award© Guidelines for people you nominate, who do not have a website, blog, or social media account to which they can paste award and Guidelines.  If they have email, you may email them a copy of the original HUG Award© and original Hug Award© Guidelines.

The people I have nominated for this award seek to do Good with their blogs by sharing inspiration, kindness, and courage. If you have already received this, please just accept that I appreciate you. Thank you.

The winners of the Hug Award were:

Gloria Richard
Cara Olden
Jennifer M. Eaton
Lori Ann Freeland

Last Night, I was awarded with another blog award from the lovely Jennifer M. Eaton.  It’s the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

I’m supposed to list 7 unknown things about myself and then forward this on to whomever inspires me.  I would have to give this award to the following people for giving me hope and showing that no matter what the odds, we can always overcome with hope, faith, and family and friends.

Pat Bertram – for sharing her grief of losing her soul mate and her journey to move through life without him.

Sharon Howard – woman of incredible strength and forward movement

AmyMarie – for showing us all that if you have a great MS and you send it out to tons of agents/publishers, a lot of fish are going to bite.  Keep it up, Literary Mom!

Rachel Coker– an amazing teen, author of the new YA novel Interrupted – life beyond words.  To be so young and talented…such an inspiration.

Three awards and a Lucky 7 Meme

It’s late and I’m getting ready to go to bed, but I wanted to post this last bit before I let my head hit the pillow.

In the past 3 days, 3 bloggers and an e-mail buddy honored me with several blog awards.

From C. B. Wentworth, the Versatile Blogger Award (thank you, my dear, for thinking of me.  There are no words to express my gratitude)

From Cara Olden at This Little Light:  The Sunshine Award (Thank you so much for all your kind words and support.  You are a ray of sunshine to me.)

From Claire:  I was tagged with the Lucky 7 Meme – (thank you, my dear, and I answered this on scrib!)  🙂


From a lovely friend, Maggie, who follows my blogs but doesn’t have a blog herself, The HUG award.

I don’t know what all is involved with passing on these awards or what I’m supposed to do with them, and I reserve the right to come back to this post and revise accordingly, but I want to thank all of you for your kindheartedness, your belief in me, your praise and just for being you.  I’m sure there are so many others who deserve these awards more than I and I am humbled that you would think of me.

I do want to pass on these awards to the following people/blogs because they deserve it:

The Versatile Blogger Award: (for their versatility in what they post)

Sonia Medeiros
Writing Wings
Lightning Droplets

The Sunshine Award:  (for filling my life with sunshine – will add more tomorrow)

Alphaeus: The Underground Stream
Girl in the Butterfly dress

HUG Award:  (for their love, compassion, understanding and amazingly wonderful hearts.  I will add to this award after I get some sleep)

Gloria Richard
Cara Olden
Jennifer M. Eaton
Lori Ann Freeland