Appetite for Distraction

I love music. Pretty much all kinds. From classic rock to classical, alternative to 80s new wave, gangsta rap to some country (very limited country, haha), pop/techno to singer songwriter, there’s pretty much something every genre I enjoy. My memories seem based around music. For example, the only time I ever had detention in high school was my freshman year. I had break detention in the driver’s ed/health/Alabama History classroom with two other girls. We were standing by the window listening to the radio when Our Lady Peace came on. It was the first time I heard “Clumsy” and have loved it ever since. The first time I ever heard “California Dreamin'” was when I was four in the living room of the apartment my parents and I lived in. It was late and I wore a nightgown that said “Daddy’s Little Girl” with red plaid sleeves. Daddy put the Mama’s and the Papa’s record on and by the second chorus I was singing along. I made him play it over and over.

I can do that with most songs, name exactly where I was, who I was with, or what I was wearing or the weather the first time I heard it. I have a photographic memory, so it’s not like this sort of recall is rare, but when it’s paired with music, a memory is especially vivid. I’m constantly singing and have a soundtrack for pretty much any mood.  I’ve been known to just get in the car and drive when bored, listening to music, or circle the block before going home to finish a song.

So it’s weird music doesn’t play a role in my writing. A lot of writers have playlists they listen to while they write, or they come up with soundtracks for their manuscripts. All I hear is silence. I try to think of songs that fit, but I keep drawing a blank. Perhaps it’s because I need silence when I write. In college and law school, my friends would put on Pandora or something to study. Hubby did this, too. It drove me crazy because I need complete quiet to focus. I love music so much that it’s not background noise for me. I have to sing along, or tap my feet, or boogie in my chair. You know, all those things that take my focus away from studying…or writing. Then, next thing I know, all I’m doing is looking up more songs, or the lyrics so I can sing along, or adding artists to my Pandora. It doesn’t matter what song it is, or how low the volume is turned, it’s too distracting.

Except for my current WIP. I keep hearing the same couple songs in my head. “The Bitter End” and “Every You Every Me” by Placebo. Not that I can play them while writing, but listening before I start helps get me in the mood (I can’t even listen while writing this post! I just tried and failed, haha). It’s completely new territory for me, but I have to say, I hope it continues. Those songs fit the mood and feel of the story so well. I can imagine my characters going through all those trials with Placebo playing in the background and I can feel the tension and emotions. It’s incredibly inspriting, so I’m going to continue to try to think of music to fit my manuscript and hope my two loves (books and music of course!) learn to synch up.

Do you write to music? Do you create a book soundtrack? Or, like me, do you get distracted?

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The Name Game

I have two younger siblings. When my parents were picking out their names, they looked at our family tree, they considered names they just liked, and the they took note of the popular names at the time so they could stay away from them. My brother’s name comes directly from a distant relative. Outside of my family, I’d never heard it before. The second he’s born though, boom! there were all these other kids named Cole popping up (although he’s the only Coleman I know–he just goes by Cole). Same thing with my sister. Madison and Sydney were all the rage when she was born. Then my parents named her Emily and suddenly there were Emilys all over the place.

I’ve noticed this trend in literature too. In my current WIP, I originally named one of my characters Warner, thinking it was a name I liked but hadn’t heard much. Then I found out there are several books out, like “Shatter Me” by Taherah Mafi, with a Warner. So I switched the name to Warren. Not long after the switch, I got a new story from a critique partner with a Warren. I then realized I’d named my character’s best friend Jessa, and my CP’s character’s best friend in an earlier story was Tessa. I’d already changed my character’s name because it didn’t feel right, but I think it didn’t feel right because it wasn’t my name.

It got me thinking, where do we derive our names? There’s a good chance my CP’s Tessa subconsciously spawned Jessa in my head. Possibly the same for her and Warren. But I never read the books with Warner. Like my parents, I thought I’d come up with an original name.

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of tweets from agents regarding names; asking for new and different names. Not wacky names, but they’ve seen a ton of Cassie and Bree and Ally. I noticed this myself during the Writer’s Voice contest. Trust me, when you read 200 queries in a row you start to notice the similarities, especially with character names. Where are they coming from though? Homages to friends? Names the writer just likes? Other literature or blog posts and what-not seeping into the subconscious?

Some of mine come to me already formed. With my last ms, I was trying to go to sleep and the characters appeared in my head, already named. Most of my characters require more thought, though. I make a mental note when I come across a name I like and store it away for later. Then, when I’m writing, I think about what name best fits the character’s personality. I usually research the name meanings and try to make the meaning fit the character. The hardest part is steering clear of people I know. Maybe I shouldn’t worry, but I don’t want someone seeing the name and thinking I got the character from them, especially if it’s a villain. (Caveat: of course I’m inspired by people I know, but no one person is ever entirely a character. I would hate it if I named a character Hannah and pointed out all her flaws and problems and my real friend Hannah thought it was all her, you know?) I kind of did this in my first ms. It was a fantasy story, so I took the names of family and altered them. Of course then I started feeling bad for not including everyone; then I worried about how those people would think they were being portrayed. From then on I’ve just steered clear, although the MC in my current WIP is derived from a sweet old lady I went to church with growing up–I just liked the name, though, and it was something I hadn’t seen before (although I fully expect it to start cropping up now, haha!).

I don’t want kids, so instead of dreaming of what I would name my children one day, I dream of what to name my characters. Coming up with names in stories is easier for me than naming things in real life. My husband and I pondered for days on what to name our pets. I got a new car last night and struggled with a suitable name (she’s a white Honda CR-V). Previous vehicles were Ol’ Smokey (1992 Pontiac Sunbird that burned oil like a freight train), The Gray Ghost (1989 Jeep Cherokee that was four or five different colors gray), and The Who Ride (1996 Nissan Sentra with pimp tints–it came that way, not my doing). I couldn’t figure out what to call the new one though. Eventually, I let go and pretended I was writing it in a story and bam! I had her name. Pearl. Hubby added Minnie to it since she’s a small SUV, so she’s now Minnie Pearl. (Side note, I had a cat named Minnie when I was a kid. My dad helped me come up with her name. I thought Minnie was ironic because she was a cat named after a mouse, which was part of Daddy’s thinking as well, but we had different concepts for the middle name. I wanted Mae, after my best friend; he wanted Paws. I thought he was saying she had little paws because he was a kitten, and I thought it was stupid because she was going to grow. So I held my ground and she became Minnie Mae. Only when I got older did I put Daddy’s names together and get what he was going for. Minnie Paws…if you haven’t gotten it, say it out loud, ha!).

Where do you get your character names? Are they derivative from something else you’ve read? Inspired by friends/family? Or do they have a deeper meaning?

Randomness #5- The Hardest Time

I’ve had two very best friends in my life. My dad and my husband. Sure, I’ve had others who I’ve called my “best friend,” one friend since I was five and one I’ve had since my freshman year of college fit into that category. They were both in my wedding and we still keep in touch and all, but when I think of people I could really talk to and bear my soul with, only my dad and my husband fall into that category. It sounds weird, I know, that my dad would be my best friend, but it’s completely true. We were just alike–he used to say we shared a brain–so we could talk for hours. When I was home, we’d stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning listening to music and watching funny videos on YouTube or talking about religion and philosophy and politics and life and everything. Until I met Hubby, my dad was the only person I could be involved in a deep conversation with one minute, then laughing at Chappelle Show or something the next.

Unfortunately, as you probably guess, I lost my dad–three years ago this coming Sunday (June 24), around 6:30p.m. So, this is a hard week for me. Father’s Day sucks because I have no one left to celebrate. My last Father’s Day with my dad was spent in the hospital. In case you’re wondering, he was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer) just six months prior, and was 43 when he died. This year Father’s Day and the 24th, what I call my Dark Day, are exactly a week apart.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Daddy, but I’ve been especially thinking about him a lot lately. Whenever I go through something difficult or trying, or whenever I have great news or a big decision, I want to call my dad. The last couple of weeks have sucked. Hubby was out of town and the car had problems and I’ve had issues with a co-worker who is driving me up the wall, one thing after another, and I’ve just wanted to vent to my dad.

Thanks to the car problems, Hubby and I are looking for a new one, my first new car actually, and Daddy is the one person I want to consult. I actually almost picked up the phone to call him the other day (I found a Maserati sedan for $44k and joked with Hubby about buying it–yeah, I’m a total car girl–and I wanted to kid around with Daddy and dream of the expensive sports cars we would love to have but can’t afford, and honestly can’t justify even if we could afford them!). In the last year we bought our first house, which is another moment I wanted to share since my dad never owned property. Even silly things like a song I think he would love make me want to call him.  Want to hear a crazy coincidence?  Wednesday night we listed my car on Craigslist. An hour later I had a text from a guy who wanted to see it.  The guy pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot with a woman and gave the car a once over with Hubby, leaving me and his girlfriend standing off to the side talking. Turns out, she knew my parents–they graduated high school together. Of course she knew about Daddy’s illness and everything. It was completely random. They’d been glancing at Craigslist every few days. We live almost 100 miles from my hometown, by the way. It was just another reminder of him this week.

What prompted this more personal than normal blog post was my terrible day yesterday. It’s like my body knows my heart’s pain. I woke up yesterday morning with a migraine. I described it as an evil invisible dwarf hammering railroad spikes into my skull. It wasn’t the worst I’ve endured, but I didn’t get vertical until around 2:30 and didn’t turn on the lights until 4:30. I’d never experienced a migraine until right after my dad died. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning one day with a jackhammer in my skull, and worse, with no feeling in the right half of my body. Hubby woke up and asked what was wrong, but I couldn’t speak. We raced to the hospital, afraid it was a stroke or something even though I was only 26. It happened again a few days later, except the left side of my body went numb. I saw various doctors and underwent MRIs and scans, etc, etc, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. By the time the next one occurred, numbing my entire upper half, I had begun putting the pieces together.

Migraines sometimes come with auras. They can be things like seeing colors around people and objects or zig-zag lines. Then there’s this thing called a Hemiplegic migraine, which produces stroke-like symptoms including body numbness and slurred speech. (Funny note, apparently June is migraine awareness month. Yesterday, I wasveryaware!). After those three, the Hemiplegic migraines stopped. I’ve gotten bad headaches, but only a couple in true migraine territory. They haven’t come with the numbness, but they’ve been up there in the pain category. Yesterday’s got me wondering if the migraines are connected with my grief.

It’s not that I haven’t “moved on.” After a few months of being unable to do anything, I picked up and carried on with life, and life has been pretty good. Overall, I’ve been happy, is what I’m trying to say. But there is always a hole, a gap that will never get filled. I think of life like a puzzle. It starts with a handful of pieces that make a small section, and as you grow and age you find more pieces and fit them into their slots. By the time you die you have a finished picture. Except sometimes with puzzles, you lose pieces, or they get bent or wet, or something and they don’t fit just right.

For one year, my puzzle was almost perfect. I’d married the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, that one puzzle piece that filled a hole I didn’t know existed. Then a year later, another big piece disappeared. Daddy had said it was a balance. He told me he felt comfortable leaving me because I had Hubby, I had someone else to lean on. I guess he’s right, but there will always be a giant hole in my puzzle (there are other big holes, where my grandfathers were and other important people in my life, but no one played as big a role as Daddy). And this week, that hole is more apparent. Sure, I have happiness and joy in my life. Today or tomorrow we’re buying the car, which I am completely excited about. I’m working on a new story that I absolutely love and have high hopes for, and there are so many good things in my life. But no matter how great things are, my happiness will always be tempered with missing my dad, because I will always want to share it with my best friend.

 

The Mid-Game Slump and the 7th Inning Stretch

I have a love/hate relationship with baseball. Everything surrounding the game is wonderful. The songs and chants, the root-root-rooting for the home team, the smell of dirt and grass, the aluminum foil wrapped hot dogs fresh off the grill, the creak of ball glove leather, and the crack of bats. The game itself though? Meh. Hours of sitting on uncomfortable metal or concrete bleachers, or those hard plastic seats that afford zero leg room to anyone over five feet, while the drunk guy behind you sloshes warm beer all over the place and/or spits his chewing tobacco at his feet, which, thanks to the narrow rows, is right next to your head. Or worse, tips over his dip cup onto you and your belongings (that actually happened to me once and still induces a hard shudder as I picture my grainy, brown, used tobacco stained, reeking purse. I threw it away in case you’re wondering). All while you’re waiting for something, anything, to actually happen during the game.

Playing baseball is completely different. I love it. I played softball for twelve years and considered playing in college. I could play all day long. But watch? No.

The thing about baseball is it starts off so great. The first inning or so is exciting. Energy is up throughout the stadium, people are still (relatively) sober, the food is fresh, the players are ready to go. But toward the third or fourth inning, it slumps. The excitement wanes, the beer flows more freely, the seat starts to hurt your butt and you check your watch repeatedly, like that will speed up time, wondering if it’s acceptable to just go ahead and leave. Then, at the end of the sixth inning, the game picks up again. The seventh inning stretch. Every minor or major league baseball game I’ve ever been to has something special, some tradition they do, for the seventh inning stretch. (They almost always involve everyone singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”). The excitement picks back up. The close of the game is here. It’s the last chance for the teams to come from behind or solidify their win. You’re on your feet, root-root-rooting once more, urging your team forward, to the win!

Writing is a lot like baseball, at least it is for me. The beginning is always wonderful. A great new idea takes hold, like a baby plant, its roots spring out and dance across the top of your mind. You put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and write and the roots dig in a little deeper. You get on a roll, ideas firing left and right, as the characters and the story reveal themselves. Then you hit the third or fourth inning. The mid-game slump. The story slows down, you forget to water the plant and the leaves droop. Sometimes, this is when I want to leave the game. Both teams suck and the story isn’t going anywhere. I question my writing. “I suck. I can’t write. What am I doing?” But, I stay. That far in, I always stay. You slog through. You re-read the scene you thought wasn’t fit to use as toilet paper and it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it was pretty good (although the current scene is definitely terrible…ha!). You water the plant and the color picks up and the roots deepen. Then realize you’re nearing the seventh inning. The home stretch. Excitement grips once again and your off, writing like a bandit. The plot twists and energy builds and you’re rooting for your main character to hang in there, to overcome the bad guy, to win! When you finish, you sit back and stare at the scoreboard and marvel at a game well played.

I’m in that mid-game slump right now. The story is planted in my brain and I know I’m going to finish; I’m in too far and too much in love with the story to quit. I’ve just got to get over that hill. The Pixar Touch posted a list of story rules as tweeted by Emily Coats, basically how to story board tips.. (Go check it out, there are some really good ideas!). Here are three of the tips I think I’m going to try to push myself to the seventh inning stretch:

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

There are so many other gems she mentions. The tip I have is don’t quit. In the middle of the game when the guy behind you is steadily getting more drunk and the players seem like someone slipped Quaaludes in their Gatorade, and that stupid fluffy contraption they call a mascot won’t freaking shut-up, and your butt hurts, and you just want to leave– DON’T. Stay. Because in a little while, the excitement will build again. The crowd will rise and start singing and the game will pick up and you’ll figure it out.

Do you have any tips for getting through the mid-game slump? I would love to hear them! (Oh, and go Red Sox! Yes, I’m a southern gal, but I love that team!)

Coffee Shop Coup and My New Writing Rule

When I started writing, I had a very strict rule: I would only write when I felt like it and not force myself to do it. I didn’t want it to feel like work. Like something I had to do. I had one main reason for placing such importance on this rule. I’d just finished law school, where I had to write constantly. Our exams were essays (and we only had one exam all semester–talk about pressure!), the first year we all took legal writing (memo first semester, brief second), the second year I had a thirty page rigorous writing requirement (it was kind of fun at least–I wrote on music and incitement to act), and the third year I clerked for a criminal defense attorney mostly writing legal briefs. Even writing all that bores me. I wrote too much for work, writing a story had to be fun.

It started great. I wrote the first draft in about three months. Edited for another few, and tinkered with it on and off for a couple years. Then a new story idea hit and bam! I attacked it right out of the gates. It still didn’t feel like work. The words flew out of my fingertips. I got more serious about editing that one though, and it gradually turned more tedious. Something I had to get done so I could submit. I started reading more about writing, how the most important rule was to force yourself to write.

Wait, what? I read more blogs, more books, more websites, more advice from other writers. If you were serious about writing, the key, they said, was butt in chair. It threw me for a loop. I’d always been serious about writing. I wanted to get published, but I wanted it to be fun…on second thought, maybe I hadn’t been serious about it. If I wasn’t before, though. I am now. So I developed goals, a chapter done a day. That was great while I edited. Finishing, however, left me floating into an abyss of shiny new ideas, but nothing that shaped into a workable form past one or two chapters.

Then I finally hit on something again. The first twenty thousand words came easily. I submitted the first chapter for critique and got pretty good feedback for a rough draft and kept going. Now I’m in a sticky patch. This story requires more thought and planning. It’s becoming more work. I’m at the point where the old Sarah would apply the old rule and put it down until I felt inspired to write again. New Sarah has a new rule though–butt in chair, words on page. I realized if I want this to be a career, it’s going to be work.

It’s taking some adjusting. Four years of doing things one way is hard to break. Especially when life intervenes. Saturday, Hubby left town to visit his parents for a few days before he switches to a new job. I had just settled in at my favorite coffee shop for a day of unfettered writing, determined to work through the snaggle and get several thousand words down. Then Hubby called. He’d only made it fifteen miles or so out of town when the car started acting up. We’d just dropped some serious dough to fix it the previous Monday, but there we were again. I’d written a grand total of one sentence, and not even a very good one, when I had to pack up and meet Hubby at the dealership.

We borrowed a friend’s truck and Hubby took our other car to see his parents, so I at least had Sunday to write. My favorite coffee shop closes on Sundays, and there are too many distractions (like the dog, the cats, laundry, dishes, tv) at home, so I set up shop at Starbucks and started writing. Except a guy sat right next to me and carried on a conversation with a friend (standing in front of him), and it was impossible to block the talking and the loud music. Thankfully he didn’t stay long, and another patron had a problem with the music and asked the barista to turn it down. I was going to get work done after all!

Except the guy didn’t ask nicely. The barista told him she couldn’t control the volume. He complained again, and she turned the volume up. He complained louder, threatened to get managers involved, riled up other patrons. A full on coffee coup d’etat brewed (pun intended, hehe). The guy yelled, the barista yelled back. The guy threatened to call corporate. The barista told him to go ahead and see how much she cared. The coffee shop split. People on the man’s side stood and shook their pitchforks…I mean coffee straws and fists. Those on the barista’s side grumbled to themselves. Newcomers came in looking confused, ordered their drinks and scurried out. I sank lower in my seat and tried to force the words onto the page. I inserted a placeholder in one scene and moved to the next. The angry man, who was on crutches by the way and deaf in one ear (which he repeatedly stated), stood directly in front of me shouting over the bar.

Finally, the manager turned the music down and I breathed a sigh of relief. I could finally get some writing done. I dove back in. The man sat down and started talking louder than the music had been. He and the lady with him blared music from their laptops and phones, laughing and singing. Now, I understand needing things louder if you’re hard of hearing, but that’s what headphones are for. He was worse than the music had been.

By this point, I had been tossed completely out of the writing zone. The words were in my head, but they were jammed in the pipeline to my fingertips. I think the angry man had scared them. Words are like timid animals at times. They cower and try to disappear. You have to coax them out with a soft voice and tasty treats. Too many loud noises though, too much disruption, and they tuck their tales and retreat to their dens. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t convince them to venture back out. So I went home and watched “August Rush” on tv instead.

This new rule is going to take some getting used to. Old habits are hard to break, but break them I will. Because I am serious about writing. It’s not some hobby like it started out, where publishing would be nice. It’s a career, a job like any other, and publishing isn’t something that would be cool, it has to happen. Must happen. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to smear grease paint across my face and go to war against those words. I’ve got a daily goal to meet.

ETA: I meant to include this but forgot. My first manuscript was rubbish. I mean, even the edits were bad. I went back recently and tried to revise and was struck with how terrible it was. The idea itself I’m still in love with, but the writing, well, I can’t believe I let anyone read it! The problem with writing whenever I felt like it, was the writing came out disjointed and the same phrases kept repeating, because I’d forgotten I’d used them in the previous chapter. Making myself achieve a daily writing goal keeps the story together and fresh. It makes more sense as I read and I don’t forget what else I’ve done. I can see how my plotting has improved. I get my ideas down before I forget them. Stephen King said real writers write every day. I’m working up to managing it on the weekends, but for now, if I can get in a chapter a day Monday through Friday, I’m pretty pleased with myself.

What the What? Another Award!

Holy crap! This week I have received not just one, which was extraordinary in and of itself, but two blog awards.  I am just on cloud nine this week. Thank you to BW Taylor at Descent into Slushland for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Like I said in my last post, I started this blog as a place to write about writing, but it evolved into something else, somewhere to share more of myself as well as my writing. I am thrilled to receive this award and to be considered a versatile blogger.

The rules say I have to give seven random facts about myself, so:

1.  I’m a big kid at heart. I have a saying that you’re never too old to roll down a hill and I live by that. I love to play, in fact, it’s one of the great things about my marriage, Hubby and I play–a lot, like sword fighting with wrapping paper tubes and playing hide and seek in the house. One of my goals in life is to never truly grow up.

2. I’ve been to 22 states (Alabama, Georgia, S. Carolina, N. Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado), and 6 countries (Switzerland, Italy, the Vatican, Monaco, France, Ireland, and Mexico).

3. In my entire life, I have only eaten on flavor ice cream at Baskin Robbins. A double scoop of chocolate chip on a sugar cone. After almost thirty years of the same thing, I now refuse to break my streak.

4. In college, I once ran around the dorm with a cardboard box on my head dancing to the song “Living in a Box.” In my defense, I was 18, and it made perfect sense. But in all honesty, I’d probably do it again now. (See #1).

5. I have a tendency to laugh like the cartoon dog Muttley (you know, from the Great Space Race) when I do something sneaky or devious.

6. Apparently, I eat like a lizard, flicking my tongue out and drawing food into my mouth. Hubby caught this and pointed it out as I’d never realized. With french fries, I curl my tongue around them and pull them in one at a time.

7. Similarly, I can touch my nose with my tongue.

Now, I have to nominate seven other bloggers:

1. My Writing Journey

2. A.M. Schilling: Thoughts of an Unknown Author

3. Aggghhhhh: Michelle Writes a Bunch and Yells at Herself

4. Jennifer M. Eaton (who I know has already received this award but totally deserves it again)

5. Emily Anne Shaffer

6. Ruth Lauren Steven

7. Valerie R. Lawson

I highly enjoy each of the blogs and the information and stories they share. Go check them out! And thanks again for this award.

 

I’m Appreciated! Reader Appreciation Award

I am just shocked and honored to have received a Reader Appreciation award from fellow blogger Jordanna East. To hear that my words are actually helpful to others amazes me and inspires me to keep posting. I started this blog as a place to pool the information on writing that I’ve garnered to help other writers through connections, inspiration, and shared experiences, as well as to discuss my own journey, and I love that I’m accomplishing that purpose. Thank you so much Jordanna, and all my readers, for this award. Head over to Jordanna’s blog to see what she’s been up to and share in her writing journey as well!

The rules of the award are that I have to tell you what I’ve been up to. Right now, I’m working on a speculative thriller, at least, that’s what I’m calling it right now. It’s a cross country race for my main character to save her kidnapped dad. It’s still in the beginning stages, and even I don’t know all the twists and turns.  All I know is government agents are on her tail and my last chapter ended with her and an annoying but cute boy in a sticky situation. Maybe once I finish, and revise, I’ll post a teaser.

Now it’s my turn to pass this along to six other bloggers. Jordanna awarded bloggers whose posts helped her own writing, and I want to do the same, as well as award blogs I just love to read. The information and inspiration I get from these writers is amazing and I appreciate each of them. I don’t know if they’ve received this award before, although I’m sure some of them have, but it never hurts to know you’re appreciated. Thanks guys, and thanks again, Jordanna!

1. Limey Lit Girl

2. Rachel Writes Things

3. Sincerely Sarah

4. Word Thief

5. Mother. Write. (Repeat).

6. Michelle Krys