Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘Blogging’

Jamie’s Magical Modifiers

I’m in a re-blogging mood this week, apparently because you are writing posts I simply can’t resist.

I made the mistake of re-blogging this excellent post about adverbs and adjectives to my private ‘lessons’ blog (where I file teaching posts I want to save), only to discover I cannot now re-blog it here. Aspiring writers will appreciate this ‘lesson’.

I struggle with the whole ‘show; don’t tell’ concept – not fully understanding or embracing it. Of the many ‘expert’ posts I’ve read on the topic, Jamie’s is the most succinct and specific, and includes the best examples of how to use adverbs and adjectives to spice our writing.

I’ve wanted to give a shout-out to this group of professional writers  – New Hampshire Writers’ Network  – who blog at Live to Write – Write to Live.

While I enjoy all the writers on that site, I salivate every Saturday morning while reading Jamie’s regular Saturday post.

If you read today’s post, please use your time commenting there instead of here. Enjoy and learn !

Sunflowers for Tina



“Turn your face to the sun,
and the shadows fall behind you”
Maori Proverb

I am participating in a memorial tribute to Tina Downey, a well-known and beloved blogger who recently passed away. Tina’s favorite flower was the Sunflower, and today we are all honoring Tina with our Sunflower Blogfest.

How fitting: Tina and Sunflowers

A flower whose face seeks the sun in all its vibrant warmth and blazing glory.


A flower that towers in the fields; whose stalk is sturdy; and whose face is perpetually open to the world.

Sometimes bent; rarely broken; swaying with the blustery wind; standing strong against the rages of crackling lightning, booming thunder and pounding hail.

Hearty souls dwelling on the high plains under crisp blue skies and towering Colorado mountains.

Tina and Sunflowers

Forever linked.

Singing their spirit chorus, blessing Heaven and Earth:

Life Is Good


A Blogging Star Dims – Tina Downey

We unexpectedly lost a member of our blogging community over the weekend. Tina Downey, who blogged at Life is Good, died Saturday evening in Longmont, Colorado. Tina was a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend whose life ended far too soon.

I met Tina in February shortly after I heard about the April A-to-Z Challenge. I was a new blogger, was intrigued by the Challenge, and was scrolling through the list of those organizing the Challenge, and came upon the blogname: Life Is Good.

What’s not to like about a blog with that name? It was “a sign”. Hub and I drink from Life Is Good mugs, and wear Life Is Good hats, and I wear Life is Good knee sox all winter long.

Somewhat timidly, since I had barely ventured into the blogworld, I left Tina a comment on her “About” page. The next thing I knew, I had a four-paragraph response from Tina exuding personality, enthusiasm, humor and encouragement – “join the Challenge!”, she said. “You won’t be sorry, and I will help you every step of the way.”

And she did. Not only was she a consistent commenter, but she and I exchanged numerous emails throughout the Challenge – all while Tina was tirelessly carrying out her duties as one of the Challenge captains and making sure her team of minions was fulfilling their tasks.

Tina wrote lovingly about her Swedish family, culture and traditions during the Challenge, and her regular blog was a meld of memories, family tales, opinions and humor. Tina was a strong presence in the blogworld; she wrote boldly, had a large following, and made newcomers feel like longtime members of “the club”.

Maggie, another of my favorite bloggers, wrote recently about Connectors. Tina was the quintessential Connector. I don’t think I would have joined the A to Z Challenge if Tina hadn’t welcomed me as she did. Which means I wouldn’t have met most of you. That is one small example of the many ways Tina touched YOUR lives, even though you might not know her or have followed her blog. I blog, in part, because Tina made me feel like I belonged.

I am so saddened at Tina’s death, and for the loss her family now has to live with. I am glad her suffering is over, but she was taken far too soon, and that is difficult to understand. My prayers go out to all who knew and loved Tina, and I will keep her with me always in my writing.

Even if you didn’t know Tina, please visit Life is Good and leave a comment for her family. Our blogging community has lost a valuable and cherished friend.



The Last I Heard, He Was Slurping a Daiquiri

I have a confession.



I have committed the ultimate blogging sin.

I lust after another blogger’s muse.

Morpheus Source: Wikipedia Dream (comics)

Source: Wikipedia Dream (comics)


In my defense, I don’t have a muse. Every writer ought to have a muse, and we ARE a sharing community, right?


Fine, I might have overstepped on the “sharing” boundary, but honestly I think Kirsten has kicked Morpheus to the curb.

The last I heard, Morpheus was slurping daiquiris and chiding Kirsten for blogging when she should have been working on her novel.

He’s either lying in the gutter in a drunken stupor or Kirsten has committed Morpheus-murder.

Don’t we owe it to muses everywhere to grill Kirsten on Morpheus’s whereabouts?

(Seriously, folks, Kirsten is a talented writer worth a look-see.)

Readers: Reading and Beyond

What traits DO we want in our readers?


Just as we appreciate quality in writing, we appreciate thoughtful, engaged readers. Of course, the primary way readers support us is by leaving comments.

In our multi-tasking, fast-paced world, it is reasonable that readers will do a certain amount of “skimming” – they show up, skim your post, click the “like” button and move on to the next blog. I do this myself if time is limited or bloggers post multiple times a day.

Most of the time though, I linger on each post reading and absorbing the content. I try to respond in the way that will be most meaningful to that blogger and that specific post:

  • Encourage; praise; sympathize
  • Relate a similar experience or triggered thought
  • Inject some humor into my comment
  • Ask for more information
  • Heartily agree – or respectfully disagree – with an opinion
  • Suggest an answer or resolution
  • Recommend a link to a relevant blogger or online resource

Knowing how to comment effectively becomes easier as your engagement with specific bloggers evolves. I try to take cues from bloggers’ tones, their comments to me, and their “about” pages to determine the frequency of contact and degree of intimacy each blogger seems comfortable with. (Note: I’m not sure I’m successful!)

Beyond comments, how can readers support bloggers?



Participating in daily challenges, blog hops, shout-outs and award nominations are all ways readers can acknowledge bloggers.

Late at night, I browse by searching tag words – for example, “musings” or “life” – to find bloggers I might be interested in following. It’s akin to browsing in the stacks of my library, which has always been one of my favorite indoor pasttimes.

Readers who can afford to might purchase books by indie authors and art or photography from indie artists. Bloggers often recommend books that have impacted them. Reading those is a way to gain perspective in your blogging relationships. I have taken a cue from Damyanti, using some of my book budget to buy and enjoy the following reads:


jane's book

  • Whirled: Life, Loss, and Healing on the High Plains by Jane Willis Musings on her life as a minister in a small Wyoming town. 

    seneca scourge

  • The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin A medical thriller with a genre twist that gives her plot a unique flavor.


    Imaginary Friends

  • Imaginary Friends by Melanie Lee A compilation of Melanie’s A to Z Challenge fables with simple, thought-provoking messages for adults.



  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – Marci at Fuzzy Undertones recommended this graphic memoir of Marjane’s childhood in Iran. I found it highly informative and exceptionally creative, a great read I would never have discovered on my own.

    On my wish list for future purchases are:

  • A Dad’s Journey by Mark Trout


  • Climbing the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein (to be published Oct. 3, 2014)


  • Yakimali’s Gift by Linda Covella (to be published July 29, 2014).  Linda has THE BEST book trailer I have ever seen!


  • Art by several of my favorite artists (who will be featured soon in an artist shout-out post)


    I recently made a small contribution to Laurel Regan’s “Go Fund Me” campaign to help her reach her goal of attending a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) seminar. Laurel’s blog introduced me to my new tangling passion, and I have learned so much from her. She generously shares her expertise, and I am grateful for her mentoring.

    Are there other ways you support bloggers or feel supported by your readers?


Never underestimate the power of a question

Garden for the Soul

Finding peace in life's garden

besottment by paper relics

Musings and Amusings

Rosemary's Blog

A window into my world

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stories, tea and drippy paint

Dispatches From Kansas

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Women Writing the West®

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Rocky Mountain Land Library

A Resource Linking Land and Community

The Off Key Of Life

Or….Identifying The Harmless Unhinged Among Us.

Mountain Gazette

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Desert Reflections

Thoughts on people, place, being and belonging

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A hodgepodge of thoughts, ideas and the reality of life.

Fernwood Nursery & Gardens

Maine's Shadiest Nursery

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words


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Notes from a Western Life

The Windbreak House Blog by Linda M. Hasselstrom


Master Gardener, amateur photographer, quilter, NH native, and SC snowbird

Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Travel Tales of Life

Never Too Old To Explore


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A Dalectable Life

Doing the best I can to keep it on the bright side

The Magnolia Review

Just another site

sappy as a tree: celebrating beauty in creation

"I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree. . . ." -- "Trees," Joyce Kilmer

Michigan in Pictures

Photos of the Great Lakes State

Before Sundown

remember what made you smile

What oft was thought

"True wit is Nature to advantage dress'd, What oft was thought but ne'er so well express'd"--Alexander Pope ("Essay on Criticism").

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Daily Discussions of craft and the writing life

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Pacific Paratrooper

This site is Pacific War era information

Almost Iowa

Where irrationality trumps reason

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Tickled To Tangle

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Enthusiastic Artist

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Narrative of a Neurotic & Other Random Nonsense

Tangled Ink Art

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Brenda Swenson

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Linda Covella, Author

Welcome to middle grade and young adult author Linda Covella's website!

Destination NOW

The answer to "are we there yet?" News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams

My self-publishing journey and other literary moments


Roaming, at home and abroad


Adventures and Postcards from the road

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