Monday, November 23, 2015

Join the Christmas Joy Blog Hop!

                I am pleased to announce that in celebration of Christmas and my recent 100th post I will be hosting a blog hop on Monday, December 14, 2015. The Christmas Joy Blog Hop is for anyone who would like to share what brings them joy at Christmastime. Tell us what makes Christmas special for you. To participate, just sign up your blog on the linky list below, post on December 14 with the Christmas Joy badge >>>, and visit fellow participants to spread the Christmas cheer! You can make the post as long or as short as you would like. Here are some things you could include:

- A special Christmas memory
- Favorite Christmas song/carol
- Share why you celebrate Christmas
- Favorite decorations, favorite food or treats, etc.
- The best gift you ever gave or received
- Traditions

I will probably include all of the above because Christmas has always been my favorite time of year! So, please join in on the fun and feel free to tell your friends :)

Christmas Joy Blog Hop Participants:
10. Birgit

Be Thankful

                I would like to wish my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving! Take a moment to remember the things God has blessed you with and thank Him for what He has done in your life. Sometimes we get so focused on what we don’t have, that we forget the things we do have. Don’t take those things for granted. I know the recent attacks in Paris are still heavy on our hearts, and that is reason enough to hold on tighter to those you love. At the end of our lives, the people we care about are much more important than wealth or fame, so tell your loved ones that you are grateful for them today!

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Celebrating a Blogging Milestone

Sawyer is ready to celebrate!

             The wait is over, it is time for my special announcement! This post marks a special milestone in my blogging history. Are you ready to find out what it is?





*This is my 100th blog post!*
            Congrats to Arlee Bird for guessing my milestone correctly! I also recently passed the 5th anniversary of starting this blog on September 19. Although, I cannot say that I have been blogging for five years since I took about a year and a half hiatus.

            It is exciting to reach 100 posts :) I have finally reached a point where I post once a week unless  circumstances don’t allow me to. Posting regularly was my initial intention when I created this blog, but back then I did not discipline myself very well with my writing and ultimately ended up posting only once a month until I abandoned blogging entirely in late 2013. I missed sharing my writing with my friends during that time away, and then I found out about the A to Z Challenge in February 2015 and decided to return with a vengeance! I discovered new connections with the amazing blogging community and I was again able to share my writing with my friends who read my posts from the beginning. So thank you to all my friends, both old and new, for sharing in my adventures with blogging! As a part of this celebration, I decided to create a Facebook fan page. Now my Facebook friends and fellow bloggers can unite to find my latest updates, blog posts, and fun extras. I decided to use my full name, Elizabeth Ann Otten, for my writings and you can find me here:

            But wait, there's more! I am also considering hosting a Christmas blog hop. I would probably have it in mid-December. What do you think? Would you like to participate in a Christmas-themed blog hop? I know that I would need to visit all the participants if I took on this endeavor, is there anything else I need to know about hosting a blog hop? What would be a good day, I'm thinking a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday?

Yay Christmas!

                One more thing: I realized that a few weeks ago I said I would publish this post on Monday. Apparently, I forgot that the last two weeks when I said this would be a Wednesday post. Oh well, sorry if anyone noticed that and was confused.
I hope everyone has a great day! Please Like my page if you have a Facebook. And let me know your thoughts on a blog hop :) 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Feeling a Little Crafty

            This past weekend I attended a Women in the Outdoors (WITO) event. This was my third time to participate and as always, it was a lot of fun. The only downside is that something stirred up my allergies and sinuses and I am still trying to clear my head congestion :( So, with the weekend activities and the need to sleep more the rest of this week, I have gotten behind on comments again. One of these days I will get myself on a decent blogging/community schedule. I enjoy hearing from all of you (Facebook friends included). Just hang in there, I will return your visits, eventually :)

            Without further ado, here are some pictures of the crafts I made at WITO. Yes, we pick the indoor crafting classes at an event that includes the word "outdoors," lol. Although, one class was outside under a canopy.

Cords on Gourds

Medicine Bag

Paint and Bake Tiles

As an added bonus, here are some of last year's crafts:

Antler Jewelry
Corn Husk Doll
Finger Weaving

*** Stay tuned next Wednesday for a special announcement! Does anyone want to guess what blogging milestone I'm reaching next week? ***

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November IWSG: Giving Thanks

            Time for another posting with the Insecure Writer's Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another.  IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts the first Wednesday of the month.  The co-hosts for November are: Tyrean Martinson, Karen Walker, Denise Covey, and Stephen Tremp.  

                This past Saturday night, I was feeling particularly insecure about the short story I submitted to the IWSG Anthology Contest and I thought I would be writing about that today. I’ll be honest, I don’t think that my story was that great. I procrastinated too long and I feel like I could have put more thought into developing my characters and plot if I had more time. But my story is no longer an insecurity for me. On Sunday, I spent some time with a good friend of mine and got a lot more than writing insecurities talked out. And on Monday, I read this post from Chrys Fey about her gratitude challenge. So, I felt inspired to share some things I’m grateful for with writing over the last week.
                I’m grateful that I finished my story. I may not have polished it up as much as I would have liked, but I’m glad I wrote it. I now have a 5000 word short story completed, which is much longer than any other fictional stories I wrote in high school. I know this may not seem that big to those who write novels or are participating in the NaNoWriMo, but this is a huge first step for me! Plus, I submitted my story to a contest for others to judge, gasp! By the way, good luck to all those participating in NaNo! I only recently found out about it. Maybe I’ll be ready to try it out next year, we’ll see.
I’m grateful for those who commented on my last post who were encouraging me to write my book. I actually haven't thought about it for a while and I have not added very much to my collection of stories, journal entries, and introverted frustrations for months. I was reading through some of my collection before I posted and thinking about continuing my work on it. Maybe it is time to turn it from collecting dust back to a work in progress.
I’m grateful for our Ninja Captain Alex for sorting through all those emailed contest submissions and making sure we have them in an editable file format, lol :) I’m grateful for Chrys Fey for her reminder to look at the positive things in life. And I’m grateful for my friend, Shannon, I’m glad we had that chat, it really helped me put my story (and other things) in perspective :) In fact, I’m grateful for all my wonderful readers and followers, family and friends. Thanks for stopping by!
What are you grateful for with your writing or the blog community this month?

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Question of the Month

                The Question of the Month is a bloghop that occurs the first Monday of each month and it is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino from A Life Examined. November’s question is a good one:

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
                I can definitely say that I am an introvert. I gain my energy from being alone. My energy and motivation drain the longer I am around people and the more crowded it is. Over the years, I have felt so incredibly misunderstood by many people. So much so that I actually have considered writing a book about being introverted. I have pages of notes and journal entries that I have collected about introversion. Since this applies to today’s question, here is a small snippet from my “book” just for you, my blog readers :)
                The minds of introverts are so very different from our extroverted counterparts. Not to say that all extroverts are like this, but some people just spew out everything that comes to their minds. I put thought into almost everything I say. There have been countless times that I've come up with a great point to make or a funny anecdote only to realize that the conversation has moved far beyond the topic I was focusing on. It's hard to keep up. I have the same problems with interviews. I don't think outgoing people realize how much harder communication is for a person like me. Most people just think I really don't want to say anything at all, but I'm screaming on the inside.
                I don’t always feel that way in conversations. There are moments where words come to me easily and it is usually around people I know well or people who know how to say the right things to get me talking. In fact, when I am around those people, who can get past the small talk, I feel more comfortable staying longer without feeling the need to run home and recharge. Anyway, this barely touches the surface of my personal experience with being introverted, but I don’t want to spoil my book, lol. I will leave you with some fun memes I found for my fellow introverts.

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