Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Summer is winding down in a lot of places and folks are gearing up for Fall. Pumpkins, Halloween decorations and even some Christmas décor is popping up all around. It’s still way too hot for me to think about Fall sweaters and hot spiced beverages but the folks in retail don’t really pay attention to the weather.


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While I was composing my blog for this week, I was having trouble coming up with a clever, cute, catchy title. I don’t know why because usually the title is the least of my blogging woes. But, for some reason I just could not decide on a title. So, I decided to scroll back through my previous posts and see if I could see a pattern or find an old post that I could resurrect or change the title a bit. And that’s when I found something I just couldn’t believe!


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It’s been a tough week my friends. Lots of unexpected stuff happening right now. Lots of stuff I have no control over but I’ve tied a big knot and I’m holding on. We all have those life moments. (more…)

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So it seems as though the end of the world year is upon us. There being only a very short amount of time left upon this earth calendar year, I feel as though I should openly express my gratitude for the wonderful things I have enjoyed since January 1st of this year.

But, before I get started, I must congratulate Pat O’Dea. She is the lucky winner of my sweet surprise from last month’s blog! Congratulations, Pat!

Now, let the gratitude begin:

First, I am grateful for my family and friends who have circled the wagons when I needed protection, smiled when I needed encouragement, scolded when I’d strayed off course, and just plain been available when necessary.

Second, I’d like to thank my cyber friends, new and not-so-new. I’ve managed to get through an entire year of blogging, albeit only once a month, but, since that was my goal, I can proudly say that I accomplished it. Next year, should there be one, my goal is to increase my blogging presence with twice-montly posts! I know you’re all dancing with glee!

2012 was a year of great expeditions, great acquisitions and great accomplishments! In March I was able to visit with treasured friends at our annual Nascar weekend in Vegas.

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In June my wonderful husband and I were able to enjoy seven amazing days in the Western Caribbean!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 091

We climbed ancient Mayan ruins, went cave-tubing in Belize, boarded a pirate ship and swam in the warm clear waters of Grand Cayman and zipped through the jungle in Roartan on 4-wheel quads!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 163

In July we moved into our new home, in September I traded in my old Subaru with 214,000+ miles on it for a brand new 2012 Nissan AWD Rogue and in October we visited one of our favorite places, Disney World!

WDW 2012 036

While there, I thoroughly enjoyed my very first trick-or-treating experience! Having been denied such “normal” childhood activities, I was overjoyed when I learned that Disney encouraged kids of ALL ages to trick-or-treat. Here’s my husband and I getting ready to embark on our redneck tourist trick-or-treating journey:

WDW 2012 071

WDW 2012 072

Aren’t we OMG hideous! We looked ridiculous, but we had a lot of fun.

All in all it’s been a pretty awesome year. When it’s all said and done, I have no regrets, lasting memories, more friends than I started the year with, and positive goals for the new life year ahead.

Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for your support throughout this year. I hope to see you all again in the upcoming months should we all survive the prophesied apocolypse! Have happy and safe holidays and feel free to share your accomplishments and gratitude in the comments below! I’d love to celebrate with you!

Word of the day:  Moppet

Fun fact about me: I totaled my very first brand new car before I even got my license plates! (That’s not really such a FUN fact is it?)

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June is gone and I missed it. Well except for week one. I definitely didn’t miss that part of the month. Week one I was on vacation, which was totally groovy. As many of you know I visited the Western Caribbean with my sweetie (in some circles known as the cabana boy) and had an awesome time.

Upon arrival back in the good old U. S. of A. it was nothing but hard labor for the rest of the month. The Hubs and I have been house shopping and finally found a place that we can call home again. Not that we’ve been homeless mind you, but rather a place to call OUR home. We’ve been living in someone else’s house.

Here’s the history in a nutshell: 

Several years go we moved into my parents’ house to help care for my mother who was suffering from a long bout with her second form of cancer. Following her death, we stayed around to help my dad come to terms with living without his companion of 50 years. We have never felt completely at home in Dad’s house. He eventually healed (as much as a person can heal after that) and is moving forward.

And so, it is time for all of us to move on to a new chapter in our lives. Dad sold his house; we bought our own house; he’s buying a smaller house close to where we are going to be living.

As always when one moves an entire house full of furniture, clothing, dishes, appliances, knick-knacks, lawn and garden tools, etc., quite a bit of work goes into packing and physically transporting the stuff from one place to another. A logical person and one with a larger budget than we have, would hire professional folks to do this. We are apparently not logical and we’re cheap because we packed and moved ourselves. With the exception of my oversized grand piano that not only requires professional movers but an entire room all to itself upon arrival at its new home.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 – moving day. Funny the things you learn about people that you thought you knew but apparently don’t know quite as well as you thought you did. Most of my “friends,” I’ve discovered, have bad backs, bum knees, arthritic hands, swollen ankles, and various other ailments that preclude them from lifting, bending, climbing stairs, or pretty much any form of labor intensive work. Who knew? They all appear to be healthy when we enjoy dinner together, or a movie, or a theater show. They themselves have moved and some are very involved in various sports activities, but apparently the sports they are involved in are not as taxing as moving boxes and furniture. (Shut up Patricia, not your business.)

In any event we did manage to convince a few, apparently still healthy and strong, people to help us make the move and things went smoothly. They even brought their own truck! Bonus!! It’s times likes these when you do discover who your true friends are.  Now, let the unpacking begin!

And as a bonus to this month’s blog, I’m responding to Ms. Serena Dracis’s  kindness in awarding me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you Serena!(http://serenadracis.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/weird-weekend-kreativ-blogging-in-the-zombie-apocalypse/)

The “rules” for spreading the blogging love are as follows: You must thank your nominator and link back to his/her page, tell your readers seven things about yourself, then nominate seven other bloggers. 

Thing #1 – I have a phobia of having my head under water. (I’m working on getting over it. Louise Biel will be so proud!)

Thing #2 – I’ve worn glasses (and/or contacts) since I was 8 years old.

Thing #3 – I’m afraid I have a lot of my father’s tendencies and not necessarily in a good way.

Thing #4 – I know I have a lot of my mother’s tendencies; some of those are no so good either.

Thing #5 – If you wrong me, I will hold a grudge.

Thing #6 – I love baby anythings!

Thing #7 – I love being the center of attention.

I can’t think of 7 nominees who haven’t already received this award and spread the blog love so I’m only going to nominate 1 and she is – Keli Gwyn!

Word of the Day:  Hornswoggle

Fun fact about me: Well I just gave you 7 fun facts, do you need more?

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This month I’m going to talk about me. But not the flower-crazy, stick shift driving, word challenged, female who likes all things sparkly. No, I’m going to talk about me, Jansen Schmidt the writer. Have I mentioned that I’m also a writer?

While this picture is not my actual desk, it accurately reflects my writing style when I’m really in the zone. You writers out there know what I’m talking about. It’s not a mess, it’s research and, I don’t care who you are, do NOT touch my desk, my notes, my piles of papers. There is a method to the madness. Those post-it notes contain key points that must not be forgotten in the plot at any cost. The empty cups are a sure sign that my husband the cabana boy has retired for the night and there will no longer be anyone to bring me beverage refills or any other form of sustenance. But I carry on. I persevere. Just a thousand more words, one more chapter, six more pages of edits, then I’ll be done for the day.

Why do we do this? Why do we put outselves through this agonizing process called writing? I’ll tell you why I do it.

In 2009 I was bestowed with an Honorable Mention is the Writing on the Walls contest sponsored by The Storyteller Magazine. As part of this recognition, my short story, Dancing In the Middle, was published in the Writing on the Walls III anthology. (http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/past-wow-winners.html)

I was over the moon with my very first real publishing experience! This was it! It’s official! I’m a legitimate author and I have a book out there to prove it. I have a book cover to post on my website. I signed a contract and everything! Of course it’s not mine alone, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

Dancing In the Middle is about a dance instructor with a secret who is unknowingly smuggling drugs into the United States from Mexico. It has strong romance elements and incorporates my love of all forms of dance. Dancing In the Middle was featured on a blog! How cool is that? You can experience that thrill here: http://sjdriscoll.com/?s=Jansen+Schmidt.

See how much more exciting my life is now that I’m a published author. I’m in demand. People can’t get enough of me. Okay, so maybe one guest blog feature has gone to my head, but it brightened my day immensely to be featured on Sally’s blog. I can’t wait for that first real book signing.

But I digress.

This Honorable Mention accolade boosted my enthusiam for writing and justified what I do as – REAL! I wasn’t just playing around any more. I was officially – an author. With that came added responsibilities, a reputation to uphold, expectations for future stories. Oh the pressure!

Fortunately, I carried on, putting more words on the page, drying up hundreds of highlighters and red pens, rubbing down countless erasers. Running the cabana boy ragged. My stubborness persistence paid off!

Writing on the Walls IV

In 2011 I entered the same contest with a different story. Finding Emily also received an Honorable Mention in the contest and will be available in the 2012 Writing on the Walls IV anthology, in either paper or e-book format in June 2012 at Amazon.com or Mockingbirdlanepress.com.

That’s right, now I have 2 book covers to post on my website. I entered the same story in the 2011 Silver Quill contest and came in second place. (http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/silver-quill-winners.html) As a contest “winner” I received a cash prize. Oh the heart-stopping excitement! I have now received income from my writing. Before you get all gushy with kind words, I will confess that that prize money was almost enough to buy lunch for me and the cabana boy my husband. But hey, it was cold hard cash for a well written story. I’ll take it!

Finding Emily is about a tenacious private investigator’s inter-state search for a missing child presumed dead. With the help of a research librarian, he unravels the truth and sets out to find Emily.

For more information about the Writing on the Walls contest or The Storyteller Magazine visit: http://www.thestorytellermagazine.com/index.html

As a result of all of this craziness hard work, I now have the distinct pleasure of introducing myself as a multi-published, award winning author. That sounds more impressive than it really is, but I’m keeping it.

For more information about me, Jansen Schmidt the writer, visit my website at http://www.jansenschmidt.com. There you can find excerpts from my current works in progress as well as finished manuscripts waiting for some lucky editor to snatch up for publication. You can sign my guestbook while you’re there so I know you visited.

As this post publishes on the worldwide web, I will be at the start of my much needed vacation. But, please leave a comment and know that I will respond to each and every one when I return. I love seeing your comments. Oh, and don’t think that while I’m away you can borrow my cabana boy either; he goes where I go. After all what multi-published, award winning author goes anywhere without her cabana boy?

Word of the Day:  Gadroon

Fun fact about me:  I did not learn how to ride a bike until I was 13 years old. Sad – but true.

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On December 5, 2011 I was nominated as 1 of 15 versatile bloggers from my WANA1011 classmate and fellow blogger, Pat O’Dea (www.rwrambling.blogspot.com). Thank you Pat for honoring me with the award!

Versatile blogger award

In addition to Pat’s request that I pass along the blog love, fellow WANA1011 classmates, Karen McFarland (www.karenmcfarland.com), Ginger Calem (www.gingercalem.wordpress.com), Louise Behiel (www.louise.behiel.com), Fabio Bueno (www.fabiobuenoauthor.wordpress.com) and myself (www.jansenschmidt.com) have been working together for the past couple of weeks to put together a list of recipients from our on-line blogging class, headed up by awesome instructor, Kristen Lamb (www.warriorwriters.wordpress.com) (see special custom award below).

Here are the rules for my recipients:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you!

2. Add the award picture to your blog (if you want to).

3. Nominate other bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and let them know about it.

4. Share seven random things about yourself.

My nominees are:

* Barry Crowther (www.barrycrowther.com/category/blog) – This fun, friendly blog which often includes tales from across the pond, is sure to please with tidbits of Barry’s childhood and anecdotes on his writing journey.

* Chicki Brown (www.sisterscribbler.blogspot.com) – Chicki blogs about her own books, upcoming releases and features other authors, including copies of her beautiful book covers.

* Christine (CC) MacKenzie (www.ccmackenzie.wordpress.com) – CC shares blogs about writing and the publishing industry with candor and fun.

* Debra Eve (www.laterbloomer.com) – Debra’s blog emphasizes the importance of never giving up on your dreams and promotes the power of the late bloomers. She shares good common sense advice to the not-so-late, late, and later bloomers in life.

* Hayley Lavik (www.blog.hayleyelavik.com) – Hayley posts wonderful book excerpts for her readers’ enjoyment.

* Isis Rushdan (www.isisrushdan.blogspot.com) – Isis has a stunningly beautiful blog site and has awesome giveaways for her blog visitors. She resides in the United Kingdom and her site is as cool as her name.

I hope you’ll all take a few minutes to visit these awesome versatile bloggers and see why I nominated them.

In addition to the versatile bloggers nominated above, this special blog award, created by Fabio Bueno, is awarded to our WANA1011 class leader, Kristin Lamb as a token of our appreciation for her extraordinary patience and awesomeness in teaching our on-line WANA1011 class.

Awarded to Kristen Lamb

Kristen is the author of the We Are Not Alone books and offers a variety of workshops to build, strengthen and improve social media platforms. Anyone who has a blog or is interested in building a blog should sign up for one of Kristen’s classes. You won’t regret it.

Now, here are 7 random things about me: I’ve never had a broken bone; I love sour candy; I have Meniere’s disease; I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was thirteen years old; my mother had two middle names; I can tap dance and sing, but not at the same time; I once saw a UFO (I was not under the influence either).

A toast to the new year!

So that’s my new year’s bonus blog! Be safe and happy as you work toward your resolutions for 2012.

Happy New Year to all!

I look forward to sharing blog love with you in 2012.



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