Celebrate the Small Things — The Creative Blogger Award!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it hereCelebrateSmallThings_Badge

A few weeks ago, Wallcat over at My Inner Geek nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award! Thanks so much, Wallcat!


The rules for accepting the award are:

  1. Thank and post the link of the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers.
  3. Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify them.
  4. Pass on the rules.

Since I’ve already shared a great many facts about myself, which can be read HERE, I thought I might share instead 5 things on my bucket list.

  1. A ride in a hot air balloon.
  2. To go ziplining! I don’t care where.
  3. To see the Redwood trees in California.
  4. To see my book made into a movie.
  5. To visit the ruins of an ancient civilization like Machu Picchu or the pyramids of Egypt.

My nominations (in alphabetical order):

Atherton’s Magic Vapour — Anyone who loves a good mystery would love Melanie’s serialized A to Z murder mystery. She even used theatrical makeup and included photos of herself dressed up as each of the characters.

Bemuzin’ — Many of Sammy D.’s humorous posts include intricate tangles and designs that are just lovely.

Constantine — Cathrina writes YA/NA suspense and is about to publish some short fiction as well.

Doorway Between Worlds — Sue Archer’s creative take on grammar and spelling issues is not only useful, but hilarious.

Down the Rabbit Hole — Celine Jean Jean’s nostalgic and sometimes fictionalized childhood stories made for some fun and amusing A to Z reads.

Eclectic Alli — I’ve enjoyed reading Alli’s serialized Taliana stories on her blog.

Elizabeth Mueller — Not only is Elizabeth a great writer, she’s also a fantastic artist. My daughter and I both loved her A to Z original My Little Pony drawings.

Hungry Enough To Eat Six — Nancy Mock has very creative culinary talents and makes the best desserts.

Kristin Smith — Kristin is a YA writer and busy mom, who also loves interior design and party planning.

Marilyn Parel — Marilyn is a producer and writer of short stories with a twist.

Often Clueless, Always Shoeless —Olivia Berrier recently began a serialized story on her blog called “The World That Forgot How to Dance” that I find intriguing.

Sara C. Snider — Sara wrote beautiful flash fiction stories using tree names for prompts for A to Z this year.

Story Treasury — Sonia writes fascinating fiction and book reviews, among other things.

Tyrean Martinson — Tyrean is another awesome writer who is amazingly organized.

Write with Fey — Author Chrys Fey’s blog overflows with great tips for writers.


What other celebrations are going on out there?






© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

The Versatile Blogger Award!

This summer had its ups and downs, but thanks to Kristin Smith, it ended on a high note. Kristin nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks so much, Kristin! VersatileBloggerAward_08312014

Kristin is a writer of contemporary romance and YA who blogs about her writing and her busy life chasing after her five boys. She is warm and funny with a wonderful sense of humor. You can visit her at Swords and Stilettos.

The rules for accepting this award are to list 7 random facts about yourself and then nominate 15 bloggers you’ve recently begun following. So here we go….

7 Random Facts:

  1. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone.
  2. I once sang as part of a backup chorus group for Judy Collins.
  3. One of my favorite pastimes as a kid was climbing trees.
  4. I love to do jigsaw puzzles.
  5. My favorite dessert is butterscotch pudding pie with homemade graham cracker crust and whipped cream.
  6. My favorite song is Come Sail Away by Styx.
  7. I believe in fairies.

Since I’ve only been blogging for a few months, pretty much all of the blogs on my list are recent follows, so here are my nominations:

  1. Constantine — I met Cathrina Constantine by way of the Friday Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Not only is she an author, but she helps out other authors by featuring them on her site.
  2. Laeken Zea Kemp — Laeken is a fellow Indie publisher who blogs about her writing and her publishing journey.
  3. Susan Says — Susan is a writer of fantasy, romance, and science fiction, all things I like.
  4. Write of Passage — I’ve found some great tips and writing advice here, and keep going back for more.
  5. Lit Chic — Kylie is another fantasy writer and self-publisher that I follow to learn more about the process.
  6. A Writer’s Life For Me — Home of romance author Mishka Jenkins who blogs about her writing and other things.
  7. Disregard the Prologue — Kate Sparkes recently self-published her YA fantasy, Bound, which I very much enjoyed.
  8. Pushing the Pen — Heather is an aspiring writer and Insecure Writer’s Support Group friend.
  9. Chapter TK — TK writes poetry and thought-provoking posts about her childhood and society today.
  10. Bemuzin’ — Sammy D.’s blog is full of hilarious posts about her life and various musings.
  11. Faeries, Dragons, & Spaceships — With a blog name like that, how could I not follow? Marie writes fantasy and science fiction, which is, of course, right up my alley.
  12. Often Clueless, Always Shoeless — Olivia is another fantasy writer who blogs about her writing adventures.
  13. Doorway Between Worlds — Sue’s blog posts about grammar and communication issues are highly entertaining.
  14. Hungry Enough To Eat Six! — Nancy’s blog contains many mouth-watering recipes and she also writes about her life and various other things.
  15. Diary of an Aspiring Writer — NJ Magas’ writes book reviews and other posts that never fail to crack me up.

And that’s it for this time around. I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do. Thanks again to Kristin Smith for the award!



© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2014. All rights reserved.

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award!

After a stressful week of car problems and being under the weather, I received a delightful pick-me-up from amazing blogger Sue Archer from Doorway Between Worlds. She nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award! Thanks very much, Sue! I’m honored to be included.ReadershipAward_08092014

The Readership Award salutes bloggers who regularly visit and leave thoughtful comments on other blogs in support of the blogosphere community. I particularly appreciate this award right now as I’ve been lamenting not being able to do much reading or blogging lately because of time constraints and the general craziness that so often crops up in life. I very much enjoy my interactions with people in the comments of so many blogs. For me, it’s the best part of blogging, and it’s great to know that my commenting makes a difference to others. I know it makes my day when people comment on my posts. I’d like to give a huge “thank you!” shout out to everyone who has visited, commented on, or liked my blog. I really appreciate it!

One of the rules for accepting this award is to finish the sentence: A great reader is… To me, a great reader is one who reads everything enthusiastically and with a positive attitude, one who takes the time to mull over what s/he read and leave a meaningful and supportive comment that encourages the writer to keep going. A great reader is an integral part of the community that makes the blogging world go round.


I would like to nominate for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award the following great readers who have made my blogging life so much fun:

Caffe Maggieato, who I met first through the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and then through Celebrate the Small Things Friday blog hop, regularly stops by with good cheer and encouragement. I find Maggie’s blog title inspirational — Just Get It Written. Thank you for all the support you give to me and to all writers!

Loni Townsend over at Squirrel Talk, another IWSG member, has given me some great suggestions and advice, along with useful links that broadened my knowledge of fonts. Thanks so much for sharing!

Heather McCubbin, who I’ve enjoyed conversing with over our writing processes, is also an IWSG member. She is an aspiring writer, like me, and writes about her journey on her blog, Pushing the Pen. Thanks for the support and encouragement!

Mishka Jenkins, who blogs at A Writer’s Life for Me, is another writer who stops by quite often like a friendly neighbor. Her comments are like a warm smile and a wave from a comrade. I appreciate your taking the time to visit!


Here are the original rules if you wish to accept this award. You can follow them as they are, or follow them in your own way. 🙂

  1. The Nominee of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her post/page and/or sidebar.
  2. The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days (1 week) – this can be done at any rate during the week. It can be ALL on one day or a few on one day and a few on another day, etc.
  3. The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period.
  4. The Nominee shall make these rules, or amended rules keeping to the spirit of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, known to each reader s/he nominates.
  5. The Nominee must finish this sentence and post: “A great reader is…”


Thanks again, Sue, for nominating me for this award!

The Liebster Award!

Much to my surprise, my blog was nominated for a Liebster Award! This award allows fellow bloggers to spotlight blogs that haven’t yet built up a large following. Sue Archer of Doorway Between Worlds nominated me for this award. Sue blogs entertainingly about grammar and communication issues. Thank you very much, Sue!


The current rules for accepting this award are:

1: List 11 random facts about myself.
2: Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated me.
3: Nominate 11 more blogs who have less than 200 followers and let them know they’ve been nominated.
4: Post 11 new questions for those bloggers to answer (if they wish to accept the award — it’s completely optional).

Okay, 11 random facts: the good, the bad, and the strange:

1: I’ve flown a Cessna 152 single engine plane.
2. I’m arachnophobic.
3. I’m a morning person.
4: I’ve always wanted to live in a castle.
5: I’m not superstitious.
6: I like to build Legos.
7: I love swords and keys.
8: I can’t stand rap music.
9: My first car was a black Pontiac Trans Am.
10: I love flower gardens.
11: My favorite stuffed animals are dragons.

Moving on to the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated me:

1. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Nothing too way-out-there weird. Maybe sweeping down cobwebs (with lots of spiders — ewww!) on the farm where I grew up.

2. What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?

I really liked Kristen Britain’s Green Rider and First Rider’s Call. Fantasy adventure with a strong female lead, swordplay, and likeable characters.

3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The blogging community makes blogging fun. I’ve met so many friendly and fascinating people, mostly through the April A to Z Challenge.

4. What do you do when you’re having writers’ block?

Get up and walk away from the computer. Do anything else that will take my mind off it for a while, then go back later with a fresh perspective.

5. Why do you like the fantasy/science fiction genre?

I’ve always loved knights and castles and swordplay and magic. They appeal most to my imagination. Space travel through the universe can be fun, too. Anything can happen.

6. If you could meet anyone you wanted, who would it be?

Off the top of my head — J.R.R. Tolkien. Imagine talking to him about the folklore of Middle Earth…

7. Introvert or extrovert?

Introvert. Definitely.

8. Fill in the blank: “Writing is like _____________.”

Writing is like building with blocks. Each added word block builds the story from the foundation on up, and rearranging the blocks creates endless story possibilities.

9. Who or what inspires you?

Inspiration springs from many places. My parents, who have always encouraged me, inspire me to keep writing and pursuing my dream of being a published author. A random face in a crowd inspires a new character for one of my stories. An object I find or a snippet I read somewhere can set off a new chain of ideas for plot twists. Inspiration is everywhere.

10. Why should people read and follow your blog?

I started this blog to share my self-publishing journey. More and more writers are going the self-publishing route, and I’m hoping that my experiences may help others pursuing the same goal. I also hope to learn from the members of the writing community who’ve already been there.

11. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like reading, being outdoors, and sharing adventures with my family.

And now to nominate some great blogs!

I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, so my “Blogs I Follow” list is still growing. Some of these may have more than 200 followers, but I enjoyed them so much during the A to Z Challenge that I’d like to nominate them anyway. Here they are, in no particular order:

Intrinsic Musings — Suzanne writes intriguing short fiction, along with book reviews and posts about her life.

Atherton’s Magic Vapour — Melanie writes wickedly humorous posts about mystery and the macabre. I love her detailed illustrations.

Swords & Stilettos — Kristin is a busy mom and writer of romance who wrote a wonderful A to Z series about the things she is thankful for.

Anabel’s Travel Blog — I think Anabel has been most everywhere and she has gorgeous photos to prove it.

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin — Stepheny is the author of Greening of a Heart and she has a passion for English gardens. Her garden blog is full of beautiful flower and garden photos.

Writer in Transit — Michelle is a fiction writer who had a unique interactive twist to her A to Z Challenge posts, asking readers to imagine what different types of books would say if they could speak.

Hungry Enough To Eat Six! — Nancy cooks up the most delicious recipes on her blog — check out her A to Z pies! — and also writes about her life and various other things.

In Media Res — Michelle fills her blog with book reviews and I really liked her Harry Potter themed A to Z posts.

Debi O’Neille, Writing Against the Wind — Debi wrote an A to Z Challenge series of writing prompts that I found truly inspiring. I came out of it with several new story ideas that have already taken on lives of their own.

Story Treasury — Sonia writes on bookish topics and creates thought-provoking short fiction.

Sara C. Snider — Sara is a fantasy writer and the author of The Thirteenth Tower. She also wrote a fascinating series of posts on Mythological Creatures for the A to Z Challenge.

And last but not least: the 11 questions for the nominees to answer (should they choose to accept):

1: What is the best place you’ve visited?
2: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done?
3: What’s your favorite movie?
4: What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
5: What fictional character do you like best?
6: What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
7: Why should people read and follow your blog?
8: Morning person or night owl?
9: What’s at the top of your bucket list?
10: What do you consider your most important personality trait?
11: Have you ever performed or been the recipient of a random act of kindness and what was it?

And that’s it! Thanks to everyone for reading this far!