Celebrate the Small Things! and The Liebster 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 here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

This week I’m celebrating:

Juneta Key at Writer’s Gambit nominated me for a Liebster Award!


Juneta blogs about her writing, shares writing resources, and hosts authors for interviews and guest posts. Thank you very much, Juneta!

The current rules for accepting this award are:


Answering Juneta’s questions:

  1. Who is your favorite author?

There are so many wonderful authors to choose from, but I’m going to stick with J.R.R. Tolkien. His epic novels are the epitome of heroic fantasy adventure, my favorite genre.

  1. If you had 3 wishes what would they be?

Hmmmm… Globally: for humanity to achieve world peace, for the eradication of all the horrible diseases afflicting mankind, and for the Earth to be healed of all the damage pollution has wrought.

Personally: happiness and success for my children, for me to be able to travel and see the world, and for my books to sell well enough for me to afford the aforementioned travel.

  1. If you were given a free round trip ticket to anywhere, where would you go?

Bavaria, Germany. I’ve always wanted to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

  1. Would you rather live near the ocean, forest, mountains or the fourth option;)?

I’d rather live near a forest. I find them magical and awe-inspiring.

  1. What is your favorite genre of music?

I’d have to say pop rock, though I’ll listen to anything other than screaming headbanger stuff and rap.

  1. Plane, Train, Boat, Car or other for vacation travel?

Car would be my first choice. You never know what interesting places you’ll drive through on your way to your destination. Planes, however, would be a close second, since I’d love to go overseas and unfortunately can’t drive across the ocean. A boat would be a definite No. Cruise ships make me seasick.

  1. Where is your favorite place to escape from the daily grind?

My writing space.

  1. What is your best memory? (You probably have several, but pick one)

Falling in love on a beach in northern Scotland.

  1. Do you have a hobbit? If not, what would you like to do for a hobby? ROFL @ SELF okay this error was too good to correct—go ahead tell me who is your favorite hobbit?

Ha, ha. That cracked me up, too. My favorite hobbit is Samwise. “And Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam…” (Tolkien, The Two Towers) As for hobbies, other than writing which is no longer a hobby but a fulltime endeavor, I like to read, travel, go for long walks, and build Legos.

  1. What is the most memorable book you have read, or movie if not a big reader?

I have to go back to Tolkien here on both counts. The Lord of the Rings, books and movies all, blew me away.

  1. Would you travel around the world in 80 days if you could?

Yes. In a heartbeat. Though I would rather spend more time… a lot more…


The 11 random facts:

1: I’m my own handyman. I had a great teacher: my Dad.

2. I love to draw maps to go with my stories.

3. Spring is my favorite season.

4: I tend to be a hermit and enjoy doing things by myself.

5: My favorite breed of dog is a little black Scottish terrier.

6: I once bartered with the natives for an amber necklace and bracelet in the Dominican Republic.

7: I love the sound of rain on the roof at night.

8: One of my favorite books when I was learning to read was The Large and Growly Bear.

9: I used to love watching The A-Team on TV.

10: I’ve taken computers apart and successfully installed new components.

11: I think dusting is the worst household chore ever.


My 11 Nominees:

I don’t know how many followers these blogs have. Some probably have more than 200, but I enjoy them, so I’d like to nominate them anyway. Here they are, in no particular order:

Kylie Betzner — Kylie just published her debut novel, the funny Arthurian parody, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other.

Shells, Tales, and Sails — Sharon’s breezy blog contains book reviews, writer’s resources, and posts about her writing.

Diane Burton — Check out Diane’s blog for “adventure and romance… in this world and beyond.”

On Becoming a Writer — Marilyn creates short story audio books, where things don’t always go as expected.

My Inner Geek — Jo wears many hats: computer programmer, gamer, artist, baker, to name a few.

Scribblings in the Storage Room — Author Elizabeth Hein writes women’s fiction with an edge.

Anne Higa — Anne is the author of the Elves and Magic fantasy YA trilogy.

Lauren Jeffrey — Fellow writer Lauren is on the path to becoming a published author.

Often Clueless, Always Shoeless — Fantasy writer Olivia Berrier blogs humorously about her characters and her writing life.

A Novel Journey — To use her words, Rhonda is a writer “experiencing life through words and grace.”

Faeries, Dragons, and Spaceships — The home of Marie Andreas, science fiction and fantasy novelist with one of the best blog names ever.


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 song?

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 in the past year?

7: Do you have any phobias?

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 for reading!

What other celebrations are going on out there?





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

Celebrate the Small Things! and New Book Release: The Quest for the Holy Something or Other


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 here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

I’ve learned a lot about patience this week. I keep running into delays and haven’t been able to set a firm release date for my novel. I guess the best way to look at it is that, since this book has been many years in the making, another couple of weeks or three won’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

So, on to celebrations:

  1. We only got 5 inches of snow in that “monster” snowstorm that went up the east coast this past week. Of course, we got another 4 to 5 inches today, but that’s okay. I can take it better in small doses.
  2. Super Bowl Sunday this weekend! Per tradition, I get to spend time with my Dad watching the game.
  3. I wrote my first book review. Entering new territory here. And that review was for:

Kylie Betzner’s debut novel:

The Quest for the Holy Something or Other

Happy Release Day, Kylie!


The_Quest_small_coverEnter the Realm of Camelot, home of famous legends: King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Merlin–but this isn’t their story. Meet Pig, a humble gong farmer who dreams of the glories of Camelot. Her dreams become reality–or so she thinks–when she becomes Sir Kay’s page. What starts off as a joke soon becomes the adventure of Pig’s life when Merlin sends the knights on a quest for the Holy Gift Box–er–Bread Basket–whatever it is! On their quest, they face many knight-worthy, and some not-so-knight-worthy, foes: an insane pond dweller, several greedy salespeople, and an overzealous cache seeker, all the while fighting against time, mostly each other, and the most infamous villain of all—change. The Quest for the Holy Something or Other is a fresh and funny take on a well-known legend, with engaging characters, some rather good jokes, and something that starts with S, but it isn’t important.


Meet Kylie —

Kylie BetznerFor starters, I’m an incurable nerd. I love all things fantasy and even do a little cosplay on the side. I’m a natural-born comedian, self-identified coffee junkie, and now leader of The League of Comedy Fantasists! Did I forget to mention I’m an author? My first novel, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other is available now in both paperback and e-book formats! But seriously, the titles I am most proud of are sister, auntie, and friend.
Growing up in a small town surrounded by cornfields, I had nothing better to do than fantasize about unicorns and elves. As an adult, I still refuse to grow up, and spend most of my time creating stories of comedic fantasy. When I’m not writing, which is hardly ever, I enjoy reading, drinking coffee, and spending time with my family and friends. I also run, although I don’t enjoy it so much.
I currently reside in Indiana with my sister, nephew, horde of cats, and one very silly dog.




What other celebrations are going on out there?




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