Heading Off to Work

Be Purposeful

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As you set goals and decide to incorporate newer and better habits into your daily routine, it is important that you be purposeful. Questions to ask yourself what this new habit will give you or help you know, what this new habit might help prevent, and how this new habit will help you both short-term and long-term.

For example, my habit of writing has given me the opportunity to learn more about topics that I am interested in, given me a creative outlet in which to express myself, and become a part of my daily routine that I truly look forward to.

As another example, recently my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, so I want to begin this battle with an introduction of more “raw foods” into our diet. Incorporating raw and healthier foods into our diet will help me know what I am eating instead of eating mindlessly, prevent further health problems, and help us both maintain and improve our health, both short-term and long-term.

As you begin making this new habit a part of your daily routine, regardless of what that habit may be, there are a few things that you should consider…

First, is important to figure out where you can best complete this task. For example, if you are beginning a new exercise program, would you be better off working at home by yourself, at a gym with other motivated people, or at the park.

 

 

Next, it is important to block off specific times to focus on this new habit. For example, I typically write for an hour once I wake up, but before I get out of bed…plus a couple of hours each week at a local coffee shop where I am surrounded by other people drinking coffee and working on their computers…practically free from distractions, and very close to high-quality coffee.

Make the most of your writing time by have a basic idea of what you need to do, what your plans are, and what task needs to be completed next

Use a timer. Decide a minimum amount of time that you want to spend on your goal  each day. Setting a timer forces you to stay focused, get to the point, and keep the schedule you’ve set for yourself.

 

Name your destination. Know which direction you are headed.

Using a planner will help you stay on track of goals for the week, month, and any other long term goals…as well as what needs to be done and when.

Start your work day by making a ‘to do’ list and going through your planner to see what you have scheduled for the day.

Set up routines where you can. Routines enable you to complete certain tasks automatically and helps reduce stress.

 

4.  Track your time. Know how you have spent your time—what you’re doing, when, and for how long. This will help you evaluate and change habits, eliminate wasted time, and increase your productivity.

 

 

 

5. Work smart. Plan out your work sessions. Know what you’re going to get done, so you don’t waste part of your work time figuring out what you need to do.

 

5. Know who you can turn to for advice or facts. Know where to find whatever it is that you are looking for, how to get your creative juices and inner drive pumping, and how your brain works.

 

6. Group your daily ‘to do’ list and tasks. Not having to constantly switch from one type of task to another helps you knock out an entire category of work in no time. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking may seem like a good way to get more done in less time, but it actually slows you down because your attention is divided between two activities.

 

7.  Know your limits. Learn to say “no” to things you don’t have to do. Limit time spent on social media. Turn off social media notifications.

 

6. Neighbor your neighborhood…Each of us has something to offer each individual they come in contact with. Learn from those around you. Take time to actually meet and find people with the same interests, goals, and ambitions as you yourself. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will help you have a good support system, help you learn more—and more quickly, result in long-lasting friendships, help you feel like you belong to a group, and help others see your development from another perspective.

 

So who are the “right” people?!

Those people…

  • who are always ready to support you any time you need help
  • who are passionately doing creative works and great things that will inspire you
  • who can help us can gain new perspectives and information about experiences you never knew existed
  • who provide an overall support system.

These include…

  • The closest people in your life—your family and friends…
  • Children…Children are one of the best sources of inspiration. Spending time with children helps us realize how many of us have lost the “inner child within us” and prompt us to reconsider our values and priorities.
  • “Random” people  around us…Giving to those around us without expecting anything in return, but simply with the goal of showing compassion, even if only holding the door open for someone, helps us make a difference in their lives and restore a glimmer of hope in their eyes,
  • Colleagues…Attending conferences and workshops, joining different industry-related groups, and exchanging ideas with people on forums will help you understand the latest trends and let the innovative ideas of creative people become your inspiration. The “right” colleagues within your career field should share the same…Audience—should have large, active and engaged audiences…Influence—should be seen as influential or somewhat influential…Relevance—should be relevant to your niche.

Fox example, the neighborhood of blogging and writing might include…

1. Actual Blogs...The most obvious way to find other bloggers is through their own blogs. Leave comments. Start reading their blogs regularly. Send them an email asking them about a previous post. The main thing is “to see and be seen.

1.  2017 Blog Conferences…at least those held in Texas

2.  Blog Engage…Blog Engage is a blogging community where bloggers submit articles to be read and voted on by other members. As a blogger trying to meet other bloggers, it is important that you find the right Group for yourself. These Groups allow users to share articles with other members who specifically share a common interest in a topic.

3.  Blogger Meetups-–Meetup offers a database of local groups that meet together in “real life” to talk about a given topic or support a given cause.

3. Blog Engage ..Blog Engage is a blogging community where bloggers submit articles to be read and voted on by other members. As a blogger trying to meet other bloggers, it is important that you find the right Group for yourself. These Groups allow users to share articles with other members who specifically share a common interest in a topic.

4. Blogger Forums…A list of the ten best discussion forums for bloggers can be found on the Mint Blogger site. My ADHD self honestly had trouble focusing on any of these forums, but this is always an option for meeting other bloggers…

5. Blogger Meetups…Meetup offers a database of local groups that meet together in “real life” to talk about a given topic or support a given cause

6. Facebook Groups…Facebook Groups can be a great way to connect with various groups of people in the blogging world. Whether you are looking for design help, for connections to cross promote, or for Pinterest boards to collaborate on, Facebook groups are a great place to start looking. They are free and really easy to use and see right in your newsfeed.

  • Blog + Biz BFFs
  • Blog and Business: Moms Who do it All;
  • Bloggertunities
  • Blogger Perks
  • Bloggers United
  • Blogging Newbs
  • Christian Women Bloggers Network
  • Christian Women Blogs
  • Christian Bloggers Network
  • Grow Your Blog
  • Inspired Bloggers Network
  • Mommyhood Media Bloggers
  • SITS Girls
  • Social Media Network Group
  • The Blog Loft
  • The Blogger Life
  • WordPress Help for Beginners
  • WordPress Help & Share
  • Writers/Bloggers Network

7. Inbound.org…Inbound.org is a bookmarking website and learning tool that gives you a large community of active top industry influencers that can help you find inspiration for blogging.

8. Local Colleges and Universities...Local colleges and universities are another group of people that can be added to your team. Not only will these provide you with access to other bloggers, but obviously professionals and faculty. I am seriously considering this OMCA® Social Media Associate program from the University of Texas at Arlington, my alma mater…and thisSocial Media class from Tarrant Community College.

9. Triberr…Triberr is a social platform that helps bloggers work together to share each other’s content. The site is built around various “tribes” or communities of interest. Once you join a tribe, the idea is that you share the blog content of fellow tribemates to your social following and they do they same.

?. Writing for Sites such as Ezinearticles.com and Hubpages…These are both article networks that allow experts to share original, short, easy-to-read articles about basically any of a couple hundred topics in which that person feels they have knowledge, expertise, and wisdom. These articles can be informative, educational, and/or entertaining.

The goal for writing for any of these platforms is to write something sensible so that your readers keep on reading, to establish your own expertise and credibility, and to make the reader want to visit your website or blog for further information.

Potential problems with writing for one of these sites include the fact that these platforms appeal to only a particular segment of the market and may seem “unprofessional” to others, may defeat any claims that your site climbed to #1 on Google based on its own credit alone, can be an incredible waste of time—even though you may think that you’re making incremental progress by writing ten articles a day about your favorite long-tail keywords…only to discover thar your effort has only been wasted time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Heading Off to Work, Writing on Wednesdays

Review and Resources—Writing

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Developing the habit of writing for an hour as soon as I wake up has become one of the things that I truly look forward to each day. I have had the opportunity to learn so much about various topics, to express myself creatively, and to learn self-discipline.

As I continue to write, there are so many things that I realize would be helpful as I continue this process.

Books about blogging and writing that are currently on my reading list include the following…

 

 

1. 100 Shareable Blog Post Ideas (Easy to Write, Easy to Share) by The Digital Writer and Jonathan Wondrusch

Topics

  • creating an editorial calendar.
  • ideas for effective content
  • sample headlines for blog posts

Other Books by Author

  • How to Write a Sales Letter That Works (Without Wasting Your Time).
  • Writing Online

Author Website—None found

2. 5 Minutes a Day Guide to BLOGGING: How To Create, Promote & Market a Successful Money Generating Blog 

Author—Penny King

Other Books by Author—

  • 5 Minutes a Day Guide to PINTEREST + FREE eBook “ATTRACTING AFFILIATES”: How to Create, Promote & Market a Successful…Nov 19, 2015
  • 5 Minutes A Day Guide To FACEBOOK + FREE eBook “Attracting Affiliates”: How to Create, Promote & Market a Successful…Nov 18, 2015
  • 5 Minutes A Day Guide To BUSINESS, INCOME & SOCIAL MEDIA Box Set: How To Promote, Market & Create Business Using…Jan 9, 2016
  • 5 Minutes a Day Guide to TWITTER + FREE eBook “Attracting Affiliates”: How To Create, Promote & Market a Successful…Dec 21, 2015
  • 5 Minutes A Day Guide to LinkedIn + FREE eBook “Attracting Affiliates”: How To Create, Promote and Market a Successful…Dec 21, 2015

  Author Website-–None Found.

3. Becoming The Perfect Networker… Succeeding One Connection at a Time – Golden Kennector EditionJul 31, 2010by Ken Rochon and Tara Hannon
Topics

  • making connections
  • turning them into relationships that produce income and opportunities
  • being successful in social networking

Authors and Other Books by Authors

Ken Rochon

  • Empowerment & Beyond… A 6-week self study program practicing reflection, wisdom and peaceApr 12, 2013
  • Make Your Connections Count: September 22, 2011

Tara Hannon (illustrator)

  • When Mommy Has Our Baby by Rachel Cedar and Tara Hannon
  • Lion and Rabbit’s Opposite Day by Tara J. Hannon
  • Wings by Belinda Fraley Huesman and Tara J. Hannon
  • Sex Sells But I’M Ugly by Dan Kendrick and Tara Hannon
  • Santa Claus Was Once a Kid Too by Philip H. Scharper and Grace M. Scharper
  • Ada Chewed Some Gum by Thomas Knight and Tara J. Hannon

 Author Website

4.  Breakthrough: The Complete Guide to Growing Your Platform & Blogging Your Way to a Full-Time Income

Author— Adeline Ganley​

Topics

  • Building a viable business
  • Developing a brand strategy
  • Improving your productivity
  •  Increasing traffic
  • Monetizing your platform
  • Writing content to build an audience that is engaged and frequently returns to your website

Other Books by Author

  • Real Ways to Make Money from Home: Start Making Money Now

 AuthorWebsite


5.  Blog To Book: An expert guide to building your blog business and income through ebooks and paperbacks​

Author
—P.R. Newton

Topics

  • growing your blog business and income with ebooks and paperbacks.
  • self-publish a book that will bring value to your current readers, attract new audiences and build your income and blog business.
  • write a book inspired by your blog content

Other Books by Author

  •  Shattered Embrace: An Adoption Tale
  •  And Then My Uterus Fell Out: A memoir on life with pelvic organ prolapse
  •  The Tindou Tablet


Author Website
Steam Powered Family

6.  Blogging: A Practical Guide to Plan Your Blog: Start Your Profitable Home-Based Business with a Successful Blog

Authors—Dale Reardon and Jo Reardon
Topic—planning your blog, obviously

Other Related Products from Authors

  • Blogging: A Practical Guide to Find Your Niche: Start Your Profitable Home-Based Business with a Successful Blog (Create Your Amazing Blog: Your…

 Author WebsiteThe Online Beginners Hub – or ‘The Hub


7.  Blogging For Dummies

Author— Amy Lupold Bair

Topics

  • advertising tools and techniques
  • emerging platforms like Squarespace and Overblog
  • integrating your blog with social media
  •  latest blogging software and utilities
  • search engine optimization
  •  social plug-ins
  • the anatomy of a good blog
  • the tools you need to get started

Author Website— Resourceful Mommy


8.  Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community

Author—Joy Deangdeelert Cho

Topics

  • attracting readers
  • overcoming blogger’s block
  • starting and growing a blog

Other Books by Author

  • Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create and Give Joy
  • Creative, Inc.

Author Website—Oh Joy

 
9.  How To Start A Profitable Blog: A Guide To Create Content That Rocks, Build Traffic, And Turn Your Blogging Passion Into Profit 

Author

David Lim

Other Books by Author

  • Blogging: How to Write Blog Posts That Go Viral Without Selling Out: Attract a Raving Fan Base, Understand Your…
  • How To Blog For Profit: A Powerful Step-By-Step Guide To Create Passive Income Online And Replace Your Day Job For Life


 

10.  The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users 

Authors

  • Guy Kawasaki
  • Peg Fitzpatrick

Topics

  • building your foundation
  • amassing digital assets
  • optimizing your profile
  • attracting more followers
  • integrating social media and blogging

Other Books by Author

Guy Kawasaki

  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
  • Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
  • APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book
  • Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition
  • Selling the Dream
  • How to Drive Your Competition Crazy: Creating Disruption for Fun and Profit
  • What the Plus!: Google+ for the Rest of Us
  • The Macintosh Wa
  • Rules For Revolutionaries
  • Hindsights: The Wisdom and Breakthroughs of Remarkable People
  • Database 101

Author Websites


 

11.  The Blog Post Tool Kit

Author—Gina Luker

Topics

  • creating photography and graphics to grab readers
  • planning posts that get results
  • properly write SEO rich content
  • using social media

Other Books by Author

  • Super Fast Freezer Meals
  • How to Start a Home-based Etsy Business

 

12.  How to Write 37 Different Types of Blog Post

Author—Sarah Arrow

Author Websites
Sarah Arrow

Heading Off to Work

Be Organized

IMG_4860-1Never think of writing posts as merely scribbling down yet another article just because everyone else does and then hoping that readers other than you actually read it…as if it were another Facebook post…

Think of your blog as a major, nationally-published magazine written by yourself for yourself…you are its most faithful reader…you are its most dependable subscriber…you are the editor-in-chief, writer, photographer, budget analyst, and whatever else you wanna call yourself.

Think of the couch you’re most likely sitting on as a real office…

Think of who you are now, where you would like to be, and how you are going to get there…

 

Even the most researched and best written blog post will be an epic fail… if you are not answering the questions people in your niche are asking… and talking about the right subjects and issues.

So it is important that you take the time to make sure that the blog topics and posts that you are writing actually answer the questions that your target readers may have and provides them with timely, relevant information.

Once you have established your niche and checked out what topics your particular niche are interested in, this is a time to start building your so-called editorial calendar. 

An annual editorial calendar helps keep yourself accountable, if only to yourself, and makes posts more predictable for your audience.

I have started grouping my posts into the following three categories…

  1. Timely Pieces
  2. Rotating Topics
  3. In-Depth Material.

 

Timely Pieces….

Timely pieces are holidays and events that you will probably write about every single year such as…

  • January…New Year’s Day
  • February…Valentine’s Day
  • March…St. Patrick’s Day
  • April…Easter
  • May…Mother’s Day…Memorial Day…Cinco De Mayo
  • June…Father’s Day
  • July…Independence Day.
  • August…Back to School…Labor Day
  • September…Labor Day
  • October…Halloween
  • November… Thanksgiving Day…Black Friday…Veterans Day
  • December…Christmas

2.  Rotating Topics

These are the general topics that you will blog about every single month—those topics that you will never get tired of writing about and that you will never have trouble finding new ideas to write about.

Rotating topics can help you attract a loyal following by setting expectations for readers who will want to return for the next post about this topic.

These are short-term blogs based on topics that usually only take one or two posts to discuss. These topics do not require major “research” or planning.

Here are some ideas as to where/how to come up with these rotating, or short-term, topics…

 

First ask yourself a series of questions and come up with your “Big Idea.”

  • Is your main objective to…entertain and make your readers laugh…inspire your readers…offer advice based on your own past experience and expertise…teach your readers how to do something?
  • What and who inspire me the most?
  • What are your own favorite blogs? Why?
  • What do you hope to accomplish by offering this product or service?
  • What topics am I truly passionate about, not merely interested in?
  • What topics am I truly gifted in and already know a lot about?
  • Who you are now? What exactly are you offering? Is it a particular service or product? Is it tangible or intangible?

 

Based on these questions, come up with your ONE “Big Idea”—that one topic sentence or mission statement that lays the foundation from this point forward, and defines exactly where you ultimately want to position yourself in your niche.

  • Now that you have recognized your “Big Idea” as your “Big Idea,” make a list of potential keywords or topics that can be used as topics for actual posts. Two great places to look at when starting this brainstormed list of  potential topics are your About Me page and your Pinterest boards.

And for those days you find yourself staring at a blank screen, unable to think of any topic whatsoever to talk about, here are several tools that can help you come up with just the right idea for just the right topic for the just the right blog post.

These tools include…

1.  AlltopBrowse through this collection of the best blogs covering hundreds of topics. Check current post titles shown under your topic for inspiration. I looked under the Baking category specifically for muffins and found these articles…Bake or Break—JULY 28, 2016—Coconut Cream Cheese Oat Muffins…Technicolor Kitchen—Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

2.  Blog Title Generator—This tool generates fill-in-the-blank titles about no particular topic at all..not sure how helpful this will be….three of my title ideas were…How to Make Muffins Suck Less…Want to Be Truly Muffin, End Each Day Like This…Weighing The Pros and Cons of Muffins.

3.  Buzzfeed…Buzzfeed covers almost every topic that you can imagine… my search for muffins led me to this article 19 Muffins Worth Getting Out of Bed For and this recipe for Double Chocolate Coconut Oil Zucchini Muffins with Caramelized Buckwheat.

4.   BuzzSumo—BuzzSumo allows you to enter a topic and see the top articles about that topic…and how many times those articles have been shared across various social media platforms…such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. My search for muffins came up with 2,278 pages of post in descending order by number of shares…the most shared of these top articles is this recipe for Toddler Muffins from AllRecipes.

5.    Content Forest is another idea generator. Simply type in your keyword for a list of previous posts about your topic…My results for my search for “muffins” began with this recipe for Cornbread Muffins from Scratch.

6. Google Correlate find associations between search trends and the keyword that you want to write about…It also shows which states that keywords is researched most frequently…Muffins are most often linked with “chocolate chips.”…Muffins are most frequently searched for in Maine…and least searched for in the states of Mississippi and Texas…

7.  Google Shopping offers the top stories, top products, and most trending items as far as shopping online.

8.  Google Trends collects data from Google Search, YouTube and Google News and then ranks the most searched for stories. These “top stories” shown as soon as you open the site can be about any topic or category…

  • The Latest Topic
  • Time…minute-by-minute data about your topic from different time periods
  • Location…the popularity of the topic in searches by geography—a certain city, the entire US, a different country, or worldwide
  • Top Related Topics
  • Breakout Related Topics
  • Related Queries…other topics being looked for that are most related to the topic that you are looking for

9. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator—Input three different nouns…get  five blog topic ideas that will get those creative juices flowing…

10.  Pinterest—of course…

11. Portent Title Maker—Honestly not so sure that I like this brainstorming tool…my search for the keyword “muffins” resulted in three simplistic titles that I would never actually use…such as “Why MUFFINS ain’t As Good As They Used To Be”…

12.  SEO Pressor is another Blog Title Generator spookily set up like Portent Title Maker…not so sure how helpful this tool could be either…My search for “muffins” resulted in the following titles…You Will Never Believe These Bizarre Truth Of Muffins….Five Muffins That Had Gone Way Too Far…10 Ideas To Organize Your Own Muffins…Why Is Muffins Considered Underrated?…How Muffins Is Going To Change Your Business Strategies.

13.  Tweak Your Biz—Think this might be the most useful and interesting generator on this list…My search for “muffins” came back with tons of ideas for blog post titles divided into categories such as List, Best, How-to, Questions, Love, Sex, Celebrities, Secrets, Snarks, Business, Motivation, Problems, and “The Kitchen Sink.”

 

 

3.  In-Depth Material

These are topics that you are truly interested in, actually want to learn as much as possible about, and are willing to spend time doing research on.

The amount of information on these particular topics can be overwhelming and confusing. The following six-step process has become my new best friend whenever I am tryinh to learn more about those “big topics” that I want to explore…

  • a.  Amazon…What markets are popular within your niche?…What are people searching for?…What are the most popular items related to this topic?…What the main companies are that make these products?…What are the best-selling books about this topic?…Who are the most prominent authors writing about this topic?… What can I learn from the table of contents and any other pages that I am able to “look inside”?
  • b.  Prominent Authors…Who are the most featured “experts” on this topic?…Which of these “experts” also have their own websites?… Do any of these authors give book recommendations about your topic on their websites?…Can you find these books on Kobo or some similar app?…Do any particular books about your topic honestly seem worth reading or are most of the books a total waste of time?
  • c.  Magazines…Which magazines are most likely to have published an article about this topic lately?…Now find the search engine for the particular magazine’s website ASAP(ignore everything else)…Now have any of these magazines actually written about this topic lately?
  • d. Websites…Who are the manufacturers of the products that you initially found on Amazon? Which of these manufacturers have their own websites? Which of these manufacturer websites have articles regarding my topic worth bookmarking?…(not just the products themselves…I can analyze that better on Amazon)…Which of these manufacturers have blogs that might be worth following?
  • e.  Now look at trends by using trend forecasters…Google Trends, News Me, NowRelevant, OneRiot for the Social Web, Repinly, Trending Topics on Wikipedia, Trends Buzz, Trendsmap, Trendpedia, What The Trend, and Viral Video Chart can all help you find current information on what people are searching for and popular trends.
  • f.  Keyword research tools, such as Market Samurai, can help you identify whether your content idea is a good one or not, and give you ideas for more related keywords and more potential blog post ideas.
  • g.  Other hlogs related to your topic…Use Alltop, Best of the Web Blog Search, Blog Catalog, and Bloglovin’ to find the blogs that are most likely to have posted about your given topic…bookmark these also..

 

 

Once you have done as much research about a topic that you feel like you need to…or just can’t take it anymore…it’s time to actually start writing.

The first step in writing about long-term topics is to arrange the notes that you’ve collected during research together and figure out what information you will include/not include in your writings.

Two great ways to do this are mind-mapping and outlining.

Benefits of taking the time to “mind map,” outline, or even both include helping you to…

  • decide if you even really wants to write about this topic
  • decide if you really can write an article or series about this topic
  • decide if you needs to wait on writing about this topic
  • keep from going off on some irrelevant tangent
  • plan ahead
  • provide even more value to the reader
  • save time, stress, and worry
  • stay organized and on track

Mind mapping is an educational technique that can help you see how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together into an article…and help every creative mind be even more creative.

Basic mind mapping involves writing a single keyword or main thought in the center of a whiteboard or piece of paper….and then linking associated ideas, words, and concepts around that keyword or main topic as you think of them.

Mind mapping apps currently available include..

Outlining…Almost all of us had to create outlines in high school and college, ifnot even before that…but for a quick reminder…

Choose three main points to focus on about the topic at hand. Dedicate one paragraph per main point….one article per main point if writing a series. Sketch outlines for each of these three sections. Start putting together rough drafts.

 

 

In conclusion, it’s up to you if you actually want to take the time to come up with an editorial calendar or not…this is not the key issue.

The “Big Idea” is that you create a blog that you yourself would follow.

Never post anything that you wouldn’t want to read yourself.

Heading Off to Work

Be Correct

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Okay by this point, you should have written something…anything…

You should also have resources at your disposal about the writing process from so-called “experts.”

Now comes what I actually find to be both the most rewarding and the most challenging part of the writing process—editing what you have written.

 

The amount of editing and revision that you will want to do on whatever you have written will obviously depend on what you have written and who will see what you have written.

But I have learned to look at the revision and editing process much like the zoom-in function on Mapquest…first look at the overall picture, and then zoom into different lenses as needed.

 

So let’s being with the 100% zoom-in lens…

Print out a hard copy of what you have written, and then approach the article as if you were either a reader reading this article for the very first time or a teacher grading a student’s work, not the person who has actually written it.

It is also a good idea to take the time to read the paper out loud, checking for run-on sentences, awkward pauses and transitions, unclear ideas, and other small grammatical and organization issues.

Another good idea would be to have someone else read what you have written and offer feedback. A new reader will be able to help you catch mistakes that you might have overlooked…

Examine the entire article that you have written, asking yourself “big questions” such as…

  • Am I writing this from the right point of view?
  • Am I writing this with the right tone of voice?
  • Do all of the ideas in the article make sense?
  • Do any sections or sentences need to be explained further?
  • Does the article have a specific purpose?
  • Does the article accomplish its intended purpose?
  • Have you made your best points obviously stand out?
  • Is any additional information needed?
  • Is it appropriate for my target audiences?
  • Is it clear?
  • Is it organized?
  • Is there any irrelevant information that should be deleted?
  • What is my “bottom line”?
  • What would you say is the most successful part of your article? Why?

The final step at this 100% level is to make sure that you are completely satisfied with your conclusion.

 

Now zoom down to the 75% Level and examine your paragraphs…

  • Are my paragraphs in the right order?
  • Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence?
  • Does each paragraph have enough evidence to support this topic?
  • Should any of my paragraphs be eliminated completely?

 

Then zoom down to the 50% level and examine your sentences…

  • Do all of my sentences actually make sense?
  • Do all of my sentences move easily from one sentence to the next?
  • Do all of my sentences start with short, simple words and phrases?
  • Do any of my sentences have introductory clauses that are too long?
  • Do any of my sentences seem out of context?

 

…and the 25% Level to look at the specific words…

  • Are any of the words I have used simply “extra” words that I can delete?
  • Are any of the words I have used too vague?
  • Are any of the words I have used actually misused?

 

…and finally the 10% level to look at nitty-gritty details.

  • Commas—Make sure that any sentences with two main clauses are connected with a comma and a conjunction, separated with a semicolon, or rewritten as two sentences.
  • Omitted or repeated words—Read the paper aloud slowly to make sure you haven’t missed or repeated any words.
  • Parallelism-Look through your paper for series of items and make sure these items are in parallel form.
  • Pronouns—Stop at each pronoun. Look for the noun that the pronoun replaces. If you can’t find the noun, insert a noun earlier in the writing or change the pronoun to a noun. If you do find a noun, make sure the noun and pronoun agree in both number and person.
  • Sentence Fragments—Make sure each sentence has a subject and a complete verb. Use “helping verbs” if you need to. Make sure that dependent clauses are not written as complete sentences.
  • Spelling—Move a pencil under each line of text to help you to see each word individually. Do not simply assume that using spell-check will automatically fix every misspelled or misused word in the paper.There is no shame in actually checking with a dictionary.
  • Subject/Verb Agreement—Find the subject and verb that goes with the subject in each sentence. Make sure that if the subject is plural, the verb is also plural.

 

Obviously there’s no reason to edit every single thing that you write to this extreme, but being the obsessive-compulsive person that I am, I have found that having a series of questions like this helps my ADHD brain to stay focused as I read something that I have already written and read too many times to count already.

Heading Off to Work, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Be Committed

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Be diligent about starting your new habit…Make a point of adding this new habit—whether it be exercising, eating better, or writing or whatever else it may be, for just one day at a time, even if only for a little bit of time.

 

Eventually you’ll find yourself not even thinking about that new, or old, habit…and actually miss doing this on the days when you don’t.

 

 

In my attempt to include writing as part of my daily routine, it was first of all…to state the obvious…important that I actually did write!!!

 

And along my journey this year to adopt writing as a part of my daily routine, I have found the following resources that have hopefully helped me improve my writing skills, think more clearly, and be more organized altogether.

Some of these websites that have helped me along my journey this last year as a writer have included…

1. 750 Words The primary goal of this website is to get writers into the daily habit of writing.every day. This site gives writers the opportunity to write Morning Pages, three pages of writing done every day about anything and everything that pops into mind. ..a concept that originated with the book The Artist’s Way, first published in…

Writing Morning Pages helps clear your mind and gets the ideas flowing for the rest of the day.

According to the website, the standard accepted number of words per page is 250 words…making three pages about 750 words.

This site tracks your word count at all times, lets you know when you’ve passed the 750 mar, awards points based on your writing, allows you to compare your points with the other 300,000-plus members, and gives you an analysis of the feelings, themes, and mindset of your words each day.


2. The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) was founded in 1967 as a nonprofit organization created to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, encourage and advocate for new writing programs, and provide publishing opportunities for young writers.

Their website includes an extensive database of literary programs, grants, awards, contests, publication opportunities, and conferences throughout North America.

The AWP Conference and Bookfair is the largest literary conference in North America and features over 2,000 presenters and 550 presentations, readings, lectures, panel discussions, book signings, and receptions. Each year conference attracts more than 12,000 attendee and 800 exhibitors.

The first conference was held in 1973 at the Library of Congress, with help from the National Endowment for the Arts. The next conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from February 8–11, 2017.

The Writer’s Chronicle, a magazine published six times a year, has been an important asset to writers for the last forty years. The magazine features in-depth essays on the craft of writing; a listing of grants, awards, publication opportunities available to writers; a list of upcoming conferences for writers; exclusive interviews with accomplished authors, and news on publishing trends.

Each year AWP sponsors six contests…

  1. AWP Award Series, an annual competition for the publication of excellent new book-length works.
  2. Donald Hall Prize for Poetry is an award of $5,500 and publication.
  3. The Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction
  4. The AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction
  5. The AWP Prize for the Novels
  6.  The AWP George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature


3.  The Authors’ Nook is a blog written by Ben Schmitt—a blogger, copywriter, and screenwriter—that offers great writing advice with a dose of humour.


4.  Backspace is an online writers organization with over 1,800 members, including several dozen New York Times bestselling authors,cthat seeks to help writers help other writers through discussion forums, an online guest speaker program, question and answer sessions, articles from publishing experts, and actual conferences and events. Backspace was included in Writer’s Digest Magazine’s ‘101 Best Websites for Writers’ list from 2005 to 2012.


5.  The Blog Starter is a website run by Scott Chow that shares his knowledge from twenty years of experience starting blogs and websites. his ambition is to show other people exactly how to start their own successful blogs.


6.  The Crafty Writer offers a free online, self-paced creative writing course that consists of eight sessions…

  • Releasing your Creativity
  • How to write a short story
  • Writing from a point of view (POV)
  • Bringing your writing to life
  • Writing characters
  • Writing dialogue
  • Poetry: how to write poems
  • Markets, competitions and opportunities


7.  Daily Writing Tips delivers a daily article to your inbox or RSS reader…about topics including grammar, spelling, punctuation, usage, and vocabulary..


8.  Grammarly is an online grammar and spelling checker that helps users find and correct writing mistakes.

Grammarly provides expert help and instant feedback on the accuracy, impact, and credibility of text that you copy and paste into their online text editor.
After checking for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, Grammarly flags these errors, suggests corrections, and explains the reasoning behind each correction.

The Grammarly website also offers…

  • Access to the Grammarly Facebook community and Twitter accounts
  • Grammarly Answers, an online community for writers to ask and answer questions on English writing
  • Grammarly Handbook, an online guide explaining English grammar and style
  • Grammarly Words, an online dictionary-thesaurus hybrid
  • The Grammarly Blog full of fun grammar tips and discussions


9.  inkPageant is a database and search engine for blogs and blog posts related to writing. The site strives to help writers improve their writing skills and reach their goals…by gathering the stories of the experiences of other authors and advice given on their own blogs.

10.  Positive Writer encourages writers to stay positive during those days of writer’s block, self-doubt, rejection, waiting, and disappointment.

This award-winning, highly acclaimed website was created by Bryan Hutchinson—a writer whose work has been published in newspapers, national magazines, books, and on world famous blogs.

Articles can be found on this site that to encourage, inspire, motivate, and advise writers…such as this article,  39 Great Books on Writing.

Heading Off to Work, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Be Aggressive

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First of all, you must be aggressive…and here are a few tips how to be more aggressive regardless of your pursuit…

1.“Do IT first.” Do that one thing that you find yourself dreading to do the most first. Get it over and done with. The earlier you get it done, the less the rest of your day can interfere.

2.  Learning through experience is better than learning by watching other people do whatever it is that you yourself may want to start doing…as far as a struggling writer, that meant reading other people’s blogs and following their social media. You are your own unique person, and write what make you yourself happy. Care less about what other people who are going to see you as you start this new habit are going to think, and more about your own level and feelings.

3.  You can spend way too much time analyzing everything, thinking about getting started online, reading every article and book in sight, and never getting anything done…we could do this with anything—from cooking to running to decorating our house…but with all the available resources out there, you will probably still be trying to figure out where to start twenty years down the road.

4.  Even though you don’t have the perfect plan and are not sure exactly how it’s going to work out, the best way to learn is by doing.

As far as being an “aggressive” writer, the foremost important thing is that you simply write something…

Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or writing in complete sentences…

The important thing at this point is not how you write…but simply that you actually do write something….

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

1.Say It…As a writer you should try to write an article that “involves” the reader by…entertaining and making your readers laugh…inspiring your readers… offering advice based on your own past experience and expertise…teaching your readers how to do something or make something.

A few good prompts to now start actually writing include….

  • Few people know that…
  • Few people realize that..
  • I believe that….
  • In response to…
  • In summary…
  • It has been my experience that…
  • Let me tell you a story about…
  • This is important because…

Next decide if you can add any of the following…

  • Charts…(this shows that)…
  • Definitions…(this means that)…
  • Examples…(examples of this include)…
  • Functions…(this does what)…
  • Lists…(including the following)…
  • Parts…(this consists of)…
  • Steps…(this involves)…

Title It...Choosing a title early in the writing process will help keep you focused on both your topic and your purpose. Create a title that identifies what your post is about…

Introduce It....The first paragraph should serve as a brief and simple introduction—what topic you’ll be covering, why it’s important, how the article will help to solve a problem or to answer a question.

Finish It…End with a call to action. Offer encouragement or tips on how to reach whatever goal or challenge you have set forth.

Now that you have written your “something”—whatever it may be—simply walk away…take time for what you have written to resonate in your head for a while…

Decide if what you have written is worth keeping and editing. Trash it if you need to…it’s your piece of work…

Just keep writing!!!

Heading Off to Work

Now What?!…Figuring Out What IS Your “Now What?!”

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Life is a journey with both valleys and mountains along the way.

Sometimes the top of the mountain seems so high that you simply want to give up altogether.

Sometimes you slip and fall, and may lose your grips.

Sometimes you may not feel like you have the strength and courage to get back up, dust yourself off, and continue on the journey.

 

But life is a always a journey, and only you can determine which direction and what distance you will travel.

 

Like any other journey, the journey of life begins with a single step…

And the first single step on your personal Pilgrim’s Progress is to establish goals…

After all…Those who fail to plan, plan to fail…and no one wants to fail, right?!

 

 

So why should establishing goals be the very first step along the journey…

  • 1. Goals allow you to see those people with common interests and dreams that are also starting along the same path as you, or are a little bit further ahead. Goals assure that everyone in your caravan is pulling in the same direction.
  • 2. Goals establish identity. Established goals allow you to decide how to distinguish yourself from other wolves in the pack and impact your positionwithin the group..
  • 3. Goals make it easier to plan ahead and start working on tasks that actually support your mission.
  • 4. Goals help you understand whether you aresuccessful or not. Having measurable goals allows you to see how far you have traveled already, how much further you have until you reach your destination, and if you are still on course.
  • 5. Goals improve productivity. Youknow what needs to be accomplished both in the present and in the future to reach these goals. You can now direct your actions and efforts toward goal-related activities…instead of unrelated, unimportant, non-strategic activities.
  • 6. Goals enable you to make smarter decisions. Having well-defined goals allows you confront the decisions you encounter along the way  with greater confidence and a greater chance of success. Goals give you a framework within which to work and eliminate uncertainty and actions that won’t contribute to achieving the goals you’ve set.
  • 7. Goals provide motivation. Looking at your endeavor from a broader perspective gives you greater confidence in what lies ahead. Goals that have already been achieved give you a reason to celebrate along the way.
  • 8.  Goals provide cohesion. Each wolf traveling along the same path towards the same destination understands the meaning behind the group’s activities. Having well-defined goals enables the wolves to be consistent and encourages communication and cooperation.
  • 9.  Goals provide direction and set the course. Carefully established goals help you clearly define and understand where you are and where you want to be…and that each activity or task works toward your established goals.
  • 10.  Goals provide focus. Goals enable you to understand how smaller decisions impact larger goals. Goals focus attention on achieving desirable big-picture outcomes and channel brain power toward finding smarter solutions to the “small fire” issues when they come your way.

 

Setting goals is simply SMART…

Many business schools and professionals use the acronym SMART as a guide to set company goals…

—S…Smart
—M…Measurable
—A…Attainable
—R…Realistic
—T…Timely

 

This acronym can be used for goals that we set individually also, so let’s take a closer look.

Specific
…Goals should always be stated in a way that can easily be understood….and should always be written down so that they become something tangible to focus on, evaluate, and refine on a regular basis. As you are establishing your “chosen frozen” goals, ask yourself…

  • What needs to be accomplished?
  • Why is reaching this goal important?
  • How can I spend my time in a way that is consistent with these goals?


Measurable…Goals should be stated in a way that can be easily measured….and shared with your support group, your significant other, or even your own mother. These people can walk along beside you on the journey, provide accountability, and encourage you to keep on going when you really feel like giving up. Ask yourself…

  • Can I track and measure at least one statistic related to this goal?
  • Can I easily evaluate my overall progress by knowing these numbers?
  • Will there be enough information to know if and/or when I should set new goals?


Attainable…”We can only climb the mountains because there’s a valley that makes the mountain a mountain.”

But if the top of the mountain is light years and light years away, then are you really being realistic…

Honestly evaluate where you currently are in order to establish a solid foundation before setting long-term and short-term goals. Ask yourself…

  • Are the goals that you set achievable, yet challenging?
  • Are you starting off with smaller targets and then challenging yourself as you have had more practice and time to get comfortable with the path?
  • Are the goals merely unattainable wishes?


Realistic…Goals must also be realistic and flexible, not carved in stone. Setting goals should not only be a one-time event done only when creating your business plan or settling on your life path. Life happens.

So take some time periodically to re-evaluate your goals, to see exactly how successful you’ve been at achieving them, and to ake any minor changes needed to redirect your efforts. Ask yourself…

  • What is the probability of ever reaching this goal?
  • Do I have the resources needed to actually reach these goals?
  • Are these goals actually goals or simply wishes?


Timely – Goals should be based on a timeline…Long-term goals should be substantially greater than short-term goals and can be charted for even five, ten, or twenty years away. Short-term goals are stepping stones towards achieving these long-term goals and should be attainable in a period of weeks to a year. Ask yourself…

  • Does your goal have a fixed time-frame?
  • When will you start working toward this goal?
  • When will you hope to have reached this goal?
  • How does this deadline influence your daily activities?

 

Another smart way to set goals and figure out “Now What” is to ask yourself the same questions that many of us learned to use back in high school English class when we were writing themes and stories, questions such as…

 

WHO

  • Who benefits the most from me achieving this goal?
  • Who can help me achieve it?
  • Who else believes in me and my ability to reach this goal?
  • Who else is or should be involved?
  • Who will support me?
  • Who won’t support me?

WHAT

  • What did I learn during this last year?
  • What do I need to learn this year?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What excites me about the coming year?
  • What is hindering me from achieving my goals?
  • What is my biggest passion and dream in life?
  • What is my first step?
  • What one wildly bold goal would I like to accomplish that would truly inspire me to get up each morning?
  • What scares me about the coming year?
  • What skills do I you need to acquire and master in order to reach this goal?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What will be my biggest obstacle?
  • What will success look like?

WHEN

  • When can I find the time to do whatever it takes to reach this goal?
  • When will I know that I have reached this goal?
  • When would be a realistic time for me to have reached this goal?

WHERE

  • Where are some places where I can find other people with similar goals?
  • Where do I want to be this time next year?
  • Where will I acquire the necessary knowledge?
  • Where will my goal be accomplished?
  • Where will this take place?

WHY

  • Why am I going to do this in the first place?
  • Why am I willing to invest time, energy, and money in doing this?
  • Why is achieving this goal so important to me?

HOW

  • How can achieving this goal make everything else I am doing better?
  • How will I benefit from reaching this goal?
  • How will I integrate this new goal with with everything else I have going on?
  • How will I market this idea or product?
  • How will I stay focused?
  • How will this be different one year from now?
  • How will this goal be achieved?
Heading Off to Work

The “About Me” Blog Page

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(posting this here because I just updated my “about me” page today and wanted to see if I could get any feedback, positive or negative, about what I have written, as I start reworking my site…

…yes, I do know that’s not me, just the me that I aspire to be perhaps…

…no, not off on another tangent just yet…sleep is just too dang important not to keep talking about, right(?!))…


One of our primary goals as writers, bloggers, and simply people in general should be to establish friendships and relationships…

A good place to start building these relationships as a blog writer/reader is on the the “About Me” page of any blog…

 

The “About Me” page is one of the most important pages on any blog. Not only is it one of the most popular pages, but it’s also the page that will make your audience fall in love with you and want to keep coming back for more.

The “About Me” page should basically answer two very important questions…

 

1.  Who am I?
2.  Why would anyone want to read anything that I might write?

 

In addition to answering these two very important questions, your “About Me” page should tell…should keep…and finally should give.


So what should your “About Me” page tell?!

Tell your perspective…Although this is called the “about me” page, it’s not actually about you yourself at all, but really all about your audience. Make sure that you’re attracting the exact audience you’re looking for within the first sentence of your “About Me” page by asking yourself…

  • What am I providing for them?
  • What makes your website different from all of the other ones out there?
  • What should my readers expect to find when they come to your site?
  • What will they get out of visiting my site?
  • Who is my target market?
  • Why should they bookmark your site and keep coming back?

 

Tell your story…Your story is the one unique thing that separates you from the crowd. Telling your story helps potential followers, clients, employers, and readers relate to you.

People want to know the formal you, not the polished you…the real you probably sitting on your couch in your pajamas with your hair on the top of your head in a ponytail and no makeup on drinking coffee…lots and lots of coffee…

When writing your “About Me” page, answer questions such as…

  • How can knowing you, following you, or working with you change your life?
  • What do you like? Now what do you absolutely love?
  • What do you want to be recognized for?
  • How did you get started? What inspired you to create your blog?

 

So how should my “About Me” page be kept?

  • Keep it concise.—Your audience doesn’t need to know every detail of your life.
  • Keep it real.—Make sure your About Me bio expresses who you are as a person and a professional in an authentic way, both in terms of content and in terms of your writing style.
  • Keep it relevant.—Make sure that your About Me bio is relevant to your blog.

 

So what should your “About Me” page give?

  • Give your audience a photo or two.—Include at least one high quality picture of both yourself and your workspace. Use this as another chance to truly express your personality and confirm the fact that you’re a real human being that people can know and love.
  • Give your reader an idea of what city or region you live in—. This gives your readers and followers something to relate to, as well as a peek into your world.
  • Give your audience the opportunity to stay connected with you. Include links to your Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram account along with an opt-in form for your email list.
  • Give your audience some direction as to where to go next...such as a list of your most popular articles or a specific page you want them to look at.

 

All that being said, here is my personal “About Me” page for this Muffins and Magnolias blog…

 

Christy Floyd, the blogger behind Muffins and Magnolias, has been happily married to  her wonderful husband Kurt for the last thirty-one years, and is the mother of three awesome grown daughters and  a very active “resident four year old.” She and her husband have lived in Arlington, Texas for the last thirty years, but are originally from Houston, Mississippi.

 

About Muffins and Magnolias

I write this blog predominantly for me because as I get older, the more easily I forget what I’ve learned or read and wanted to have a single place to look up the things that I should know and used to know, but no longer know.

Feel free to join me on my journey if you dare.

This journey is towards a more minimalistic, cruelty-free lifestyle than the one that I first began creating when my husband and I got married thirty-one years ago.

Back in 1986, when I first got married, homes and lifestyles were completely different and much more cluttered. I realized this fact about a month ago when I wandered into my first craft show in about twenty years.

Back in 1985, the big-hair and lots-of-hairspray newlyweds like myself desired clutter, ornamentation, and…looking back, perhaps, gaudiness. In 2018, as I help my daughter prepare for her upcoming wedding and new life, it seems like everyone is looking for minimalism and simplicity…

What a change from the days of Silver Dollar City country to farmhouse country during the last thirty years, right?!

Here on my website, I invite you to join me…

…as I break habits that I’ve formed over the last thirty years and swap them with new habits that are better both for my family and the environment….

…as I change our family’s eating habits from what-used-to-be the fast food generation that my kids and myself were all brought up in to a vegan or raw foods…or perhaps just healthier…diet…

…as I take each of the steps throughout my day and attack that particular part of my day to discover how I could be streamlining and doing this better and smarter…such as my mini units on “taking a shower” and “going to bed.”

 

Join this journey with me. Let’s fight this “yes, I’m having yet another zero birthday this year” drama with courage and skill. Learn with me. Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be.

Join me as I learn about eating a healthier diet, dressing more appropriately for this stage in my life, and celebrating life and making life better one Happy Planner section, one habit, and one day at a time.

Join me as I share stories of true-life Steel Magnolias, those women that I have known, both personally and not, who have truly inspired me.

Join me as I share stories about my own life when I have had to be a “Steel Magnolia,” such as my husband being deployed five times to Afghanistan and Iraq, living with a spouse who has PTSD, and adopting/raising a four-year old in my fifties…

Come grow old with me…Join me as I journey…

 

 

Now for overkill, I found this list of questions as a post on the GoodReads website in the Young Adult section with the following introductory paragraph…

posted a list of questions that you can answer if you are bored or something or just for fun. You don’t have to answer any or all of them. Its kind of a waste of time!

I took the time to answer all 110 questions…

Yes, I must have been bored or something…Yes, surprisingly I actually found time to waste…Yes, perhaps I could be called narcissistic and vain…

But more importantly, for you as a fellow blog reader and/or writer, to see how even stupid quizzes like this can be used to brainstorm blog topics and fill in an editorial calendar…

 

  • 1. What is your favorite Primary song? Jesus Loves Me
  • 2. What is your favorite nursery rhyme? Hickory, Dickory Dock
  • 3. What is your favorite subject in school? Statistics
  • 4. What is your favorite flavor of jelly beans? Licorice
  • 5. Which flavor of ice-cream do you prefer? Coffee
  • 6. What do you think is your very best feature or characteristic? Perseverance
  • 7. What is your strongest talent? Knowing when to keep my mouth shut
  • 8. Do you play a musical instrument, if so which one(s)?vyes…piano…
  • 9. What do you usually do when you have leisure time on your hands? Sleep
  • 10. What is your favorite season and why? fall…SEC football…
  • 11. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? London
  • 12. What is your favorite color? Red
  • 13. Who is your best friend and how did you meet? Jesus…nursery at church
  • 14. What is your favorite home cooked meal? Chicken and dumplings
  • 15. What is your favorite grab and go meal? Chipotle
  • 16. Do you prefer to wear pants or dresses? Pants…duh…
  • 17. How many siblings do you have? Two
  • 18. What is you favorite snack? The first thing that I can find
  • 19. When do you usually do your homework? Really?!
  • 20. What is your favorite electronic device? My back-up mirror on my car
  • 21. If you could be any animal which one would you prefer to be and why? Possum…they can actually get by with rolling over and “playing possum”…and even toddlers fall for it…
  • 22. What kind of vehicle do you usually ride in? Ford Edge
  • 23. Do you have pets? Two cats and one dog
  • 24. When was the last time you visited a park and what did you do while there? Two weeks ago…ate ice cream with my grandson
  • 25. What is your favorite sport to watch? SEC football
  • 26. Which sport do you most enjoy actively participating in? Too funny…
  • 27. What do you usually do when you meet someone for the first time? Hope that they won’t shake my hand, or even worse hug me…
  • 28. When was the last time you stayed or hosted a sleepover with friends? Does going to my mom’s last month count…
  • 29. If you have to dress and leave in a hurry what is the one thing you can easily cut out of your routine? Bra
  • 30. Do you plan to go to college? Been there, done that, got a t-shirt
  • 31. What job do you think you would most enjoy as an adult? The one I have now…
  • 32. Do you hope to have children of your own? If so how many. Another funny question…probably three girls…
  • 33. What was the last item you cooked and ate? Watermelon
  • 34. How many books did you read last year? One..,the Bible…
  • 35. Where did you spend your last family vacation? my mom’s
  • 36. Do you have relatives in other states? If so, which ones? Yes…Mississippi and North Carolina
  • 37. Have you ever made jell-o? It’s disgusting
  • 38. Are you ticklish? Yes
  • 39. What size shoe do you wear? 6
  • 40. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Too many to count…that I actually wear—two…
  • 41. Which one fashion accessory do you like better than others? Wedding ring
  • 42. Do you have chores at home you are responsible for? Another funny question…
  • 43. If you were called on to serve a mission where would you least like to serve? Somewhere where people hugging and touching and kissing each other on the cheek is not a part of tradition or custom…
  • 44. If you were called on to serve a mission where would you most like to serve? Somewhere not too hot but not too cold…
  • 45. What age do you consider old? Maybe 80
  • 46. Which birthday are you most looking forward to and why? At this age?!
  • 47. Do you prefer pens or pencils? Pens
  • 48. Do you like your handwriting? Yes
  • 49. Were you named after anyone? Named after the book Christy
  • 50. When did you last visit the zoo? October
  • 51. Have you ever stayed on a farm? Yes
  • 52. Have you ever been horseback riding? Yes
  • 53. Have you ever been water skiing? No
  • 54. What do you most like to do in the snow? Get out of it
  • 55. What is your favorite all-time movie? the Blind Side
  • 56. Can you change a tire? No
  • 57. Is your room more clean or more messy? Perfectly clean
  • 58. Do you prefer a bath or a shower? Shower
  • 59. What do you prefer to drink with your morning meal? Vodka
  • 60. If you had to be stranded on a deserted island with one person who would you want that one person to be? Brad Paisley
  • 61. Which animal would you most like for your pet? Reptar
  • 62. Do you like sweet treats or salty treats? Both
  • 63. Have you ever sung in the shower? No…I hate to sing…
  • 64. Do you find it easy to save money? Not with three daughters in college
  • 65. Do you get an allowance? Whatever Kurt wins from his fishing tournaments
  • 66. Do you have more friends that are boys or girls? Most are men and women of legal drinking age…except for Emily
  • 67. Which do you prefer you had – straight or curly hair? Washed and combed
  • 68. What color eyes do you most like? Green
  • 69. Do you prefer colored or white socks? With what else?!
  • 70. What would you say is your normal exercise routine? Rolling out of bed…
  • 71. Have you ever had acrylic nails? Yes…they would get caught between the keys of my piano and fly across the room…
  • 72. Have you ever colored your hair? Would I ever admit it…
  • 73. What do you do when something funny happens? Pee my pants
  • 74.  mountains in a very, very long time…
  • How do you earn money? Play piano for dead people
  • 75. Do you like to dance? Nope…
  • 76. Are you on any teams or in any clubs in your school? If so which ones? I would love to go back to school…maybe I could be on the badminton team…
  • 77. Where do you keep your spending money? starbucks
  • 78. Do you save trinkets and mementos? Not on purpose
  • 79. Did you have a favorite toy as a child? Yes…wanna know what it was…
  • 80. Do you share a bedroom? Yeah…most married people do that…
  • 81. Do you like drinking from the cup or a straw? Depends on where that cup came from…
  • 82. Do you like ice in your cold beverages? Yes…unless it’s a beer…
  • 83. What is your favorite sandwich? Reuben
  • 84. Do you carry floss in your purse? I don’t even carry a purse…
  • 85. Where is the fartherest you have ever traveled? By car or boat or plane…probably Frankfurt, Germany to Atlanta
  • 86. Do you have family members who live in another country? If so, which family members and where do they live. No..in the country, yes…in another country, no…
  • 87. Which family member do you most resemble? Probably my Dad
  • 88. Which family member are you more like? Probably my Dad
  • 89. What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you? Life in general
  • 90. Do you live in a house, trailer or apartment, etc.? House
  • 91. Have you ever won anything? If so, what did you win? Yes…won $100 playing Bingo at my dad’s Christmas party when I was three…
  • 92. Do you prefer fresh air or air conditioned air? What’s the difference?
  • 93. Do you prefer mountainous or flat regions? Haven’t seen
  • 94. What is your favorite reading material? Facebook
  • 95. Name all of the pets you have ever had? Tramp, Chloe, Sheldon, max
  • 96. Do you mow the lawn at your residence? You have got to be kidding!!!
  • 97. Have you ever been in a musical drama or play? If so, what was it? No…I’m usually behind the piano…
  • 98. Have you ever visited a planetarium? if so, where? No…
  • 99. What is your favorite childhood memory? Just being a “lucky bum” in general
  • 100. Do you usually buy or carry your lunch when at school? Don’t go to school…I dropped out..,
  • 101. What is your favorite fruit? Strawberry Ice Cream
  • 102. What color of clothing do you most like to wear? Black
  • 103. What is your favorite cereal? Frosted Shredded Mini-Wheats
  • 104. What is your favorite breakfast? Cinnamon rolls
  • 105. Who do you spend more time with? My “significant other”
  • 106. What is the longest car trip you have ever taken? Columbia, South Carolina to dfw
  • 107. Do you know how to iron your clothes? No
  • 108. Can you sew a button on your clothing? No…well, yeah…but usually just shove that article of clothing into the closet and find something else
  • 109. Have you ever cut your own hair? No
  • 110. Are you creative in any way? If so, which way(s)? No