Pay It Forward and 7x7 Link Award!


I am so excited to participate in the Pay It Forward Blogfest, courtesy of Dawn Kurtagich's awesome blog shout-out. If you haven't visited Dawn yet, I highly suggest stopping by to say hello. She's an aspiring YA author, represented by Weronika Janczuk, and her life truly reads like an adventure novel. (Think, elephant stampedes at close range and baboons stealing her underwear. I'm not making this stuff up.) Plus, she's just so friendly, approachable and nice. You will love her; I am confident!

Now to the blogfest. The purpose is to introduce others to three bloggers you find awesome. Then attack the list and explore! Find some cool new friends, and discover some great new bloggers to follow.

Here is my list:

1. Rebekah Crane actually lives in Colorado, and we just spent the most hilarious evening drinking wine and cocktails, laughing about the craziness of this submissions process, and generally just laughing. Oh my gosh, it was fantastic, and Bekah is so much fun. She has gotten like 15 full and partial requests for her YA novel so far, and she is perked on the cusp of great things.

2. Dan Brennan is "a mystery, an enigma, and a riddle rolled into one. He’s also a tiny bit pretentious, sorry about that." (Haha!) He's also one of my favorite writerly friends around, and his newest foray is an attempt to simultaneously seek traditional and self-publication (with different projects). His Infinite Circles series is his experiment in self-publishing, and he plans to post his novel, BURNING DAYLIGHT, chapter by chapter on his blog. Chapter One is currently up, and it's really (really, really) good.

3. Peggy Eddleman just got an agent!! She is now represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, and she absolutely deserves to bask in this happiness. She's thoughtful, she's positive, and every time I visit her site, I am overwhelmed by a burning desire to eat cookies!

(Recipients, feel free to pay others forward on your blog if you'd like, or just sit back and enjoy your new visitors!)


On to my new award, which is the 7x7 Link Award, presented to me by the lovely Girl Parker, who is an aspiring writer, an aspiring photographer, an incredibly sweet and supportive friend, and freaking amazing cook.  (Seriously, just read this post: Date Night, German Chocolate Cake Style. Are you drooling yet?)

The purpose of this award is to ask bloggers to identify their own blog posts in certain categories (to breathe new life into some oldies but goodies). Here are mine:

1. Most Beautiful Post: The Quirks and Idiosyncrasies of Dolphins... Nothing in the world humbles me more than a pod of dolphins, and I posted some fantastic footage of them from Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, in this post. (Okay, this is kind of misleading, because "Most Beautiful Post" implies that I actually wrote something beautiful. But hey, how am I going to compete with a pod of dolphins?)

2. Most Popular Post: Announcing My New Agent...  Yeah, not too surprised about this one. The day Jamie Brenner (and Brianne Mulligan) entered my life was definitely a life changer, and I am so thankful for all the support and words of congratulations everyone shared when I announced my big news.

3. Most Controversial Post: The Hotdog... I love my hometown in Florida more than words can say.  But like most kids from small Southern towns, I didn't always feel this way. I posted this older essay about myself as a teenager because I'm proud of the risks I took while writing it.  But I also posted it with a great deal of trepidation, because the years (and life and wisdom) have pretty much erased every negative feeling I expressed while writing this.

4. Most Helpful: RMFW Lesson #1: Time Management for Busy Writers... This is my first--and currently the only--post in my "Lessons from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers" series.  Life got crazy busy right after this, but I can't wait to continue adding nuggets of wisdom from all the incredible authors I got to meet during my first-ever writers conference.

5. Most Surprisingly Successful: Dolphin Tale Premiers September 23rd!... I think I have excellent timing to thank for the success of this post.  I simply wanted to shout-out that adorable dolphin I remember from my time in Florida, but I didn't expect so many random readers to stumble upon my blog through their Google searches.  (And let's face it, Winter is fantastic.  Once again, how am I going to compete with a dolphin?)

6. Post That Didn't Get The Attention It Deserved AND 7. Post I Am Most Proud Of: The Product of Post-Crash Insomnia... Okay, so I cheated and combined these last two. But I am proud of this post on so many levels. I survived a pretty intense car accident in October of 2010, and I quickly realized the only way I could purge my experience was to write it down. It's gruesome and violent, and I posted it way back in March before I really had any followers, so I'm not surprised it has gone relatively unnoticed until now.  I also understand that many people probably don't want to join in on my car crash, but the writing, the editing and the reading was the only catharsis that actually worked, so I've never been prouder of anything.

And HERE are the five bloggers I would like to bestow with their very own 7x7 Link Awards. (Recipients, right-click the award to save it and post it in your own blogs if you'd like. Then feel free to pass it on to five more worthy bloggers.)

1. Deana Barnhart is hilarious, and she makes such an effort to support other writers by posting interviews, hosting blogfests, and researching great information for all of us to enjoy.  I am very excited to hear which posts she likes best.

2. Jenny Phresh... Okay, I have to admit, I'm posting this selfishly.  I just can't imagine which post the lovely Party Pony would put under "Post I'm Most Proud Of."  If you don't know why I'm so excited, go visit her blog, and then you will know why.

3. Beckah-Rah is dark and hilarious.  Check out this random sample of the first few words that just happen to be on her blog today: "Last night, I dreamed that my sister talked me into going swimming with her at this strip club’s indoor pool, which turned out to have a chemical in it that dissolves your clothing. Then, of course, we saw the pervs watching from the underground pervert rooms. We got out and were promptly man-handled by creepy homeless-looking strip club patrons, and then we got kidnapped by Santa Claus."

4. Audra has a really unique site called "Rediscovering Domesticity," where she shares all sorts of great tips for home life, from fun and easy recipes to budgets to children.  A great resource, and I'd definitely be interested to hear which posts she thinks are most helpful.

5. Perri's "Lesser Apricots" blog is fantastic, because she always posts random song clips, great pictures, and really unique posts. (i.e., These are the subjects that are "near and dear" to her heart: one-hit wonders, lesser apes, rural Florida and other relevant oddball bits.) Can't wait for a "Best-of" list!

That'll do it, folks!  Have a wonderful night!