Friday Fun: Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths

The other day, my daughter–a junior now!–told me about her first day as a freshman mentor and some of the things she tried to get them to open up during freshman orientation. She had quite a few that were not interested in sharing so one of the tricks she used was the game, Two Truths and a Lie. She got a few takers but still had a few who refused to participate. Party poopers.

While I played the “supportive mom”, I couldn’t help but think how fun this would be for a blog post. But I didn’t want to be the only one playing and we definitely don’t want any party poopers.

How the game is played is that I tell you three things and you have to guess which two are the truths and which one is the lie. At the end of the post, I am going to challenge another blogger to do the same post. See, sounds fun already. We’re just going to keep this train of laughs rolling, folks.

  1. I’ve peed myself more than once (toddler years excluded).
  2. I had a pet spider growing up.
  3. I can eat the gross Bean Boozled jelly beans (from Jelly Belly) without gagging.

Leave me a comment with your guesses of which ones you think are truth and which one is the lie. Then come back on Monday to find out if you were right.

I tag blogger Julia Munroe Martin to play Two Truths and a Lie on her own blog. I’ve known Julia for quite a while and met her online through mutual writer friends. She’s a mom of two amazing kids who are both becoming doctors. One just started medical school and the other is in residency. She lives in Maine and has the most beautiful instagram feed of her Maine surroundings. She’s also an assistant editor, guest post manager, and contributor to Writer Unboxed. I love her with all my heart and hope you check her out. Julia head shot

Julia, this is a two post game. You state your three things in one post, adding a link to the blogger who tagged you (that’s me!). In the second post, you reveal which were the truths and the lie, then you must challenge another blogger (with a hyperlink) to play, passing along the same rules of the game. Cool? Cool. I thought this would be a fun way to find new bloggers as well as get to know the ones you already follow.

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Because I’m starting this little game of blog tag and have no one to credit for tagging me, I leave you these two ladies whom I would LOVE to see play the game in one of their videos. I know it’s not really the format of their channel but they are so funny I can only imagine the hilarious things they would come up with!

These are the ladies from #imomsohard and you can find their videos on YouTube and Facebook. If you haven’t seen them yet, you are in for a treat. They are originally from Nebraska which is 2/3 of why they are awesome. Here are two of their videos talking about summer. How many of you can relate?! Sooo funny.

Sharing is Caring

Writing at computerI have this blog because I want a place to share my thoughts but, more importantly, connect with others. In my “real” life, I’m a talker. As much as I love hiding from the kids my alone time, I don’t consider myself an introvert. I like to share my favorite books, products, ideas, life hacks, embarrassing moments, news, memories, funny stories, and daily struggles with whomever is willing to listen. This blog is an extension of that.

As shocking as this may sound, I spend a lot of time working on my blog posts. No really, I do. It’s the reason why I only post about once a week. Twice if I’ve got my shit together and if WordPress decides to cooperate. (Today he was an asshole and didn’t save my post. I’m still bitter about it.)

It starts with an idea that’s had time to simmer. After some time in the think tank,it still has any meat left, I scribble out the bones of the post in my notebook or type out a rough draft on my computer. My next step is to go back and connect my ideas like a dot-to-dot puzzle, hoping to make something legible out of my tangled words.

Then I’ll go back through it again, reading it out loud to myself, adding and deleting, cutting and pasting text, and possibly contemplating if I should just delete the entire post because it’s total crap.

But then I realize how much time I’ve already spent on it, so I commit to making it better, again re-reading and revising, editing and fixing my punctuation which is still probably wrong. But when the writing is done, I search the internet for picture(s) to perfectly illustrate my post which causes major derailment when I start following other shiny, sparkling words/posts/anything.

When I finally pull it together, I must choose how, when, and where I want it to appear on social media after I’ve added my necessary keywords and hashtags. Then I’ll schedule it to go live, click save (WordPress willing) and let it go.

All of that could take an hour or a couple of days depending on if I’m in the zone and if I keep on task.

My hope after writing each blog post is that someone–ANYONE–will read it and be affected by it. It doesn’t have to be life-changing; just something others can understand, relate, laugh or even cry along with me.

I love when readers comment because that lets me know that my words mattered. However, many people are shy about leaving a comment and I completely understand. But there is something else that you can do that will show that you care about not only about the words I wrote but all of the other blogs, authors, art, or other creatives you enjoy…just share.

I may not have a great comment to add to a blog post but if I appreciate the words and want to show my support for the work the writer did, I share their work, either through email, Facebook, Twitter…whatever I can. Those little icons at the bottom of a post are there to make it as easy as possible!

As much as I’d like to say I am only write for my own pleasure, I’m can’t. The more my work is shared and the more connections I make, the more I want to keep writing.

If a blog post gets written but no one reads it, did it really exist? 

No one wants their work to go unnoticed so here are some ideas:  

  • If you’ve just read a great book, find the author’s email through their website or in the acknowledgements at the end of the book. Tell them what you loved about the story and how it affected you. Or simply thank them for writing the book.
  • If you purchased artwork from a local artist or an Etsy shop, share their site with others or let them know where you bought it. 
  • If you liked a blog post that you just read, share it through social media.

You have no idea how these simple gestures help the writer/artist keep going.

If you care, share. 

I promise that gesture won’t go unnoticed and it will mean the world to the person behind the work.

THANK YOU!

~Hallie

 

{photo credit: Unsplash/Thomas Lefebvre}

Four Years Ago Today, A Blog Was Born

what-are-you-thankful-four-games-photo-420-FF1109THANK_A03Today marks the four year anniversary of blogging and as I try to wrap my mom-head around where that time went, my writer-head tells me to reflect on the wonderful people I’ve met in that time. If anything, my blog has been a conduit for developing friendships with those I may never have met in real life.

Even though my blog has been a lot of self-expression, what makes it special for me are the connections. One of the biggest rewards of blogging for me is when commenters say one of my posts resonated with them and share their own stories. That’s where the connection starts and it is a major reason why I keep doing this whole blog thing.

Another big part of my blog are my book recommendations, which ties into what I want to give back to my loyal readers today in celebration of my blog’s birthday. I have some wonderful friends with debut novels coming out either now or in the next couple of months and I’d like to offer their books as a thank you.

The four books I’m giving away are:

Girl on the Golden Coin

Girl on the Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson (Publication date, Feb. 11, 2014)

“Impoverished and exiled to the French countryside after the overthrow of the English Crown, Frances Stuart survives merely by her blood-relation to the Stuart Royals. But in 1660, the Restoration of Stuart Monarchy in England returns her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and springs to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches King Louis XIV’s eye. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty, she has Stuart secrets to keep and people to protect. The king turns vengeful when she rejects his offer to become his Official Mistress. He banishes her to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and stop a war.
Armed in pearls and silk, Frances maneuvers through the political turbulence of Whitehall Palace, but still can’t afford to stir a scandal. Her tactic to inspire King Charles to greatness captivates him. He believes her love can make him an honest man and even chooses Frances to pose as Britannia for England’s coins. Frances survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the debauchery of the Restoration Court, yet loses her heart to the very king she must control. Until she is forced to choose between love or war.
On the eve of England’s Glorious Revolution, James II forces Frances to decide whether to remain loyal to her Stuart heritage or, like England, make her stand for Liberty. Her portrait as Britannia is minted on every copper coin. There she remains for generations, an enduring symbol of Britain’s independent spirit and her own struggle for freedom.”

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I met Marci about 2 1/2 years ago through Twitter and I’ve loved her ever since. She was a guest blogger here back in 2011 and not to toot my own horn but in my intro, I mentioned that I wouldn’t be surprised if I was featuring her debut novel here someday. Well, that day has come! You can find out more about Marci at www.marcijefferson.com.

 

 

The Rooms are Filled

The Rooms are Filled by Jessica Vealitzek (Publication date: April 22, 2014)

“The Rooms Are Filled is the moving, 1983 coming-of-age story of two outcasts brought together by circumstance: a Minnesota farm boy transplanted to suburban Chicago after his father dies, and his teacher, a closeted young woman starting over after a failed attempt to live openly. Readers will root for these two as they navigate their new lives, as they attempt to change to become who they are.”

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I met Jessica through my involvement with Great New Books where we are both regular contributors. I had the chance to meet her while in Chicago last year and it was as if I had known her all my life. Her blog, True Stories, has a lot of serious content but she’s actually quite a funny gal. I’m so thrilled for her and hope you check out her blog, True Stories. 

 

 

Chasing the SunChasing the Sun by Natalia Sylvester (Publication date: June 3, 2014)

“Andres suspects his wife has left him—again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: she’s been kidnapped. Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative page-turner is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’d do anything to get her back.
Or will he?
As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exactly what he’ll give up to bring her home. And unfortunately, the decision isn’t entirely up to him, or to the private mediator who moves into the family home to negotiate with the terrorists who are holding Marabela. Andres struggles to maintain the illusion of control while simultaneously scrambling to collect his wife’s ransom, tending to the needs of his two young children, and reconnecting with an old friend who may hold the key to his past and his wife’s future.”

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Natalia has been an online friend for quite a while and we are pen pals when we find the time. She is part of the Debutante Ball blogging team this year which features five debut authors as they dance their way to publication. She’s got a wonderful blog called Finding Truth Through Fiction where she interviews authors, her creative process, and her life in general.

 

 

The HerStories ProjectThe Herstories Project, A Collection of Essays about the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendships Edited by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger, Multiple Authors

“The bonds of women’s friendship can be more intimate than marriage, and just as essential to emotional health. From the childhood friend who broke your heart to the college roommate who witnessed you at your highest and lowest, from the lost friendship that ended bitterly to the devoted companion who is still in your life, from the bond that was forged due to shared grief to the shaky connection born with new motherhood, all women have stories to tell about their friendships. The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship is a collection of essays from over 50 women writers, encompassing tales of friendship from the sandbox to the inbox. The book includes a foreword from Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy and several chapters on understanding friendship from friendship experts Shasta Nelson and Carlin Flora. In this book, you will read stories of childhood friendship, relationships between sisters, mothers, and daughters, grown-up friendships–both real life and online– friendships during motherhood, and stories of friendship break-ups and losses. Whether you identify with the new mother who struggles with loneliness, the woman who looks forward to her social media notifications, the challenging and complex relationship of sisters, or the stories of friends that have drifted apart, you will recognize yourself somewhere in the pages of this book.”

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I’m so excited for this book to get into as many hands as possible. Alison Slater Tate, Nina Badzin, Lindsey Mead, Jamie Krug, Galit Breen, and Jessica Vealitzek all have essays published in this book and I’m so happy to know each of these remarkable women online or in person. Read more about the project and the many other contributors at www.herstoriesproject.com

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I will choose four winners, making sure that each book gets a winner. So if I have five people putting their name in for Girl on the Golden Coin and only one for The HerStories Project, then your chances are much better for The HerStories Project. Capiche? 

For the books that haven’t been published yet, I will pre-order the book for you so as soon as pub date hits, it will be in your mailbox ASAP! 

Post your entry by filling out the form below by midnight, Feb. 13. I’ll announce the winner on February 14th.


Thank you!!!!

~Hallie