Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Back!

: Live with intention, Walk to the edge, Listen hard, Practice wellness, Play with abandon, Laugh, Choose with no regret, Continue to learn, Appreciate your friends, Do what you love, Live as if this is all there is. ~Mary Anne Hershey

Its been four months since I blogged. Part of me feels guilty. Part of me feels vindicated. I have good reason.

Blogging had become a drain for me. A drain for my time. A drain for my words. And not because blogging is a bad thing, or a drain in and of itself, but the way I managed my blog was not very efficient. Therefore, the best thing I could do was quit cold turkey. At least for a little while.

So the last time I posted I had been rejuvenated in writing my book and I'm proud to say I finished it the middle of May. The 15th to be exact. May 15 became my last and final goal. I had set and reset the damn goal I don't know how many times, but I finally got to the point in the story I could see the end. I could feel it and the momentum grew. In fact, I wrote over 15,000 that last week alone.

So now its revision time. Edit and revise. Edit and revise.

And some other news, during that time I finished my book, I also received word that I'd been accepted into the Aspen Writer's Foundation Summer Words Program. I've never attended a conference or workshop of any sort and I had no idea what to expect.

I think I can safely say that my expectations were blown away. It was a fantastic opportunity and I brought home many treasures. I studied with best selling author Elinor Lipman and ten other fabulous fellow authors. Its always interesting what you learn during trips like that, away from home. I learned that I can pick up after myself quite well, and the messy house is not my fault. I learned that I like to get up early for a job I love. I learned that not everyone has the same opinion about my book or writing style that I do. But I also learned that there are still a lot of good and wonderful people in the world and I can't wait to meet more of them!

And I learned to never, ever give up. Although I knew that, but its always good to be reminded.

Persistence. Persistence. Persistence.

Happy Tuesday everyone. And I missed you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just Like Riding A Bike

QUOTE OF THE DAY: There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. ~Louis L'Amour

Ever have one of those days when you finally woke up on the RIGHT side of the bed and the coffee is already made and you got an unexpected check in the mail for some unknown reason? What does that mean? That all the stars are aligned correctly and in your favor? Maybe you should go out and buy a lottery ticket?

I didn't have one of those days today, but I did have a revelation this week. My flow came back.

I have been blocked at a certain point in my WIP that I couldn't get past. So I gladly did the dishes, vacuumed the house, cleaned the bathroom and did ten loads of laundry because that all NEEDED to get done NOW, or so my non-creative brain told my creative brain. (because I have two you know)

I knew what was going to happen in the story, I just didn't know how to say it. And that fear stopped me. I didn't give up, necessarily, but I procrastinated. Like you do when you have to pay the bills and you don't want to. Its painful, heartbreaking and you have no idea how much good stuff you'll have in the end.

But guess what? I forced myself to sit and plunge through that scene, (which came out beautifully I must say) and what has flowed since then has knocked me off my feet. I can't stop now. I am itching at every possible second to sit down and continue my story. I feel like I've been given new life. Hee hee! Reborn!

I know. It sounds silly. But it has been so uplifting for me. And I knew it all along. The point is to Just. Do. It. Even when you don't think you have anything to say, just sit down and write.

Guess what else helped me to get through it?

I've written the last 3000 words by hand. In a special notebook I bought just to write in. So I can write ANYWHERE. ANYTIME. I always have my story with me to write 20 words or 2000. Its almost freeing. Like when you learned to ride a bike.

That's my good news story of the day. I hope you have a good news story today too!

Monday, February 14, 2011


The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

Its Valentine's Day. And I love celebrating love, but the holiday seems so over rated. I helped my kiddos get their valentines ready for their classmates and their teachers, and although I know that will not last forever, it does remind me of those days oh so long ago.

But I like to celebrate love every day. My love for my SO, my love for my children and my family. So, yes, we will celebrate today, along with the rest of the world, but in our own special way, just like always. And that's just my two cents. For whatever its worth. (Never expected that from a romance writer, huh?)

And on that note, I would like to put up an AWESOME IDEA to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog, Chiseled In Rock, for the awesome post today. And I'm going to follow suit. Give me your best 25 or so words to describe the picture below. How creative can you be?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Help Save Your Own Life

If you have the choice between being loved or being right, choose to be loved.

I took a week off from the blogging world to help some friends. Two years ago, my friend Cindy's step-sister died of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is her story:

Lauren Johnson was a flame from which every person could light their own candle. She had a spark inside her and she shared it with the world. Lauren had dedicated her life at an early age to standing up for those that could not stand up for themselves and she believed passionately in fighting for justice. Caring, compassionate and ready to take on the world, Lauren had found her calling. At twenty four years old, she was working on a masters program in international human rights at the prestigious Joseph Korbel School of International Studies in Denver, Colorado. Lauren was a natural leader and was preparing to travel to Israel to lead a delegation of students at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. However, five days before she was to leave, on January 5, 2009, Lauren lost her life to carbon monoxide poisoning because a damaged furnace vent on the roof of her apartment building leaked the odorless, colorless, tasteless toxin through the wall and into her home. A carbon monoxide detector (COD) had not been installed in her apartment and she was unaware that she was breathing the lethal gas. When she developed a headache and felt drowsy, she laid down in her bed and never woke up. Lauren's flame had been extinguished and the world was worse off because of it.

Lauren's friends formed The LAUREN Project which has two separate focuses. To support international volunteer mission trips among young people (ages 21-35) and to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The LAUREN Project applied for a federal grant through FEMA's Fire Protection and Services Grant Program and I assisted them in preparing it. Given they just learned of the grant the middle of January, and the grant deadline was yesterday, February 4, 2011, we had only two weeks to put it together.

Please check out The LAUREN Project and pass it on. And please install a CO detector in your home if you don't have one already. After researching this issue the past two weeks, I am amazed at how many people still don't have the $25 device installed in their home that can save their life.

Now for the wait and see period. And on to the next project.

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Twitter? Tweet? Twisted? Twerp?

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

I just finished reading Nathan Bransford's blog post on Tweeting and I'm a tad perplexed. I just got a handle on the blogging thing. I started my blog over a year ago and after not much interaction with it, I put it on hold for several months. Then I figured out you had to advertise it, so I did on facebook. To all my friends. And when I still didn't have much interaction with it, I started to check out other blogs to see what they were doing. And I commented on a few. And BOOM. People visited my blog, because, ya know, they now had a LINK. Hmmm. What a concept. Now, I don't believe I'm that technology or socially inept, but I have struggled with how to market myself and how to advertise. And I'm getting it. Really I am. You all are TERRIFIC teachers!

But then I read Nathan's blog and went CRAP! Now I have to TWEET!?

I get it. Its another form of social media that can get your name out there, that can advertise for you and work in your favor. It makes sense. It works, obviously. But wow. You've seen my hat list! Blogger and Tweeter would have to be added to that, because it would be one more thing to add to my already overflowing plate. I tell myself that I will look into the Twitter Epidemic when - I get my book written; or when I land an agent; or when I'm published. But then its too late, right? The sooner the better.

Frankly, though, for me, its one thing at a time. And right now, its blogging. If I miss the twitter boat, I guess I miss it.

How many of you tweet? And love it? How many hate it? Who out there finds it daunting and who can't live without it?

Saturday, January 15, 2011


You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. ~Robin Williams

The other day someone asked me what I did. Generally, when someone asks that question, you usually reply with what you do to generate income, right? Well, I could have numerous different answers. I make my income in several different ways, but I am so much more than that. I am more than a business owner or an employee. So I made a list. The I AM list.

A Christian, Period.
A Mother (of 2, which automatically adds titles including but not limited to: Chauffeur, Tutor, Secretary, Nurse, Advisor, Counselor, Warden, Coach, Maid, Cook, Event Planner, Bodyguard, Financial Advisor, Referee, Judge, Lawyer, Cheerleader)
A Significant Other (similar to that of Wife, without the paperwork and although I hate the title, it sounds better than girlfriend. When I say I'm his girlfriend, that seems so, I don't know, high school I suppose :))
An Ex-Wife (while minor children are involved, this title holds significance simply because it consumes portions of my week)
A Sister
A Daughter
A Friend
An Aunt
A Cousin
A Niece
A Business Owner
An Independent Employee
A Co-Organizer for NoCo Writer's Group
A Writer
A School Volunteer
A 4-H Leader
A Coach
(well, I was for two years at least, and not because of experience, but because of necessity)

And then I let out a big sigh because just reading the list exhausts me. Oh, but otherwise life would be boring!

So tell me, what hats do you wear? When someone asks you what do you do, how do you answer?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just a little something for your reading pleasure

QUOTE OF THE DAY: EXCELLENCE is obtained if you...CARE more than others think is wise; RISK more than others think is safe; DREAM more than others think is practical; EXPECT more than others think is possible. ~Tom Peters, Author of Little Big Things

It's snowing like crazy today and my front yard looks like this blog page. It appears winter has finally decided to stay.

I just thought I'd post a little something I wrote some time ago. I was trying to see the world through my daughter's eyes, and remember those simpler times. Those things we used to do before everything was instant and digital and electronic. Before TV and Wii and cell phones. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and your Sunday and whatever else it is that makes you smile.

by Lisa Blandford

CREATE a fort with chairs and blankets
GROW a garden
CATCH some frogs
ROAST marshmallows over a campfire
SLEEP under the stars, COUNT them and WISH on the ones that fall
SAY hello to the man in the moon
HEAR the crickets play a melody
CHASE the angels
DYE Easter eggs...then HIDE them
EAT chocolate
SHARE chocolate
PICK some wildflowers for Grandma
SMELL the rain
FIND all the colors in a rainbow
LEAVE a May Day basket for the neighbors
LISTEN to the birds sing
PLAY hide and seek
FEED the squirrels
SKIP rocks on a lake
BELIEVE in the tooth fairy
HUG Mom and TELL her she's the best mom ever
THROW a ball for the dog...and WALK him, too
CHURN home made ice cream
IMAGINE what floats among the clouds
HELP Dad clean the garage
DIG up worms
TAKE a Sunday morning walk with Grandpa
SEE the sun rise
GO fishing
WADE barefoot in a creek
DISCOVER a secret hideout
READ to your brother
RIDE your bike
MAKE a wish and blow out the candle on your cake
CELEBRATE with friends
POP old fashioned popcorn
CARVE pumpkins
LET your sister go first
WATCH the sun set
BUILD a snowman...and snow angels, too
WRITE a letter to Santa
SET a good example
ENJOY growing up