We Are Family

I got all my bloggers with me!  Sing it with me!

Sherri Matthews, writer renown of A View from My Summerhouse, has invited me to be part of her WordPress family.  Well, she did a few months ago, but as anyone in my flesh and bone family can attest to, Sherri, it often takes me awhile to get around to things.  So this makes it official, I suppose!


Sherri included a description of the award from its creator, Shaun:

‘This is an award for everyone who is part of the “WordPress Family” I started this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award.’

From Shaun @ http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

The rules of the award (maybe people actually follow rules in this family 😉 ):

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others who have positively impacted your WordPress experience.
4. Don’t forget to let your WordPress family members know of your nomination.
5. That’s it!  Just pick 10 people that have accepted you as a friend, and spread the love!

And the nominees are . . .

  • Right back at ya, Sherri.  Always a warm word, a thoughtful observation, encouragement.  I feel that I’ve gotten to know her through her posts and discussion of mine.  Beautiful writing just this side of the raw edge of life.  Thank you.
  • Patty Mitchell – a lovely woman and talented writer I met at an intensive institute in June.  She  wrote her mother’s memoir, which just reinforces my feeling that she’s all about a life well-lived, tradition, legacy, a good story, and good food.
  • Free Little Words – Kelly Hibbert has taken a hiatus from blogging – so she can write.  And, no, that’s not antithetical.  I miss the love she brings to the page and world through the computer screen, but totally get that she needs to focus that on her own little corner of the world for now.  Still, her blog archive is more than worth a read.
  • Infinite Sadness . . . or Hope? – Cate is fabulous.  A great wit despite – or perhaps because of – chronic pain and mental health struggles.  Totally thought-provoking commentary on life, important issues, spirituality, struggles . . . and thoughtful discussion with me.  Thank you!
  • Sorrygnat – Always a positive, life-affirming voice in the hard face of life.  I think we’re traveling the same path at different points in time (though Esther is so much more positive than I!)
  • Tiny Steps, Big Journey – A gorgeous, raw look at single motherhood.  The struggles and simply profound pleasures.
  • A Canvas of the Mind – Ruby Tuesday – what a gift to the blogging world.  She reaches out to all seeking help, info, or support in dealing with mental illness through her posts and guest bloggers, but reach out to her, and she responds in kind.
  • Sid Dunnebacke – A blogging friend of a friend (of a friend?).  I’m not sure what the degrees of separation are, but Sid found his way to Chopping Potatoes and I’m glad.  I love his photos and honest appraisal of life through the scope of depression.  And I totally appreciate his thoughtful comments on my posts – like his humorous take on my conversational run-in with my 84 year-old grandmother 😉
  • Ericka Clay – We have a lot in common: mothers of girls, writers, anxiety-ridden people . . . Ericka is a star on the rise.  You will not be disappointed with her writing.
  • My Thoughts on a Page – Tric gives me a modern insight on my Irish ancestors – the traits and quirks and humor that have survived the jump across the pond.  Her blog offers beautiful insights into the human condition and our journey through it.
Thank you to all of you for your amazing writing, your perceptive outlooks on life, and your personal and thoughtful conversation in a generally impersonal medium.  Bravo.
Now get on your good foot and get down to the staple of all family functions:

The Next Big Thing

* LATE BREAKING NEWS!  I am pleased to announce a last minute addition to The Next Big Thing Blog Tour.  Annie Cardi, a fellow New Englander writing young adult novels, has joined us.  Please follow the link to her blog as well as the links for the two other writers at the end of this entry.  Thank you!

2013 is off to an auspicious start.

As last year came to a close, the lovely and talented Heather Rigney invited me to join her on The Next Big Thing Blog Tour.  Heather and I met in our first lives as middle school teachers (though our school was having an identity crisis as one of the few named junior highs remaining in the state).  We reconnected in our second lives as writers, attending an institute together at Rhode Island College.  Her work is witty, quirky, and entertaining, involving zombies, mermaids, and, yes, junior highs.  Her blog, Mermaids Love Sushi, showcases her wit and joie de vivre.

Before I could even digest the questions I’d be responding to as part of the tour, RK Bentley – friend, blogger, writer extraordinaire – hit me with another invite.  Rob’s comics have graced my personal library for decades.  Within the last year or so I’ve been fortunate enough to see his scifi novel, Where Weavers Dare, take shape in the writers’ group he organized.  Rob is an integral part of the local writing scene and he shares his “ramblin’s” about that and his other passions on his blog, RKB Writes.

As part of The Next Big Thing Blog Tour, Heather and Rob answered questions about their current work, much like a published author would do to garner support for their latest book.  I think I speak for all the authors taking part in this tour that we do so in the hopes that our writing will, in fact, be the NEXT BIG THING!

So here goes:

1) What is the working title of your book?

Next in Line

2) Where did the idea come from for your book?

Ironically enough, a kitchen remodel.  We totally gutted the kitchen in our previous home and a plasterer came in to patch things up.  He was so knowledgeable and kind that we learned a lot about his personal background, which got me thinking about family businesses and legacies.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

young adult/realistic fiction

4) Which actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?

I’m really fighting the urge right now to call on the cast from My Big Fat Greek Wedding; my main character’s name is Dmitri Tslakas!

  • Maybe Zachary Gordon from Diary of a Wimpy Kid could play him.
  • Camilla Belle for the lovely yet unassuming Francesca.
  • Olympia Dukakis for Gram?  Sorry, couldn’t resist.
  • Mandy Patinkin with a beard for Spiro, Dmitri’s dad.
  • Isabella Rossalini for Maria, Dmitri’s mother.
  • Can I get Max Cascella from his Doogie Howser, MD days for Dmitri’s friend, Anthony?  This whole thing is wishful thinking, right?maxcasella-now2

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Dmitri, a seventeen year-old sculptor, is trying to build his skills and his strength – to hone his craft and stand up to his father.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Any takers?  I’d like to see what an agent could do for me.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

~ two years, in fits and starts.

8) What other books would you compare this story to?

  • Takeoffs and Landings by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Lord of the Deep by Graham Salisbury

9) Who or what inspired you to write the book?

  • My plasterer and his teenage son on the brink of adulthood
  • any kid who’s trying to get out from the shadow of his or her parent(s) and stand on his or her own.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

  • Dmitri has undiscovered family history that ties him to the past as well as his father’s expectations pushing him toward the future.
  • He is an amazing, naturally talented artist.

I’m so honored to be part of this blog phenomenon!  A big thank you to Heather and Rob.  I’d like to share the love with two very talented writers both of whose work I highly enjoy and which you should check out, too (They’ll have their posts up in about a week).

Julie Robertson Dixon

Kelly Kittel

Annie Cardi


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