The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer appreciation award given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.
Thank you to emotionalabusehurts.
Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and make a link back
to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.
Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then write them 11 new questions.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog Here are the questions I received and my answers:
What was the driving force behind the creation of your blog?
I started this blog as a way to advocate for people with mental illnesses and to provide information about Dissociative Identity Disorder. As I get healthier, the blog evolves. I now use Art by Rob Goldstein to discover who I am as an artist and writer.
What was your vision for your future in blogging/writing when you first started this blog? How has that vision evolved?
My goal in 2013 was to get well enough to return to full time work. I now realize this is not going to happen. My vision for this blog is that it will continue to serve as a repository for information about mental health and Dissociative Identity Disorder and as a showcase for my art and writing.
What age were you when you realized you loved writing?
I was eight.
How has your life changed as a result of the electronic age? Is it better/worse/the same?
My life is better because of technology; It gives me a way to break through the isolation that seems inevitable for people with a chronic illness. New technologies offer an infinite number of ways to create content.
What was the very last website you visited today?
YouTube. I use it to watch news and documentaries.
What was the first website you visited when you woke up four days ago?
Bing. I use it to collect points. I currently have enough points for a two hundred dollar shopping spree at Target.
If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?
I wish I had been properly diagnosed with DID when I was in my 20’s. I may have had a more productive life.
How would your life be different today if that one thing from your past were to change?
I might be more accomplished.
If you have children, tell me…how did your parenting change from the time you had your first child until the time you had your last?
I’ve never had children but I think that all adults are responsible for protecting and nurturing America’s children, even if it’s just by paying taxes to fund schools, housing, and medical care.
Tell me about the funniest experience you’ve had in the past month. Alec Baldwin’s Saturday Night Live take on Trump’s ‘State of Emergency’ speech.
What do you have planned for the upcoming holiday season?
Easter is a time for meditation.
If I nominate you and you have an award free blog, please view the nomination as a compliment: you are under no obligation to respond. My questions are the same as those posed to me.
If now is my time of dying let it be a time of giving
a time of joy
an exchange of one gift
to be part of the plan
aware of the plan
God grant me grace
in this interlude
this movement foreword
this final act of life.
‘My Time of Dying’ Rob Goldstein 1984-2019 Portrait of Rob Goldstein by Nina Glaser
The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined. The local population included supernatural beings. Yet only she and a few others knew about that.
Although she didn’t know the details, in a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life. In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed. Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.
Atonement in Bloom continues the misadventures of Ralda, her friends, and neighbors in the small (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, Tennessee. Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals.
Now Lilith the calico sniffs out a strange beast.
Fae foolery backfires.
A friend is abducted.
On a cold December day, Atonement, Tennessee comes into bloom.
My seventh-grade teacher gave us an assignment that truly inspired my young mind — Write a story. However, we only had two options about the story 1) Write it from the point of view (POV) of a cartoon character, or 2) from the POV of the shoes of a famous person. Well, 12-year-old me watched talk shows after school, not cartoons. So, I saw plenty of “famous people” and “used to be famous” ones too, on Merv Griffin’s TV show. I liked the ones who talked about their pets. So, I wrote my story as a pair of red pumps belonging to actress Doris Day. (Back then I don’t think she was still making movies, but she was known for all her dogs.) I had so much fun that I also gave half the class verbal outlines for their stories.
In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I did a few stories on my own. My teacher wanted to see them. She said good things about the one for the assignment so (not that I thought I had any choice) I let her have the stories. They were Twilight Zone-ish stories and one was about child abuse. They got a lot of attention…
My teacher spoke to my parents.
My parents told me very sternly to never do that again!
That said, I guess I started writing in my late thirties. Throughout my life novels were my only escape from the personal difficulties (yes, abuse too) that I faced each day. I had read a couple of interviews with writers, and decided to write a fantasy novel. I did a lot of research and work, read more interviews, and then I dove into it. With that start, I never stopped.
You started your blog as an adjunct to self-publishing, how do you define your blog now?
I’m sure you’ve seen the same advice I always see for us Indies – You must have a blog to promote your work! Well, I couldn’t bear the thought of droning on about my novel with every post. Instead, I modified a writing exercise I created for myself long ago. I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books). I had the readers send me three random things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to my current release, a culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients. So that one is Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I. I’ve published both of those serials in book form.
That “pantser” style of writing, combined with engaging my audience (having them send “things” or otherwise promoting them) seems to have defined my blog.
I also mean for my blog to be a sanctuary for everyone. I keep it free from religion and politics, even though there are issues about which I feel strongly.
Where were you raised and how does that affect your style?
I’m a southerner by birth, but I was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when I moved to New Mexico. Like the old John Denver song, I had come home to a place I’d never been before. The truth is, I wish every day that I had never left. However, many things about the southeast – the deep south made an impact that remains with me. Following the advice, “Write what you know,” many of my stories have a southern setting.
What writers give you inspiration?
Robert Jordan (the Wheel of Time series) inspired me with his detailed world-building. Charlaine Harris influenced me with writing in first-person. That was something I never cared to do until I did my first National Novel Writing Month and created my début novel, Atonement, Tennessee. To my surprise, all the serial stories at my blog turned out to be written in first person as well. David Eddings influenced me with the way he showed his sense of humor, particularly in the Belariad series.
What are your top 3 tips for new bloggers?
Reciprocate. Answer every comment, and try to do so with more than just “Thank you.”
Don’t “act/look like an expert” if you are not. If you have credentials then say so – and make that information something the reader can find without digging. If you found useful information, and you just want to share it, then say so.
Make it easy to read. Light colored (or splotchy, speckled) backgrounds with medium colored text are hard to read, no matter how good your content. Also, those horrid pop-ups, soliciting subscriptions. If I’ve barely started reading and one of those things blocks me from that read, I don’t care to continue.
Thank you Teagan! A short section from one of your books would be great way to close the interview.
Since I’ve been promoting the release ofMurder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I, I want to share a short story. It is not in the book, but it’s still from that “universe,” and features the heroine of that 1920s series.
Pip’s a Chicken
“Bock, bock-bock. Bock! Baaawk!
Of all the nerve! My mouth dropped open. I was speechless. Granny Phanny bocked at me like a chicken. She bocked. She put her fists under her armpits and flapped her boney elbows — and she bocked at me!
Then, to make matters worse, she laughed.
Why that banty little old woman. Of all the self-important, cockalorem…
“Oh Pip, if you could see the look on your face,” she said, still chuckling. “It’s not like you to chicken out. Now tie on your apron and we’ll look at this recipe together.
Granny hung an apron around my neck, and then put her hands on my shoulders to forcibly turn me around. She tied a bow in back that I knew without looking was perfectly symmetrical.
“But Granny, I nearly set the kitchen on fire last time,” I complained, sincerely afraid of what damage I might cause.
“Hush that nonsense right now, Sweetpea. We’ll not be having any fires. Just because your fried chicken turned out as tough as an old rooster doesn’t mean you can quit.”
“An old rooster?” I exclaimed, mortified.
I looked at the recipe card. “Chicken Fricassee…” I read aloud. “Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture; coat well. Oh Granny, this sounds pos-i-lutely like a repeat of the fried chicken disaster. Granny?”
Phanny Ilene Peabody was gone. Her purse was missing from the corner table. I called out again and she hollered from the living room.
My eyes fell on the calendar that hung on the wall. Wong’s Chinese Restaurant made one annually for Chinese New Year. Granny was going to an early dinner with friends.
“No wonder she wasn’t worried about me ruining dinner again,” I grumbled. “Granny!” I yelled.
“I’ll be back this evening, Pip. Just keep the stove set to low while you fry that chicken, and follow the instructions for the fricassee.”
I blew a raspberry as the front door closed with a thud. My hand plopped down on the plump poultry with a smacking sound.
“Old rooster, huh? I’ll show her,” I muttered and went back to the recipe card.