Today, Traveling With T has a guest post from AJ Sidransky. He is the author of Forgiving Maximo Rothman. What is Forgiving Maximo Rothman about? I am so glad you asked! Continue reading
Today, Traveling With T has a guest post from AJ Sidransky. He is the author of Forgiving Maximo Rothman. What is Forgiving Maximo Rothman about? I am so glad you asked! Continue reading
Traveling With T is hanging out at Book Bloggers International today talking about ole Jane Austen (you know, Jane who wrote about characters such as Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Darcy and many more characters, who wrote the wonderful way Mr.Darcy proposed to Elizabeth, who wrote books that people still talk about today!) Continue reading
Did anyone have a flashback to that PBS game show “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?” No? Just me? Oh ok, well I guess you know that I’m a big ole nerd know- the jig is up! Back to the real reason for the post, though… So where is Traveling With T today? Continue reading
Kristin @ Always With A Book- eek! She’s so great- we have similar book tastes, both She Reads bloggers, and love scrapbooking! Kristin was featured back in July as part of Bloggers Made of AWESOME feature at Traveling With T- and she has become a treasured bloggy friend!
2014 is here and I have quite a few areas I am going to concentrate on…
* This is going to be the year I read my own books…as of Jan 1 I have 241 unread books sitting on my shelves and 84 unread e-books on my iPad. While I while still be participating in blog tours and taking review books, I will be more selective as to those I agree to take on. I would really like this number to be considerably down by the end of the year.
* For those review books I do agree to take on that have a set review date, I am going to try to read ahead of schedule. This past year I found myself reading them at the last minute and feeling a bit frantic writing up the review – no more of that!!!
* Organized…I need and want to be more together this year. I have my blog planner/calendar and am going to try to be better at scheduling things ahead of time. Some of this goes hand in hand with making sure books that need to be read by a certain date are read in a more timely fashion!
* I want to try to branch out more with different types of posts – this is still a book blog and will continue to remain so, but rather than always just reviews and giveaways, I’d like to do more feature posts and excerpts, even more author interviews and even more discussion posts relating to all things bookish.
* I am hoping to attend a book events this year, including BEA – my first time going!!!
* I also hope to continue attending as many author events that are near me as I can – I so enjoy going to them and getting to know those authors I love to read on a more personal level.
* I am training to walk my first 1/2 marathon and am super excited…my eventual goal is to walk a full marathon.
Be sure and check out Kristin’s blog- Always With A Book!
Back in 2013 (gosh that SOUNDS like a long time ago- but it really wasn’t!) Rhiannon @ Ivory Owl Reviews was featured as a Blogger Made of AWESOME. So when I asked her to consider guest posting about New Year Resolutions, I knew it would be good. I knew I would like it. I just didn’t realize how much I was going to wish me and Rhiannon could be in real life friends because her resolutions sound amazingly fun!
A couple of years ago I figured out that if you make a resolution for something you WANT to do instead of something you NEED to do, you are much more likely to stay on track. Putting big demands on yourself to dramatically alter your lifestyle generally leads to a crash and burn scenario. So why not set yourself up to succeed with your resolutions? For 2013, I made a list of a three or four things I WANTED to get in the habit of doing more often: reading, time with friends, massages, date nights. Then I asked myself how often I wanted to do these things? I wanted to read two hours per day, have date night and go to coffee/ lunch / drinks with my friends every 1-2 weeks, and get a massage once a month. I made mental notes and plugged my “appointments” into my planner. Now when I find myself straying from these resolutions, it is easy to jump back in line instead of totally giving up.
For 2014, I will be sticking with my resolutions from last year (because I love them,) but I also want to try more recipes and walk more often at the park. I collect recipes on my Pinterest boards and try a new recipe occassionally but I’m going to try to make one new recipe per week. My neighborhood park has a wonderful 2.5 mile loop trail that I can walk in about 45 minutes. That means that even factoring in driving to and from the park, it would only take an hour out of my day. Plus, I’m so much happier after I go. Granted the first months of the year are pretty chilly (even in Georgia) so weather permitting I would like to go 4 times per week.
Making resolutions to do things you WANT will make you happier throughout the year and shouldn’t we all resolve to be happier?
Don’t forget to check out Rhiannon’s blog- Ivory Owl Reviews!
Today, I have Allison from The Book Wheel guest posting about her New Year Resolutions. Allison is a great blogger- always on the cutting edge and she runs her blog like an efficient business. I could just sit and listen to Miss A talk for hours about her plans!
Read on for her New Year Resolutions (maybe you’ll be inspired- I was!)
Hi Travelers! My name is Allison and I blog over at The Book Wheel about books, politics, and other shenanigans. I’m so excited that Tamara has asked me over to share with you my New Year’s Resolutions. This year is the first time “get healthier” and “lose weight” isn’t on my list because, frankly, I never follow through with them. And if I do, it’s by accident and not because of any direct efforts on my part. Plus, I already gave up soda! So, this year my resolutions are as follow:
Alison Law is a force to be reckoned with. Alison is a marketing genius. Smart as a whip- and kind! Alison, besides being you know busy with school, Alison Law Communications, and other things- also finds time to be a member of She Reads (where she lovingly made a master list of She Reads bloggers for Twitter- there is that marketing mind!) I asked Alison if she had time to write a guest post- and she agreed. And her post, about permission to be imperfect, is honest and heartwarming.
This Year I Resolve to be Imperfect
I am an achievement and self-improvement junkie, so the approach of a New Year sends my already-active brain into overdrive. As I write this—on December 31—my dining room table has become a cluttered command center of “let’s do everything bigger and better in 2014!” Business and personal finance books, goals worksheets and planning materials intermingle with new health insurance cards and New Year’s greeting cards. I hover on the cusp of greatness and I love it.
I can ignore my crime scene of an office and chores today because I’ll be reborn as a meticulous cleaning machine in less than 12 hours. I can eat these Totino’s pizza rolls (with real pepperoni seasoning!), corn chips and French onion dip until I pop today, because when that smartphone strikes midnight, a virtuous and health-conscious Alison will take the keys from me, and my calorie record will be expunged.
The reason that we stay up way past our bedtimes, wearing cardboard party hats and tiaras that leave glitter rashes on our foreheads, is that we (the collective pronoun) love change within our control. We’re in love with the idea of a clean slate, a fresh start and all the other clichés for tidy beginnings. Possibility is intoxicating. Potential is out there, just waiting for us to sidle up next to it and give it a scratch behind the ear.
That’s why I wasn’t a bit surprised to learn in this New York Times article that human beings get a bigger jolt of happiness from planning their vacations than actually going on the trips. Anticipation is a lusty bedfellow to the inner control freak who thinks she can plan everything terrific that can possibly happen in the next twelve months until it’s impossible for the mundane or bad stuff to coexist. This myth appeals to every part of my borderline-OCD personality, but it is just a horrible lie. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned (earned) in my almost 40 years of living on this planet, it’s this: when you resolve to be perfect—at cleaning, eating, exercising, etc.—you’re setting yourself up for utter failure.
Therefore, in terms of resolutions, I’m going to relish the reading and planning that always accompanies my greeting a New Year; I always learn a lot and appreciate those embers that keep my intellectual fires stoked. 2013 was a wonderful year in a lot of ways, but it had its painful moments, too. Enough moments to remind me that I need to leave room in my crazy life for the unexpected crazy. No planning can defeat the uninvited crazy, so I’m just going to make up the guest room and put out the nice towels for it. There’s still plenty of room for dreams and goals, but my aspirations have a better shot when I evict perfectionism and let the unplanned have run of the house.
Erin Bass. Southern Lit. Supporter of blogs. Amazing writer. Smart and savvy. Erin’s mind is always ticking away- and her features on Deep South Magazine are incredible. She has her finger on the pulse of Southern Lit.
A tweet from Erin while I was at my first Sweet Potato Queen weekend back in 2011 started our friendship- and it has grown beyond just a Twitter friendship. I trust Erin with my thoughts about blogging and books and more.
“Saying No in 2014”
I’ve been thinking a lot this past year about resolutions and changes I’d like to make in 2014. I know, why wait until the end of the year to try and do better when I could have been making changes all along? Because some of us (me) need that extra push and the excuse of a holiday to get motivated. As I get older, I find it helps to spend time reflecting on the past year and setting goals for things I want to accomplish in the future. Resolutions in my thirties have become about getting things done (but not just for the sake of crossing them off a list), having no regrets and living life to the fullest.
Since an online magazine doesn’t run itself, work is always a priority. I’m thankful that my work is something I enjoy, but I’m always trying to improve. In 2014, I want to be more focused on what I’d like to accomplish for Deep South. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the vast amount of emails, story pitches and ideas we receive. Again, I’m thankful that readers are enthusiastic enough to send an email and make suggestions for stories, but we can’t accept all of them. I need to really consider what fits with our mission and what will help us grow in the coming year.
Accomplishing this and sticking with it will take some forethought and planning, something I’m spending the first week of January doing. As most Southerners know — especially Southern women — it’s hard to say “no.” We are people pleasers and were raised to be polite and agreeable. The word “no” isn’t really in our vocabulary, and it’s difficult for me to risk disappointing someone by saying it. Heck, it was difficult just to turn on my “out of office” the week of New Year’s, but I needed some time to regroup.
What I’ve been conscious of this past year is that by saying “yes” all the time, I’ve become overcommitted and not able to enjoy anything. While doing one of the many things I’ve said yes to, I’m thinking about my next commitment and how many tasks are still left undone. I’m not present in the moment, and I’m resentful toward the person I’ve said yes to. The only person to blame for this is myself.
So, in 2014 — as gracefully and politely as possible — I will be saying no a lot more. No, I can’t bring a dish to yet another dinner or even attend said dinner. No, I won’t be able to attend that charity function, luncheon or networking event. Instead, I’m going to spend time doing things that are meaningful to me and actually enjoy them while I’m doing them.
I’ll take time to finish that short story I started at the beginning of last year and maybe even write another one. I’ll enjoy lunch with an old friend and not be thinking about getting to my next commitment. I’ll crack open that book that just arrived in the mail and take an hour to curl up and read on the couch without the distraction of an email or text. If I do attend that dinner, it will be because I want to and I’ll enjoy the company while I’m there.
It’s hard to not feel selfish about this resolution, but I’ve come to realize that saying no is about extending some of that “yes” to ourselves. I realize that I don’t need to tell myself yes every time I want another piece of chocolate or glass of wine, but I do need to give myself permission to slow down and put work aside sometimes. Often, like in the case of a good book or developing a friendship with someone I’ve interviewed or met through Twitter, work and pleasure intermingle. It’s in these moments that I truly enjoy my life and work.
Hopefully saying no to those empty obligations and yes to those moments that really enrich my life will make 2014 an even better year for myself and Deep South.
If you don’t read Deep South Magazine– check it out!
Traveling With T is a stop on The Holdout by Laurel Osterkamp blog tour sponsored by Chick Lit Plus. This tour consists of excerpts, guest posts and reviews- to see what other bloggers are saying about The Holdout (or to read an excerpt), please visit Chick Lit Plus‘s tour page.
Laurel Osterkamp Guest Post
I really wanted jury duty.
For one, I would get out of teaching for a week or two. It was close to the end of the school year and my seniors were super squirrely. But there was more to it than just that. I’ve seen my fair share of legal dramas, and I thought it would be cool to sit in that box and decide the outcome of a court case. So when I got my summons I felt like I’d been awarded something cool.
But that was nothing compared to actually getting picked. The lawyers interviewed us, not individually, but as a group. And we all had to state where we were from, our marital status, age, and profession. I was one of two people who wasn’t a native Minnesotan, and the other guy couldn’t speak English. I believe that for that reason, the defense wanted me. It was a court case between a famous and successful Minnesotan businessman and a Turkish boating company. Of course the defense would want someone, anyone, who was from out of town. That person was me.
And like Robin in The Holdout, I did become one of two people who spoke up for the defense during deliberations. Actually, there are a lot of similarities between my jury experience and Robin’s. More similarities include:
· The jurors. I made their personalities a little more extreme in the book, especially in Four’s case. Hopefully the real-life Four will never read The Holdout, because she’ll probably hate me if she does. But other than that, I borrowed a lot from real-life.
· The case. It was actually about yachts, and I learned a lot about cold-molding epoxy, which is a method of boat construction.
· The routine. We did get prox-cards, which were keys to our very own jury room. We did get treats all the time, and we also took stretching breaks and had our own screens in front of our own cushy chairs. But my favorite part was that the bailiff always said, “All rise for the jury” every time we entered the room.
· The deliberations. It was basically ten to two in the end, and the guy who agreed with me was the foreman of the jury. He was also worthless. I also wound up arguing with the juror who inspired Nick/Ten but it was also him who I respected the most out of all the jurors.
· The verdict. But you’ll have to read The Holdout to find out more about that.
· The best part was walking away at the end. Knowing that I’d be able to walk away made me more willing to speak out than I’d ever been before.
· Nick/Ten really had been on three juries in two years – one county, one state, and one federal. So if you think that’s not possible, think again!
But there were differences too:
· There was no romance. There were some single twenty-somethings on the jury, but I never picked up on any sort of spark between them.
· There was no real-life handsome bad-boy who inspired Silas Smythe. Too bad. The trial would have been more interesting if he had been around.
· I did eventually learn most of the juror’s names.
In the end, jury duty was a great experience, if for no other reason that it inspired The Holdout. I recommend it even for people who aren’t geeks like me. You’ll learn a lot, and in the end, you’ll have an interesting story to tell.
Want to buy The Holdout? Visit Amazon!
Laurel Osterkamp’s award winning novels have been hailed as funny, intelligent, snarky and poignant. She is the author of four novels and two novellas, including the November Surprise series, which, like The Holdout, features the Bricker family. Laurel was recently on a federal jury, and she loves watching Survivor.
Today Wendi Wachtel from H2O Bungalow stops by to discuss her New Year Resolutions- and I have to say, after reading this, I would like to start doing this!
Guest Post by Wendi Wachtel
Hi I’m Wendi from H2OBungalow where I blog about DIY home projects in a 1950’s small waterside bungalow..
I was so honored when Tamara sent me an email and asked me to take part in her assembly of New Years posts. I thought it would be fun to share our New Years Eve tradition. I stopped making New Years resolutions a long time ago. I felt like I put half-baked effort into coming up with resolutions. A few weeks later they’d be completely forgotten…to me, it seemed a complete waste of time and energy.
A few years ago my sister, Sherri shared a special and different New Years Eve tradition that she follows. We had a fun group over for New Years Eve. We were all sitting around the fireplace, having a great time and waiting for the countdown. When we had about an hour to go, Sherri announced we were going to do something to get ready for the New Year.
She handed everyone a blank envelope along with a piece of writing paper and a pen and told us all to write a letter to ourselves. Not just a letter, but one that listed how we want the New Year to be different. What we want, how we see ourselves, what changes we want to make, basically what traits we want to keep and what traits we want to let go. She said to keep it simple.
The room went silent for a while we were all contemplating and writing. Our group was a fun, bordering on rowdy bunch and it was funny to see everyone focus on the task at hand. We were instructed to seal our letters in the envelopes when we finished writing. My sister waited until the last letter was tucked away and the envelope sealed. She then instructed us all to address the letter…to ourselves and then give it to her.
As she collected the letters she told us she would hold onto them for 6 months. We’d be getting our personal notes back at the midway point in the year. True enough, mine arrived mid-June. I let When it arrived, I let it sit on my dresser, leaning against the mirror for a while before I opened it. I took that time to think about everything I wrote, how life was different from the changes I made and even where I fell short in the areas I wanted to improve.
It was 2012 and the year we dramatically changed our life and lifestyle when we moved to our Fl. waterside bungalow. I think this was the first time I’ve ever reflected back on a New Years resolution, promise or whatever you’d like to call it. To me, our New Years Eve letter was so much more powerful than a midnight promise after copious amounts of champagne. Since then, we’ve adopted this practice as our own New Years eve tradition. I’d like to call it my non-resolution tradition.
Thank you, Wendi, for guest posting!