A Year of Blogging- My Blog’s a year old!

Today my blog, Traveling With T, turned a year old. It’s been a crazy, fun, wild, frustrating, challenging year. But, and here’s the key: It’s been so worth it. Fulfilling. Enjoyable.

When I started Traveling With T, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wanted a blog where I could write about experiences- local restaurants, book signings, events. I wanted some anonymity, I wanted a title that was catchy, but didn’t pigeonhole me- one that I could discuss different things; but still with a focus.

I didn’t start the blog because I had a burning desire to be a writer (although, I have much respect for writers).  I’ve thought over the last few years that someone publishing my thoughts from the pitfalls of guys using emoticons in texts, to the art of the road trip, to why being a nail polish namer has to be an interesting job (plus much, much, much more) would make for an interesting book- but I’ve never really had a burning desire to write for a living.

When I was a kid, I used to read Ann M. Martin books, Francine Pascal and more. Reading these books, I always thought it would be so nice to get to meet the people behind the books I loved. But, a small-town girl, states and hours away from these authors never did get a chance to meet them. As I grew up, I put the idea out of my head- reading was not cool (even though I secretly read in high school). The older I got, the more I realized reading was a part of me- it was something I needed. With social media, I can chat with authors, learn about book signings and more. Going to a book signing is the best kind of fun. Proud to report that I’ve been to several book signings over the past year- and I love each and every one.

Part of the reason I started blogging is that while I don’t have burning desire to be a writer/author- I do have a strong desire to be around the writer types. To hear where they get inspiration, to see their works comes to life. To be able to sit down with them- with total wide eyed innocence and discuss the things I love, dislike, and more about their books. An author has a creative energy that I adore being around- a creative energy that fills a place in my heart and life. An author gives me something to think about, something to ponder deeply and maybe even creatively for days, weeks. When I’m around an author-type person, I feel like I’m the best version of myself- the bright, inquisitive person- the person who is fully validated because she is with people who speak a language that she loves. I feel smarter, brighter, almost Wonder Woman-ish.

There have been times over the past year that I thought of just deleting my blog. It seemed like it wasn’t going anywhere, some days it wasn’t even fun. But, slowly, I began to get followers- and then I became involved with She Reads Blog Network- and that for me was all the validation I needed to continue. While, I don’t think I started the blog with the full on intention to review books completely- being able to review books is something I find pleasure in. It’s back to that whole “books fill a place in me, in my creative part”.

My desire for myself and my blog:

1. Host giveaways. I promote other blog giveaways, but have never had one at Traveling With T. 2013 will be the year that changes.

2. Continue to review books. Fiction, #southernlit, cozies and more.

3. To one day, be more involved in the process of an author’s life. A publicist, perhaps? To be more involved in the work of an author from the beginning of the process to the end would be very fulfilling.


On today, as my blog turns a year old- a heartfelt “Thank You” to my followers, the people who “like”, retweet, and share my blog posts. Without you, my blog would be floating around in the internet. Each time you like something I write- I”m reminded of the Sally Field “You Like me! You Really Like Me!”

To MVBClub- thanks for letting me guest blog, for being an inspiration and a sounding board. xoxo

To Melinda McGuire- thank you for letting me guest blog about Oxford and Faulkner- you’re the best!

To Deep South Magazine- thank you for every RT, every comment and more. My appreciation for you is beyond words.

To authors (Erika Marks, Erika Robuck, Nichole Bernier, Michael Lee West, Meg Donohue, Jenn McKinlay, Cleo Coyle,Lucy Burdette,Robin O’Bryant, Claire Cook, Mia March, Sarah Jio, Michael Morris, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, Megan Abbott) Thank you for your books. For taking time out of your schedules to tweet with me, to call in for book clubs. Thank you for writing great books and books that I anticipate being great.

To She Reads, She Reads Blog Network, and Kimberly Brock- I’m so overcome with happiness for being able to be part of She Reads. Thank you- Thank You- Thank You. Being able to be a part of this great group just makes me feel all sparkly and happy. Honored to be a part of a such a sparkly wonderful group.

To authors everywhere: Even if I don’t know you- you inspire me. To the dreamers, the people with the imaginations and creativity, to the ones who have the desire, drive and determination to write a book: Never change. Keep writing. Keep inspiring people. Write not just because you can; but because you can’t live in a world that’s without your writing.


Traveling With T


PS: A special thank you to Ann M. Martin, Judy Blume, Francine Pascal and the Nancy Drew books: without your books, I might not be the reader I am today. Beyond grateful for the love of reading the books you’ve written that has instilled a love of reading in me. “Thank you” seems so inadequate- but that’s all I have to say.





WWW Wednesdays (July 11)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


My answers:

What are you currently reading?

Currently reading Hitched by Carol Higgins Clark. Light mystery- enjoyable.

What did you recently finish reading?

Recently (over the weekend) I finished Buttercream Bumpoff, Death by the Dozen, and Red Velvet Revenge (all by Jenn McKinlay). In the past week- Wrecked and Cursed by Carol Higgins Clark, The Diary of Darcy J. Rhone by Emily Giffin,  Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay, and Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Have way too many options- A Teeny Bit of Trouble by Michael Lee West, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, or The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March are the top 3 I’m considering.

Literary Friday ya’ll…

Friday, Friday- Literary Friday or #fridayreads or TGIF- however you want to look at it, we’re so close to the weekend- we can taste it!

My #fridayreads choice is A Teeny Bit of Trouble by Michael Lee West. I love Teeny as a character- she’s a great, fun character.

Deep South Magazine has an interview with Lynne  Bryant posted- her  book, Catfish Alley, made the Deep South Magazine 2011 Summer Reading list. Her next book, Alligator Lake, made the 2012 Reading List.  Read the interview for an insightful look into her books and background.

The other day, I used the term literary crushes- Erin from Deep South Magazine and I had a bit of a tweet chat about the term and she thought it would be a great Literary Friday discussion. I agree! As I said before, my current literary crush is Peeta from The Hunger Games. I love how he’s protective of Katniss, love how he can be so selfless in his feelings toward her.  A past literary crush was Joe Morrelli from Stephanie Plum series.  I think a list will be forthcoming of literary crushes!

I pre-ordered Stacey Ballis Off the Menu yesterday- the book cover drew me in. I also pre-ordered the 6 installments of The Sweet Life by Francine Pascal. Nostalgia rocks!

Whether you enjoy some reading in the A/C this weekend, relaxing by the pool, or digging your toes in the sand- definitely do some reading! And report back on reading choices- what the good books are, the bad books, the books that are over-hyped, the books that are under-hyped. I’m curious to hear about all!

Happy Reading and Happy Literary Friday!


Michael Lee West- A “Teeny” bit of wonderful.

Michael Lee West (@michaelleewest) is the author of several books, although her last 2 books have been about the tales of Teeny Templeton and her fun ways, getting into trouble, and finding her way through life. Teeny is a character, interesting, fun-loving, the kind of character you can root for.

Both of the book covers for the Teeny books are beautiful, eye-catching and quite a conversation starter.

To me Teeny is the type of character that is made for summer reading. Michael Lee West’s books are light-hearted, fun, quirky at times, and with a bit of mystery. The 2 books in the Teeny Templeton series (Gone with an Handsomer Man and A Teeny Bit of Trouble) are perfect beach reads.

Deep South Magazine had an interview with Michael Lee West about the latest book in the Teeny series (A Teeny Bit of Trouble) and what she has planned for Teeny in the future. It’s definitely a worth-while read, so please check that out.

Deep South Magazine also has a 2012 Summer Reading list. If you are in need of a beach read, take a look. The list is chock-full of good authors- such as Mary Kay Andrews, Michael Lee West, Kimberly Brock, Jesmyn Ward, Karen White and others. Practically guaranteed to find at least one book for summer reading!