Stream of Consciousness Writing – Where Did I Go?

Where did I go? I swear I was just right here, feeling fine, but now I look around and I’m nowhere to be seen.

I guess I’ll have to break out the “lost self” posters and nail them to every tree on our block.

If I’m found, I’m afraid there is no reward, but my hungry cats will be most grateful.

The Page Turner Awards are Now Open for Submissions!

As I mentioned a little while back, I was honored to be asked by the Page Turner Awards to help judge their Young Writer Award category. This opportunity excites me because I love literature and am excited to get a chance to help recognize and encourage some blossoming young writers!

The Page Turner Awards are now open to submissions, so make sure you check it out! Here is a bit more information about the Page Turner Awards from a recent press release:

Page Turner Awards is an inclusive writing and book awards with one goal – to change the lives of as many writers as possible. While traditional writing awards are often steeped in elitism, the Page Turner Awards passionately believes that talented writers can be from any background, age, race, religion, or interest.

Our mission is to get new unpublished writers discovered, helping published authors get their writing recognized and celebrated, so they can find new reading audiences and giving screenwriters the chance to have their scripts placed in front of film professionals.

Page Turner Awards gives unpublished writers the chance to enter unpublished fiction and non-fiction books, to be read by a carefully curated judging panel made up of influential players in the publishing industry. We also give published authors, whether mainstream published or independently published, the chance to get their fiction story or non-fiction book recognized by successful authors, high-caliber industry professionals and film producers. Plus, screenwriters have the chance to showcase their screenplays to film producers and film production companies actively looking for scripts to produce. Prizes span everything from mentorships to audiobook production and publishing packages.

Have you used a blog optimization service?

I was curious whether any of my fellow WordPress bloggers have ever used a blog optimization service?

As my blog has grown, it has gotten to the point where I am constantly being contacted by companies and people offering these kinds of services, promising they can improve your blog traffic and help you to rank higher in Google searches. I haven’t hired any of them, but I’ve wondered at times if it would be worth it.

They are rather expensive, and many seem to want a monthly recurring fee to keep your blog “optimized”, which I kind of balk at. This month for the first time, I will actually meet the $100 WordPress ads minimum threshold and get a payout, so I definitely don’t make a lot of money off this blog. Occasionally I have done paid posts and links, but very rarely because I am picky about that kind of stuff and will only host things I believe in or that are directly related to my blog themes.

If anyone has used a blog optimization service, I would love to hear about your experience, and if there are any specific services you would recommend or warn away from!

Get Signed Copies of My Books on Ebay!

I wasn’t sure if all of you were aware that I sell signed copies of my paperback books on Ebay, so figured I’d give you a heads up in case anyone was interested. The books for sale are either my poetry books or books for children. All my print books are currently available except for “Searching for the Truth” (I’m sold out of that one right now).

Each book is $5, plus shipping via Media Mail. Below, I’ll give the Ebay link for each book. If you don’t do Ebay, but are still interested in getting a signed copy, let me know and I’m sure we can work something out. Numbers are limited, so get yours soon!

Ebay Book Links:

Ode to Icky (kids picture book)

Not Afraid to Be Real (poetry)

From Both Sides (poetry about foster care)

Creepy, Funny & Just Plain Weird (kids short stories/poetry)

Can’t Keep Me Down (poetry)

Life Update – Health, Exciting News!

It’s been a minute since I just did a life update, so let’s take a minute to do so! I’ll break it up into categories for ease:

Physical health – Thank God, the Topamax increase seems to have helped the migraines quite a bit. They aren’t gone entirely, but have been much better lately. Still having some digestive issues, so I’m seeing the GI doctor soon. We suspect Gastroparesis or some other motility disorder might be at play. I’ve already been following a gastroparesis diet and it has been helping my symptoms, but we won’t know till I get a test obviously. That condition is really common with Ehlers Danlos though.

Mental health – Uh, all over the place. Anxiety like crazy. Kinda hyper. Hard to concentrate and focus…that one has been a real pain lately. Even getting stuff like this done isn’t easy. My brain wants to go in fifty million directions, none of them what they are supposed to be doing. Depression too, but kind of medium level. Like just the blahs. Apathetic. Need constant positive stimuli to not start feeling blah again, but that isn’t reality, is it?

My writing – Finally, some good news!!! First off, I was contacted by a music professor at Central Washington University in Washington state who wants to use one of my poems to set to music for a project she and her colleagues and a few students are working on. They will compose music for the poem (for instrument and voice) and then put together a concert music video for it (because covid and all I assume) and it will be released in April. Of course, I will be credited for my part in the project, and will share the video when I can.

Also, I just got an email today that the educational resources website Twinkl has chosen my blog to be one of their Top Autism Blogs of 2020! They get pretty high traffic on their site, so it is quite an honor and I’m psyched about it!

Free Book Promo & Weight Loss

I had two topics in mind for blog posts today, so decided to just combine them into one post. First off, my newest poetry chap book, “Can’t Keep Me Down“, is free on Kindle today through Thursday, so if you wanted to read it, grab a copy! If you do read the book, please consider leaving a rating and/or review on Amazon and/or Goodreads so I’ll know what you think!

By the way, there is a print version of the chapbook available on Amazon now as well! It is $5.99 and can be found at the same Amazon link above.

Lastly, about a couple weeks ago I gave up sugary drinks. This was mostly a big deal because I drank Coke pretty much every day. Since giving up the pop, I’ve already lost about 5 pounds! I don’t even really crave the sugary drinks much anymore. It will be interesting to see if I continue to lose weight!

The Most Successful Blogs on WordPress

Have you ever noticed that some of the biggest blogs on WordPress focus mostly on telling other bloggers how to “make it as a blogger” and “grow your blog quickly”? I noticed this a while ago myself. It makes sense, people are most likely to read a blog that posts information they find useful and practical, and since many WP readers are also bloggers who dream of huge followings and internet stardom, it makes sense that the blogs that promise that or try to help you achieve that would be most popular.

It is human nature to want what helps us to succeed. At times I have been tempted to follow the example of these large blogs and focus on commercialization, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m just not interested in focusing on follower numbers, views, and marketing strategies. I understand those things and think I could easily follow the “formula” to try to make it happen, but my passion just isn’t there.

What makes me feel alive is sharing my art, my poetry, my experiences and lessons learned from this whole crazy experience called life. I like to share my pain, my joy, my sadness, my hopes, my dreams, and my heart. I like to read other blogs that focus mostly on the same types of things. It may mean I never become a superstar, and neither will my WP friends, but I enjoy our communication and heart-to-heart connection so much more than large numbers ♥

“Can’t Keep Me Down” Kindle Book Giveaway! (Contest Still Open)

Win a free Kindle copy!

Hi everyone! I would like to gift a few copies of my newest Kindle poetry chapbook, “Can’t Keep Me Down” to interested readers! The book comes with no strings attached, although if you would like to leave an honest review on Amazon after reading it, I would love that ♥

The fairest way to choose the winners would be randomly, so I’ll choose a few who submit the registration form below (completely confidential, so your info won’t be shared with anyone else). The form might not be visible on WP Reader, but is located here on my website. You only need to fill out the name and email fields so I can contact you and gift you the Kindle book from Amazon. This contest will be open until further notice. When all copies have been given out, I will update this post!

New Poetry & Short Prose Chapbook on Kindle!

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Hey guys 🙂 I finally got down to work and published a new poetry & short prose chapbook on Amazon called “Can’t Keep Me Down“. It is currently only available as an ebook for Kindle, but the price is pretty good ($.99 or FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited)!

As the description on the Amazon page states, the underlying themes of the collection are determination, perseverance, trauma, healing, and the importance of becoming a survivor. The collection contains 25 poems and short prose pieces on those subjects.

I really hope you will check it out and if you do, PLEASE consider leaving an honest review on Amazon. We indie authors desperately need that feedback and (if you like it) recommendation! I am also willing to gift the ebook or reimburse purchase price to people who will promise to review it, so let me know if you are interested.