#atozchallenge Sign-up is open!

This year's badge is in memory of my
dear friend Tina. The A-Z team misses
her dearly.
I am so excited to be participating as a co-host again for this year's April A-Z Challenge! See below for lots of information!

Additionally, I will be looking for a couple of people to be my wHooligans this year! I have a couple amazing returning team members and will need a couple more to finish my group. If you are interested in helping with A-Z, please comment below and let me know!

And now for all the info... 

Please read and follow the sign-up instructions outlined below so you sign onto the list correctly!

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE

Please note your blog name and number in all correspondences. Remember that as blogs are removed, your number will change.

There are categories for those looking for like-minded blogs. Select ONE category code and enter it after your blog’s title/name. The code applies to your blog, not your theme for the Challenge and is purely optional. See the first few blogs on the list for examples. However, if your blog has adult content, you MUST mark it (AC) or it will be removed from the list. Codes are as follows:


Be sure to grab the badge and display it in your sidebar so we know you are participating and link to the A to Z Challenge Blog.

For more information we recommend you follow the A to Z Challenge Blog and the hosts:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
Nicole Ayers @ The Madlab Post
Author Stephen Tremp
Heather M. Gardner
AJ @ Naturally Sweet
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian
Matthew MacNish @ The QQQE
Zalka Csenge VirĂ¡g @ The Multicolored Diary
S. L. Hennessy @ Pensuasion
C. Lee McKenzie @ The Write Game
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
Susan Gourley @ Susan Says
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing
Lisa Buie-Collard, Author

We also have a Facebook Page
Email address is contactatozteam@gmail.com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

Sign up below and join us for a month of alphabet fun!



So.. Tissue packets count as souvenirs, right?
I hope so, because we found tissues from three different countries while cleaning our bathroom baskets tonight.

Left to right those are from England, Spain, and Korea. The Korean package is big because sometimes they don't have toilet paper in the restrooms, and you don't want to be caught without!

Still plugging away at the January Cure. It has definitely been interesting :)


IWSG - First of the New Year!

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a bloghop dedicated to writers supporting one another through this crazy thing called 'being a writer'. They're a good bunch - check my buddies out!

In the normal way of the busy holidays, not too much writing has been happening around here lately. I had, of course, hoped to find some quiet time amidst all the hullaballoo, but didn't manage to do so. Somehow days that had no plans ended up being quite busy. (e.g. on Christmas Day when I ended up cantoring at Mass because the usual singer came down with bronchitis! All I have to say about that is thank goodness for Christmas Carols.)

But reading and listening to media definitely happened! I got all of the Harry Potter movies on Bluray as a gift, so we watched several of those, and listened to all of the Serial podcast during our many, many hours of driving. And, my good friend Katie gave me Amy Poehler's Yes Please. I have TORN through this book. She is so heartfelt and of course snarky, and just incredibly honest. 

She spends the entire preface talking about how "Writing is Hard".

This brilliant, successful woman who makes a living by writing hilarious things thinks writing is hard. And then goes on to tell about many of her quirks and stressors related to being a writer. Aaaannnnd of course had me crying tears of laughter while talking about it. So I guess my IWSG this month is again not focused so much on the insecurity part, but more on the support part.

If the inimitable Amy Poehler thinks it's hard, this crazy thing called 'writing' probably is hard. We are totally not alone. She worked her tail off to get where she is, just like all the IWSG'ers out there. So keep at it. 

I bet she'd love IWSG. We should figure out how to get her on this bandwagon. Wouldn't that be fun?

If you could make your writing (or life) stressors into a punchline, what would it be?


January Cure

This month, more as a distraction to keep my mind off other things than as a New Year resolution, we decided to participate in Apartment Therapy's January Cure. The Cure is pretty simple. You sign up and every day they email you a task to accomplish for that day, all with the mind of making your home a better place to live. This could mean cleaning your pantry, or buying flowers (actually that one is every week :) ), or deep cleaning all your floors. They're really good about keeping large tasks to the weekend and assigning smaller tasks on work nights.

Last night's task was to walk through the house and make a list of all the things you'd like to improve/clean/work on. We went room by room and the final list was over 2 pages single spaced! Yikes. Per the instructions though, we pared the list down to just a couple things per room, and this is what I've decided to try to accomplish this month.

Kitchen (seriously needs a remodel but this is what can actually be accomplished this month hah)
Replace grate covers on wood floor
Tie-backs for curtains by sliding door
Rug that does not slip by sliding door (the Roomba keeps stealing it!)
Decoration by window

Better shower curtain rod in guest bath (it likes to fall at 3am)
Toothbrush holders
Storage in guest bath - shelf above toilet?
Plant in master bath

Decoration above bed
Clean dresser tops
Table/small dresser between closet & bathroom doors
Buy better pant hangers (any suggestions? I'd like to do this right ONCE and be done with it for the rest of my life)

Living Room
Need a small bookshelf
Make/find a key hook to hang by garage door
Rug by garage door

Guest/sewing Rooms
Clean closets
Finish hemming pants

Redo childhood picture albums into smaller ones that aren't water damaged
Retie the couch cover

Obviously some of these tasks are larger than others - that was intentional to help keep things feeling manageable. We'll see how it goes! I will try to update as we do things that are picture-worthy (hemmed pants aren't really that exciting...).

What are you doing to kick off the new year?


Read Tuesday 2014!

At our book-signing in Madison.
This is me and my co-author Dan. We both read - a LOT. We love books, and words, and well, that's probably why we wrote a book together :)

This year we decided to participate in a great event called Read Tuesday, which is like Black Friday for books. During most Black Friday events, books are NOT discounted by retailers. Especially those offered by indie publishers like us. That's why we've joined ranks with other authors to offer our awesome book at a discount! We want to help other lovers of words get as many great books as possible (for themselves, and as gifts this holiday season!).

Starting today, and going through the rest of the month, we are running two deals on our book, Armageddon: Pick Your Plot:

1) Kindle Matchbook - Buy a hardcopy of Armageddon here on Amazon, and you will receive a FREE Kindle copy! This is a great option for gifting - one copy to wrap, one to keep for yourself!

2) CreateSpace - Use discount code 9T62RFQ3 to get 30% off your copy of Armageddon at CreateSpace. This is a good option if you're not interested in receiving the Kindle book at Amazon.

Thank you for your support of us, or any of the other authors participating this year. Happy Read Tuesday!
(Check out the list of Authors, or deals separated by Createspace, Matchbook, Smashwords, or Kindle countdown!)


Read Tuesday- tomorrow!

Dear blogging friends,
I encourage you, no implore you as fellow lovers of words, to check out Read Tuesday tomorrow! It's like Black Friday for books, and there are some fantastic authors participating (yours truly included, though I'm not claiming to label myself fantastic. Well, ok maybe I am a little ;) ).

If you're really dedicated you can search for my deals on their website, or you can check back here tomorrow for my info!
Thanks and happy book-buying!