Writing Creatively

Writing Creatively
Creative Writing Tips

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ripped Jeans and Bifocals with Jill Robbins

One perk many bloggers achieve through writing their blogs is engagement, and Jill Robbins gets plenty of engagement for her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

Perhaps because she caters to a specific group of people, “Adoptive parents, ‘older’ moms, parents of young children, people who like funny stuff,” or maybe because she writes about her travels to China, readers who are adoptive parents, especially of interracial children, find understanding and compassion in Jill Robbins.

Jill Robbins began writing Ripped Jeans and Bifocals in May, 2014. She explains, “I blogged about our two journeys to China with the goal of capturing the things that happened on our trips. When my blog posts started to read more like essays and less like travel journal entries, I knew it was time for a blog that reached a wider audience.”

Ripped Jeans and Bifocals informs readers about, “what it’s like to adopt and live in a multi-racial family.” It also, “lets other adoptive families know that they’re not alone in the issues they might be going through.”

Jill says about Ripped Jeans and Bifocals, “It’s a fun community. My readers are very engaged with me on social media. Come on over!”

If you’ve ever wanted to adopt a child from another country, if your family is multi-racial, or if you have already adopted an infant or child from anywhere in the world, you’ll find helpful information in Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. Just click on any of the links in this blog.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Jennifer Wolfe’s mamawolfe

A mom with two teens, a teacher to hundreds, Jennifer Wolfe started mamawolfe because she wanted to share not only life lessons she learned along the way, but also ideas about ways we could all work together to raise young people who would, in Jennifer’s words, “work to make the world a better place.”

Jennifer, who also writes for The Huffington Post, BonBon Break, and Mamapedia, relates her reasons for starting mamawolfe 22 years after graduation and 20 years after a full and rewarding teaching career: 

That was June, 2011, when I took responsibility for making my dreams come true – all of them. I gave up trying to come up with reasons why I couldn’t write and just started putting stories together, and I found that the more I wrote, the stronger I became. I found that my inner critic became my muse and unleashed words to the world that had always found safety locked inside journals. When I forgave my life for being what it was, I began to create my life for what it is.

And so began mamawolfe, a blog where readers, Jennifer says, “can find real stories about thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. It's a place where readers can connect, communicate, and collaborate to understand more about ourselves and each other.” 

Jennifer’s mamawolfe blog focuses on, “people who care about children and enjoy thinking deeply about issues that affect them – parents, educators, and young people who are committed to making connections and finding a place to share their thoughts.”

Through her mamawolfe blog, Jennifer inspires readers to use their voices to improve our world, so if you want to learn how to forgive your life for what it was and create a new life for yourself, and if you enjoy reading philosophical blogs, I invite you to click on any of the links in this blog.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Helene Cohen Bludman's "Books is Wonderful"

Books is Wonderful might be an unusual name for a blog, but as Helene Cohen Bludman states, “Books is Wonderful comes from something I wrote when I was four years old. I still have the original (drawing) that was laminated by my proud mother!”

Helene began writing Books is Wonderful in 2011, because she wanted to brush up on her writing skills as she prepared to write her first novel. She feels that women of midlife, people who love to read, writers, and bloggers would all enjoy reading Books is Wonderful.

Due to her love for books, Helene keeps readers updated on new book releases. “I write book reviews several times a month on books just being published, so if readers are looking for the buzz on new releases I provide my opinions.” Her recent reviews include, Mrs. Sinclair’s Suitcase, written by Louise Walters; The Girl Who Slept with God, written by Val Brelinski, and Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War, written by Susan Southard.

But Helene doesn’t just write book reviews. Helene also muses “about midlife issues, parenting adult children, modern culture, and technology.” AND she blogs about cooking and baking – recipes included!

As a four-year-old, Helene wrote, Books is Wonderful. As an adult, Helene Cohen Bludman still thinks books ARE wonderful. If you would like to read her blog, please click any of the links in this blog.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Text Me, Love Mom with Candace Allan

One of the most fun and exciting results of blogging is being able to turn your blog into a book, and that’s exactly what Candace Allan of Text Me, Love Mom did with her blog when she put together her book, Text Me, Love Mom; Two girls, Two Boys, One Empty Nest, available from Amazon (click the link). The book, Candace says, is devoted to, “this generation of helicopter parents.”

Candace discovered blogging a few years ago when her eldest daughter left home for art college. CBC radio broadcast essays written by Candace and her daughter about her daughter’s “‘launch’ from the nest.” Candace says, ”As my other three children queued up to leave home, I began to blog about what I see now as 'the next stage of parenting’.”  After saying good-bye to her oldest baby, she gave birth to a blog, Text Me, Love Mom.

“Empty Nest Syndrome” is an all-too-familiar term for Candace, who tells me, “Parents young and old will appreciate my posts on trying not to hover too low, but still managing to stay connected - especially those parents preparing for, or living through, the counseling, maturing, and inescapable drama that goes on as kids leave home and families get their bearings again.” 

Candace Allan’s Text Me, Love Mom blog is about, “these family dramas and other observations of comical or poignant family culture that have become my latest muse.” As a loving mom, she can’t help but brag that her daughter, Shea, created the artwork you see on the book cover above. She also designed this poster:  

If you are trying to avoid wearing the title of, “helicopter parent,” or if you would like to read more about how this mom is coping with life changes you might be experiencing or will soon experience, please click any of the Text Me, Love Mom links in this blog.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Julie Gordon’s Inspiring Kitchen

As a business owner who helps new homeowners, interior designers, and wedding registry couples build their dream kitchens, Julie Gordon, with expertise in the housewares industry, decided in March, 2014, to write a blog – Inspiring Kitchen.

As Julie explains, “The blog started because anyone who knew me and liked to cook always asked me what was in my head about housewares, foods, and beverages.” They wanted to know what Julie knew about those topics, and they wanted her to share her knowledge with them.

“Anyone who likes to cook, considers themselves foodies, likes to learn about new foods, beverages, home decor, housewares, is interested in kitchen design, or is wanting to do a kitchen remodel, and likes to travel,” would enjoy reading Inspiring KitchenInspiring Kitchen is also for,people who wish they could...simply enjoy the foodie space, but for whatever reason can’t eat the variety they wish they could.”

Aware that her readers sometimes visit restaurants, Julie addresses booking issues as well – have you ever wanted to know how to get reservations at fully-booked restaurants? Julie offers a solution about which you might not have known! (You’ll have to read Inspiring Kitchen to find out.) 

Julie also stays up-to-date on the newest trends in kitchenwares by attending trade shows, so she can offer her readers the latest information on creating beautiful, artistic, and productive kitchens.

Anyone interested in updating their kitchens will love her, “blog series on how to do a kitchen remodel.” Julie is currently working with an interior designer out of New York. “The goal,” Julie continues, “is to share the steps homeowners would want to know if they want to remodel. It’s the questions we don’t even know to ask that will hopefully be brought up in the series. I also talk about the housewares space and fun new products I see at the trade shows I attend.” Julie wants to educate consumers on expensive cooking-related products and help them choose the best items to match their personal cooking styles.

To read Julie Gordon’s Inspiring Kitchen, just click on any of the links provided in this blog.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beth Blacker…Call Me Crazy

Most people won’t admit to being crazy. Maybe most people aren’t crazy and the rest of us think everyone but us is crazy. Beth Blacker doesn’t care who knows she’s crazy, because she’d rather be branded as crazy than as a, “baked goods blogger.” 

If you think that introduction means you’re in for a little bit of fun, let me introduce you to Beth Blacker and how and why, in Beth Blacker’s words, Beth Blacker…Call Me Crazy began. 

Beth Blacker…Call Me Crazy was started in February, 2015, but I had a previous (blog) through a baked goods company I owned that was pretty similar in terms of the voice I gave it, but it tended to be a little more focused on business.

After making the decision to let go of my baked goods company at the end of 2014, I was planning to start a consulting firm that would help small business owners/entrepreneurs with networking and relationship building. It is something I really thrive on and do it well. I thought about how I wanted to be branded and since I've always felt like I really put myself "out there" and tend to "say it like it is" (thank my grandmother for that), why not just have fun with it and the whole "call me crazy" thing just sort morphed from there.

Beth feels that women aged 35 and older, especially those experiencing midlife and beyond, would be interested in reading her blog. “So much of what I write about is just about my day to day encounters with people, places, and things. And since I'm now into my 50's that makes me more relatable with others in my age bracket.”

Like most bloggers, Beth’s goals in writing Beth Blacker…Call Me Crazy is to share her world with other like-minded individuals. “I would hope I bring a little insight into some of the crazy stuff really going on in the world with a splash of humor, but every once in awhile I do have to get up on a soap box and try to shake a little sense into what I see going on around me.”

If the world around you seems to be a little crazy and if you want to make sense of what you’re experiencing, Beth Blacker…Call Me Crazy just might provide you with some answers. Beth invites you to, “Try it...you'll like it...and I really promise it won't hurt ;)”

Want to try it? Click on any of the Beth Blacker…Call Me Crazy links in this blog.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Once Upon Your Prime with Stephanie Lewis

Like most bloggers, Stephanie Lewis shares snippets of her life story, and like any good story, hers begins with Once Upon a Time – oops! Sorry, that’s, Once Upon Your Prime and her tagline is, Where you can try to live happily ever laughter.

Begun in January of 2014, Stephanie was originally hired to write blog posts for a pharmaceutical company that specialized in women's hormones, and they wanted funny menopausal-related blog posts. “But,” Stephanie says, “nobody ever left me comments there and I yearned for more feedback and reader interaction, so I branched off into my own blog.”

While Stephanie had a specific audience in mind when she first wrote Once Upon Your Prime, she realized that her focus might have been too narrow. “It started off drawing women ages 45 and up because I still confined myself to writing about hot flashes, mood swings, exhaustion, and memory lapses (while still keeping a comedic slant), but eventually I realized I had hemmed myself into far too tight of a corner (there's only so much fun you can have with night sweats!) and I launched into other topics. Now I have followers as young as 16 and lots of males have joined in too!”

Known as Little Miss Menopause, “because I branded myself early on, but when I publish elsewhere, I go by my full real name, Stephanie D. Lewis,” Stephanie soon realized that Once Upon Your Prime was getting lots of comments and that what she wrote was easily relatable. She admits that she approaches her blog, “with a unique twist so that people (while also getting a few good laughs) can gain some new perspective on a subject matter.” Stephanie also says that, “when (her followers) feel  particularly down, they'll seek out my blog and after reading a good parody, they're not quite as blue. Writing is my own version of therapy so I'm glad if reading my stuff might lift someone else up!”

Need more incentive to visit Once Upon Your Prime? Here’s more from Stephanie Lewis:

If you always wanted to know what God's LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter account looks like, come visit me! Ever wondered how to make sure your children get their fair share of therapy or what goes through a Hacker's or an Internet Troll's mind, I'm your gal! I even made a pros and cons list to help Capt. Von Trapp choose between marrying Maria or the Baroness! In short, if it's quirky, zany, eccentric, or just normally "untouchable,” I'm over at Once Upon Your Prime writing about it.  

To read Once Upon Your Prime, just click any of the links in this blog. Stephanie can also be found on Huffington Post! (To find her there, just click that link.) 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Kim Kelly’s Pink Siren

Writers begin writing their blogs for a variety of reasons, and I’m always intrigued to find out what prompts them to start blogging.

For Kim Kelly, author of Pink Siren, “Life had brought on many changes in my life and I knew I had a story to tell and adventures to share. I finally knew me and accepted that life and love had to be shared. Experiences need to happen and sharing them was an avenue that I wanted to explore.”

Kim had just begun a new career as an Interim Innkeeper, what she refers to as an “Innsitter – somebody who runs your inn instead of you,” a job that included solo traveling after the age of 50 to “beautiful places,” and Kim wanted to share her experiences with her readers.

Kim also shares books she reads, teas she drinks, photos she takes, and wisdom she learns. Kim’s mantra and her Pink Siren blog, were inspired by a Mark Twain quote, and she tries to live, write, and create her experiences based on Mark Twain’s wisdom: 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

If you’re a wanderlust, a traveler over the age of 50, and if you love to “discover, dream, and explore life at any age,” you’ll enjoy reading Pink Siren. Just click on any of the links in this blog.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friend for the Ride: Encouraging Words for the Menopause and Midlife Roller Coaster with Barbara Younger

Barbara Younger is a published author who discovered that she enjoys blogging. As she explains, “blogging has allowed me to present my unedited voice to the world. I've had a great time taking photos for the blog too. I love blogging, and I've been touched by the readers who have become advocates and friends.”

During some of the most traumatic events in her life, Barbara’s readers haven’t hesitated to offer support. “I was overwhelmed by the reader response when I announced my cancer last year and when my mom died this March.”

What prompted Barbara to begin blogging Friend for the Ride: Encouraging Words for the Menopause and Midlife Roller Coaster in the Fall of 2011, was her personal experience with menopause. “When I was going through menopause, I peppered my friends with questions. Most of them were either finished, and had little to say, or weren't there yet. I wanted someone to talk with, a friend for the menopause roller coaster. I came up with the idea of a blog that would help others through the menopause years.”

Who would likely read Friend for the Ride? Barbara responds, “Women going through peri-menopause and menopause write to say how helpful Friend for the Ride is to them. I have plenty of readers who are finished with the Change of Life who enjoy my posts too.”

But women aren’t the only people who enjoy her blog – “I even have a few male readers! One gay friend wrote that the blog helps him understand what his women friends are experiencing.”

Anyone interested in learning about menopause will enjoy reading Friend for the Ride: Encouraging Words for the Menopause and Midlife Roller Coaster, because, according to Barbara,Besides the information on the blog, readers appreciate my somewhat quirky, creative approach to life, especially the emotional side. They tell me that I inspire them to think deeper about a topic and/or to see it in a new light. My blog is fun, and my overall purpose is to be encouraging and upbeat.”

Sharing not only her personal journey with menopause, but also a matter about which she never before thought she’d be writing, Barbara found herself exploring the dark side – cancer – specifically endometrial cancer. “Last year, I had surgery for endometrial cancer, and I now write about this illness. Early detection is so important since endometrial cancer is highly curable. I address lots of other topics from downsizing to the loss of my mother to some pretty silly stuff, such as my Ladies Room Door Art Series.”

In addition to blogging about menopause and endometrial cancer on Friend for the Ride, Barbara features several guest posts every month. “The guest bloggers report that they appreciate and enjoy the experience, and they are so pleased when their posts go live.” 

If you want to write a guest post, Barbara invites you to email her at BKYounger@gmail.com. And while she loves her faithful followers, Barbara invites new readers to, “Please join us!”

Interested in joining Barbara on Friend for the Ride? Click on any of the links in this blog.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Valerie Albarda’s Midlife-A-Go-Go

In this blog promotion series on YBC, I’ve met some amazing women recently, all mid-lifers, who entertain, amuse, and enlighten me. Valerie Albarda is another blogger I’m proud to showcase. And I have to insert here that I love her logo!

Midlife-A-Go-Go, in Valerie’s words, “kicked off in early April 2015. I came up with the concept about two weeks before the site launched so it was a bit of a quick process from thinking about creating it to actually manifesting it. Something was nagging at me to create a site since midlife musings was the direction in which my writing was traveling.”

As Valerie explains in her About page, “Inside Midlife-A-Go-Go, you’ll find nuggets of truths about midlife, profiles on women who are defying Mother Nature’s wicked clock and doing wonderful things in midlife, and other bits and pieces that make this time in our lives one of the most vibrant ever.”

Realizing that midlife was more an adventure to be explored rather than a fate to be feared, Valerie not only accepted her new status, but also decided to embrace it. Valerie created Midlife-A-Go-Go because she “wanted to create a site that had an element of fun, and highlight some of the many women of midlife (which she does in her series, This is What Midlife Looks Like).” She wanted to know if other women were experiencing, “the same stirrings as I was. You know, wanting to travel more, take on new and exciting projects.”

When asked who most likely would read Midlife-A-Go-Go, Valerie responded, “Women of midlife are the likely suspects, although in the coming months there will be content geared towards midlife men as well. I’m hoping my testosterone readership goes up (no pun intended) – men are mid-lifers, too!”

Valerie hopes that, “over time readers will come back to Midlife-A-Go-Go time and time again to read about fascinating mid-lifers, enjoy some of the tongue-in-cheek articles, find motivation to stay fit in aging and, most of all, see a little bit of themselves in the words.”

We tend to gravitate toward those blog posts that affect us personally in some way. Valerie hopes her blog inspires mid-lifers to join her in her journey through midlife. “It’s my stubborn contention that people find it fascinating to read about others who are in similar circumstances as they are – they want to see how that other person is living their life, what choices they’re making, etc. For me, that’s what makes This is What Midlife Looks Like so wonderful. I get to bring someone’s story to life and take a voyeuristic peek into who they are.”

“Of course,” Valerie continues, “there’s more to Midlife-A-Go-Go than that feature. All things come in time, and over time I hope to grow the site so that readers will frequent it and actually look forward to new content.”

To join in the fun, click on any of the Midlife-A-Go-Go links.