No Comfort Zone (Week 8!)

It’s time to point the finger again and direct your attention to yet another blogger who’s accepted the NO Comfort Zone Weekly Challenge and jumped in with 2 tasks that took her out of her everyday ho-hum comfort zone and put her in a place where she rarely visits. Take a few minutes and visit Judith at Diabetic Redemption.

And Cris at Odd and Ends Thoughts has joined as well.

Before you head back to your comfy chair, click and read about Carol’s huge leap into a place she didn’t even plan to go.  A baby step for some, a giant step for her! Way to go Carol at Quillfyre!

As for me, I changed the password on my iPod. Think about it. Every time I turn it on, I enter the old password. Simple changes keep my brain cells popping!

Coming Out of the Blogging Closet

It’s easy to hide behind words and then walk away. Over the past year I’ve blogged about a wide range of things. I wrote about my grandson, writers block, getting my car searched in Salt Lake City, my favorite foods, internet tips and tricks, hikes and so much more. I have a lovely record of 2011 because of my daily posts!

What I didn’t do, was tell those closest to me about my blogging life. Most people are aware of the upbeat and sociable me but few realized I am also a world famous blogging personality who is highly sought for my genius and insight.

So my first action in the No Comfort Zone-2012 Challenge (NoCZ-2012) is to invite them to my blog, let them read my posts, view my photos and allow them to meet the online me.

Will they come and visit, read and comment? I hope so. Will they bookmark my blog or Follow me and stay tuned? I hope so. Will they take the NoCZ-2012 Challenge? Whooo Hoooo! That would be cool if they did!

I included this in my email to them…

“My first assignment is to write this and ask you to visit my blog and share it with a 3-4 others. The fact is, I am a writer and I love to write, interact, create and lead. Mostly I do it quietly and in secret, however, I’m inviting you to take a look around, click the Like or Follow button and leave a comment to say Hello!…”

And now you have it. I’ve come out of the closet as a blogger and my world isn’t going to end because of it. Whew!

On to the next challenge …

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Take the NO COMFORT ZONE-2012 CHALLENGE!  (NoCZ–2012)

  • DO something out of the ordinary and blog about it each week. If you are not a blogger, leave a comment on my page so we can follow your adventures!

Bold Life Theme & 2012 (No Comfort Zone-2012 Challenge)

To bring in the new year, I changed the design of my blog to BOLD LIFE THEME. I figured if I’m offering a challenge, then I had better get bold – right here and now!

On the right side of this page are links to anyone that publicly said they wanted to join the No Comfort Zone-2012 Challenge. If you are part of this amazing group of bloggers, please let me know so I can include your link and follow your posts.

I also have a No Comfort Zone-2012 on the right column under Read More!  I’ll probably be posting in both places!

Some ideas for the upcoming challenge:

  • Read a book that makes me feel uncomfortable and figure out why I feel that way.
  • Add more sparkles and flair to my office attire (this will be really out of my comfort zone)
  • Write my novel – the one you’ve all been waiting for!
  • Ask for help (UGH!)
  • Tell 10 people that I am offering this challenge (it’s easy with bloggers who don’t know me but the challenge is to tell my family and friends and get them to follow me too!)

What have you been thinking about doing?

7 Blogging Tips to Keep the Words Flowing

I love learning (as you well know) and love sharing what I’ve learned. When it comes to blogging, there are so many ways to stay on the writing path when you’re looking at a blank canvas. It’s easy to say, “I can’t think of a thing to write that others want to read” (ok, I’ve said that many times!) so these tips will help you and me when we fall off the wagon.
I’ve composed a list of 7 tips to turn to when the canvas is white and the fingers are idle.

  1. Be authentic. You know what I mean.
  2. Read other posts and tweet them. Almost all the posts we read have a tweet button – click it and send the post to the universe. It’s what you do when you really like something.
  3. Visit new blogs and read not only the post but the comments as well. Follow the link back to another blog and read some more.
  4. Have a favorite blogger? Check out the links they have on their page – it’s a compliment when others link to you so check out why they’re special.
  5. Talk global and write local. Refer to something going on in the world and apply how it affects you and your community. Real life examples add energy and interest.
  6. Share a moment… something you thought, did or said. When you add a bit of yourself to the post, your readers want to know more. It’s ok to teach – but you must be willing to give something of yourself – trust me!
  7. Be bold. Yes, I’ve touted this one before but it’s ok to be daring and try something new. Take a stand, make a vlog, include a video, and be controversial. As long as you’re authentic your boldness will pay off.

Now tell me, what do you do when your canvas is blank?

Liebster Blog Award: Yippee!

Today as I was deciding what to write about – I received a post from my dear friend Marcia at Inside Journeys.  She said she loved my insightful thoughts on my life, family and grandson and decided to bestow a Liebster Blog award to me. It’s always a treat to be recognized especially by bloggers from across the miles.  Liebster means ‘beloved’ in German and it’s an honor to receive this award from her. Thank you Marcia!

Marcia writes about a place she loves. It’s her home but it’s so much more and when she describes Jamaica, it comes through in her photos, ideas and words. Her blog is all about travel and the photos she posts either take your breath away or make you want to buy a ticket to join her! I hope you take some time to visit her site and say hello!

liebster_blogThe Liebster Blog Award is designed to bring additional recognition to those bloggers with less than 200 followers. If you receive the award, you should link back to the blogger that nominated you and nominate five more blogs. Also, don’t forget to let them know that you nominated them.

In blogging as in life, people just seem to connect, despite distance. I connected immediately with these bloggers and try to read their blogs each time they have new posts. Hope you get a chance to check out their blogs.

My top 5 awards:

Cecila Futch at ceceliafutch.wordpress.com : Cecila writes about issues that cross her path. I think her blog is like mine and it’s as if we were sitting together getting caught up on everything. The weather, photography, travel, the change of seasons, people who matter, and other topics that warm the heart. I hope you visit her blog and read leave a comment or two.

Chittlechattle  at chittlechattle.wordpress.com : Kattsby was one of my first online blogger friends. I love to see what surprises will be revealed in her blog on a regular basis. Whether she is showing her photography, collages, and fabrics or sharing something she learned, you will no doubt want to return and visit her.

Colder Weather- Rebekah loves where she lives and it shows in her photos, posts and thoughts. When she leaves comments on my blog, they are insightful and encouraging and thoughtful.

J9Style: I love to read this blog and see what fashions can be assembled for an affordable price. It’s a fun blog and if you read it on a regular basis, you’re sure to learn something about fashion, sales and complementing your wardrobe!

Linda at collectionofthoughtswrittenonraggedpieciesofpaper  will find a way to uplift your heart and make you smile. Her blog has poetry, memories of days gone by, and a keen insight. Be sure to bookmark her page.

So those are my top 5 blogging friends. There are many more but these are closest to my heart! Now it’s up to them to pick 5 others that are “Beloved” as well!

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Blogging Buddies Across the Globe

Writing every day brings me in contact with my blogging friends, which is so cool!

At Colder Weather, Rebekah treats us to photos, stories and a bit of Swedish history and views of her life in St. Johns. She’s at a good place in her life and it shows in her writing.

Marcia at Inside Journeys has a weekly Tasty Thursday recipe that you don’t want to miss along with some stunning photos.  Soulful Sunday delivers some sweet music and stories to start off our day … spend some time there and enjoy yourself.

Want to see some fun and affordable fashions? Check out J9Styleblog.com and learn what stores to shop to get some good bargains! I’m always envious when I see some of the outfits she creates on a very affordable budget!

Starbear’s Weblog is a place of spirit, a place of peace and photos of nature and beauty.

Linda Bourgeois at Purple Borough fills my days with poems and beautiful stories about her family. Her collection of thoughts written on ragged pieces of paper takes us down memory lane where she  shares her insights about people who’ve made a difference in her world.

Another blogger I follow is Steph at the Mango Studio. We used to be in a book group together and now keep in touch via blogs.  Her blog is full of color, images, clouds, brightness and life. You’ll smile for sure.

Cecilia Futch’s blog includes photos and her story about taking online classes, living economically and enjoying her life.  She’s taking off for a few weeks to take tests and prepare for the next semester.

These bloggers from near and far have become my buddies. I check in to read their blogs and see how they’re doing and they check up on me and leave comments.  From Colorado to Jamaica to St. John and all points in between!

Going Blind Reading Blogs?

I’m not sure about you but for some STRANGE reason… the font on webpages and blogs seem to be getting smaller. I wear glasses and yet, the ability to read various blogs and websites taxes my eyes. Know what I mean?

We can all use the magic keyboard shortcut (Click on Ctrl+) to make the page bigger and bigger each time you click on the + (plus sign) and the Ctrl – to make the screen smaller.

The main question is why. Why are the fonts so tiny? Who decides? And worse yet, gray font on black background is tedious. I just click away, don’t you?

There are rules about using white space, larger fonts and proper colors. Social Triggers offers open space and a clean look. It makes you want to dig deeper and look around, doesn’t it?

Life Hacker is another site I enjoy because you can see many topics in a clean and open space.

Anyone who is curious about how their blog or website looks only has to ask. Ask a colleague, a spouse or your child. Get feedback and then apply what you’ve learned. Get rid of some of the obnoxious ads, tracking devices, loud colors and faint fonts and push away from your keyboard.

Firefox 3 view menu, annotated with keyboard s...
Image via Wikipedia

After a short while, return and look at your main page. Would your boss have a hard time reading it? How about your Nana?

Have some insight, employ some empathy and deploy some design techniques.

We all want to play in the same sandbox and as the creator of your blog, you have the final say on how it looks. Play nice and make us smile, ok?

Lifehacker.com
SocialTriggers.com