His Comfort

I am pleased to participate in Five Minute Friday, a community of writers who, at the release of one prompt, write and publish a blog post about that prompt. And the catch for the writers is this, we can only write for five minutes. It takes planning, it’s takes diligence, and it takes mad editing skills. This week’s prompt is comfort.

When I hear the word comfort, I think of two things. 1. Mashed potatoes (as in comfort food favorites that we usually find at the Thansgiving dinner table), and 2. Death. Mashed potato goodness is obvious, but let’s talk about death. When someone in my family has been terminally ill, I’ve always heard the phrase “let’s provide comfort during this transition to heaven.” And then when the person does pass away, I’ve heard, “let’s provide comfort to the family an close friends of the deceased.” I know there are many other uses for the word comfort, and my mind probably does eventually cross those other meanings, but in the beginning it’s about mashed potatoes and death.

Keep in mind, I do realize that there are many comfort foods served at Thanksgiving, but mashed potates happen to be my favorite. If reading this becomes more palatable by sustituting mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes or deviled eggs or corn casserole, feel free to substitute.

In a weird way this week, my definition changed. It took my car stopping in the middle of heavy traffic on a busy highway in Dallas for me to realize that. Continue reading

Five Minute Friday: Worth

I am pleased to participate in Five Minute Friday, a community of writers who, at the release of one prompt, write and publish a blog post about that prompt. And the catch for the writers is this, we can only write for five minutes. It takes planning, it’s takes diligence, and it takes mad editing skills. This week’s prompt is worth.

I had to come to a very scary realization this week. And once I came to it, I had to admit it. To a real person. Because if I didn’t admit it, if I didn’t tell someone, I would push those fears down as long as I could until they bubbled up inside of me and eventually took over my words, my actions, my spirit, and my heart.

So in order to avoid a very ugly emotional breakdown, I decided to deal with the few moments of fear and discuss it my prayer partner. And now, I’m telling you.

Even when God gives me clear direction on an issue, even when I know what He wants me to do, I still wonder if it’s worth it. My exact words in my confession to my prayer partner were, “I know it’s worth it in the end, and I know I’m going to this, but I’m not necessarily ready to do it, to talk about it with others, or to smile about it.

I do recognize the irony of choosing to write about it…but we’re not hear to talk about that today. Continue reading

The Reasons I Love Twitter

Click here to read my series on simple social media

I love Twitter. It’s like the New York City of social media. It’s fast-paced. there’s always something happening, and it never sleeps. For any business, Twitter can be vital to your marketing and social media plan. On the flipside, for personal use Twitter can be entertaining and a way for regular people to engage with celebrities and other notable figures. I must admit that it did take some time for Twitter to grow on me, but like New York City, it is home to millions.

Here are the reasons I love Twitter, in no particularly order.

  1. It makes me a better writer. The 140-character minimum in Twitter posts require tweets to be succinct and clearly stated. When I was taking journalism classes in college, we would do assignments that focused on writing clearly and concisely. Today, I get to practice those skills everyday when I write copy and interact with others on Twitter.
  2. When I’m asleep, it continues to drive people to my blog. Until recently. I was only interacting on Twitter from about 8 am until 6 pm. It wasn’t until my blog analytics showed that someone from New Zealand visited my blog one night when I was asleep when I decided that my Twitter feed could do a better job of relating to my blog audience overseas. When I wake up each day, I do a quick preliminary glance at my blog stats and I am still amazed that people are so active on the internet when I’m asleep. I think I secretly wish I was up with them.
  3. It delivers the most recent up-to-date information from a variety of sources. Twitter is my go-source for the latest and greatest news events, and it gives me all sides of a story. I love it for it’s unbiased nature in transmitting important information.
  4. It is friendly to third-party apps. If you use a third-party app (like a post scheduler) with Facebook, your audience may or may not see the posts. With Twitter, everything is visible to your followers.
  5. It is the parent company of Periscope. Periscope has taken the social media world by storm in the past six months. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a live video streaming platform for anyone who wants to have a show with a mobile device. Scopes can be as long or as short as you’d like them to be, and it is very interactive for the participants.

Those are the biggest reasons I love Twitter. What are your reasons for loving it?

 

Are you up for a challenge?

Click here to read all of the on-line challenges I'm participating in the month.

Apparently I am. And apparently I love them. So much so, we can call October the month of Toni participating in a whole bunch of on-line challenges. Just for fun.

Sigh. Something tells me that I may have overextended myself in the on-line world. However, these challenges are really good and I know I am going to learn a lot from participating.

So…if your ready, I am going to share them with you in case you’d like to participate. If you do, tweet me and let me know which one you participate in.

Women Living Well. Courtney hosts this challenge every fall. It’s focus is on Making Your Home a Haven. I need this challenge — like yesterday. I will admit to you that sometimes my home is anything but a haven. Instead of a haven, it can be filled with negative energy, sibling rivalry, dirty laundry, and dishes in the sink. It’s not a house cleaning challenge, but it is a way to get a simple reminder that small things can have a big impact on our daily lives. And the challenge assignments are given weekly, not daily. How convenient is that?

Write 31 Days. Bloggers from all over the world are joining together to write about one topic everyday this month. I am writing about social media, because at the end of the challenge I am hoping to combine all of my blog posts into an e-book for my on-line business.

Content Creation Challenge. In the past 6 weeks, I have successfully transitioned from being a recreational blogger to a full-time blogger. While scary to say the least, I have been able to utilize the services of a blogging coach who really helps me in crafting my message. If you are a blogger, head over to the content creation site and learn how step your own blogging game up. And because I know you’re wondering, yes…there is money to be made in blogging.

The Finance Bar Mental Money Cleanse. I actually stumbled upon this site while designing my own blog. My blogging coach has a background in graphic design and web development, and I learn a lot from her about those things in addition to the business of blogging. She actually designed the Finance Bar website and as I was looking at it from a design perspective, I discovered that the site has really great information. The Finance Bar is a non-profit mobile hub personalized for women seeking to make smarter financial decisions in order to live a financially confident lifestyle.

And if that wasn’t enough, I decided to create my own #blingyourblog challenge with some blogging friends. If you are a beginning blogger, or think you may want to start a blog, then this challenge is for you. You can sign up for it here.

In case you missed any other recent blog posts, click on one of the images below.

A single mom embraces the term.

NYC

A Mom's Review of the 2015 Buick Enclave.

My Writing Mojo

Sometimes I get in a quandary. I just can’t find the time to write. And then  life gets in the way and I don’t have time to write. But writing keeps me in my yellow. And I need to stay in my yellow as much as possible.

So I have to find time, or make time, and make myself write. It’s just that necessary.

One of the bloggers who I read regularly is Jeff Goins. He has a really great book out that I’m reading called, “The In-Between.” Aside from that though, he recently published a great blog post that talked about writer’s block or as I prefer to call it, “the loss of my writer’s mojo.”

I’ve also given up the notion that I will write several thousand words over the weekend. Because each weekend, I am usually tired. And my thoughts aren’t really coherent. And I take naps. A lot of naps.

But what Jeff encourages writers like me to do is write 500 words a day. It’s that easy. 500 words a day and you’re done. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m writing 500 words a day. For the most part, those 500 words are part of blog posts, but I’m excited about the fact that they can lead to something more…like an article, or a book, or anything.

And you know what? You’ll be able to see the fruits of my 500-word labor right here. Yay!