I Slept With Him For Years…featured on Erma Bombeck website

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I am honored to have my piece, “I slept with him for years for fear of being alone” featured on the Erma Bombeck website today.

Please check it out and share away!

Hope your weekend is filled with love and laughter wherever you may be!

Little Miss Wordy 2013 Highlights

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“Oh, You’re a Joiner” – Why I Joined NanoWrimo.

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She sat across from me at the local coffee shop, checking her phone, looking around as we “got to know each other.” I was the new gal in town and since it wasn’t my first rodeo, I was out there doing what I do best or at the very least what I know I need to do to acquire that sense of belonging in a new place. I was reaching out to a fellow mom, a local, in the hopes of finding that one friend that can instantly take you from outsider status to outsider with a friend status.

We discussed the move, the re-locations before this one, the kids and all the other usually safe topics that come up in polite conversation. In some ways, it was like the job interview I didn’t see on my wall calendar that morning as I stood in the kitchen, coffee in hand, making sure I didn’t forget my kid’s project or overlook a dentist appointment. I recall finding it strange when she glanced up from her phone to ask me what I was into in high school. Both in our late thirties, I didn’t see the relevance of her question given that neither one of us was likely the same person we were during the most terrifying, unsettling, and awkward four years of a person’s life. Nonetheless, I happily chimed on about being athletic, a cheerleader, class secretary, etc.

In the midst of my recounting my nose always having been in a book and how many of my friends were with me from kindergarten through high school, she suddenly glanced up and said, “Oh, you’re a joiner.” I paused mid-sentence, “Excuse me?” She repeated, “You’re a joiner” and went back to her cellphone. I sat in silence for a moment, not exactly sure why I felt offended by her nonchalant comment.

Truth be told, all the activities I had mentioned were clubs of some sort. Maybe it was the way she said the word “joiner” that made it sound like a negative thing. Maybe it was because as I had gotten older, I had begun to take pride in being my own person, standing up for my beliefs and following my passions no matter what other’s opinions might be. Maybe it was because the last thing I now saw myself as was a “joiner.” Instead, priding myself on being more of an individual. Maybe it was just the way she said it with such conviction, as though she had me all figured out. Then again, maybe it was because I didn’t want to admit there might be some truth to it.

nano_13_shirt_bubble_main

This week is the first week of something called NanoWrimo, National Novel Writing Month, which is “a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1st. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 on November 30th.”

This mother of two, wife of one, writer and weekly blogger, crazy lady who should be committed, instead committed to this challenge because keeping the house clean, the laundry done, and getting back into my regular workout routine with my new personal trainer isn’t enough. Apparently, I need more!

Cry for Help: I’ve lost my mind. If found, please return immediately as I’m going to need it to complete this novel and, you know, other stuff in my life.

The thing is ever since this summer when my husband and I decided to enroll the kids in school instead of continuing to homeschool them, I’ve been saying I would use the “free” time to write my second book, a novel. Somehow, I never find that “free”time to dedicate to it. So, when the NanoWrimo talk started last month my “joiner” wheels started spinning. An actual goal, a commitment to join the masses all working toward a similar goal, complete with pep talks by famous authors and a community of support every step of the way. By the way, I was giddy to find a letter from James Patterson in my inbox discussing the importance of outlining my novel before beginning. I took your advice Mr. Patterson, thank you.

So, yeah I guess I am a “joiner” but right now I don’t see it as a negative thing. If being a “joiner” means being a part of something bigger alongside some amazing writers and sharing in the highs and lows of pursuing a dream, completing a project, reaching a goal, then color me a “joiner” and let me be.

If it means on those days when - I’m struggling to get my kids off to school on time, not in their pajamas, with more than a pop tart and glass of recently expired (but not so expired as to be dangerous) milk, all while mentally kicking myself in the butt for believing for two seconds I would be able to pull off coherent sentences with only the creativity found in the bottom of a second cup of coffee, let alone write a complete novel in a one month period – I will log onto my NanoWrimo community and find that others can relate and share in my self doubt and misery, then I’m proud to be a “joiner” and will shout it from the rooftops!

Bring it on “joiner” haters!

I’ll be the one with the completed  semi-completed novel (depending on how much “free time” I have) at the end of November.

“I’m a joiner! He’s a joiner! Wouldn’t you like to be a joiner too? Be a joiner! Oohh be a joiner! (sung to the Dr. Pepper jingle)

Are you a joiner?

The Sunday Sip…Fill Your Cup

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I had the honor of being featured at More Than Mommies this morning for The Sunday Sip. Check it out!

 

It’s Sunday!  Which means that More Than Mommies is here with another edition of The Sunday Sip.  You are going to LOVE meeting our featured blogger this weekend – if you don’t already know her!  If you do already know her then you know that she cherishes blog comments as much as we do – so stop by leave her some love . . . and tell her we love her, too!

I now give you - Leah from Little Miss Wordy!

The Sunday Sip at More Than Mommies

 

So tell us, Leah . . . what’s in your cup this morning?

Coffee, I was raised in a Cuban Starbucks.

Anyone who WASN’T drinking coffee before reading that post is surely off to make a cup now . . . as a matter of fact, I think I need to tak a minute to go pour myself another cup!

Leah 1

Some of our readers know who you are and some of them will be meeting you for the first time.  How would you introduce yourself to those who aren’t familiar with you or your blog?

I am Leah Vidal, a mom of two, married to my best friend for eighteen years, writer, blogger, and newly published author of Red Circle Days. I paused my career to raise my children and have never looked back, except on those days when it would be nice to have an office to escape to or even a desk to hide under. We currently reside in Puerto Rico, but maintain a home in Texas as well so we live in limbo most of the time.

RCD front cover

How did you come up with the blog title “Little Miss Wordy” was there a process that you went through in finding the perfect name?

Blog names typically say something about the blogger in very few words. Once when asked to describe myself in one word on an application, I answered “wordy” – True Story. I was shocked the domain name was available. It was meant to be!

 Is there a post that you would like us to have our readers stop by when they visit today?  Anything you are particularly proud of or find a lot of people seem to relate to?

I submitted an entry for a WordPress weekly challenge which ended up challenging me not just in my writing, but on many levels. I wrote in regards to my brother’s mental illness for the first time ever, and it was a very emotional piece for me. It was Freshly Pressed, and I was honored but also happy that it would reach many more readers. Mental illness and it’s effects on family members is a topic that isn’t discussed enough in my opinion.

Why did you start blogging?  I know that a lot of us start because of a need to just connect and share.  Did you have a vision when you started?  Has that vision changed at all?

A few years ago, when my family relocated to Puerto Rico I started a site to share photos and keep family and friends up to date. I added a section called “Random Thoughts” and discovered a true passion for writing. The more of my writing I shared, the more people wanted to read and encouraged me to start a blog. Once I figured out what a blog was www.littlemisswordy.com was born. A vision? I’ll get right on that! Right now I just enjoy making words come to life and sharing them with the world.

At More Than Mommies we are always looking for what makes women MORE than their #1 job, being a Mommy.  Being a Mommy takes up SO much of us but it isn’t all that we are.  What makes you more than a Mommy?

I am fitness focused (physically, mentally, and spiritually) believing we need to pay attention to all three in order to maintain a healthy balance. I love to write obviously, but avoiding the kitchen is one of my favorite pastimes.

Thanks so much for sitting down with us this morning, Leah!  It has been a true pleasure to share your stories with our readers and I know that they will LOVE them as much as I do!

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You can find Leah blogging at Little Miss Wordy and follow her on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and G+.  You can also snag her book, “Red Circle Days” on Amazon (Kindle version is only 99 cents!).

 

If you are interested in joining the ranks of our Sunday Sippers – head to our interest page and fill out a form!  We would LOVE to have you join us for a chat on a Sunday morning!

- See more at: http://morethanmommies.net/2013/10/sunday-sip-miss-wordy.html#sthash.4b9qn3Bs.dpuf

A Letter To The First Commenter On My Blog is live on BlogHer

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My post last week, A Letter To The First Commenter On My Blog just went live as a syndicated post in the Blogging and Social Media section at BlogHer! I am flattered that “the powers that be” over at BlogHer liked it so much they asked me if they could share it.

Image: Andrechinn via Flickr

Image: Andrechinn via Flickr

Please head over and comment and share away so they aren’t hearing crickets over there.

Link to it here:

edbadge_syndicated

Red Circle Days

A Letter To The First Commenter On My Blog

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Red Circle Days

Dear Diane,

I imagine it was just a regular day for you as you held your coffee mug and surfed the internet for a quick morning read. Maybe you were running late and after reading some of the blogs you normally follow, you had a few minutes to spare before you absolutely had to be on your way. It is possible you saw my Gravatar on one of those blogs and something compelled you to click on it or maybe you just happened to search through the WordPress Topics regarding 9/11 that day when my newly birthed blog lit up your screen.

Truth be told, my blog didn’t consist of much that would light up a screen back then. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. I had no idea about the rules of blogging. I didn’t even include an image in the post. I gave no thought to length, unaware of the rule/myth that blog posts should not be longer than 500 words. Apparently, that’s the magic number when you lose a reader’s interest. That original post was exactly 475 words. Maybe that’s why it held your interest to the very end.

Regardless of length or lack of images, zero tags and no categories, you not only found my blog, but read my first post from beginning to end. I was thrilled to find one person had visited my blog and read my post. If I’m being completely honest I was over the moon, but that feeling was quickly replaced by sheer and utter exhilaration when I received a notification that someone had commented on my blog post!

You wrote: “I love your style… your kind of writing is the kind I want to curl up on the sofa with!”

Twenty words on your computer screen as your fingers flew across the keyboard and you hit enter. Twenty words that travelled across the United States, floated over an ocean, and arrived on an island to appear on my laptop screen. Twenty words that encouraged me to keep writing. Twenty words which validated me as a writer. Twenty words that changed my life.

Since then, you have been a loyal follower, avid reader, and have continued to share your words of praise and encouragement with me.

“This was the kind of excellent writing that produces a raspy sob that catches in your throat so unexpectedly! An awesome reminder about perspective and pain.”

“Your writing makes me want to spend the day in your archives wandering around wondering what else I’ve missed.”

“Pure art. When you get me to cry, you have won the prize. You write so beautifully. This will be one I come back and re-read when I am not rushing off to work!!! I love your last sentence about hugs! “

My heart is full. My eyes too. A grand story.”

To any blogger, especially one just getting started, comments are that prize in the cracker jack box, the song on your iPod you keep going back to, the unexpected card in a red envelope when you open your mailbox. They put a smile on our face, warm our heart, and motivate us to keep pounding that keyboard and sharing our thoughts. One thing I know for sure is your comments have been all these things to me and so much more.

For this, I thank you.

Sincerely,

Little Miss Wordy (Leah Vidal)

If you’re a blogger, I invite you to revisit your first blog post and write a letter to your first commenter. 

Let them know what that first comment has meant to you!

If you’re not a blogger, I invite you to leave a comment on someone’s blog. 

You never know how twenty words might change their life!

NO WHINING!

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Can you guess where I’m headed for the next few days?

I’ll be back next week with plenty of great photos and feeling inspired 

OR

I’ll have tons of blurry photos and a major hangover!

Either way, I should have something to blog about…stay tuned.

September 11… a Red Circle Day

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One year ago today, I blindly took my first step on a journey to share my writing. I had no idea what was in store for me but I faithfully forged ahead, dedicating my first post to a true Red Circle Day in history. It also became the inspiration for the title of my first published book, Red Circle Days.

Throughout the past year, as each of one of you has made the conscious choice to join me on this journey, you have given me a gift. You have given me the gift of friendship, the gift of confidence, the gift of likes and comments, but the greatest gift of all has been one I never expected. You have given me the gift of being a part of something so much greater than I could ever be alone. Together, this community of writers, readers, thinkers and passionate people come together to make a difference great or small in this great big world of ours. Each written word, whether mine or yours, is read by someone whose life is touched in some way. For this, I thank you and hope to always contribute something of value to all those who choose to allow my thoughts, my words and my stories into their lives.

September 11 Captain America

Originally posted: September 11, 2012

“Save the date, pencil me in, mark your calendar…all phrases we so often hear in our daily lives. We all live by our planners, calendars, appointment books, schedules, organizing every minute of our days, weeks, years. Like most of you, I love using the annual reminder feature on my online calendars so next year it automatically pops up on my screen. During the year and a half our family lived with an ocean between us, I purchased the kids a calendar where they could circle the dates of daddy’s visits with a red marker. We lived for those circles and the text that accompanied them, “Daddy’s home!” I can’t be the only who artfully vandalizes her calendars this way. Red circles always signify something important. I fill the calendar with red circles for birthdays, vacations, anniversaries and so many other dates so at a glance anyone would know those mean the world to me.

I can tell you exactly where I was, what I was wearing and what I was feeling on those red circle days. December 29, 1994 – St. Patrick’s Church, wearing my wedding gown, feeling incredibly blessed as I walked toward my best friend.  June 7, 2002 – Park Plaza Hospital, Houston – wearing another gown but this one hospital issued, overwhelmed with tears of joy as I held my little girl for the first time. These are red circle days that don’t need highlighting because the automatic reminder pops up without a prompt, yet I still circle them. We all have these days.. red circle days. But what about the red circles only I can see?  For some reason, I can’t seem to circle those, yet at a glance I can also tell you exactly where I was, what I was wearing, and what I was feeling. October 1, 1993 – my parents home, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, feeling like my whole world was crumbling around me. November 11, 2008 – Harlingen, TX – standing in our empty house wearing cutoff shorts and a tank top as I waved to the moving truck with tears in my eyes.

Today, a huge red circle day in our history should not need a reminder. September 11 doesn’t need to be marked on our calendar for us to remember the horrific events of that day. Lives were lost, fears were made real and history books were rewritten. It is a day like no other, requiring no automatic pop-up on our screen announcing its impending arrival. The closer it approaches, the more aware we become of it. We may not remember exactly where we were or exactly what we were wearing, but we will never forget what we were feeling. For those who lost loved ones that day, my prayers go out to you for peace and strength as you try to get through a difficult day in a world full of calendars with invisible red circles.”

Blogging: Work or Hobby?

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Writers Are Suspicious

If you don’t get paid to write is it still considered work or does it fall into the category of hobby?

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. For bloggers, writing is a passion that they have pursued because they need the outlet. Blogs are a great platform to do that. Not only do you keep your creative juices flowing, but you have people read your stuff, and you get feedback on your writing.
  2. For some writers, blogging is a means to gaining followers and building a relationship of sorts with people who will hopefully want to purchase the book they plan on publishing in the future. That’s right. Some bloggers are working on a book while simultaneously providing material for their blog.
  3. Bloggers adhere to their calendar of scheduled posting days in an effort to be consistent and reliable for their loyal followers.
  4. However, before that, bloggers have already dedicated countless hours to their writing, drafting, editing and perfecting pieces before they post them.
  5. Bloggers are writing additional pieces for submission to other sites…i.e. guest posts, articles for consideration, essays for contests etc.
  6. In addition, most bloggers have a whole life outside of blogging that demands their attention as well.

Now that you’ve had a moment to consider these points, ponder this: If the blogger described above doesn’t get paid for bullet points 1-6, is it considered work or a hobby?

I’m a bit torn. Here’s why:

  1. I was raised to believe you get paid for work, yet the above describes someone who is obviously working at something or toward something but not necessarily being monetarily compensated.
  2. Furthermore, I am a stay at home raising two children who has also homeschooled said children. Believe me when I tell you it’s work! I may not get paid for it, but I don’t consider it a hobby.
  3. On the other hand, if I was getting paid for blogging or hoping to get paid for blogging I would be able to justify a pricey blogging conference ticket in addition to all the other expenses that go along with attending the conference.
  4. I’m a published author, but I’m not exactly putting food on the table because of it.
  5. I have a passion for writing and blogging and consider the time and effort I put into both to be valuable whether or not I get paid for that time.
  6. I get stumped on the “occupation” section of an application.

Where do you stand? This inquiring mind wants to know!

Don’t Drink, Don’t Smoke? What Do You Do?

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Good morning! I’ve guest posted over at Sincerely, Paula and am giving away 2 SIGNED COPIES to 2 lucky winners!

Follow the link to check out my guest post, “Don’t Drink, Don’t Smoke? What Do You Do?” and enter to win!

Share the love and let your friends know about it!

Sincerely, Paula: Guest Post and a Fabulous Giveaway!.

Previous Posts by Little Miss Wordy: