Can Blogging and Fun Go Together?

By Jennifer Hallmark

Blogging enjoyable? I see y’all shaking your head right now. No way, no how. I’m part of several online and in-person writing groups and when blogging is mentioned, eyes roll and people shiver.

“I can’t think of enough to write about.”

“I forget when I get busy.”

“I don’t think it makes a difference.”

“No one reads my blog except my mom and Aunt Suzie.”

After several years of mindless and inconsistent journaling, I stopped. I dreaded blogging and what I wrote was rambling at best and confusing at times. It was time to go to God. After all, He created the people who invented blogging so maybe He could help me out.

I quit blogging and told Him about all my shortcomings, failures, and irregularities in my blogging world. Then I listened. It took some time but what finally came to mind was this: my blogging pointed to me. All about me. Me. Me. Me.

Oh.

He whispered in my soul about how others had helped me get my start in the craft, especially writers. I went to two of my critique group friends, Betty Thomason Owens and Christina Rich and laid out my heart. I wanted to give back to writers. How could I do this and would they like to be a part? They graciously agreed. Christina did the tech work, Betty edited, and I thought up ideas. 🙂

We brainstormed and decided on a blog that would spark the imagination through writing prompts. We would blog on various subjects—flowers, animals, sports, the Olympics—A plethora of topics with a writing prompt that might help someone who needed a little help. Our first post introducing our blog, Writing Prompts, Thoughts, & Ideas: Oh My! went live on April 28th, 2012.

Cue the crickets. We had a tiny following. We had contests for writing stories using our prompts and grew a tad. I went back to God. What were we doing wrong?

Nothing in the fundamentals.  But we could help writers even more by promoting them. Their books. Or blogs. And we wouldn’t worry whether theirs was a self-published book they wrote for their family or a best-seller. Our only stipulation: fairly clean reads.

Everyone did reviews and interviews so we came up with 3 Questions Wednesday. 3 simple questions and we’d promote the writer and whatever they wanted to promote. Our first guest was Jordyn Redwood. From there, the blog grew stronger. We had all types of guests from all writing levels and walks of life.

I started really having fun. I enjoyed meeting all the new people. We started adding bloggers and I met more neat writers. Books I never heard of before became part of my library. Writers and even publishers were coming to me, asking to be a guest on our blog.

We added Saturday interviews. We grew and by 2017, five years from the start, we were garnering shares, comments, and attention. Our blog morphed once more by honing in our focus on specific writers: Indie published and new to the writing world.

Now, please understand blogging is still hard work. At times, I wrestle with tech issues and want to throw my desktop in the yard. I grow tired and don’t always want to write my posts. I forget to do things on occasions.

But I’m having fun. I believe we’re making a difference.

My advice? Follow the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Take your eyes off yourself and be a blessing to others. Invite others to come along for the ride. You’ll make new friends. You could start to smile when you blog.

You might even have fun.

Click to tweet: Can Blogging and Fun Go Together? One blogger’s thoughts. #blogging #amwriting

3 Questions Wednesday with Christina Rich

Christina, welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday! Christina Rich was one of our original Crew members and we’re tickled pink that she stopped by…

Christina is the mother of four children and grandmother of one. She speaks, paints, and snaps photographs in her spare time…

So, let’s see how she answers our latest 3 Questions–

Question: What inspires you?

Christina:  Smiles. I’ve learned to appreciate smiles and to be inspired by them. It’s a universal language, one people all over the world understand, especially when it is authentic. I look for the thing that makes a person smile, whether it’s another smile, or a child at play, an animal, a warm pair of gloves, a new pair of shoes, a bird song. Sometimes it’s a strategically placed flower petal, or a note of appreciation. Those are the things that inspire me, they pursue the heart.

Nothing better than an authentic smile 🙂

Next question–You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Christina:  Festive Sunset. I would be all the beautiful colors God paints in the evening sky swirled together. It’s festive and brilliant and beautiful and creative, and if you think about it, it’s never the same. Even if two individuals stand in the same zip code they see something completely different. It’s as if God created a personal live painting, and that is why I would be Festive Sunset. I want to be available and present in the moments (live), whether those moments are with family or with a stranger on the street, and I want to be available to for that individual.

What a beautiful thought…

Final Question–As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Christina:  Hmmm…. There was that one time I wanted to a fighter pilot, but then I decided archeology would be fun (I still do), then I thought becoming a marine biologist would be fascinating. I can’t forget about firewalker, geologist, surfer, and an airline stewardess. Oh, Pinkie Tuscadero, but only because she was tough like Fonzie, and I can’t forget about Indiana Jones, I wanted to be him when I grew up. I guess that’s why I became a writer.

Wow! You definitely needed to be a writer to fulfill all those occupations. Especially Indiana Jones…

Thanks, Christina, for visiting 3 Questions Wednesday.

Click to tweet: Christina Rich,  author, speaker, painter, and occasional photographer. #historicalromance #InspiredPrompt


Readers, Christina is offering a Kindle version of An Unlikely Governess. So let us know you want to be included by leaving a comment below.

An Unlikely Governess

Bernadette Chambers has one last assignment before graduating Harris-Spotchnet’s Finishing School of the Peculiar Kind, and unfortunately, she’ll need more than her training has prepared her for when it comes to being a governess to a small child who witnessed her father’s kidnapping, but her lack of preparedness with the child is nothing compared to the sparks ignited by the child’s uncle and his desperate desire to keep his niece safe.

Retired Society Agent Isaac Clanton Willoughby, knew his brother was on the verge of a scientific breakthrough to cure a disease that took his late wife when he disappeared days before the cure was to be unveiled at Andropogon’s World Fair. Now it’s up to him to discern his brother’s secret codes, find out who took him, and ensure his niece’s well-being by hiring the perfect governess without becoming distracted by her beauty and intelligence. But when he discovers nothing is as it seems, can he push past his reservations and trust the woman to help him unravel the mystery left by his brother before it is too late?


 A mother of four children and a grandmother of one, Christina Rich is a romance author with Love Inspired Historical and Forget Me Not Romances, a speaker, a photographer, and painter.

You can connect with her on Facebook at Author Christina Rich, Twitter @Christinainspy, Instagram at inspyscribe, or at threefoldstrand.com

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Who Won the Blogaversary Giveaway on the Writing Prompts Blog?

BlogaversaryIn the early spring of 2012, I wanted to start a blog. I’d been journaling, well, sort of, but was making no headway. Giving back to the writing community who’d helped me so much seemed the way to go. I asked my good friends and critique partners, Betty Thomason Owens and Christina Rich, to join me. Christina helped with the technical aspects and Betty kept us organized and I flung ideas right and left. Check out one of our first blog posts. 🙂

The blog, Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My! has undergone many changes over the last four years, but the mission is still the same:  to inspire writers of all ages everywhere through a blog filled with prompts, thoughts and ideas. It is our pledge that the ideas we share will be uplifting and graceful, that they may positively edify your creative aspirations.The Ethereal Snapdragon

Our first post was May 1st and the topic was flowers. The blog has grown, expanded to share interviews and a plethora of information. We now have ten bloggers who help writers all around the world.

But what about the giveaway? Our blogaversary prize of a $100 gift card?

drum rollAll right. It’s time. One final drum roll to celebrate four years of blogging…
The winner of the blogaversary giveaway and $100 gift card is…

Caryl Kane!

Congratulations, Caryl! You’re the grand prize winner!

A special thanks to all those who entered by answering a writing prompt. We loved reading your answers. 🙂fireworks

3 Questions Wednesday with Christina Rich

IMG_1232Today we welcome author and former Crew Member, Christina Rich, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

Hello, Christina. So glad you could drop by!

Which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Christina:  Karen Witemeyer. She creates wonderful stories with humor and a beautiful message.

A best-selling author of historical romance. Great choice. Now…

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Christina: I love Loki, always have, even before I discovered and became a fan of Marvel Comics.

Marvel Comics does have some great villains. Let’s talk about you for a moment.

What project are you currently working on?

Christina:  I am currently working on a Western set in Kansas called Derailed by Love. I hope to create a series influenced by Three Billy Goats’ Gruff.

Sounds like an awesome undertaking. Thanks for the visit, Christina.

If  you’d like to win her latest book, Captain of Her Heart, please leave a comment and we’ll add your name to our drawing.

Captain of Her Heart9780373283217

Sold into slavery by her jealous sisters, Ada finds herself captive on the ship of a Greek merchant. Expecting a harsh new master, she’s surprised to find the captain compassionate—and attractive. Yet she can’t fall for the man who owns her—not when she watched her enslaved mother pine after her unyielding father.

Nicolaus only wants to rescue the beautiful, mistreated woman from the auction block. He plans to free Ada, just as soon as he secures his inheritance. Which means racing the ship back to his homeland to best his brother. If he loses, all his cargo will be forfeited—including Ada. But as perilous storms reveal her courage and grace, the question becomes, can his heart stand to let her go?

When she was younger, Christina Rich tried to dig herself to China, loved Three Billy Goats Gruff, and had an obsession with maps. She gave up her dig to China but still jumps at the chance to travel even if it’s just down the road. She loves watching modern takes of fairy tales and mythologies on the big screen and still has a huge obsession with maps. The older the better.

Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research, take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus.

Thankfulness and a Christmas Extravaganza

christmas red
Happy Holidays!

November is here and we’re ready to kick off the season with a month-long look at what we’re thankful for. And as a special bonus, most posts will share favorite holiday recipes. Yum!

Also, we want to give back to one of our loyal blog readers during this season. We’ve set up a rafflecoptor giveaway that will run from November 1st to December 29th. On December 31st,  we’ll announce the blessed winner of the following prizes…

$25 Barnes and Noble gift card
$10 Walmart gift card
Print copy of “Sweet Freedom a la Mode”
Print copy of “Amelia’s Legacy”
Print copy of “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon
Print or ecopy of “Crooked Lines” and a small gift from India [Holly’s there now]
50 ,000 word edit by Janet Carol Abney. Certain restrictions apply.
Editorial services by Marisa Deshaies, a copy and substantive edit for the first three chapters of a manuscript.

Someone has to win!

Why not you? See you at the Writing Prompts Blog...