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AN UNEXPECTED HONOR

The Lighthouse Award

I’d like to thank #AllisonBruning at  http://www.allisonbruning.blogspot.com for nominating me for The Lighthouse Award. Never heard of it, but love what it stands for: #bloggers who like to help people! It always feels so good to be recognized.

There are gifts given to every person. How we use those gifts determines what kind of human we become. Writing is one of my gifts. For me, writing is about helping others: it provides mental relaxation, adds to knowledge, highlights important issues, provides role models and most of all, gives us hope.

Another gift is my love for Mother Earth. In 1996, my wife and I purchased 12 acres of abused farmland that we named Wild Haven. What had once been forested wetlands had fifty or so years before been logged, the pathways of water changed and made into farmland. The farmland was then abused by overuse and negligence. By the time we bought it invasive weeds controlled eleven acres of the 12. Bodies of dead animals and birds lay scattered like discarded rubbish. The people that had owned it loved to kill, not to eat but to destroy. Not even a bird flew over the land until our medicine man came and cleansed it. The first bird to return was a hummingbird. Now we host 68 different species of birds over the course of a year’s time as well as a number of mammals such as coyote, fox, rabbit, possum, raccoon, deer, an occasional cougar, and a black bear who loves our fall apples. Three species of salmon now call our creek a pathway to spawning grounds. In 2001 the National Wildlife Federation certified our farm was Wildlife Habitat. In 2002, we have won a county award for Wildlife Farm of the Year. In 2003, we won the Washington State Award for #Wildlife Small Farm of the Year. #Conservation is the gift we give to the generations yet to come. What kind of world will we hand on?

Gnarly apple tree To see more photos of Wild Haven, go to http://www.pinterest.com/ayawalksfar  Look at Jaz Wheeler’s Farm board.

The third gift I have been graced with is the ability to look at writing of others and see where I can suggest changes that will make it stronger, clearer. I don’t do the polish editing like my wonderful editor, Lee Hargroder Porche, but what I call developmental editing. I help clarify timelines, pick up on dialog that isn’t realistic and other details that can make an author’s work a bit more real.

The Lighthouse Award requires that a blogger:

• Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
• Write a post and link back to the blogger that nominated you.
• Inform your nominees of their award nominations.
• Share three ways that you like to help others.
• Nominate as many bloggers as you like.
When I think about all the people who #blog and who make helping others a large part of their lives, there are too many to list. But here are some that I nominate for The Lighthouse Award:
#RubyStandingDeer at http://www.rubystandingdeer.com  whose Native American series is a spiritual journey
#ErikaSzabo at  http://www.authorerikamszabo.com who tirelessly worked to bring to us the Read for Animals book and event
#WiseandWildWomen at http://wildandwisewomen.com whose entire goal is the uplifting of women
#JenWilliams at with http://myraysoflight.wordpress.com who constantly brings forth issues we need to consider
#JumbledWriter at  http://www.jumbledwriter.com whose blog and subjects are all about conversations that help people consider timely issues
Please visit these wonderful blogs. You’ll be glad that you did! Be sure to CLICK and FOLLOW so you don’t miss new posts!
To share in the conversations, join Aya on http://www.facebook.com/ayawalksfar
To check out Aya’s latest works go to http://www.facebook.com/AyaWalksfarAuthor
To see some really cool photos click over to http://www.pinterest.com/ayawalksfar
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Picking from the Garden of Blogs

936861_10201446923641284_643288402_nDuring this sixth week of Mountain Springs House Publishers (#MSH) #blog #tour I have the pleasure of hosting a fantastic author, #Kathy Ree. The subject of this week’s sharing is all about blogs: which ones do you like, which ones do you follow, why do you follow them, and, of course the most important question–what is your goal with your own blog?

Aya: Kathy, welcome to my #author blog! I am really looking forward to your insights into what pulls you into a blog.

Kathy: I’m not much of a blog follower, really. This is the time of year when I work in my yard–happily, mind you. (BIG SMILE)

Aya:I can certainly understand that. I appreciate that you took time for this #interview. As a wildlife habitat manager and designer, this time of year I spend a lot of time outside. Other than time constraints, are there any other reasons you don’t tend to read a lot of blogs?

Kathy: I spend most of my work life in front of a computer, so it isn’t my go-to activity at home. And when I do spend time in the glow of my laptop, I’m usually deleting e-mails(over 3800 in one month alone) or writing book reviews/author #interviews.

Aya: So, when you do read blogs, they must be pretty special. How do you tend to find out about the blogs you become interested in?

Kathy: The blogs I follow show up in my e-mails, so I always check them out.

Aya: Once you check them out, what types of blogs hook you in, have you subscribing to them?

Kathy: Let me give you an example. There is a blog, http://www.funnylifestories.com, that is absolutely hilarious! What G.K. Adams can do with .gifs is such a hoot! It is a great way to get my day going.

Aya: I’ll have to check that one out. Like you, I enjoy blogs that have entertainment value to me. What else hooks you into a blog?

Kathy: One of my favorite blogs is http://www.indiesunlimited.com. This is a multi-admin blog dedicated to resources, contests, tips, etc. for the independent author. A lot of useful information there, and some very humorous stuff as well. I always look forward to getting that in my mail every day. Another informative, and entertaining, blog–one I just picked up on today is http://www.dieselelectricelephant.wordpress.com . This guy, Ian Hutson, writes the most creative, most hilarious author interviews I have ever seen. Here’s me, waving my hand in his audience, wanting an interview from him–just from what I read today. He writes like Terry Prachett–crazy funny! And then there are blogs by our own elite group of Mountain Springs House authors.

I’ll only mention a few here, just enough to let your readers get a taste for the wonderful talent that Mountain Springs House Publishers have gathered.
http://www.mickihess.wordpress.com
http://www.writingsbykrystol.blogspot.com
http://www.angelastclair.blogspot.com
http://www.veronicacronin.com
http://www.codymartin.blogspot.com
http://wwww.iangeorge.larmani.com
http://www.mountainspringspublisher.com
http://www.allisonbruning.blogspot.com

Aya: What about your blog, Kathy? What can you tell my readers about it?

Kathy: Well, I have two. One is my book review/author interview/whatever else I can think of blog. It’s called “Kitty Muse and Me”. I see that blog as a forum for both author/book exposure and a creative outlet for myself. The address is: http://www.kathyree.wordpress.com . People seem to appreciate what I write, so it gives me warm fuzzies as well.

My other blog is my author blog at http://www.krmorrison325.wordpress.com . This is where I post for the Blog Tour. I haven’t had it up for very long, so I haven’t really had a chance to use it for anything else, yet. I’ll be posting short stories there in the future, and letting people know when I have books coming out.

Aya: Your blogs are very focused on giving to the reader, but what about you? What do you hope to receive from your blog?

Kathy: What I will get, besides a creative outlet, is really unclear at this point. I like providing exposure for other authors. Their success means success for me, too. I fully invest my own feelings for my little family into their happiness as well as my own. Of course, the blog will help readers learn about my writings, when my books will be coming out, and they’ll even get a taste of my style once I begin to post the short stories.

Aya: It certainly sounds as if your readers will receive a number of benefits from visiting your blog. I think that about wraps up our interview for today. Thank you, Kathy, for being my guest.

Kathy: (BIG SMILE) Okay, with the questions answered and the coffee finished off, I go forward into the late morning with promises of future margaritas dancing in my mind. Have a great Fourth of July weekend, everyone!

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