Thursday, September 1, 2011

Make New Friends . . .

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It's always great to find new friends during the dog days of summer

Will they like me?  Will anyone talk to me?  I feel like a kid on her first day in a new school.

When I stopped teaching about ten years ago my biggest fear, though hard to articulate, was that I’d never be able to make any new friends.  With college, graduate school and career I had been on a single track with a lot of other people who shared a similar passion.  Life was beautiful.  Conversations were lively.  I knew all the ropes.

Leaving the academic world, however, left me hanging.  First, I fretted, how would I ever find a new passion?  Second, would I ever be able to find a community as invigorating as the one I left behind?  Such is the plight of those of us redefining our lives more than halfway through our adulthood.  Who would welcome me at their lunch table?

After ramping up my writing ambitions and lurching along with my blog, I’d now like to recognize some people who are more than happy to share their fruit cups and Ding Dongs with me.

What a surprise this week when I opened up my computer one morning to find a message from my new blogging friend, Annette Gendler, telling me I had won a Leibster blog award.  Moi?  I had only recently gotten serious at the endeavor.  As she explained it, the award is to connect bloggers, especially those whose readers consist mainly of family and two best friends from high school (i.e., those with fewer than 200 followers).
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If I accept the award, she told me, I must:

* Show my thanks to the blogger who gave me the award by linking back

* Make my own top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

* Post the award on my blog.

* Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the internet—other writers.

* And best of all – have fun and spread the karma.

I am going to bend the rules a little and not verify the 200 limit because . . . well, because.  So here are my five people you need to give love to:

Memoir, Writing, and Life (Annette Gendler) – I'm sending the love back to Annette.  Without fail three times a week she offers up the best information about the business side of writing and invaluable writing tips.  It’s like a free graduate program in writing.  Plus, she’s an Iron Woman because she continued to post without fail while on a road trip across the American West with her kids (go look at the pictures).  She doesn’t live that far away.  I really need to drive north one day.

A Woman’s Nest (Nadine Feldman) – She’s off hiking in the Swiss Alps right now, but there’s plenty to read on her blog.  She always writes with enthusiasm, making the rest of us feel like writing or other challenges we definitely can conquer, even if we started so late.  She’s all about the world leading a creative and joyful life.

Leah’s Thoughts (Leah Singer) – essayist, recipe-sharer, motivator for those in midlife transitions, and Tweeter.  Following her gives me so many ideas of how to get this writing thing done and keep it fresh.  She recently earned recognition for the food writing part of her blog, but the rest is worth it as well.  I’m thankful for her kind comments about my own writings.

Monica’s Tangled Web (Monica Medina) – She welcomed me into the serious blogging community on She Writes from day one and is always there to answer any stupid question I have about blogging, tweeting, mastering the whole social media thing. She is a serious Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lover.  You can now also find her on Huffington Post.  Variety, thy name is Monica.  One day we’ll actually meet at a BlogHer conference.

Catharsis (Laura Miriam) – I’ve only recently started following Laura, and ya’ll should, too.  She’s Erma Bombeck for the 21st century with posts on parenting, her teaching gig, life absurdities in general. “Not the Average Mommy Blog” is right.  Her writing is laugh-out-loud funny and reminds me that I should lighten up in my writing style – and in my life.  So I give this award not because of any memorable writing advice she’s given me, personally (hey, we’ve only been dating a couple of weeks), but because of what I think I can learn if I keep watching.  Somebody should give this woman a book deal.

So when you finish reading this post, click on over and read some of the masters.  Thanks to all they give me.  Thanks for welcoming the new kid on the block.

And certainly in the comments section, feel free to nominate your own favorites we need to be reading.

A little something to cool you off on this steamy Labor Day Weekend
new friends2_9/1/11

15 comments:

Teresa said...

Wait...less than 200 followers means it's only my family and friends following me?? Shoot. I was so proud of my 93 followers! ;-)
I love the "dog friends" photo. And in that vein, my "must follow" blogs are: http://fromsophiesview.blogspot.com/ which has some of the most gorgeous photos of a most gorgeous labradoodle, and www.Ishouldabeenastripper.com which is just darn funny (and also features some pretty cute beagles).

Julie Farrar said...

Thanks for visiting, Teresa. I LOVE Sophie's view of the world.

Laura@Catharsis said...

Oh my goodness, I am speechless! This makes me feel so warm and fuzzy. Erma Bombeck? Now I have something to live up to! Can't wait to pass it on!

Michael Ann said...

Hi Julie, LOVE the dog photo! What a perfect choice for your topic today, which I enjoyed very much. And congrats on your award! I love all the blogs that mentioned as well.

Nancy MacMillan said...

What a fun blog! From your dog shot, it looked like you were in Paris . . . were you? New to Late Bloomers but definitely enjoying what I'm reading. Oops, just looked at your side bar and you are in France. Took my daughter to Paris for 2 wks when she graduated from college, mother/daughter bonding and it was amazing. Rented an apartment and we became French. :-)

http://blogofavetswife.blogspot.com/

Totsymae said...

congrats on your blog award. hope you're enjoying your new community of bloggers and writers. i'm a a fellow shewriter, in case you're curious as to how i found you. a cool site, i'm sure you'd agree.

well, i'm wondering who's gonna let me eat at their lunch table too but first, i have to decide if i should even be eating lunch. :-) Nice meeting you.

Annette Gendler said...

Julie - yes, you do need to travel north one of these days! How about for AWP next year?

monicastangledweb.com said...

Congratulations on receiving the Liebster Award. It is well-deserved, Julie. You have a wonderful way with words.

I also want to thank you for being so nice and gracious by bestowing it on me. You've made my day!

Hope said...

Beautiful pictures!
Thanks for commenting on my blog - that's how I found you.

I agree with your comment 100 percent.

hope

Samantha Stacia said...

Great post as usual and congrats on the award! I will definitely be checking out some of those sites that seem to have helped you make such a great blog-I just can't seem to get mine to roll yet.I suspect it is because Im not used to this form of writing yet.

Melinda said...

Congratulations on the award. I hope more people will find their way to your blog. The dog picture tells such a story - one for the calendar!

nadinefeldman.com said...

Congrats on the award! Thanks for mentioning my blog -- and I've mentioned you right back because yours is one of my favorites! I hope you build a huge audience for your wonderful work!

leahsthoughts.com said...

Congratulations! And thanks so much for bestowing the award on me! I truly appreciate it!

marlenedotterer said...

I have to crack up at the 200 followers thing. I have about 15! Love the dogs!

Sue Ann Bowling said...

Steamy? I'm crossing my fingers we don't get an early frost! Here in Alaska it could be any day. And 200 followers? That's small? Guess mine is microscopic. (I'm on SheWrites, a retired University scientist and hobby geneticist and current science fiction writer.)

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