"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Blogging Moments of the Past Year

I can't believe a whole year has come and gone!

Last year at this time I barely had a blog and there are so many of you that I hadn't met and didn't know! That's the most unbelievable part of all! I can't imagine my life without all of my blogger friends. And even though life has gotten really hectic for me and I haven't spent as much time with you all in the second half of the year as I would have wanted to, you guys are often on my mind. For reals (as Naomi would say :)

And what is a new year for, but to give us a moment to reflect on the old?
So here are some of my top favorite moments - top hits, I guess you could say - of the past year in regards to my blogging life :) - In no particular order. At all.

1) January was my real foray into the world of Twitter. I tweeted fairly regularly, but it wasn't until May that Twitter became a real distraction for me ;) That was when I met Mia Hayson and Simon C. Larter who really dragged me into the full world of all the fun that Twitter can be. I have loved every minute of it since then and there are so many things that I could not have done without my Tweoples. Like taking procrastination to an art form.

2) Debuting Retail Wednesdays! February was my first post in which I made fun of the crazy customers that shop at the bookstore where I work. I intended to keep it going, and I'm kind of hoping that I can work out a schedule and be more regular at posting this semester, but for now it's taken a hiatus. But I had WAY too much fun with it while it was going on. This was one of the things that started to build a little bit of a following over here at Sonshine Thoughts and I love every single one of you, especially those of you that have hung around through all the sporadic-ness of the past few months.

3) The A-Z Challenge in April. This kind of just fell into my lap when Lee popped randomly onto my blog and suggested I check it out. The goal was to post every day (except Sundays) in April, starting with the letter A and going all the way through the letter Z. I had SO much fun with this. Some days the letter was only a springboard to make me think of something completely random, but it helped me to meet some REALLY cool people and made me realize that I could write a blog about pretty much ANYthing in the world.

4) My first OWL contest! In March I hit 100 posts and decided to do a quick and little contest. So I made an amigurumi owl and offered it up. The owl mania swept my blog and I think I've given away 8 happy little owls since then. I love that you guys have gotten so excited about these little crochet critters and I plan on giving away more of them for random reasons in the future!

5) The SUPER SISTER CELEBRATION! Naomi and I had SO much fun reading all of your stories and judging them (not like, I judge you for writing this, but like, I totally love this part of the story you wrote, but I have to pick a favorite, so I guess I will go with this one, but they're all TOTES cool!) and then sending you guys prizes!

6) Dipping my toes in the world of flash fiction. Yup, yup, yup. Did I tell you that my Zombie Luv flash fiction got published in my school literary magazine?! That totally made my day. Flash fiction and blogfests stretched me so much this year and really have helped me to hone my skills as a writer. From the creepy story I wrote for Palindrome's Halloween contest to the strange western Rumplestiltskin to the Invasion of the Bloggy Snatchers 'fest that I hosted, I've learned a lot about pacing and character development and trimming words until you want to gouge your eyes out. It has been really good for me (not the eye gouging, but the writer's growth).

7) Vlogs. Or, well, videos I made for the blog. Naomi and I had a little too much fun with those this year. Only a couple, but enough to show how truly demented we are. There was the epic battle of HumaneBean Vs. BatCabbage and our foray into the "Zombiest Things" wherein we dragged a friend on our journey of insanity.

And that's about all I've got. I know I'll think of something else the instant I post this, but these are the first things that come to mind, so I'll go with it :)

How about you? Any particularly special memories of your bloggering life this year? Do tell!

Thank you all for being an awesomesauce part of this past year and I look forward to all the craziness to come in 2011.
funny pictures of cats with captions

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All

For unto us a Child is born

Unto us a Son is given

May God richly bless you this Christmas day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Doctor Who?

I grew up watching sci-fi and fantasy. I practically lived with the Star Trek crews - from the original to NG to DS9 to (my personal favorite) Voyager. (we weren't a big fan of Enterprise)

Watched all 3 Star Wars videos until they were warbly (in ye olde dark ages with VHS) and loved movies like Flight of the Navigator, StarGate, and Tron.

We (well, my Mom, Dad, Naomi and I) like to latch onto a tv show and watch it from start to finish on DVD. We recently worked through StarGate SG1, and then StarGate Atlantis.

Then Naomi and I made Mom and Dad watch Firefly (*sigh* Nathan Filion).

Mom, Dad, and I are currently on the 5th and final season of Babylon 5 and Naomi and Mom have been watching Farscape online. But the four of us have now embarked on a journey with the last time lord.

Mom and Dad watched Doctor Who long before the reboot, and I know I saw a few episodes here and there, but it was never something I really latched on to. Then Naomi borrowed season 4 of the new series from the library (it was the only one in our library system) and started watching it with Mom and Dad. I jumped in about half way through and crammed to watch what I had missed before we had to return it. We loved it.

I found season 1 and 2 for a great bundle price and we started from the beginning. Having seen David Tennant as Doctor Who in Season 4, I wasn't sure what to think of Christopher Eccleston in Season 1, but he was fantastic. However, as they say, your first doctor tends to be your favorite. I was actually really sad to see Eccleston go, but Tennant is something really special.

Season 1 was fun, Season 2 had some spectacular episodes (one of my favorite is "The Girl in the Fireplace" - Brilliant!), but Season 3 shows a depth of emotion in the doctor that is absolutely phenomenal as well as just fantastically ... yes, I have to say it again, brilliant episodes! David Tennant emotes such passion and pathos carrying the memory of the events of the season 2 finale and season 3 premier all the way into the finale of season 3. I won't say what the event was for those of you that haven't seen it. I'm very anti-spoilery. But the episodes of season 3 have a richness and a depth that is overpowering.

"The Shakespeare Code" was so much fun. "Family of Blood" really stretched my view of what the Doctor really is and if "Blink" doesn't give you nightmares, well then you're stronger than I am.

I'm really excited to rewatch Season 4 with the history of seasons 1-3 behind me and I really would like to start back at the beginning again, because I have a feeling it will be even better and richer the second time.

So there's my plug for Doctor Who. Brilliant writing and acting. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A. A. Milne love-fest

Yesterday I came across this link (on the marvelous A. Victoria Mixon's site ... but she's a story for another day) and stayed up way too late reading off of it:

It's a collection of essays by A. A. Milne - a man who is fast becoming my favorite all time writer.

Half of you are thinking who is that?

And half of you are thinking, oh yeah, the Winnie-the-Pooh guy.

Please let me tell you, this man is brilliant.

I first discovered him through the Winnie-the-Pooh stories - Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner - which are funny and sweet and not just kid's stories. If you haven't read them, do yourself a favor. I am a huge classic Pooh fan and I kind of collect what little classic Pooh paraphernalia I can find, but that is not the only reason I love Milne.

I moved on from the Pooh stories to his poetry - When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six are his two collections. Again they are billed as children's poems, but they are rich and the rhyme schemes are brilliant and catchy.

Then, a few years ago, we got in at Borders a book called The Sunny Side, which is a collection of his essays. I devoured it and wished that I could be best friends with him and his family. He has a dry, quirky sense of humor and, even though most of them were written in the 20's they're still so pertinent to today. Some of them are almost precursors to Dave Barry with a wry look at every day life that will have you laughing because you've LIVED it - or at least can relate to it.

After that I set off on a mission to find other stuff that he had written and I stumbled across The Red House Mystery. It's a tongue in cheek Sherlock Holmesian type mystery story that is absolutely charming. It was recently re-released.

I also discovered Once On a Time, a hilarious parody on fairy tales that he wrote for his wife. (I found it in e-books. It hasn't been re-released recently, but there are used copies available) I also picked up a biography, which I haven't gotten to yet, but think I'm going to attack over break.

Go check out the site with some of his essays. They're all short (a lot of them were written for Punch) and it will be a great pick me up for your day.

Have you ever been in the quandary of how to sort and organize your personal library? Yeah, Milne too.

Get frustrated when other people move your things? Check out his essay, "The Old Order Changes."

Or read about the TRUE pleasure of writing!

If you love a good story with a wry sense of humor then please, do yourself a favor and pick up any of A. A. Milne's works. I guarantee you will enjoy it!

Monday, December 20, 2010

NaNo Owlie WINNER!

Hi everyone!

Thanks to all who entered my contest. I had SO much fun reading all of your crazy stories, etc. and I am very proud to announce the winner of happy little Nano....
Yeah! Nano can't wait to go to his new home!

... is ...

LOLA SHARP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah! *throws confetti, passes around cookies*

So e-mail me your address and Nano will be on his way!

Those of you still waiting for your very own owl, keep your eyes open. You never know when I'll have the urge to toss out another contest!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Owl Contest!

Yes, you heard that right. I am giving away yet another one of my trademark owls!

This is a very special giveaway for some very special people.

Now you may not think you qualify, so make sure you read the rules before you huff away in disgust at not being able to enter the contest*

This giveaway is for NaNoWriMo WINNERS!


I told you not to huff away. Okay, listen up.

Did you finish your 50,000 words in the month of November? You're a WINNER!
Did you write anywhere between 1 and 49,999 words in the month of November, but couldn't finish for any number of reasons? You're a WINNER!
Did you cheer on friends that were doing NaNo, even though you knew there was no way you could manage it this year? You're a WINNER!

All the rest of you can huff away now. I promise I won't be offended**

So, if you are a NaNo WINNER! then you have the chance to be a SonshineMusic Owl WINNER! too!
Aww... isn't Nano adorable!? He's got a winner flag and a pencil
and a slightly cockeyed expression from writing so much in a month!
All you have to do is comment on this post to enter. School is going to eat my face off this coming week, so this is going to run until next Friday night - the 17th of December.

In your comment entertain me with a tale of your NaNoWriMo experience. If I laugh out loud I will totally give you a bonus entry***

Also, please feel free to steal the picture of little Nano to invite other people to enter and you're welcome to Tweet or Facebook or Blog or Sidebar, because I want to spread the NaNo love!

That's it! go forth and enter and win some owlage.

*because I know that would be your first reaction
**as long as you aren't offended by me
***I am dead serious about this. I need the laughs when I'm in the middle of my 15 page research paper, 8 page final and 30 page case study.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Super Contests!


The League of Extraordinary Writers is having a totally awesome contest this week! 5 prizes - one for each day of the week, and a




So you should go check it out and enter, because these are awesome authors with awesome books coming out next year!