because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

13 Hot Bloggers You Should Check Out in 2013

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Last year, I landed on Kludgy Mom’s Top Bloggers List. And I almost died. I clicked on that link 100 times that day because even though she says she’s not a big blogger, Gigi Ross is totally a big blogger. Her recognition made me feel like a million bucks, and it was a great way to start off the New Year.

When I got into bed that night, I decided I was going to keep a list of awesome bloggers for other people to check out this year. This is tres difficult because I follow over 50 blogs, and believe me when I say there are too many great writers out there.

These people represent the folks whose content I consistently love to read. They are also bloggers who interact with their readers, which – for me – is half the fun.

13 Hot Bloggers to Check Out in 2013

Missy at Literal Mom – because she approaches parenting in a smart way.  @literalmom

Kiran from Masala Chica – because she is a hot-blooded woman who speaks her mind (respectfully) yet fearlessly. Did I mention, she is gorgeous and she sings. I dare you to hate her; she’s beyond nice. @kferrandino

Nina Badzin – because she knows her stuff. On life and blogging and books. @ninabadzin

Lisha of The Lucky Mom – because she is as funny as she is introspective. And because she lives in New Orleans: the city which will always hold my heart. @lishafink

Liz McLeannan of  Life With Bellymonster – because she has a way of capturing not only a moment, but how she feels in a moment, that every single woman can identify with. Also, she’s Canadian, eh?@lizmclennan

Rivki Silver at Life in the Married Lane – because she writes about three things I love: food, family and Judaism. @rivkisilver

Val at Arty Old Bird because she is one helluva writer with a unique take on nearly everything. An artist from across the Pond, Val allows people to use her images, provided they give proper attribution.  @artyoldbird

Erin Margolin  – because she writes raw and real. And because I think her cause is awesome. @erinmargolin

Darla at ShesaMaineiac – because she is freaking funny. Always.

Tori of The Ramblings – because she’s all over the place. Who doesn’t love a blogger who just does her thang, tells it like it is, and doesn’t give a crap what you think. @toristoptalking

Misty at Misty’s Laws – because she is grumbly and snarky and naughty.

Jules at Go Jules Go – because she is joy on steroids on chipmunks. Don’t ask. Just read. @juliedavidoski

The Byronic Man – because you can’t love Jules (above) and not love her writing partner, the B-man. They go together like…ra-ma-la-ma-lama ga-ding-ga-da-ging-da-dong. Together forever like… aw, you get the point. Also, he’s my token dude.

There are tons of other bloggers whose shizz I love to read. I hope everyone understands that I was trying to plug some of my favorite smaller bloggers out there. Like me. We can’t all be Le Clown. 😉

What small blogger do you LOVE to read? 

tweet me @rasjacobson

Gratitude: It Is Decided

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I am beyond grateful today.

When I asked people to help me to design a new header for this blog, I didn’t think anyone would do it.

As usual, I have been surprised by this wonderful writing community.

I communicated with all of the people who submitted entries to my contest, each of whom insisted that if I wanted to use the header that he or she designed that I could simply use it.

Steve from Brown Road Chronicles told me he didn’t even know there was a prize involved when he made the header in the first place and suggested that I make a donation to our local food pantry. Val Erde from Arty Old Bird thought that making a donation sounded like a great idea, as did Jules, who told me to hold onto her header and use it whenever I want. The two other bloggers insisted they remain anonymous, but agreed with everyone else.

So I made my decision.

If you look up, you will see my new header.

I love it.

And, shockingly, I love that I am not wearing my hat.

Who’da thunk it?

After Thanksgiving, I will make a donation at my local food pantry in recognition of all the participating bloggers’ names.

Even the anonymous ones.

In a few hours, my house will be filled with family. My parents are traveling to be with us. They will find a cozy place on the couch and plant themselves there. My nephews will talk about medical school and college, and I will cling to my eldest niece, knowing she will be heading somewhere fabulous in the Fall.

I will look at my son and his younger cousin, my niece, and feel a sense of awe. Too soon, they — like their older cousins — will leave home. My hope is that everyone comes back once in a while to share in this family tradition. In a few hours, while the men shout about how the damn TV remote isn’t working (because our TV remote totally sucks), I will be drowning in love and potato peels.

I am thrilled to host this year’s feast, which means Hubby and I are offering our house, preparing the table, making fifteen pounds of mashed potatoes, a bunch of side dishes, and a dessert or two.

Because like Jenny Hansen and Susie Lindau, I have major turkey anxiety.

I would rather set the table and wash all the dishes than be responsible for the bird.

There are the tables, ready to go.

May we all eat well and remember the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

I feel so fortunate right now. Truly, I wish I had long enough arms to give everyone in real life and this blogosphere a big hug.

With much gratitude,

xoxoRASJ

End of the Month MashUp of Hotness: October 2012

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I know. I know. It’s been a while since I’ve done a mash-up.

But big stuff has been going on, people.

See those birds up on that tree in my neighbors’ backyard? That means Frankenstorm is on the way. Seriously? The one year that my kid actually made a plan, bought a costume, and I actually purchased candy in advance? And we’re going to have a major storm? Are you kidding me? We’d better have some people at our door. Or else I’ll be going door to door tossing candy in everyone’s mailboxes. Sorry USPS. You guys lost the package I tried to send my niece and nephew last year, so I figure you owe me one.

*smile*

Oh, and check it out! Look at the bottom right hand corner of that photo! I learned how to put a watermark on my pictures! So there’s proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

With that, here is some delicious stuff that I read this month in no particular order.

• • •

Le Clown wrote about All Hallows’ Eve. And it is freakin’ hilarious. If you don’t know Le Clown On Fire. He’s from Montreal and he’s magnifique. Like all the time. I know he’s a clown, but don’t be scared. He’s a good clown.

ATeachableMom wrote “You’re Only Hugging Me So You Can Wipe Your Nose On My Shirt.” Funny stuff, Mary.

Leanne Shirtliffe (aka: Ironic Mom) shared a powerful tip about the power of acting crazy. I can vouch: everything she says works in and out of the classroom.

Editor for Writer’s Digest Books (& a trillion other things) Chuck Sambuchino wrote a fabulous & terrifying article at Writer Unboxed about how to really interpret those statistics you’ve got on your blogs. I’ve never seen anything like his analysis before, and I have to tell you, it is humbling. Find out if you are notable, impressive or very impressive. Then prepare to curl up in your corners.

Imagine an actor reading your manuscript and stopping when he thought it sucked! 7 Reasons Agents Stop Reading Your First Chapter is a must read for aspiring writers.

Nina Badzin hung out with KludgyMom (two of my favorite bloggers in one place!), and wrote about how teaching kids to be unique is sometimes easier said than done.

Kimberly Speranza of Sperk* wrote a lovely & raw response at Erin Margolin‘s blog about why she started blogging. I am now fiercely following Kimberly.

Alexandra Rosas of Good Day, Regular People is a writing machine. But her three-part series called Red Flags was something else. And October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Guess what? Every month should be. Start at Part I. You won’t be able to stop.

On a lighter note, I know she said the deadline has passed, but I’ll bet that Jules’ would totally take late entries for her Halloween Hat Contest at Go Jules Go. (If you don’t, I’m gonna win. Or not.)

Tech savvy folks still have time to enter my contest to make me a header. Just do it. You know you want to. Now that I know how to make a watermark, I mean, there is a chance I might figure this shizz out all by myself.

*wipes brow*

Was it good for you?

tweet me @rasjacobson

 

Sunday Love

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When I was young, I loved the Lawrence Welk Show. I know. I am a dork. But, seriously, I wished I could be one of the women in the floofy dresses because each week Lawrence would wiggle his finger and select one of them to dance with him in the spotlight at the end of his show. So, I swooned for Lawrence Welk. What of it?

Anyway, since I never got to dance with him, I’ve decided to become Lawrence Welk, put on my orange suit, and pull some people into the spotlight.  I hope you’ll check out a few of the amazing posts that showed up this week.

First, Piper Bayard posted a great piece called “The Power of a Swift Kick” about a wonderful teacher in her life who kept her out of the double-wide and prevented her from being the mommy to four baby-daddies.

Leonore at As A Linguist wrote a beautiful piece entitled “The Tween Students” about how difficult it is to read college diagnostic essay tests and interpret what the results might mean. Boy, could I relate to that one.

Steve at Brown Road Chronicles wrote a phenomenal piece called “The Meaning of Life” where an anxious writer puts in a call to figure out if he is “worthy” of moving up to the next level with his writing.

Jessica Buttram‘s “Drive-By Blogger” got me thinking about the folks in chain-gangs — and about my own sins.

Chase McFadden had me laughing as his children were, once again, doing something hilarious with rocks in his post “The Von Trapp Children Wash Rocks”.

I fell in love with Abby Has Issues a little this week. She had me at “Being Punctual” where she discusses the overuse of air quotation marks and frets over other punctuation that don’t seem to get anywhere near as much attention.

Finally, it would be selfish of me not to report that MomComm is having a contest to win a blog critique. You have to go to her place for the details. Just so you know, I plan to win.

And now, until we meet again… Adios. Au revoir. Auf Wiedersehen.

What color dress are you wearing today? And why should I pick you to dance? And is it just me or did Lawrence like his baton a little too much?