Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover

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Meet Sally Cronin – The Black Sheep.

It’s okay to stand out! Lovely story. Sally, thanks!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

With great pleasure I welcome Sally Cronin as my guest today. Many will already know Sally throughSmorgasbordas one of the most supportive of bloggers, where she generously hosts writers, musicians and artists of all kinds, as well as sharing her own knowledge and humour.

Like many, I imagine, I had done little more than read her blog and glance at her bio before I first clicked the ‘follow’ button. It was initially the variety of the content that had attracted my attention, after all. Some few facts registered and stuck, but it was only in reading the blog itself that these facts took on a three dimensional quality and Sally herself became a person rather than just an avatar on a screen.

51vOJnbK+7L._UY250_Even then, it was not until Sally invited me to be a guest on Smorgasbord that I actually took the time to look her up… and…

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10 Life Hacks For The Efficient Writer

Ways to squeeze in every bit of writing possible.

Sacha Black

The Efficient Writer

Do you ever need just five more minutes in your day? Maybe you want to edit another post, or write a short, or a piece of flash for a competition. But you just don’t seem to have enough time. I’m writing this post, because I always need more time. I’m pretty good at being efficient. But I could be better. I know I could squeeze another half hour out my day. But how when I’m a busy worker bee, mother, wife, friend, chef, cleaner…. Etc etc?!

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A Thousand Cranes & Other Collaborative Art

Sorry for the ads on the bottom, but I do love the art projects! Our kids need unstructured time and materials to develop their brains. 🙂

Art & Creativity in Early Childhood Education

anna crane 1

This week I had the good fortune to visit Anna Bing Arnold Children’s Center at Cal State L.A., where creative ideas are thriving. Curriculum Coordinator Alexandra Walsh and Director Patricia Ulloa have decades of combined experience and a particularly innovative staff. Like Dominic, who facilitated this brilliant collaborative puzzle piece painting with three- and four-year-olds, which immediately caught my eye. Isn’t it brilliant?

anna crane 2anna crane 3Dominic explained how this experimental project began by cutting 12 x 18” Real Watercolor Paper into puzzle shapes, then prompting children to select a shape and paint it using Colorations® Simply Washable Fluorescent Tempera. The puzzle pieces were placed in a basket in the art area for use at any time. The intense color you see here resulted from distinct 3 variables:  (1) using fluorescent paint,  (2) mounting each puzzle piece painting onto black construction paper, then trimming a close border, and (3) by…

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A Blogging Tip.

Joy again! Be happy. Write what you like.


It’s time to take a step back. I notice a lot of people looking at wanting to know how to increase the number of people that follow them on a blog or on Twitter or some other social media outlet. Is that why you first created a blog? Or first chose THAT name for your Twitter Handle? Did you choose @psychochix666 hoping it would attract people to you? Your blog is called myrandomthoughtsaboutstuff. Very enthralling and makes me want to head right on over.

Ronovan Writes is not exactly a “come and meet me” blog title. It’s just what I do. But we all get caught up for a time in the numbers for a moment as people start following us and we see our numbers get close to a certain cool looking number. Then we go nuts.

For a time we begin writing anything we think will draw people…

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Judging and Voting.

Best wishes, Tric! What a wonderful list.

My thoughts on a page.

In two days time I will be going to the Irish Parenting Blog Awards. I am a finalist in four categories, but having been to awards before I am ready to come home empty handed, although I can’t promise I’ll not burst into tears. I have practised my Oscar ‘you won feck all’ face, and all I can say is, I’m not a great actor.

The great thing about the awards is that I am going to get the chance to meet so many of the bloggers I converse with online everyday, either via my posts or facebook. Some of them I feel I know so well and I’m looking forward to having a real chat with no typing involved. Others I’m a bit blurry about, as in who is who, who has what blog, and who has which children, so that should make the night interesting.

We are kicking…

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50 Things to Get Busy Doing Before 50

Need to change the title to 50 Things to Do Before I’m 60! Great list.


1alife2 1. Reach 49.

2. Forgive. Doesn’t matter if they deserve it, you do.

3. Some people will be negative and hate, so what, what’s that got to do with you?

4. Learn your parents, family, and friends’ stories.

5. Ignore people who tell you to try surfing or skydiving or extreme sports if you don’t want to do it, they’re not going to spend the time in hospital or rehab.

6. Help someone who needs help and don’t tell a single soul you did it.

7. Learn to compromise.

8. Conquer a fear. Doesn’t have to be a big one.

9. Take the time to write that email, make that call, write a letter, visit, send a card, it may not matter, but what if it does?

10. Ask for help. Accept it gratefully.

11. Smile. Laugh. Often. Quit thinking about why. Smile. Laugh.1lf2
12. Cry. Into someone’s…

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What’s in your MEDIA KIT?

Things to put in your author media kit.

Nina Soden

So, as an author, one of your greatest tools is your media kit.


At least that is what I have been told. A media kit is a marketing tool used to sell not only your book(s) but yourself – as an author. Remember – You are not gearing your media kit to readers, your media kit is designed to attract potential agents, publishers, book retailers and interviewers (bloggers, radio, magazine, newspaper, etc.). I have read many – MANY – articles about what an author should include in a media kit. Everything from author head-shots with bios to full-length copies of your printed books. I have weeded through all the information I have found and have settled on the following list of items I plan to include in my media kit.

….Drum Roll Please….

Nope… wait a second. I’d like an opinion first. I had thought about doing two media kids…

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Thoughts on Self Publishing

Excellent points about self publishing.

The Author's Chair

author_scene_spin1To self publish or not to self publish, that is the question facing many aspiring writers. The answer is not a simple one.

Years ago when I first sought a publisher, I followed the traditional route. Why? Self publishing has a bad reputation that is well deserved. The vast majority of self-published books are terrible. They are poorly crafted, and the editing often appears to be nonexistent.

Also, self-publishing carries a stigma, that anyone who resorts to self-publishing must not be good enough to be traditionally published. Although that stigma might not be deserved, it exists. Some people point to examples of excellent self-published books, but they are buried in a sea of sewage. Readers have to be highly motivated to seek them out.

For a first-time author, traditional publishing is the better model. More books get into more hands, and the author becomes established as legitimate in the eyes of more readers.


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We’ll Be Counting Scars



Doesn’t age have any advantages? I still don’t sleep well. Stars glistening, moon beaming, I think of bills, appointments, problems… I make lists, read, try to write (curse your inevitable betrayal writer’s block), and tried to simultaneously organize and turn off my thoughts.

It gives too much time for reflection. I ponder if my life would be easier if I had a hero. He can’t be just any hero; the term so loosely used nowadays. He’s gotta be strong…he’s gotta be sure… and he’s gotta be larger than life….my exhausted brain sighed, you’re just tossing and turning, with that Bonnie Tylersong in your head. I think of heroes as I slip into the arms of the sandman.

1hero18As a teen, I was a soap opera junkie. I couldn’t get enough of the endless tangled story lines, because like sands through the hourglass, so was that phase of my life.

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