Friday, February 25, 2011

Thank You and Your Welcome

I’m full of appreciation and warmth today. Not the “I have a fever” warmth either. The real “I have some amazing friends” warmth.

The chaos of the week isn’t over by a long shot, but it’s starting to feel manageable. For the first time in a week, my daughter’s fever came down with Advil. That’s good progress for us, and I feel better just seeing her smile again.

My kids have stepped up in a big way. My 12-year-old son has made dinner twice this week so I could run out on an errand; my oldest daughter has been uber-flexible in her own busy schedule, cheerfully.  

My husband took the day off today so I could take the car in to get it serviced before heading to Richmond this afternoon and mail my grad school work that should have been on its way to my advisor on Tuesday.

I had a rush of affection this morning for the two people who made sure that my daughter could go to All-State choir, who made sure she was on the registration list, who got her music and made a CD of the rehearsal tracks when she was sick in January and couldn’t attend the first rehearsal. They went out of their way for her, and as we count down the hours now to leaving for this highlight of her year, I’m so thankful for them.

I’m so grateful for all of you – my blogging friends – who have become real friends to me. Who email me on the side, who say encouraging words, who read my blogs, who have bought my book and said amazing things about it, who have passed it on and bought it for others and spread the word. Who make me laugh, make me think, make me feel less lonely when I am isolated behind my computer screen. You are incredible people, and I am so thankful to have gotten to know you.

I was given a blog award this week by someone I didn’t even know. How cool is that? And ironically, just last week I took off all the blog awards at the bottom of this blog. 

So Lisa over at the Porch Swing Chronicles awarded me the Stylish Blog Award, which I'm hoping has to do with something other than the snowflakes and snowmen that I'm about ready to get rid of on this page. :)

I am supposed to write 7 things about myself and then pass the award on to 10-15 other blogs. That will all have to wait until next week, but I've already discovered several other cool blogs (and bloggers!!) through her awards, as well as getting to meet Lisa, who is most definitely cool. So thank you, Lisa!

As a thank you for being so good to me, I'm passing on two of my favorite new finds this month, in hopes that you as readers or writers will find them as wonderful as I did.

1. A word counter/phrase counter. Agent Steve Laube posted this on his blog last week, and already I've used it several times. You can paste in any amount of words (your entire novel if you want) and it will tell you the amount of times you've used every word in your document and what phrases are repeated. It's great for sussing out cliches and overused words, and for discovering what words you abuse that you don't even know you abuse. 

The link for the word frequency counter is here

2. Better World Books. A friend from school turned me on to this site. It's a lot like Amazon, with a good twist. It started off as a group of college students gathering used textbooks and books that the campus library was throwing away, and selling them online. It has turned into a huge online bookstore where they sell both new and "rescued" books (many of which were heading for pulping or the local dump) where a large percentage of the profits go to literacy. It's what they call "Environmental and social impact all in the same story." 

They have free shipping on all books, and they have a bargain bin you can buy from where the more you buy, the more you save. 3 books for $10. 4 books for $12. I found some great books I was looking for on my semester reading list.
I bought a mix of used and new books. One used book looked used, but the others arrived in mint condition, and I would never have known they were used. I found one writing book that Amazon was selling for $69 that I picked up on Better World Books for $4.95. My first order was for seven books. I paid $25 for the total.

The bad thing is that it took about two weeks to get the books, so if you need them fast, this isn't your place. But otherwise, I absolutely loved shopping there.

So there you go. My Friday gifts to you. I hope you are heading into a good and fun weekend! I'll catch you on the other side.


  1. I got totally addicted to that phrase counter.

    Glad you guys are on the mend and things are looking up. Have a good weekend.

  2. Thanks for the links. Take care and have a great weekend (they're saying it may snow here in the Central Valley!). ;-)

  3. Thank you for the link to Better Book World. I've just passed it on to 5 of my friends, and love that there is no international shipping fee. What a great idea! Thank You for you gifts to us (and that goes beyond these two links).

  4. Oooh, awesome! I'm saving that second site for my English major college girl. Any help saving money on books makes us all smile. ;o)

  5. Thanks for the shout out and the lovely compliment! And no, I did not choose your blog for the snowmen, though they are/were a nice touch. :-)

    Glad to hear your week is looking up and good friends are stepping up. What would we do without them?