Baby Sam Walked in the Relay For Life Fundraiser for Cancer Research!

Some of you may remember Baby Sam from this post, and I have to thank those of you who donated to this little girl’s fundraiser for cancer research. Today’s post is to give you an update of this brave, smart and adorable little girl, and to show off my new video-making skills!


Samantha, affectionately called Sam by her friends and family, is my one-year-old niece who has retinoblastoma. This is a rare form of eye cancer, usually hereditary.

Her father, Charlie also has retinoblastoma. He now has only one eye. Sam, on the other hand, still has both, and can see well enough to spot crumbs on the floor!

Her last check-up at SickKids Hospital in Toronto revealed that her cancer has been “killed” as a result of all of her treatments. She has made many visits to SickKids since she was two days old, and has received cryotherapy, chemotherapy, and laser therapy to treat the tumors found in both of her eyes.

Sam also has glasses, stylish baby blue ones, as seen in this photo:


On June 14th, 2013, Sam walked a lap in the Relay For Life fundraiser in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She was asked to “kick off” the event, and decided to accept that honour! Read More

Autographed Books in Exchange for Reviews? Yes! Yes! Yes!

Is offering an autographed book in exchange for a review a sweet deal? I think it is, if it involves a book I want to read, and so did the three authors with whom I have struck deals! They all responded the same way: Yes! Yes! Yes!

In face, Lisa Jacskon herself saw this post, and took me up on my offer. She, indeed, sent me an autographed book! 🙂

A while back, I made some arrangements with a few authors. Basically, I offered to write a review and a blog post in exchange for an autographed copy of their book. Well, the reviews have been written and posted, and so now I am writing this to fulfill my final requirement.

PLEASE NOTE THAT, IN THE FUTURE, ALL REVIEWS WILL FOCUS ON ONLY ONE AUTHOR. (I was a “newbie” when I first started doing this, but now I see the importance and the value of devoting a post to each author I feature.)


For now, I’m going to simply tell you about the books I’ve read already…

Drumroll, please…

These are the autographed books that were sent to me!

These are the autographed books that were sent to me!

Read More

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award + Links to Sites for Freelancers, Writers and Poets

I have been awarded The Very Inspiring Blogger Award by JCKeith. Thanks Ms. Keith!


The Rules for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:
1.  Display Award Logo on Blog   Done
2.  Link back to the person who gave you the award   Done
3.  State 7 Things About Yourself   Done
4.  Nominate 15 Other Bloggers for this Award and Link Back to Them  Done


Here are 7 things about me:

1. Some of my interests include writing, freelancing, poetry, and bettering myself. My nominees will reflect these interests.

2. I don’t listen to a lot of music. I am not sure why. I like it, but don’t listen to it on a daily basis. I would rather read!

3. My grandparents are no longer here, but my parents are!

4. I once had the coolest hamster, Mickey, who did not know what his “wheel” was for. He used to hang onto the cage bars with his feet and one hand, and spin his wheel from the outside with the other. It was hilarious!

5. I had a pet rabbit, Bunny Bunny, who chewed through cables and wires in the apartment. Bunny Bunny met her demise when I gave her to a family who lived in the country (on a trial basis) and their youngest child ran across a freshly-washed floor while holding Bunny Bunny. They both went flying, and Bunny Bunny’s neck snapped. That was the end of Bunny Bunny.

6. I love pizza with mushrooms and pineapple on it. From Pizza Hut. With the cheese put on last. Cooked lightly done. Their breadsticks are pretty good, too! (Ok, Pizza Hut, where’s my free pizza and/or breadsticks?)

7. I love chocolate (who doesn’t?), but only the light kind.  I think I have gained Twitter followers due to this love! (Either that, or because I often posts links that are helpful to others!)

Here are my nominees: (I know that there are more than 15. I included a few extras since I know that not everyone will accept this award and just could not decide who to cut!)

1. Benny Hsu from Get Busy Living Blog, at

2. Melony Candea’s blog, at who offers tips for freelance writers

3. Poetic Parfait, by Christy Birmingham, who writes poetry and posts about things that matter

4. Poemattic at – another poetry blog

5. Cathy Nerujen’s blog for poets and writers, at

6. Alice Elliott (aka the Fairy Blog Mother) who offers tips about blogging at

7. Rebecca Mealey’s blog at

8. Writing Forward by Melissa Donovan at

9. Steve Pavlina’s improvement blog at

10. Myrko Thrum’s improvement blog at

11. Where Writers Win at

12. Marla Madison’s blog, called Reading and Writing are Fattening, at

13. Since no one probably wants to be #13, I’ll nominate my other blog, Poetry Perfected, for this slot….

14. Cheryl Thierren’s blog at

15. Susan Cooper, at

16. Arleen Harry at

17. Debra Yearwood at

18. Diana Marinova, who writes about freelance writing at

19. All the writers at for their blog, Live to Write – Write to Live

The Liebster Award: The Official Rules + My First Blog Award and a Few Personal Secrets Revealed

liebster2 liebster3

The Liebster Award – General Info and Rules

Most bloggers, at some point, have heard of or received the Liebster award, unless you are a newbie! From the extensive searches I have conducted in my attempts to learn about this award, I have visited a bunch of blogs and gleaned the following information:

  • This award exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.
  • It has German origins – the word “liebster” has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, sweetheart and boyfriend (really?)
  • It follows similar principles as a chain letter, in the sense that it should be passed forward to a certain number of people.
  • It can be misconstrued, depending upon your personal views, as either something wonderful (who doesn’t like awards?) or as an annoyance (a chain letter that involves work).
  • The choice lies within each of us to ACCEPT it, and continue PAYING IT FORWARD or to refuse to accept it, thereby STOPPING or INTERRUPTING the chain. However, if you stop the chain, you are only hurting yourself (keep reading for benefits you will have)!
  • Personal views play an important part in our choice to participate. Some people have refused to accept it and have made attempts to “break the chain”. There have been many people who have been nominated, yet refused to accept it, and now their blogs have been abandoned.
  • Variations have been made over time to the “rules”.
  • Marketing plays a role in accepting this award, as other bloggers are promoted. (This is not a bad thing, however, since people should help others!)
  • Other awards are a part of the whole “meme“. These include “One Lovely Blog Award”, the “Sunshine Blog Award” and the “Versatile Writer Award”.

It is said that the Liebster award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere. In the digital world of the internet, this seems like a nice gesture, in my opinion! Read More

Need to Know About Self-Publishing? Melissa Bowersock Reveals All!

Just how DO people self-publish their books? Do YOU have a book that needs publishing? Do YOU need some information? Full of a plethora of much sought-after info, this post will both educate you and allow you to become “comfortable” with the idea of self-publishing!  In it I will share quite a few things — mainly, what I have learned about publishing from Melissa Bowersock, author, blogger, and creative spirit.  Read More