Friday, April 16, 2010

Beyond the Blog

"Cause you are beautiful no matter what they say

Words won’t bring us down, oh no

You are beautiful in every single way

Yes, words can’t bring you down, oh no

So don’t you bring me down today"

- Perry, Linda. Song “You Are Beautiful” Christina Aguilera

I appreciate anyone who reads my blog. I really appreciate people who comment on my blog after I’ve commented on their blogs. I treasure my followers. I adore my regular commenters.

If you fit any of these categories, this post is for you, as well as the above lyrics. There are several posts I’ve written that have revealed my vulnerability – either about my depression over a teaching or writing setback, or when I’ve been brave (stupid) enough to post the beginning of a manuscript or a link to a contest that has my first 250 words. You have come through for me multiple times with feedback, encouragement, and inspiration. Thank you.

When I first blogged, I didn’t know the strength I could acquire from this awesome community of teachers and writers. When I wrote “Half and Half” the other day, KarenG admitted that she skims the teacher posts. I’m sure there are teachers who skim the writer posts. Then there are the writer-teachers who appreciate both halves of me. And there are even those who read through all of it.

This post will list my regular commenter-teacher-writers, why I love them, and will make you realize that you’d be crazy to not check them out! Some of them I’ve formed relationships with beyond the blog, so I consider them friends.

Teachers (mostly teacher-writers):

Tiffany’s blog is called “Something About Everything” and that sums her up! Going to graduate school, substitute teaching, and working at Target and a hotel takes up most of her time. She’s an avid reader and wants to write. The name of her blog is perfect!

You know when you meet someone and they are so good that you realize that you’re just a horrible person, and you’re lucky that they even talk to you? … Maybe that’s just me. But Pamela is just a nice person and her posts never fail to touch me.

Shelly is a writer and a substitute teacher, so (of course) she’s awesome. No matter what I’m writing about, she has a: been there-done that reply. Her posts are mostly about writing, and one of my recent favorites is “The Plot Hole That Saved My Life”.

Beth just got a multi-book deal, so congratulations! She’s also a high school English teacher. Check out her blog and you’ll get glimmers into her teaching life, and big looks into her writing life. I wish her much success.

Elana, in addition to her blog, which offers advice about writing and blogging, she also helps run Query Tracker – a wonderful resource for writers. Her posts are full of personality. I have no doubt that she’ll go from agented to published in no time.

Anne is a fellow substitute teacher and also a poet. Check out her sweet poet posts along with lovely pictures. Since I’m intimidated by poetry, I’m always impressed when someone writes it. The fact that she shares it is even more impressive.

Surfie has recently entered the zany world of substitute teaching, but she’s also a writer. I assume she got the name of her blog from the game “Simon Says”, and her posts are as varied as the moves you have to do in a game of Simon Says.


A former scientist and mom of three kids, Jackee is an amazing person. We met on Mary’s Kidlit blog and became manuscript exchange partners. (Beta readers?) This writer has had more full manuscripts requested than anyone I know. She’ll get there.

I met Karen through Nicola Morgan’s anniversary, and I’m so glad I did. She just had her third book published. She’s been through the angst of it all, and shares her experiences and gives advice on her blog. Karen also asks questions when she needs feedback. Even published writers have questions.

Another Nicola Morgan find – Old Kitty my biggest cheerleader. Her comments on my blog and her posts make me smile. I almost don’t want to mention her because I don’t want her to get too busy on your blog to visit my blog! Her blog gives slices on her life, along with the occasional videos when she’s putting off writing.

With a name like “Diary of a Virgin Novelist” how could I not become a follower? Rebecca and I seem to go through the ups and downs of being a writer (self doubt, bursts of productivity) at the same time. Her personality shines through in her posts.

I hope to meet Brigid when I visit Dublin. She’s had a few radio spots and is looking into some local writing to pay the bills. Every once in a while she puts snippets on her blog. Recently, she changed the name of her blog and lost many comments, so if you want to go back and beef up some old posts, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.

Splitting her time between Wisconsin and Ireland, Ann is a lovely person. Her posts are varied from writing to life. She’s been winning a lot of awards lately, so you can find out many interesting facts about her. (Shirley Temple?) Her writing samples are wonderful.

How can I not love someone whose Muse is Daniel Craig. He’s hard on her if she’s not writing or eating well. Follow her blog, and you’ll get pictures of him too. Her entertaining posts are often about writing, but many are take on other fun subjects.

Aubrie may the most prolific writer I know. The woman writes so fast, I feel like she’s got a new book every month! She has e-books, and a book coming out by Wyvern Publications this summer. Check out her distinctive book covers. And she’s a flutist.

Here’s a woman to watch. Julie just sent her manuscript out, and I have no doubt that if the rest is as powerful as the beginning, she’ll have a contract in no time. Read her posts, and you’ll be in awe of her talent.

I don’t know what to make of Tahereh. (I’m jealous.) She started her blog five minutes ago, and has 254 followers. By the time you read this, she’ll probably have 100 more. Reason – she’s hysterical, but it comes from understanding the writing life. Oh, and she’s 22.

Susan is another writer whose blog is a little of this and a little of that. She’s got some good book recommendations for writers and readers. Recently, she compiled a list of recommended agent blogs as well.

Sarahjayne’s blog is mostly about writing and always asks good writing questions. Check out her blog to find out to make your blog green. (I know, I had no idea that blogging was bad for the environment either.)

Niki leads a life much different than mine (She’s halfway around the world and lives on a farm.) But I have no doubt that we’d be friends. She’s doing the A to Z blogfest this month, which give you an idea of her regular amusing posts.

Author, anthropologist, and avid book reader, Alex has a distinctive writing style. And the first time she ever commented on my blog, I had to look up a word! Her posts are varied, so I always wonder what she’ll write about.

Whew! That was a lot of work – more than a regular post. I wanted to add even more people, but I decided to stick with regulars – especially those who have been commenting for a while up to now, and I tried to stick to writers. Keep commenting and I’ll make another list soon!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. I’m visiting my sister in Jersey City (That’s Joyzee City.), but I’ll be taking the Bolt Bus, so my laptop will be able to go on the Internet. Huzzah!


  1. Awww thanks for putting me up there! I don't know if it's a good thing to write fast. I think of each story as a lottery ticket, so the more I have... :)

  2. I imagine that was a lot of work, Theresa. Thank you for mentioning me. I think of you as one of my favorite blogging friends. Have a great time with your sister.

  3. Theresa - what a great & thoughtful blog! I've been so impressed by the community of people who reach out to you through your blog & see what an invaluable source of strength, comfort and support they've been for you as I'm sure you are for them.

  4. Aubrie, stories as lottery tickets? I'll keep that idea in mind! Something seems to be working for you.

    Thanks, Roxy. I have to go to you blog and add up my points. That's going to be a job too!

    Kathleen, ever since I wrote it, I'm thinking about all of the other blogs that I didn't include. Talli Roland just commented on the last blog. I hadn't seen her in a bit, and I thought, Oh, I like her blog too.

  5. Aw, Theresa, thank you for putting me on your blog list. I really do enjoy reading your blog every day.

    You have my URL wrong, though, it's:

    Have a wonderful weekend with your sister! :)

  6. Tiffany, thanks for the comment and sorry for the screw up. ???? I just fixed it!

  7. Wow. A lot of great blogs to check out. Thanks. And thanks for your comments on my blog.

  8. Oh my.

    I even screwed up. lol it's:

    It IS Friday, right?? You don't even have to change it. But I do appreciate you reading and commenting, and of course, writing your own blog!

  9. Awww thanks so much for mentioning me! You are so sweet.

    One of the reasons why I love your blog is because I relate to so much that you talk about, both subbing and writing. If we lived closer, you would so be that friend that I'd want to meet up with at a coffee shop and vent about our jobs and chat about our novels and laugh about everything else. But I guess the next best thing is our internet friendship. Thanks for being such an awesome friend, Theresa!

  10. Angie, I enjoyed your blog. Thanks for visiting here. I hope you find some good blogs.

    Tiffany, I blame Friday too. My husband found three typos in the first couple of paragraphs. Is it right now?

    Shelley, the downside of blogs is that we meet great people, but many are so far away.

    Hope that one day we'll get to meet, have coffee, and talk about writing and subbing.

    I'm meeting Lora (blog is afever) from Philly at BlogHer in NYC in August.

  11. Great links! I think I found some new blogs, and I always like that. Thanks! Have a great weekend with your sister.

  12. Wow. Thanks for taking the time to do this. It is so meaningful when bloggers write about why they like certain blogs instead of just linking to them. I feel like I have found several new blogs today! Thanks!

    And thanks for linking to me. I too feel like we have a writing connection. I am still in a good place but not quite as high as I was this last week....How are you doing?

  13. Theresa, you are a doll. Thank you so much for including me in that formidable list of talented bloggers. I think you're pretty talented yourself! And I agree about this blogging community. I've never felt so encouraged and supported in my whole life, yet humbled by what kind of writers are out there. I've never once regretted starting my blog! Thanks for being a great writing friend :)

  14. A WONDERFUL list of bloggers. Thanks for including me! And have a great time with your sister--NYC is a place I've never been, though my husband visits several times a year.

    And all those requests... I'm starting to worry I can hook them early but not keep them hooked. LOL!

    You're awesome!

  15. OH! P.S. You have an award over at my blog.


  16. Elana, I'm glad you found some new blogs.

    Rebecca, I'm okay with writing, but those old nags about what others will think of the story have resurfaced.

    I'm sorry you're not as up as you were. Hope it comes back.

    Julie, thank you for the nice words.

    The other day, my husband had lunch with his Vietnamese coworker, who shared some of his story of being on a boat, and I thought of your manuscript beginning. I'd love to read it.

  17. Jackee, if you can make a great beginning, I'm sure you'll get there with your middle and end. That is, if you haven't already.

    Thanks for the nice words and the award. I'll go check it out!

  18. Awww you sweetie, Theresa Milstein!! You really are the sweetest nicest blogger substitute teacher on this planet - oh ok, universe! Oh yes you are and a fab writer too!

    Thanks for all the great links and succint writeups - one of my many failings in creative writing is struggling to write in less than 20 words what things are about - you've done this here so effortlessly!!

    And I really appreciate you doing this because I know how hard it is to create links when writing up a blog post! So WELL DONE you!!!!

    and HUZZAH for the bus having internet connection. Now that's so progress for you!

    Have a lovely, lovely time in Joyzee City!!!! Take care!!!


  19. Yes, it's so energizing to make some good blogger friends. You're definitely on my enjoyable reading list.

  20. Old Kitty, thanks for all of the nice compliments. Think of how precise you would be if you had a Twitter account - 140 characters!

    Meanwhile, my posts go on and on, while yours are much more manageable.

    Paul C, I love your blog too. The recent MOMA post was awesome!

  21. Hey, awesomesauce! You won a B&N gift card from my contest. Can you email me your address so I can send it to you? See? I knew if I added up your totals you'd do well!

  22. Thanks Theresa for mention in your blog oscars, I am so honoured to be mentioned and you make me sound far more interesting than I am.
    What a lot of hard work to put it all together, thanks and hope you have a lovely weekend away.

  23. Feeling a tad guilty here... I'm a constant reader, not so constant commenter. I do enjoy many blogs, but I guess I need to get better about commenting... :)

  24. Roxy, you are awesomesauce for doing the totals. My head was pounding, and I couldn't deal. Math isn't my strong point to begin with - as we know.

    Brigid, you are interesting! Your post on keeping a writing schedule was one of the funniest pieces I've ever read.

    halpey1, I'm glad you're a constant reader. I gave your blog a shout out once before and I'll do it again - everyone go to Look At My Happy Rainbow. Each post is sweet and I know he's an awesome teacher.

  25. This looks like an awesome list of blogs to read. I'm definitely checking some of them out. Thanks!

  26. What a great list, Theresa! Thanks so much for sharing all the links and the love! :)

    Have a great weekend.

  27. Hey, thank you! I must check out some of those other ones, lots of new names :)

    I'm curious what the word was now! :P

  28. Olleymae, thanks for the comment. I hope you find a few good blogs.

    Talli, I mentioned you in the comments. I'll have to share more blogs (like yours) soon.

    Hampshireflyer, I wish I could remember the word and the post. If I do, I'll let you know! When my husband saw your comment, he was impressed that I knew the word and was able to answer. My reply, "I had no idea. I looked it up."

  29. Wow! I am honored. Thank you for your sweet words about my writing. I certainly did not expect to see my name among the others.I do take that as a huge compliment from a writer. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I do enjoy reading all about your writing and your subbing days.
    Thanks again.
    Have a great day.

  30. Wow how sweet of you to take the time to showcase several blogs! I just realized I visit but I don't follow! I recently changed that so now I can see you :)

    I've given you an award!!

  31. Teresa, I'm new to your blog, but I'll visit again and again--your posts are so content rich and delightful. And I agree, I've learned so much and been supported so well by the blogosphere!

  32. Jen, I'm glad you've visited. Thanks for becoming a follower.

    That was sweet of you to give me an award. I'll check it out.

    Conda V. Douglas, thank you for complimenting my blog. I'm glad we can find and support on another in this blogosphere!

  33. A big thank you Theresa for including me on your list. What a wonderful generous post. Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Your teaching exploits are always an interesting read.

  34. No problem including you, Ann. I'm glad that you enjoy my teaching exploits, but this week is our spring break, so who knows what I'll come up with.

  35. Theresa...You're a winner! WHOOHOOOOO!!! Just checked out MSFV and The Disappearances has won! GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Huge congrats from me...

  36. Thanks, Ant! I'm beyond excited. I've already sent my query + ten pages for Jennifer Laughran's critique. Now, I wait.

  37. Thanks, Theresa, for your comment on my blog today. As the wife of a chef, I'm so glad your son was happy to be different in that particular way.

    And your blog is awesome! How did you get so many followers/fans?

  38. Vicki, thanks for the compliment on my blog. The more I've reached out to other bloggers, the more followers I've gotten. It's been nice to meet so many people this way.

  39. you are an absolute doll. i adore you.

    *big hugs*

    i have no doubt you're going to blow the world away. very, very soon.


  40. Theresa,

    This was so sweet of you! I am really touched. What a wonderful blogging friend you are!

  41. Wow - that must have been a lot of work! Thanks for including me, and thanks for the great links, too!

  42. Tahereh, I hope you're right about blowing the world away. I'm trying!

    If your eventual book is as good as your blog, you'll sell a zillion copies.

    VKT, you're a wonderful blogging friend too.

    Susan, no problem. Hope you find a couple of links you like.

  43. Thank you for commenting on my blog too. :)

  44. Thanks for all of the links to these blogs. Sounds like interesting reading, will take a look.

  45. Anytime, Lani. I like you blog.

    Jon, hope that you find a few interesting blogs.

  46. Thank you for mentioning me :o) You're lovely XX You have a very unique voice that comes out in your blog posts. That's why so many people enjoy what you write.

    I have just read Miss Snarks blog, so came tearing over here to congratulate you :o))) well done you, how exciting!!

  47. Thanks, Niki. Now I'm trying to figure out how to translate my post writing to fiction writing that grabs an agent's attention.

    And thank you for the congratulations. Winning the prize was awesome, but getting representation is another matter.