Adventures in Imperfection · Inspirational People

Unpolished and Earthy (Blog Tour)

Hey friends,

Welcome to the unpolished, earthy leg of the Blog Tour happening right now in my neck of the woods. No hiking gear required though we might need a mower (and strapping hired hand) to get us out of the weeds. More on that later.

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A huge and humble thank you to Karen at Mended Musings for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

Karen is a wife, mother, business owner and writer who inspires me daily with words of wisdom about raising a family, overcoming obstacles and doing so with love and grace. She is self-compassionate, kind and an inspiration to anyone who reads her. She writes from the heart–a Heart Teller–and she felt like an old friend the moment we connected several months ago. All of her prose is beautiful, but Buzz is my favorite. Thank you again, Karen, for including me among many other talented writers and friends.

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So, here’s how this works. I’ve been charged to answer four questions and then invite three others to answer the same. Are you ready to get lost in the woods with me? I promise to leave the chainsaw at home (maybe).

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What am I working on?

You mean in addition to getting myself out the door, dressed and appendages intact? In no particular order of importance, here’s what I’m chopping away at:

  • World Peace
  • An empty laundry basket
  • Training an unruly (but cute) husband
  • Hugs and kisses for my kids
  • Maintaining three different blog sites, guest writing for Christy plus a “real” job that’s completely opposite of writing

What can I say? Even an earthy girl likes shiny objects.

Most of you are familiar with my main MamaMick site which is intended to be a positive share space for life’s mishaps, serendipities and sweet surprises. What began as intent to share silly mistakes soon became about something else. Now that “something else” is all about building a community of people who love their families, are looking for others who have made similar mistakes and aren’t afraid of being imperfect. Laughing and crying are encouraged…often in the same conversation.

My second space, Ps and Qs, is a collection of photography and favorite poems. The photos are mine and sometimes the poetry is, too.  I use this space to hoard snapshots because there’s not enough space on my iPhone. I’ve been on a break from this page most of the summer, but expect to ramp that up again when the world becomes white and I’m longing to see the 1,009 photos of the same rose I took earlier this summer.

The third space is less publicized and I’m content to let it stay nestled among the trees.  I share a nest with two of my blogger besties (Christy and Jennie) at the Hidden Hummingbird Diaries. This blog is specifically for fiction and poetry and gives us a workshop to try new genres or stretch the boundaries on articles that wouldn’t fit within our traditional blogs. We also use the platform to enter writing contests, prompt challenges and gain valuable feedback on technique and tone. You are more than welcome to visit–if you can find it!

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I have a genre???! Who knew? I thought it was a birthmark 🙂

When writing non-fiction, it’s all about the people I love and the simple things that make life richer. You won’t see any heavy poetry or political pontification here. I try to weave in a positive dose of humor and light-heartedness–even around more serious topics. Humor and comedic timing is something that naturally occurs in conversation, so when people read my stuff, I want them to feel like they are talking to me or laughing/crying with their best friend.

I’m a real newbie in the poetry/fiction space. Like white tennis shoes and clean laces kind of newbie. Even though writing fiction is what I want to do when I grow up, I’m still learning and have a long way to go. The editors at Yeah Write put on a fantastic summer series and I’ve been working with them, too.

Why do I write/create what I do?

Because I can’t NOT write.

Even the act of putting a pen to paper is therapeutic for me…as evidenced by the pile of journals with random thoughts and pretend poetry scribbled everywhere. The same can be said for gardening, running and photography. I’m ingrained in each of these hobbies and they feed my stories. Most Both of my fictional pieces use flowers or the garden as an anchor for setting and my non-fiction pieces are peppered with favorite photos. Writer’s block is often cured with a quick run or session at Title Boxing.

How does my writing/creative process work?

There are two distinct sides to my brain and they tend to work against each other. Lucky me!

Left brain keeps a posting calendar and a daily writing 5:30 a.m. alarm clock. Left brain also directs me toward systematic, evening reading of anything I can get my hands on. I have a written process to make sure I keep up with all of my favorite authors and bloggers.

Right brain throws a wrench in that system at least weekly.

The “easy flow” stories (Dirt, Still, Lucy, Tannaland) are those that were written in a short period time (20-40 minutes dependent on length) and require very little editing. They were written from the heart without filters and are just meant to be.

Then there are stories that I fight with and beat to the ground with an editing bat until I’m frustrated (Flyover States, Hometown Merry-Go-Round). It took me over two weeks to write each of these stories. It’s at those moments that I have to walk away and sleep on it. Once started, the story is never far from my brain and typically it’s a paragraph change that comes to me while I’m running or gardening that gets me going again.

Okay, this is waaaay enough about me.

On to the best part of the tour where I direct you to other talented bloggers. Since there are so many great bloggers to choose from, I tried to find three with different styles, forms and purpose to round out the tour.

Diana from Trying to Make Things Right

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Like Karen, Diana is a Heart Teller. I’ve followed her from the beginning and am drawn to her unconventional writing style and honesty–she reminds me a bit of e.e. cummings 🙂 In addition to taking care of four busy boys, she draws, writes poetry and posts almost every day. I have no idea when she sleeps! My favorite post: Undeniably Meant to Be

Meg from Piggspittle, OH

moiI just met Meg recently through the writing challenges at Yeah Write. She is kind, giving and a supreme story spinner. Her fictional scenes are vivid and her characters speak to you like old friends…or enemies. I love her ability to write on diverse subjects and draw the reader in immediately. Read her Freshly Pressed Post: What We Do for the Dead

Nathan from The Relative Cartographer

nathanwjames_1404267644632780Like Meg, I met Nate via Yeah Write. His gift is creative fiction with minimum words and maximum output. I love how he always finds a way to bring a different perspective and angle to whatever writing prompt he’s working on. He’s also a fantastic editor and provides kind, relevant and thoughtful feedback on other posts he reads. My favorite post: Erosion

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention this next gentlemen.

Sorry ladies, he’s taken!

First of all, I’m taking this space to gratuitously repay Ned back for publishing this little ditty in February. All I can say is that there was a police report, some rumblings in Congress and an equally questionable photo of me with a lawnmower.

And while he’s not officially on the tour, Ned Hickson at Ned’s Blog has been a huge help, supporter and patient teacher as I’ve gotten my bloggy legs going. He’s a syndicated writer for the Siuslaw News and his book, Humor at the Speed of Life, sits on my shelf (or in the bathroom for obvious reasons). He writes an every Friday feature called Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing and I encourage you to check it out for advice on all things writing…and life.

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Thank you Karen for letting me join in on this little piece of the blogosphere. Special thanks to anyone reading this–any post with the predominant words me, myself and I make me squirmy and uncomfortable. Kinda like that wedgy one gets when sitting for too long.

**slips off heels and wanders to the woods

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40 thoughts on “Unpolished and Earthy (Blog Tour)

  1. Reblogged this on The Hidden Hummingbird Diaries and commented:
    Good morning!
    Here’s something from my main personal blog and outside the usual topics on Hummingbird. Even though HH has only a few followers, I wanted to expose you to some great writers. As always, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my ramblings. xo

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      1. Thanks! I’m enjoying just being a reader. I have no real plans to get back online, other than comments and twitter.

        Besides, it’s easier to see what’s going on from here, and waaay less headachey.

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  2. Thanks so much for the kind words and including me in the blogging tour, i really appreciate it. On a different note i am super jealous of you right now, cause in the pic where your holding the chainsaw you look so beautiful, you look like a high school cheerleader . 🙂

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  3. Thanks for sharing Mama. I always find it interesting how writers write. It seems to be as unique as each individual. Oh, yeah, how come you share so many of your photos with a chainsaw? Should I be worried? Ha! Hey, thanks for dropping by my first guest post, much appreciated.

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    1. Don’t be worried about the chainsaw, Paul…I’m more of a danger to myself than to others 😉

      I agree that it’s so interesting to see how other’s write and what goes into the process. I learn from everyone.
      Would it sound too matronly to say that I’m proud of you for putting your first post out there? It’s one thing to comment and quite another to put yourself out there. Nice job, Paul. I hope to see more!

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      1. Thanks Mama! I appreciate the read and I am doing a regular Sunday post on Willowdot21 for the forseeable future. I have a couple of other guest posts lined up too. I appreciate the support.

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  4. I’m so glad you were up for doing this! I went and visited everyone you linked to and each one gave me something to think about. I always look forward to who you’re going to introduce me to next! I love the space(s) you’ve created. xxoo

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    1. I feel the same about the people you followed on your blog tour, too! I continued to amazed and touched by the kind, compassionate souls who make up our little corner of the world.
      Thank you again, dear Karen. xo

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  5. I couldn’t help but smile and nod my head as I read this wonderful look into your writing process, and all the creative outlets you are a part of in order to feed your need to smith words. I’m so appreciative of our blogging friendship, which has inspired more than a few posts thanks to your suggestions and ponderings. This post underscores why, from the very beginning, I knew you were a true writer; a Heart Teller in your own right; a thoughtful, observant, caring writing dynamo with a chainsaw, great gams and a lawn mower that leave me feeling a little inadequate.

    Cheers to you, along with the other writers included on your list who inspire and support, and to all the words yet to come.

    Ok, NOW can I borrow your lawn mower? 😉

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    1. Dearest Ned,
      Thank you for being such a great sport and baring your arms for me and the ladies! You are a stellar writer and I’m inspired every time I read something new that belongs to you. You excel in humor and more serious topics and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of your fiction.
      It’s your writer’s muscle (don’t go there, Ned) and humor that lured me in. It’s your friendship and kindness that has made stay. That and the other photo I have of you which will be used for blackmail at some point (did you catch that, Hook?)
      As far as feeling inadequate…you’ll never have to feel that way again in my space. The lawn mower and chainsaw are yours to use and borrow…just stay away from poles and wooden, larger-than-life animals. 😉

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  6. Love how the left / right thing happens for you, Michelle. I have battled many a story too – and usually that means that I might be on the wrong track. Then again, writing is hard all around. Sometimes I would write and scribble for hours and write shitty drafts and in the end I walk away with a few groovy sentences…and it’s all worth it.

    You’re a triple threat, Michelle (a quadruple with that chainsaw!) Keep producing, keep shining, keep putting that indelible mark that you make on all of us who crossed your path. You’re a lighthouse 🙂

    paul

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    1. How can I even comment back on something so kind and generous? A lighthouse? I’m honored and tickled pink at the metaphor.
      I can see those same sides of your brain when I read your words and love that part of what you do. It makes it real, readable and relatable. It makes it you and that’s all that really matters, right?

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  7. Love hearing about your thought process Michelle. Geez, and you wonder when Diana sleeps?

    Good to meet a couple faces from Yeah Write. I’ve been getting the posts and challenges and grids etc, but need to take some time to get acclimated and figure it all out. Then I’ll be diving in and playing from the HB site.

    Enjoyed a lot! I’ll prob reblog to Ros tomorrow if cool with you?

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    1. Sleep? Two nights in a row with 5 hours each. Woot! Woot! Ask hubby how stoked I am!!
      Yeah Write is a lot of fun. I actually followed along and observed long before I ever submitted anything. They are a kind community, but do a nice job of providing honest, constructive feedback, too.
      Reblog? Awww….I’m always honored to share any space that’s yours. Thank you dear friend. I hope you know what a huge inspiration and influence you are to me, too.
      Now….d&@$@ it! I gotta hunt down some chimichangas!!

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  8. “I have a genre???! Who knew? I thought it was a birthmark” I know, right?! Thanks so much for including me in this. I loved reading about your writing and your life. You are so dang funny and kind and full of writerly goodness. I’m gonna check out the others’ blogs too…I do follow Nate’s blog — it’s a family history geek’s dream.

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    1. I giggle to imagine you and I hanging out with Nate. I’d probably fill a notebook!!!
      Thank YOU for being a part. I love your style, your creativity and grace. You rock, lady and I’m so glad our paths crossed.
      Hope you are having a great week! xo

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      1. I would totally dig the three of us hanging out! Thanks so much for the write-up, Michelle. Your regard for my writing means so much and motivates me to keep plugging away. Also, I had no idea you ran three blog sites—you say you’re amazed at how Karen does it all, but I wonder how you juggle your responsibilities as well! My Blog Tour post is on its way! Whee!

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      2. So great to hear from you. Hope you had a fantastic vacation and restful time away. I eagerly await to read your blog tour post! That said, I think you have a little something about Jesse James on your site right now that I MUST read! Talk to you soon:-)

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  9. Reblogged this on Running On Sober and commented:
    Be sure to stop by Michelle’s to read more about her current projects and writing process. She also takes a badass photo with a chainsaw. 😉 She sure has come a long way since her first Braveheart post on RoS! Congrats Michelle, we love you!

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    1. My dearest Christy,
      Thank you for the reblog, but more importantly for the ever vigilant fight you help me fight of my being my own worst enemy. It’s been your space, your encouragement and example that’s led me down the write roads (see what I did there!). Love you like frosting and hot dogs (not at the same sitting, of course!) xo

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  10. Wow… I can’t believe how many sites you are involved in! But most of all I am impressed by that 5:30AM writing alarm… I dream of the day I can wake up early and write… but the will is weak.

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    1. Hi Aussa!
      Don’t be too impressed. I keep three sites to stay married and out of my husband’s hair. Otherwise, I’d be fluttering all over the house driving him nuts!!
      I’m heading over to your site in a bit. I got to read part of your BlogHer adventures this morning and have loved every bit. I got interrupted at the cute picture of you and your friend (Machine Gun Mama, right?) standing on the ledge. OMG…you rock, girlie!
      See you in a bit 🙂
      xo

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  11. I just love getting to know you better, Michelle. You have such heart, such a refined pen and you’re hilarious to boot.

    Triple threat, lovely.
    Triple. threat.

    Your new friend,
    Dani

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    1. Hi Dani,
      You are so kind! I’ve been battling some writer’s block and fear of talking about myself too much. Your kind words absolutely made my day and give me a little more courage to try it again….soon 🙂
      I hope you are having a great week and I am SO looking forward to learning more about you, too!
      xo
      Michelle

      Liked by 1 person

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