Thanksgiving and a Blog Award? AWESOME!

1 Thessalonians 5: 18 (NKJV): “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the US, and well, I’m sitting around in my pjs waiting for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to start.  (And listening to my nieces ask every five minutes when the parade will start.)  So, I check my email which isn’t uncommon.  I usually have 50 emails to go through by morning, so I’m deleting messages and see a notification from WordPress about a message.  Boy was I surprised to see that D.J. Lutz had given me the Liebster Blog Award.  It a great start to my Thanksgiving morning.   Here’s what he said, “Emerald Barnes, a very collaborative blogger who seems to be doing all the right things.  A writer worth your time, especially if you are a fellow writer.”    Great right?

I know what you’re thinking, a blog award.  Really?  That’s what you’re excited about today?  But amongst other things, yeah.  It means there are people who actually read my blog and like it! *insert face of shock*

Niece's Shocked Face

So, here’s what I have to do.

The award is for blogs with less than 200 followers. Definitely good on that front.

The award is to bring to light new or unknown writers.  Well, I’m definitely new.  Guess I’m unknown too. 😉

And the award is meant to forge new connections in the blog-o-sphere.  Sounds great to me!

1. Thank the blogger who gave me the award.  Thank you, D.J. Lutz for sharing this with me!

2. Give the award to 5 of your favorite bloggers, and let them know by posting a comment on their blog.  I’ll probably just share at the end of the blog and make my way to the bloggers in after a while since I’m about to start my Thanksgiving festivities.

3. Post the award on your blog.

4. Bask in the love of the most supportive group on the Internet – other writers.  I always love to do that!

5. Have fun and spread the karma.  Definitely love #sharingthelove

My top five picks:

Laura Stanfill.  She’s amazing.  She’s the first real follower I had.  You know, someone who wasn’t family and following by obligation.  She was also the first writer I met through the blogosphere!  She’s certainly deserving.

Jo Eberhardt over at The Happy Logophile.  She not only brings helpful writing tips, she leaves us with hilarious stories and family stories.

R.S. Guthrie at Rob on Writing.  I recently found his blog, but he definitely keeps things interesting, especially on the writing front!  (He’s also a good friend and great writer!)

Dalya Moon.  She’s a YA writer who is not only a friend, but a talent author who is quickly becoming a favorite!

And last but certainly not least, Spencer Brokaw.  He’s a talented, young author who brings us writing tips and interviews from other authors.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!  And Happy Blogging!

James Wilcox Discusses what Gratitude Means to Him

Author James Wilcox

It is my pleasure to have Author James Wilcox on my blog today.  He has written Sex, Lies and the Classroom, The M-16 Agenda, and Musings of a Particular Bear: A Collection of PoetryHe is part of the WoMen’s Literary Cafe Gratitude Blog Hop.

Thanks for joining me today, James! 

grat·i·tude: noun: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful–

When I was first approached about writing a blog for the Gratitude Blog Hop, I thought my assignment was easy.  All I had to do was write 500 words about gratitude.  No sweat.

As I pondered my assignment over the next couple of days, the task became more and more daunting.  How does someone describe an emotion, a feeling?  How can I say thank you to all the people I am grateful for?  How can describe all the ways my friends and family have helped me throughout my life?  How can I express my gratitude to the multitude of people who have been kind enough to share their knowledge, expertise, experience, and comfort with me?  Faced with this daunting challenge, I am left nearly speechless (which is saying something).

As my deadline quickly approaches, I have decided to narrow my focus and concentrate solely on my writing career in an effort to express my gratitude to those who have made it possible for me to be a writer in the first place.

In Gratitude: To my wife, who understands and supports my need isolate myself from our family and our everyday life to struggle for a few simple words.

In Gratitude: To my children, who fuel my desire to keep telling stories.

In Gratitude: To my mother, who taught me to love reading at an early age and nurtured my desire to tell my own stories.

In Gratitude: To my readers, for taking a chance on my stories.

In Gratitude: To all the writers who came before me, for creating the stories that have shaped my own writing.

In Gratitude: To Joe and Cynthia, for reading my work, correcting my mistakes, and generally helping my avoid sounding like an idiot.

In Gratitude: To all of the writers involved in Melissa Foster’s Come Back to Me Book Launch promotion, for sharing your knowledge, answering my questions, and letting me tag along.

In Gratitude: To Joe and Cynthia, for reading my work, correcting my mistakes, and generally helping my avoid sounding like an idiot.

In Gratitude: To Melissa Foster and the Women’s Literary Café for including me in the Come Back to Me Book Launch promotion and the Gratitude Blog Hop.  I have learned so much and am humbled by your support.

Although this list could continue on and on, I just want to thank everyone who has read my work, shared their insight, offered suggestions, and supported my writing.  I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.  Writing is an inherently lonely process, but you make it bearable


I aspire only to be artistic,

but creative I am not.

I merely write a few words,

in simple rhyme.

I see friends on the stage,

getting laughs and cries.

I see friends at the canvas,

painting beautiful portraits.

I see myself under a lamp,

struggling for a few simple words.

On that stage, I want to be.

At that canvas I dream.

Under a lamp,

at a desk,

pen in hand,

I remain,

struggling for a few simple words,

and that is all for me.

James P. Wilcox is the author of Sex, Lies, and the Classroom, The M-16 Agenda, and the recently released Musings of a Particular Bear: A Poetry Collection.  James,  a former newspaper photographer and writer, is currently a high school teacher in the Kansas City area, where he lives with his wife and three children.  He is currently working on his third novel.

The WoMen’s Literary Cafe Authors wish to thank all of the support we had on our recent book launch. As a thank you everyone who leaves a comment will get “The M-16 Agenda” by James Wilcox for free.  Please leave your name and email address for your free PDF file. 

(As a reminder, if your comment doesn’t show up, don’t worry.  All comments have to be approved.  Thanks!)