MAY

Celebrating Our 10th Blog-O-Versary

05/08 – Robin Weaver

Friday, May 7, 2021

One Contest, 120 Blogs, and a Million Questions about Parallel Universes

Celebrating 10 Years of RTG

Greetings Readers, Writers, and Fellow Members of My Universe,

I’m extremely honored to be part of the Romancing the Genres Blog-O-Versary and delighted to host today’s celebration.  While I can’t claim to be one of the original Blog Queens, my credentials include being one of the earliest Genreistas, having joined in April of 2011. Yes, I did a personal Google to validate that date 😊.

The amazing thing – I’m part of this great group because of a contest. Yes, one little event led to ten years of interaction with people I’ve never met but have come to admire and consider friends.  Honestly, I don’t even remember the name of the writing contest, although I’m sure Judith and Sarah will know, since the competition was hosted by their chapter. I’m pretty sure I didn’t’ finish first either, which goes to show you don’t have to win to be a winner.

Shortly after the contest, I received an email from Sarah, asking if I’d like to be part of a blog group comprised of authors representing different genres. How could I say “no” to such a novel (get it?) concept?

In my introductory blog, one of the questions I answered was: “What’s your genre?

My response: I admit to skepticism when it comes to astrology, but perhaps being a Gemini explains why I can’t settle on just one genre.  I approach writing like a box of candy (NOTE: not as corny in 2011 😊), sinking my teeth into several categories and enjoying every delicious word nougat and buttercream.  My first love is mystery/suspense, but I dabble in YA, light paranormal, contemporary and humor.  

That response should have been an early warning to Sarah and Judith, that I was never going to have a straight-forward answer, nor write a blog directly related to the theme.

Reminiscing makes me wonder, what would have happened if I hadn’t entered that contest? What would have happened if I hadn’t seen or responded to Sarah’s email?

A growing number of physicists propose everyone exists in multiple realities every microsecond of her life. Mindboggling, right? And while I don’t necessarily believe this, anymore than I directly believe in astronomy, I try to keep an open mind, especially when a concept is supported by mathematics.

So…. In an alternate universe…

·       I haven’t become a Genreista, so I’m probably hosting some lame site that begs readers to submit photos of the “Dumbest Thing I’ve Seen All Week.”

·       That website had absolutely no traffic until my daughter (assuming I had her in this universe—and assuming she let’s me blame her blameless-self in this world) posted: TOP TEN HEADLINES ABOUT BREAST MILK.

·       I get lots of traffic, but no book sales because none of my mysteries include anything related to boob juice.

·       I never post my favorite 2011 blog: I Should Write a Book, Too. As a result, you never get to see my interview where I ask future novelists, What genre do you plan to write?

Or see the replies:

Morrel, Marge R.T.: I won’t write that racy stuff.   I want something the entire family can read.

Drew A. Blanque:  There are no Johns in my book.

·    In 2012, no one hears about my favorite great uncle, Noverta Strange, who “allegedly” killed his wife.  The strange twist (pun intended) didn’t happen after the conviction, because Noverta didn’t escape prison and wear the tin star of a deputy sheriff for thirty years. Nope, in this alternate universe Noverta’s wife kills him, and runs away with Elvis.  Even worse, Styrofoam Corpse never gets written, or published (hint: shameless plug). 

·    In this version of the multiverse, you wouldn’t have seen my 2013 blog about Kiko, the wonder Cat, because in this new world, she’s still living—still fetching, still dancing when she hears music, and still tapping the faucet when she wants to wash her paws.

·    The Most Romantic Potato wouldn’t be a “thing” in cyberspace, because I wouldn’t have known one of the 2017 themes was “My Romantic _____.”  Wouldn’t potato have been the first thing you entered into that blank?  After all, potatoes have names like Desiree, Red Bliss, and Purple Viking, and Mr. &Mrs. Potato Head have been married for over 65 years. Still not convinced the potato is romantic. Then picture this: A cold night, a flickering blaze in the fireplace, a good movie, and you…snuggled on the couch with a blanket and a bowl of yummy potato soup. Loaded with cheese.  If you aren’t loving this scenario already, add Ryan Gosling beneath that blanket. And everyone loves French fries—yee-gads, what if there are not fries in this multiverse??

    I’m sure you already know that one event can change everything. If I hadn’t entered that writing contest, we would have missed all this. And I would have missed getting to know a great bunch of authors. Heck, I might have even stopped writing if not for the nudge to get my blog done on the first Wednesday of the month.

I know this has been a cheesy way to review some of the blogs of the past ten years, and I truly appreciate your indulgence.  Just keep reading RTG blogs—we get better every year. Maybe every month.  June’s theme is Relationships/Partners.  If you have any suggestions to make that the best blog ever, just contact me on Jupiter’s moon, Europa (for those of you who won’t be in the neighborhood, just email RobinWeaver913@yahoo.com.

Wishing all of you, in all your multiverses, a happy ending.

Robin

 

1 plus 0 equals 10 in RTG maths

Hi, I’m Judith Ashley, author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic women’s fiction with light paranormal elements. My stories show you what life could be like if you had a place like The Circle where you are unconditionally accepted, supported and loved. And where, with this support, you make choices to overcome the darkest nights and choose love and light.

Running through my mind as I start this post are the words to a song from many years (maybe even decades ago). One is the loneliest number. Many of us who live alone have experienced loneliness which is not the same as being alone either for the first time or in a vastly altered way. However add a 0 and 1 becomes 10!

We’ve seen many changes this past decade with the most challenging ones this past year. Connecting, engaging with others has undergone significant changes. And yet through it all, there have been some consistent touchstones or anchors. I see Romancing The Genres as being one of them.

Ten years! A decade!! Who knew when we launched May 1, 2011 we’d still be hanging out with each other so many years later.

We’ve logged 2928 blog posts from authors around the world.

Those posts have garnered 17,694 comments and 530,689 page views.

Genre-istas live in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States (east to west coast with a couple stops in between).

And the Blog Queens, Sarah Raplee McDermed and Judith Ashley, couldn’t have done it without the support of the Genre-istas. Blogging isn’t always fun nor does the due date always coincide with our lives. Then there are those pesky monthly themes the BQ’s dream up each year.

Of the original 20 Genre-istas, five are still here. Of course the BQ’s, Sarah and Judith. Also celebrating 10 years are Barbara Binns, Paty Jager and Diana McCollum.

Celebrating our 10th Blog-O-Versary would not have happened without you stopping by, leaving a comment or just reading our posts – taking away what will make your day a bit better. In that vein, you are definitely invited and encouraged to join us each day and help us celebrate.

We’ll all be talking about celebrating or what can happen in a decade or something connected – at least in our own minds.

If you are not yet on my mailing list, you can sign up for Choices here. I’ve created a new free offering that includes the novella Sarah’s Ankh along with the first chapter of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl. I hope you enjoy them.

Look for my next non-fiction Yes, You Can Create The Life You Love by late spring aka early summer. And if you need guidance on handling stress, Staying Sane in A Crazy World is available as are all of my books at your favorite e-book vendor. Be sure to ask your local library if you’d prefer to read my books through that resource.

Learn more about Judith's The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshley.net

Follow Judith on Twitter: JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

You can also find Judith on FB! 

© 2021 Judith Ashley

Thursday, May 6, 2021

What Can Happen In A Decade

 

A Toast to Romancing The Genres! Happy Anniversary!

 A ten-year anniversary is special. An entire decade of time. I reflected on my own life of what had occurred in this length of time.

This past decade I lost the last of my family of origin, my sister and my mom. I was still working my federal job with the U.S. Department of the Interior, and commuting between Alaska and Arizona every few weeks, to help my ailing sister and my mom. That period of time was one of the most difficult times of my life. And not one that I care to recall very often.

I retired two years later, but things didn’t get easier, as my husband and I both had parents who were in assisted living facilities in two different states. All of our discretionary income went to airfare between Alaska, Arizona, and Wisconsin. When all was said and done, we’d each racked up over a hundred thousand frequent flier miles on Alaska Airlines.

When my mom passed, she generously left me her modest little house in Arizona, where my husband and I spend much of the winter now. Alaska had a harsher than usual winter the first three months of 2021, so it was easy for us to bail to the lower forty-eight.

After our parents passed, we faced all this free time and what seemed like extra money we weren’t spending on travel. I dove at the chance to do some world travel with my California cousin’s travel group. We did two tours of Europe before the pandemic stopped us in our tracks.

I’ve always kept journals, and once I started traveling, I resumed my journals. It was because of these journals that I was able to write two novels and an award-winning short story, starting in 2015. 

The summer of 2015 was the second worst wildfire season in Alaska. Anchorage had a health advisory in place for the better part of a month, due to the dense smoke that collected in the Anchorage Bowl. I could barely see my neighbor’s home across the street. Many homes were destroyed in outlying areas north of Anchorage and a total of 5.1 million acres of wildlands burned. Firefighting resources were stretched so thin, only fires that threatened lives and homes were being suppressed. Channel 2 News in Anchorage did a story of a near miss a fire crew had on a fire.

Memories came avalanching back on a near miss our crew had experienced in the late 80s. A friend of mine suggested I write up the story and submit it to The Anchorage Press newspaper. So I did. Six months later it won an Alaska Press Club award for best historical piece in all media, and a judge suggested I write a novel centered around that experience.

If you would have said to me back in 2015, I’d have several novels in different stages and published the first two, I would have stared at you like you’d shifted into a moose, exclaiming, “No way!”

A lot can happen in ten years. I’m sure you could list a trillion things that have occurred, and one of them was, we never saw this global impact coming. Although my biologist husband announced to me back in 1978 a virus like this would hit at some point. Of course, we poo-poo’ed it and got on with our lives.

In one way ten years seems like a long span of time. In another way it seems it zipped right by. That’s the funny thing about time. I remember sitting at my desk at work, watching the clock in late afternoons, as the minutes dragged. Suddenly, I’m at my retirement party, wondering how it all whirled past me so fast.

What I’ve learned from this is, to carpe the heck out of my diem! Each day when I think of something new or challenging, mostly relating to my new writing life, I say to myself, “What do I have to lose?”

Absolutely nothing.

There’s a ton of things that I was afraid to do at first. Dare I ask a New York Times bestselling author to endorse my second romantic suspense novel? What do I have to lose? She might say no. Then again—she said yes! After I picked myself up off the floor, I set to work, making my writing the best it could possibly be to be worthy of this honor.

If you’re celebrating a ten-year wedding anniversary, ten years at a fantastic job, ten years of overcoming a life-changing event or surviving a life-threatening health situation, celebrate it! Give yourself a pat on the back for your achievement. You deserve it. Especially after this past year and the challenges each of us has faced.

When we were forced into lockdown a little over a year ago, no one had a crystal ball. And being a tad older I couldn’t help but think I didn’t want to leave the planet until I published a book. For two years I had worked to get a traditional publisher. So, when covid hit, I pulled all of my submissions back from the Big 5 and learned to do it myself. Now I’m writing my third book.

So carpe the heck out of your diem!

Ten years from now, you’ll be glad you did.

I'm thrilled to announce that my second novel, Alaska Inferno, releases May 31st! 

Preorder ALASKA INFERNO!

Watch the book trailer for ALASKA INFERNO!

LoLo Paige was a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Fire Service. She's an award-winning author of two novels in the Blazing Hearts Wildfire Series, Alaska Spark and soon to be released Alaska Inferno. Her stories contain edge-of-the-seat, invigorating action, strong-willed female firefighters and romantic suspense. LoLo and her husband divide their time between their oceanside beach house in Kachemak Bay, Alaska and sunny Arizona. 

What readers have said about Alaska Spark...

"I could almost feel the heat of the wildfires that surrounded the crews as they staved off threats..."

"The men are wild and yummy and the women are strong and lovingly feisty. The plot moves along at a fast pace..."

Website / Bookbub / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

 

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Top "TEN" Lists

By Robin Weaver
Happy 10th Anniversay, Genreistas!

On this tenth anniversary, the number reminded me of top ten lists. To find the most interesting groupings for our “decennial, I let Google come to the rescue. There were soooo many truly “unique” lists, I decided to list some snippets of the most interesting.

Here we go…

10 Most Bizarre Ways We Use Animals as Food

10. Snail Caviar: Okay, at first, I thought this wasn’t that weird, but normal caviar is weird enough.  How small are snail eggs?

7. Cow Eye Tacos: Ewww.  Just moo ewww. Why wasn’t this number one?

1. Wasp Crackers: I had to do a second Google on this one.  These aren’t crackers with bits of ground up stingers. Nope, these are rice crackers infused with full wasps instead of chocolate chips. These treats are all the rage in Japan, but then they love raw eggs and horsemeat, too.

 

10 Unpleasant Facts about John Lennon

Seriously, can’t we let the man RIP?

 

Top 10 Conspiracy Theories that Turned Out True

8. The US Government Collected Dead Children to Test the Effects of Radiation

Totally true. The government used cadaver parts for testingS. The U.S. and U.K. governments reached out to find recently deceased infants and young children, taking tissue samples and whole limbs. The parts were taken without permission or even notification of some 1,500 families.  If that isn’t the basis for a good plot…

The U.S. Government Actively Investigated Aliens & UFOs

 ‘Nuff said.

 

Top 10 Breast Milk Headlines

Say what? Who came up with this list? Why did they come up with this list?

Number 10: I Scream. You Scream. We All Scream for Breast Milk Ice Cream.

OR NOT—Definitely not.

Number 1: Mother Breastfeeds Teenage Son.  Ewww!

 

 

Failed Products from Famous Companies

#10 Tesla: Cybertruck

To demonstrate the durability of the Cybertruck, Elon Musk slammed a sledgehammer into the car’s body. Next, to showcase the “impenetrable glass armor, the lead designer threw a lead ball at the car window. Twice. The window smashed. Twice. Mr. Musk admitted there was “room for improvement.” And this man is taking us into space?

#8 Coca-Cola: Diet Coke Plus Green Tea

Coca-Cola tried to cater to health-conscious in 2009, and tested the new product in Japan, a country that consumes green tea at over 600 grams per person. However, that product didn’t exactly taste yummy, thus the product never debuted in the U.S.  Too bad—it would have paired well with wasp crackers and snail caviar.


Burger King: Halloween Whopper

The black bun created for the Halloween sandwich caused green bowel movements the next day. I don’t do bathroom humor, so we’ll move on.

#2 Frito Lay: Cheetos Lip Balm

Hmm, if successful, would Funyuns breath spray have followed.

#1 Evian—Water Bra

Truth is truly stranger than fiction--in 2005, Evian tried to enter the clothing market with a Water Bra. Evian designed the bra to cool down boobies in warm weather with pads containing mineral water. There was a filter funnel that allowed women to top off the water to their size preference. The bra also featured a pouch to hold a miniature water bottle. I guess if you got really thirsty, you’d be really fat. 

 

Top 10 Really Weird Facts about Poop. 

I didn’t even bother to read this one.

 

Top 10 Strangest Personal Collections

#10 Do Not Disturb Signs

#8 Air Sickness Bags

#4 Pizza boxes

# 2 Traffic Cones:

# 1 Fossilized Dinosaur Poop.  (Now I’m wondering if this was included in the ten weird poop facts.)


TOP 10 Scientific Facts They Don't Teach in School

#10 Most of the Cells in Your Body Aren’t Even Human
The bacteria in your gut is its own biome and does everything from making you crave sweets to influencing your mood. And, your bacteria outnumber you. 
#7 Water Can Be “Supercoiled” Below its Freezing Point
Pure, distilled water doesn’t have such impurities, and as a result, pure water can be “super cooled” to well below its freezing point.
#4 Medical Mistakes Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.
#Incandescent Light Bulbs Made a Century Ago Lasted Much Longer Than They Do Today
Once rivals, Philips, Osram, Tungsram, ELIN, and General Electric, conspired to fix prices and re-engineered bulbs with a shorter lifespan to drive up prices and increase demand. Prior to 1924, light bulbs could be expected

to last 2,500 hours. There are instances of these early bulbs lasting 
over a hundred years. The Pheobus Cartel decided to shorten bulb-life to 1,000 hours; that’s what we’re still stuck with a century later. 

I hope these top “10” lists have entertained you on this “10th anniversary of the Genreistas.  This decade of blogging is truly a remarkable feat made possible by Judith and Sarah. I salute you, ladies, and thank you for including me in this journey. 

Here’s hoping the next ten bring us all continued success.

Robin

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Ten. Dix. Diez. Ashara. Zehn. Tio.

May the Fourth Be With You. Now that we’ve got that out of the way...

This month’s topic is “10”. Not the movie starring the wonderful Dudley Moore and Bo Derek, but the numeral that comes after number nine, number nine, number nine...Help! Oh, lordy.

Anybody remember a candy bar costing 10 cents? I don’t, the cheapest I remember was twenty-five cents. But the liquorice cigars were a dime and the Bazooka bubble gum was ‘two for a dime’. 

The most exciting part of the countdown to a space launch is 10 seconds. As is the most exciting part to the countdown to a New Year. Heck, we could be counting down to 2022 now, if we had nothing better to do, but I bet it would get boring.  Let’s try...20,908,800...20,908,799...20,980,798...anyone bored yet? Yeah, the final 10 seconds is tons more fun.

I mentioned May the Fourth at the top of this post. Other celebrations and observances we could be celebrating and/or observing are, in no particular order:

Orthodox Easter Tuesday in Cyprus. Have I mentioned that I’ve visited Cyprus? I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Greenery Day in Japan. As you might guess, it’s a day to celebrate nature, and is marked by the planting of seeds by the Emperor and Empress. I’ve not been to Japan, but my Mum has a few times to visit a niece who lives there. She’d go back in a heartbeat as well.

Declaration of Independence Day in Latvia, which declared independence from the USSR in 1990. I’m ashamed to admit I had to look it up on a map. I knew the general area, given its former inclusion in the Soviet Union, but it’s good to know the precise location of these things. Should the subject come up in a pub quiz, for instance.

National Remembrance Day in The Netherlands, commemorating all Dutch victims of war. Have I mentioned that I’ve been to The Netherlands? Another country I’d return to in a heartbeat. Also, my maternal ancestors hailed from a village in the north called Uithuizen. 

And few of us would be where we are now without the skill and talents of an incredible bunch of people who are honoured on today’s National Teacher Appreciation Day.

All told, there are 10 national public holidays celebrated around the world on this day, including National Bird Day. Now get out there and hug a bird!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Happy 10th Anniversary by Paty Jager

 

Ten years! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a part of this blog for that long. When the Blog Queens, Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee, asked me if I’d like to be a part of a blog they were starting in May of 2011, I couldn’t refuse. These two giving and brilliant women have brought together numerous exciting and wonderful authors from around the world to entertain and educate readers and writers.



Roses for the Blog Queens!

I’ve been honored to be one of the authors who posts once a month on Romancing the Genres. Not only was I drawn to the blog by the Blog Queens, but the title they gave the blog made me smile and want to be a part of the group. The title can be interpreted so many ways, which makes it easy for an author of any genre to want to be a part of it.

Over the years, I’ve posted about writing struggles, new releases, and information I’ve uncovered while researching for books. And there are the ever-popular themes that the Blog Queens give us for each month. They are the best part of this blog. Really! When I can’t think of something going on in my writing life to write about, I fall back on their theme for the month and it gives me a place to start.

The other coincidences about this 10 year anniversary are the facts that I started Indie publishing ten years ago, when I joined this blog, and May is my anniversary month for when my first book published. That makes it easy every May to write a blog post. I can always talk about my writing journey.

But the best thing about being a part of this blog are the Blog Queens and the other writers and authors they bring to the blog each month on the weekends. They always have bloggers with lots of knowledge on the writing industry. The weekend blogs with the guests are a great way to learn about other authors and what is happening in the industry.

Judith and Sarah have done wonders herding the writers and authors on the blog over the last ten years. I can’t wait to do a 20th anniversary post!

If you didn’t see my post on Saturday about my current release being my 50th book, please come by my month-long 50 Book Bash Facebook party and join in the conversations for a chance to win prizes. I’m giving away prizes every day through the month of May.




Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 50 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.



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