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Friday Favorites and Turning 40

Before I get to my mash-up of awesome links for the week, I have something to show you. I recently had a birthday and I guess it was supposed to be a big one (see the title). I’ve said it before, I’m not much for celebrating for myself, but my best friend and I got together for dinner last night (which is why this post is so late). Right after I parked my car, she caught me in the parking lot and hefted a huge basket into the back of my van. My birthday present. When I got home I spent a good 15 minutes unwrapping and laughing over 40 individual gifts. She bought me 40 things I like. Here’s a bad photo, and although you can’t see everything, you get the idea:

With all the chocolate, junk food, and alcohol, you'd never guess that she's not a writer.

I think it was the best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. It’s not the items themselves, of course, but it’s having someone who knows you that well. I hope you all have a friend like her 🙂

On to lots of links. I’m too lazy to separate these into categories this week, since I’m  running so late and I’ll have to head out soon to pick up the kids. Trust me when I say, they’re all worth a read.

Emma Burcart describes the best relationship she ever had – back in the third grade. What I love about this post is that when we’re that young, we know what we want and what we expect, but somewhere over the years, we tend to lose some of that. Here’s to remembering our nine-year-old selves.

Linda Adams talks about the commercialization of Star Wars. Although I see her point, and maybe it has gotten out of hand, I still wouldn’t want them to stop making the toys. Everyone in my house has spent countless hours playing with Star Wars action figures.

Debra Kristi has a great post about chocolate. I love it when someone validates that chocolate is good for us. 🙂

August McLaughlin uses her father’s retirement to explore how writers should approach their dreams.

Merry Farmer continues her series on how she writes. This week, she talks about using music to set the mood and maybe offer inspiration. I’ve mention before that I created a playlist for the first time for my WIP. I’m still revising book 2 for my contract, so I haven’t gone back to my WIP in a while, but I have to admit, I wish I had a soundtrack for book 2. I miss not having specific songs to ground me in that world with those characters.

Tonya Kappes writes about how it’s important to review your goals to see how far you’ve come.

Shelli Johnson does a post about offering words of encouragement to yourself because it’s always easier to believe the bad stuff. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve taken a few classes with Lani Diane Rich and one thing she requires from her students at the end of each class is for them to announce (in all caps and tons of exclamation points) “I am a great writer!” The post reminded me of the importance of that.

Trish Loye Elliott over on Wordbitches has a post on inspiration and optimism. The part I love most is the Wordplayer’s manifesto that she took from K.M. Weiland.

Finally, Annette Gendler has a photo essay showing some great shots of Millennium Park and Crown Fountain in Chicago. I love these pictures and I had to include this because I have a scene in my book that takes place at Millennium Park.

What was the best birthday gift you ever received?

About Shannyn Schroeder

Mom of 3, editor, and contemporary romance writer

13 responses »

  1. Great mash-up Shannyn! Thanks! 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday! The best birthday gift I ever got was for my forty-fifth. My novel is set in a town in Montana that I had chosen off a map for its proximity to Bozeman. I’d never been to Montana, so my husband took me there! It was beautiful–just like I’d imagined. I can’t wait to go back–when I’m done with the book!

    Now off to scroll through your links!

    • That sounds like an awesome present! Keep going with that book. I’ve never thought about Montana, but I’ve seen few writers reference it. Maybe I’ll add it to my wish list for when my kids are older and I can go on vacation alone 🙂

  3. Happy belated birthday! That is an awesome gift that I will have to remember for birthdays to come. Thanks for the shout out! Those links look great. I am excited to take some time and read them.

  4. Happy birthday, Shannyn! Your telling about your friend’s gift gave me CHILLS. The best gifts really do show that someone “gets” us, knows our ins and outs. Thanks so much for sharing my link!

  5. Happy fortieth! That is an awesome gift but an even awesomer (is that a word?) gift giver. A gift like that would have provided so much laughter, and isn’t that the best gift ever?
    Off to click on the links.

  6. Shannyn, what a great friend and a great birthday give idea! And the links you’ve provided look awesome. I’m going to check them out! Hope your day was great and that your 40th year turns out to be the best so far! Happy Birthday!

  7. Great post! Thanks so much for sharing the Wordplayer’s Manifesto! I’m tickled pink you enjoyed it.

  8. Oh goodness! So sorry I am late in saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! And… Thank you sooo much for sharing all these great links Shannyn! You know my computer crashed Friday morning. I’m just now getting back up and running. Still working out some bugs. I have a lot of catching up to do. I see some great things here I need to check out. 😀


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