Liebster Award 2016 - Gwynn's Grit and Grin

2016-10-11 01:15:45 gwynn-rogers

IVersion 2 I share Samantha Mozart’s words when I say I am pleased to announce that I have been given the Liebster Award for 2016. This marks the second year I have received the award; the first was for 2014. The Liebster Award is peer nominated, normally given by bloggers to other bloggers, and offers the opportunity to develop relationships with fellow bloggers and new readers. I accept this award and am honored to be part of this tradition. Thank you, Samantha Mozart, for nominating me.

Samantha is a gifted journalist and writer of non-fiction and fiction stories.  She is a dedicated historian.  In addition, Samantha wrote two expressive books about her experiences as a caregiver for her mother, who had Dementia.  Her books, BEGINS THE NIGHT MUSIC, A Dementia Caregiver’s Journal and TO WHAT GREEN ALTAR, A Dementia Caregiver’s Journal talk about her involvement as an unpaid caregiver for her mother.  Additionally, you will find Samantha’s blog, The Scheherazade Chronicles at  Again, Samantha, Thank You for being a wonderful and supportive friend.


The Rules

  1. Write a post about yourself, displaying an image of the Liebster Award.
  2. Link back and thank the blogger who nominated you in your post.
  3. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Pick 5 – 10 new bloggers (must have less than 300 followers) to nominate and ask them 11 new questions. Do not re-nominate the blogger that nominated you.
  5. Go to each new blogger’s site and inform them of their nomination.

Questions Samantha asked of me:

  • When did you begin writing and what or who inspired you to dedicate yourself to writing professionally?


My writing career is quite confusing.  Years ago I was extremely involved with organizations that helped children.  I was so extensively interested in the Lake Washington School District, where my young children were schooled, that I nudged the district into creating a brochure listing their various programs and the details about the these programs.  I interviewed the head of each program and wrote a detailed outline about it.  Since I worked closely with the district’s Public Information Officer during this time, I asked if I could become her Intern.  Her response was that she would love to have me as her Intern provided I take writing classes.  Due to life, after my Internship I stopped writing.

Then many years later my mother experienced five years of traumatic strokes.  Finally between the ugly dynamics in my family, and after my mother’s death I needed a creative outlet so I took writing courses.  My teachers encouraged me to continue my writing.  Due to the dysfunction in my family I wanted to write stories about my family, hoping that others would learn from our mistakes.


  • Do you have a writing routine? Please tell us about it.


I wish I could say I have a writing routine, but I don’t.  I write when the urge hits me.  However, this year I have been caregiving for my ill husband.  Additionally, the quiet, soothing writing area that I had for writing is gone as we had to move because of my husband’s illness.  So at the moment, I feel like I have crashed head-first into a brick wall as my brain is numb and I’m physically tired.

In fact, this month I missed my submittal for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  I can only hope that this submittal will double as a response to both the IWSG and Liebster?


  • Do you write at a computer, a typewriter or in longhand, or a combination of these?


I definitely write at my computer.  This way I can actually read what I write.  My hand can’t keep up with my brain and I have so many crossed out sentences and arrows redirecting me that I get confused as to what I have written when I use longhand.

  • Do you have a designated space for writing? Where?


Prior to our move to this apartment, my desk was in the back of the kitchen looking out over a gully into Miller Bay.  I could play the music on my computer or sit and daydream.  Now, in this apartment, my desk is against the back wall of the living room.  Today, if I had tried to write I would have had the football games playing constantly in my ear.  The TV distracts me.

  • Do you write to music? If so, what kind?


I love music, but what music I listen to while I write depends on my mood.  Usually, I prefer peace, quiet, and solitude.  I don’t have that here in this apartment.

  • What types of works do you read?


I read a wide variety of genre.  It depends on what book jumps into my arms there in the book store.  I do like memoire as this is what I’m attempting to write, but I read mystery, romance, non-fiction, history, biographies, and as I mentioned memoires.

  • Who is your favorite author and how has this author influenced you?


I don’t have a favorite author.  I truly love a wide variety of books.  I grew up with a literal library in our house, so books have always been special to me.  However, I think I especially love Sherlock Holmes as a ten year old child I read all 1,056 pages.

  • What is your writing process from inception to completion and publication?


I will have to say that my writing process regarding my stories can be similar to a ping-pong game.  I bounce back and forth between my computer and my duties during the day.  Often I write and re-write before I let my story settle.  Then I go back to edit it.  My biggest issue is that I tend toward telling stories rather than showing them, so I definitely need to work at that aspect of my writing.


  • Are you published? Through a publisher or indie? E-books or print or both?


I write short stories for magazines, so far.  I have published four short stories for I LOVE CATS and LA JOIE magazines.


  • Please share a paragraph or two of a work in progress.


    1. At the moment, my only work in progress is answering the questions for this questionnaire.  With luck, this will stimulate my thinking so that I begin working on another story.  However, right now my brain is stuck in the mud!
  • Do you have an agent? If so, how did you get your agent? Otherwise, how do you market and promote your work?


No, I don’t have an agent as I have not worked with the idea of writing a book, to this point.  My thinking may change, though.

My Liebster Nominations:

I sincerely hope you will enjoy these bloggers as much as I do.

My Questions to Nominees

  1. When did you begin writing and what or who inspired you to dedicate yourself to writing professionally?
  2. Do you have a writing routine? Please tell us about it.
  3. Do you write at a computer, a typewriter or in longhand, or a combination of these?
  4. Do you have a designated space for writing? Where?
  5. Do you write to music? If so, what kind?
  6. What types of works do you read?
  7. Who is your favorite author and how has this author influenced you?
  8. What is your writing process from inception to completion and publication?
  9. Are you published? Through a publisher or indie? E-books or print or both?
  10. Please share a paragraph or two of a work in progress.
  11. Do you have an agent? If so, how did you get your agent? Otherwise, how do you market and promote your work?



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September - IWSG - The Proverbial Brick wall

2016-09-07 02:18:02 gwynn-rogers

IWSG Badge

Many Thanks to my friend, Patricia Garcia, who invited me to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh. This month’s question is “How do you find time to write during your busy day?”  Good question!

Finding time

Have you ever crashed into a “brick wall” that decimated your car or bike or even you?  Or have you ever had a horrific surgery where you struggled to recover?  Did it take you a while to build your nerve and strength back to get moving again?  What did it take for you to stop being afraid, or to take action to recover?

finding time1

I have hit that “proverbial brick wall!”  It is the blank wall sitting in front of my computer.  My mind is void of thoughts, dreams, or craziness.  How do I revive my interest in writing?  How do I push to rework my stories?  This year has been exhausting for me as I have been caregiving for my husband since Christmas, and we had to move. I haven’t recovered yet!

Now, I keep busy driving my husband to doctors’ appointments as he can’t drive.  Additionally, now I have doctors’ appointments for me.  I’m driving from one end of the county to the other end.  I’m busy singing “On the Road Again.”  When I arrive home I’m mentally and physically exhausted.  Plus, old age is attacking me and I’m in serious pain, as my hips are attempting to divorce me and run away on their own.

finding time2

I do have one constructive job. I have been asked to be on the “Street Team” for one of my author friends.  I’m enjoying reading her latest book that will be published in December, so I’ll look forward to writing a positive review.  So my writing is responding to the IWSG question this month and writing a book review.

Somehow I need to set some goals for me… AND follow though!

Finding time4Finding time3






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August's IWSG - Discouraged

2016-08-03 14:01:53 gwynn-rogers

IWSG Badge


Many Thanks to my friend, Patricia Garcia, who invited me to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh. Now, all I have to do is come out of hiding in my insecure world.

I have noticed that despite my intention to work on some of my stories that I have not opened Word on my computer to even look at my stories for quite some time… like at least May.  So WHY…??


Ok, I’m human.  I’m discouraged.  I can’t concentrate.  This is the first effort I have made to write anything since last month’s IWSG posting.  The good news is that this post made me finally figure out what the problem is and why I’m in such a deep, dark hole.  You know what… I’ve been displaced.

Back in May my husband and I moved from a three bedroom, 2,000 sq. ft. home into an 800 sq. ft. apartment as my husband became seriously ill so I’m caregiving.  Also, I do a great job of being Humpty Dumpty too, so we just could not keep up the home thus we had to downsize.  Mostly, I feel comfortable in the apartment, but what I realized is that we had to give up “MY writing space,” my privacy, and my corner of the world.  I had a desk in a corner of our family room that looked out over a gully and Miller Bay.  I was surrounded by nature, the osprey nest in the top of the fir tree that looked like a space ship had crashed landed.  The bald eagles swooped down to grasp the salmon during spawning season.  Even the Easter bunnies charged across the lawn looking for my delectable flowers to munch on.

But now I am facing the living room wall with the TV behind me.  Yes, I’m surrounded with pictures of my grandchildren, and fun sayings like “Do what you love and happiness will follow” and “Something wonderful this way comes!” but I feel uprooted, stranded, and lost.


Discouraged2The comfort, joy, and inspiration that I enjoyed evaporated.  Determination is inherent in my soul, so now I’m remembering that it is TIME to dig it out especially when my calendar for August 1 reads “Do what you can with what you have, where you are.”  Hmmm, is that a subtle hint or what!

Today I received a reminder from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with the question, “What am I doing to inspire my inner artist?”  Actually at the moment, I feel more like I crashed into a concrete wall after going 100 MPH on my tricycle.

Now, I have no more excuses except to figure out a plan, sit down and glue my butt to the chair and get to work.  I need to find inspiration and my way again, in my new home.  I CAN do this!

Discouraged3What do you do to inspire your writing?  Does your mind automatically flow in interesting directions?  Or even how do you take a personal story that deserves to be told to fictionalize it?  Where does your guiding light come from?




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IWSG - July

2016-07-06 14:54:57 gwynn-rogers

IWSG Badge

“Keep changing, because when you’re through changing—you’re through.”  Bert-Olaf Svanholm 

“An essential aspect of CREATIVITY is not being afraid to fail.”  Isaac Newton 

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.  Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

In reading the June issue of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s newsletter, Hannah Haney in her article “A Writer’s Voice has Power” poised an interesting question…

JULY 6TH QUESTION: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

I’m laughing… I loved hearing that my writing is improving and growing stronger.  Heck, I have edited this article at least four times.  But foremost, the most important comment anyone made to me is that I write real.  Growing up in my family was like avoiding the Vietnamese landmines.  You needed to watch where you stepped.  As crazy as home life was for my brother and me, it was not as heart-wrenching as Frank McCourt’s life per his book, Angela’s Ashes, but there were situations that I truly believe should be told.

Invaluable life’s lessons sprout from books and stories whether through fact or fiction.  However, we don’t understand tripping over mole-holes or falling face first into the mud until we have walked in another’s shoes experiencing why they slipped up, first hand. Learn from others so that our lives will be better, and we will understand the pain and joy people around us experienced.

If you read memoir or fiction based on fact, WHAT is important to you about what you read? What draws you into the story? Why did you pick up the book in the first place?  What hooked you into the story? Are you interested in learning from others’ lives?  What bores you to tears… or did I just do that?  You see, I am insecure! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and comments, so I hope you will share them with me.  You will help me grow. Thank you for your comments.

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IWSG - Fear of Writing - June

2016-06-01 16:14:36 gwynn-rogers

IWSG Badge

Many Thanks to my friend, Patricia Garcia, who invited me to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh.  Since my life has been torn in so many directions, I realize that I now need to learn to effectively participate in the IWSG group in order to receive the benefits.

I am still involved in caregiving for my sick husband, but if we can discover what specifically is wrong with him, there might be light at the end of my tunnel.  The good news is that we are relocated and settled.  The “Long Winter’s Nap” that I yearned for is now part of my daily routine.  Additionally, I have picked up Jonathan Evison’s book, “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving… A novel.”  My hope is that it will help me structure and sort through my thoughts and ideas about writing about my experiences of caregiving.  Yes, maybe I can actually throw some humor into this horrific situation.

But, this brings me to another issue… my fear, lack of confidence, and my negativity about my capabilities.  Yes, I have published a couple of short stories.  Despite my working to submit more stories nothing has been accepted.  Heck, I don’t even receive rejection letters… nothing!  When this happens my mind stays stuck like a record in the wrong groove as I replay my mother’s words about my lack of capabilities.  It is amazing the damage family history can play on our psyche!

Consequently, I need to keep learning, growing, and erasing history.  I need to actively work at supporting others so that I will receive support in return.  I need to step out of my hiding place too.  Is there anyone out there that feels as I do?



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6 Responses to Blog

  1. I am enjoying your musings”very much Gwynn! I am so impressed at your writing and rich life. You believe in yourself. Yes! You are perfect person to find mentors for young people. High quality guidance and encouragement can make or break a child IMHO. what a worthy pursuit. Now. Where oh where is that sophomore social studies paper on the decline of America!! What a treasure it must be. Was that Mr. Stannard? Were you In Honors English, and did you know Shelley Bigelow?

    GREAT idea to post your blog link on Facebook for those of us who need all the help we can get

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Somehow your reply snuck in on my blog and it didn’t tell me. Sorry for the late response. As for finding mentors, because of the economy most of the mentoring programs have gone POOF… sadly. So I’m struggling to find some new mischief to get into! As to that sophomore social studies paper, I had good old Mr. Douthwright! Remember him? Now, I nearly fell over laughing… ME in Honors English????? NOOOOOOO, I don’t think so!! I’m a slow bloomer!!! 😉

      Thank you for your kind comments about my writing. It helps being invisible. Plus, I’m in a couple of writing groups and I learn from others.

  2. Solveig says:

    What a great post! I am glad that the tree did not cause any major problems and led to a good friendship. There is something good in everything!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi Solveig, It is lovely to see you here. That tree was scary and I’m so glad no one was hurt. It is strange introducing one’s self to your neighbors and asking to remove your tree from their roof. The best part is that due to the structural damage taking place in their roof, before the tree hit, the insurance company got to pay for it. I have been friends with them for about 38 years now.

  3. Nathan Kirby says:

    Excellent essay, Gwynn! I can say from personal experience: you are a natural caregiver. One of the best! You took me right in and what DIDN’T you do to help me out? You were my foster mom. I think you do that with everyone! And you NEVER ask for anything in return, except that people do well.

    You are one of the strongest, most compassionate, empathetic, nurturing people I’ve EVER known! It’s not in your blood: it IS your blood! I’m really surprised you weren’t a doctor or nurse or someone who ran/runs a shelter for abused or wayward people and-or animals. Sometimes such a life has its little rewards. Here I am 22 years later singing your praises to the heavens and thanking you for all you did for me from the bottom of my heart! Hell, I’m upset I can’t get up there to help you move!!

    You’re doing great, Gwynn! No one cares more or better than you! Please keep blazing that ever-growing trail of aided, helped, saved, and eternally grateful people!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Nathan, you are such a wonderful young man. I enjoyed having you around the house. I think you helped us all at the same time. The funny part is that my Numerology all dictates that I AM a caregiver. I guess I was born that way. I LOVE helping people who I care about… you were fun to have around. I truly missed you when you signed up for the Air Force.

      Now you are grown and a caregiver for your father. You and I know how hard this job is and I take my hat off to you. You are doing a ‘stand-up’ job of keeping your father well. Remember to take care of yourself too, as you have one HECK of a job to handle. I’m sending you HUGS!

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About Gwynn

smaller picMy friends pushed me right out of my safe hiding spot, and assured me that my writing and stories deserved to be heard. These stories include fun times and sad times, as I grew up.  They paint a picture of me – define me.

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, I have moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching my granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer,” I can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing my fantasies on my treadmill. I currently freelance for magazines.

Also, I wish to thank my friend, William Kahlo Jones, photographer, for the use of his picture for my cover page.  To see more of Bill’s photos go to:


Bill Jones, Photographer

Bill Jones, Photographer


Copyright Gwynn Rogers 2012.  All rights reserved.


6 Responses to About Gwynn

  1. Penni Marvel says:

    These were WONDERFUL and heartwarming to read. You are a blogger! And a writer. GOOD FOR YOU!

    Penni : )

  2. Carol says:

    Immensely grateful for your insight and support—you are an enormous impetus to me–encouragement to face my limitations, real or imagined.

  3. Mary Jo Doig says:

    After hitting and missing you on FB, I finally decided to Follow your blog, Gwynn. Thanks for having me here. I hope your husband is on the other side of his health challenge and look forward to reading your blogs!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi Mary Jo, I have been without a computer for over a week. Plus, as you may have noticed I have been remiss in posting as I have a great deal on my plate at the moment. I will attempt to keep up with the 2016 A to Z Blogger’s Challenge. My theme will be caregiving. However, we may be moving in April too so heaven’s knows whether I will finish the Challenge this year. I do have my fingers crossed.

      I DO enjoy reading your notes, but I haven’t seen too many lately. Thanks for connecting with me! I look forward to further chats with you.

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