Talk to the Shoe One-Year Blogiversary ~ Celebration and Giveaway

Hello, my friends.

{tosses confetti and streamers}

Shutterstock Celebration with Champagne and Confetti

Happy Blogiversary
Talk to the Shoe!

Has it been an entire year already? So many incredible events happened over the course of these first 52 weeks, it feels like my first blog post went up only yesterday.

To commemorate a bustling year for a blog meant to chronicle my adventures in writing and publishing, I’ve decided to highlight memorable and favorite moments.

{sips champagne with you all and starts the slide show}

My First Blog Post

I was recently asked an interview question by Debra on her blog Words from Across Oceania:
“What do you think about social media as an avenue for getting independent writers out there?”
My answer: ” I think it’s unparalleled.”

On July 20, 2012, I penned my very first blog post:
The Twitter Trap – Social Media: Blessing and Curse.

It’s wonderful to look back at the thoughts and suggestions I gave after being on Twitter for a short six weeks. I’m forever grateful for learning the ropes while trusting my instincts.

Twitter is an unrivaled virtual coffee shop filled with friends just waiting to meet us and chat over a coffee and zero-calorie online danish about the latest web happenings and favorite book boyfriends
. . . or Highlanders . . . or shoes.

And let’s not forget the #StilettoSports discussions!

I’ve made wonderful friends on Twitter in the past year, lasting connections with kindhearted, generous, and supportive people who are there to interact, laugh, and share love.

The Most Popular Blog Post

On August 29, 2012,  something seismic happened . . .
I posted The Lure of the Great Alpha Male.

Wow.

That would be the post that had over 170 hits on my fledgling blog in one day. It also had 46 comments and a fun debate that spilled into Twitter over which of our alpha males was the hottest, resulting in a dead heat between Jericho Z. Barrons and one Gabriel O. Emerson, The Professor. And I still had yet to meet The Professor . . . {laughs}

It was my first post to be reblogged on a fabulous new-to-me back then blog Bookish Temptations. The Lure of the Great Alpha Male is still the most popular daily and weekly post on my blog. It has multiple daily views, and is often the first or second in views for the week. It seems the Lure of the Great Alpha Male is quite undeniable indeed.

Aftershocks from those great alpha males still occurring daily . . . ;)

My First Poem and Utterly Loved

September 12, 2012 brought to the blog and the world a most unexpected development. I created and shared my first poem Heaven… Found. Surprised to have poetry flow from my heart onto the page, I was thrilled when it was reblogged, liked, and shared on Twitter with everyone raving about the sensual poetry.

A burst of poetic creativity followed, which led to the publication of Utterly Loved, a book of romantic poetry for charity which includes a brilliant foreword written by the inspiring humanitarian and New York Times Bestselling Author Sylvain Reynard. Several other poems not included in Utterly Loved can be found in the poetry category on my blog.

A Most Uplifting Post 

On October 17, 2012, I gave a glimpse into who I am and how I live my life along with suggestions on how to increase your optimism in the post Adventures of an Optimist.

Throughout that day and the next, people contacted me on the blog and social media to let me know how my post brightened their day. To know that I helped others by sharing how I strive to be and stay positive made my day . . . and then some.

My First Guest Blog Post

By October of 2012, I’d posted just over dozen blog posts when I received my first invitation to write a guest post on another blog. The guest post, Embracing Sensuality, appeared Tamie’s blog Bookish Temptations for her one-year blogiversary celebration. I was and still am deeply honored to have been included.

A Glimpse of Heroes

In April 2013, in the wake of the devasting bombing at the Boston Marathon, I was invited by Jenn at Argyle Empire to participate in their fundraising efforts for the Red Cross in support of the bombing victims. As a part of those efforts, I shared an experience from my past with the American Red Cross. I revisited that heart-wrenching night and made a plea for donations to the American Red Cross and the Boston One Fund to support those charties in A Glimpse of Heroes. Jenn and Argyle Empire, thank you for wanting me to be a part of such a worthwhile cause.

Charity Support and Awareness Pages

In June of 2013, I became more involved in using my author platform to benefit charities, especially those that fight against human trafficking, by launching the Charity Support and Awareness pages on my blog and website. The page shares my thoughts and feelings, ways we can all help, and links to their various pages.

Highland Legends: Forged in Dreams and Magick

Throughout the entire year, hints and teasers have been posted about my upcoming release, from the series and book names, to the book description, and ultimately to the Cover Reveal on July 9th through AToMR Tours.

Take a peek at the cover described as “lush” and “stunning” and the description one said “hooked me immediately” for my debut Highlander, time-travel, paranormal romance novel Forged in Dreams and Magick.

~ ~ ~

And . . . there’s one more post I’d like to share as we step off memory lane into the future . . .

Teaser for Forged in Dreams and Magick

I’m thrilled to announce that an exclusive teaser for Forged in Dreams and Magick will be posted on Bookish Temptations on Monday, July 22, 2013. In just two days, that teaser post will mark the two month countdown to the release of Forged in Dreams and Magick on September 23, 2013.

Blogiversary Giveaway

I’m giving away a few party favors to commemorate my Blogiversary. Four winners will be chosen by Random.org. Each of the four winners will win a $25 Amazon gift card AND a signed copy of Utterly Loved!

It’s easy to enter. All you have to do is leave a comment on this Blogiversary post OR leave a comment on the Bookish Temptations’ Forged in Dreams and Magick teaser post. That’s it!
And if you leave a comment on each post? You’ll be entered twice! (Only two entries allowed per person.)

Comments until midnight EST on Thursday July 25, 2013 will qualify for entry to win the giveaway.

~ ~ ~

So leave those comments! I’d love to hear about your favorite moments from my blog over the year.

An enormous thank you to all my friends and followers. Your excitement, support, and love along my adventures on the road to published are deeply heartfelt and tremendously appreciated.

Your humble shoe,

~ Kat

© 2013 by Kat Bastion

Adventures Of An Optimist

Adventures of an Optimist

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

 

Half full. That would be a description of my beverage vessel.

Those who read my blog posts or watch my Twitter timeline know this indelible truth about me.

What does it mean to be an optimist?

The label means I’m fortunate enough to wake most every morning excited about the day. Present me a problem? I focus on solutions. If storm clouds threaten, I see sunshine after the storm.

I do have occasional defeated moments, bluesy afternoons and down days. There are times when I desperately need a hug, a smile, or a cheerleader. Most of the time… I’m the one giving them.

Optimists are hardwired to see and seek the goodness in a dark, harsh world. The blessing is multi-faceted. We share positivity with others, because our cups are more than merely half full.
They runneth over…

With enough joy in one’s heart, sharing with others is easy. The rewards for everyone? Immeasurable.

Many of those closest to me are not optimists. I dare say some are pessimists. It’s good, actually. We balance each other. They worry about the worst possible scenario. I anticipate the best outcome. Reality plays out somewhere in between.

One day a snarly stranger, upset by life’s circumstances, threw her anger at me. I smiled, deflecting it. My surprising reaction disarmed her. We focused together on the root of her problem, and she relaxed. I’ve never worn a cape, but I know I saved her day, or at least a moment in time for her. I gave her some of my optimism. I gave her hope. At no cost to me. The act lifted both our spirits.

It’s almost like a super-power. With not enough of it out there in the world, it shines like a beacon, attracting others to the vibrant feel-good. They want a hit of the drug you’re dealing.

Can someone learn to be an optimist?

Anyone can adopt optimist traits. No matter our natural tendencies—two loved ones in my life are textbook pessimists—we all have the ability to give selfless love. Smiles and laughter are contagious. Those same beloved pessimists often go rogue, making others smile and laugh.

Now you all know why I vibrate so much! {laughs}… It’s impossible to hold it all in.

We’re all on the same spectrum. I’m nowhere near the most optimistic. Every day I strive to find the bright side. Everyone has the capacity to find and share more happiness.

How can you increase your own optimism?

Here is what I find helpful…

  • Find a happy place. Look outside the window at the wind rustling through the trees. Imagine floating on a raft. … In Bora Bora. {smiles on a sigh}
  • Stop worrying. Every minute spent worrying is a wasted present moment.
  • Make someone else laugh. I dare you not to laugh yourself.
  • Remember the blessings. Wrapped up in troubles, we easily forget how good life is.
  • Give selflessly. The last dollar on you may be the first someone has ever received. Offer an unexpected hand, a random gift, or surprise hello. Make someone’s day.
  • Stop stressing. Imagine the worst outcome, but for no more than the briefest moments. Remind yourself there are so many scenarios better than the worst. Make those happen.
  • Seek positivity. Surround yourself with positive people. Read positive quotes. {whispers} … Like me, and my Twitter timeline…

Would you like to read more?

Two wonderful books on the topic are The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra and Always Looking Up – The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox.

An optimistic quote…

In the darkest hour, the smallest act of kindness bestowed becomes the foundation of many miracles. ~ Kat Bastion

I know I cannot save the world. But, I can brighten someone’s day.

Want to know what it’s like to have the adventures of an optimist?
{smiles slowly}… Join me and find out.

What are your favorite ways to find optimism? Who inspires you the most?

Go forth. Share your smile. Ignite hope in another.

 

Your Favorite Shoe,

Kat

© 2012 by Kat Bastion