Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ORDERLY/OPTIMISTIC - A to Z Challenge

It’s the third A to Z Challenge! Blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays The participation list is HERE – start with the blog after yours and visit at least five blogs a day. Mostly, make new friends and have fun!

My theme – I have selected a word for each day and will present to you blogger buddies who fit that description, along with movies, music, etc. My theme is to give back, highlight some awesome bloggers, and have fun in the process.

ORDERLY/OPTIMISTIC

Elizabeth Spann Craig at Mystery Writing is Murder
This mystery writer is one of my very first followers. Her blog is so orderly and professional, I have to admit I was very intimidated at first. She founded the Writer’s Knowledge Database, the largest collection of writing information I have ever seen. I’m not sure how she finds and organizes it all, but I am impressed beyond words. She’s also a full time writer, something that is difficult to achieve. If you’re not following her Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers, then you need to get with it!

Ciara Knight
What strikes me first with Ciara is her optimistic attitude. It’s genuine and solid. Her feature “Did I Notice Your Book?” speaks volumes of her feelings towards her fellow authors. I imagine that after time in her presence, one would walk away feeling confident and ready to conquer the world. Ciara, sometimes we wonder if we are making any difference. Well, rest assured – you are making an amazing impact!!

Andie MacDowell as Rita in Groundhog Day
Here was a character of such unfettered optimism that it even prompted Bill Murray to utter the line “Gosh, you’re upbeat.” Anytime I hear someone spout overly optimistic jargon it calls to mind the classic words of Bill Murray and the hilarious movie “Groundhog Day.”



NINJA NEWS!

Laura Pauling signed a contract for How to Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings. Congratulations, Laura!!

Just to highlight another great A to Z theme – Jamie at Mithril Wisdom is highlighting metal and progressive rock bands with a fantasy/horror/science fiction edge. He's Welsh, so Jamie has only stumped me on a few of them.

And just to clarify yesterday’s post – my wife is far hotter than Kate Beckinsale! Yes, I am damned proud of that fact.

Finally, this is for those who never saw Chris Phillips’ post over a year ago. (Which I imagine is most of you.) He’d asked what songs influenced the writing of the author’s book. Most selected three songs, but I went with only one. “Street Spirit” by Stream of Passion was the emotional drive behind a key scene in CassaStar. I wrote revisions to that scene, the most difficult I’ve ever written, while listening to this song. If you don’t have time to listen, I understand. But for those who’ve read CassaStar, you’ll know what scene I mean:



Are you following Elizabeth and Ciara? Watched Groundhog Day? Digging Jamie’s metal A to Z posts? Know what scene “Street Spirit” embodies? Do you have a scene in your book/manuscript that will forever eat at your heart? And who do you know that is orderly or optimistic?

115 comments:

Nancy Thompson said...

I don't know Elizabeth sonill have to check her out. I love Ciara & her blog! Thanks for all the referrals. I'm enjoying your friends!

Nancy Thompson said...

I can't type #*@$ on my phone!

Carrie Butler said...

I love having so many "new" blogs to follow this month. Thanks, Alex! :)

Michael Pierce said...

My wife is orderly and I am optimistic (or at least I tell myself). Nice clarification (recovery) with the Kate comment! Haha. Happy Tuesday!

Cassie Mae said...

Oh I'll have to wait for my slow internet to buffer the song, but I will listen to it :)

I haven't watched Groundhog Day in forever! It kinda scared me as a kid (big surprise, right?) cuz he kept killing himself over and over. I was like, um... what the crap???

Trisha said...

I will definitely listen to that song sometime! Thanks for the great post!

Lynda R Young said...

optimism is contagious. And I loved that movie--Groundhog Day. I could watch it over and over... ;)

michelle said...

Amazingly, I've watched Groundhog Day! I love the word 'upbeat'... it's funky... and musical, of course! :)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Ciara is terrific, but I haven't met Elizabeth yet. Groundhog Day is a great movie, and I feel like I have many of those moments! Julie

The Angry Lurker said...

I thought only Radiohead did the best version until now, I was wrong, fecking great version, looking to download it now!

Old Kitty said...

Kate who? Mrs Cap'n Ninja is wonderful!! Yay!!

Take care
x

mooderino said...

Does your wife walk roud the house in a one-piece leather jumpsuit? I hope so.

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino
The Funnily Enough

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Pleased you clarified your wife and Kate situation...lol

Loved the music, it certainly was wonderful to hear.

Happy Blogging.
Yvonne.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I ♥ Groundhog day, the film

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nancy, that's all right - I knew what you meant!

Michael, I didn't want there to be any doubt.

Cassie, you are young!

Lynda, no pun intended there, right?

Lurker, didn't realize it wasn't their song.

Kitty, that's right!

Moody, I'm still working on that...

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Thanks so much for this great mention, Alex! There are many days when I don't feel that organized, so you've made me feel better. :) Thanks.

I loved Groundhog Day. Rita was *very* upbeat. Although less so when she smacked Bill Murray's character in the face all those times in a row. Which really made me laugh for some reason!

Clare said...

Oh wow, Elizabeth Spann Craig is very organized isn't she?! Her database looks amazing. Thanks for the links. :D

Brinda said...

I'll have to check out Elisabeth. I have followed Ciara for a long time and agree about her generous nature. Andie McDowell is lovely. I've seen her on interviews and she seems like a genuinely nice person.

C.M.Brown said...

Ground Hog Day was just recently re-run on TV here! Always good to watch. I do visit Ciara and we keep in touch via email because her browser hates me. But, we have worked around it. I will have to visit Elisabeth.

Mina Burrows said...

Just checked out Ciara. On my way to visit Elizabeth. Thanks, Alex! :)

Ciara said...

Alex, you are so sweet! You are a great inspiration to all fellow bloggers and authors. Thanks so much for the kind words. I just wish I could do more. Did I Notice Your book will return in May. Yay, I missed it. :) I hope you are enjoying the challenge. I know I am.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Now I have to go and watch Groundhog Day again!

Talli Roland said...

Oh, yay! Massive congrats to Laura!

And Ciara and Elizabeth are fab.

Anna Smith said...

That's a pretty awesome tune. I've not read the book yet,(takes me two weeks to read a book, so bad lol) is it a fight/battle scene?

Marta Szemik said...

I follow Ciara and agree she's awesome!
My mom is the most optimistic person I know.
Love groundhog day. They should remake it, but I don't think they could outdo Bill Murray.

M.J. Fifield said...

I haven't watched Groundhog Day. I know it's crazy to think but it's true.

And Jamie is always stumping me with his metal posts because I don't know any of those bands.

Jamie Gibbs said...

Thanks for the shout out Alex, though I'm gonna be a stickler and point out that I'm Welsh :P

Jamie
Fellow A-Z Buddy
Doing a monumental blog catch-up
Mithril Wisdom

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, you're welcome! And those scenes made me laugh as well.

Brinda, yes she does.

Ciara, you are welcome! And you do plenty.

Anna, it begins with one...

Marta, Murray owns that role.

MJ, I've know most of them.

Crap, I'll fix that Jamie.

Rusty Webb said...

Groundhog day is one of those rare films I've owned in many formats... from VHS to blue ray. I've got 'em all. Or, had them all at one time or another.

And I did write a scene that tore me up once, I'm not sure anyone buy me has ever read it. But I got all bleary eyed and sniffly - It was so embarrassing.

And congrats to Laura

Heather M. Gardner said...

Don't drive angry!

I didn't know about Elizabeth but I do now! Awesome! And I do follow Ciara.

Thanks for introducing us to so many new things!

Here's one for you!
http://youtu.be/rvJBNh_1M2Y

Laura Pauling said...

Thanks for the mention, Alex! :)

farawayeyes said...

Follow Ciara, will check out Elizabeth. Love 'Groundhog Day' except for the days I feel like I'm living it. Andie plays the same'upbeat' character in 'Michael'. I like her.

Really like the song. I think I can guess the scene. Just can't get my head around 'Alex the head banger'. Ha.

Heart eating scenes -- Oh yeah.

Christine Rains said...

I'm following both ladies, and Groundhog Day is awesome! One of those movies I can watch over and over and over again.

Laura Eno said...

I need to find time to peruse Elizabeth's blog. Ciara is indeed an optomistic person. She makes you feel like an old friend. :)

Robyn Campbell said...

Waving to your wife.

Congrads to Laura! Yay!

Yes, I follow Ciara and Elizabeth. Your comments about those two lovely ladies are spot on, Captain.

Groundhog Day is one of the best movies ever. If you love to laugh. And I do.

Internet is buffering. But I'll listen to the song this morning.

Orderly and optimistic? My son Christopher. He's my hero. :-)

L.G.Smith said...

This post is so...upbeat!

Yay for optimistic bloggers...and people in general. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rusty, need to let someone read it sometime.

Heather, great Groundhog Day quote!

Laura, you're welcome.

Faraway, is the song not my style?

Robyn, tonight I'll make sure she waves back.

Kelly Polark said...

I'm sure your wife appreciates the clarification! (though I'm certain she knows she's tops with you!)

I'll have to check out the musical A to Z! I'm sure I'll find some new bands!

Jay Noel said...

I follow Ciara! She is awesome.

Groundhog Day is one of my favorites. I always found Rita so charming, but her character is kind of a caricature. She was a great foil for Phil Conners, though.

That song is incredible, and I know exactly what scene you're talking about. The saddness, trauma, the loss, and anger...it's all there.

Julie Dao said...

Aw, so sweet! And your picks for orderly and optimistic are spot on.

Ella said...

We were just talking about Groundhog Day this past weekend, lol ;D

Great song, love their sound, how well it ties in~

Now, I'll have to check out the post about Mrs. Ninja :D

Thanks for sharing, off to visit.
I don't think I'm ready yet for nose yoga...lol

Libby said...

Rita in Groundhog day was one of my favorite things as a kid. I've seen the movie several times and read the screenplay several times. Every screenwriting class ever makes you read it because it's so well structured.

Journaling Woman said...

I am following both and would like to add that not only is Elizabeth orderly she is an encourager. She geniunely wants others to succeed. So she could fall under E and G for geniune, as well, in my book. :)

Groundhog day is still one of my favs.

Teresa

Tonja said...

Groundhog day is one of my favorite movies. I hope my day today isn't a repeat of yesterday.

Clarissa Draper said...

From what I know about you - and how awesomely nice you are, I'm sure your wife is not only hot, but I'm sure she's crazy about you. What a nice thing you said about her today.

Rick Daley said...

I love Groundhog Day. It might have made my movie list if it weren't for the larger-than-life Marlon Brando film...

Jen Chandler said...

I JUST caught up reading your posts. Awesome, awesome, awesome...especially the little blurb about Malcolm Reynolds ...*sigh*...Firefly...mumble, mumble...FOX...&*^$*#@

Thanks for introducing us to so many great blogs!

Happy Tuesday,
Jen

J.C. Martin said...

Already follow Ciara, but thanks for introducing us to Elizabeth! Always love following new fellow mystery writers!

And congratulations Laura on your new contract!

J.C. Martin
A to Z Blogger

Karen Walker said...

Elizabeth is one of the first bloggers I met - we took a blogging class together. I love her and her blog. Thanks for giving her a shout out.
Karen

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kelly, she knows!

Jay, you do know the scene.

Ella, nose yoga just sounds painful.

Libby, that would be an interesting class to take.

Teresa, she's those things as well!

Clarissa, I hope she is!

Jen, don't get me started...

Karen, that's how I met her as well.

Rachel Morgan said...

I know Ciara Knight, but not Elizabeth Spann Craig. That Writer’s Knowledge Database sounds amazing. Need to check that out!

Savannah Chase said...

Ciara is such an amazing and talented author.

Tracy Jo said...

Wow, awesome song. Touches your soul. Off to check out Elizabeth and Ciara. Thanks again and have a great day!

Jacqueline Howett said...

Thanks Alex, Some wonderful mentions you've made here!

Enjoy your days left with A-Z

Matthew MacNish said...

You know all your blogger friends so well! It's amazing how you can remember who to pick for what.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Elizabeth is amazing -- I don't know how she manages her social media accomplishments, a family, and two mystery series. Just thinking about her schedule makes me want to take a nap.

cleemckenzie said...

Ground Hog's Day was one wonderful circle tour! Glad you clarified that little bit about your wife and Kate Beckinsale and gave us more blog recommendations. So many!!!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've known Elizabeth for years and recently got to meet her in person. She is just a delight!

J. A. Bennett said...

I'm already following Ciara, she's awesome. Great character pick. I can't think of anyone more optimistic!

Leovi said...

I love the optimism, something that tends to lose with age.

Budd said...

I tend to be a bright side type person but closer to the realist spectrum.

Susan Oloier said...

Ciara is wonderful. Many congrats to Laura!

Bish Denham said...

My glass is half-full. But I can get misanthropic and be a bit like Eeyore.

Jessica Salyer said...

I know Ciara and am heading over to Elizabeth's now. :)

Gossip_Grl said...

Will definately check out the blog suggestions. I have watched Groundhog Day, and with my last job I swear I lived groundhog day. Also great music video

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rachel, it's impressive!

Tracy Jo, yes it does.

Matthew, I started making a list early.

Patricia, I'm ready for a nap as well.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Just watched Groundhog Day for the fiftieth or so time this past weekend. She is "upbeat" for sure.

David P. King said...

I believe I am following both, and Congrats to Laura! That's awesome about your wife. Some have compared my wife to a cross of Scarlet Johansson and Emma Stone, a fact I am also proud of. A to Z is looking great. Keep it up! :)

S. L. Hennessy said...

Groundhog Day is, and will forever be, a classic.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Aww. You are such a romantic Alex. That's nice to hear you compliment your wife like that. You are lucky to have each other :)

JamieBMusings said...

Loving this challenge :) I'm having a great time and enjoying reading everyone's posts.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jaycee, it's such an easy movie to get sucked into.

David, working hard here!

Michael, I'm sure even she would say I was the luckier of the two. But I do try.

Jamie, glad you're having fun!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

I actually was at an art fair in Asheville when Andie McDowell (Rose Crauley or Crowley to the natives) showed up. She's very tall and just as gorgeous in person. A big presence.

Jack said...

Every Groundhog Day I watch the movie, and every Groundhog Day I say to my family, "Gosh, you’re upbeat." True story!

Melissa Sugar said...

I love Mystery Writing is murder and I admit I was intimidated by her blog at first. It is full of so much information I can linger there for hours.

Tara Tyler said...

groundhog day was awesome
groundhog day was awesome
groundhog day...

you get the picture =)

Nick Wilford said...

I met Ciara on Day One of the challenge as her blog is a couple of stops after mine on the list.

Off to check out Elizabeth's blog. I need to learn from orderly people!

Alexandra Heep said...

Thanks for pointing me to Jamie's blog, I am now following. Welsh and prog/metal - good combo.

I am orderly, actually I am probably OCD. That would have been an interesting O.

Hannah said...

Visiting as part of the A-Z challenge. Love your blog, cool post!
Hannah x :)

Julie said...

I'm not familiar with Elizabeth's blog, that's definitely one I need to check out and follow.

Love Groundhog Day, I hadn't thought of that movie in ages.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

The music's beautifully moving, Alex. I appreciate the depth of that scene even more, having listened to it. Thanks for sharing.

I can hear Bill Murry uttering those words. Great snippet! It makes me laugh.

Thanks.
xoRobyn

Kittie Howard said...

Bill Murray's line cracks me up. Caddy Shack is hub's all-time fav.

And, thanks, Alex, for the support!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I love Groundhog Day and her character. Robin Weeks also did a post on optimism. Just what I needed today.

Jemi Fraser said...

Elizabeth and Ciara are both awesome!! :)

Spacerguy said...

Groundhog day is awesome.

Cherie Reich said...

I follow both Elizabeth and Ciara. Congrats to Laura!!

Jennifer Hillier said...

I love Groundhog Day! Such a good movie. Will have to watch it again, I think I saw it on my OnDemand.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jaye, that's really cool!

Jack, that's funny!

Melissa, Elizabeth is just super nice.

Alexandra, you won't regret following him.

Thanks, Robyn!

Kittie, thank YOU.

Angela Brown said...

I've followed Ciara for several months and must agree regarding her upbeat spirit.

I'm going to check out Elizabeth's blog.

Three cheers to Laura for that contract. Way to go!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm really enjoying all the music over at Jamie's blog. I know a few writer friends who are really organized.

Helena said...

Ciara really is fantastic, indefatigable, so very talented and so very genuinely kind. And I love Groundhog Day.

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

I love Elizabeth's Writers Knowledge Base. Like you, I don't know where she finds all the 'knowledge' to impart but it is a fantastic resource for authors.

Denise

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Denise, I just don't know when she has the time, but she's always finding good stuff!

Kimberlee Turley said...

I thought Groundhog's Day had an interesting premise, but that it dragged a little too much.

M Pax said...

Groundhog Day is a great flick. I know Ciara, but not Elizabeth. :)

Catherine Stine said...

Alex, these sites sound great, and I'll hop over to some after I comment. You are certainly an optimistic and generous member of the blogosphere. Catherine

The Golden Eagle said...

Those are two great blogs! And I have really been enjoying Jamie's posts, even though metal is not something I usually listen to.


The Golden Eagle
The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

Susanne Drazic said...

Stopping by to say hello!

Haven't seen Groundhog Day in a long time.

Susanne
PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Catherine!

Nicole said...

Thanks for the dose of optimism! ;)

baygirl32 said...

Great tune!

mshatch said...

I own Groundhog Day; that's how much I love that movie. And Bill Murray is perfect.

Powdered Toast Man said...

Time to watch Groundhog Day!!

Copyboy said...

I'll have to check out Ciara. As well as a second helping of Ned! Ned Ryerson!

Leigh Covington said...

I've always like the movie Groundhog day. It's such a cool show! I try to be optimistic, but since I had kids, life is less orderly than it used to be. :) hehehe. Like your character choice for optimism though. You're right. She's the perfect choice. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

Elizabeth was one of my very first blogging buddies, err ... budettes. And Ciara has an amazing blog. Both have hosted me on blog tours. Awesome ladies!

And Groundhog day is a classic! Think I'll put that in my Netflix qeue.

Joshua said...

I'm a Ciara fan already, but have not seen Elizabeth's yet. Heading there now. Thanks.

Suze said...

'Groundhog Day' is a great film. Well, at the very least, funny and fun to watch.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

MsHatch, we own it as well!

Jesse - funny!

Stephen - bloggette??

Pat Tillett said...

I am not following those two ladies, but I will check them out!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Another great set of blogs. Rita was a great character. Very loveable.
- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

Sarah Ahiers said...

I love groundhog's day, but i cannot stand Andie McDowell

Leslie Rose said...

Whoo hoo for Laura's great news. I do follow Elizabeth. Must go check Ciara out. Somedays I worry I'm stuck in a Groundhog Day scenario. So far I've been wrong. So far...

Medeia Sharif said...

Cool video.

I loved Groundhog Day and its characters.

Johanna Garth said...

Tenacious is the perfect writerly word!