If you're a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean buyer
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin
Come in...come in...
~Shel Silverstein

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh How I Miss You Blogfest

Today I'm participating in the "Oh, How I Miss You" Blogfest--hosted by  Alex J Cavanaugh , Mathew McNish, and Andrew Leon. This blogfest features the bloggers we miss the most--and the ones we would miss, were they to ever stop blogging. I believe our three hosts need to be mentioned, because I know they would be greatly missed by many people if they were ever to leave the blogging world.

As for myself, the first person I thought of when I sat down to write this post was my friend and critique partner, Zellie Blake. I think most of the people participating in this blogfest will write about bloggers who have gotten too busy to blog. Maybe they got bored with it. Or maybe they moved on because of problems with rude comments or too much spam or it got too time-consuming. There could be a million reasons someone might decide to quit blogging. I wish Zellie was one of those people. I wish she was just off doing something else. I wish I could tell her I love her and want her to come back. But I can't, because Zelllie died two years ago.

I met Zellie through a local critique group. She was...amazing. She had this great blog--ZELLIE BLAKE.  On her blog she had the normal stuff all us writers have. Her books, her current projects. But she also had whole other sections. Pictures of her rock climbing, of her trip to New Zealand, of her rappelling down a cliff side  The words across her website banner were: Be the Adventure you Dream." Zell lived by those words.

I only knew Zellie for about a year and a half. She got sick about ten months in. Neither of us are the type to jump full-fledged into a friendship, so it took us most of that ten months to bond. By the time we really felt like friends, Zellie was already dying of lung cancer--although none of us knew it at the time. (As a side-note, Zell never smoked. She never drank. She never took a single drug. It was just a freak thing)

There are certain people that burn through life, lighting up everything around them. Zell was one of those people and I count myself really blessed that I was able to have her in my life for even the short amount of time that I did.

Zellie never gave up. She spent her final days pursuing her dream of seeing her work in print. She died within hours of self-publishing the book she'd poured her heart into, Lighting Spliced.

Lightning Spliced is the story of a young girl, Analee, who suffers from a horrible genetic disorder. When a cure is found for Analeee's condition, she's thrilled--until she finds out that her cure comes with a horrifying side-effect that turns her into a powerful weapon in a war between patients like her and the genetics corporation that betrayed them.

To quote a friend of hers who reviewed the book:

Zellie's book is more than just a means to help fight against cancer (as others have said, all proceeds go to the American Cancer Society), it is a great read with a lot to say about the systems that are supposed to be in place to help us and how oftentimes they do exactly the opposite; Her own medical story only underscoring the point.

This bloghop was a great opportunity for me to talk about Zellie. If you are looking for an inspirational story, or an awesome read, please check out Zellie's website, HERE or purchase her book, LIGHTING SPLICED. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.


And...on a lighter note...the bloggers I would miss if they were to go...

Everyone!! I love all the blogs I follow. But, I will name just a few:

Literary Rambles I know I couldn't have put together my agent list without that site!! Cacey McCormick and her new partner, Natalie Aguirre, have put a huge amount of work into it and deserve serious props.

 Confessions of a Stuffed Olive is always great when I need a laugh.

Stina Lindenblatt  has awesome links every Friday.

Brenda Drake hosts a ton of amazing contests.

Deana Barnhart put together GUTGAA and is gearing up to do Pitch Wars.

  Alex Cavanaugh is the king of the blogfest and runs a seriously cool blog.

The Bookshelf Muse--without their help, I literally couldn't write.

I could go on all day, seriously. There are way too many to name and I'm just really glad to be a part of this community!! Thank you all and please...don't ever stop blogging!

50 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to Zellie. So sad that lost the battle with cancer. Sounds like she really touched your life though.
    And thank you - not going anywhere anytime soon!
    Thanks for participating in our blogfest.

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    1. thanks, Alex. Yeah, she touched my life in many ways. I would not be the writer I am without Zell.

      And you're welcome for participating. You have awesome blogfests. :)

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  2. I agree with Alex. What a wonderful tribute to Zellie.

    Thanks for including me on your list. :D There were soooo many I wanted to include, I couldn't decide with ones to post. I love too many blogs. lol

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    1. Yeah, it was super hard to pick. I could've sat there all night. haha

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  3. Oh my gosh... this is so tragic. I'm heartbroken! Wow. Thank you for this lovely tribute, Tamara. Just amazing. <3

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    1. Thanks Morgan. Zellie was a great girl.

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  4. What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Yes, I was amazed at how much I grieved for my blogging friend Angie when she died. Even making the post about her today, I teared back up. I see you felt the same way about Zellie.

    So nice to find you today through this blog hop.

    Hope we "connect" again in this crazy cyber world.

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    1. Thanks Keetha,

      Me too. I was very touched by your post.

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  6. haha yes, I think everyone is choosing Alex for good reason! Nice to meet you too :)

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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    1. I know, right. He is the nicest guy!!! It seems I'm not the only one who thinks so.

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  7. What a sweet tribute to someone who seemed like a sweet friend. Hopping over from the blogfest. You have a beautiful blog page, I bet it matches your personality.

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  8. Hey,

    So very sorry to hear about Zellie, and what a tribute to her... I'm sure she's smiling down at you (perhaps with a red pen while you were editing :)

    Good luck with the rest of NaNoooooooo and again, thanks for sharing a little about Zellie and her amazing life.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mark!

      Yeah, Zellie was great. I'm glad to have this chance to tell people a little bit about her. She was the first person who ever critiqued for me. Think about what that means...haha. It means my book was fairly awful before she came along. Zellie was the one who taught me about a couple little things called tension and conflict. And she was SO sweet about it!!! She never once laughed at the drivel I was proudly passing off as writing back then. ;)

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  9. Tamara, I couldn't find you on the linky list of participants. Be sure to add your link so others can visit. I'd add you myself, but I don't know your email address.

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    1. Wow. that's so weird. I don't know how I dropped the ball on that one, cause I've had the button on my blog for at least a few weeks. Thanks for the heads up, Alex!! :) I added it.

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  10. This was such a moving tribute to your friend Zellie. I'm so sorry that she died so young. I will visit her website to find out more about her book. Thanks Tamara, and she was lucky to have you for a friend. Julie

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    1. Thanks, Julie!! I really hope some people check out her book through this blogfest!!

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  11. Zellie sounds like an amazing woman! It was so sad to read about her and how she died so young. It is so sad....
    I will have to go look at this book!
    Thank you for being you and sharing Zellie and her journey!
    I'm touched by your post and Zellie's legacy!
    (((hugs)))

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    1. thanks very much, Ella. Please do take a look at the book. I really hope this blog post helps promote it a bit. :) And thanks for stopping by and the cyber-hugs!! :)

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  12. This was a touching post. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. This is the second post today regarding a blogger who has passed away. They will always remain in our hearts as someone who enriched us in countless ways.

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    1. Yeah, I've read two others besides this one. It's nice though--to know that their words still reach out to touch our lives

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  14. Zellie must have been a really interesting person to know. I'm so sorry to hear she died.

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  15. The blogworld is indeed wonderful, it is filled with wonderful people. Thank you for droppingby my blog, it is nice to meet you and looking forward to visiting each other :)

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  16. What a touching story. It breaks my heart to hear someone so young passed away from lung cancer. Thank you for sharing the story.

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  17. This was a beautiful post. Thanks for letting me know about Zellie. I'm going to check out her site and book now.

    Brenda Drake is amazing.

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    1. Thanks, Mina! I hope you like the book. :)

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  18. Glad I joined this blogfest and that you stopped by - I love your blog. I am your newest follower.

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    1. Thanks very much, Rhonda! And your site is awesome as well. :)

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  19. Hi Tamara .. what a great tribute to Zellie - and I'm pleased her book lives on with the proceeds going to help the fight against this dreaded disease ...

    Delighted to meet you and see you around .. cheers Hilary

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  20. Oh man I hadn't heard of Zellie, but thank you for taking this op to mention her and share her awseomeness with us. I'm so glad she got to know her book is out here. She sounds like she was a force to be reckoned with. So sorry for your loss.

    You've mentioned some amazing bloggers and resources that make us all better blogger/writers. Cheers to that !

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    1. Thank You, PK.

      Yeah, Zell was definitely unstoppable!! It looks like her book sales went up since I posted this, which is really awesome. This community is so amazing.

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  21. What a touching story! It is very nice of you to bring more light to her dream and make her book become her legacy. You are a great friend and I'm so sorry for your loss. Your story is so touching, I'd like to write a post about your friendship and her book. Maybe we'll be able to sell a couple of books, or at least inspire more people with your friendship. =) Let me know if it is something that interests you, but don't feel pressure, though. I totally get it if you don't feel like it.

    Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Wow. That's definitely something I'd be interested in. I actually have some really cool stories about Zellie and some of the things we did together. I also had a project I organized before she died called, "A Thousand Cranes for Zellie" where Zell's friends, family and people all over the internet ended up folding almost two-thousand cranes for her. It's a very inspirational story and I'd love to have you share it on your blog. Just drop me an email or whatever when you want to write it up. Maybe we could put something up on the same day and link back to each-other?

      Sorry if I sound over-eager, but Zell was--with no exaggeration--the most amazing person I've ever met. I didn't believe someone like her could exist outside of the pages of a book. And I'd love some help promoting her book because, like all of us, her biggest dream was for her words to get out into the world on a large scale.

      My email is tamaradwalsh "at" yahoo "." com

      Thanks so much, Georgina, I really appreciate this and I'll look forward to hearing back from you :)

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  22. What a beautiful tribute to Zellie! Lovely post!

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  23. What a beautiful tribute to an amazing and inspirational creative woman! Wonderful! Take care
    x

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  24. Thanks to all who commented!! You guys are all awesome. :)

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  25. I was going to say something clever, and by the time I read all the comments... I decided I really liked your font. ;) Easy on the eyes.

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    1. haha...thanks, Dani. I hate when I go on someone's site and I can't read their font!

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  26. Sorry to hear about your friend. I wish I became close friends to a blogger. I'm not as connected to my online family like I used to be. I've visited so many blogs during this blogfest and haven't heard of many being talked about and I've been blogging for three years.

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    1. There are SO many it's impossible to keep up. Really. I actually met Zell in person, or else we'd have never gotten so close. Although, it is possible to get super close with people online. I've never met my critique partner, but she is awesome. :)

      Hope you find some cool new online friends through the blog.

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  27. Angela and Becca at the Bookshelf Muse are the best! That is all.

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  28. Thanks for the introduction to such great bloggers! They sound fun!

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  29. Oh, I miss Zellie, too. That was so sad. I'm glad she got her book out, though. I have another friend who passed without that and some of her friends did final polish on her two books to make sure she reached her dream, but it would have been nice if she'd seen it.

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    1. Thanks, Hart. That's awesome that your friend had her friends step up and look out for her like that, but it's tough that she never got to see it. Very sad.

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  30. Beautiful tribute to your friend! Love the blog and thanks for following mine!

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I love to hear from everyone! Thanks for the comment. :)