2012 Blog of the Year Awards!!!

On December 9th 2011, I wrote my first post for Writing Between the Lines.  I’d been told for years to start a blog, because a writer needs a social media platform.  I kept putting it off.  I knew nothing about blogs or blogging.  I felt I had little to say, and why would strangers want to bother reading?  But I took the plunge, because that’s what authors are supposed to do.   It turns out to be one of the best investments I ever made!

Through blogging I discovered a new way to tell stories, using photographs from my life and travels.  I’ve read so many great blogs, learned so much, met so many people, made so many friends from all over the world.   Some of these friends have nominated me for the 2012 Blog of the Year Award.  They have helped me earn my six stars, and then some.  Before I pass this award along, I want to thank these folks for nominating me for this honor, and tell you about what makes these bloggers so outstanding.

Jueseppi B. of The Obamacrat.com is a passionate blogger who has accumulated well over a million views in the last year.  He is a passionate man who speaks out for justice, champions many causes, but also has a soft spot for poetry and fine cuisine.  He was one of my first followers, and I have been a follower of his since I took my first baby steps into the blogosphere.

Maggi Myklebust of Flyawayhomebook.com is the author of  a memoir Fly Away Home, which reads like a novel.  She has led such an interesting life as an American ex-pat in Norway.  Her blog is many things–read about the writing life, learn about adjusting to life in another country, and get to know a very lovely person.  When she nominated me for this award, she mentioned that I was the first person outside of her family to leave a comment on her blog.  I thought surely she had been writing her blog for years, as it was so well done.  What a fortunate day it was for me to have stumbled upon her.  I hope you will check out her blog, and buy her book!

Anotherdayinparadise is written by a woman who has traveled the world.  She plays piano, shares lovely photos from her travels, and has home bases in three continents.  Her family is large and adorable, and I love the peek into that side of her life too.   She was one of my first followers, and I have truly enjoyed following her blog this last year.  I think you will too.

Marsha Lee AKA The History Gal is a force of nature in the blogosphere.  A retired history teacher, she is interested in everything, and blogs about all her interests, from history to quilting to travel to the pros and cons of a timeshare in Hawaii.  I have learned a lot about the basics of blogging, such as watermarking photos, from her posts about the nuts and bolts of blogging.

Eunice at Living and Loving is another blogger with many interests.  She posts about travel, jewelry and beading, birdwatching, trucking, and photography.  She is a very interesting person, and she writes an interesting, well-rounded blog.

Len Williams-Carver at myownheart.me truly does write from the heart.  Like most people, she wrestles with questions about faith and family, life and death.  She also shares her writing, humorous posts that highlight human behavior, and her take on the world.

Ivonprefontaine of Teacher as Transformer is a teacher, a poet, and a gentle soul with an open mind and a big heart.

The London Flower Lover is a team of flower lovers who are all about flowers.  Poems, photographs, stories that celebrate everything floral.

FIRST OF ALL…to all of the bloggers listed above, I say “Backatcha!”  Just in case you haven’t collected all six stars, I am nominating you for the 2012 Blog of the Year Award.  AND NOW… I would like to pass on the 2012 Blog of the Year Award to the following bloggers…I hope you will take a moment to check out their outstanding blogs.

Nikki of imayfly.com is an excellent writer with a fresh voice, capable of eliciting laughter and invoking profound thought.
Scilla of Scillagrace is another writer of exceptional talent.  She loves history and photography, but whatever topic she addresses, she does so with a grace and wisdom that inspires.
Jamie of The Poet By Day is one of the most talented poets in the blogosphere, with a depth and wisdom to her words that is often breathtaking.
Sarah of sarahpotterwrites is a novelist, a talented musician, and a poet with a fresh voice and a sly sense of humor.  Her mastery of the haiku is a wonder.  Now she is organizing a novel-writing support group to help fellow writers their first draft from start to finish this winter.
Grace of Czech the Flip is a Filipino mom married to a Czech and living in the Czech Republic.  I really enjoy learning about the history and culture of the Czech Republic, as well as snatches of every day life in another country.  The bonus: watching her little boy Jakob growing up!
Lisa at Zebra Designs and Destinations has created a blog rich with color and full of zest.  An artist, a traveler, a photographer, and an observer!  Now go check out her latest post on the hatching of a nest of sea turtles!
Carol of Wanderings of an Elusive Mind is a wise and gentle woman who lives her life with a grace I can only aspire to.  I like to go with her on a morning walk.  She might give you a tour of the garden, or a peek at the birds that flock to her yard.
George Weaver of She Kept a Parrot is another gentlewoman who has a way with both words and a camera, and  a great eye for a story.
Sabrina of Sabrina Garie is a mom, sci-fi geek, and an author with a fresh new voice and a great sense of humor.  Check out her blog for an excerpt from her exciting new book, Fires of Justice.
Madhu of The Urge to Wander has a classy blog featuring stories of her travels, and amazing photographs of exotic and enchanting places.  She has been EVERYWHERE!  She gave me my first award, The Leibster Award, which was welcome encouragement for a newbie blogger.
Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack? inspires a global blogging community interested in travel and photography by offering a weekly travel-related theme to which bloggers throughout the world respond.  Many of my favorite posts were written in response to her prompts.
Jake of Jakesprinter is a great guy who also encourages and inspires the blogging community with a weekly challenge called Jake’s Sunday Post.
Frizztext of Flickr Comments is a musician, a photographer, and a storyteller.  He too challenges his readers to contribute stories to his blog–everything from A-Z, one letter at a time!
Island Traveler of this man’s journey is a man with a heart full of love.  He inspires the community to think about life and love and family through a weekly challenge posed to a global blogging community.
Kourtney of Kourtney Heinz’s Journal is a writer who writes, attends writing conferences, and is sharing, step by step, the process with readers the process of marketing a novel.
Pat of  A New Day writes of living life fully with Fibromyalgia.  Get inspired by her strong spirit, beautiful photographs, and observations of life.
Tess of How the Cookie Crumbles will give you an irreverent view of life after 65.  She is a talented writer who will treat you to some striking samples of Flash Fiction.
Lesley of Inspiration Import: Lesley Fletcher Art and Words–Spirit and Soul says it all in the title of her blog.
Cee of Cee’s Photography is a great photographer.  She poses another weekly challenge, the Fun Foto Challenge, which attracts many participants from all over the globe.
Elizabeth of Mirth and Motivation is an intelligent blog that features great photography, poetry, and insight on life.
Elisa of Fun and Fabulousness for great photos and a great perspective.
Cathryn Wellner of This Gives Me Hope, a blog which always inspires, entertains, and makes me smile.
Winners, if you don’t have time to pass this on, that’s okay.   If you’d like to thank and acknowledge the friends and followers who have enriched your life and the blogworld this last year, check out this link for official 2012 Blog of the Year rules.


One Village

In my travels I prefer a village setting to a big city, and will bypass London for thatched roof country, or head straight out of Rome to explore the ancient villages of Umbria , Tuscany or Ligurnia.  All over the world, they are so different.

On the little island of Aeroskobing in Denmark…

…or above the clouds high up in the mountains of Switzerland.

At sea level in Iceland…

….or at the foot of a Norman castle in Ireland.

In the shadow of Cesky Krumlov Castle in the Czech Republic…

…or on the shore of a fjiord in Norway.

Beneath an ancient Roman aquaduct in Spain…

…or on a little cobbled street in Dorset.

Each has its own unique story and history…





And characters…

All so different and yet so familiar.

Almost like family.

Copyright 2012 Naomi Baltuck

The Thing About Doors

Is a door the way in or the way out?  It depends…are you coming or going?

We find many interesting doors in life.

Sometimes we know just what we need…

Other times the choice is not so clear…

Some doors are lovely…

Others scary…

Some are daunting…

It would be nice if we could sneak a peek…

Some doors are difficult to get to…

Still others can be hard to find…

Or best avoided…

But you never can tell which door…

…will open up onto a new friendship…


…or even lead to a loving family.

Which is why we must not be afraid to step out into the sunshine, or forget to invite someone in out of the cold.

Reach for the doorknob….

…..and see what you can find.

All words and images Copyright 2012 Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of Thursday Doors.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Doorways.