Monday, January 11, 2010


I often wonder if I make a difference. When I taught elementary school, I knew I was making a difference. But do I make a difference now? I’m not talking about donating money or stuff to an organization. How can I make the world a happier place? My WAD mate and 2007 Highlights Magazine Annual Contest Winner, Rhonda Roberts sent the WAD a great reminder about how we can make a difference in someone’s life. Here’s what Rhonda said:

“Make a decision that once a day you will practice a random act of compliment. It has to be to someone you don't know. Maybe a lady walking down the street who has on pretty shoes, or a nice dress. As you walk by, say "That coat really looks nice on you", or "I love your shoes!", or "that outfit looks really good on you". Just try it. I've been doing this for a while now. You'll be surprised how good it will make the recipient feel, and how good it will make YOU feel. I like doing this at Wal-Mart. Especially if I see some poor lady that has the "I'm worn slap out" look on her face. I find something I truly like about her - I don't lie about it. Everybody likes to be complimented. It just takes a second, and it means a lot to someone when the compliment comes from someone they don't know. I've seen people shine like a new penny when they get an unexpected compliment. Just try it. “

Are you willing to join us in our quest to make someone feel good every day? I hope you’ll join in.

Fellow blogger, Mary Anne Gruen, honored me with The Circle of Friendship Award. I’m giving you two links to Mary Anne, so you can meet her and see some of her work. Thank you, Mary Anne. I’m honored that you read my blog.

I’d like to The Circle of Friendship Award to:

Elana has a great blog with a new look. Elana  has a wealth of knowlede and is more than willing to answer questions about the writing industry.  Thanks so much!

Sharon at Bookish Blonde. Sharon has a wonderful blog. I’m still not sure if her posts are fact or fiction, but they are highly amusing. Sharon also is great at giving advice on writing. Thanks, Sharon!

Terri Tiffany is an inspirational writer. I hope you’ll visit her blog. I appreciate that Terri reads my words regularly and writes great comments. Thanks, Terri!

Heidi Willis has a lovely blog. Her debut novel Some Kind of Normal came out in December. Heidi writes lovely thoughtful posts.

Hilary Wagner has been so helpful answering questions on her blog and through email. Her debut novel NIGHTSHADE CITY comes out later this year.

Crystal at Crystal’s Bookmark has become one of my critiquing buddies. I appreciate her spending energy trading manuscripts with me. 

There are so many wonderful blogs out there for us to read. I could have given this award to twenty other blogs that I enjoy reading. I apologize for not being able to list everyone. I hope you will check out these blogs and join the 2010 COMMENT CHALLENGE, so you can link up with lots of potential new e-friends.

I CHALLENGE YOU TO SAY SOMETHING POSITIVE TO A STRANGER EACH DAY;  A VIRTUAL STRANGER OR A REAL STRANGER. If you don’t get a chance to say something nice to a stranger, you can always try it out on a regular friend or acquaintance…


  1. Aw, thank you!! This made my day! I'm going to check out these other links too. 2010 Comment challenge? I'm all over that. :)

  2. Elana-You are so knowledgeable. I'm so glad I found you, your blogs and YALITCHAT. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to read my words. :)

  3. What a great idea -- random acts of compliment. It does lift people's spirits to receive a true compliment.

  4. Sherrie--It makes you feel good too. It's like making a donation to the Salvation Army, put a little money in and get a warm fuzzy feeling. :)
    Thanks for stopping in, my e-friend.

  5. So agree about the compliments. Sometimes, the littlest thing can mean a lot. I decided to do this one day a couple years ago. Everyone I met that day I said a kind word to. Some people immediately became suspicious as in, "OK, so what do you want from me?" People aren't used to others complimenting them or offering a kind word for no reason at all. And that's really a shame. Your post is a nice reminder.

  6. Sharon!

    Thanks so much for my award! It's so nice of you! Compliments are a wonderful thing! What a great post and a good reminder to us all!

    xoxo -- Hilary

  7. I meant to start making an effort to do this after Rhonda sent it out to the Wad, but I have to admit, I haven't been doing a very good job of it. I needed the reminder - thanks!

  8. Buffy--You're right, I've noticed if I rush to hold the door for someone they seem surprised. Do you remember the months right after 9-11? People stopped to say hello to strangers, held the door, offered strangers a helping hand...It's how we should treat each other all of the time.

  9. Hilary--You are welcome. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog, respond to comments on your blog and to even respond to my email question. I look forward to buying NIGHTSHADE CITY. :)

    Susan--Participating in the 2010 comment challenge is one way to brighten up a strangers day. :) It should be easy for you to "catch up." You have your Tuesday and Wednesday study group meetings. I can't think of a better place for you to make someone feel welcomed. :)

    Have a good day my e-friends (and Susan).

  10. Thank you!! I always appreciate these:) And now to go see these other cool bloggers. Love meeting new friends!

  11. Terri--You are very welcome...I hope you make some new friends. :) Have a lovely week.

  12. Sharon - Thanks so much for the kind words and the award! I will definitely check out the others, too. I love finding new, great bloggers!

    As for making a difference - I loved this post!! I do really try to make a point of saying something nice to random people because I've had people do it to me, and it totally can make my whole day. It's such a chain reaction.

    My husband likes to tell the story of some driver who was cutting everyone off on I95 one morning, flipping his finger, etc. My husband watched him do it a couple times, then when the driver was about to do it to him, my husband slowed the truck to let him in and waved at him. He said the shock on the guys face was priceless... and he waved back. And stopped driving like a maniac.

    People respond to positive people. It does really make a difference... not just to them, but to all the people that come in contact with them, and so forth.

    Great post!

  13. You are so good at this already, Sharon.

    And - I "met" Crystal back in Jan 09. We were both on "Miss Snarks First Victim" challenge. She's a great writer and gal.

  14. Heidi--You are so right! People do respond to the positive. Every building I've ever taught in had a grumpy teacher or staff member. I made it a personal goal to make that person be happier. I even got my students in on it. If they said Mrs. X is really mean, I'd ask them what they could do to make her have a better day.

    Tess--Awe, thank you. :) I really do try to be a good human. I'm not always, but I do try.

    Crystal and I have traded a critique. She came up with some really good suggestions for A TALE OF A TAIL.

  15. THANKS SO MUCH for the lovely award, Sharon! And for the lovely compliments from you (and Tess!). I'm going to definitely check out the other blogs. I love your idea of practicing a random act of compliment once a day--a wonderful reminder of how such a simple gesture can uplift & change a person's whole day.

    Glad I could help with your PB; I'll be in touch soon to swap another story for critique.

    Enjoy your day! :)

  16. What a wonderful award! You are the perfect recipient of an award like this, Sharon. You were the first person to make me believe my blog had value and that others might actually want to read it - my first real follower. You gave me hope at a time when I really needed it.

    Congratulations, friend! :-)

  17. A woman who works at the library told me she loved my hat yesterday and it made me smile! It's so true that a little compliment can go a long way. Thanks for all the new links for me to check out!

  18. I don't do this everyday, but I do compliment strangers occasionally. Some of them look shocked, many smile and say thank you!
    Great idea to pass on the good words!

  19. Crystal--Something else I've been trying to do is learn the names of people at the gym. One reason Bill Clinton was so loved was because he NEVER forgot a name. I think people feel more valued when you use their names. You have a good day too. :)

    Shannon--You are so sweet. You made me tear up! I'm so glad we found each other. :)

    Melissa--See it works! You are probably still having positive feelings towards going to the library. (Unlike me...I had a $28 fine on my last trip! I thought I renewed on-line. It turns out that, at our new library, you have to renew every book individually. I just renewed the first one on the list.)

    Kelly--I like holding the door open for people. They always seem so surprised. Have a great evening!

  20. Sharon, what a lovely idea -- the compliment challenge. I especially like your idea of finding something to honor in a worn-out looking mom, because I'm so sure I have been that mom, and needed any genuine encouragement I could get!

  21. Hannah-Thanks for stopping by. You have a sweet blog. :) I left a post for you. The compliment challenge is one of my critique group member's (Rhonda) idea. Being kind is rewarding.

  22. Thank you Sharon, for the gift of the award ... honoured!

    I enjoy giving my opinions lol ... I am always cautious that I keep positive. It's a little like what Rhonda says:

    Rhonda's words are so true, though it takes a little time to aquire the habit of giving compliments. Sometimes I speak to a stranger; making small talk and forget - and wishing later I had remarked on a lovely coat etc.

  23. Sharon--I'm glad you like the award. I appreciate your e-friendship. I love reading your blog and feel priviledged that you read mine.

    Rhonda is one of those brutally honest people with a heart of gold. It's hard to remember to say kind things to one and other in this rushed world. It's nice to have friends that remind you to slow down and appreciate all the people around you. Saying something positive or remembering something about individuals let's them think of you in a positive light too. It's a win win situation. (Ok, I have too many cliche's in this comment....but that's how I roll.)

  24. A random act of compliment. That's a really good idea! I try and make friendly comments, but a random compliment is even better!

    Thank you so much for the shout-out and links!

  25. Mary Anne--I think saying something nice to someone makes you feel good too. I hope you enjoy the links. :) Have a good weekend!