I am almost without words to write this post, so overwhelmed by gratitude am I.

Anyone who’s read the blog at all this week knows that I entered a story in the MeeGenius Children’s Author Challenge, A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS.  I started the week at #47 in the rankings (out of 400 entries) with 181 votes.  As of this writing, I was ranked #15 with 479 votes!

I did not gain 298 votes and 32 places in the rankings in the span of 7 days without an enormous amount of help.  In fact, the other night I was driving home and felt so overwhelmed by gratitude, I wondered how I would ever repay the universe (in the form of YOU) for all the good that happened this week.  So, this week’s Gratitude Sunday list will be focused on just a few things among many that gave me cause for gratitude this week.  Many thanks to each and every person who voted for the story, encouraged me with positive feedback and made me believe I could do this.  No matter what the end result of the contest is, I can truly say this has been a phenomenal experience, and one that has made me more certain than ever that I am on the right path.

Quotes on Gratitude

“No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”  — Alfred North Whitehead

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.” — Charles Dickens

“A noble person is mindful and thankful for the favors of others.” — Buddha

Gratitude list for the week ending December 17

  1. First on the list is Christine Zandstra, a friend and fellow parent at my kids’ school.  She got one of the first, fairly timid emails I sent out asking people to vote for my story.  She not only praised the book, but suggested that the school and parents get behind it.  She shared the link to my story nearly every day, and was responsible for drawing it to the attention of the school librarian, the principal, and the PTO.  She gave me the confidence that the story really was worth promoting.  I also thank Bina Moser, PTO President, who didn’t hesitate to send a message to parents about the story and ask them to vote when the time drew nigh.
  2. Laura Barnes, fellow children’s author and marketing guru who stepped in to give me some extremely helpful advice on how to promote the story.  I think the results speak for themselves, but even more than her specific tactics, what helped me the most was the fact that she gave me permission to go out and go for it.  I learned more in one week about marketing than I would have in a year were it not for her.
  3. Julie Berghoff and Sheila Gil, two very good friends and fellow Margareaders.  At a party Monday night, they both insisted I was still being too shy and urged me to go out and ask people to share my story within their networks.  They both proceeded to do that the very next day, in the nicest way possible, without even waiting for me to ask.  The very definition of a good friend.
  4. The Gaylord Herald Times, the local paper of my hometown, stepped in on very short notice to write a “hometown girl makes good” story.  Neighbors and childhood friends I hadn’t heard from in years saw the story and voted.  One 82 year-old woman, who doesn’t have a computer, clipped the article from the paper to take with her on her visit to her children so they could vote for her.
  5. Speaking of Gaylord, my high school friends went above and beyond to help.  Posting and re-posting the story.  Cheering me on.  The ties that bind, as they say…
  6. Fellow bloggers and writers Nancy Hatch, Debbie Diesen, and C.B. Wentworth hosted me on very short notice for an impromptu blog tour.  Their readers stepped in and provided both votes and encouragement.  Thank you!
  7. There are too many to name individually, but the folks who entered the contest I posted last Sunday have blogged about the story, promoted it on Facebook, and tweeted it every single day to their followers.  It made a huge difference, and I am so thankful for their support. 🙂
  8. For the past two months, I have participated in a blogging class for writers led by Kristen Lamb based on her best-selling book on the subject – We Are Not Alone.  As a result, the 100 members of WANA 1011 supported me wholeheartedly and helped me spread the word.  A special shout-out to Diane Capri who, like Christine and Laura, told me to just go out and ask people for help and forget about being shy or afraid.  So I did. (I hope you’re not regretting that now Diane! :-))  But to all the members of the WANA team, you have proven that the title of Kristen’s book is true.
  9. My brother Jeff, who has a fierce competitive streak, jumped in on Wednesday to galvanize his extensive network.  I’m pretty sure I had the biggest jump that day, plus the pleasure of two-days worth of texting back and forth about my ranking and how far I had to go to move to the next one.
  10. Last, but most definitely not least, I am immensely grateful for every last person who voted for my story, offered an encouraging word, or shared the link with others.  It turns out it really does take a village, and I am blessed to live in such a generous one.

What are you grateful for this week?

Categories: Authors, Children's Books, Digital Publishing, Family, Friendship, Gratitude Sunday, Guest Blogging, Picture Books, Publishing, Social Media, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. I’m grateful to see all of this unfold. It’s interesting to see how the marketing efforts continue to grow. Very happy for you.
    And, since this is my grateful check-in, grateful that our family survived a Santa visit.

  2. Congratulations on your success, it is deserved.

  3. Yay! Julie….. Go girl! So happy for you, and so amazed by the amount of people who got behind you. Well done.

  4. Aloha Julie,

    I was watching from behind the curtain, and I am *well* impressed by your fortitude and go-get-’em attitude. Well done you – you deserve this and it’s not a moment – it’s a *time* of celebration:)

  5. Congratulations, Julie, on the results of all your efforts and dedication to making things happen. Yes, people came out to support you but it was AFTER you did what every writer needs to do…not be afraid to stand up and say, “Hey, world, please look at what I’ve written…it’s worth your time!” Way to go, lady!

  6. I am grateful for you and the determination you have. Inspirational. Thank you. Your story deserves to win. It’s super writing. And super story. *applause*

    I’ve so enjoyed you and your precious story. And watching your enthusiasm. It’s catching. *smiling*

    I’m thankful for our community. These bloggers are super duper bloggers.


    • Robyn, I’m grateful you’ve been here through it all with your cheerful optimism, which this comment is a further example of. Thanks!

  7. This is so exciting, and inspiring, Julie! What an amazing community — but may I just say that so many people wouldn’t have got behind your efforts if your story hadn’t been truly worth it in the first place? Your story is a delightful one, and it is so heartening to see it — and YOU — getting such deserved support.

    • Beth, those words mean a great deal to me. Thank you! Because although I do want to advance to the final round, I also want it to be because of the story and not just me. So thanks for saying that!

  8. What a beautiful post, Julie, and what great friends and family you have! I really liked your story and hope you continue to move up in the rankings!!

  9. I’m glad that you’ve received so much support and encouragement for your story, Julie.

    Climb on! _/!_

  10. Soooooo fabulous, Julie!!! Hope you win!!

  11. Im so proud of you!!

  12. congratulations, on the success of your promotional campaign. you have a very supportive community which fabulous.

  13. What a wonderful list! It’s so wonderful to be part of this community of writers, isn’t it? Everyone is so supportive! Congrats on getting all those votes. #15 is awesome! And just wait until the judges read it. I think you have a really good chance!!! Good luck!

    • Thanks Susanna. I am hopeful, and I still can’t believe how much this community came out to support me. No matter what happens with the contest, I will be forever grateful for that.

  14. Congrats, Julie! It must be wonderful to realize that so many people like you and care for you. By the way, the books is great; you deserve every vote, and many more.

  15. What a great list! You inspire me to be more grateful. Today I am grateful that tomorrow is a vacation day. Yay! No day job for two weeks!

  16. Congratulations, Julie. What an amazing show of support. 🙂

  17. Congratulations!!! I am grateful for the rays of sunshine we receive on cloudy days.

  18. Congratulations on your success this past week! I’m sure it is so gratifying to see your hard work in tangible terms and get the wonderful confidence boost!

  19. I’m grateful I got to spend the whole weekend with my husband (kids are out of town).
    Congrats Julie!! 🙂

  20. What a wonderful list! There is so much to be grateful for. Congratulations on your current position in the vote, and best of luck with the judging portion.

  21. I am so happy for you Julie! You’re a wonderful writer and you deserve all the support! Thank you for sharing your gratitude list. It’s so cool to know what kind of people we have supporting us!

    I hope you make your goal! 🙂

  22. I was late to the voting, but finally put mine in. I absolutely loved your story and learned some stuff too! Congrats!

  23. Such is the community I’ve been experiencing since PiBoIdMo. So happy you decided to “go for it” and promote your story, Julie! That would be a difficult thing for me to do as well, but, I am grateful to to be a even a small part of it all via the social media. We all need to be stretched, and although it is a challenge, it is well worth it. The countdown has begun!

  24. Such is the community I’ve been experiencing since PiBoIdMo. So happy you decided to “go for it” and promote your story, Julie! That would be a difficult thing for me to do as well, but, I am grateful to to be a even a small part of it all via the social media. We all need to be stretched, and although it is a challenge, it is well worth it. The countdown has begun!

  25. Julie, I’m so glad you put the request out. we all feel better when we can help a friend. it’s hard to ask (I know cause it’s my greatest challenge) but worthwhile when we do.

    fingers crossed for you, my friend. tell everyone to vote with phone, computer and ipad. we’ll push you thru the top yet.

  26. Thank you so much, Julie, for the gratitude. I’m also so grateful to you for letting my readers and I “experiment” with you on this journey. It’s been so fun and only a strong, passionate woman like you could have carried it off as well as you did.

  27. That really is remarkable in such a short time. Congrats! 🙂

  28. What a wonderful list of supportive people! We are part of an amazing community of writers, aren’t we? Everyone is so supportive! Congrats on getting all those votes. #15 is awesome! I enjoyed being part of this voting boost. Your story deserves the recognition!

  29. You have had such an amazing writing week! I’m so happy for you! 🙂

    It was such an honor to host you on my blog. 🙂

  30. Enjoyed your gratitutde letter. People really came to your support — you had a good entry. Wish you the best.

  31. Beautiful post! I agree with each and every comment here, and wish you the best! It was fun to participate and a terrific learning experience for me, too. Thanks for sharing it with all of us, Julie!

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software