Sunshine Times Two – #JusJoJan

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I don’t usually do awards. I haven’t declared this to be an “Award Free Zone,” but I usually have something else going on. Yesterday, I woke up to several inches of snow, a light coating of ice and some thick fog. Later, I saw a notice for the Sunshine Blogger’s Award in my inbox. My first thought was that something was messed-up in my email. A couple days ago, Gwen Plano nominated me for this award. Why was I seeing this notice again? Well, that was because Robbie Cheadle nominated me again on Sunday. And, since Sadje at Keep it Alive gave us “Humor” for the Just Jot January prompt, I’ll try to keep this lighthearted.

In accepting the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few rules:

Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.

Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.

Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.

I’m going bend one of these rules and break another.

I happily and sincerely thank both Gwen and Robbie. I consider this an honor.

I am going to focus on Gwenn’s (GP) questions, but I am going to add or substitute a few from Robbie (RC). Let’s get started”

(GP) What motivates you to write? – I have always enjoyed telling stories. I had a technical blog for many years (SharePoint Stories) where I always told a short story to introduce a technical topic. I realized that I enjoyed the story part much more than the technical part.

(GP & RC) When do you like to write? – In the morning or in the evening. Although, when I was working, I loved writing the SoCS prompt during lunch on Fridays. Something about that compressed time period made the writing flow easier.

(GP) Do you carry a notepad to jot down inspirations? – Well, a notepad of sorts. I use my phone and an app called Trello.

(GP) What character so captured your imagination that s/he still gives you pause? – As I am really only working on short pieces for my blog, I don’t have characters, per se. However, Skippy, the alternate bartender who fills in some Saturdays has evolved in ways I never imagined he would. I’m not sure what becomes of Skippy.

(RC) Do you have a favorite travel destination? If so, where? – This is easy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I’ve written about Pittsburgh many times, but early on, I wrote what might be the definitive statement in a post called “I Am Pittsburgh!”

(GP) If you have a stack of books on your nightstand, what is the principle genre? – I’m not sure but it falls under Non-fiction. I’m looking at a pile of books about cities, rivers, machines and events through history.

(RC) What type(s) of music do you listen to? – I added the ‘s’ to that question. I like ‘60s and 70’s rock, folk, old country, new country, classical and a big bunch of bands our daughter has introduced me to. It’s OK, I introduced her to Fleetwood Mac.

(GP) Do you ever find yourself between worlds? – this one and the fictional one? – I have to laugh a little. Members of my family might say that I’ve always lived in a fictional world.

(GP) What frustrates you about writing and what rewards you? – Nothing about writing frustrates me. If something in my life becomes frustrating, I try to avoid it. The reward comes when I look back and see something I’ve written that I would enjoy reading.

(GP) Do you have books waiting to be written? – I’m not sure. I have ideas that I think might make good book-length stories, and stories that need more than 800-1,000 words to tell, but they aren’t fleshed out to the point of my wanting to put them on a page. I also have lots of projects that I want to focus on that don’t involve a computer or a desk.

(GP) How do you relax? – Oddly enough, I find physical work very relaxing. Looking at something and saying, “I can build that,” is a great feeling. Taking that concept into a workshop or watching a load of lumber roll off a truck and then transforming raw material into a finished product is tiring and relaxing at the same time.

The rule I’m going to break is the one asking me to name 11 people and ask them 11 questions. If you have answers for these questions, I’d love to read them – consider yourself nominated.

The gallery has some photos of what we were dealing with on Sunday morning.


  1. Congratulations Dan. I enjoyed your responses to those questions. Thanks for sharing something of yourself. I’ve always gleaned that you are a “wis” with tech and a craftsman with your hands, not to speak about your marvellous writing gift. What a combination!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congrats on accepting the award. When someone keeps knocking…
    It is great to learn more about your writing process. There’s that snow! We are having chilly temps this week in the 40’s. I love the shot of Snoopy’s house and the sun rising the most. Have fun with that newly headlamp lit snow blower. It’s the little things….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations on the award!! I enjoyed reading your responses to those questions…a chance to learn more about you. No, I’m not disappointed!! Lol.

    Love Snoopy’s snow covered house. Your neighbor must love seeing that snow plume shooting across his lawn because he knows the plowed-in end of his driveway is being cleared by his super nice neighbor. You’re a good man Charlie Brown!

    You got a bit more snow than us, but that’s how we look here. Bitter cold. Good luck explaining to Maddie why you two won’t be sitting outside!!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Ginger. I worry that my neighbor is going to realize that the stuff I’m blowing up into his yard includes the salt and sand the town dumps in the road. He used to carefully push it off to the sides. Oh well, I’m counting on dilution being the solution.

      I don’t normally go in for the prompts that ask too many questions, but I thought these were a good group, and having two sets to work with let me pick and choose.

      If it warms us a bit, I may put Maddie’s coat on her and sit for a little while. Sometimes, just a few minutes makes her happy.


  4. Congrats on the award!! Mother Nature knocked again, but you seem to have a good plan to answer the door. :-) The only answer I was surprised at was there was no sci-fi in the book stack, and I hope there are some building plans in there somewhere because I do love your DIY posts. Stay warm, Dan, and I won’t be sitting on the beach today either because it has dropped to 34°F with a real feel of 24°F.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 34? Whoa! I hope that is a short-lived cold snap. It’s funny, but I don’t read much science fiction. I do enjoy it, I just have too big a stack of history and explanatory books. I do have a few sets of sketches of the garage layout and how that might work better if I put the door over here or over there and such like that. I’m also reading about the best way to put a wood floor over a cement slab in a mostly unheated place.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Dan, congrats on your award-you so deserve it-I enjoy reading your stories and looking at your pictures. I love to look at the snow, I’m just glad I live in Texas where it’s rare. We are chilly though with a cold rain/sleet mix starting tomorrow night. They say it won’t amount to anything though, yea because I have to get out in it Wed & Thurs. Your musical taste matches my husband’s, I am well rounded but prefer hard-driving rock. (Think Korn and I Prevail). I also prefer writing in the morning when I am more focused, and disciplined. I know they say write drunk and edit sober but honestly, at night, if I’ve had a glass of wine, what I might write would not make a lick of sense, lol. I do have the occasional great thought in the middle of the night and if I don’t get up and write it down, it’s gone like the wind come morning! I hope the snow gets out of there soon, it must be a pain to have to do so much work every day just to be able to get in and out of your driveway!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kim. We don’t usually have too many times when the storms come back-to-back. We’ve had winters like that, and they get old very fast. About 5 years ago, we had snow almost every three days in January. We had over 80″ of snow in that month alone. I was ready for that winter to end.

      I don’t write much after a couple of beers or wine. I do best in the morning, but most nights, I can still form coherent thoughts until about 9:00.

      I hope the weather is kind to you as the week goes on.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great pics and great post. We got some of this snow too. I am still not sure how we made it this far and managed to get so little snow up until now. And these chilly temps are only with us for another day. Wednesday it is supposed to get back into the 40s. A very Willoughby strange winter. Que the theme music and start the marathon. Can one watch Twilight Zone on Groundhog’s day (the movie) ? Hmmm more coffee quick this is starting to look like a wrong turn only from the curb lane only in Willoughby….

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can try it for free (I’m still using the free version). I like it a lot. It’s so easy to work with and it has some pretty cool features. I love that I can send a link or an email into an inbox for each board. Then it’s captured and I can sort it out later.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice to see you graciously accept the award, Dan. I enjoyed your acceptance speech (post). I must say I am rather fond of Skippy. I hope he hangs around. Maybe I see a little of myself in him sometimes. Temperatures dropped into the 20s here last night. We are expecting a rather cold week. I love the photo of the sun burning through the fog. Fog is a frequent visitor here and it can be magical.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved your responses, Dan, especially the one about how you relax. I tend to share your attitude about these kinds of awards–I appreciate the sentiment, but don’t want to participate in a chain letter type scheme that involves trying to draw others in. I am happy to say that we did not have to deal with the kind of snow that you had–only about a half inch or so in Northern Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mike. Usually, these questions involve revealing more than I am comfortable with. Gwen had some good questions. I liked that she focused more on writing, which is easy to share among the friends I have here.


  9. I love your snowy pictures, Dan. Funny how I love snow and I live in a country where it hardly ever snows. Thanks for joining in the award. I also don’t often do them as they are very time consuming especially if you do the nominations. I just thought it would be fun to do some nominations this time and I liked the questions. Great answers, I enjoyed them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Applesauce! It looks like you went out in the middle of a white-out.
    Snow makes hard work — but a hundred times harder when it’s the heavy kind.
    (I don’t do awards any more either. They’re the chain letters of the blog world. I snort whenever I see “award winning author.” But I do appreciate the mentions, and am grateful)
    I hope it melts soon. Yeah, I know, but I still hope. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan. Once the driveway and sidewalk are clear, I don’t care if it melts or not. The yard is pretty. I do clear a path so the resident bunny has a place to nibble.

      I don’t do awards, as a rule, but this was about writing so I liked the questions.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh wow, Dan, two Sunshine Awards! Double congrats! How amazing is that? And yes I actually read through the questions and answers …. I learned a few things about you that I didn’t previously know. (smile) No worries, it’s all good.
    Your weather kind of looks like ours. Although today was very sunny and I took plenty advantage of it. I use Notebook on my phone, fyi, to jot ideas down when they do come. I used to use a yellow legal pad of paper but that has been quiet for a long time. Hope your day was a good one!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan, you are a ray of sunshine on the blogging community, so this is right and just and well-deserved. Loved the snow and fog photos, although those are not ideal conditions for going anywhere. The snow and blowing hit here on Saturday and I stayed put with a good book and pair of pajamas.

    Hope you’re having an awesome Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m with you on physical activity being relaxing. The best days for me are ones I spend outside, either laboring or walking and then come in, shower, comfy up, and read or movie. I love those days. Those are the most relaxing days. Also, painting, not art, but walls, trim, etc — it’s zen to me.
    I very much enjoy your stories and because of your voice, I know I could read a novel you write. And these photos. I loved this collection — tobacco barn and airborne snows FTW.
    I like how you say “I am Pittsburgh.” That’s so … you. Some of us really are unabashedly made of the places we’re from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!

      Painting would be zen to me if there was no prep-work or cleanup involved. I have a lot of painting to do, so I should get over that.

      I give a lot of thought to why I am the way I am or where I learned how to do certain things, and so much was by osmosis. Either from the people around me as I grew up or the way things were done. My favorite fog photos (alliteration at work) will be part of my one-liner post tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I appreciate your willingness to break and bend award rules. The nomination list is why I don’t do awards. What do I think will happen if I don’t follow the rules? It’s funny that I get to explore that. I guess I’m a recovering rule follower. Thanks for opening up the possibilities. Who knows what might happen now?! Oh, and I love the eerie, soft quality of the sunlight in your snow day photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks JoAnna. The need to nominate 10-12 others is what makes me normally avoid accepting awards. That and the personal questions. These questions were mainly about writing, so I was comfortable answering them. I don’t plan on “accepting” awards as a rule.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It doesn’t snow much in Charlotte.

    Well, I remember when I was a child, I would tell stories. I was always told to write them down, but just didn’t. Starting in 2018, I finally began writing a book. Prior to 208, I developed and created characters. Summer 2018 was when I began writing Tale of the Cattail Forest- now it is on its 5th draft. This year- finally started writing Lizzy the Lizard, which is on its 1st draft.

    Well, most books on my shelf are fiction- mostly classics and fantasies.

    One book of mine is still waiting to be written: Greatest Discovery. It still is on the brainstorming and developing stage. It actually appears to be the hardest story to write.

    Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts or join the discussion. One relevant link is OK, more require moderation. Markdown is supported.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.