Brighton Walsh, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author

#ListifyLife – Weird Skills or Talents

listify life 4Hey everyone! This week for the Spring #ListifyLife challenge it’s all about the weird skills or talents you have. It took me a while to think of things for this—and one is kind of a cheat since I could only do it for a grand total of 18 months out of my whole life—but I got a few down.

First, and probably most notable, is my boob talent. I can accurately guess a woman’s correct bra size 90% of the time. And, if I’m being honest, that’s probably more like 99% of the time. Sit down and let me tell you a story. Last year at the RT convention, I was at a publisher’s party, sitting around and chatting with some lovely women, when my talent came up. I don’t remember how or why, but it did. I then proceeded to correctly guess everyone who wanted me to. They were all very impressed. *sunglasses emoji* You think that’s where the story would end, right? NOT SO, FRIEND. Nope. The following day at the signing, my editor from an entirely different publisher walked up to my table and said, “I heard about your talent. Guess mine.” Me: *mouth opens and closes* *eyes pop out* “How…how did you know about that?!” Apparently word of my talent got around. Moral of the story: next time I see you, ask me to guess your size. I’ll guess what you’re wearing or the size you should actually be in. I’m that good. *buffs nails*

Second, I am a rockstar with my toes. Now, I don’t know if everyone can do this or if my family is exceptionally gifted (snort) in this aspect. All I know is if my toes can fit around it, I can pick it up. I also know that I just lost probably a solid 40% of you by talking about feet. My apologies.

Lastly, and the one that is a sorry excuse for a talent, but I was grasping at straws here, is my pregnant magic trick. I’m not kidding when I say wherever I went my husband or mother-in-law would drag me around like a circus side show and make me show everyone who would stop long enough to watch. Picture it: Me, 8.5 months pregnant with a basketball in my stomach. *mimes actions* 1. tie string around belly button. 2. pull string above belly. 3. lift string and move belly to coincide with it. 4. do this four or five times to really get the crowd rolling. 5. hold string (and belly) up, then use other hand to “cut” the string, and drop belly. 6. receive pats on the back and general merriment tossed in my direction.

I have a video of that last one somewhere, and if I could find it, I would’ve totally posted it for your amusement. Alas…

Anyone have any weird skills or talents? Who knows, I might put it in a book…


#ListifyLife – Happiness & Misspellings

Hey everyone! I am back in the land of the living, though just barely. I had a fabulous time at the first annual, to-be-named writing retreat in Galena, IL. There were seven writers there, and it was a great mix of girls. We had a blast (and definitely too much food). All that said, I’m exhausted. I slept for ten hours last night, and it still wasn’t enough. But I don’t go to retreats or conferences to sleep. LOL

IMG_6512Now that I’m back in the groove (or getting there), I have some #ListifyLife posts to catch up on! I missed last week’s which was Little Things That Make You Happy.

This was a fun one to do. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day monotony and forget all the little things that make us smile. And, thankfully, my list is long. I could’ve gone onto the next page with ease, and that’s a great feeling (and one I need to remind myself of some days). Everything from new office pens to a clean kitchen to my kids’ laughter to fresh sheets can make me smile. Was there anything I didn’t mention that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face?

FullSizeRenderThis week’s list was words you always misspell. And I misspell a lot. But, really, do you blame me for hors d’oeverues? <——I’mma just leave that there for your amusement. Also there for your amusement is that cute as hell birdie I doodled. With prompts from The Revision Guide on Instagram, because I’m not that good.

That’s it for this week’s post! I’ll see you Wednesday for another Whatcha _______ Wednesday. What’ll it be this week? I honestly have no idea… 🙂


#ListifyLife Spring Challenge: Books I’d Want to Live In!

listifylife2It’s Monday (boo), but that means it’s time for another #ListifyLife post! This week’s challenge was Books I’d Want to Live In For a While. And it was actually harder than I’d anticipated to come up with some books for this. I read a lot of books. I read a lot of great books. But I’m not sure I’d want to actually live in the worlds I read about all that much. For instance, Elle Kennedy’s Killer Instincts series. I love the books. I love the world. But being in constant danger every second of the day? I’ll pass, thanks. Same with several of the paranormal books I’ve read and loved. Hell, even the books I read the most—contemporary romance—are hard to pick which world to live in, because they’re already set in my world. That’s the beauty of the contemporary novel.

So I sat and thought about this topic this morning, wandered over to my bookshelves and took a gander at my books, reminiscing about old favorites. And I plucked out three worlds I would absolutely love to visit.

books listifyJill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor Series

Jill is my favorite author, hands down, because I know exactly what to expect with one of her books. I’m going to get an alpha male, a relatable heroine, a side-cast of fantastic characters, and a quaint town I’m going to want to live in. In the Lucky Harbor series, she gave me the homesick feels the same way Gilmore Girls did for Stars Hollow. How can I feel homesick for a fictional place? I don’t know, but it happens. I’d love to get transported to this idealistic little town and live for a bit (or forever).

Stephanie Perkins’s Anna & the French Kiss

Anna is one of my favorite reads, and definitely in my top 5 YA books. Yes, it’s contemporary, but it’s set in Paris! While I wouldn’t love going back to school, I think I could tough it out for a chance to see Paris in all its splendor. Plus, Etienne.

Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight

How could I leave out the book that started me on this crazy, fantastic journey? Twilight is the book that got me reading and writing again, and I’d love to spend a while in this world. (So long as I was a vampire and had some sort of cool power… I don’t want anything lame like sensing emotions.) It’d be like catching up with old friends. To be honest, it’s why I still read fic. It is and forever will be my happy place.

That’s it for this week’s #ListifyLife post! And I actually won’t be posting until Wednesday next week, as we are off for a little Spring Break vacation. See you then!

*This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, that means if you purchase something from these links a small percentage of the sale comes back to me (at no cost to you!). It’s Amazon’s way of saying, hey, thanks for mentioning this product! Here’re some pennies. I promise I will never post about things I think suck. I’ll only ever recommend items I really, truly love!


#ListifyLife Week 1! Spring is…

Welcome to #ListifyLife week one! And would you look at that? I said I’d post on Monday and it’s Monday and I’m posting. You might want to watch out for other signs of the apocalypse, in case the end is near…

I gave an overview of the #ListifyLife challenge in this post, but just to recap: anyone can participate, you can list your answer to the prompt however you’d like (handwritten, scribbles, pictures, digital, whatevs), and it goes for the entire season. Posting is only once a week, so pretty easy to keep up with!

This week, our prompt was: Spring to me is

IMG_6105I love spring. It’s my second favorite season behind fall (because fall). I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been a Midwesterner the majority of my life and I’m desperate for those nicer temps and some time outside, but I love it.

Around these parts, 40º in March means we go outside without a coat (and my kids beg me to wear shorts). We are woken up by chirping birds (seriously, they’re so loud), but I forgive that because I’m also greeted by newly sprouted tulips, and my gorgeous lilac bush blooms out front. It’s rain puddles and the dirty brown of winter washing away. It’s long road trips with the family (seriously long…usually 20+ hours in the car). It’s Easter brunch and my kids (at least one of them) believing in the Easter bunny. It’s the countdown to summer, where I realize I’ve pissed away most of the school year and man do I need to get some work done. It’s so many birthdays, I usually forget one until the day before and then scramble for a perfect gift. It’s fresh and it’s new and it’s spring. 

You may be wondering why I wrote my list on a child’s handwriting pad… One of my new obsessions interests is hand lettering. I’ve may or may not have spent hours on Instagram watching hand lettering videos in total captivation. There is something so mesmerizing about seeing how the letters form, how the artist’s hand moves, and, of course, the final product. As per usual, I get obsessed interested in something, and I immediately get any/everything I need to do it myself. Hence why my list is on my first grader’s Learn to Letter notepad. I was skeptical using it, because I figured any/all of my pens would bleed through, but I was seriously impressed with the paper thickness! After watching this brush pen review, I grabbed myself the Zig Cocoiro (Spring to me is…), and I also stocked up on this 20-pack of Staedtler Triples pens (all other designs and lettering). Both are seriously amazing to this newbie and very easy to use.

If you’re interested in hand lettering, or even if you have no idea what I mean and want to check it out, here is a list of a few of my favorite Instagramers who seriously rock at the hand lettering:


And if that doesn’t keep you busy, I don’t know what will.

I’ll be back on Wednesday, talking about things I love this week. Not sure if I’mma do a post on cooking or reading…or both. I might even sweet talk my kids into giving brief reviews on books they’re currently reading, because I know it’s hard sometimes finding books your kids will love.

See you Wednesday!

*This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, that means when you click on a link from this post, a small percentage of anything you buy comes back to me (at no additional charge to you!). It’s Amazon’s way of saying, hey, thanks for mentioning this product! Here’re some pennies. I promise I will never, ever, ever post about things that I think suck. I’ll only ever recommend items I really, truly love!


#ListifyLife Spring Challenge

A few months ago, I joined this totally amazing group on Facebook (ugh, I know, but this group makes going into the devil’s lair worth it) of publishing people who are planner-focused. It’s basically like nirvana every time I go into our little corner of Facebook. These women have such great ideas—not just on planning, but on business in general.

listifylife2One of those ideas came from Roni Loren who mentioned maybe trying out a list challenge to utilize all those pretty, pretty supplies we can’t help ourselves from buying. It’s also a great way to bring something besides BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS talk to our social media accounts.

Well, let me tell you, she had me hooked from the minute the word “list” left her lips. I am a list maker. Since I’m a hardcore planner, that shouldn’t surprise you. But I love lists to a ridiculous degree. At the end of the day, if I’ve somehow managed to not make a list, yet accomplished a great deal? I make one right then and there, just for the satisfaction of crossing off the items. (Don’t judge me.)

So what is the #ListifyLife Spring Challenge? 

listifylife listIt’s a challenge like many you’ve seen before. They’re all over the place on social media, and most run daily. I don’t know about you, but any time I try to participate in one, I always fall behind and have catch-up posts. And sometimes, I fall so far behind, I figure, screw it. I don’t always have the time (or energy, let’s be real) to focus on a fun challenge every day, which is why this weekly challenge is a better fit for me. (And maybe you, too!)

We’re starting on the first day of spring and working through the season. Thirteen weeks of list making goodness! You can make your list however you want. Have a cool app on your phone that does word pictures? Great. Don’t have much time but to scribble something on that soon-to-be-discarded envelope? Super. Want to practice your hand lettering and make something really pretty every week? *cough* Awesome. You can do it however you want. Share on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, Tumblr, Pinterest—wherever works for you.

My plan is to post my challenges on Mondays. We’ll see if Mondays are good to me. The great thing about this is I have a whole week to post the challenge and still be on track.

I also have a few other things I’d like to start trying on the blog. A Whatcha _________ Wednesday post, where I’ll talk about things I’m reading, cooking, loving, etc. And a Friday Round-up post—a list of things I’ve saved on Facebook and in my Pocket account for future reading. Honestly, this is my way of making sure I go back through those things I’ve saved for later and actually look at them. But, hey, maybe you’ll find some of them useful too.

I hope you’ll join us on the #ListifyLife challenge! And even if you decide to sit this one out and watch from the sidelines, check out the hashtag weekly and see what we’re up to.