A Blogger of Repute


It’s really hard for one to truly know their own reputation. This is because people are more inclined to speak lightly to your face and heavily behind your back. Fortunately for me, I have a knack for seeing the complicated truths behind the simple lies that people tell on a day-to-day basis. This is how I came to understand the makings of my own reputation.

Like all people, my reputation differs slightly between the groups of people who know me. However, it settles around one basic fact: “Ashley Willis is…different“. Different is one of those words that can be a double edged sword. Some people who know me delight in my difference and see the freshness in it. Some people say it with distaste in their mouths and wish I would learn to conform. Whether they love me or hate me, people who know me cannot deny my “weirdness”.

It’s true, too. I’m admittedly weird and sometimes awkward. I’ve just never been good at fitting in a mold. My thoughts tend to stray from the norm and so my actions surely follow. Where I come from, tradition reigns supreme and anybody who strays from the norm is sure to draw gazes. I don’t see this as a bad thing, myself because I understand that my weirdness stems from being able to think for myself. I will never ebb along in consensus because I don’t have the ability or energy to make up my own mind about something.

The only biteback from my reputation is that people who know me don’t really understand me. When weirdness becomes a novelty, people tend to discount the individual. I am idealistic so people tend to call me naive…I am caring and loving so people tend to call me a pacifist…I am a dreamer to a point of fault and so people wrongfully label me as ‘ditzy’.

Here in the blogosphere, it’s a little different. We are all opinionated…we are all intelligent…maybe we’re all a little weird. While I’m still different, in small ways, from the vast majority of other bloggers, it’s easier to find commonalities. With this, I feel the people who read my blog have a more complete understanding of who I really am than people who might have known me for longer but because of their misunderstandings, don’t really know me at all.

While I might seem ‘scattered’ or ‘all over the place’ in real life, within the confounds of my blog, my focus is stronger. My blogging reputation isn’t as far-reaching as I want it to be, yet but it is clear:

I am an independent author

I am a free thinker

I am a nurturing mother (both to my kids and the independent authors I fall in love with as I spotlight them)

I see both the light and darkness in the world…I choose to focus on the light…

With that being said, many of you who are reading this might disagree. That’s okay. In fact, that’s the beauty of reputation. It starts with perceptions of ourselves and grows to include outside perceptions as well.

As you finish reading this, I urge  you to do two things. First, stop by my Indie Spotlight page and check out today’s Friday Feature on Aray Brown. She’s a poet who also makes beautiful spoken word videos on YouTube. She’s a delightful person and has a beautiful story to share.

Second, think about your own reputation…what is your reputation by the people who know you and how does this compare to your blogging reputation?

Leibster Award



I was nominated for the Leibster Award by Kerry at “Aspernauts”. I am honored to accept this nomination, especially from Kerry because I love her blog. Her lyrical approach to blogging is interesting to read and the visual aspects of it are inspiring. In short, her blog is beautiful and you should check it out!

As far as I understand it, the point of the Liebster Award is to generate new blog traffic in the direction of new bloggers and/or new blogs by throwing links and pingbacks around here, there and everywhere. Nominations are made and received simply in the spirit of community and it’s not the end of the world for anyone if you choose to just ignore it.

If you are inclined to link into the chain then there are a few game rules to follow:

1) Thank the person/s who nominated you and link back to their blog/s.

2) Answer the 10 questions they gave you.

3) Nominate 10 blogs, each of which currently has under 200 followers (to the best of your knowledge) and notify those bloggers.

4) Come up with 10 questions of your own to keep the whole shebang moving forward.

Here are the questions that Kerry asked of me:

1. What brought you to blogging?

I started my blog as a general way to “get the words out”. I was in a writing slump and I thought daily blogging would be a great way to get the juices flowing again. Blogging lead me to Nanowrimo which got me writing novels, again and a budding career as an independent author was born. My blog now pays homage to that journey, although it still acts as an outlet for my occasional rant. I just started an Indie Spotlight feature, which I love because it reminds me that I’m not alone. There is a whole wide community of independent authors out there and I think that each and every one of us deserves a little spotlight!

2. What is your all time favourite kids’ TV programme?

Tree Fu Tom. You may not be familiar with it. It comes on the Sprout channel. I love it because the characters are anthropomorphized arthropods and they use magic to overcome the obstacles in their world. The magic is created by using movements, similar to Tai Chi, and the kids are encouraged to move along with the characters to “make the magic happen”. It’s a really cute show and promotes movement among the kids watching it. My kids love it and I’m glad they do.

3. Which book have you reread more than any other?

The Catcher in The Rye by JD Salinger…it was my favorite book for a long time.

4. What is your favourite song lyric or quote from either film or literature?

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” —Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

5. How would you spend a perfect Sunday?

Very, very lazily. I would pack a picnic and spend the day in the park, with the kids. We would each pack a book and find a tree for shade. Then, we would lay under the tree, on the bare ground, and read our books. We might even take a nap under the tree (in my perfect Sunday, we wouldn’t have to worry about murders and kidnappers). Then, I would come home, post a blog about how perfect the day was, put the kids to bed and work on my novel until my eyes were too heavy to stay open. The kids would not wake up in the middle of the night and I would get a full night’s sleep.

6. Fantasy dinner party: you are the host and can invite any number of famous/inspirational individuals, living or deceased. Who’s on your list?

1. Silvia Plath

2. Leonardo DiVinci (for my son)

3. Auguste Comte

4. Nelson Mandella

5. Neil Gaiman

6. Patrick Rothfuss

7. Jon Stewart

8. Anthony Bourdain

9. Gordon Ramsey

I’m sure I could come up with more but this is the top of my list…

7. What are you serving at your fantasy dinner party?

As long as I’m not cooking, I would probably go for anything. What I would probably do is fly in a sushi chef and do a very large sushi buffet.

8. If you had a time machine, where and when in history (including into the future) would you go?

So many places…I wouldn’t really want to go to the future…I would be too afraid of what I would see. I would go back to the roaring ’20’s, to get a taste of prohibited alcohol…The Great Depression era with a truckload of bread and meat…The Renaissance…and finally, The British Isles around 1700 B.C. to meet the Tuatha De Dannan…

9. What question do you wish I had asked you?

If I could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

10. And how would you answer that question?

I would love to have a superpower like in Inkheart…literary manipulation. Specifically, Omnilegence…the ability to instantly know all things which are written. Think of how much easier it would be to do research for a novel…or keep up on the latest trends in book promotion…or to instantly know my book reviews as their posted…Oh yeah, and there’s that whole infinite knowledge thing, too, which would be pretty awesome!

My nominations for this award are: (Honestly, I don’t know how to tell how many followers a blog has so I tried my best to stay within the rules of the award). These are all really great blogs…Many of them are literary driven but there is some variation between them…you should check them all out!











The questions I would like to ask them are:

1. Where would you like to explore (anywhere in the world and beyond)?

2. What is your favorite genre of books? Or your favorite genre of movies?

3. What can you learn from little kids?

4. If you could create something, with an unlimited budget and resources, what would you create?

5. What animal would you like to experience being for one day?

6. When are you the happiest?

7.What inspires (drives) your blog?

8. Where would you stop on a cross country road trip?

9. If you lived in a black and white world, what is one thing you would make colorful?

10. What are your thoughts right now?

Again, I would like to give a shout out to Kerry, for nominating me for this award. You can find her blog here: http://aspernauts.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/liebster-award/