My Favorite Blogs of 2015—Part 1


Hello and happy 2016! I hope you’re looking forward to a year of peace, fun and good reading too. I haven’t been around this space as much as usual lately, as things have been a bit crazy. Life, right? But most things have been good, and I’m grateful for another year with family and friends.

Meanwhile, the Internet spins on, and lots of people have been posting great stuff on it. Hence, I’m hoping to use the month of January to share some of my favorite blogs with you.

This week, I’ve decided to focus on blogs written by women I admire. Unfortunately, since I also wanted to limit this post to about a thousand words–and I admire a LOT of women writers–I’m not able to include all blogs I’d like to this week, but will share as many as possible in the days to come.

So without further ado, let’s get started. All these blogs made my year a better one, and I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

Jacqueline Cioffa: I discovered Jacqueline’s blog through the Twitter meme #MondayBlogs, which, by the way, is a wonderful way to discover new writers. Jacqueline writes about life and living with mental illness in a style that’s so raw and unblinking that her words really do feel as though they’ve bled onto the page. Jacqueline has also written two wonderful novels, The Vast Landscape and Georgia Pine.

Spirit Meets Bone: a blog by Sheila Moeschen. It would be difficult to find a blog more beautifully written than Sheila’s. Never have I read one of her posts without feeling awed by the quality of the writing. But even more importantly, Sheila’s writing makes me feel better–perhaps even safer–in this chaotic world. On her blog, you’ll find breathtakingly gorgeous creative nonfiction, and Sheila also writes lots of other stuff too. She’s a regular contributor to Huffington Post, and her work has also appeared on sites like and I AM THAT GIRL.

Collected Essays of the Anxious Mind: a blog by Stephanie Ortez. Stephanie and I have many common interests, so when I found her blog, I bookmarked it immediately. One of the many things I love about this blog is that Stephanie writes often about her passion for music in ways that hit home very hard for me. She’s also a mom who, like me, struggles with anxiety, so I find her words both beautiful and comforting.

The Lithium Chronicles: a blog by Nicole Lyons. As you can see, I’m drawn to blogs that focus on mental illness, at least some of the time. As a person who spent over fifteen years as a functioning—but also very ill—bulimic, I’m inspired by the way Nicole manages bipolar depression while also being a terrific mom, wife, and active member of the mental health community. Incredibly knowledgeable, she writes with a keen sense of self-awareness, a positive attitude, and a great sense of humor. In addition to The Lithium Chronicles, Nicole also maintains a popular blog on PsychCentral called Embracing Balance.

Terry Tyler: I first learned about Terry’s blog when she kindly reviewed my novel, Living by Ear on it. Since then, I’ve been a huge fan for many, many reasons. In a nutshell, Terry is a novelist—an excellent one, with over ten books on Amazon—who truly adores literature and writers. Oh, and she has a fantastic sense of humor. Sometimes she interviews other authors, sometimes she reviews books, sometimes she writes about life, relationships, or cosmetics. But I’ve never come across one of her posts that I didn’t enjoy. Currently, Terry’s running a series called “The Z Files,” in which she chats with various writers and bloggers about their zodiac signs and whether or not they feel they exemplify the traits of those signs. Very interesting, and fun too! One of Terry’s books that I particularly enjoyed is a novella called Round and Round.

Rachel Thompson and Bad Redhead Media: Two blogs by Rachel Thompson. If you haven’t yet read Rachel’s blogs, you owe it to yourself to give them a look, because Rachel’s a superstar. Not only does she oversee Booktrope’s Gravity Imprint, but she also runs the book promotion company Bad Redhead Media, has written and published four books, runs several Twitter chats—including the weekly #sexabusechat and #Gravitychat—and still manages to be a mom and overall lovely person. But wait: there’s more. On her blogs, Rachel shares tons of wisdom every day. Her personal blog, on the Rachel Thompson website features her own writing and some from other writers, with a focus on relationships, abuse, life in our current society, illness, and recovery, while on the Bad Redhead Media blog, Rachel generously shares lots of marketing tips for writers. Superstar? Yes.

Feminine Collective: Feminine Collective is actually an entire website, but it’s amazing, and it also features lots and lots of great writing, and houses TEN INDIVIDUAL BLOGS, so hey, I’d say it fits on this list. Started in 2014 by Julie Anderson and Marla Carlton, Feminine Collective is my favorite place to find raw, unfiltered stories, poems, essays, and articles by emerging writers. Everything on the site comes straight from the heart, whether it’s someone’s memoir about a good or bad relationship, a humorous article, a poem, or maybe just some helpful tips about applying eyeliner.

JT Twissel: a blog by Jan. Jan’s blog can always bring a smile to my face, unless of course, it makes me cry. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Jan because she’s a fellow Booktrope writer, and she’s a lovely, generous person. She’s also a super talented artist and novelist—I love her books Flipka and The Graduation Present, and am looking forward to Willful Avoidance—with a funny, quirky style. If you check out her blog, I’ll bet you’ll be glad you did.

Paula Reed Nancarrow. Paula is a storyteller extraordinaire. Everything she posts is simply exquisite. A writer and performer working in Minnesota, she writes about life, folklore, aging parents (some of Paula’s most beautiful posts are about her aging mom and dad), pop culture, history, and more. If you like sincere, honest, well researched, literate writing, I feel certain you’ll be bookmarking Paula’s blog.

OK, I’m already well over a thousand words, so will stop for now. Please tune in next week. Until then, happy reading, and happy new year!



About Mary Rowen

My three published novels, LEAVING THE BEACH (a 2016 IPPY Award winner), LIVING BY EAR, and IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY focus on women figuring out who they are and what they want from life. Music and musicians have a way of finding their way into the stories. I live in the Boston area with my family and pets.
This entry was posted in #MondayBlogs, beauty, blogs, life, literature, musing, publishing, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to My Favorite Blogs of 2015—Part 1

  1. jan says:

    Golly Mary – what an honor to be listed among these lovely bloggers! Thank you so much! You are also one of the most supportive writers, bloggers and human beings that I have met. I always look forward to your posts. Jan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for including me, rock star! I love all your choices, and read many of them myself. Truly honored, Mary xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicole Lyons says:

    Thank you so much for including me, Mary! How amazing to be with these brilliant people. You are such a wonderful and amazingly talented person. I am truly blessed to know you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. choff777 says:

    Mary, I am touched and honored to be included with such superstar women writers and sites. Many of them I know, follow, and am a fan. The ones I don’t, I’m thrilled to discover! You are an amazing woman, writer and talent, it’s a pleasure to be inspired by your work as well.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I see some goodies worth checking out here, and a couple of familiar faces. 🙂 Thanks for the great list!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. skinnyandsingle says:

    Great choices, I read most of them 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have visited most of these blogs at least once, and feel privileged as well to be among such smart and talented women, including thee. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. stuckinscared says:

    Fabulous choices. I read many of them myself. Jackie’s writing is just exquisite…one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever read; I am in awe of her talent! Paula is absolutely fabulous…it was she (or rather your comment on her blog) that led me here today. Rachel is an incredible writer…as is Terry, and I’m familiar with a few of the others mentioned here.

    Great post. I’m glad i hopped over.

    All the best. Kimmie.


  9. Pingback: My Favorite Blogs of 2015—Part 1 | Jacqueline Cioffa

  10. bobcabkings says:

    I totally agree as regards those on your list that I have found and read – the others need to be looked into – thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary Rowen says:

    Thank you, Bob. I hope you do look into the others! Are you a blogger as well? If so, I’d love to check out your writing.


Leave a Reply

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