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Seven Links Challenge: Tag – I’m It!

Sunset over Lake Worth, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Sunset over Lake Worth, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

I Was Tagged by Cirque du Mot for the Seven Links Challenge

If you read a lot of blogs, you may have noticed the 7 Links Challenge sweeping through the blogosphere. I am not sure who started the 7 Links Challenge, but I was recently tagged by Susan Silver of Cirque du Mot.

Susan is the bee’s knees! She packs a ton of helpful information into her posts, and writes about social media in a way that doesn’t make my eyes glaze over. When I’m feeling overwhelmed online, Cirque du Mot is my “go to” spot for practical solutions. Plus, she’s kind, lighthearted and delights in obscure trivia. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that, like me, she enjoyed reading the dictionary as a kid. (Heck, I still do.)

We Met Via #Commenthour on Twitter

I often lose track of how I meet who online, but I’m pretty sure I connected with Susan via the Twitter #commenthour folks, a supportive network of folks who meet informally on Twitter each Wednesday evening from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. CST. It’s a great group of bloggers and you’re welcome to join in, too. For more information, check out @Chasing_Joy (she’s wonderful!) and/or search for the #commenthour hashtag.

Rules for the Seven Links Challenge:

Blogger is nominated to take part.
Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category. This shouldn’t take you long to do – don’t over-think it!

    Your most beautiful post
    Your most popular post
    Your most controversial post
    Your most helpful post
    A post whose success surprised you
    A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
    The post that you are most proud of

Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.(Feel free to nominate any kind of blog to take part – we want this project to be as inclusive as possible!)

These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers And so it goes on!

Most Beautiful Post

I’m calling Weekend Roadtrip to Paris, Texas my most beautiful post simply because I included a bunch of pretty pictures of that photogenic little town. Here are a few fun facts about Paris, Texas:

The city built an Eiffel Tower Replica, which wears a bright red cowboy hat on top.
The local cemetery features a statue in which Jesus is depicted wearing cowboy boots.
The city’s walking/cycling trail, a.k.a. the Trail de Paris features a scale replica of the solar system painted along the way.
The town has an excellent bakery.

Most Popular Post

Since posting Shark Gazing at the Dallas World Aquarium a year ago, not a day passes without search traffic bringing visitors to this article, which includes several photos. Here’s a little excerpt:

My favorite part of the Dallas World Aquarium is a long acrylic viewing tunnel which allows you to watch sharks and rays cruise right over your head. Both times we’ve gone, I’ve loaded up my camera’s memory card there. But here’s a tip: go during the weekday to avoid crowds in the view tunnel. It can get really stuffy!

Most Controversial Post

Let’s face it, you either believe in ghosts or you think the topic is a bunch of rubbish. That’s why I picked True Spooks 2011: True Ghost Stories as my most controversial post. For added controversy, I included an anomalous photo (is it a ghost?), but the best part is that several excellent writers, including Shelly Tucker and Slade Roberson joined in. Here’s a teaser:

What are ghost stories doing on a travel blog? Simple! With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I’d let some masterful storytellers take us for a spooky trip to the world’s most haunted places, from tiny Italian villages, to middle class American neighborhoods. Sometimes the creepiest place of all is your own backyard.

Most Helpful Post

I chose Easy Homemade Solar Oven: Have Fun with the Sun as my most helpful post because I include a step-by-step recipe for making your own bread with the sun. People are so surprised when I tell them how easy it is. Here’s a little excerpt:

I’m often asked if it’s possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk here in Texas during the summer, to which I reply, “Not only can you fry eggs. You can bake your own bread with the sun! Turns out that baking bread with the sun is easy, too. So easy, in fact, that lately I’ve been baking a fresh batch of Sun Bread (as we’ve taken to calling it) twice a week. Each time, it feels like I’m outwitting the heatwave in my own sneaky way, like in a super hero movie where the victim turns the villain’s own powers against them. Bwa-ha-ha!

A Post Whose Success Surprised You

When I wrote Alix’s Story: Chronic Pain and the Power of Stubbornness, I didn’t expect much of a response. The post came about during one of my morning free writes, and I decided to share it on my blog. I was worried, though, because it’s quite a long. Much to my surprise, it got a lot of comments, a big reaction on Facebook, and I even received several private messages from people thanking me. Here’s an excerpt:

A little over 10 years ago, my dear friend, Alix, was in a terrible car accident. This was no mere fender-bender. Alix’s vehicle was struck head-on by a woman who fell asleep at the wheel. The slumbering driver got a broken wrist out of the incident, but Alix nearly died. While waiting for help to arrive, Alix was stuck upside down and nearly drowned in her own blood. They had to use the Jaws of Life to pry her out, and even when they did, they pronounced her dead – several times – on the way to the hospital.

When you have been on as much morphine as is humanly possible to metabolize, addiction is a given. And when the medical professionals decide that you no longer need that medication, they simply cut you off, and expect you to deal with it cold turkey. If you want more meds, they consider it “drug seeking behavior,” and tell you to buck up. I was shocked by this!

Eventually, Alix asked her doctors if she could be completely weaned off painkillers, and was given a resounding, “no.” They told her all the years of pain meds had rewired her brain and that it was physically impossible for her to ever be totally clean.

Here’s a little update on Alix, for those who are wondering: She continues to be completely off of painkillers, graduated from cosmetology school with flying colors and has opened her own hair salon in partnership with her boyfriend, who went through school with her. Hooray!

A Post You Feel Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved

I’ve picked 5 Reasons You Should Never Work at Home in Your Pajamas as my most neglected post because I think I made some valid points. Here’s the opening:

The first thing people say when they hear that I work at home is often some variant of, “Lucky you! You can work in your pajamas!” to which I just smile the way people called “Otto” smile at yet another car-related pun in reference to their name. Only rarely do I bother to explain that, in fact, the only time I work in my pajamas is if I am sick and have a deadline to meet. Other than that, I absolutely never, ever work in my pajamas, and neither should you. Here’s why:

The Post You Are Most Proud Of

I chose The Italian – Texan Connection as the post I’m most proud of because it was also a guest post over at one of my favorite blogs, Bleeding Espresso, home of the fabulous Michelle Fabio. I’m also proud of this post because not only do the photos work well, but I’ve never read anything before about the similarities between Texas and Italy before. Here’s a little excerpt:

As a recent transplant to the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex (via Naples, Italy and the Pacific Northwest) I must agree with the state slogan of, “Texas, it’s like a whole other country.” It’s not only because the state is huge, or the fact that it has its own power grid. There is just something about Texas that sets it apart from other states. Every time I land in Dallas, for instance, I feel like I should get my passport stamped.
So how does all this fit in with the Gita Italiana? Well, I’ve discovered that the bel paese and the Lone Star State have a surprising amount of things in common. Don’t believe me? Read on!

My Picks for the Next Seven Link Challenge Bloggers

Here are a few of the bloggers I find inspirational, and who I would love to see take part in the Seven Link Challenge. If you are looking for some new blogs, check these folks out. They are quite a crew:

Andarin, from Byteful Travel

Jyllian, from Erstwhile Dancefloor Revolution

Paula Puffer, from Don’t Be a Picklebump

Aeriel, from Gardener’s Roost

Michael Turtle, from The Time Travel Turtle

Shonda, from Abundant Journeys

Hans, from The Ramen Rater

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Thanks for the link, Shonda!

      I’ll swing by on my next blog hop and check out the links you posted. :)


    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Shonda,

      Glad you’re gonna take the challenge. I look forward to checking out your 7 links. :)


  1. I will play with this tomorrow after work! I promised myself a workout of some sort this evening since I crashed out last night.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Keep me posted, Paula! You could even put it up as your link for tonight’s #commenthour. :)


    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Diane,

      Thanks for swinging by. If you feel inspired, you could take the plunge and choose 7 posts, too! Let me know if you do.


  2. It took a lot longer than I was expecting but it is finally finished and posted. :D


    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Great, Morgan! I look forward to seeing which posts you chose. It was harder to do than I expected, but I set a timer and just made myself choose in a hurry. I was very tempted to overthink my choices! :) ~Tui

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Morgan,

      OK, then: Tag, my dear, you’re it! I hope you will do the 7 Links Challenge. You have so much material to choose from. I’d love to see what you pick.


  3. Can’t wait to dig into all these posts! Thanks for spreading the meme, it is a great intro to new bloggers.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks again for tagging me. I had fun choosing posts. I did my best not to over think it and just have fun!


  4. Thanks for the nomination! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do it soon. It’s a great idea!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Howdy Mr Turtle!

      I hope you take the plunge. Let me know if you do. I want to see which posts you choose. :)


  5. Saw you mentioned me on twitter and was led here. Interesting idea!

    I’d consider doing it, except I’m soon to embark on another travelling adventure and am working on finishing up other projects before I go.

    Even so, thanks so much for the nomination! It’s an honor :) Perhaps when I return I’ll do it.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Andarin,

      Just take the “don’t over think it” part of the 7 Links Challenge to heart and it won’t take you long to put a post together. That’s what I did.

      Happy travels! I look forward to reading about your travel adventures upon your return! :)


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