Monday, December 10, 2012

Meet and Greet

Diane Estrella of That's What I'm Here For has a special blog feature called Meet and Greet, where readers get to know other writers. Diane's featuring yours truly there today, so if you have a minute, we'd be thrilled if you hopped over to say hello.

I thought it might be fun to turn the tables on Diane and host her here today. She's one sweet lady who does so much for the blogging community. I'm blessed to call her a friend.

In Diane's Meet and Greet posts, she asks writers for certain info. I thought it would be nice to get better acquainted with her through her answers to these same questions. So, here we go! :)

Name: Diane Estrella

State of Residence: Central New York (cuz if I just said NY, you'd think it was 'the City.' ;)

Height: 5'6"   

Age: 41..... AACK!

Hair Color: Boring brown, but thankfully, not too many grays.

Home life (Family, pets, etc.): One husband, Charlie. We've been married since 1995. A daughter Madeline, age 12 who loves to read and helps me with a lot of my book reviews, and a son Donato, age 10 who does not like to read, but I'm working on him. One cat, one gerbil, and five chickens round us out.

Occupation: SAHM who homeschools her kids!

Hobbies that you enjoy: In the winter, crocheting, baking (all year long), reading, and also watching movies and way too many Sci-fi TV shows on TV.

Top three favorite TV shows: Currently ARROW!!!! is my number one must see. Watching the lead character ALMOST makes me want to start working out and getting into shape. ;) I also love Psych and Shark Tank.

Favorite authors: I have "met" so many wonderful authors through blogging and doing all the book reviews I do, that I cannot honestly select any one. I will give a shout out to the girls in my writer's crit group that have been published and I am SO PROUD of them all: Elaine W. Miller, Amy Quonce, Lisa Buske, Paula A. Davis, and J.A. Zilske. Look them up on Amazon!

Go-to beverage of choice: Water. Why waste the calories if chocolate's around is my motto??!

What's your blog address?

Why do you blog? What do you hope to accomplish with blogging?

Initially, I just wanted to be "out there" and be heard. The biggest struggle I have had with my blog is figuring out what my "niche" is. It's kind of hilarious to me that I can write a post on Finding your blog's niche, but I can't find my own. I guess I see it as, I'm good at and like a lot of things, but not great or love any one thing the most. This is where the "That's What I'm Here For...." byline got its start. If you need a laugh, advice, book or product promotion, encouragement, etc. then "That's What I'm Here For...."! Whatever you need, I'll try to fill it for ya. I guess like many others, I hope to either make money from my blog or use it as a springboard for my writing and when I become a published author. I've actually had two speaking engagements this year on The Benefits of Blogging so that has been an exciting next step in my blogging journey.  :)

What's the latest goings-on that you would want others to know about?

Always lots of giveaways, book and product reviews, and Meet & Greet's going on at my site. Trying to refocus for the new year and see where I'm headed for 2013.

Any words of encouragement or wisdom to impart?

My all-time favorite quote was found on a sugar packet in a greasy diner. My sister made a cross-stitch of it for me:

If you have tried to do something and failed, you are vastly better off than if you had tried to do nothing and succeeded.  Richard Martin Stern

My favorite Bible passage is from Habakkuk 3:17-19 

Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. 

Both speak of overcoming and not giving up, which I love!

Where can readers connect with you online?

My site:
Facebook: and

Thank you, Diane, for sharing with us today! It was good to learn more about you. You are a blessing. Wishing you all the best!

Thank you, and thanks for having me, Karen! :o)

Don't forget - if you have a minute, stop over and see us at Diane's blog today. Thanks a bunch! :)

Have you met Diane yet? How has blogging expanded your circle of friends?

Happy writing,


Teacup image: Stock Exchange


  1. Oh Karen... it's about time you pop up at Diane's meet-n-greet :) and thanks fro hosting her on your blog, she's a doll and a social media queen. I have interviewed her on my blog about a year ago (that long??) See:

  2. Hi Karen .. I seriously stopped at Diane's 41 YAACK .. does she know what's in store .. and only a few grays ..

    Sounds like one busy lady with animools and kidlies - readers or unreaders! ...

    Have fun and great preparations for the coming festivities .. cheers Hilary

  3. Thank you so much for having me today Karen. This has been a fun series of getting to know better some old and new friends. Hugs!

    Marja- I so appreciated your author for me to be at your site too. I think you were the first to ask me for an interview! So thankful for generous friends like you.

    Hilary-I talk to my 80 year old aunt, who also loves to read, and we discuss what's coming up. For some reason at age 40 my body started acting all old on me real quick so it just hit me suddenly.

    Thanks all!

  4. Marja,
    You make me smile, you are a sweetheart! :) I'm pleased to have Diane here. You are right - she is a treasure. We're blessed to know her! Thanks for the link!

    I know it - I'm thinking I wouldn't mind going back to 41! Oh well, time does march on, does it not? Wishing you all the best as well. :)

    I am so glad you stopped by. It's been fun getting to know you better. And you are a gem - such a blessing to so many. :)


  5. I love those verses from Habakkuk. Very interesting interview, and how fun that you're visiting each other today. :)

    I notice that Diane can laugh at herself. I like her already!

    Waving and grinnin',


  6. Rhonda-I laugh at myself a little too much sometimes. My daughter is already giving me the eye rolling.... :)

  7. Hi Karen! Hi Diane!

    Love your favorite passage! One of my favs too.

    Fun to learn a little bit more about you, Diane!

  8. Thanks Loree! It has kept me focused on what really matters and who my strength comes from. :)

  9. Hi Diane!

    You're not too far from me--I'm near the capital.

    Nice getting to know you better. Off to check out your blog!

  10. Rhonda,
    It's fun to do a "home and home" thing! :) Love Diane - she's always fun to visit with.

    Glad you stopped by. Hope you are feeling even better now. Rest up! :)

    Thanks for hopping over - I know you are busy with your blog tour. Wishing you the best with that!


  11. Diane, you are the best! So glad we met on Facebook and then learned we lived in neighboring towns. My life is better because that's what you're here for. May the blessings be returned.

    Hugs, friend,

  12. That was a good interview with Diane. I enjoy her book reviews and her humor when she talks about something like a new product.

  13. Elaine,
    Diane is a sweetheart, I agree! She's a blessing. Glad you came by. :)

    The Meet and Greet feature is the brainchild of Diane - and I thought it would be great to host her here. So glad we did this!


  14. *waves to Diane* I love the way you two switched places. SUCH GENIUS. Maybe some of it will rub off on moi?? 41! Oh to be 41 again. Karen, this was great. Diane is beautiful inside and out. And amigo, you KNOW how I feel about you. This goes without saying.

  15. Hi fellow NY-er ibdiamond! Glad to "meet" ya!

    Elaine- my favoritest!!!!

    Nancy-thanks for sticking with me. Hugs to you sweet gal!

  16. Wonderful passage!
    Finding your niche is all about finding your passions. Because if it's something you're excited about, that will come through to your blog readers.
    Nice to meet you, Diane!

  17. Robyn-you're the best!

    Alex-Glad to see you too. I'm still searching for my niche but I think I'm getting close!!! ;)

  18. Thanks for the introduction to Diane, Karen! I had no idea another blogger did meet-and-greet interviews. We should team up or something, lol. I love Diane's theory on drinking water, btw. I'm all about saving my calories for what really matters. :)

  19. Funny, I said the same thing when I turned 41. "AAAACK!"

    Great interview!

  20. Diane: I also like the passage in Habakkuk. It is nice to find out about you.

  21. That quote is great. I see Diane has a cat. I think we all have cats!

  22. Sarah-Gotta save those calories somewhere, right??!?!

    Lydia-Congrats on the book deal for next year. So excited for you!

    Quietspirit-It's my favorite!

    L.Diane-I love the cat, but not the cat upkeep. The kids promised they'd do all the work..... hahahaha

  23. Karen - Thanks for visiting my blog today. Great to meet you. And to learn more about Diane here.

  24. I haven't seen Arrow yet. It's on my list. And I love that bible passage.

  25. 41! Wow, Diane doesn't look a day over 20!

  26. Howdy Carol!

    Lynda-You've got to see Arrow! My new favorite.

    Joylene-thanks for the sweet compliment! :)

  27. Robyn,
    Sort of like one of those "home and home" hockey game weekends. :) You are a super sweetheart. Right back at you! :)

    I think you are right! Glad I could introduce you to Diane. She's a wonderful part of the blogging community.

    Happy to do it! :) I know, the water thing is genius, right? What really counts is the chocolate!

    I know, and I'm wanting to head back to 41, actually! lol :)

    I'm glad you learned some new things about Diane. She's one sweet lady! :)

    Diane W.,
    Kindred spirits, I'm thinking! :) My sister and I used to have cats. One was named Boots and the other Columbus. Don't ask, we were young. lol

    Enjoyed my stop at your blog today. Thanks so much for coming over and following, and hopping over to Diane's too! :)

    I haven't seen Arrow either. Couldn't even till you what it's about! :) Guess I need to look into it?

    I know, she's got the youth secret, I'm thinking! :)

    Happy writing,

  28. Hello Karen, I'm popping in from the AlexCavanaugh blogfest and I'm so glad I found your blog, it's fascinating. Great interview with Diane too. I like her already because she likes chocolate too!

  29. Hi Karen,
    What a great idea and meet-and-greet interesting interview. I'm hopping over to check out Diane's blog.

  30. Great interview! I've seen Diane around the blogging and goodreads circles. It's great to learn more about her.

  31. Nice to meet Diane and learn more about her.

  32. Hi Karen, left a comment for you on Diane's website, but it landed in the spam folder.

  33. Ha! I love that you turned the tables on our dear Diane!!

  34. Ladies, that was great!
    Not only did I learn about Diane- will check out your fav authors- but I also got to learn a little more about Karen when I hopped over to Diane's blog! American Choppers? :-)

  35. Susan,
    Great to meet you! Thanks so much for stopping by and following. :) I know, chocolate - it brings writers together, I'm thinking!

    Thanks for popping over there too. Your kind words made me blush! :) So glad we met through blogging.

    I can't really take the interview credit - the Meet and Greet is her brainchild. It's a great idea! :) Glad you liked it.

    You too, are a sweetheart. Thanks so much for popping by Diane's place. The comment did make it through! Thanks for your sweet words! :)

    Well, why not, I thought - it's great fun to learn about this sweet girl who works so hard on our behalf! :)


  36. Janet,
    Yes, well, it happened accidentally really, and although I don't have to watch American Choppers, I do like to follow what's happening from time to time. :) Glad you enjoyed this!

  37. Karen:

    I just read your meet and greet answers and commented over at Diane's. Also, thanks for hosting Diane on your site. She is a pleasure to know, and I'm proud to call her one of my blogging buddies. :-)


    Your optimism is infectious. Your wit shines through in your writing, and I chuckled at the part of you having to mention that you're from "central" New York lest everyone presume you're from the City. (Which I totally would have presumed had you only said you were from New York!)

    And brown hair is lovely. But I'm biased. ;-)

    Fun posts, ladies!

  38. It was nice to find out about Diane. I agree about drinking water to keep from wasting calories on better stuff!

  39. Janette,
    Thanks so much for your support! I appreciate your kind words and faithfulness. So glad we've met through blogging. :)

    Diane's a peach, isn't she? Thanks so much for coming over to see us. :)


  40. So great to learn more about Diane. Thanks for sharing her with us, Karen. Over to Diane's blog to read about you now!

  41. I am so blown away by all the comments and blog love. Thank you all and I see lots of "old" faces and many new ones too. Hugs to you all! :O)

  42. Dottie,
    You are a true gem, you know that? So glad you stopped by! :)
    Hugs and blessings,

  43. Nice post, Karen. Will stop by Diane's blog now. By the way, thanks for your visit and comment, too, on my blog. Susan

  44. Hi Karen,
    It is so nice of you to let us meet with Diane out here.
    Meet and Greet sounds so exciting.

    Have a good day!

  45. Susan,
    Thank you! Diane gets the credit, it was her brainchild. :) Thanks for hopping over there!

    Glad you enjoyed meeting Diane! I'll have to do this again. It is fun! :)

    Happy weekend,

  46. Hi Karen & Diane -

    I've actually met Diane in person. She's a thoughtful, very grounded type of gal. :) I hope we can get together again soon. Diane???

    Popping over to Diane's blog to see you, Karen.


  47. Susan,
    Better late than never is still great! :) Thanks for hopping by.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!