Monday, September 7, 2015

Meet the Blogger with Kenda Turner

Please join me in welcoming Kenda Turner for this month's Meet the Blogger. As you might have guessed, I met this smart and funny writer through blogging. 

Kenda and I are almost neighbors, since we live within 2 hours of each other. Perhaps someday we'll meet in person to discuss all things writing. :) 

I encourage you to visit Kenda's blog, for it's a virtual treasure chest of insight, information, and encouragement. She's a gracious hostess who provides much to think about.

Welcome Kenda! Why did you start blogging? How long have you had your current blog?

Hi, Karen—thanks for inviting me. I started blogging in January 2010. Going on six years now—that’s hard to believe. But at the time I told myself I’d blog as long as it was fun, and so far it has been. I began blogging as a prompt to write regularly and to share what I was learning as I went.

That's a good reason to blog. I'm glad you did. :) What is your blog about?

My blog, Words and Such, is mostly about writing topics—where I am in my journey and what I’ve learned along the way. It’s also about encouraging others as they travel the writing path. In addition, I share everyday life things, quotes, and favorite photos. Thus the tagline under my blog’s name: “a page out of one writer’s notebook.”

I love that tagline - it's so friendly and inviting. What benefits have you gained through blogging?   

I count the people I’ve met through blogging as one of the best benefits—it’s been great to get know others and to share writing experiences. I also feel that blogging has helped me hone the craft of writing and keeps me accountable to some of my writing goals.

The people are great, aren't they? What projects are you working on right now?                      

Right now I’m concentrating on writing middle-grade historical fiction, though I’ve also written picture books, devotionals, and inspirational pieces. I’ve written a children’s historical novel set in the late 18th century Ohio wilderness and am working on a second, a story that takes place during the Civil War.

Your books sound wonderful! Looking forward to reading them. What might people be surprised to learn about you?

That I have a landlady to thank for my name. I was the second child with an older sister. My dad’s name was Kenneth. The story goes that my parents wanted to name me after Dad, but didn’t particularly like the name Kendra (with an –r). It was their landlady who suggested the name ‘Kenda.’ And so, as they say, the rest is history.

Now that is interesting. I never would have guessed! What advice would you share with a newbie blogger?

Allow room to write just for the fun of it. We can get so caught up in goals, deadlines, and expectations that we lose sight of why we write in the first place. Play with words, find ways to stimulate creativity, explore options. Enjoy the process. 

You are right, the "fun" is so important. It's easy to forget that. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Kenda!

Thanks, Karen!

About Kenda

Kenda Turner lives and writes in Cincinnati OH. Her publishing credits include Cup of Comfort and My Dad is My Hero anthologies, devotionals, children’s magazines, and, most recently, an article in the SCBWI Bulletin (Summer 2015).

Connect with Kenda on her blog Words and Such

Do you sometimes lose sight of the "fun" part of writing? What are you up to this week?

Happy writing,

Photo credit: Free Images


  1. How awesome you and Kendra get together sometimes. And I so agree that meeting friends in the blogsphere is one of the real benefits of blogging.

  2. I love how she got her unique name.

  3. I've found the friends I've made along the way to be the greatest benefit as well.

  4. Natalie,
    It is amazing how small the world is through blogging, isn't it? So glad you got to meet Kenda! :)

    I know, me too! It's great to learn more about each other! :)

    The friends are priceless, aren't they? Glad you stopped by! :)

    Happy writing,

  5. Hi Karen, its nice that you and Kenda are almost neighbours.It would be great if you two meet in person :)

  6. Hi Kenda and Karen! What an interesting story about how you got your name! Thanks for sharing that. I agree about the people you meet blogging. It's a whole world of linked friends who are just trying to express themselves. I have seen such generosity and support too. It's wonderful.

    I wish you many good things as you continue writing and urging us to 'have fun'. It's good not to lose that perspective :)

  7. I have been reading Kenda's blog for almost as long as she's been posting. It is unfailingly insightful. She puts a lot of effort into each post, and I read every one of them, sometimes more than once. I hope Kenda will continue to inspire us for years to come.

  8. Rachna,
    In the global scale, we really are! :) Glad you were able to stop by!

    I agree, the friendship, support, and generosity are wonderful. :) I think we have so much to offer each other, while having fun along the way! :)

    Nice to meet you! Kenda is a treasure, isn't she? Her blog is such a wonderful resource. Just love it. :) She is indeed an inspiration!

    Happy writing,

  9. Hello, Karen!

    Thanks once again for inviting me today. I appreciate the opportunity to share and to 'talk' writing with you and all who stop by. A subject dear to all our hearts, I'd say :-)

    Natalie--Isn't it neat how bloggers encourage each other? I feel that Karen does that for us a lot, and I'm glad to call her a friend.

    L. Diane--My name has often been a subject of discussion since it's a bit unusual. I just wish I knew the name of the landlady who suggested it :-)

    Alex--Such a common theme, isn't it--making friends through blogging. Yes, it's one of the biggest benefits, for sure.

    Rachna--It's so good to 'see' you here today :-) I enjoy catching up on your blog, too. And, yes, Karen and I should meet for real one of these days. I'd love that.

    Ceil--Thanks for your well-wishes. Nice to meet you. Blessings to you, too.

    Cathy--How nice to see you here! Thank you for your kind words. You know, I've gained a lot from your blog posts as well. Good luck at the upcoming ACFW conference--and in the big contest coming up :-)

    Thanks again to all,

  10. It's nice to meet you, Kenda, I love the pictures on you blog. I spent some time taking some pictures for my blog off and on this year. I need to do it more. I wll be visiting your blog as I can.

    Thank you, Karen for introducing us to Kenda.

    1. Thank you, quietspirit--and I hope you'll be able find time to take more pictures, too. It's just a hobby for me but very enjoyable :-)

  11. Lovely to meet you Kenda. Thanks for introducing Karen!

    1. Nice meeting you, too, Kelly :-) Have a great rest of the week!

  12. Kenda,
    It's my pleasure to have you visit! So glad you were able to be with us this week. :)

    I too, enjoyed Kenda's last post. She is quite the photographer too, isn't she? :)

    Happy to make the introduction! Kenda is a sweetheart! :)

    Happy writing,

  13. Nice to meet you, Kenda!

    Do I ever lose the "fun" part of writing? Yes. Today was one of those days. I've been contracted to write a story for a children's educational market where the guidelines are quite stringent, and writing to the lexile on this topic is a challenge. It will be worth it, but right now it's driving me crazy! lol I try to remind myself that this is a good problem to have, as it means I'm a working writer. Still, I'll be happy when I see the light at the end of this particular tunnel. :)

  14. Nice to meet you, Kenda. I try to balance fun with more serious writing on my blog, too. It's always informative to visit other writer's blogs - and I'll visit yours. Keep smiling, keep writing. =0)

  15. Lisa,
    Ah, wow, yes, I can relate! Hoping things smooth out for you soon. :) I too, like that light at the end of the tunnel!

    I like that, "Keep smiling, keep writing." Timeless advice for sure! Glad you came by to meet Kenda! :)

    Happy writing,

  16. Karen, it's been a special treat for me to meet more bloggers through you. Spending time here has been great :-)

    Lisa--your experience reminds me of one my critique buddies--she, too, wrote for a children's educational market (church school curriculum) and found it to be challenging, but rewarding at the same time. So wishing you the best as you come to the end of the assignment! Hopefully all will come together smoothly soon :-)

    Susan--Nice meeting you, too :-) Your blog sounds great--I'll drop in and "visit" you soon!

  17. Kenda, sounds like you've learned a thing or two. I remember when I started online (1994) , and there was nowhere to meet other writers. There was certainly no place to find the answers. We've come a long way. Thank you for sharing. See you in the writers' cyberspace.

  18. Middle grade historical, eh? I've been reading a bit of that lately. Good stuff. Now if only I could get my kidlets to read it. ;)

  19. Kenda,
    It's a treat to have you! So glad we got to visit this week.:)

    I am glad you had a chance to meet Kenda. You are right, we have come a long way! :)

    LOL - well maybe if you put the books in their cereal bowls...? Maybe they'll catch the historical bug one of these days! :)

    Happy writing,

  20. It's wonderful to meet you, Kenda. Thanks for introducing us, Karen. Your middle grade fiction sounds fascinating. You are an accomplished writer, Kenda. I'm going to visit and join your blog. You are right, though. Many times I am hung up on making the post so pithy instead of having fun on my Adventures in Writing blog. I guess I leave a lot of the fun stuff to my second blog about Camping with Kids. Again, glad to meet you!

  21. Hi Karen.

    Thanks for the interview with Kendra.

    Right now, as summer winds down, I'm back to helping with my baby granddaughter, writing feature stories for a weekend newspaper, working with teens in an independent living program and, of course, blogging to my heart's content.

    There are times when deadlines make writing a bit stressful but I almost always find it "fun." Give me a laptop or PC, a keyboard and a few minutes of extra time and I'm happy! Susan

  22. I love how we can share our writing paths with each other. Middle grade historical is a wonderful genre.

  23. Still meeting new 'friends,' Karen! Wow :-)

    Joylene--Yes, I've learned so much, with much more to learn yet :-) But that's okay--I'm enjoying the ride. Btw, I like your name, very pretty. And, incidentally, my middle name is Joy...

    Crystal--I do believe there's still a market for HF (or else I wouldn't be such a champion for it), but I'm also aware of the challenges in getting the kiddos interested in it. Karen suggests putting the books in their cereal bowls. Maybe at least a teaser on the back of the box? Or like Cheerios did there for a while, put samples inside the boxes??

    Victoria--It's great meeting you, too. And thanks for the follow over at Words and Such. I'll be visiting your blog soon, too :-)

    Susan--So glad to hear writing is still fun for you, even though your plate is full. Of course, if you're like me, the grandkids are the most fun of all!

    Medeia--Our writing paths do intertwine in interesting ways, don't they? Hope your writing journey is going well.

  24. Funny that I was thinking today I want to put 'fun' back into my writing, my blogging as it has been tougher to complete lately. I can be very goal oriented so when I don't think I can follow through, I don't do at all, and creativity goes to the wayside when feeling pressured. Thanks for sharing Kenda with us!

  25. Kenda it's nice to meet you. I love the idea of a MG historical fiction.

  26. Victoria,
    You are very welcome! I love this reminder Kenda provides, to keep the fun alive. I needed it this week!:)

    Sounds like your days are filled to the brim with good things. :) Your "fun" is evident in your blog posts!

    Makes the seem world smaller too, doesn't it? :) I agree; it is a great genre!

    Yes, new friends keep popping up, don't they? We may still see a handful before the week is over.:)

    You are welcome - happy to make the introduction! My creativity can take a back seat sometimes too when under pressure. This is a good reminder!

    Glad you got to meet Kenda! Yes, I think we need more good MG historical fiction out there. :)

    Happy writing,

  27. Lynn--Wishing you the best as you seek to recover the creativity muse :-) She can be elusive but is often close by if we make room for her!

    And it's been nice meeting you, too, Southpaw. Have a great end of the week :-)

  28. Lovely interview! I so agree with leaving time to write for fun. I'm off to visit Kenda now. Have a great weekend!


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