Spotlight On: Julie Luek of A Thought Grows

JulieLuekBack at the beginning of March—the fifth, to be exact—I left behind my Blogger website and made my first official post here at WordPress. Up to that point, I had been double-posting my Blogger articles, but that one laid the milestone that confirmed my move was complete. There has been no turning back, and I’ve been loving it here.

Yeah, WordPress is a little different with a lot to learn. I’m managing.

In that first post (which was also the last post at Blogger), I wrote of my plans for the immediate future and how this blog would handle blogrolls. In an update from WordPress, I was notified that they would eventually be getting rid of the typical blogroll, so I decided to take appropriate measures.

I hurriedly created a “My Tribe” tab, slapped up sites that were currently on my blogroll and called it a day until I could get to it later. Today is the first day of later. I’ve deleted those earlier pages of the “My Tribe” tab, have opened a new page titled, “Writer’s Blogs—Individual,” and will be adding you one-by-one, in no specific order or preference—except for this one.

This one has special meaning to me. This one spotlights my good friend, Julie Luek, of A Thought Grows, the first blog I followed.


Julie and I met…goodness, over a year ago…on a weekly prompt board and became immediate friends. She has some real talent, and I wanted to know the person behind those wonderful short stories I so enjoyed.

We cheered each other on, always being honest in order to grow into the writers we wished to become. That included honest criticism along with the Rahs, and I’ve always been grateful.

I knew Julie had a blog, but didn’t realize at the time what blogs were. I thought they were more like personal diaries written online for all the world to see (and some are), never comprehending that all the “websites” that I had been reading and gleaning were actually blogs. To show how many changes have happened over that period of time, I was using the pseudonym, Chris Michaels—too scared to put my real name out there. My, how I’ve grown.

Out of friendship, I went to Julie’s blog, joined, read, and made my first comment on her July 24, 2012 post.

Another sign of growth, this time hers, was the small number of followers she had at the time. I think I was number five or so. That has certainly changed! And it has been because of her genuine warmth and encouragement towards the writing community, in addition to the well-written topics she addresses in such a professional manner.

At the time, I had made one paltry post on my caregiver’s blog before deciding that I needed to learn much more about this online world and the writing business. Julie encouraged me to rekindle that blog, which I did in October. I know she had to get sick of my constant, “How do I’s?” I eventually split my blog into two individual sites.

I follow Julie because of the above, but also because she fits into what I’m looking for in a blog:

  • A clean, crisp look to her site.
  • Good, easy-to-read font.
  • A two-to-three color scheme.
  • Easy navigability.
  • A professional attitude.
  • Topics that interest me.
  • Author spotlights.
  • Book reviews.
  • Not a bunch of distractions, bells and whistles.
  • A true desire to encourage the writing community.
  • A person who is doing everything she can to become the writer we all want to be—and succeeding.
  • Honesty, integrity, and genuinity (yeah…just coined that…I liked the “-ity” roll I was on).
  • Humor.

And now she’s forked off in several different directions. She is a frequent contributor to She Writes, is a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, contributor to their blog, Chiseled in Rock, and also finds time to author another more personal blog about life in a secluded mountain hamlet fittingly called, In Fine Company. Add to that all the articles for various print publications, and I need rollerblades to keep up with her!


This year that I’ve known Julie has seen us weather many sunny days, as well as a few that have been dark and grey, but I know that whenever I’m with her, I’m always in fine company. It’s an honor to call her a fellow writer and friend.


ML Swift


56 thoughts on “Spotlight On: Julie Luek of A Thought Grows

  1. Wow– I’m honored and flattered and um, that is one big face-picture of me. I mean, big. Thanks Mike– you know the feelings and respect are mutual. I’m just waiting for the credit in your first book, on that acknowledgment page.

    It will be fun to read about all the blogs you take notice of in the coming months– this is a great idea.

    And I will be waiting at the back narthex with 8×10 glossies of that huge face to sign…. 😉 Thanks, Mike.

    1. LOL! You’ll get that credit.

      This was a joy to write…so much fun reminiscing about the days of yore. Gotta fix up my “My Tribe” tab and re-do, though. I tried to do it without deleting the other pages, but it’s not working out as planned.

      But you were the first blog I followed and the first spotlighted. Virtual Hugs!

      (Okay…I can take a hint and will reduce the picture…it’s gawjus, though. Oh, and did you hover your mouse over it?)

  2. He’s right about your work, and my amazement at how you do it all knows no bounds. I love the little glimpses of CO, which for many years was where we spent our summers.

    ML, I had no idea you were so recently come to blogging. You have a great, professional-looking site yourself (and yet another soul showing how I ought to think about switching to wordpress. Sigh).

    1. Thanks for coming by, Rebecca. Yours will be one up there soon. I’m still reeling from quite a couple of months, but putting it all behind me and getting back to work. All my crap will get the attention it needs, but work is priority #1. I’ll be heading over to finally read everyone’s Save the Cat posts. And so glad you’ll be joining in for End of Your Life.

      It’s been a lot of time spent learning not only about the writing world, but the blogging world, too. There’s actually an art to it. I’ve also learned html code, and follow many marketing sites. Copyblogger is one I’ll be spotlighting in the future.

  3. Julie is a wonderful human being and an amazing blogger. Her insight is something I admire and value more than I can say. I love to read her blogs as there is always there to learn about, be it about writing or about life. She’s my kind of writer, no doubt! Dragon and dwarves will give her a standing ovation now.

    1. I hear the clapping of little hands and the flapping of giant wings!

      This was one of the easiest posts I’ve written…and one of the hardest. Easy because it was all true and not difficult to come up with wonderful things to say…hard because I really wanted to do her justice. I think I did.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jeff. I don’t get by your site too often (not nearly as often as I’d like), but am trying to fit it all in and manage my time better. The spotlight will definitely shine in your direction, though.

    1. LOL, Alex. I look for many other things as well, and believe me, you’ve got those covered.

      Funny you should stop by…although I said that they’d be in no specific order or preference, some of them are. I plan to do yours next. Julie needed to be first, though, but it was a close toss-up. You’ve played a very important part of my tribe, whether I’ve told you or not, and I want to let everyone know.

      Thanks for coming by!

  4. What a great post! (I had to sneak out of my hiatus hidey-hole for this one. :P) I think the world of Julie, too.

    “She has some real talent”
    Yes she does. Let’s all gang up on her and convince her of this. 🙂

    1. Glad you came out of hiding for this! It was fun to write, as will the one about YOU one day. I’m excited about this “series.” There’s nothing better than showcasing all of you folks.

      And…dang! I don’t know why your comments are all of the sudden needing moderation. Something in this blogging world doesn’t like us intermingling. I can’t get emails of your posts and you always have to be moderated (now). Good to see you, Mel. 🙂

    1. YAY! That’s as big as I could make it. Thanks for swinging by, Lynda, and I’ve got to get over to your place, soon. It’s another one I thoroughly enjoy for many of the same reasons.

  5. Julie is an awesome blogger/writer. She’s genuine from her posts down to her comments and that’s one of the things I like about her. Great blogger to be highlighting today. (:

  6. I am so glad to reminded us to check this post out. I missed it earlier. This is so wonderful. I too am really enjoying a new friendship with Julie. She is encouraging and honest and I look forward to reading more of her and getting to know her better.

  7. Awwww, this is so special and sweet. What a wonderful way to honor Julie, and what a wonderful person you are for doing so. It’s nice to get the backstory viewpoint, and I’m so frickin’ grateful to cyber-know both you guys.

    1. And you’re frickin’ wonderful, too, Demetria!

      I was just about to jot you an email asking, “Are we cool?” You called me ML on your site and that sent up some red flags. With that little bit of gut-spillage a few weeks ago, I didn’t know if it made you dis me.

      Goodness! I’m so hip and with it. I used “dis” correctly in a sentence. Except hip and with it people don’t use the terms, hip and with it. Or goodness, for that matter. Unless there’s a cussword added betwixt the good and the ness. And they’ve never even heard of betwixt.

      Good to see you. 😀

      1. I never know what to call you in this cyberworld. If you pay close attention to all comment history you’ll notice I sometimes interchange “betwixt” ML and Mike. Only because I don’t know which you prefer and I want to honor the public persona you want to display.

        Sometimes I think you want to be publicly recognized as ML, but I’m always feeling a more personal “Mike” moment when I’m commenting. Please end this confusion for me.

        “Goodness” I think you’re “hip” and “with it” and I have no reasons to “dis” you. Not yet, anyways. 🙂

      2. Yeah, I figured that to be the case. This is how I play it. ML is my professional name. If I only know you on a professional level, call me ML. If I know you on a more personal level (as we do), call me Mike. Once I’ve said, “But you can call me Mike,” or sign something (an email) as Mike, then you can call me Mike wherever you see me. You’ve broken into the inner circle of Mike. 😀

    2. I see leaves of green…red roses, too. I see them bloom…for me and you. And I think to myself, “This must be some good shit. It’s the middle of winter.”

      No…it’s a wonderful world. Thanks for being in my little cyber one.

      1. Great. Now the song’s stuck in my head. The real version, not your crazily revised one.

    1. Thanks for coming by, Carol. Yes, Julie makes it easy to like her.

      I, on the other hand, can be a handful at times, which makes her look like more of a saint for putting up with me.

      When you’re good, you’re good. She’s pretty dang good.

  8. Mike,

    I appreciate the way you support our friends, and I’ll go ahead and stand in this long line for the Julie Show. She was one of the first blogs I followed, and I am amazed and not at all envious at the number of followers she acquired.

    Weird…I feel like she’s reading this blog right now…and yet, we’re still writing about her in 3rd person…do you think she’ll notice?

    Peace be with you brother.

    1. Shhh…it’s like we’re on Game of Thrones with only a curtain for a door in this big castle. She could be behind any of these tapestries…like a psycho Carole King. The walls have ears (note to self: change the ear wallpaper), so be careful what you say to avoid “the rack.”

      I like your site, too, Joe, and will get to you one day…so you can sell your books. And maybe have more vigorous chats. Those are always fun. But you actually have to chat back for it to work. 😀 Good to see you!

  9. Mike, what a great choice of blogger to feature, and fun for us to see the two of you (two of our fave bloggers) united in conversation.

    Julie has been one of our mentors as well — what a great gal! She deserves all the fame and glory that comes her way!

    1. And I envy the two of you for actually knowing her in real life! I’ve got to get out to Colorado one of these days. Maybe I can stop in on my way to Hollywood when I talk to The Powers That Be about turning my book into a movie. 🙂

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