I have come to realize that there are things you are good at and things you are not so good at in the blogosphere.
Posting regularly - I'm doing alright at the moment, but I have had my glitches (and chances are they will happen again).
Commenting on other people's blogs with some frequency - well, I mean to comment a lot. But then I forget what I was supposed to say. Or someone else said it better.
Keeping up with everything new in your Google Reader? Uhm, no. Does anyone do that?
When it comes to awards, though, it is pretty clear that I am no superstar. I have in the course of the past few weeks received several, and I have been meaning to pass them on, but for several reasons I have put this off. Today I plan on making up for this, though, by having something of an award seremony!
Tami (aka Watery Tart, aka Hart Johnson, and soon-to-be aka Alyse Carlson) sent me the Journey Support Award a while back. The logical thing for me to do would be to send it right back to Tami, and to the others she gave it to, since Tami and I entered the world of blogging at roughly the same time (though I remained in read-only mode for longer than she did), and anywhere Tami went, I followed...
However, since I am trying to be slightly original nowadays (you know, except for when I follow Tami in everything she does), I'll send this award off symbolically.
I have read several blogs lately which discuss the old fashioned stereotype that writers are alone, most of which concluded that in the modern world no writer is an island. I know I am not. My parents have always encouraged me in everything I have set my mind to. My sisters have been great role models. My grandparents have always been the only ones for which I have been willing to consider censorship. My friends have supported me and given me the confidence to come out of my writing closet. And the online writing community has been the most welcoming and friendly place I could have ever hoped to find. So - if you fall into any of the above categories (which, by default, you do unless you are my arch enemy reading this only to gain information about my weak spots - but I'm considering that relatively unlikely), feel free to accept this award as your own!
not long ago. February Grace's blog is both funny, heart-wrenching and optimistic all at once, and in addition it has the cleverest author interviews. You should all check it out.
Needless to say, I was very flattered when she gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. Now, I think I'm supposed to pass it on to 15 (fifteen!) blogs I have recently discovered. Uhm... That's a lot. I want to cheat. Not that I don't love all the new blogs I discover, but... There is also another one that is supposed to go to 15 bloggers I have recently discovered...
Vatche (you should all check out his "Mental Snacks" - he definitely offers food for thought) and then by Mohamed (it is such an honour to be considered "versatile" by a blogger whose background must be one of the most varied I have ever come across).
One of the requirements for this award is that you share seven (ideally interesting) things about yourself. I twisted my mind to come up with seven things I hadn't already (over?)shared on this blog. I'll leave it to you guys to figure out whether I score any points on the "interesting" part:
1) My first attempt at writing something resembling a book was when I was 13. It was a memoir… I think I was aware that 13-year olds normally did not write memoirs, but mine was "different", you see. It was modeled upon Anne Frank’s Diary. The title was “A Kingdom Lost and Won”, a title I believed I stole from one of Anne Shirley’s (aka Anne of Green Gables) imaginary books. The Kingdom, cleverly, represented my mind/identify/self/concept of me-ness, and I was the Queen who had to fight for her right to remain ruler of her kingdom. Or something. What I failed to realize was that what made Anne Frank so interesting to the world was the fact that she lived in refuge from the Nazis and eventually was captured and tragically died in the Holocaust. I failed to understand that my personal demons about boys and teenage drama was not as interesting material for a “memoir”.
2) My favourite herb is dill. Superfavourite. As in there is no one else even close. I love dill with fish, on potatoes, potato chips, in salad dressings, and the other day I ate a veggie burger that due to the dill in it was so good I very nearly asked the chef in the restaurant for the recipe. Once I was desperate for a snack and found nothing to my satisfaction, I even tried eating dry dill directly from the jar. I don’t recommend it – it’s a waste of effort and dill – but it illustrates how much I love dill.
3) I have never smoked a cigarette. I’ve never even taken a single drag from one. The only two things I ever have smoked is a cigar (but only one drag. It wasn’t pleasant), and grass. And no, grass isn’t a euphemism. I mean plain, old grass. And no again, it didn’t have any effect whatsoever (it tasted a little like burnt hotdogs, for some reason).
4) Before I knew I wanted to be an author, I wanted to be an astronaut, and then an archeologist. Before all of this though, the “profession” I most desired was to be an agroculturalist's wife in my mother’s birthplace at Toten. Actually, that last one still sounds pretty appealing to me, I just need to find my Prince Farming first.
5) I used to play the flute. The sole reason I ever started was that both my sisters and my father had played instruments in the school band. The nine-year-old me was influenced, if not pressured, by my family members to join. I have always been musical, but my interest and diligence was practically non-present. I played in the band until I was 18, and then I put the flute down for what so far appears to be forever. The thing that one day might haunt me, though, is that considering the minimal effort I put down I actually got pretty good. So if I had bothered to practice just a couple of times a week during those nine years, who knows how good I might have become.
6) I love calendars, cook books, curling irons, chandeliers, coffee, cocoa, clothes hangers and cotton swabs, but I really hate Camenbert.
7) One of the things I really miss from when I used to live in Japan is ironically something it took me a while to adjust to: coffee jello. It is weird as sunbathers on Saturn, but it grows on you. (Yes, I am aware that I chose to include my fondness for coffee jello as one of the seven most interesting things about me...)
Now onto the actual awarding part of the "ceremony..."
Instead of giving away two separate awards to 30 (!) different blogs, I will name 15 bloggers (in no particular order) that I think deserve one or both of these awards, and then they can choose whether they want to grab one or both of them. I will mainly try to stick to the rule about "newly discovered", but I am starting off by naming one blog that I think deserves both awards even if it has been a long time since I first stumbled upon it...
1) Katie at Belles-Lettriste: Uncategorhetorical (I've never realized how difficult that is to spell...). This is definitely a blog that is both beautiful and versatile. Katie offers insights on writing, cooking and interior design, and she's got the best playlists the internet can offer. Check it out!
2) Clarissa at Listen To The Voices. It isn't entirely recent that I discovered Clarissa's blog either (I know it's been more than a month, because I remember reading it at the beginning of BuNoWriMo), but it is such a lovely and useful blog that I simply must mention it. Also, you should check out her other blog, which is actually a novel, and it's so intriguing that I hope she will soon post the next chapter or I might have to try to hack her computer to get the rest of it... (Okay, I wouldn't. It's a reference to the novel, where there are some people with some serious code breaking skills!)
3) Jemi at Just Jemi. There is nothing "just" about Jemi! A great blog, and a great blogger. I particularly find it interesting that there seems to be so many parallells between her work as a teacher and my job as a bookseller (who would have thought?).
4) Hannah at Musings of a Palindrome. It may not be entirely fair to associate this blog with the image of Britney Spears as a "hot bald guy", but I can't help it... You should check out the other posts as well, though, but I challenge you to get the image of Britney acting as the villain of a(ny) story from now on out of the head. Had I not been so fond of Ralph Fiennes I might have suggested they consider her as the part of Voldemort for the final Harry Potter movie...
5) Sarah at Falen Formulates Fiction. Falen not only formulates fiction (and blog posts), but in such an entertaining way that it doesn't matter if you stumble upon those concerning guinnea pigs, the dictionarying dog or writing conferences.
6) Jennee at Cheap Therapy. In additon to offering free psych advice for those of us who need it, Jennee is on a quest to visit the countries of the world with the hottest men! This is a worthy cause I can support! (May I recommend Norway, by the way?)
7) Nicole at Damsel In A Dirty Dress. I have already confessed on this blog that I am a big Aussie fan, but did you also know that I *heart* New Zealand? No, it's not just because of Lord of the Rings. It's not even just because of Flight of the Conchords. It may or may not have to do with the fact that there are 12 sheep for every person in NZ... It doesn't really matter, though, because Nicole offers inside information of all of the above. (And may I just say I adore her blog title - it is awesome!)
8) February Grace at Pitch Slapped. This blog is already described above - stop reading and go visit it!
9) Yvonne at Welcome To My World Of Poetry. I am happy if I manage to write blog posts somewhat regularly, but this lovely lady doesn't only do that - she also rhymes!
10) Amanda at That Unpublished Writer. I first ran into this blog when Amanda had just posted a hilarious (and well-researched) post about Japanese drinks...(she should be familiar with coffee jello, come to think of it) It took me right back to Japan, and consequently I kept coming back to her blog.
11) Summer at ...and this time concentrate. I think what first made me check out this blog was her reply to the "random question" in her profile, and a lucky thing I did, because the blog is highly entertaining.
12) Debra and Barbara at The Middle Ages. This blog offers two (often quite different) perspectives on various situations in life. I particularly enjoy the ones describing all the funny things kids say.
13) Karen at Coming Down the Mountain. This is one of those blogs that almost makes me a little scared because it is so established and professional, but since it has extremely useful content, and a giraffe in the header, I really couldn't ask for more!
14) Michelle at beautiful chaos. Michelle openly admits she is a grammar snob, and for that purpose she has decided to leave out caps in her blog! I must admit I would have a REAL (see?) hard time not using caps, but kudos to her for challenging herself like that! In additon she offers great posts on writing and life in general - check it out!
15) Last, but not least, I am cheating again... Tara at Princess of Procrastination is hardly a new discovery of mine (we go back, what, four-five years? A long time, anyway). But her latest blog post is all about new beginnings, and what better way to celebrate that than to have a sparkly award, eh? Tara is such a great friend and blogger, and I am very exited participate in an upcoming Burrow-project together with her... (Shameless plug on my part - I will get back to what this new project entails at a later date...)
Finally - I realize that some (maybe all?) of these bloggers may have received this (these) award(s) on previous occasions, some even multiply so. Oh, well. I believe the awards are meant to show appreciation, and I most certainly appreciate all these blogs and their bloggers, so I don't see the problem... Thus, please join me in a big, blog hooray for all these wonderful writers!
(And yes, I am aware that this post is about two lightyears too long. Sorry. I got overachieveish)
Happy Friday, and Happy Weekend, everyone! (and for the Americans - happy holiday weekend! )