findingtimetowrite

Thinking, writing, thinking about writing…

Archive for the tag “awards”

Very Inspiring People to Discover

From Wikipedia.

From Wikipedia.

When I first started my blog just over two years ago, I would get terribly excited about awards. Someone was actually reading me? Someone actually thought I was worth recommending to others? I could not stop myself doing little happy dances all over the house (even the occasional major dance coreographies).

But then I realised that some of the bloggers I admired and nominated for awards were less happy about receiving them. Not that they didn’t appreciate the attention, but they already had a shelf groaning with awards, and didn’t really have time to respond.

I also discovered that I didn’t much like sharing personal things about myself, which is usually one of the requirements…

However, I am still a fan of awards, especially when:

a) they come from bloggers I hugely respect – as is the case here with Raven, a fantastic reviewer of all things crime fiction

b) they give me the opportunity to discover new blogs (yes, I know I’ll never get a chance to read all of them on a regular basis, but inspiration is great even in short, haphazard spurts!)

c) they give me the chance to spread a little love and starstruck admiration for writers, readers and reviewers even if I don’t always comment regularly on their blogs.

blogger-awardSo, thank you, Raven, for nominating me for this award!

Here are 7 things you may not know about me:

1) I have never in my life worn purple, nor ever shall.

2) I once invited my classmates over for my birthday party in April (although my birthday wasn’t until two months later) without my parents knowing anything about it. Until everyone showed up on the doorstep.

3) My first published poem appeared in the school magazine when I was 8 or 9. It was about a bridge and a stream, but all copies of this masterpiece have been destroyed.

4) I don’t usually pretend to read books I haven’t read, but I do sometimes pretend to have seen films I haven’t seen. What can I say? I don’t get out much!

5) I skipped many classes in high school to play ping-pong.

6) My favourite three countries in the world are Brazil, Norway and Canada, despite the fact that I only spent 2 weeks in the first, had a few short business trips in the 2nd and have never visited the third.

7) I really, really can’t draw. Nor sing. And my botanical skills are second to all…

Here are my list of nominees. As always, there is no obligation to participate, but it’s my way of saying thank you to blogs which always make my day or my week. Apologies if by any chance you have been nominated already by others for the same award.

Books and Reviews - crime fiction, women’s representation and feminism

Books, Biscuits and Tea –  crime, women’s fiction and YA

Shiteki na Usagi – a poetic rabbit and literary journal

JacquiWine’s Journal – Jacqui has only recently started her own blog, but her reviews are already legendary. Plus, she likes wine!

A Life in Books - book news, reviews and recommendations

7Saturdays - quirky, eclectic, poems, meditations, but always inspirational

Claudia Schoenfeld – artist and poet, co-founder of dVerse Poets, warm and imaginative

Brian Miller – tongue firmly in cheek, co-founder of dVerse Poets, a man to expand your mind and vocabulary

The Mocking Bird Sings - poems, prose and jazz

My Cup of Stars –  uninhibited reviews, independent reading tastes

Bonespark – writing inspiration, prompts and reviews

Smithereens – French woman reading and blogging in English – charming, witty and wise

Stuck in a Book - Mostly books, some cake, and the occasional paean to cats

Zouxzoux – photography, prose, poetry and New Orleans come to life

IpsoFactoDotMe – supposedly comfort zone reading, but a very broad choice of literature

 

Here’s what you should do if you have been nominated :
Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
List the rules and display the award.
Share seven facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

Friday at last!

You know when you’ve had a week of muddiness, forgotten appointments, lost documents,  running to stand still, nothing ever quite working out first time…? And then one smile, one small gesture, one call from a friend can change everything?

Well, the lovely friend who worked this miracle turnaround in my mood is Sharon from World of Woosha, who has nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award.  She writes wonderful poetry – and it’s not just me who says so, two of her poems have recently been selected for an anthology! Just ‘listen’ (that is the operative word) to this autumnal haiku:

Towering tree trunks

wrapped in twilight mist, capture

words from root to leaf

Doesn’t that make you want to read more?  Please go and visit her blog, if you don’t know her already, and say hello from me.

I know some people think blogging awards have a whiff of chain-letters and teenage conspiracy about them, but I have to admit I still get excited about them.  I love the opportunity they give me of discovering interesting new blogs.  After all, it’s a personal recommendation from another writer whose style and opinions I respect!

BUT does the world really need to know another random 7 facts about me? I think not.

So instead, I will nominate another seven bloggers whom I really look forward to reading and whom I think you might enjoy too.  As usual, they can choose (or not) to take up this award. In fact, they are so good I am sure that many of them have the award already, but if not, I hope they will now and I hope you like them.

The journey towards first-time publication: My Pen Name Only

A young poet, risk-taker, lover: KD DeFehr

Completely mad, completely addictive poetry that will sear you: Nicholas Gagnier

Honest, insightful blogging about the hard work of writing: Vikki from The View Outside

The epitome of thoughtful expat living in Japan: Mona McDiarmid

Funny, fierce, undaunted seeker of narrative truth: Workin’ With What I’ve Got

Haunting poetry that takes your soul prisoner: Claudia Schoenfeld

Thank you again, Woosha/Sharon, and a good end of the week to you all!

About Inspiration and Awards

Who or what inspires you as a writer? What fuels your passion and your life?  What makes you forget about time, eating, an aching back or even your friends and your children’s supper?  Not that I would recommend the last of these.  And I have only done it very occasionally.  Hardly worth pointing out, really.  Even if afore-mentioned children and friends do remind me of it on a regular basis.

So here are some of my favourite sources of inspiration in random order (ah, but is ‘off the top of my head’ really random?):

1) mountains and seascapes, preferably both together, as in the picture above

2) Shakespeare, especially ‘The Tempest’

3) the music of Brazil, almost any kind of jazz, plus David Bowie and a few other heroes

4) reciting or hearing poetry, the rhythm and roll of the images flooding your ears

5) when reading, finding the perfect phrase, the thought-stretching twist, the heartbreaking confession or the remarkable plot which makes me think:’yes, this is it, this is what life is all about’ and turn slightly green with envy that I could never write anything like that myself

6) the beauty of small creatures and shy buds, everyday things that are the last to be noticed and the first to be forgotten

7) the kindness of strangers, given without forethought or afterthought: things that make me believe once more in the generosity of the human spirit

All this is leading up to the Versatile Blogger Award that Polly Robinson has so kindly insisted I should have.  Thank you, Polly, you are one of the most encouraging people I have had the pleasure of meeting on the Internet.  I can always count on her to read my poems and make some comments.  I don’t know when she does it all, write her own poetry, organise events in her local area in Worcester, United Kingdom, setting up writers’ groups and open mic evenings… she is just amazing!

The rules for this award are typical of many others: share 7 things about yourself (my sources of inspiration, above), thank the person who nominated you and nominate 15 bloggers whom you recommend unreservedly.  I know that to some of them these awards (because they receive so many of them) can be a pain, so there is no obligation.  Unless they wish to leave a small comment below sharing perhaps not seven, but at least one thing that inspires them.  That would be wonderful!

I would so love to hear that from you all, and not just the people I am nominating below.  I am trying to nominate some that I haven’t mentioned before, so they are all fairly recent discoveries to me, although some of them are very well known.

Poetic magic

The Thread Is Red

Marousia

The Wheel and the Star

KD DeFehr

Jeannie Leflar

Stars Rain Sun Moon

Anything but prosaic

Andy’s Words and Pictures

Eric Alagan

Lisa Ahn

Write What You Know

Thought-provoking skullduggery

Crime Fiction Lover – and I loved them even before I started reviewing books for them!

It’s a Crime

Nicci French

Jeff Goins

A picture says more than a thousand words

From the Right Bank

An Afternoon With…

Shedworking

How Deserving Am I of Awards?

That perennial shrew and busybody, Old Mother Busyness, has prevented me from graciously accepting and passing on two awards I have received this glorious month of May.  But it’s not just her, it’s also that nasty old hag called Shame.  Just how deserving am I anyway of these awards? When there are so many other brilliant writers out there?

Today, however, I will kick those two old witches to one side, and mention both awards in one post.  Hopefully that will not cause gross offence to the Great Owlish Order of the Great Lords of E-Wisdom, or whoever is currently ruling the Internet.

So, first of all, thank you to Ami Fidele, who has been waiting so patiently for me to respond to his Inspiring Blog award nomination.  I have mentioned him before and I will mention him again: he is philosophical, lyrical, a true romantic and he writes beautiful poetry.  Oh, and did I say he is a lovely online friend, too?

The second award , One Lovely Blog, comes from a more recent acquaintance, Ash N. Finn.  But such is the marriage of true minds over the blogosphere that I already feel we understand each other very well.  Thank you, Ash, and if you appreciate really clever and surprising flash fiction, you will love her blog.  I was also simultaneously nominated by Honoré Dupuis for this same award, so big thanks to him too, he is such a supportive and active presence on blogs and Twitter, it’s been a pleasure knowing and reading him.

The requirements are quite similar, thanking your ‘nominator’, sharing those dreaded seven personal revelations, the only difference being the number of bloggers you then link to.  I will err on the side of plenty, and I will start with the Inspiring Blog Awards, because these are all bloggers I love and look forward to reading.  My only complaint is that some of them do not post frequently enough for my taste.  Please, guys, let me hear from you soon!

A Literal Girl – American in Oxford, blogs about books, meeting of the minds on the Internet, writing, music and anxiety

Iliterate Poet – poetry and art with a pinch of humour

Rivenrod – completely, delightfully mad and brilliant at art, poetry and microfictions

Writing for Ghosts – teacher, writer, musician and parent, he does it all

Creative Flux – or rather Terre Britton, who curates this wonderful site, full of resources and inspiration for writers

Hyakunin Isshu – translation and commentary of some of the most beautiful classic Japanese poems

Irretrievably Broken – beautiful writing about a grim subject, divorce

Mullings of a Mindtramp – searingly honest poetry

The Linnet – get drunk in the lush imagery of these poems

The Thread is Red – creative adventures and one of the most attractive sites ever

Rebuilding Holly -  naturally gifted writer trying to break out of the corporate stranglehold

Poet Janstie – he’s waited all his life to write – and how well he does it!

Mind’s Sky – I’ve nominated her before – can I help it, if she is so good? Really thoughtful, gorgeous poetry

Mocha Beanie Mummy – combines photography, storytelling and coffee – a winning combination

Connie Assad – fellow Cowbirder, amazing personal stories

And seven more for the One Lovely Blog Award, who do post regularly, but whom I read with undiminished enthusiasm:

RC Gale – he makes me laugh, he makes me cry, he makes me think

Project White Space – a newish discovery for me, she remotivates me with her energy

Writing on Board – sailor, sculptor, writer, adventurer

Coffee and Spellcheck – subsists on coffee, imagination and her love of words

Madame Guillotine – not that she needs my awards – very popular, fun and informed about history

Keat’s Babe – she is so multitalented and diverse!

Writeitdownith - inspiring writer but also great connector and encourager of people

There are so many more I would love to mention, or mention again.  But that’s given you enough to be getting on with. And it also serves as a reminder that I need to update my blogroll.

So now, for those of you who haven’t yet wandered off to check out these lovely bloggers … why haven’t you?  That’s the best thing about awards, to connect with others and discover new minds and souls.  But if you are waiting with bated breath for those stunning personal revelations, here they are, my favourite seven words in the English language (at least, at this moment in time):

1) belligerent

2) serendipity (mine and everyone else’s, but who said I had to be original?)

3) rivulets

4) surfeit

5) exaltation

6) imagination

7) jitterbug (by the way, did you know that the term was originally used to describe alcoholics?)

Uh-oh, it’s just occured to me: I do like long, pretentious sounding words, don’t I?  Maybe I should develop a loving relationship with the word ‘purge’!

Here Comes the Sun…shine Award!

Goodness knows, we could really do with some sunshine – especially as we have our very first  Sports Day at a French school this afternoon and it looks like it will be a complete washout!

Thank you to the lovely Joanne Phillips, who has nominated me for the Sunshine Award.  If you haven’t yet come across her blog A Writer’s Journey, I do recommend you read it for the down-to-earth, humorous description of writing and publishing.  She is currently profreading her first novel ‘Can’t Live Without’, yet somehow still manages to find time to read and respond to blog posts and be really encouraging to newbies.

I’ve also been trying to find out the source for this blog award, but have to admit defeat.  Apparently, it is designed to celebrate those bloggers whose positive and creative spirit inspire you.  There is also some disagreement on what exactly you need to do in order to be the proud possessor of this badge of distinction on your blogsite, but I will follow Joanne’s guidelines:

  • Write five things about yourself
  • Include the award’s logo in a post
  • Nominate 5 other bloggers
  • Link to your nominees
  • Link the person who nominated you

Now, confession time:

I hate writing things about myself.  I have created a pseudonym for myself so that I don’t have to give too much away about myself.  I believe that one’s books or poems or creations or blog posts are revealing enough of my inner life.  And the outer one doesn’t really matter that much at all.  But I get it, the curiosity to know more about a person we are interacting with, especially at a distance.  Or to find out more about what moves an artist, (not that I am putting myself into that category!), what influences they might have had – I’ve devoured even the most prurient stuff about Sylvia Plath.  Back when I was a teenager, when I fancied myself like her.  Now I just hope that I am NOT like her!

So here are five random and little known facts about me:

Favourite film: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ (although slightly unnerving that the Far Right in the US also like this film – maybe they think it’s a documentary?)

Favourite book: ‘The Great Gatsby’ or Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’, can never quite limit myself to just one

Most annoying and overused expression: ‘Now that I think about it…’

What makes me angry: Rudeness, although lack of caring under a veneer of politeness is just as bad

Most embarassing childhood outfit: I used to dress up like Madonna in ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’, cutting the fingers off my gloves and the feet off my tights.

And here are my gorgeous five nominees, who brighten up my day whenever I read their blogs:

Nicky Wells – Romance that Rocks Your World – for being the humorous, energetic, romantic person that she is, which shines through in her books and blog posts

A Year of Reading the World – this is such an inspirational and mammoth project, each new post makes me discover a world of possibility

Holly Anne – HollyAnne Gets Poetic – her poems make me giggle, give me goosebumps or make me think – a winning combination!

Claire – Word by Word - how can I not be inspired by a fellow expat writer based in France? However, she lives in the sunnier south of  France, so she can bring some sunshine in my life!

Corey Booth – Clown Ponders - can he really be only 20 years old?  He works, he blogs, he writes poetry and he brings web-based poets together with his weekly poetry challenge – he’s an amazing guy – and no, I’m not flattering him because I am taking part in this week’s challenge (he does not have the casting vote anyway).

 

 

 

For this award, I would like to thank…

Do you get annoyed when the Academy Award winners go on and on, well beyond their allotted minutes, and thank their entire family, circle of friends, business associates, fellow actors, pets and maybe even their stamp collection?  I know that like all sensible, rational people (i.e. people I call ‘friends’), I do find award ceremonies a bit of a tiresome lovefest…  Unless, of course, I happen to be the one nominated, in which case, like all creative, imaginative, brilliant people (whom I also call ‘friends’), I begin to think that awards are a wonderful, meaningful process of appreciating one’s fellow geniuses (genii?).

So, yes, you might have surmised from this that I was jumping up and down in excitement when I came back from holiday and discovered that my dear faithful (by name and by nature) friend Ami Fidèle had nominated me for the Liebster Blog award.  It’s my first award and only the second time I have been tagged for something, so bear with me while I do a little dance around my living room.

OK, back now, and ready to fulfill my obligations for the award:

1) Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them. Well, if you haven’t come across the beautifully romantic poetry of Ami Fidèle or Ami de Rêve, a Cyrano de Bergerac who has somehow wandered into the 21st century, then I strongly recommend you go to his blog and enjoy it.

2) Copy and paste the award logo – done!

3)  Nominate five other bloggers you would like to pass the award on to.

This was really hard, partly because there are so many wonderful bloggers that I have discovered recently, who have become firm favourites.  Also, because quite a few of them have awards already, or have just been nominated by someone else.  Or are way too well-known and universally appreciated to worry about this teeny-timid clap on the back from me.   Still, I have done my best, they are all blogs I can whole-heartedly recommend (and I only fear that they may be too busy to respond).

Ethan Greenwood - Letters from the Wasteland – for outstanding word-craft

Polly Robinson – for variety, versatility and encouraging activity

Layla from Be Not Afeard – for thoughtful provocation

Already Not Published - for being candid about her writing journey

Eclectic Nomad – because I would like to read more from her

4) Tell your readers ten random facts about you.  To alleviate the potential monotony of such a long list, I have tried to associate each random fact with a book title.

 

Ballet Shoes  I always dreamt of becoming a ballet dancer, but, when I was about seven, my mother happened to be in the same ward in hospital as a ballet dancer who had broken her spine after her partner dropped her (and was paralysed for life).  So I was never allowed to continue with my dancing.  I read all of Noel Streatfield and Lorna Hill instead.

Water for Elephants  My second dream job was to work as a keeper in an elephant orphanage somewhere in Africa.  I still adore elephants and have a collection of elephant figures (sadly, mostly stored in the attic with all of this moving around).  And I would never, ever buy any ivory.

The Sea, the Sea  My favourite colours are blue and turquoise. And I love anything to do with the sea.

Starman   The first single I ever bought (way before downloads) was David Bowie’s ‘Scary Monsters (Super Creeps)’ and I remain a big fan to this day (prefer the earlier work, though).

James and the Giant Peach  I like all fruit and vegetables, except for the notorious durian, which makes me gag.

Chocolat  I have a sweet tooth and used to be able to eat up to five desserts a day (instead of proper food). No longer!

Not Waving but Drowning  I never learnt to swim properly (although I can float and do breast stroke), and am terrified of drowning.

Bleak House  My guilty pleasure is reading home improvement/ interior design magazines.  I’ve been known to buy them at airports even if they are in Danish, Swedish and other languages that I do not speak.

Confessions of an (English?) Opium Eater  I’m not English.  But I write and dream in English and I speak English better than any other language.

There Is No Long Distance Now  I started this blog about two months ago as a place to ‘park’ all my work in progress, and as a way to hold myself to account and write something every day, after sooooo many years of putting my creative writing last. I was inspired by the wonderful poet Naomi Shihab Nye, who, with her wonderful eyes, deep voice and luminous presence, told me that even seven minutes a day spent working on a poem counts as writing.  Since then, I have never looked back. I never expected anybody to read the blog and was firmly convinced all my first readers were spammers.  I have been overwhelmed by the encouragement, support and new friends that I have gained from it.  And that I have not been forgotten even during the three weeks I was offline. I am very grateful indeed, thank you all!

So there you are, I still managed to thank everybody for this award. Except for my (imaginary) stamp collection.

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