Hello, readers! Today I have decided to accept the Versatile Blogger Award, not only because it is, as it always is, an honor to be nominated, but also because today I am not engaged in another time-consuming project which would prevent me from accepting. Also, I am quite adamant that I want to pass the award along to some other folks, some of whom I have nominated for other awards before, others of whom have not been previously nominated. As you are probably aware, the correct procedure is to thank the person who nominated you, tell at least 5 things about yourself, nominate at least five others to receive the award, and let them know that they have been nominated, so that they can pass the award along should they also choose to accept. So, here goes:
I would like to thank JM at thelivingnotebook for nominating me, and for saying such kind and wonderfully encouraging things about my work. He is a male graduate student at a large public university in the States, who chooses to be anonymous in a suitably mysterious way, knowing full well that one day he will burst full blown like Athena from the mind of Zeus upon the public in an acclaimed work of fiction or non-fiction and will then have to reveal his true identity (or this is my take on it, anyway!). He teaches undergraduates writing and composition, and is in his 30’s, born on Cape Cod but something of a rover, to judge by some of his posts written from other locations. He considers his blog to be “a framework for exploration and discovery,” and writes many valuable, informative, and tutelary posts on various aspects of writing, as well as composing music and putting links to that on his blog as well.
Now, as to telling the five things about myself, and hoping not to repeat myself from the other award I accepted, here are the five facts. While they may not be original enough to illuminate the writing process much, perhaps they will at least indicate my potential membership in the club of writers, with all of its pitfalls and foibles:
I have written books and poems from the time I was in first grade, often using the prose or poetry involved to trade friendly slurs with friends who also wrote (hence my interest in satire) or to praise and acclaim them (hence the happy, comic moments in my comedy and satire which highlight positive personal characteristics).
My first poem was published in a teacher’s magazine when I was in the sixth grade.
Also when I was in the sixth grade, I wrote a hysterically inaccurate historical play based on Ivanhoe (I give this work to a character in one of my novels). In my play, the Normans lived in England and the Saxons invaded them (the exact opposite of what actually happened). This is probably one of the reasons I have never written historical novels!
One of my scariest literary memories is one of having Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” read to me in bed at night by a friend at whose house I was staying for a sleepover. And I love cats, but man! was that one scary! But the main character got just what he deserved for harming the cat in the first place.
I have three more novels to complete before my projected series of eight novels will be complete (these novels, however, can be read separately, and have no plot connections to each other).
Now it’s time to nominate at least five other people to share my award:
First, I would like to nominate Emma McCoy, the author of a frightening and vital suspense novel “Saving Angels” and of a work-in-progress entitled “Unethical” which I am all agog to read when she finishes with it. Emma has been completing full character sketches for her characters in her WIP, and has published one or two or them on her site just to whet our appetites. She has had some personal challenges to overcome this year, in particular an experience with grief and a brand new job, but blogs often to keep her readers informed as to what’s happening with her and her site. She is also seeking other avenues of publication for “Saving Angels” and took place in 2012’s NaNoWriMo. Her facebook address and her e-mail address are also published on her site.
Next, I would like to nominate Caroline at Beauty Is A Sleeping Cat (I couldn’t agree more!). Caroline is an enthusiastic reader of fiction and non-fiction, who hails originally from Paris, and whose original languages are German and French. She is the daughter of a multinational family and has all the strength of this variety behind her in her multi-lingual blogsite, on which she canvases and discusses literatures of many countries, usually doing her reading in some language other than English, all the while making her analyses and her knowledge of translations available to English speakers as well. Caroline has multiple M.A.s, in cultural anthropology and French literature and linguistics. In her latest post, she has branched out into Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry, doing a service to the literary communities around her.
Thirdly, I would like to nominate djkeyserv140, the prolific and talented writer from Australia who, while rigorously engaged in seeking full-time employment of an extra-literary variety, is also keeping a number of us happily engaged with his science fiction, historical, fantastic, and etc. worlds fictively. While working on a major WIP, David has also written a very exciting story about two Japanese swordsmen named Mune and Mura, and is currently writing a story about a mining colony on Venus, a very tantalizing tale which promises some odd and curious developments to come. Other short stories are also listed on his site. To a vigorous sense of what readers might find gripping in action, David joins a really strong capacity for narration and descriptive word-pictures. Together, the two make for some excellent reading.
My fourth nomination goes to Katherine Gregor, a writer originally situated in London who has recently decided to make a sudden and dashing move to another city, from which she plans to continue her intriguing and poetically gifted prose writings involving traditions from various parts of the United Kingdom and Europe. Katherine has many opinions to share, all of them happily quite entertaining and challenging to various elements of the bland status quo; we can all do with a large dose of what she has to say, just to keep us from becoming too solemn or out-of-balance. “Scribe Doll” is how she bills herself, and that is what she is!
Lastly, I would like to nominate Richard Gilbert, of the blogsite NARRATIVE. Richard has said on his own that he considers he has formed a “bivouac between the two literary camps of New York and academia,” and all things considered, I find this very just. Richard writes about and keeps tabs on memoirs and non-fiction narratives and essays in general, but still finds time for the occasional remark which relates these categories to fiction as well. The father of a family, who has a wife and two grown children, Richard has practiced subsistence level farming for ten years, and has lived to tell about it in various publications. Meanwhile, he is writing his own memoir and teaching writing at Otterbein University, after having taught at a number of other major midwestern universities. Richard’s blog is one sure way of keeping one’s finger on the pulse of narrrative, whatever one’s chosen and preferred form.
Thanks again to all of you who have ever nominated me for an award, whether I followed through or not–they were all appreciated, whether or not I felt I could take them up at the time. I hope that those whom I have nominated will feel like accepting as well, for I have certainly enjoyed reading them, just as I have enjoyed reading JM’s inspiring posts on thelivingnotebook.