Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Still Have Some Surprises Up My Sleeve...

*In case you missed it, I made it to 100 followers over the weekend! I'm running a giveaway with some really awesome prizes, including a character sketch, so check it out! You have until tonight at 11:59 pm Pacific Time to enter. :)*

*Please don't forget! If you liked my second Campaign piece, I need your votes. Head on over and "Like" my entry (#51 on the list)!*

So last week, I won the One Lovely Blog Award from Stephanie. Here's what it looks like:

Now, remember how I said getting awards never gets old? Well, I kind of lied to you. See, getting recognition for being a cool/unique/versatile/sweet blogger never gets old, because it feels good knowing that other people get you and like what you're doing. HOWEVER. The listing-of-the-random-facts-and-sending-it-to-so-many-people-that-the-meaning-gets-lost part DOES get old. And fast.

Last weekend, while chatting with my new friend Julie, we realized something. We've both been getting the same 5 or 6 awards, and not one of them actually recognizes the writer behind every blog. Because, dear reader, writing is HARD. It's sitting in front of a blank document for an hour before you decide on the perfect opening sentence. It's biting your nails while you wait for feedback on your most recent chapter. It's, as Julie said, taking a deep breath before you tell your friends, in a not-so-loud voice, "I'm a writer, and I'm working on this fantasy-but-not book for teenagers-or-maybe-grownups."

And sometimes, while we go through all that, we feel like the world's stinkiest skunk. Like we're wallowing in the stench of our own work, and it's never going to smell daisy-fresh like the published book of so-and-so. I know, because I've been there. In fact, I'm feeling particularly skunk-like right now, marinating in the miasma of my own self-doubt (did you see what I did there? :P). But it's our pocket writing buddies (or crit partners, if you will), and this fantastic writing community, that hang an air freshener on our skunky noses and tell us it'll be ok. And that is why Julie and I decided that we needed our own award.

It's an award for the friends we keep in our pockets. An award for the blog followers who always comment, even if you feel like your post stinks worse than Limburger cheese. An award for bloggers who inspired you to do better. Here's what it looks like:

My fiance designed it, because he's helpful like that. :) So here's the deal: You don't have to pass this award on to a certain number of people. You don't have to list random facts about yourself, or join a secret puppy-loving society, or anything like that. We just ask that (because this is a feel-good award) you share one thing about yourself that makes you feel GOOD. It can be something about your writing, something about your "real life," food you ate, a book you read, a song you heard. You should also thank and link back to the person who gave it to you, but that goes without saying. Julie and I are passing it to 5 people to get it circulating, but you can pass it to 1. Or 10. Or keep it until someone comes along and changes your universe. It's up to you. :)

My one good thing is this: In the past month, I have gained more confidence in myself than I ever thought I'd have. I put myself out there, and e-mailed people who moved me with their blogs. Without that confidence, I wouldn't have even met the people I'm passing the award to.

Julie, this whole friendship thing we've got going turned out to be so much more than I thought it would be. Thanks for being my constant pocket companion. :) You're always there to read my skunky words when I need you to, or talk about books for three hours, or design really cute blog awards. I can't wait for the actual hardcore-critique portion of our scheduled programming. :P

Christine, thanks for responding to my first e-mail. I've learned a lot about blogging, and critiquing, and Jurassic Park from you. You helped me go from vague-and-boring-hook to killer-intriguing-hook in a matter of weeks, and I thank you for it. :D

And to these lovely followers:

Andrew, for reading my first Campaign piece, and liking it so much that you e-mailed me to tell me so. It made a world of difference. :)

Angelina C Hansen and Skye, for supporting me both in the blogosphere and on Twitter. If I ever have a question or a gripe, I know who to turn to. :)

Happy Thursday!



  1. Congrats on 100 followers and all the awards! I love the new award. So wonderful and encouraging!

  2. I really love this new award. Well done to you and Julie for coming up with it - and rainbows and puppies to your fiance for designing it :-)

  3. This award is so cute! Your fiance is so cool for making it (I assume. I don't exactly know, but I assume he's pretty cool.)

  4. Thanks, J. That's the loveliest little skunk. And thank you so much for not making it complicated ^_^

  5. @Bess: Thanks so much! I think we all need a little encouragement in our lives. :)

    @Sarah: I'll pass on the rainbows and puppies. :P

    @Jeigh: I like to think he's pretty cool, but I *could* be biased... ;)

    @Angelina: You're welcome! Thanks for being so supportive. :D

  6. It's no surprise to see you reach 100 followers, J. You've got a good head on your shoulders. It's evident in your posts and your great writing. And I love your award idea. Let it circulate! :)

    Here's to hundreds more!

  7. What a great idea for an award! We all need help to blow off that skunky miasma (lol) occasionally, and it's great of you to recognize those people who help to do that!


Now that you took the time to read my message, let's see what you have to say! Unless it's mean...then you can just keep it to yourself. :)