On Awards and Learning to Be Grateful, Damnit

I believe I wrote all of three posts when someone nominated me for my first blog 1966_Griffin_Awardaward. I won’t go into all the reasons I ignored it, or every award I received after. There were numerous reasons, but the overriding one was this: They came with so many rules!

I mean, holy cow! You had to post the award on your site, you had to link the blogger who awarded it, you had to answer a bunch of questions, nominate scads of other bloggers, notify them they won…

Honestly, what’s your friendly, neighborhood anarchist to do in such a situation?

I believe there are two kinds of people in the world. The first kind, you tell them the rules and they say, “Thank you so much for telling me the rules! I shall follow them most diligently.” And they do.

The second kind, you tell them the rules and they say, “How interesting. I’ll take it under advisement.” And they do, to an extent. They’ll consider whether the rules are necessary (usually not), or is in their best interest (highly unlikely). And they’ll probably break the rules just to see what happens.

I’ll let you guess in which camp I reside.

Anyway, I was perfectly content with my choice of action, or non-action as the case may be, when out of left field, Brian from Bonnywood Manor, slams me with an award! Here’s a blogger who’s been going at it for something like a gazillion years, notably not accepting awards, when suddenly, there he is, not only accepting one, but following the rules and naming me as one of his victims nominees.

But here’s the thing, if you visit his post (Here’s the link again, because I know you didn’t click it the first time), you will note three things: 1) It is a quality post with quality questions for his nominees, 2) He said if I accept, I don’t have to follow the rules, and  3) In his list of nominees, I’m on top.

Yes, yes, I know he said they are in no particular order and that the one listed first shouldn’t feel special. But he had to say that, don’t you see?

WP_20140305_15_53_40_Pro[1]So, beings how I am the favored one, I thought I should accept the thing graciously. Damnit.

Oh, I should tell you what the award is. I think it’s called the Liebstershire Sauce Award, or something like that. According to the rules, I’m supposed to display the emblem on my blog, but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’ll give you a picture of Dog, as she goes much better with the overall aesthetic of Feeding on Folly.

Another rule I’m breaking: I’m not going to list 11 random facts about myself. If you truly want to read 11 random facts about me, read my treatise above on the different kinds of people in the world ten more times.

Okay, so on to his 11 questions to me, which I’m going to answer because as I said, they are quality questions:

1. Do you spend a lot of time editing a post, or do you simply bang it out and think “well, that should do it”?
Please direct your attention to the menu bar up yonder. You see the new tab up there called “Archives,” yes? Well, it took me forever to make that bleepin’ page because I kept editing past posts while setting it up. Posts that were written, like, 10 months prior. Yes, I need help. Next question?

2. Do you get anxious when you get a notification that someone has made a comment on one of your posts, wondering if this person liked it or if they said something that cuts?
Yes indeedy, I do. I’m certain that one day, someone is going to expose me for the hack I am. It’s only a matter of time.

3. What actor/actress would portray you in a Lifetime movie about that time you did something you shouldn’t have?
What are you implying? I’ll have you know that anything I have done in my life, I did with the best intentions, according to the information I had at the time, and rules be damned, who are you to say… Okay, fine. If I could choose anyone, I’d say Kim Novak as she appeared in Bell Book and Candle. But truthfully, Joan Cusack is probably more my style.

4. Have you ever deleted a post, thinking maybe you shouldn’t have said what you did?
Yes, I have. The post was loosely based on a brief conversation I had with a co-worker, wherein she made a few stupid statements regarding same-sex marriage. I exaggerated it for humor sake and hid her identity rather well, I thought. But then as more and more people from work began following me, I began to doubt myself and decided to pull it. To my knowledge she still hasn’t visited my blog. Even so, the thought of hurting someone’s feelings made me surprisingly uncomfortable. Philip Roth I am not.

5. (This one has a multi-part answer, brace yourself.) Do you spend a lot of time figuring out what tags you should use with a post? Does it annoy you when you see another writer’s post that has 472 tags, indicating they are trying to hit every demographic on the planet even though their post doesn’t address 471 of those tags?
Tags? We ain’t got no Tags! We don’t need no Tags! I don’t have to show you any stinking Tags!

6. How many incomplete posts do you have in the “maybe I’ll finish this later” folder on your hard drive?
I have 3 partial posts in my draft folder, one longish one on a Google doc that I still don’t know what the hell it is, and seven ideas for posts scribbled in my little notebook. None of which I am working on right now, because I’m writing this instead. Thanks a lot, Brian.

7. Have you ever participated in one of those “post your work and let others critique it” sites, such as Niume, Scriggler and Writer’s Beat? If so, was it helpful or soul-damaging?
No, I have never done such a thing. Masochism is something I avoid, as a general rule.

8. Have you never been mellow?
My brother was a HUGE Olivia Newton-John fan!
To answer your question, I think most people would say I am one very mellow person. What they don’t know is that underneath this cool exterior beats the heart of a ferocious lion, ready to pounce on anyone who dares to cross her… Just kidding. I’m pretty chill.

9. If you were stranded on a deserted island, would you rather have a Kindle (assuming the island has Wi-Fi) or an endless supply of paper and pencils?
Assuming the Kindle can be charged with solar power (How great would that be? Someone needs to work on that), I’ll take the Kindle and download ebooks from Amazon, using their one-click shopping feature, which will alert Husband that I’m still alive and reading somewhere. As I await the rescue plane, I will use a rock to carve my writings on a cave wall, telling the epic story of my survival, along with my hopes, dreams, fears and personal revelations. Many, many years later, an intrepid explorer will discover the etchings, a manuscript will be published, causing a huge sensation. Our intrepid explorer will be able to quit her day job and travel the world, giving motivational talks to women everywhere, until finally women unite together for a complete takeover of power and at last, world peace is achieved.

10. Are there any authors whose next book you would buy without any hesitation?
I would gladly buy a new book by Terry Pratchett, but alas, that cannot be. (I still can’t believe he’s gone, can you?) From living authors, I’ll say Anne Tyler. I love her.

11. Are you happy?
Well, at this very moment, it is morning. I am drinking my first cup of tea of the day, and as I write, Dog is sitting in front of me and giving me The Stare. She is phenomenally good at The Stare. So good in fact, I predict that shortly, we will take The Walk. And as it is a beautiful February morning in Phoenix, I predict it will be A Beautiful Walk. So yes, I am happy. You?

Now, according to the Rules of the Award (which I’m not following), I’m supposed to nominate 11 other bloggers and inflict this horror upon them. I’m not going to do that. Instead, I will give you a list of blogs I highly recommend. But I’m not nominating them, okay? Most of them don’t do awards anyway, and I’d be disappointed if they did because it would take them away from their usual thing. And that would sadden me.

Also, I decided not to list any blogs I’ve mentioned before on my blog, as that seems redundant. It doesn’t mean I love them any less.

Oh, and the blogs Brian named are damn fine, so you should check those out too. (OMG, you still haven’t clicked the link to his blog?! Geez, people! Okay, here it is again: CLICK HERE) Scroll down to his list of nominees, make note of the fact that I’m on top, and start clicking.

Here are the ones I recommend:

  • Exile on Pain Street – Written with eloquence and humor on the current state of Art, Literature, and life in general; I only recently found this one, but I’m loving it.
  • Mitch Teemley – Taking on matters of faith, fatherhood, film, society, fiction… there’s lots of stuff here. Also, he has pretty eyes.
  • Piran Cafe – If you’ve not yet discovered the wonder that is Piran Cafe, then you need to do so. Pronto. It’s a travel blog to beat all travel blogs. Seriously. If a brawl broke out among the travel blogs, I’d put my money on Piran Cafe.
  • WD Fyfe – Irreverent, witty, thought-provoking musings on contemporary society; which is a fancy way of saying, “Damn that dude can write.”
  • Hands on Bowie – Bowie is a Very Special Cat living in Belgium, contemplating life, music, coffee, and our never-ending quest for a quality nap. And all this is accomplished through a photo and a few short sentences. Amazing, but true.
  • Prejudice & Politics – This has to be the quirkiest blog I’ve come across; Sarah humanizes foreign affairs – literally. You have to read it to believe it. The dialogues might be funny, bittersweet, or tragic, just like real life.
  • Living the Q Life – Another travel blog, but rather than picking a fight with Piran Cafe, I think they’d invite him over for dinner and serve him a lovely dish inspired by a meal they enjoyed a few years back, while in Naples. They’re good people.
  • Athena’s Antics – She says her blog is about nothing, which is another way of saying it’s about everything, and I mean that in the best possible sense. She writes beautifully. Check her out.
  • The Introvert’s Dictionary – If you are an introvert, as I am, you need this blog. The posts are short and sweet, but in just a few words they let you know you are not alone. In fact, they’re so dead on, it’s almost creepy.
  • The Hermit Fool – An actress with a blog, she’s going through every recipe in every cookbook she owns, and posting about them even when they’re epic fails or she just plain hates them. She also writes about living and loving and auditioning in L.A., which from the sounds of it is not for the faint of heart. She’s darn funny, too.

And so now we reach the time in my post when I usually include a recipe, hopefully one that relates to the subject at hand. Unfortunately, the only “award-winning” recipe in my repertoire is for rye bread. Back when we lived in a small town in Colorado, I entered my rye bread in the county fair and actually won Reserve Champion in the baked goods category. Man, was that an interesting experience. I should tell you about it sometime. Excuse me while I jot it down in my little notebook ……

Okay, so now that’s eight posts I’m not working on, because I’m writing this instead. Thanks again, Brian.

Anyway, right now I’d rather walk Dog than make rye bread, so I’m just going to take my award and walk off stage. (Please picture me scratching my back with award, à la Jack Nicholson.)

Embed from Getty Images

 

Trophy image at top of article: By Burns Cameron. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17600482

Author: C. J. Hartwell

Christi lives in Phoenix with Husband, Son, Daughter, and Dog. She enjoys moonlit walks on the beach, but as she doesn't live anywhere near a beach, she's usually in bed by 9:30.

25 thoughts on “On Awards and Learning to Be Grateful, Damnit”

      1. Not too weird, it’s been happening a lot recently…Anywhoo…I did try out your recipe (chicken, black beans and the corn). Honest, I felt like such a child trying those beans. I think I even closed my eyes when I took the first teaspoon. Fortunately, it was completely edible! And the next day, I mixed all of the leftovers with cheese and salsa and threw it into a wrap. Delicious!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Love it. Love you. (Is that “too much” for two introverts?) Can I use “So dead on, it’s almost creepy” as a blurb at some point in the future? Anyway, thanks for the shoutout and your take on awards. I accepted a few months ago and felt really overwhelmed by the process. Also, looking forward to sneaking a peek at your other blog recommendations! Carry on.

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  2. Ah, Christi/Cathi, you warm my heart. First and foremost, and with no hesitation, I completely agree with Sabiscuit. This is the best awards response EVER. I was a bit proud of what I had done with my own concoction, but it pales in comparison to this opulent opus.

    Secondly, thank you for taking the time to do so. Having just done it, I know that it is not a festive ordeal. (And don’t quote me, but I believe that first time was the LAST time. (Unless money or an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres is involved.) I did enjoy doing it, but it was a little bit squirmy.

    Thirdly, and most importantly from a personal perspective, I recently received my monthly statement from Amazon concerning books sales. This is normally a non-event, because my books sales are essentially abysmal. But whilst reviewing the tiny figures, I decided to see if I had any new reviews on Amazon. (I rarely check this anymore. Did I mention abysmal?) Low and behold, I see that you posted a nice little review on my birthday.

    Now, I don’t know if you purposely coordinated things to happen that way, but I sense that you are a person who would be that thoughtful. (If you aren’t, don’t ever tell me, because I like the nice glow coming from the pedestal where I have placed you.) I actually teared up a bit, although that might have been a residual effect of having received a jury summons in the same batch of mail. In any case, thank you for that moment of validation. It made my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well Brian, it was the challenge you set before me that inspired me, so thank you for that. You’re right, it’s enjoyable in a completely non-festive sense.
      And you’re welcome on the Amazon review. I’d never done one before, to be honest. I’ve reviewed vendors, Etsy shops, that sort of thing, but never actual books. You were my first! 🙂
      As for the pedestal, I don’t mind it so very much. The view is nice. But as soon as you look away I will be jumping off and conducting some various acts of mischief. Just so you know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t blame yourself for forgetting me 🙂 There’s this old adage – out of sight, out of mind. And I really feel lost when I get an award (glad I don’t anymore – I’ve crossed the 200 follower limit.) Awfully glad you liked the cover 😀

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  3. OMG! Step away from your computer for 48 hours and somebody starts heaping praise on you. Thank you so much for mentioning http://wdfyfe.net/ in your blog. Not only am I blown away but I’ve looked around the others and I’m in pretty rare company. So, I don’t think dinner and dancing is out of the question. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

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