Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the category “Awards”

The Rush of Falling Down Happy


I ran track in high school and always complained when coach made us take a long run.  “I’m a sprinter! Why do I have to practice for distance?” I would question.  In her wisdom she explained it built up my endurance.

And so it is with NaNoWriMo.  I usually don’t write every day, and I especially don’t write nearly 1,700 words when I do.  My usual writing regime is to toss down an idea, thought-drop a page or two, or a chapter, or pick apart a passage.  I tend to sprint write, in other words.  I’m not much for sitting down hours at end, pushing my muse to exhaustion.

This is why NaNo has been good for me.

Of course I didn’t think that as I realized (often) at 8:30 pm I needed to enter my daily dose of words.  I especially did not embrace the goodness of attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  And I especially wondered why I would think it a good idea to marathon write when my life was pretty full already.

Because it builds up my endurance.

I know now I can do it–oh, have I shown you my certificate of completion yet?

Day Two

Having completed the grueling word run, even in the midst of parent/teacher conferences, posting quarterly grades, preparing for Thanksgiving, and living life as usual, I now know I can go the extra mile at a pace that is uncomfortable at times, but still doable.

I don’t know if I will make NaNoWriMo an annual event; however, I do know I like the feeling, that rush, of falling down happy once done.

To those who persevered NaNo, I raise my bottled water to you in salute.  Even if you didn’t participate I know you were cheering us along the way.  Thanks, I, and we, needed that.

 

 

TaDah and NaNa!


International edition

International edition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bette Midler had a great hit with her rendition of “Friends.”  Friends are right up with there with dark chocolate, a good book (okay, a couple of those), and a sky of blue to make it through tough times.

It’s friends like you that saw me through NaNoWriMo this year.  Yup, I just printed out my certificate. Tonight I punched in 50, 316 words and received my prize.  I think I used up all our color ink cartridge printing it out.  It’s a real pretty one this year.

Since my house is small, the hour late, and I’m all out of ginger ale, I will toss out a virtual “Happy NaNo Over Party.” You supply the hats and confetti on your end and I will supply the thank yous on this end.

If there were a NaNo Happy It’s Over and I Finished Party, and we all had the opportunity to step right up to the microphone, here’s what I would say:

“First of all, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to like my posts.  That helped encourage me to keep going and it definitely brightened my day. Secondly, I enjoyed getting to know new bloggers and visiting new sites. Thirdly, what?  My time’s up already? Phooey.  Okay, really fast.  I don’t know what I’ll do with my NaNo novel, but seeing how you hung with it, you’ll be the first to know if anything does happen with it i.e. published, sold the movie rights, t-shirts, bumper sticker quotes–the usual fame route.”

The last post Vera made was about the value of friends, and so here is a tribute about that very subject.  Bettte surely knew what she was singing about: you got to have friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Wee Bit of Housekeeping


WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

Blogging is tough to keep up with when the paperload of grading bogs my time down.  I’ve managed to swim up from an arduous week of poetry notebooks and grammar packets and hope to dust off the edges of my postie.

First of all, as summer plunges into the recesses of seasonal change, as darkness and rainy days force former sunny afternoons of backyard bliss to fade away into autumnal dreariness, I can’t  help but reflect how quickly time passes.  One day I’m relaxing out in the backyard with book in hand after a long day of prepping freshmen of the harsh realities of high schoolness and the next moment I’m hunkering over my laptop planning second semester lesson forays into To Kill a Mockingbird and The Odyssey.

This is when I am glad to retreat into blogdom.

I have scant energy to work on my manuscripts once school starts again.  I don’t even have energy to skim through my writing magazines, let alone attend my critique group.  Teacherness garners every grain of my attention.  Then again, what else would I want to do for a career.? Oh, yeah, be a world-famous recluse writer.  Aah, there’s time for that when I do actually retire.

For now, blogging is my version of knitting as a means of unwinding and filling my hands with busyness and allowing my brain to channel some sort of creativity.  I may not churn out scarves and mittens, but I do enjoy tweaking out a post or two.

This is why I so appreciate getting a bit of recognition now and then.  Those fun reader awards count for hurrah applause (“yes! someone is reading my stuff! yay!!) This time I have Samirto thank for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  I appreciate Samir’s comments and he has great insights on writing (and life) at his own blog.  Be sure to check out his blog if you haven’t already.  Now, as to the award regs:

1.  Thanks, Samir, for the lovely blog nom

2. Seven things about me…

  • Not a banana fan unless they are in my smoothie or come in chips
  • Prefer doing sports rather than watching them
  • I detest crinkly sounds, especially at the movies
  • Would love to live in a Bradburian neighborhood with a front porch and visit with neighbors who pop up for conversation and lemonade as we ease back in our porch swings
  • I used to adore cats, but not so much anymore (I owned seven at one time)
  • Wonder if I will ever be able to play the piano–I have the piano, just no musical ability
  • Can’t drink carbonated beverages without getting explosive, bodacious hiccups (very embarrassing)

3. Fifteen blogs I think are Lovely

ahem, well…I think a lot of blogs are lovely and so not too offend anyone I do follow, have followed, and intend on following more closely, here are a handful of new-to-me blogs.  I especially like how random these bloggers think, react, and respond to the world around them.  They are sound bites of this big blue marble we call home:

And just in case you are interested, as I was dusting and futzing about the blog I discovered a few stats lying about.  Not knowing what else to do with them I thought I would air them out.  Stats do like a turn  about now and then.

Since February when I began Musing via WordPress:

  • 103 posts
  • 595 comments
  • 5, 665 hits
  • 109 followers
  • Akimet is protecting me against 888 spam comments–this one fascinates me. How do they know what constitutes a threat versus a sincere inquiry? What if it is a legimate blogadite tapping at my door?
  • March 17 was my busiest day when I had 86 hits.  I wrote about browsing through other people’s bookcases.  Weird how some topics light a fire, huh?

Anyway, I’m worn out from dusting and futzing.  I need to get back to slumming and read my gothic romance.  The heroine is just about to become the governess to the spoiled daughter of the married man who has wretched, but attractive wife.  It should be a fast read.  Tomorrow we continue with Cyrano de Bergerac in AP English.

Happy Pages,
CricketMuse

Cyrano

Cyrano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aah–a little bit of Sunshine


“I got sunshine on a cloudy day”

“Sunshine, on my shoulders, makes me happy”

“The sun is very happy fellow”

When Maribeth let me know she had nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award all kinds of sunshine lyrics started dancing in my head.  Ooh, ooh and oh my, do I like sunshine.  I am one blue Cricket once winter commences and “there ain’t no sunshine when (s)he’s gone.” Sunshine in this case being summer.  I am definitely a summer girl.  Me no likee winter cold and snow.  So, thanks Maribeth for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  That makes two awards in one week–it must be my week, as she pointed out.  

Questions to answer:

  1. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
    Oddly, enough it’s the first Narnia movie.  All that winter and Father
    Christmas and good triumphing over badness makes it all work for me.

  2. What is your favorite flower?
    I adore so many!  Faves include pansies and lavender
  3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?
    Can’t resist a perfect cup of cocoa
  4.  What is your passion?
    Life!  I embrace all life has to offer: family, friends, dragonflies, hummingbirds, rainbows, dark chocolate–it’s all in one excellent package
  5. What is your favorite time of year?The ending of summer as it drifts into fall.  Indian Summer (hmm, is that politically correct these days?) It’s the loveliest combination of sunshine during the day and crisp evening air
  6. What is your favorite time of day?
    Morning, morning, morning–I’ve even been accused of being chirpy (aren’t Crickets supposed to me chirpy?)
  7. What is your favorite physical activity?
    Walking, badminton, kite flying, building sand castles–I like to moveit, moveit
  8. What is your favorite vacation?
    Any vacation that involves fun and family.

Nominees–now this will be tough since I just nominated a list for the recent Inspiration Award.  Here are a couple of bloggers among the many out there who definitely add a bit of sunshine to the world of blogging through constant promotion of books and reading.

1.  http://shelovesreading.wordpress.com/

2.  http://literarytiger.wordpress.com/

Wait…How can I list ten when there are dozens upon dozens out there who love reading like I do.  MAJOR CHEAT: If you are a Book Booster consider yourself  nominated for all you do to get books in the hands and minds of others!

Product Image

image: buyolympia.com

Inspiration:


Inspiration.  It’s a noun that can mean:

  1. Stimulation to do creative work.
  2. Somebody or something that inspires
  3. Creativeness
  4. Good idea
  5. Divine influence
  6. Breathing in

As a synonym you’ll find:

  • Motivation
  • Stimulation
  • Encouragement
  • Muse

There is also:

  • Idea
  • Brainwave
  • Insight
  • Flash
  • Revelation

Therefore, to receive nomination for Very Inspiring Blogger causes me to pause and reflect–Do I?  Inspiration is one of those words I take seriously, which means I shall endeavor to make sure my posting are up to snuff.   Letizia passed on this nomination to me and I am quite appreciative.  Letizia is an active reader, meaning she reads whenever she can.  She is working on reading and walking at the same time–something I’m hoping to do.  Kind of like Keira Knightley in the opening of Pride and Prejudice.  Walking and reading a book combines two great loves: the outdoors and absorbing words via written page. Delicious. When I finish reading a good book, especially a wonderful book, I want to get up and run off all the stored up energy from absorbing words, ideas, and the connection of writer to reader.  So, if I could walk and read at the same time–my, that would be just about perfect.

Now, on to award requirements.  I must nominate seven blogs which inspire and then list seven things about myself:

Seven blogs: (envelope please)

1.  https://valerierlawson.wordpress.com/about/ : A YA writer, she doesn’t mind sharing her passion about writing via hot tips about the publishing scene.  I like her enthusiasm and stamina when it comes to writing.

2. http://readncook.wordpress.com/: As a teacher her honesty about the profession inspires me because she reminds me that each student is an individual person, and as a teacher I will impact that student.

3.  http://newsofthetimes.org/ :  Taking on topics of all kinds, she makes me think about issues.

4.  http://literarytiger.wordpress.com/ : She freely admits judging a book by its cover.  We’ve had fun keeping up on our reading lists.

5.  http://eagleeyededitor.wordpress.com/ : Another reader of merit.  She mixes it up topic-wise and I always enjoy her witty comments and replies.

6. http://pastorjeffcma.wordpress.com/author/pastorjeffcma/ : Pastor Jeff is willing to freely discuss his faith and issues in an open and engaging manner.

7.  http://shelovesreading.wordpress.com/author/lauralovesreading/ : A self-professed bookworm, she reminds me that rereading old treasures is a pursuit of happiness.

As for seven things about me:

1.  Adore snoozing in my backyard hammock on a middling to warm day with a bit of breeze wisping about

2.  Love old Hollywood: the Hepburns, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck…

3. I read picture books when no one is looking.

4.  Eating raspberries as I pick them fresh off the vine on a summer morning is the best way to start a day, in my opinion

5.  Playing badminton is THE way to spend a summer evening

6.  Do not put cucumbers in my salad, thank you very much

7. Blogging has become a tempered addiction for me

Book, Book, Booker Award


c. 50

c. 50 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One, Two, Three What do I appreciate…BOOKS!!!

Oh yes, indeedy I love books and being nominated for the Booker Award is insanely amazing–I would apologize for my enthusiasm,yet how can I contain my happy dance about being nominated for a blogger award that is all about what this blog is all about–books and all its components, like writing, writers, reviews, all that words stuff.

So a big ol’ thanks to valerierlawson for nominating me.  Here is what it looks like:

And here is what it is all about:

The award goes to blogs that are at least 50% about books–allowance for readings or writing (glad about that)

The next part is tough. To receive the award the blogger must share the top five favorite books ever read. My, my, my–that’s almost cruel.  I will have to pause and give it some thought.

The other part is almost as tough since I must select  5-10 other wonderful book blogs to pass on the award.  I’ll start here first:

Without a doubt Literary Tiger. I appreciate LT’s comments, insights, and humor.  A definite Book Booster.

Another definite is Eagle-Eyed Editor whose wit and way with words is wonderful. I enjoy our blog chit-chats.

If we are talking bookworms (says so right on the banner), let’s mention shelovesreading. This blogger loves books, writes about books, promotes books. That’s a blogger worth a Booker Award mention.

Now back to favorite reads.  These are by no means my ultimate top five reads; however, they are among the books I would pack in a trunk if being dropped off on an island ala Tom Hanks and no volleyballs were about.

1.  The Bible.

2.  To Kill a Mockingbird

3.  Pride and Prejudice or maybe Emma or do I have to chose one Jane Austen?

4.  Jane Eyre

5. The Oxford Dictionary.

If you want to know my reasons why, drop in and we can chat.  I love talking books.  I do indeed.

Here are some other book blogs to consider:

1000novelsandme

bibliophiliacs

If I missed mentioning your blog and you know I should know about it I will plead finals week weariness. I am creating this post after a 12 hour day of meetings, doling out finals, and grading finals.  Is there any dark chocolate in the house?

English: Stack of books in Gould's Book Arcade...

Liebster Blog Love


English: Meryl Streep on the 56th Internationa...

English: Meryl Streep on the 56th International Film Festival in San Sebastian (Spain). Own work by uploader User:PhotoTakeReality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Ich bin ein Liebster Blogger.”  I hope my German doesn’t offend anybody. My mom laughs when I haul it out and dust it off. It’s always a great feeling to feel the liebe from other bloggers.  It’s my paycheck, I suppose, that is, until an agent or editor happens to come across my posts and offer me a book/movie package.  Well, why not?  It happened to Julie, didn’t it?  I wonder if Meryl is in between movies…

So–thanks, merlinespielen for this award.  I guess it’s a good thing being recognized for having a follower base under 200 (?).  Being recognized is being recognized, and I always appreciate  merlinspielen’s comments on my posts.

Okay, now for passing on the Blog Award baton.  Other blogs under 200 followers (I think…couldn’t find the counter numbers):

 makemeafrock:  she combines poetry and sew(etry) in her posts, which is a marvelous combination in my book.

Pastor Jeff:  I so do enjoy his thought-provoking posts.

AJJenner:a writer who shares a common project of writing about a family member’s experiences about WWII.  Did I mention she’s got a fabulous banner photo of her grandfather?

poetrybytheclueless: a teenager who loves to write, and no doubt has more followers than I do, and just graduated (happy graduation!)

onelonemagpie: writing about fashion in a fresh way (p.s. Happy Birthday!)

Whew!  What a week–awards, last day of instruction, Ray Bradbury passes away, graduation,  birthdays–glad for the extra liebe.

Tschuss, mein freundin (Mom, quit snickering)

CricketMuse

Nifty Fifty


Ta-dah! This marks my fiftieth post and to commemorate the event here are some random fifty trivia bits.

1.  This weekend my community celebrates Lost in the Fifties.  It’s a weekend where people dress up in poodle skirts and 501’s and saddle shoes and watch a parade of old-time cars go by.  There’s a street dance and a big dance at the fairgrounds with bands that are mock-fifty era sounding.  Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a biggie for tourist bucks.  We even showed American Graffiti at the local stage theatre.

designerjet.com

2.  Of the fifty United States I’ve only been to about seven.  Does airport transfers count?  Then make it about a dozen.

statecountymaps.com

Image Detail

flicker.com

3.  I don’t like weather colder than the fifties.  Forty-five is pushing my comfort zone.

writerleagueoftexas.wordpress.com

4.  If I could name my top favorite fifty books I would have to say To Kill a Mockingbird remains close to the top as my favorite reread.  Which is saying something since I teach just about every year to ninth graders.

5.  Should I set out to gather fifty quotes about reading, writing, and books I would include these gems:

  • The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. Agatha Christie
  • The desire to write grows with writing. Desiderius Erasmus
  •  My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living. Anais Nin
  •  If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.Tennessee Williams
  •  The first step in blogging is not writing them but reading them. Jeff Jarvis
  •  I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done. Steven Wright
  •  Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.Marsha Norman
  •  Be obscure clearly.E.B. White
  • The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.Gustave Flaubert
  •  Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. Isaac Asimov

6.  Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover is one of Paul Simon’s songs that tends to loop in my brain now and then.Image Detail
7.  I figure I read over fifty books a year, between reviewing them, teaching them, and pleasure-reading them.  I dunno–is that average for a Book Booster?
Oh, hey–this also counts for my seven facts about me as part of the Versatile Blogger Award requirements.  Thanks Literary Tiger!
And a thanks also to merlinspielen.com for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Who knew turning Fifty could be so fulfilling?

‘Tis Beautiful


Awards

Awards are so much fun–even if they are merely virtual and can’t be deposited in the bank, they still worth their weight in font and color because they add a bit of smile to the day.  I smile at the receiving and then get to the opportunity to pass on the smile to other bloggers.  And that’s something right there.

So my thanks to alundeberg (http://readncook.wordpress.com/)

and I pass on the BBA to the following:

1.  http://literarytiger.wordpress.com/

2.  http://iliketheworldfuzzy.wordpress.com/

3.  http://shelovesreading.wordpress.com/about/

I am not sure what the criteria is for the Beautiful Blogger Award.  I figure if reading their blog brightens my day, my day has been made that much better.  And we all know it’s a beautiful thing to make anyone’s day better.

Cricket Muses on The Versatile Blogger Award


Artsyarchitette brightened my day with The Versatile Blogger Award.  Being fairly new to blogging, I naturally am amazed to even be noticed among the thousands of bloggers out there, and then again secretly I’m basking in the glory of the moment because I really work hard at making each post special.

So here is the award:

And here is my 7 facts:

1.  dark chocolate

2.  Mozart preferably

3.  Summer, not winter

4.  GiGi

5.  DVD, unless there’s a strict no phones policy

6.  Audrey Hepburn

7.  Naps

As to the 15 bloggers.  Mmm, fudgeitfudgy, here’s 5 for now:

1. http://cecileswriters.wordpress.com/

2.http://eagleeyededitor.wordpress.com/

3. http://poetrybytheclueless.wordpress.com/

4. http://makesomethingmondays.wordpress.com/

5. http://livingwiththebirds.wordpress.com/

In researching the award I have discovered there is definitely a split opinion roaming around.  Some say they are just a chain letter of sorts, and others say celebrate and pass on the love.  I’m a bit in the middle.   I’ve done most of the award requirements, and hope the award police won’t yank it off my site since I’ve only 5 instead of 15 nominates.

What is your opinion of these awards?

Are they:

A.  lovely bits of affirmation

b.  meaningless

c.  more work than glory

d. somewhere in between

Anyway, I’m pleased and happy and more than willing to pass on the love

Blue Skies,

CricketMuse

P.S. This marked my 30th posting–is there a connection?  Do I get an iPad with my 50th?

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