Tag Archives: award

News, Nobel Prizes and Blog Awards

Do you have any idea how long I’ve been secretly dreaming that someone would say to me, “You’re so awesome, you should rule the world!”

A long time, that’s how long.

And it’s finally happened. Yes, someone has officially recognised my value to the world and the people in it. I shall be taking up my mantle as Executive World Emperor as soon as the current world leaders can be gathered in one place and summarily dismissed from their seats of power. Also, as soon as someone gathers all the riches of the world and places them in my secret lair base. From this day forth, you will need to use my full title (or its acronym) if you wish to talk to me. As such, I will expect all comments to begin: Hey EWE.

Hold on a minute.

Oh.

Apparently I’m a little confused. I haven’t actually been granted world domination. I’ve actually been awarded the Dr Horrible Blog Award by the infamous Connor Rickett of Cities of the Mind.

Right. Ha ha ha. I knew that. So, nothing to see here. Let’s just move on to the rules and pretend this embarrassing little episode never happened.

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the Dr. Horrible Blog Award.

Thanks, Connor! Connor’s blog is full of interesting articles on writing, travelling, and freelance writing as well as blog reviews (you can also request a review of your own blog!) and short fiction. It’s well worth your time to give him a visit.

2. Announce the Big News on your blog.

And my Big News is… Well, for one thing it seems that I won’t be the Executive World Emperor any time soon. It’s a good job I’m happy just being me, because it looks like I won’t be EWE any time soon.

But in all some seriousness, this step of accepting the award was a little… let’s say… terrifying. I actually need News of some kind. Preferably Big News. With capitals.

While I was trying to work out what my news could be, I happened across a great blog post by one Patrick O’Duffy. He talks about the importance of leaving actual book reviews on sites like Goodreads and Amazon rather than just star ratings. I’m not going to summarise his entire post because, well, firstly that’s rude. And secondly, I’d rather you go and read it straight from the horse’s mouth… or whatever the internet-equivalent is of that idiom. But I’ll give you a brief snippet:

Without a review, good or bad, to explain the [star] rating it’s all just statistical noise. Reviews, on the other hand, tell you a great deal, whether you agree with them or not – and sometimes the ones you don’t agree with tell you the most. …read more…

Reading this article made me realise something. Firstly, I don’t just leave star ratings on those sites. (Yay for me!) Secondly, I don’t leave reviews anywhere at all. (Boo for me.) BUT, I was writing reviews that I was posting here on my blog, and they could easily be copied over to Goodreads. And since I’ve decided not to keep posting book reviews here, I can write them on Goodreads and provide a link from my blog for those people who are interested.

So, here’s my Big News:

I’ve set up a new page to track the books I read this year, complete with links to my reviews on Goodreads. You can find the page here, or by clicking the cunningly titled ‘2012 Reading List’ tab at the top of the page.

And since I was playing with the layout anyway, I’ve also set up a page that links to all the Flash Fiction I’ve posted here on my blog. If you think you may have missed some, or you’d like to go back and re-read my work, you can click here or go to the tab labelled ‘Flash Fiction’. Complicated, no?

Right. Back to the award.

3. Answer these mini-interview questions:

a) If you ran the world, what would you outlaw immediately?

Stupidity.

Oh. I’ve just been informed that the only way to completely wipe out stupidity is to destroy the human race. Apparently it’s endemic. Or something. So, in the spirit of not being a world-destroying evil dictator, I will instead outlaw Reality TV.

b) Men: Boxers or Briefs? Ladies: Do you prefer Boxers or Briefs?

I found this question a little discriminatory, so choose not to answer it. Where’s the option for going commando??

c) If you won the Nobel Prize who would you thank?

(Yes, Connor, I’m totally rewriting this question in 3rd person. Because having it written in 1st person is… disturbing.)

If I won the Nobel Prize, I’d first wonder what I did to deserve it. Then I’d stop wondering and just accept that I clearly won the Nobel Awesome Prize for being Awesome. So I’d thank the academy, and the other competitors, and my husband, and then I’d  make room for Kanye.

4. Nominate three bloggers so they can carry the Dr. Horrible torch on its way.

Right, so I tried to come up with three people who I thought would have interesting or amusing answers to the questions. Which is not to say that no one else will, just that… Oh, you know what I mean. So, my three nominees (in no particular order) are:

speaker7 of Ramblings and Rumblings. She’s quirky, snarky, and just plan funny. And her hilarious breakdown of 50 Shades (complete with photos re-enacting key scenes of the book using toys) is a must-read.

Heather of Prawn and Quartered. She reads, she writes, she works in a library, and she’s a fan of The A-Team. Her posts are a great mix of retro cool, hilarity, and touching solemnity. In other words: awesomesauce.

Emma of Mayfair Mum. She juggles reading, writing, working and motherhood with the same sense of ease I do — which is to say, not a heck of a lot sometimes. She’s funny and sweet and just a little bit geeky. Oh, and she’s from London so she’s got a great accent.

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Versatility is not a Dirty Word

 As you probably know, I’m a bit of a fan of Bridget at Twinisms. Not only is she amazingly smart and funny, she also likes wine. We have so much in common!

So I was rather thrilled this week when she awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks, Bridget!

If you’ve been hanging out for a while, you may remember that back in the olden days (i.e. a few months ago), I was given the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award by the charming Laura Stanfill, and I mentioned that I have a two-decade vow to never forward on a chain-letter to uphold.

But…

In this case, the award calls for recipients to state 5 interesting and new facts about myself, and then suggest 5 blogs that I’ve recently come across and enjoy. This seems much less chainy (at least, it does to me), and I recommend 5 blogs every Monday anyway, so this isn’t really going out of my way. 

Five Things You Didn’t Know about Me:

1.

There are some people in the world who make an impact on you, and for the rest of your life you can’t help but think about them every time you hear their name. My first ever Best Friend was named Fiona, and I therefore assume that everyone in the world named Fiona is cool and amazing unless proved otherwise. My first ever Boyfriend was named Adam, and I therefore assume that everyone in the world named Adam is sweet and smart and has mother issues unless proved otherwise.

We all have these name biases. And the ones that stand out the most are the names that belonged to the first person to truly make your life difficult. That person who, even just in your memory, can fill you with fear or anger or hatred.

In my case, that person was a girl named Laura. Laura was the leader of the “popular group” when I was 13, and she and her cohorts made my life a living hel for 2 years. So I have mercilessly tortured her in text for the last 22 years. Every “mean girl who gets her comeuppance”, every torture victim, every “random stranger bludgeoned to death in an alley”, and every “girl eaten by zombie” that I’ve ever written has been named Laura. (Or, on occasion, Lauren. Just so things don’t get boring.)

So if you’re ever reading one of my stories and you come across someone named Laura, don’t get too attached. That’s all I’m saying.

2.

 The first “real” story that I remember writing was about 1500 words long. It was a scary story that I wrote when I was 10. The story was about a monster named Basketball-Head, so named because his head was a basketball. He lived in a cave outside of town. On summer evenings, he would sneak into town and search for people playing basketball. Then he’d grab them, bite their heads off, and run away with the ball.

The hero of the story was a girl who hated basketball. She liked exploring, and one day she found his cave. (I got to use the word spelunking in my story. I was so proud.) There she met Basketball-Head, and got talking to him. It turned out that he didn’t realise basketballs were just balls. He thought the evil humans were making sport out of torturing baby Basketball-Heads to death. So he was rescuing and avenging the children. He’d take the basketballs back out to his cave, and bury them in his Basketball Graveyard.

So our little heroine explained what was really happening, and Basketball-Head apologised to the townspeople, and everything was okay.

The End.

3.

My first ever job was working in a library. I got to read new books before the general public, help people find interesting things to read (“You know, it’s about a dog and it has a red cover…”), and daydream about the day my own novel would be in libraries all over the world.

So I was checking books in one day. Pick up book, open back cover, scan barcode, place on trolley. Pick up book, open back cover, move pile of money out of the way, scan– Wait, what?

I closed the book. I reopened it. There was still a pile of money there. I flicked through it. $600. Now, I was only 18 at the time, and $600 was a small fortune. I closed the book again. I looked around. The library was mostly empty. None of the other staff were anywhere around. I replayed the last half hour in my head, trying to remember who’d returned the book.

When I found the little old lady, she was browsing the Agatha Christie novels. “Excuse me,” I said as I approached. She looked up. She looked about 70 years old. “Did you just return this book?”

“Yes,” she said, looking confused. “Is something wrong?”

“I think you may want the bookmark you left in the back of the book.” She took the book, opened it, and her eyes got as wide as saucers. Her hands started shaking. I was  worried she was going to pass out. “Are you okay?” I asked.

“Yes, dear,” she said. “Thank you so much. I always get out my rent money at the start of the week when I go to the bank, but I don’t like having it in my purse when I leave the house. So I hide it in a book. I forgot I’d put it in here. Thank you so much. If I’d lost this, I wouldn’t have been able to pay my rent.”

I smiled, let her take her money, and then took the book back to the counter, content that I’d done a good deed. That afternoon she came back with chocolates and flowers for me.

That came in handy, because I was a struggling student working part-time at a library. I couldn’t afford dinner and chocolates make for a great celebratory meal.

2.

I have a fear of sleep.

One evening when I was two years old, my parents put me and my little brother to bed (he was about 8 months old), and then went next door to help the neighbours clean their house. We were a military family. They were a military family. That’s just what you do. Every half hour, Mum would come back and check on us kids, and then head back next door.

It must have been the sound of the door closing that woke me up. I remember getting out of bed because I was scared. I went into my parents room, but they weren’t there. I went to the lounge room, but they weren’t there. I searched the whole house, but my parents were gone.

In that moment, I knew that things had changed. It was just me and my brother. I would have to take care of us. I pushed a dining chair through the house into my brother’s room, next to his cot. He was sleeping peacefully. I sat down on the chair to watch over him. I cried a bit because I was scared, but I knew what I had to do.

That’s where Mum found me when she came back half an hour later. She sent me back to bed. And I’ve been afraid of sleeping ever since, just in case I wake to find that everyone I love is gone.

1.

It’s probably not obvious from my writing, but I am taller than average. I’m just over 6’1″ tall.  These days, I quite enjoy the extra attention that comes with being tall, although it wasn’t so great when I was a teenager. (I was over 6′ tall by the time I was 14.) But there are a few things that really, seriously suck about being tall. Rather than make a list of all the down sides (e.g.: trying to buy clothes, trying to fit in airplane seats, trying to be inconspicuous), allow me to share with you the absolute, number 1, most annoying thing about being tall.

People feel the need to point it out.

All the time.

As if I didn’t know.

There I am, walking through the shopping centre, and a random stranger will walk up to me and say, “Wow, you’re really tall.” This happens at least half a dozen times a week, and has done for the last twenty years. I’ve experimented with a number of replies:

  • “Really? Oh Gods, you’re right. How did that happen?”
  • “Thanks. You’re really short.”
  • “Thanks for noticing. Can you go tell that girl over there that she’s fat now?”
  • “Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. I got my body stretched in Thailand.”

And then there’s the follow-up statement: “You must play basketball.”

Now, not everyone adds this line. Only about 50% of people. So let me say, right here and now, that I do not play basketball. I don’t like basketball. I have no interest in basketball. (Other than to use it as a plot for a scary story.) Being tall doesn’t mean I play basketball any more than having fingers means I play the clarinet.

Actually, come to think about it, it’s a few years since anyone asked if I played basketball. Maybe people are starting to be more tactful.

Or maybe I just don’t look young enough to be a professional athlete anymore.

Thoughts?

Blogs I’ve Recently Discovered:

Here’s some of the most recent blogs I’ve discovered and fallen in love with. Make sure you check them out if you haven’t already. In no particular order…

Magnet for Foolishness

Mayfair Mum

nailsbails

Prawn and Quartered

ramblingsandrumblings

EDIT: In case it wasn’t clear (which it probably wasn’t), I’m forwarding the Versatile Blogger award to the above five blogs. Take part or not, depending on your own views and vows on chain blog awards.

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