I’m not very bendy, but apparently I’m Versatile

Zephyr at Presents of Mind paid me the wonderful compliment today of nominating this site for a Versatile Blogger Award!

Thanks, Zephyr! You are, without a doubt, the bee’s knees.

Sure, I know the “award” is sometimes considered a kind of meme or chain letter (or worse, just a way to pad the stats with pingbacks). And I think if you want to view it that way, that’s fine by me. But I think the people who treat it kindly, like Zephyr, are seeing it for its potential as a kind of higher-level social networking. I mean, how different is it from “liking” or “sharing” each other’s work online? Except in this case, we are liking and sharing not just posts but whole blogs!

The VBA is like the Nobel Prize of the “Like” button!

And that’s just keen. 🙂

So if all this accomplishes is to give me an excuse to share some of my favorite blogs with you and show a little love to the people I love to read, well, then, I think we all win. So, peaches. Let’s rock this award!

First, the rules of acceptance: I must thank the person who named me (check); then I must write a list of seven things about me. Why, exactly, I don’t know — it’s the most “meme-ish” thing about this whole process. But, what the heck.

  1. I collect the hell out of smiley faces. (Worry all you need to, but be happy, anyway!)
  2. I’m a (sometimes poorly) practicing Buddhist. My refuge name is Karma Chö Ying.
  3. I have cats named after Henrik Ibsen and the Bronte sisters. This was an accident — they had those names when we adopted them — but now I want to continue the trend, so I’m determined to name our next cats Cormac and Austen (though my wife insists she’ll veto at least the former).
  4. Want to buy me a gift? I drink single malts. I’m partial to Highlands, but Speysides are awesome, too. (And I’m always down for a dram of Laphroaig.)
  5. I cry at movies all. the. time. Happy movies, sad movies, romantic movies —  it doesn’t seem to matter. I cry at tv shows, too; I even cry at commercials. Today I cried just because it was a beautiful day outside and I was listening to a beautiful song. That sounds ridiculous, but I swear it’s true.
  6. I once fractured my spine falling out of a tree. Seriously. It was a compression fracture, something that doesn’t usually happen unless you have osteoporosis. When the physical therapist fitted me for my cruciform brace so I could heal, it took her ages to track one down. “We’re having trouble finding one big enough for you,” she said. “We usually only have to stock these for 80-year-old ladies.”
  7. When I first saw Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows in person, in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, I thought my heart had stopped.

And finally, I need to spread the love by naming 15 other blogs I read and admire. Which is hard, because if you glance over at my lists of links on the left, you can tell that I read and love a lot of folks. How on earth do I narrow that down?

I suppose the name of the award implies a preference for blogs that cover a wide array of topics, and a lot of the honorees do post a wonderful mix. But in the absence of any original guidelines, I’ll go ahead and just throw a shout-out to a bunch of blogs I love the hell out of, some of which are remarkably focused.

One rule I set for myself: No nepotism. Which means I won’t nominate my own Smile! blog, and — despite my genuine love for both her blogs — I won’t nominate my wife’s work, either. (But you should — go check out her Reel Librarians website and get obsessed, and then nominate her like crazy!)

So, here’s the list, which is really just the list today. I could probably make a different one tomorrow. But seriously, check out all these blogs. You’ll love `em. And backtrack to Presents of Mind, too, and check out Zephyr’s blog plus all the other ones she nominated (she has great taste — I’m already following some of the ones on her list, too).

And now, if someone will cue the drumroll….

  1. Literary Rejections on Display
  2. Bill & Dave’s Cocktail Hour
  3. First Line
  4. Rima the Arab Girl
  5. Poet Hound
  6. A LEGO a Day
  8. Just Sayin’
  9. toridotgov
  10. A Poet’s Ponderings
  11. To Be An Electric Telegraph
  12. Miriam’s Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond
  13. Jenn in Japan
  14. Victorian Gothic: Much of Madness, and More of Sin
  15. My Daguerreotype Boyfriend

Now I just need to let all these people know how much I love them, and then they get to spread the love to 15 other friends.

And then they’ll call 15 friends, and they’ll call 15 friends, and pretty soon we’ll have ourselves a party!

Published by Samuel Snoek-Brown

I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.

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