Seriously, I love the heck out of anyone cool enough to sit down and read my blog. People who read regularly — especially people who subscribe? They rock my world! People who actually engage and leave comments? Man oh man: I want to buy them all big boxes of chocolate.
And then there’s EJ Runyon. As if it weren’t cool enough that EJ reads and comments on loads of stuff, and then asked to interview me for her blog (coming in mid-October, folks: stay tuned!), she decided to turn the awesome knob up to 11 and nominated me for a Reader Appreciation award.
Here are the very, very kind things she said about me on her blog:
I’m blushing over here.
(Also, way to put on the pressure, EJ! Now I have to keep discussing the work! Good thing I love talking craft….)
And yeah, I’ve said before that I know these sorts of awards are sometimes just a form of blogging chain letters. But hey, it’s a chain of appreciation, folks, and I just don’t see the downside to that! So, here we go:
To accept the award, I have to follow these rules:
- When you pass it on, provide a link to your post, and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.
- Answer 10 questions within your own blog (see them below). This is for new readers to get to know you, as you may be re-blogged or bookmarked.
- Nominate other blogs that you find a joy to read. (The rules say 10 is a great number to aim for. EJ named five, so that’s what I’m going to do, too.)
- Provide links to these nominated blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been nominated.
- Include the award logo within your own blog post.
Your favorite color?
Blue. No yello — auuuuuuuugh!
Your favorite animal to include in a story?
You’d think it’d be dogs, because I have a lot of stories with dogs in them. (Sadly, the dogs often die.) But my favorite animal I’ve put in a story so far is a giant tortoise.
Your favorite non-alcoholic drink while writing?
Printed books or e-books?
Oh, print. No question. I don’t mind ebooks, but I think they need to be short. This past month I tried to read Jane Eyre as a ebook and it was just miserable going until I borrowed my wife’s old paperback. But I do have a lot of short chapbooks and stand-alone long stories as ebooks and quite enjoy them.
Your favorite writer(s) now?
Do I have to list them here? Just look at the L-O-N-G list of links on the right, the one labeled “Authors, Poets, Agents & Editors.” I wouldn’t put them there if I didn’t love them. But, okay, here’s a shortlist of people who float my boat at this particular moment: Alan Moore, Alice Munro, Bill Roorbach, Cormac McCarthy, Ethel Rohan, Hosho McCreesh, Jac Jemc, Rusty Barnes, Ryan Werner, Sarah Rose Etter, Tom Franklin. And a bunch of others.
Your favorite writer(s) ten years ago?
Tom Franklin. I’d just finished a masters thesis about him a year or so before, and I was still high on his writing. And Cormac McCarthy, whom Tommy had turned me onto. My tastes haven’t changed a whole lot in the last decade, actually.
Your favorite poet Classic & Current?
Classic: Bashō. No question. I actually don’t read a lot of classic poetry, but the Japanese poets from the 17th and 18th century? They knew, man. Current: Beth Ann Fennelly. Still no question. She is a goddess.
Your favorite time of day to write?
I used to say 3 am. I mean, nothing really got together and flowed before midnight. But I’m getting older, and these days I tend to get rolling in the evening and hit my peak between 11 pm and midnight. And then I fall asleep.
What is your passion when it comes to your writing?
I don’t quite know how to read this question. Isn’t writing itself passion enough? Unless it’s asking what I like to do most in my fiction — what styles or themes I most enjoy employing. In that case — and this is a recent discovery for me, one I still plan to blog about once I can codify it in some useful way — I’ve discovered I’m obsessed with home and community. Not really with domestic life or human society, but with the ways in which home becomes the greatest source of conflict and why people so often fail to connect with each other and yet keep trying, desperately reaching out for one another with the same hands they use to push people away.
But more on that another day.
Now, the nominees:
Bill and Dave’s Cocktail Hour
I’ve mentioned this blog before, but it’s still one of my favorites ever, especially for the discussions of craft and the writerly life.
This is my pal Justin Cooper’s blog. Justin and I went to undergrad together, and I was in awe of his talent. These days, I can barely wrap my mind around the dude. One of the smartest and wittiest guys I know, hands-down.
The Word Made Flesh
I live in Portland, Oregon. I am a writer and a professor. How could I not love a blog devoted to literary tattoos!?
There is an ethereality to Marie Marshall’s little fragments and insights here. Her posts feel like a cool breeze on a fresh autumn afternoon — with just the barest nip of a coming winter.
The posts here almost always crack me up. This is snark done right, people. But when they don’t crack me up, it’s because blogger “sheriji” has said something numbingly profound. Seriously, I love this blog.
BONUS: Reel Librarians
Okay, this is my wife’s blog. And EJ already nominated her, so this is kind of redundant. But — all bias aside — good god is this some impressive work. The way she combines hard-core research strategy, deeply insightful “close-readings” of the films, and a casual, easy-on-the-eyes writing style is just inspiring.