Posts Tagged ‘Awards’

You may remember that a while ago I was given a Daisy award, and I said I’d pass it on soon…  Well, six months later, I still haven’t sorted myself out.

Since then, I have been presented with two Liebster awards and said I’d pass them on.  I still haven’t sorted myself out.

There’s a pattern forming…

I love receiving these awards, they are like a virtual smile, but I am not doing well passing them along.  Collectively these three require highlighting 25 new blogs, which I haven’t even started thinking about properly, and so I am going to do things a little differently from now on.

I am setting up a page for awards, where the nominator and the image can be found.  Over time, I hope to highlight other bloggers via the ‘in other news’ sections of my Sunday posts.  That way, I can send things on as and when rather than waiting for months!

What I’ll do in the future is explain why I like a blog and why it’s important to me, and not do facts – but in honour of those who nominated me, you can find some facts here and here.  And, as one of the Liebsters set some questions, I hereby offer up  a slice of EJ life!

a) Which genres do you prefer to read? All sorts: I have a mix of books from chick-lit to literary fiction to fantasy to comedy and so on.  

b) Is there somewhere in the world you would love to visit?  This changes all the time, but anywhere with ancient monuments makes me happy!

c) Have you got any phobias? Yes, but I’m not saying what 🙂

d) Which would you choose – meat or seafood? Meat.    

e) Which famous person do you wish you were? I don’t – I think fame may be a hard cross to bear. I’d like the outfits a few famous people have though…

f) Are you sporty or not?  Most definitely not!

g) What was the name of your first pet? Bramble

h) A tropical beach or a ski resort? Beach, although I’d prefer a windswept field and an ancient monument!  

i) What would be your perfect job? Writer 🙂

j) Which snack do you prefer when watching a movie? Revels.  

k) Which book are you currently reading? Lantana Lane, by Eleanor Dark.

So thank you to Lee A Jackson, Daydreams in Wonderland at CardcastlesInTheSky and Mandy Eve Barnett – I hadn’t forgotten 😉

Happy writing



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First of all, I’d like to say thank you to Daydreams in Wonderland for the Liebster award – I will give it some attention (along with that outstanding Daisy award…) soon!

And so onto writing…

In week 74.5, I explained that I was writing a section that was, frankly, going to be a bit odd.  And it is, now I’ve started to put it on paper.

Having said that, I think it will work well – as long as I am sensible about how and when to break the scene up.  In fact, I am very happy with it so far, and it neatly fits into the flow of the story.

It has also had a very positive side effect which I hadn’t really considered: the viewpoint character in this section is one who goes through significant changes, and it is interesting to see changes take place within her.  This chapter is giving me a chance to explore her in a ‘before’ setting which can later be juxtaposed with an ‘after’.  She’s my favourite character too, so I always enjoy writing her scenes!

The other changes I’ve done have been very straight forward; and I’ve looked at a few details that weren’t highlighted in the proofing (I wouldn’t expect them to be, as they’re editing) – mainly to deconstruct a few clichés.  They are very genre-specific and I need to challenge myself to see if they’re really the best options.  When I re-read I suspect I’ll do this a little more…  Clichés are (in my mind) ok on occasion, but not as a regular feature!

So, onward and upward, as they say.  I need to get the new section complete in a couple of days to meet my January 31st end date, and have time to re-read it all, so that’s the focus for the week.

In other news – the poem for peace is progressing, although I still haven’t got cheese into the mix, so to speak.  I am hoping I’ll have a first draft to share by the February peace post – depending on the progress of the novel, of course!

I’m going to leave it there for today as my internet connection is a bit temperamental – I’ll do some more other news as well as an update next time!

Happy writing,



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Now I’m into November, and the tight schedule for NaNoWriMo, I’m very aware of how many words a day I should be writing. I’m on day four so a reasonable amount at this point would be about 6-8,000 if I want to get 50,000 done by the end of the month.

I’m on about 700…

I’m not worried about this because I haven’t had a lot of time to work on the story since Thursday.  Still, I am hoping this week things will improve somewhat, and I’m also hoping to get another few hundred done today – but it’s got me thinking about the arbitrary nature of word counts.

I’ve always thought that word counts are a strange way of judging how far I’ve got with a story. This could be due to my style of writing, where I map out a scene in the first draft then fill in details as I revise the story. Or, it could be due to the fact that a book could be anything from 50,000 – 500,000 words long!

Having said that, they are one of many useful tools for a writer.  Knowing how many words you have got on paper does show that something is happening – just not the quality or relevance of that work.  So, I’ll carry on working to get towards the target number of words this month, but I know from experience that it’s only once the first draft is completed that I can really see how far I’ve got.

In other news – now Halloween is over, here in the UK we have Bonfire Night (or if you prefer, Guy Fawkes Night).  A few years ago I attended an event that involved people walking down a hill through an old town, down cobbled streets in the darkness, lit by flaming torches.  It really was a spectacle and one that deserves to be written into a book or a poem – I’m hoping to include a scene like this in my NaNo piece if I can fit it in.  It’s one of those events that is full of dramatic possibilities!

And finally for this week – I saw this gallery of books that are hard to finish, and it made me smile – the only one I’ve tried is Das Kapital (and not even the whole thing!) which was for an essay when I was a student.  How can a book be hard to read, and yet a prize-winning book?  Surely readers want to be able to finish the story…

At least this proves that a word count isn’t the only thing to think about!

Happy writing



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This week’s inspiration is courtesy of other bloggers!  Recently Mandy Eve Barnett nominated me for an Inspiring Blog Award, just after The Living Notebook nominated me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  As I’m sure you can image, I was very pleased by these.  I’m still fascinated by the general sense of warmth and support on these blogs, and this is another example of how people come together in a really positive way!  One of the things I love about the blogs I follow is that, whether I agree with a viewpoint, or have the same religious, political or social beliefs as the writer, there’s always something I  can take away – a passion for something, a desire to make things better, a willingness to share even the most painful experiences.  Or for those of a more artistic nature – a beautiful image, or wonderful colours, or a moving poem that brings out an emotional response.

As always, there are rules to these awards…  For each, I have to a) thank the person who nominated me (as above!) and b) share seven facts about myself (as a little cheat I’m doing 7 in total as this post will already be really long!).  I also have to nominate others – for the ‘Inspiring Blog Award’ I have to nominate 15 blogs, and for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’ I have to nominate 7.  Wow, that’s a lot of nominations, it’s taken a few days to get these lists together!


So – thanks guys for the nominations!  Here are my facts to share:

1. I love the seaside when clouds form over the water but not on land – it makes me feel the power and uncontrolled beauty of nature.

2. My favourite flowers are any red flowers in cobalt blue pots – they make me think of a Mediterranean summer.

3. I find smells very important and evocative – I should exploit this more for writing!

4. I recently discovered the TV show ‘The Big Bang Theory’, and it has inspired me to learn the element in the Periodic table – Einsteinium, anyone?!

5. I have a lot of reference books, about all sorts of subjects, and especially like ones old second or third hand ones – they are sometimes factually out of date, with new research having overtaken the old, but I don’t mind that because I love the texture of the paper and the dated language.  It helps me lose myself in the pages.

6. A woodpecker likes to visit my garden, I watch him find food in an old wooden post that is used to hang bird feeders from – it seems right for him to eat at the same table as the others!

7. I used to make beaded jewellery and have boxes full of it – I eventually plan to deconstruct a lot of it and make more useful things!…

So there you go: a few facts as required.  I have tried to keep in the inspiration mode and maybe something there will spark your own imagination – as I was writing a story idea occurred to me so it can work!

So now onto my 22 – yes, 22 – blog nominees…  Deciding which award went with which site was oddly difficult but I hope you can see why I’ve done it the way I have!  I have to put my hand up here and say I look at other blogs in a very ad hoc way, sometimes looking at a page three or four times in a week, sometimes not looking for weeks.  These awards have given me permission to spend some time looking around and generally being nosy, which has been lovely!  I’ve also discovered a couple of new ones so that’s been fab!

For the ‘Inspiring Blog Award’ I have nominated 15 sites which give me specific inspiration.  Most of these are not writing-related:

Urban Wall Art & Murals

This World Thru My Eyes

Julia Christine Glass

Dianne Grey

Conor Cullen

Water is the Spice

Lee  A Jackson

Emma’s Fabric Studio

Leaf and Twig


Leanne Cole Photography

Texana’s Kitchen

The Martha in Me

Kitty Kats Krafts


For the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’ – I have nominated 7 writers who have shared their own work, who make me laugh,  who are willing to share their personal experiences and beliefs in an open and honest way, or who write about something new to me.

A Writer’s Writings

The Forced Mind

Brad Stanton

Thoughts on Theatre

Edilio Ciclostile

Ashley Jillian

Cancer Killing Recipe

So there you have it – 22 other writers are the inspiration this week!  If you want to share your own inspirational blog, website or image, please put a link in the comments (and please put a warning if content is in any way adult or potentially offensive!).

Happy writing



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As I said in an earlier blog, the very kind anxietyadventures sent me an award.  Now, as this is my first award I am going to follow all the rules!

One of the rules of accepting is to share 7 things about myself, and the other was to pass it on to 10 other bloggers who I admire.

So here are 7 (mostly writing related!) facts:

1. I have lots of notebooks – and still end up writing on envelopes, receipts and old scraps of paper.

2. When I am bored I often bake chocolate or vanilla cakes, which I like to eat when they’re still hot.

3. I have globe bookends which keep my reference books on my desk – I always wanted a globe and now I have two!

4. I also have an old stone water bottle on my desk, which once belonged to my grandparents.

5. I prefer writing in black ink to blue ink, as it looks nicer on the page.

7. I love stationery, and I like it to be colourful wherever possible.

And then I have to pass it to 10 bloggers who I admire.  I have given a brief explanation why I admire them too – I know when people get a lot of awards they might not do all this stuff but I figured I should do it (almost) right at least once!

1. My Body the City: The Secret life of a Manhattan Call Girl for sharing experiences and for bravery in the face of opposition.

2. Robotic Rhetoric for making me laugh.

3. Kimberly’s writings for openness.

4. Life in the Blue Ridges for sharing experiences and feelings – and pub recommendations…

5. The Literary Man for covering so many things.  And for raising my expectations about immortal squid!

6. B & W Bears for their photos, especially the ones of food!

7. Cristian Mihai for reminding me that the opportunities are there for those who want to take them

8. Grammaniac for the proofreading quirks

9. Stylekoo for the escapism – and giving me design envy!

10. Health and swellness for the girly stuff…

These are all blogs I have found/have found me since I set up this blog.  There are so many great blogs out there that it was hard to choose 10, but I tried to cover different elements of me – writing, proofreading, photography, food, nail varnish(!) – rather than just stick to writing ones.  I have decided on this occasion not to nominate pre-blogging friends but should this opportunity come up again I may do so as their sites are fab too!

In other news – this week I have been trying to improve my memory.  The older I get the more I need to exercise my brain, and I am hoping this will help with the editing of the novel.  The theory is that I’ll be more aware and notice/remember where I’ve used a phrase before, or changed something silly like the side of a house a particular room is on, those sorts of things.  These things really jar on me when I read them in other books, but I am sure I am not as aware of them in my own!  We shall see if I get the benefits I want, fingers crossed.

Also – I found this article in the Guardian, and thought it tied in nicely, particularly about the use and overuse of phrases and the need to find and remove all the clichés!  This was explored in my writing course, and has been the subject of a number of conversations with my partner, friends and family – and I own books full of quotes, proverbs and sayings, so I do pick up a lot of well-used phrases!  The article does give hints and tips as to how to overcome this, so I hope you find it useful.  It’s another thing to print out and stick up on a wall somewhere I think…

Happy writing,



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