The Most Influential Blogger Award

A big thank you to Don Charisma who awarded me this badge.  most-influential-blogger

In case you’re not one of his gazillion followers, Don lives in Thailand and posts, among other things, amazing sunsets. He took a break from Photoshop to spread a little blog love among his legion of blogger friends, and I turned out to be one of them.

Just goes to show you don’t have to be influential to be an influential blogger, but it helps to know someone who is. If you check out Don’s blog you’ll soon see what a thoroughly bloody nice bloke he is too. Being British, he’ll know exactly what that means.

Now I’m passing on the same award to 10 more bloggers. Whether they’re the kind of blogger who accepts awards or not is immaterial. They’re getting a mention today because they’re influential to me.

Fellow writer Debbie Young: she’s prolific, smart, resourceful, warm, supportive and all the other things you could wish for. I’m in danger of using up a whole dictionary to describe her so why don’t you just check out her blog ? And if you have anything to do with type 1 diabetes, her book Coming to Terms with Type 1 Diabetes is a must.

Australian-born Jessica Bell, author of non-fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She’s also an artist, musician and designer, which quite frankly is way too much talent for one person. Her lovely blog is the Alliterative Allomorph.

Queen of self-publishing Catherine Ryan Howard whose blog Catherine, Caffeinated dispenses laughs along with sound advice.

The Write Romantics

The Write Romantics

The fine people at The Write Romantics.

They’re all members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writer Scheme, and they also run a great virtual book club for romantic fiction. 

Mary Lane who blogs at New York Cliche. It’s an American-sized slice of life and it makes me long to hop on a plane across the pond, which I don’t do often enough.

Another Australian, Eli Glasman, author (published and everything!), whose blog is witty and thought-provoking.  His debut novel The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew is about a homosexual boy in an orthodox Jewish community and will be out soon. As it were.

Anne Wainscott who blogs at The Writing Well.  She’s an accomplished story-teller and I’m looking forward to reading the historical novel she’s currently working on.

Michael La Ronn, the author of Decision Select novels. Not your everyday contemporary fantasies, because in Michael’s stories the reader gets to decide what happens.

The Lancet’s student blog, where you can find out what medical students think of issues such as bereavement and the demise of the traditional stethoscope.

stethoscope

Doctor and writer Richard Smith, who contributes to the British Medical Journal blogs. I might not necessarily agree with him, but he’s always got plenty to say.

Finally Don asked me to include a YouTube video of my current favourite song. You came so close, Lana del Rey, but Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons had the edge with their classic Beggin.  It’ll be in the CD player as soon as I pick up the rental car at Newark airport next month and head south on the NJ Turnpike to see my US family.

 

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Spreading a Little Sunshine

There’s nothing January can do to redeem itself in my eyes, other than apologise and segue into February without delay.  Thirty-one days of it are just too much, especially in the UK where the weather is dismal and it doesn’t even have the decency to snow any more.  But I had to grin from ear to ear and reach for my shades when I got a Sunshine Award from Mr Don Charisma himself.sunshineaward

Thank you very much for this, Don.

Naturally no man gives a woman anything without there being strings attached.   Unfortunately I can’t display the badge on my blog in any permanent fashion as I am too damn stupid at WordPress.  This may be rectified later.  I won’t be any less stupid, but I will have asked someone.

Not all bloggers like accepting awards so let’s just call my list the blogs that light up my screen and my life. They fit the bill because, to use Don’s words, they positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.  Here are my 10 bloggers who deserve an award:

Don Charisma for his great charm and good humour.  I loved Whose Blog Is It Anyway? and I suspect everyone else did too.

Ellen Arnison of In a Bun Dance.  She’s almost invariably  cheery, with the happy knack of seeing the beauty in all manner of things.  OK, her post on murdered 3 year old Mikaeel Kular wasn’t quite in that mould, but it contained great good sense and a warning to those who don’t understand what sub judice means.  For some reason I’m unable to post comments on her blog so this award will have to do.

Debbie Young at her personal blog Young By Name. Debbie is an accomplished author and blogger writer whose posts are brimming with life and crammed with unexpected little treasures.  I can’t do her blog justice so you’ll just have to read it for yourself.

Catherine Ryan Howard for Catherine, Caffeinated which is famed for its humorous encouragement. Without her guidance many writers would have stalled.  Catherine is truly the AA and RAC of self-publishing.

Time Thief from One Cool Site.  It is the go-to place for WordPress tips and inspiration as well as being, well, one cool site.

Suz Jones of It Goes On.  Suz blogs about depression and much more, and turns out it’s really uplifting stuff.  A worthy recipient of Blog of the Year 2013.

Seif Salama Karem.  His posts are often dark and can be political, so they’re not always easy reading, but they have a lyrical quality reminiscent of Khalil Gibran, whose work we both love.

The team at Chick Lit Club who deal with all things chick-lit.  Respect to head honcho Steph who sanctioned a review of my novel  despite one of my characters being incredibly rude about her home town.  She clearly has a sunny and forgiving nature.

The bloggers at Varsity newspaper.  Their contributions shine with enthusiasm for student life in all its forms.  Guaranteed to make you feel 18 again, especially if like me the Fen Poly is your alma mater.

Yes, I know. There are only 9, because one of my favourite bloggers has stopped blogging. So I’m sulking.   But in life there are things even jollier than blogs, like my family, friends and cat. And look at this fella sitting in the middle of the road, probably because it’s as wet as the river.  Any nearer those yellow lines and he’d have got points on his license.

Swan in Ely

One day I may list 10 of those kinds of things, just for fun.

Now there’s something else I’m meant to do in accepting the Sunshine Award: tell you 10 interesting things about myself.  As you’re busy people and I’m not that interesting, you’re only getting 7.

1 My cat is a ginger female called Mishmish, which is ‘apricot’ in Arabic and in Hebrew.

2 My idol is Martin Luther King.

3 A long time ago I actually saw the Beatles. Not that I heard them, because everyone was screaming.

4 I don’t need sat nav as my sense of direction is excellent.  Besides, there’s a map in the back of the car.

5 At school I did Russian O-level.

6 Some of my oldest childhood friends are still my closest.

7 I love writing.  It’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Though you can also do it with your clothes off if you want.typewriter