“Very Inspiring Blogger Award” Nominee Considers It an Honor Just to Be Allowed Internet Access

Very Inspiring Blogger AwardI’m well aware that my scattershot topical approach, my avoidance of narrow specialization, my complete lack of millions of share-happy friends, and my refusal to curse probably sabotage the chances of Midlife Crisis Crossover ever being seriously considered for the sort of major awards that have committees, budgets, perks, or multiple voters. I appreciate it, then, when another writer in the Internet trenches takes the time to send an encouraging gesture in my direction.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is one of many such gestures available to us. It’s not an official commendation with a nomination process or a governing body or a brick-and-mortar hall of fame that our family could visit on our next road trip. Quite the contrary, the VIBA is a pass-it-on pick-me-up that comes when least expected, means no harm, and provides opportunities for networking and paying forward to others.

Special thanks are owed to Tony Roberts at A Way With Words for this duly acceptable nomination. It’s especially noteworthy to me because Tony is one of only three other WordPress.com users from Indiana that I can recall encountering in MCC’s eleven months of existence. If I include WordPress.org, the head count expands to a whopping four. Truly we Hoosier bloggers are a mighty, tiny army. (If any other Hoosier bloggers are out there, that’d be nifty to know. I can’t even hear you breathing.)

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“Liebster Award” Nominee Ruins Own Ceremony by Forgetting to Make Any Controversial Remarks

Liebster Award!In recent months I’ve received notification not once, but twice by fellow bloggers who were kind enough to think of me and notice my low follower count when brainstorming their nominations for the Liebster Award. For readers new to the blogosphere: most blogging awards aren’t decades-old ceremonial traditions determined by committees or democracy. Most of them are congenial badges passed from blogger to blogger as a way of promoting each other’s talents, encouraging networking, and spreading good cheer whenever our malicious Site Stats page is lying to us about our traffic stats. In my mind, I think of them as Mega-Likes.

I’ve dragged my feet on my Liebster Award acceptance post for a few different reasons. I kept forgetting about it. Other writing ideas kept crowding past it to the forefront of my brain. I didn’t feel worthy. The Internet got in my eyes. The dog ate my acceptance notes. That sort of thing. However, I knew I needed to move forward on it soon, because I may be in imminent danger of disqualification. The Liebster Award can only be gifted to bloggers with a low number of followers. Evidence shows the threshold was 3,000 followers or less at one point in Liebster Award history; as of the most recent Draconian revision, new nominees must now have less than 200 followers. A lucky streak last week left me dancing on the edge with exactly 200 followers for a day, until the balance and my humility were restored when a bitter Twitter spammer dropped me after I refused them the courtesy of an undeserved return Follow. Even at 199 followers as of this writing, my hard-earned Liebster Award is two new spammers away from getting me summoned before a Liebster Award Internal Affairs review board, surely a fate worse than zero-traffic.

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“Very Inspiring Blogging Award” Nominee Begins Saving Up for Full-Page “Variety” Ad

Very Inspiring Blogger AwardAfter a most unusual Labor Day Weekend enlivened by the responses to “The Day an Empty Chair Ruled the Internet“, I was humbled and flattered to be notified and nominated for a “Very Inspiring Blogging Award”. I’ve see similar awards passed around other blogs in the vicinity, but this is the first time one was pinned in my general direction. Suffice it to say, when someone presents me with the word “award” in it, I’m nothing less than honored and grateful.

Out of curiosity as a relative newcomer to the WordPress community, I tried researching the history of this blessed community achievement, but the roads were many and tangled. Who created this prize? Who was the original governing body or organization? Is there a Hall of Fame dedicated to past nominees and winners? Alas, the trail that I followed only went as far back as January 2012 before dead-ending, despite my resorting to viewing Google cached pages to connect a few broken links. Along the path I encountered many an exercise guru, photographer par excellence, fellow Christian, wizened sage, creative powerhouse, master chef, published author, and talking cat. I consider myself privileged to share the same datastream as these peers, predecessors, professionals, authority figures, and cats with an above-average command of spelling and grammar.

The official rules for accepting this nomination showed minute variations, as filtered through each respective nominee’s writing style, but always numbered at least four:

1. Display the nomination logo on your blog. See above.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you. Special, humbled thanks to Enchanted Seashells for the unexpected nod. To acknowledge this honor tonight, my planned tribute to Dial H for Hero has been postponed until a later date.

3. State 7 things about yourself. For those keeping score at home, consider these Bullet Points #101-107:

101. My best possible chance to participate in the National Spelling Bee was ruined by the word “fulsome”.
102. The first ‘D’ I ever received on a report card was in tenth-grade Debate class.
103. Despite dozens of recommendations from very well-meaning friends, I’ve never seen Fireproof because I’m afraid of how I’ll react.
104. I know all the words to “Bring the Noise”, but I prefer Public Enemy’s original to the later jam version with Anthrax.
105. The only soap opera I can say I ever really followed was Knots Landing.
106. I’m now collecting twice as many Image Comics series as I am DC Comics series.
107. One of my ears used to be pierced.

4. Nominate 15 other blogs for the Very Inspiring Blogging Award. And here we go:

1. Bucket List Publications, which I’m pretty sure is already deservedly festooned with awards a-plenty, but consider the fearless Mrs. Carter hereby named nonetheless.

2. Cristian Mihai; same deal here in terms of extra-awardedness. I first began following him early into my new-blog acclimatization period and found plenty of useful takeaways form his regular dollops of writing advice, even though he’s almost half my age and I don’t have an actual book fully planned in my head just yet.

3. Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth.
Recommended reading: “In Defence of Libraries

4. One Grain Amongst the Storm
Recommended reading: “The Last Salute

5. Canadian Hiking Photography
Recommended viewing: All of it. Grab a drink, give those sumptuous pages time to load, then marvel at the results.

6. Clotilda Jamcracker
Recommended reading: “Bring out your dead

7. Leanne Cole’s Photography Field Trips
Recommended montage: “Architecture in the Picture

8. Ms. Elena Levon Traveling. Great motto: “I choose to collect memories instead of things.” This is almost exactly why our family buys far fewer souvenirs than the average tourists, and why I’ve written online about our road trips every year.
Recommended reading: “Letter To My Father

9. retireediary
Recommended photo spread: “The Rainbow of Flowers in Biei and Furano, Japan

10. Simply Sage
Recommended viewing: “Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

11. Together
Recommended reading: “Murder in the First” (It helps if, like me, you watched the movie years ago and can still remember the impression it left on you.)

12. Honie Briggs
Recommended reading: “Eighteen Hours in a Red Cross Shelter

13. The Smile Scavenger
Recommended reading: “‘Wow, That’s a Big Jump!’: a Fool’s Guide to Making Drastic Career Changes“.

14. LIFE is unwritten
Recommended reading: “How to Change the World Without Really Trying

15. Iconically Rare
Recommended reading: “Releasing Your Inner Superhero — Iconic Exemplars

As always, thanks very much for reading. Emphatic thanks once again to Enchanted Seashells for the nomination. For those of you still along for the ride, I hope at least one future post here will be worth your time.

Good night to one and all, stay well, drive safely, may God bless you, keep reaching for the stars, and don’t forget to tip your valet. That goes double for you talking cats, who really shouldn’t be driving anyway.

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