Notary on a Unicycle and an Award!

NotaryUnicycle.jpgI’ve been working on a series of ink and ink wash illustrations of snippets of conversations I’ve overheard randomly – thus I’ve been affectionately calling them “Overheards”. The conversations are already out of context in most cases, and I’ve tried to heighten that by making the conversations between fruits and birds. Don’t know where this will go, but may I present to you the first one and say that there are more on the way!

Right before I left for my Asia trip, I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Steve D’Adamo of Red String Paper Cuts. Luckily, I don’t think the nominations expire, so here I am, accepting it a month later! Thank you, Steve! Thank you also for introducing me to several more really cool bloggers in your nomination post!

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To accept the award I must:

Thank the bloggers who nominated me and provide a link to their blogs.

Write a post to show my award.

Give a brief story as to how my blog got started.

Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

Select 15 other bloggers for this award.

Comment on each blog to let them know I nominated them and link them to this post.

Thank the bloggers who nominated me and provide a link to their blogs.
I was nominated by Steve D’Adamo over at Red String Paper Cuts. Steve and his friend Jesse Gutierrez started RSPC not long after I started Illustrated Poetry and they have always graciously allowed me to hang around and occasionally contribute to their blog. Always good stuff over at RSPC! Thank you again for the nomination!

Give a brief story as to how my blog got started:
I actually have a confession to make: this was supposed to be an author blog. Towards the end of grad school, I wrote a novel – my first, to be precise (it was also my first serious attempt at writing anything non-science since college). Like most first-novel-attempts, it wasn’t very good, but also like many first time novelists, I didn’t realize that at first (it was definitely my baby). So I was trying to figure out what to do with this novel, how to get it published, and the first piece of advice everyone seemed to dispense in those days to aspiring authors was to start a blog. So I made a WP account…and then did nothing with it. I didn’t really want to write about writing and somewhere along the line, I realized a half-hearted author blog wasn’t going to cut it. But I didn’t give up on blogging and decided to blog about and connect with people through something I had always been really passionate about: art and poetry.  And I am so glad I did!

Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers:
I am probably the last person who should be dispensing blogging advice! But, if pressed, I would say: 1) blog about what you are most passionate about – doesn’t matter if that seems quirky or offbeat. Some of my favorite blogs on WP are quirky or about highly specialized topics and that’s what makes them great. 2) It’s your blog, it should be fun – it doesn’t matter if the prevailing advice is to post once a day or to write posts tagged with the top 10 trending tags, if that’s not fun for you, don’t do it. Need a blogging break? Take one.

Nominate 15 other bloggers – Well, it’s not going to be 15, and this is the part where the whole awards thing breaks down for me – my nominees are always “no strings attached” and I free them from any sort of obligation in regards to acceptance or post writing. It’s hard enough to find the time to post when we do! I hope folks visit and enjoy their blogs and discover new writers to follow.

I may have realized that I don’t like writing about writing, but I sure do enjoy it when talented authors do! In that vein, I have nominated 5 writers who I really enjoy following and often write about writing in an interesting way:

  1. Jane Dougherty Writes – I think Ms. Dougherty was the second or third blogger I followed and she very kindly endured novice-blogger me! Ms. Dougherty is the author of nearly a dozen books (by my count) and hosts fun microfiction challenges.
  2. Myths of the Mirror – this is D. Wallace Peach’s author blog and she posts interesting articles about writing fantasy (need to design a magic system, anyone?). Her series of posts about deciding to terminate her contract with her previous publisher and self-publish her novels was absolutely top notch and I highly recommend it.
  3. M.C. Tuggle, Writer – a writer of many different types of fiction, Mr. Tuggle posts on a similarly wide range of writing topics. I really appreciate that he scours the web and WP for good articles and posts about writing so you don’t have to!
  4. Kate M. Colby – I think I ran across Ms. Colby’s blog right after she started it, before her first book was published and she’s now on her third! I find her approach to discussing issues in publishing and writing to be refreshing and approachable. I also admire her systematic and businesslike attitude towards her own work and her decision to self-publish.
  5. American Writers Exposed – Sometimes you need some relief and a hilarious internet meme about writing and Ms. Jessica and Ms. Sandi post these alongside updates and articles about the nitty gritty of writing and publication. Their blog has the feel of a friendly support group for writers.

Okay! Thank you so much again, Steve, for the nomination! I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start.

23 comments

  1. Love the idea – overheard snippets retold with a fruit and bird 🙂 You should watch Over The Garden Wall if you haven’t seem it. I think you’d like it. What was your novel about? Did you ever start on a second?

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    1. Thank you! And thank you for the recommendation – I have not seen Over the Garden Wall, but I plan to check it out. My novel was (is, as it still exists!) a fantasy novel about a young mother who is killed and has to fight her way through the afterlife to get back to the living world and stop her murderer from taking advantage of her unsuspecting family. I did start and finish a second novel, totally unrelated to the first, and then have about half a dozen partly finished ones. I don’t seem to have trouble coming up with ideas – just on the follow-through! 🙂

      I am intrigued that your Green Stars idea came from a novel you wrote – do you mind if I ask the same, what your novel was (is!) about? (Go Bears!, BTW, I did my undergrad at Berkeley)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like the idea of your novel.
        Perhaps you can publish a first chapter on your blog to get an idea of how people feel about it. I may do the same some day. Mine actually has a reincarnation theme too! It’s about two people who meet at a cooking class and form a new friendship. One of them persuades the other to have a Tarot card reading, and the reader gives him some information that makes him start questioning his life.
        I know what you mean – follow through is hard. To put lots of effort in and hear almost nothing back in return. Someday I’ll resume the search for an agent. Have you looked for one?
        How long has it been since you’ve been to Berkeley? These days it’s a battleground – but I guess that’s nothing new 😛

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      2. Thank you!
        I love the idea of finding people again in another life – is your novel set in the modern day? (I would guess so from the cooking class – but you never know!) A friend that I have known for almost 25 years, we often joke that we knew each other in a past life. I’ve read that the author of the The Martian put most (or all) of his chapters up over the years on his blog and got lots of feedback before the book became a bestseller – so it’s worked for some folks!

        I did attempt to find an agent way back right after I wrote the book – got a few form rejections but mostly silence. In retrospect, the book wasn’t ready at all: it hadn’t even undergone a proper or objective edit. And I committed at least half a dozen “don’t do these” in my query letters!

        I visit Berkeley from time to time to see friends from college and attend meetings over in SF – although I haven’t been to campus in long while! The last time I drove by, I was floored to see Warren Hall gone and that new biomedical building in its place!

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  2. Congrats on the award, Marcy, and thanks so much for the nomination! What a treat to be “overheard.” I completely agree about your advice for bloggers. This has to be fun or why do it? Have a great week 😀

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    1. Thank you! My advice was also a gentle reminder to myself – my scientific training leads me to take “requirements” and “deadlines” very seriously, even when they are self-imposed, and thus the need for the occasional reminder to myself to relax and enjoy the experience. 🙂

      I always enjoy your blog posts and appreciate you sharing your writing journey with us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your idea of ‘Overheards’. I’m always collecting snippets of others’ conversations….not much fun going out to dinner with me as I’m often tuning in at another table or into passing conversations!

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      1. Hey Marcy,
        First of all congrats on the award. Second, though I’m blind and the illustrations aren’t accessibility ready, I think the concept of overheard is very intriguing and interesting. I was browsing through my reader when I came upon this blog that caught my attention. It’s true that writers would do better promoting themselves and their work through social media, and after a few rejections that boggled my mind, I realized I would have to carve some time for the blogging, some more to compose frequent posts. I totally agree with your assessment and connect to your experience in a personal level. The work after writing is tedious, yes, but very satisfying. I love when I finish editing a chapter and know that I left it polished with a glowing sheen. When I fall asleep doing it, however, I put it aside. Knowing I have no deadlines except the ones I place on myself – and can make it flexible – keeps putting the book together in a presentable form enjoyable and fun instead of a project I need to rush and finish fast. Plus, the outcome can be different. I understand deadlines are good for some, but for me, it would only keep me on my toes and rushing things about. For that reason, I decided I’d finish the trilogy before I publish the first book. Until then, I’ve started my own blog. I confess, I didn’t think I could make it, and still have my doubts. Reading this post actually boosted my spirit some, gave me hope I hadn’t realized had been lagging behind.
        So, cheers,
        Jina Bazzar

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      2. Dear Jina,
        Thank you for the kind note! (Thank you also for reminding me about the accessibility settings – I had made it a goal to be more consistent about using them after I took an online workshop about accessibility. But clearly, I have not yet achieved this goal!). Blogging can and does take a lot of time, and so I think if your heart is not in it, it won’t last long. As I said, writing about writing didn’t light my creative fire but I sure do enjoy reading what folks like yourself have to say, and I look forward to your future posts about your writing journey!

        Liked by 1 person

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