blog awards

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!


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.

It’s Award Wednesday!

Illustrated Poetry was recently nominated for two different awards – and so I thought I would combine my thanks, appreciation, and reply into one mega-award post!

First and foremost, I want to sincerely thank the bloggers who nominated me:

Little Monster Girl for The Versatile Blogger Award (see the nominating post, which has an excellent list of other interesting blogs here)


The Many Writings of Adinah for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award (nominating post, with list of awesome nominees, is here)

Thank you thank you!

I have never formulated an official policy on blog awards and I’ve decided to approach them like I approach illustrating poetry – be very organic and go where my heart and artistic whim leads me. After doing a little research on the two awards (The Versatile Blogger Award even has its own blog) and observing how the awards change and grow, I feel pretty good about doing a mash-up of the two, with a little sprinkling of the No Strings Attached Award: an award sundae, if you will.

4 questions answered (for the Sisterhood Award) and 4 facts about myself (for the Versatile Blogger Award):

1. Favorite Lines of Poetry:

“We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”

– T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”


“Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray

from the straight road and woke to find myself

alone in a dark wood. How shall I say

what wood that was!”

– Canto I, opening lines, The Divine Comedy, Dante Aligheri

2. My earliest memory:

When my parents brought my newborn sister home from the hospital. They sat me on my grandmother’s sofa and sitting on either side of me, set her in my lap to hold. I would have been almost 3 1/2  – the decades have gone by, but it is still one of my favorite memories as well.

3. Mustard or Ketchup?

This is so contextual – ketchup on fries, but mustard on sandwiches – I really can’t choose.

4. If you had to choose a past decade to live in, which would it be:

The 1920s – the fashion! the art! the style! pretty good hygiene! almost modern medicine! (the last two reasons was the microbiologist in me speaking)

5. Fun Fact 1: I continue the proud tradition of research scientists everywhere in that there is not enough coffee in the whole world for me. But I am definitely the only scientist on my hallway that drinks their coffee out of a “Read Banned Books” mug from the Mark Twain house in Hartford, Conn.

6. Fun Fact 2: I don’t own a television – and this is incredibly frustrating to the Comcast salesman who patrols our neighborhood and all cable company customer service phone reps (I call for internet issues and I get “Yes, ma’am, I see that you don’t currently have cable with us…” Nope, I don’t!).

7. Fun Fact 3: I did not see snow fall from the sky until I was in my early twenties. That’s one thing that growing up in Southern California will do for you!

8. Fun Fact 4: I love tiny houses! The tiny house movement is basically about reconsidering the spaces we inhabit in terms of size and utilization. My admiration for these small houses is both practical (the bigger the house, the more you have to clean!) and artistic (the innovation of some of these projects is amazing). There are so many blogs (especially of nothing but tiny house pics on Tumblr – like this one) – but for a written intro to the tiny house movement, you can look here. Sadly, I do not live in a tiny house – a tiny rented apartment, yes – but not the custom tiny house of my dreams.

No Strings Attached – Nominees

In addition to my amazing and talented collaborators over the past year, whose blogs maintain a standing order of “check these out” (can always find them in the side bar links list), I wanted to ping a few bloggers whose work I’ve consistently enjoyed and admire. They are welcome to take up either the No Strings Attached Award or Versatile Blogger Award baton, but my main goal is to spread the word about their work and express my appreciation for their blogs:

1) A-wing and A-way: This blog has consistently informative and well written articles on all topics bird related. Not birdwatching, per se, but the history of our cultural associations and mythology about birds. I learn something new every time I visit. Each article also features beautiful original bird artwork by the author’s wife.

2) Graceful Press Poetry: Ms. Knoblock’s poetry is always good, but what strikes me about her work is how many classical literature and mythological allusions she weaves into her poems. I aspire to one day do as well with the vast English Literature canon!

3) John Sapiro: John Sapiro and I have been following each other’s blogs pretty much since the beginning of both. Mr. Sapiro is fearless in his mash-ups of art, literature, history, music, and poetry. He animates quite a few of his posts, which I admire (the two gifs I have made for Illustrated Poetry took me untold hours to create, so I really do appreciate the work it takes).

4) A House to Live: I love the simple beauty of this blog. Ms. Mtz draws houses and sometimes imagines their interiors. She also features quotes about house and home. Just lovely. Her blog touches on my love of tiny houses (see fun fact 4).