Monday, September 26, 2011

The Liebster Award

I have been sitting on this for a bit, as much out of bashfulness as anything else. I'm not sure how important this award is in the greater scheme of things -- I'm guessing more than the Nebula or the Nobel peace prize, less than a Golden Globe or whoever gets the NASCAR crown or belt or whatever they give those guys. Is it a helmet? That would make sense.

But this came to me from Neil Vogler, of A Writer, He Muttered, along with the kind of encomium I'd order from a catalog if given a choice. Check it out. I'll be posting on this later, but he's given me cause to contemplate my developing public persona. (Holy smokes, there actually is one. How the hell did that happen?)

I've been reading Neil's blog since he posted a comment here some time ago. Thoughtful work by an introspective young writer/musician, well worth your time.

So. As one of the conditions of receiving this award, I need to pass it on to five recipients with less than two hundred followers. I'm using Neil's protocol; if I have a hard time figuring out how many followers someone has? They're in.

I've recently done a post in which I covered my usual suspects. Here are some people I am not always going on about.

Glendon Mellow's blog, The Flying Trilobite, concerns science, art, and the areas of their intersection, as well as Glendon's developing career. As I've mentioned before many times, Glendon and I have been engaging in a glacially-paced long-distance conversation about art for some years now, and he's turned my views upside-down more than once. And right now he's got a post up about the development of a rather nice painting -- I'd go take a look if I were you.

In the spirit in which the Leibster award was given me, I'd like to send you to Letters From Valentina Hepburn. Valentina commented on one of my posts the other day, and I tracked her back to her blog, where I proceeded to spent the next two or three hours, enchanted.

I suppose I need to provide a bit of context here. A while ago, the missus picked up a Billy Joel collection at a yard sale. Due to my keen ability to move away from the radio, I've never heard a Billy Joel song all the way through. I thought it would be a giggle to listen to it. I don't mind simplistic pop, I have an occasional taste for musical garbage...

Big mistake. Big, big mistake. It damaged my brain. And I'd like to single out the song Pressure. In any truly civilized nation, the hook for Pressure would place Mr. Joel outside the protection of law.

I had that hook jammed in my brain for days when I started reading Letters From Valentina, and it immediately evaporated, to be replaced by the infinitely-preferable Dave Edmunds version of Girl Talk. Valentina's blog is very feminine in a very particular way, and honestly? To me it reads like a fairy tale. A place of wonders and perils beyond my (sullen, brutal, unwashed) imagining. A world so distinctly removed from my own that I can't bring myself to believe it exists.

But I really hope it does.

Let's head to the other end of the spectrum, shall we? I suspect that Nick Mamatas may have too many followers to qualify, but I believe I've already weaseled my way out of that one. Nick's blog is as political as well as writerly. He has a tendency to point upward, and you look, and by golly, there's the sole of a boot coming right at you. Over and over again. He won't participate in this, of course. It's not his kind of thing, and if you were to put that banner on that site? The internet would evaporate.

E.F. Kelley's Port Terra is an insider view of media-based pop culture that places the current science fiction tradition squarely inside the larger world of the media. Frankly, he's one of the reasons I'm less dismissive of movie and television-related material than I used to be. The thought he displays in his discussions of Star Trek and comic book babes makes them interesting to me in the same way that Glendon helped make fine art more accessible to me. (If I don't expand in both directions, I might warp.)

Finally, I suppose there's no excuse for this. But he is a pal. And he's a working father developing a writing career and editing/publishing a literary magazine, so if we can lure him into posting more frequently, we might be able to deprive him of sleep entirely. What jolly fun!

And anyway, don't you want to read about Jesus, The Egg-Laying Bunny?

Of course you do. Ladies and gents, Rob Pierce, Two Verbs!


Neil Vogler said...

Glad you've enjoyed receiving the Liebster, Sean (or at least, felt pressured enough to do something about it...). These are some interesting people you have passed it on to.

Oh, and major props for your usage of the word "encomium"...

Valentina Hepburn said...

Sean, thank you very much. I loved what you wrote about Letters from Valentina Hepburn and so happy that it brought you so much pleasure. I guess that's what's it all about. Enjoyment. And I love writing it.
Your blog is so different. It's what I like about yours. You write about about your thoughts and feelings and not about writing and all it's pitfalls, something I feel totally saturated in. Uncomfortably so.
Vive la difference!
Love Valentina x
PS May I include what you said about Letters from Valentina Hepburn on my blog. I would love to.

Sean Craven said...

Thanks, Neil. I've been making people read what you wrote about me. I'm really getting a kick out of getting the same sorts of adjectives as a war crime or gang-related activity.

And I abominate the restrictions of vocabulary under which we must so frequently operate -- it is not hard to look up words.

Valentina, you are more than welcome to use any of my comments at will. And I'm certain that once I have the manuscript making rounds I'll be interested in writing about nothing but synopses and agents. We shall see.

Tanya Reimer said...

Congrats on the award. Love the descriptions of those you passed it onto. I came over from Valentina's and it's great meeting you!