Last week I had the great pleasure of learning that I’d been tapped for some Major Blog Love by Ellen Gregory, when she awarded me with the Liebster Blog Award. (Yes, that is me you hear hootin’ and hollerin’ just because winning stuff is fun and festive!) So my sincere thanks to Ellen 😀
To explain, I’m going to quote Ellen who quoted Laird, who quoted Mike Schulenberg:
According to legends that come to us from antiquity, the Liebster is meant for blogs that motivate, inspire, and have 200 followers or less. Its apparent purpose is to summon new followers like some sort of mystical talisman, increasing the power of those of us who are just beginning. — Mike Schulenberg
The Liebster Blog rules:
- Thank the person who nominated you on your blog and link back to them.
- Nominate up to 5 others for the award.
- Let them know by commenting on your blog.
- Post the award on your blog.
So without further ado, I select the following five to spread the Liebster love:
Janet Lawler: The New York Screenwriting Life
Kathryn Magendie: Writing From My Mountain Cove
Heather Webb: Between the Sheets
Sherry Issac: Psychological Sizzle
Jodi Lea Stewart: Walking on Sunshine
And really this is merely the tip of the Island of Beautiful Blogs. But it does bring to mind the fact that it isn’t merely about being entertained, informed, and having a friendly chit-chat across cyberspace. There is also the absolute joy or connection with like minds — or even not so like minds.
The following post seems a good fit with Liebster Love. It’s a repost from my long ago, far away blog, but remains a favorite for it’s close proximity to my heart.
COMRADES OF THE PEN
Do you recall your very first best friend? How about your first writing friend? The one you excitedly shared your aspirations with, secure in knowing your heart’s desire was completely safe and theft proof in the vault, because your best writing friend shared the inherent angst, struggle, and unsurpassed joy of putting words on paper.
Hugh Hefner, The Early Years
I started writing my “little stories’ in grade school, keeping everything in various notebooks that I’ve long lost track of. My first foray into writing with a friend was in third grade and it nearly landed me in the hot seat down at the principal’s office. My friend and I (also named Barbara), had somehow came up with the then thrilling idea to co-author a weekly newspaper, the name of which was THE NAKED CITY. We’d heard the title on a television program and been shocked, titillated, and immediately tempted to be naughty. I don’t recall much story-telling in this joint venture, but the main feature of our newspaper were naked stick-figures adventuring in a big city. It was all great fun for a week or two, and my co-writer, Barbara, was most generous in offering to keep our back-list publications safely tucked away in her classroom desk. We were wildly enthusiastic to share our newspaper with classmates, and the brief surge of popularity was heady stuff. Or at least up until the moment when one dissatisfied reader tattled to our teacher and Barbara was forced to hand over our complete inventory of THE NAKED CITY on the spot. Barbara was prompt in implicating me as her trusty co-writer, and I was equally prompt in responding with a vehement denial.
Seventh Grade, The Bronx Bomber Comes To Town
I grew up in a small town in New York. Postcard pretty: farms, rolling hills, mostly quiet, and generally peaceful. A new family moving in was immediately noted and carefully watched as they blended in. Maybe it was the leather jacket, the movie magazine tucked under her arm (when the rest of us were still reading Archie comics), or a combination of both, but from the first day when the new kid swaggered onto the school bus, my attentions were immediately captured and have held steady for over 35 years.
Unlike myself, who kept my writerly aspirations safely tucked away for my eyes only, waiting for my confidence to kick in, Janet made no secret of the fact that she was an aspiring screenwriter. Born and raised in the Bronx, she was an all out enigma in our small town and quickly became known as “The Star.” Whenever she arrived in English class toting a newly finished script, our teacher was enthusiastic in allowing the class to read and perform her masterpieces. Needless to say I was thoroughly enthralled with this leather clad epitome of all things cool. Our friendship came on fast and furious in such a way that has held on strong for the duration. We’ve come a long way from the days of skipping school to sit at Janet’s kitchen table drinking tea and typing her scripts, and despite time and distance, she remains my top-tier writing champion. It’s been a thrilling ride, supported each other from rock bottom rejections to the exhilaration of standing on the summit. While my debut novel currently makes its way in the world, Janet, too, has had a myriad of writerly accomplishments: writing award wining plays, a movie script optioned by a renowned Hollywood director, and writer of a popular blog, THE NEW YORK SCREENWRITING LIFE:
Social Media. Blessing or curse? I’ll be honest and admit that my first foray into social media was in consideration of what I assumed was a necessary evil for authors with stuff to promote. I didn’t get it — until I did. Certainly promotion is essential on some level in some places, but the true treasure to be gathered from those favorite Facebook groups, blogs, websites, etc, is the connection to REAL people traveling the same road, carrying a familiar cargo, and pressing on to similar destinations. Sort’ve like one REALLY BIG road trip.
I find it remarkable and exhilarating. These are not simply avatars passing on the internet, they are shoulder to shoulder, pen stroke to keyboard, comrades of the written word. Yep, right here with me, generous, sympathetic, and just as enthusiastic to accept the invitation to my party as I am to accept theirs.
A recent glowing example of newly discovered writer love came to me with the discovery of a most fabulous novel and it’s equally fabulous author. Several weeks ago I found myself reading “Tender Graces” by Kathryn Magendie. Now when I say fabulous, what I mean specifically is that I LOVE everything about this book . I’m talking Triple Crown: story, characters, writing style. Now, in my pre-social media life, I would have loved this book, studied the author bio on the back cover, and wondered all sorts of things about this mysterious creature who could write so beautifully. Not so in the here and now where we can find books, love them, and “meet” their authors, as I myself did with Kathryn Magendie, an incredibly gracious writer who has much to share and does so most generously. Comrade of the pen? You betcha! (And a crazy cool aside, she was reading my novel, The Secret of Lies, at the same time I was falling in love with her book. A situation guaranteed to kick-up the thrill of reading several notches.)
Writer love is a most wonderful thing and I gladly trade my promotional aspirations for the far more durable gift of pen-to-pen friendships. How about it, have you been thoughtful in passing around some of your own writer love? Would love to hear how you discovered your comrades of the Pen 🙂
Congratulations, Barbara! I love the spirit of this award, and you certainly reflect it in a beautiful way.
Thanks so much for your lovely thoughts, Elizabeth. Truly appreciated.
Nicely done, Barbara. Congratulations on the award. Ellen tagged me too so I’m going to have to come up with something really, really terrific to top this lovely post.
And I’m so happy to be standing around in the grand ol’ Liebster spotlight with you Judy! So glad you enjoyed my post, but no question, your Liebster offering is guaranteed to be a gem–your posts always are.
Now you have me blushing!
Congrats, Barbara! Much Liebster, WANA, & writer love to you and thanks for sharing Comrade of the Pen. It’s almost like it was written for the #mywana experience.
Hey fellow, Liebster-ite! Congratulations to you, too 🙂 Oh yeah, but Wana is AMAZING! I think my next post could very well be titled “How do I love My Wana, Let me count the ways.” The only glitch being I’d never want to end it.
The award looks very nice on your blog. Congrats 🙂
Thank you, Mike — AKA, Grand Master Liebster! I know I speak for many when I say how much I appreciate your bringing Liebster to the WANA masses. It’s super cool being a comrade of the pen (keyboard) with the likes of you 🙂
You’re very welcome 🙂 I appreciate Sheila Pierson for thinking of me when she got her Liebster and wanted to pass it along to others. And I’m glad to be part of a tribe with excellent humans such as yourself 🙂
🙂 🙂 🙂
I’m absolutely loving our little piece of writerly heaven!
Well deserved. Congrats! Love the post too. 😉
Thank you for popping over, Elizabeth, and for sharing my shiny run in the Liebster sun. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without all of you over here 😀
Congrats Barbara, and I love those writing friend stories, this community is awesome whether we have known each other for years or a few weeks.
Thank you, thank you, Catherine. ( I was just over at your place reading your poetry and my heart is still singing! Gorgeous! Right here if anyone else would like to have a peek: http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/patchwork-poem/ )
Agree, agree! Writing friends are not only super special and much treasured, but ordinary markers such as duration and history (or lack of) have no particular place. It’s all in the words 🙂
The Liebster Award? For me? Colour me blushing.
I shall eagerly await the revival of THE NAKED CITY chronicles. For the record, I’m pretty good at drawing stick people. Snort.
Tee Hee, you funny girl, you had it coming for sure!
It still causes a hiccup in the region of my heart when I think of those lost publications. As daring as I felt being part owner of the black market publications of frisky stick people ,nearly comparable was when I found a naughty book in the school library that same year titled “The House at Pooh Corner!” ‘Pooh’ was the word we used for ‘butt’ in 3rd grade and I was stunned and amazed that there would be a ‘dirty’ book in the school library. I signed out that one book over and over for the rest of the year, but was secretly ashamed to read it, so I never did. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I found out “Pooh” was a rather famous bear, and had nothing to do with butts whatsoever 😀
Hum, so Sherry, about those stick people drawing skills you mentioned — as best as I recall, in the last installment before the tragic classroom confiscation, Pooh had just arrived by bus in The Naked CIty …
I loved reading about your comrades of the pen. And, like Sherry, I will also be eagerly awaiting the revival and subsequent release of THE NAKED CITY. How clever of you and your friend. My friends and I only came up with screenplays for the Smurfs and Little House on the Prairie which we performed for our 5th grade class. Congrats on the much-deserved Liebster Award!
Hum…honestly though, Tami, have you considered what Benedict would think about you reading such a publication as THE NAKED CITY?
The Smurfs AND Little House on the Prairie!!! Now that’s impressive. I loved both of those shows, so definitely would have wanted to be in your writerly fan club.
Awe, I love awards!
I received the Leibster just in time right before I hit 200 followers. It is silly, but it’s one I wanted. Congratulations!
Tee hee, but isn’t that the truth. Awards are like finding sweets thoughtfully placed on the pillow of life 😀
Yeah, for your LIebster, too. It looks quite lovely over there at your place. I can see it every time I pass by and take a peek in the window.
Love your Comrades of the Pen piece – just love it. Where would we be without our writing buddies?
Thank you, Ellen! No I mean, REALLY, thank you again for my shiny bright Liebster and for stopping by to read Comrades of the Pen. I can’t imagine what the days would be like without my writing buddies here in the trenches through every battle and in those hard-earned moments of victory. And is sure is nice having you here wearing the same uniform 😀