Paying it forward

For all my pontificating yesterday about our collective duty to be vigilant and responsible in our cultivation of the culture of free speech, I have to confess at being somewhat negligent in another area.  Cecile’s Writers, a wonderful blog I follow and which has been very supportive of my writing, was kind enough to nominate me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Thank you so much!  As I’ve said before, what I believe a writer wants more than anything is simply to reach people, and it’s wonderful to see it happening.  As I understand it the requirements of this award stipulate that you nominate an additional seven blogs and include an equal number of heretofore unknown pieces of trivia about yourself.  Recognizing that one of those is going to be tremendously more interesting than the other, I’ll start with the good stuff, in no particular order:

Nominees I Consider Deserving of the Award:

1.  East Bay Writer

Her blog is subtitled “me and my battle with words,” but she’s winning it hands down.  In addition to her own clever workplace tales and anecdotes about the peculiarities of life, EBW regularly promotes other bloggers and published authors with a selfless enthusiasm and a genuine love of all things written.

2.  Hooked

Lower 48 liberals whose opinions of Alaska have been formed largely by its former governor-turned-reality-TV-and-Fox-News-annoyance need to read Hooked.  Tele opens up a vast, fascinating frontier utterly foreign to lifelong urbanites and reminds us that truth can be found in the farthest reaches of both the seas and the soul.

3.  The Bunny Adventures

I have always had a soft spot – pardon the pun – for both rabbits and stuffed animals, and this photo blog depicting the cross-country wanderings of a tiny toy bunny is sweet, endearing and an infallible cure for a bad mood.  You never know what Bunny will be up to next!

4.  Simply Stephanie

A recent discovery after she liked a couple of my posts, but as I tend to gravitate towards writing that is positive and upbeat, I’ve become quite taken with the way she’s decided to jump into all that is life and give it a huge bear hug.  Her love of Disney certainly strikes a chord with me as well!

5.  Good Evaning

I may be somewhat biased because the author is a real-life friend, but his blog is by turns funny, self-deprecating, insightful and thought-provoking.  One of his most recent pieces is a surprisingly forthright confession of conflicted feelings about his collaboration on a stage show.  It’s not often you find such honesty in an artist’s appraisal of his own work.  Evan brings this kind of integrity to everything he pens.


Again, I’ve known the author personally for over twenty years, but he’s always impressed me with the depth of his intellect and his willingness to expose the sometimes ugly veins coursing beneath the veneer of what we like to call free and open societies.  Really, though, how can you not be a fan of erudite turns of phrase like this:  “The challenge with this formula is that the expectation for [CBC blowhard bloviator Kevin] O’Leary to be controversial appears to trump in this instance the duty to be intelligent.”

7.  Everyone I didn’t pick in 1 through 6

There are so many amazing blogs out there it’s difficult to winnow the list down.  I reserve the final slot for every person with the guts to put their words out there for the world to see.  Writing is one of the most revealing ways in which human beings can choose to be vulnerable – to put part of their soul on display in the hope of making a connection, however tenuous and temporary.  Here’s to you, fellow WordPressers, for taking that bold step in the grand tradition of communication, and sharing with us your most precious resource – your ideas.  You all inspire me.

Okay, now that’s done, here are seven things about me.  Sorry, they are far too boring to be used for purposes of blackmail.

1.  My drink is Bailey’s rocks, or a Vesper martini (three measures of Gordon’s gin, one of vodka, half a measure of Lillet Blanc, shaken over ice with a thin slice of lemon peel, and yes, that’s James Bond’s recipe)

2.  I won an equestrian show-jumping competition when I was nine, largely by being able to wrangle control of a bucking horse four times my size.  Perhaps I was always fated to become a brony in later life.

3.  I have performed raps by Pitbull and B.o.B. in a concert venue setting.  It was to 200 colleagues and their significant others in a local union hall, but I definitely brought the funk.

4.  I once stood closer to Johnny Depp than you are to this screen.  He smelled nice.

5.  Spoiler Alert!  The last word of my long-gestating novel is “be.”  Sorry if that ruined it for you, or if those of you expecting something else now hate me with a George-Lucas-raped-my-childhood-like fury.

6.  My unabashed fanboy love for his work to the contrary, I have never seen a single episode of Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night.

7.  I believe that the words matter more than the minutiae about the man.

Thank you again to Samir and Cecile’s Writers for the nomination.  As a signoff, there’s a speech Bono gave when accepting a Grammy back in 1993 that got him in trouble with the TV censors, and it captures my thoughts very well.  To wit:  “I’d like to send a message to the young people of America.  We shall continue to abuse our position and f*** up the mainstream.”  Yeah, baby.

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