Category Archives: Blogging Awards

Sunday Thoughts on Writing

As promised, here is the second of the blog awards I’ve been tagged for. MCS Gal at Cooking for the Chemically Sensitive tagged me for the Reality Blogging award. Her blog is a mix of practical kitchen/household tips and recipes for those who have chemical sensitivities, so if that’s you (or someone in your family) check it out.

The rules for this one are simple and I’ve pasted them at the bottom. I’m going to prompt twist and use my “7 things about me” to talk about one specific thing: writing.

1. Between my junior and senior years in high school I applied to a summer writing program at Yale. I submitted the required piece of short fiction and soon received an acceptance letter. . . to the nonfiction program. Because my fiction was so good that they thought I should be writing nonfiction? After reading the brief program description, I declined. There was no way I was going to go on “experiential” field trips every Saturday and then spend the week writing about them. That would have required talking to strangers. Seriously.

2. I have always written Autistic characters. I haven’t always known that I was doing it.

3. Early last year, I tried to talk my way into a creative nonfiction class. I was an econ major; the class was an upper division course for writing majors. It sounded interesting and fit my schedule so I asked the prof for an exemption from the many prereqs. I talked up my published short stories and my nonfiction editing experience. “Have you ever written any memoir?” she asked. And my first thought was, who would want to read about my life? I didn’t get into the class. Life is funny like that.

4. I have a phantom word problem. Sometimes I skip over a word when I’m typing–usually a short word like at or not–and when I proofread, my brain “sees” the missing word. It’s frustrating. I worry that people think I don’t proofread, when in fact I often read posts a half dozen times or more before publishing. I read in gdocs, on paper and in the post window. Sometimes reading in a different format or taking time away from a piece reveals the missing words, but not always.

5. When I can’t find just the right word, I worry that the right word doesn’t exist. I worry about this in the way that some women worry that their soulmate doesn’t exist.

6. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to have three writing buddies–Mary, Michelle and Kathryn–talented writers willing to look over my drafts and make suggestions. It’s rare thing to find someone who is closely matched in skill level and willing to slog through hundreds of thousands of words to let me know that I might want to put a comma here or explain myself better there. I can only hope they’ve gotten as much out our writing partnerships as I have.

7. One of my most cherished  possessions is my 1962 third edition of Roget’s International Thesaurus. The words are grouped by ideas rather than alphabetically, which is a beautiful thing. I stole it from a nun. Sister Laurette. I think she stole it from someone else because she inscribed her name over a different set of initials.

My Roget's Theasaurus, yellowed, stained and falling apart
My Roget’s Theasaurus, yellowed, stained and falling apart

realityThere are, of course, rules:

  • show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post;
  • add the award logo to your blog;
  • share 7 things about yourself;
  • nominate 5 – 10 or more bloggers you admire;
  • contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

And now, in keeping with my theme, I’m going to tag some bloggers who I admire as writers. Don’t feel pressured to do anything with this, folks. I know one of you isn’t even blogging any more. This is my way of saying I like what you write and I also like how you write it.

  • Aspie Writer who is blogging her excellent memoir, Twirling Naked in the Street. I don’t comment on it nearly enough but I’m always excited to see a new installment pop up in my reader.
  • Adrienne at Eat Me, Drink Me, Bite Me, because it was her honest, gutsy blogging that planted a seed in my head.
  • Unstrange Mind who is fearless and whose courage makes me want to reach deeper.
  • Ariane, who writes at Emma’s Hopebook, where amidst the smart, thoughtful commentary you will find beautiful sentences like this: “Different sized flakes whirl about as though unaware that gravity will eventually win out.”
  • Lori at A Quiet Week in the House, who I am putting last because once you go look at her gorgeous artwork, you will forget to come back here.

The Liebster Award

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been tagged with two blogging awards: the Liebster and the Reality Blogging award. I’m going to do the Liebster today and the Reality award next week because some of the people I want to tag for the Reality award just got tagged for a Liebster and I don’t want to overwhelm anyone.

Alyssa from Yes, That Too tagged me for the Liebster. She writes smart, insightful and sometimes angry things about autism and being autistic and advocacy. Sometimes she writes Chinese language posts that I can’t read but like to look at nonetheless. Go see what she’s up to, if you haven’t already.

The Liebster Award rules are:

1. Give 11 random facts about me.
2. Answer the 11 questions that Yes, That Too gave me.
3. Make 11 new questions for the people I tag to answer.
4. Tag 11 blogs that are new or have less than 200 followers.

Facts about me:

  1. I’m allergic to dogs but I have one anyhow.
  2. I love roller coasters. When I was a kid and there was a school trip to an amusement park, I used to spend all day going on the roller coasters.
  3. I have a 5th degree black belt in taekwondo.
  4. When I was in third grade, I was the kid whose two strides most closely measured a yard so I got to go outside and walk around the building to measure its circumference. I think there was a math lesson involved but all I remember is being absurdly proud of my prowess as a human yardstick.
  5. I’ve visited 46 of the 50 US states. (WA, OR, SD and ND, in case you’re wondering)
  6. I love the smell of fire.
  7. I’m not afraid to edit the Windows registry on my computer.
  8. I like to climb trees but I’m afraid of heights.
  9. Right now, I’ll only write with a Pilot G-2 pen. I have a box each of blue, black and red.
  10. I eschew the Oxford comma.
  11. I can comfortably swim a mile without stopping.

11 Answers:

  1. How old are you? 43
  2. Why did you start blogging? To try to understand autism and specifically my autistic experience better. Blogging is taking me to all sorts of unexpected places.
  3. What is the most frustrating song you have ever had stuck in your head? The Oscar Meyer Weiner song. It happens a lot when I run, because it’s the perfect running rhythm for me. Also, I once spent an entire 6-mile run with Bruno Mars’ “Lazy Song” playing in my head on repeat. That was torture and made no sense.
  4. Do you have a useless talent? (If so, what?) I can break boards with my hands and feet.
  5. What is something that happened to you where people responded with “Only you could…” I broke my nose falling into a trash can. It sounds like something that would happen to a sitcom character but it required internal and external stitches to fix so it sounds funnier than it was.
  6. Have you read Loud Hands yet? (And if you haven’t, WHY NOT?) It’s on my list of books to buy and read! I’m currently reading Ask and Tell, which is excellent. I’m going to add it to my blog’s resource page when I finish it. The I’m going to get a copy of Loud Hands.
  7. Do you take things literally? Yes, all the time and it can be frustrating and embarrassing.
  8. What is the most hilarious rumor that has been spread about you (that you know of and are willing to share?) I don’t think I’m socially well-connected enough to (a) have rumors spread about me and/or (b) know about them.
  9. Do you know any other languages? (Which ones? How proficient?) Yes, 4, which is weird because I have no natural aptitude for learning foreign languages. Other than English I learned French all through high school and was able to read novels and watch movies in French back then but I’m not that proficient any more. I took one semester each of Latin and Spanish so I have rudimentary skills in both. I know enough Korean to follow dinner table conversation, order a beer and know if the people on the bus are talking about me.
  10. If money were no object, where would you travel? I’d spend a few months traveling across Europe by train.
  11. If money were no object (and hence you could hire people/lobby/etc) what change would you try to make in the world? If money were literally no object I would eliminate poverty, though I don’t think that can be done with money alone, so honestly I’m not sure.

11 Questions:

  1. What book are you currently reading?
  2. What hobby or interest would people who don’t know you well be surprised to learn you have?
  3. Coffee, tea or something else?
  4. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
  5. What’s your go-to activity for entertaining out-of-town guests?
  6. If you could have any sort of animal for a pet, what would it be? (assume anything is possible, like if you want a pet giraffe, your neighbors won’t mind a bit)
  7. Do you have any phobias?
  8. When did you start writing?
  9. Which Halloween candy did you eat first and which did you always give/throw away?
  10. How far away from your place of birth do you currently live?
  11. If someone is only going to read one thing on your blog, what would you like it to be?

11 Bloggers I’m Tagging:

(If you’re on the list and don’t fit the rule criteria, well, screw the rules. I’ve never been good at following them anyhow.)

  1. Feminist Aspie
  2. Happily Clueless
  3. Ichigo Ichie
  4. Letters from Aspergia
  5. Life & Ink
  6. Mados
  7. My Aspie Wife (Aspie Writer was already nominated so I’m nominating her husband 🙂 )
  8. Outrunning the Storm
  9. Practical Androgyny
  10. Raising Rebel Souls
  11. tagAught