Friday 14 July 2017

Mystery Blogger Award

Happy Friday! I've been nominated for a couple of blog awards recently and I thought it would make for a fun post to play along and acknowledge them. It's been a while since these awards were flying all over the blogosphere, but they seem to have made a bit of a comeback lately. I wouldn't ever disregard a nomination because it's a pretty special thing that you've made enough of an impression on someone for them to pick you. To avoid this post becoming overlong, I'll focus on the first award I received and come back for the other one.

This is the Mystery Blogger Award, which comes with a raft of rules.

Rule 1. Put the award/logo image on your blog. Done.

Rule 2. List the rules. I'm on it.

Rule 3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

This award was bestowed on me by self-proclaimed word nerd and incurable Anglophile Laurel Garver. Check her out!

Rule 4. Also mention the creator of the award and provide a link.

The award was created by Okoto Enigma. Enigma? Mystery? Get it?

Rule 5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.

1) When I was a kid our household pets included male and female Australian prickly stick insects, named Harold and Madge after the well loved couple from the classic soap Neighbours. Unfortunately Madge was rather keen on eating her life partner, a behaviour that we had to vociferously discourage.

2) When I was 18 I appeared on a French TV discussion show as part of an exchange programme at college. I managed to get away with saying little or nothing throughout.

3) I'm too polite to send food back in a restaurant. I don't like mushrooms but I once ordered mushroom soup in a cafe and ate it (by swallowing the mushrooms whole). It was my fault for not asking what the soup of the day was.

Rule 6. Nominate other bloggers.

John Davis Frain
Toni @ Wandering and Wondering
Cynthia @ Read is the New Black
Anna @ Deeply Shallow
Ritika @ Indian Screw Up

Rule 7. Nominate those people. I'll get right on it.

Rule 8. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, plus one weird or funny question.

1) What made you decide to start blogging?
2) Do you have any schedule for posting or is it spontaneous?
3) Have you ever been in a situation that seemed bad but ended up leading to something positive?
4) Ever given up on reading a book but then gone back to it later?
5) Name one main goal that you want to achieve in the next year.
Funny/weird question: What would be your current protagonist's go-to song in karaoke? If you're not working on a book at the moment, name a song for your favourite book character.

Here's the questions I was asked:

1) What are three things on your "bucket list"?

- Visit the pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt.
- Have a book traditionally published, perhaps via a small press. I don't think this is any better or worse than self-publishing. It's just an experience I want to have.
- Have a go at script writing - a movie or TV series.

2) Which authors have influenced you in terms of genre, style, or theme?

Well, for my current project I'm immersed in the world of dystopia. I didn't know I would write anything like that at the time, but at a young age I read George Orwell's 1984 and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and they made enough of an impression that they're still with me. I would say my new series is heavily influenced by both.

3) What book's milieu (place, time, culture) would you most like to live in?

Not 1984, for sure! I could see myself settling down and enjoying a very quiet life in Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings). As long as I wasn't dragged off on any dangerous quests.

4) What are your favourite writing resources?

Not anything too specific, unless the dictionary and thesaurus count! I would recommend Stephen King's On Writing to anyone just starting out, and it's always good to dip into for a bit of inspiration. Of course, the IWSG website features a whole host of great resources, including lists of publishers and agents, contests, and conferences (plug, plug!)

5) What's the best book you've read recently?

Mark Noce's Between Two Fires is an excellent and atmospheric read, set in 6th century Wales and featuring a strong and feisty female heroine. I don't read much historical fiction, but this makes me want to read more. And I got to read it in hard copy, which is always nice!

Rule 9. Share a link to my blog's best post.

Lessons from Journalism and the Joy of Non-Fiction

I think I shared some good advice here. I would advise everyone to have a go at some non-fiction at some point. Perhaps it will refresh you if you're struggling on the fiction side. It also contains advice that I still need to remember to follow myself!

Before I go, a couple of things to remind you of:

The first IWSG Twitter Pitch Party is in less than two weeks! Get your 140-character pitch sharpened and honed and don't miss your chance to snag an agent or publisher on July 27. Details here.

And you've got until the end of the month to submit to the next anthology which is all about the secrets of writing for profit. You can share what did or didn't work for you. Details here.

Have a great weekend!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And the IWSG site as a favorite resource. We rock.
Hope you achieve your bucket list.

JeffO said...

Funny, I was just thinking earlier this week, "What happened to all those blog awards that were going around when I first started blogging?" Congrats!

Heather R. Holden said...

Congrats on the blog awards! I'm the same way about sending food back in restaurants. And that's a great bucket list. Best of luck accomplishing your goals on it!

The Cynical Sailor said...

It was fun to read your responses. I think the idea of writing a script sounds really interesting

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats! I wouldn't want to live in Orwell's 1984 either. I survived graduating high school in 1984. That was enough.

Liz A. said...

Writing a dystopian? There's lots of inspiration in the real world right now...

Laurel Garver said...

Thanks for playing along, Nick. Loved your bucket list especially. And I so agree that writing in other genres (nonfiction, drama, poetry) is a great way to stretch creatively and build skills that will make your fiction stronger.

Sarah Foster said...

Congrats on the award! I don't think I could ever force myself to eat mushroom soup (I hate mushrooms, too), but I'd probably be too shy to send it back!

Toni said...

No 1984 for me either!

Will definitely check out Lessons from Journalism and the Joy of Non-Fiction, as well as, Between Two Fires.

Thank you for the nomination.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - well done on the award ... lovely to get them .. but they throw me off synch (not that I'm on that anyway!). Try writing a script - can see you doing that .. but also getting published traditionally ...

Enjoy the IWSG pitch ... and all your writing and publishing ventures - cheers Hilary

Darla M Sands said...

What a fun read. I enjoy learning more about talented bloggers/writers like yourself. Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Congrats! I keep meaning to pick up On Writing, mostly when I read a post that mentions it, then I forget again!

I think you'd be great at script-writing :-)

John Davis Frain said...


Thanks for the nod. I'm new enough to blogging that I'd never heard of these before. I'm on an insane editing quest to finish my ms this week. I have a deadline of August 1.

Stephen King's On Writing was fabulous. I should probably reread it one day soon. Thanks for the reminder.

I'm off to figure out how this blogging award works so I can comply.

Anonymous said...

I once said something about some food I got at a restaurant and they bent over backwards for me and I felt so guilty because I work in a kitchen and I know how busy it gets and I felt bad for making the cook's life more difficult when all I wanted to point out was they needed to cook the chicken just a little less next time so it wasn't as dry.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm still trying to imagine swallowing whole mushrooms! That was quite a feat.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great to learn some new things about you. I'm working on dystopian stuff also right now.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congratulations! I love that you mentioned the IWSG as a writing resource.

I think I would like to live in Hobbiton (especially more than in 1984).

Happy Writing!

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations on your award! It's true, there used to be lots of these floating around. This one's quite neat.
I would have done the exact same with the mushroom soup. I like the smell of mushrooms cooking but, despite their being beloved by hobbits, I just can't stand their texture.

Trisha said...

I like that story about the French show. Ha. Maybe they thought you were mysterious and a man of few words. Were you a man of few French words? :P

Congrats on your award :) I remember the days of blog awards! I think there are still some I never acknowledged after winning. Oops.

Darla M Sands said...

Ooh! You changed the look here. I like it. Be well!

Susan Kane said...

Wonderful to be directed back to your site after a long time away!

Bucket list: Yellowstone, train across Canada, return to Ireland...

Bad food choice: Switzerland where Swiss German is spoken. We ordered a pizza that sounded great, but wasn't. Loaded with anchovies, capers, sardines with some sauce beneath.

Sonia G Medeiros said...

I like the idea of living in Hobbiton, as long as it's long before the events of LOTR or after. :D

H.R. Bennett said...

Congratulations Nick!

Ellie Garratt said...

Congratulations on the award! The stick insect story did make me chuckle.

Mark said...

Thanks for the shout out, Nick! And I love Orwell and Bradbury too, their works definitely stay with me:)

Chrys Fey said...

I haven't seen this blogging award yet. Probably because I haven't been going around to other blogs as much lately. Congrats on the award!

Unknown said...

I'm not into blog awards, but loved reading your responses. I liked Mark Noce's book as well.


Sherry Ellis said...

I haven't seen awards floating around in a long time! I didn't think they existed any more! It was fun reading your answers. I'm too polite to send food back, too.

Unknown said...

Hope you achieve your bucket list.