Saturday, March 31, 2012

Touring the Blogs

Recently, a couple of people have passed on blog awards to me, and I thought it was time to look into that subject a little deeper, and pass them along myself.  I'm normally a little reserved about doing this thing myself, which is probably why I've put it off for so long.

There are a large number of blogs out there, and many that are helpful, entertaining, insightful, creative, or intriguing in some way or another.  These awards are designed for the little blogs, to get them more attention.  So, to that end, here are two more.

The Versatile Blogger

Guilie, who maintains the blog Quiet Laughter, passed this one along to me, and I have been a little slow to pass it on myself because, well, 15 blogs is a lot of friggin' blogs!  It's taken a while, but thank you again, Guilie.

The guidelines behind this one are threefold:
  • Thank the awarder and link back to them
  • Share 7 things about myself
  • Pass this award to 15 blogs I've recently discovered
The seven things about myself, well, that's easy.  Seven non-incriminating ones?  Yea, I can do that too.  Here goes:

1.  I once was nearly run over by Mario Andretti.  True story. I was walking down the paddocks area at Laguna Seca Raceway with my dad and a couple of friends during the Indy race when he barreled up from behind on a moped.  Dad hollered for me to watch out, and just in time.  Let's just say it's a good think I have cat-like reflexes.  And there's a damn good reason people use the expression "drive like Mario Andretti"!  Bonus tidbit: I've also been around that track in the pace car.  Very fast, and very fun!

2.  I'm a beer snob.  Four wonderful years of living in Southern Spain and touring around Europe completely ruined American mega-brews for me.  There are so many fine styles around the world, but one of the best things about the Pacific Northwest is that it's the micro-brew capital of the world.  Bonus tidbit: I can make a pretty decent micro-brew myself.

3.  I am somewhat the expert on wilderness survival.  As a young man living in Southwest Montana, my buddies and I used to go out camping in the woods.  Day or night.  No matter the weather.  No matter the season.  We never used a tent, never brought much food, if any, and would go for as long as jobs or school constraints would allow.  We'd eat the animals and plants available there.  And many's the time I remember waking up to a bright sunny winter morning as I peeked up through a tiny hole through a foot or more of snow on top of my sleeping bag.  Bonus tidbit: I've touched a wild porcupine on the nose, out in the wild.

4.  I'm a big sports fan.  It's no surprise the Seattle Seahawks are my favorite team, but I'm a sucker for pretty much any sport.  Hockey comes in a close second, with the Colorado Avalanche as my favorite NHL franchise - at least until Seattle finally gets a team again - but I'll watch pretty much anything.  Baseball, racing, rugby, soccer, you name it.  Bonus tidbit: I've been to several NFL Pro Bowls.  Go for the experience, the activities, the autographs, the barbecue, not the game.

5.  I like a variety of music, and it all depends on the mood I'm in.  I'll listen to Rob Zombie one day and turn around the next and listen to Boots Randolph.  The one stipulation is that each story I write has its own special soundtrack.  That way the mood, the feel of each story is the same throughout.  Bonus tidbit: I like a lot of foreign bands and singers.  Much of what I listen to is not English.

6.  I'm not a very big self-promoter.  Weird, because I'm very outgoing and gregarious as a person.  I have few very close personal friends, but a lot of casual ones, and enjoy meeting folks.  I just don't like tooting my horn all that much.  I'm sure that affects how well I'm able to get my work out there for folks to see, and I bet I could prove it too.  Problem is, it's not all about that.  Bonus tidbit: I'd love it if others promoted my writing, but this is probably as close as I'll ever come to asking.

7.  I'm not a very serious guy.  As much as I don't write the stuff, I love irreverent comedy.  Love finely crafted humor.  I just don't do it very well most of the time.  And I've been told only about a tenth of the humorous things I say is actually funny.  Bonus tidbit: that tenth thing is usually pure comedy gold, however!

And now for the fifteen blogs.  I apologize if any have already been nominated for this, but I ain't checkin', and you can't make me.  So here they are in no particular order:

1.  Let's Get Digital - Author David Gaughran is now an established expert on the subject of self-publishing.  He's written the book on it, quite literally, and is also a pretty damn good fiction writer himself.

2.  Unexcused Absences - World travelers and ski addicts Kent and Heather chronicle their meanderings, explorations and adventures as they do what most of the rest of us only wish we did.

3.  The Sharp Angle - Young adult author Lydia Sharp is a prolific blogger, offering advice, tips, industry secrets, reviews and other assorted writing-related goodies on her blog.

4.  Seattle Sportsnet - Alex, fan of all things Seattle talks sports - Seahawks, M's, Huskies, and others - as well as a variety of other Pacific Northwest nonsense.  Some of it's even pretty good!

5.  Bibliophile Stalker - Author and science fiction afficionado Charles Tan links to an incredible amount of resources, information, and sites of interest on his blog.  A definite must-follow for fans of the genre.

6.  Foie Gras Hot Dog - Foodies and culinary explorers Ryan and Julie share recipes, food secrets, and accounts from the quest to find the perfect food for the perfect occasion.

7.  Dave Krieg's Strike Beard - Longtime Seahawks fan DKSB posts analysis, spouts fan opinion and rhetoric, and shares historical moments and achievements on the blog.

8.  Steam & Ink - Author C. J. Ivory runs a smart blog about Steampunk, Victoria Noir, among an assortment of musings, ramblings, reviews, and other fun stuff.

9.  The World in the Satin Bag - Science fiction author Shaun Duke blogs speculative fiction, writerly interests and other bits of interesting nonsense.

10.  Karin Cox's Blog - Editor and author Karin Cox serves up lots of good advice on grammar, writing well, and tips for writers.  She knows what she's talking about, folks!

11.  Seahawks Draft Blog - Seahawks fan Rob Stanton provides analysis, scouting reports, opinion, mock drafts, and other related awesomeness on his blog.

12.  Minetweeps - Author and Minecraft geek Roger Hoyt runs a new blog about adventuring in one of the most addictive time sinks known to man.  Get your geek on!

13.  Fangirl In Training - Fangirl Shelby blogs about baseball and a sundry other weird subjects.  Pictures from numerous games, practices and events make this one an interesting read.

14.  Adventure Without End - Comedy author Tony James Slater blogs about... well, as he puts it, leading a life with no holds bared!  Adrenalin, adventure, misadventure, yep, they're all there.

15.  17 Power - Seahawks fanatics Brandon and Scott run this site, a great place to find analysis, information, and opinion on the team, as well as links to other Seahawk-centric sites and resources.

The Liebster Award

J. W. Alden, who runs the blog Author Alden, gave this one to me. This award is designed to honor smaller blogs which motivate and inspire us, those with under 200 followers.  Thank you, J.W.!

The guidelines for this one are simpler:
  • 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 their blog
So, for the five blogs I feel deserve this award, also in no particular order:

1.  JetInk - Author Jettica runs a number of blogs, but this one's about writing, characters, stories, and various other musings from the other side of the pond.

2.  Die Laughing - Author Luke Walker blogs about writing, book reviews, movies, horror, the publishing industry, as well as a variety of other subjects.

3.  Jamie Todd Rubin - Science fiction writer Jamie Todd Rubin blogs all things science fiction and technology, as well as writing and other random musings.

4.  Writings, Workouts, and Were-Jaguars - Author Shiela Calderón Blankemeier posts about writing, the query process, literary agents, and other essential bits of information for writers.

5.  Steph Crawford's Word Barn & Letter Emporium - Author Stephanie Crawford talks writing, words, and other such interests on her blog.

And there we have it.  A bunch of new blogs to run down and follow.  You're welcome.  And yes I am an author, running an author blog.  No, not all these blogs are author blogs.  Some of them, in fact, have a pretty good amount of traffic already.  It doesn't matter.  Broaden your horizons, because if we don't get out of our incestuousness little author circles, the world stays pretty small.  And you're still welcome.


  1. Thanks for the mention, Jon. :)

  2. Not a problem, Luke! Enjoy your blog, I do.

  3. That's too bad you spoiled your taste buds. Personally, I like to keep it simple. In my opinion their nothing like a good ol' Coors Light.

  4. Thanks, Jonathan! I can't believe Phoenix has a hockey and Seattle does not. And a great big Olé to cat-like reflexes :)

  5. Yea, Shiela, it's something they're now tantalizing us with here, what with new stadium rumors in the works. It'll happen some day.