Nominated for a VBA!

Well, this is awkward. It seems I’ve been nominated for a VBA for the third and fourth time… by two people… in the space of two days. I’m not sure what to do… I can’t imagine there’s a protocol for something like this, but I assume that the practical thing to do would be to roll them into one and acknowledge everyone who made it possible.

For starters, thanks to Dave W at theroadmarathon and Richard at Richard’s Ramblings for the nomination. You guys both rock!

And of course, seven things about myself… going to be hard to think up things I didn’t say the last two times.

  1. I have a notorious love for the color green. An inordinate amount of my clothes are this color. It’s embarrassing when they clash!
  2. I’m a historian and English teacher by training, for high school students. How I got into writing sci-fi and teaching elementary kids is kind of a long story.
  3. I am obsessive. When I want to learn about something, I kind of OD on it before moving on. It’s how I got into the history of WWII, Star Wars, cool-looking guns, and sci-fi literature.
  4. I don’t do organized sports. Though I’ve been doing Taekwon-Do for over two decades, I have no real love for organized sports outside of martial arts and MMA. Some people don’t get this, can’t say I blame them.
  5. I have more girl friends than guys. Though my oldest and best friends are all men, the one thing we all have in common is in being SNAG’s (Sensitive New Age Guys). We all tend to get along better with girls than guys. Probably because there’s no dick measuring involved.
  6. I’ve inherited a slew of health problems from my ancestors. These include baldness, high cholesterol and other heart problems. As such, and despite the recent advances in the field of medicine, I’m likely to die at the age 65, bald and as a result of a heart attack.
  7. I don’t tan well either!

And now for my nominees!

  1. Khaalidah – Indie author and fellow grim5Next contributor Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali. In addition to being a fantastic writer, and a faithful friend, she’s also a working wife and mother. I know eh?
  2. ramiungerthewrter – Rami Ungar, a college student who’s passion for anime, horror and science fiction are a constant source of inspiration for my own work.
  3. Sotet Angyal – The dark angel, or as she’s known to her friends, Nina D’Arcangela. I recently pledged my thanks for her constant follows, but today, I would like to acknowledged her hard work as writer, publisher and a social media anarchist!
  4. Kotev1000 – The dedicated soul who runs the site European Scientist and Journalist, a site dedicated to capturing history in words and photographs.
  5. hnsieverding – Esteemed (and published) fantasy writer Mrs. Sieverding, a relatively new acquintance of mine, but one who’s extensive credentials have not failed to impress me!
  6. VictorsMovieReviews – Film buff, movie reviewer and cinematic guru, definitely a man to be consulted on the latest releases, but not someone you want to cross while waiting for tickets on opening night!
  7. jazfagan – The website of catseyesk, a notorious lover of music, practitioner of Buddhism, and lover of all things existential. If its musical, life-affirming, and spiritual, chances are she’s posted about it.
  8. nicolahigginsfiction – The home of Nicola Higgins, fellow science fiction writer AND martial artist. She is also a working woman and a wife who somehow finds the time to also run two brownie packs. Though I can only nominate 7 people, I would be derelict if I didn’t acknowledge her too.

Well, that about does it for me. Thank you all for the ongoing support and recognition. Rest assured, I am not letting it go to my head… much. If I got paid to do this, then I might start going batty. So… we’ll see how that goes 😉

Nominated for a VBA!

Woohoo! It looks like I’ve been nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award… for the second time! The first time came in January of 2012, back when my good friend and colleague Jamie A Hughes gave me the nod. Now, a new colleague and follower has honored me with a VBA nomination. As the great and venerable Duckman once said, “I accept [this prize] with humility and smuggness!”

And now, to fulfill the obligations of the VBA:

First off, a big thanks to the mystery writer, AB Ciccone, for nominating me for this prestigious meme. Keep hammering those keys, and best wishes with all your writing endeavors.

Second, here are seven things about myself:

  1. I always smile too big for photos: My wife, who’s a photography buff, loves to take pictures of me. Somehow, I’m always hamming it up and raising my eyebrows. Not sure why…
  2. I love to cook: my specialties include curry, pastas, stir fry, soups, stews, and bbq. I also make some mean spinach and tomato salads!
  3. I love beer!: Not necessarily for its deleterious effects, but for its history, culture, and diversity.
  4. I dig martial arts: Since the tender age of nine, I’ve studied martial arts in one form or another. First it was a year of Judo, then I transferred to Taekwon-Do and have stayed with it ever since, earning my fourth degree black belt in 2006. I also dabbled in Wing Chun, Aikido, and Aikijujutsu. I’ve broken lots of wood and about half a dozen bricks in my time.
  5. I’ve wanted to write since I was 18: It was during my senior year in high school that I began reading the classics of dystopian sci-fi. Orwell’s 1984 was my favorite, and I hoped that one day, I too would write something like it. It’s been a long road, but I believe I’m getting closer.
  6. I’ve got way too many ideas on the fly!: I can’t count how many ideas I’ve opened and then never finished. Seriously, I’ve tried! My “My Documents” folder is crammed with them. The other day I did a tally so I could seriously buckle down and focus on the ones I needed to finish first. Hopefully, I finish those off before I come up with any more!
  7. I love it when people like my stuff: I am drawn to praise like a moth to a flame. It’s one of the most pleasing things when my wife likes my writing, and she’s a tough critic! When friends, colleagues and even strangers do it, it makes me happy. I got into writing to share my ideas with people, and it warms my heart to know they get something out of it too.

Third, here is my list of nominees for the VBA in alphabetical order (no favorites!):

  1. Amateur Professional – Run by David DeMar, who’s insights on pop culture, sci-fi, fantasy and zombie guns are always punchy and often hilarious!
  2. Dangerously Daydreaming – The home site of Audrey Johnson, fellow traveler, gourmand, and photography enthusiast. She’s also a fan of Firefly… yeah, we get along fine!
  3. MythRider – The writing blog of Phyllis Moore, writer extraordinaire who delights in exploring the process of creating literature and spawning the mythos that drive us.
  4. Nonoy Manga – Dedicated to manga and anime, this self-styled Filipino artist loves to create scenes that tell a story, often as part of flash-fiction. Illustrated beauty meets the written word!
  5. Rendezvous with Renee – The site of Renee Homan Heath, blogger of life, love, marriage, devotion, and all things in between. Her observations, anecdotes and personal reflections are a constant heart warmer!
  6. Urbannight – Home to the urban night, female blogger extraordinaire who’s reflections on life, at the tender age of 4o, are smart, insightful, and often quite funny!
  7. Writerlious – The site of business woman and part-time writer and YA addict Brady Pike. Like me, she aspires to be a full-time writer someday; probably why we get along so well!

Okay, that’s everybody! My thanks to all those who have taken the time and effort to follow me and read my many, many ramblings. My apologies to those I didn’t nominate, but the rules are strict. Only seven people per nominee! Damn things a popularity content, I tell ya. Ah what can you do…

Storiesbywilliams Nominated for a VBA!

Woohoo! VBA! VBA! That’s Versatile Blogger Award for those who don’t know. Up until the other day, I was one such person. However, since receiving a nomination from my good friend and fellow writer, Jamie A Hughes (follow her at The Tousled Apostle) I’ve have since been made aware…

I suppose I should pay closer attention to my Inbox. After looking up the VBA’s and seeing the email they sent out to all their WordPress bloggers, I realized, I’ve seen this somewhere before… Sure as shooting, it was my Inbox! Apparently, to cap off the year, I was given a congratulatory pat on the back for my site from the good people who run this place. At first, I just took it to be a “good job and thanks for signing on with us!” kind of thing, but apparently we all have the option to nominate our friends and respected colleagues for their work as well. Nice idea…

So, in addition to saying thank you to The Tousled Apostle, let me also nominate her for her splendiferous work on her site! And, in conjunction with VBA rules, I also have a list of 14 other people I’d like to nominate as well. These are all people I’ve started following since my site went up and who I feel have made contributions worthy of recognition and the descriptor “versatile”. Here they are:

1. The Tousled Apostle – The site of my friend and literary colleague Jamie A Hughes. In addition to her thoughts on religion, spirituality, life, education, and of course, her writing. In addition to being a wife, mother, Christian and teacher, she’s also a fine writer, let me tell you! Her story Reclamation (a title we have in common) had me seeing the South and tasting honey… all from the comfort of my couch!

2. Lindsay goes to Hollywood – The personal blog of Lindsay Ellis, otherwise known as “The Nostalgia Chick” to her many internet followers. For years, I’ve enjoyed her insightful comments on movies, pop culture and film in general. Here, she get’s more up close and personal, relating her thoughts on the industry, the internet and whatever else comes her way.

3. Fabulous Realms – The official site of Ash Silverlock, known as Fabulous Realms. Dedicated to fantasy, folklore, myth and culture, Ash explores the world of Tolkien, Sterlin, Gaiman and of course provides links to his own fine writing. Combining a historians ability to research with a grand sense of wonder for the unexplored and mystical, this site is sure to please the most discerning reader of fantasy fiction!

4. Mijo Sport – The official website of Mijo Fitness, run by Michelle and Jonathon Carpenter, both of whom happen to be Taekwon-Do instructors of mine. They also specialize in personal training, cross-training and fitness education. If you’re interested in martial arts, fitness theory, getting in shape, or training for an upcoming event, these are the people to talk to!

5. A Writers Blog (c) Lara Dunning – The personal site of Lara Dunning; writer, blogger, mother, wife, coastal dweller, and big-time fan of flash fiction! It’s always nice to have a veteran in your corner, and when I also found out she lived in the Pacific Northwest; well, that just iced the cake! And naturally, one can find plenty of examples of her fiction here, which include adult fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, paranormal and even kids lit. Enjoy!

6. Down the Rabbit Hole – The website of prolific writer, reviewer, wife and mother, Jessica Brown. Like me, she suffers from a rare strain of ADD that affects writers. It causes them to produce at an alarming rate, but always several things at a time! Actually, she seems far more productive than me, for in addition to writing several works at a time, she also provides writer’s with assistance, such as ghostwriting, proof editing, feedback and reviews. Wow… and she’s a mother of four!

7. Deidre Alexander’s Blog – Official site of fiction writer Deidre Alexander, a zany, witty, and pretty (lets not deny it!) writer of contemporary YA and adult fiction who delights in goddesses, immortals, zombies and the paranormal. Her unique (and sometimes odd) take on the natural and supernatural are sure to please, enlighten and amuse all at once. Yep, this one’s got it all!

8. Sandy Ibrahim: Hitgirl’s Blog – Boxer, mother, and fitness guru. Sandy Ibrahim, a fellow Victorian and founder of Capital City Boxing and Hit to Fit functional fitness program. Initially trained as a competitive swimmer, she has since become a professional trainer, boxer, and fitness instructor with multiple qualifications. I’m tempting to look her up and get some training in for the New Year. I LOOOOVE boxing!

9. First Draft – Site of writer, teacher, senior editor, publisher and entrepreneur Kathy Rhodes. This woman has seriously done it all when it comes to the literary world! In addition to working for a fiction/non-fiction publisher – Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ( – she also founded her own company (TurnStyle Writing, Editing & Publishing), offers classes on creative writing to aspiring writers and has written several published works and an essay that was featured in The Best Creative Nonfiction Vol. 3 (W.W. Norton, 2009) and singled out for a review in The New Yorker. Wow… I seriously need to ask her how she does it!

10. The Valentine Yeti – The personal website of Neil Foster. Teacher, IT man, world traveler, cross-genre writer and possessor of enough sardonic wit to bring down an actual Yeti. Currently in Taiwan, but determined to find his way to the British Isles once more. Good luck Yeti!

11. JJ Brown Author – The site of writer JJ Brown, a native of the Catskills, highly well-read and highly educated, and a geneticist by education (no joke). Already she has penned a full-length novel and collection of short stories, and writes articles on medical education and research. Smart, and kind of humbling too…

12. Laura ≈ LME – Webpage of Laura LME, poet, published author, radio host/producer, spoken word recording artist and founder of ≈Verses In Motion≈, a body dedicated to promoting poetry and social awareness. In short, she’s a versatile artist, hence why I recommend her for this award!

13. Cynthia Robertson -The website of Cynthia Robertson, writer, newspaper columnist, and founder of the Arizona Novel Writers’ Workshop. In short, this group is responsible for helping writers polish their works, so in addition to being published, she helps others get there as well. Paying it forward! Good job, Cynthia!

14. Talinorfali – The website of fellow writer and Canuck Talin Orfali, an Armenian-Canadian who writes for her community, church, and who believes that “words can move mountains”. I certainly agree!

15. The Compleat Tsuribito – A lovely blog that I began following about a year ago when I came across his review for Sri Lankan food and drink. In addition to travel and cuisines, Tsuribito is dedicated to the fine art of fishing, photography and Japanese culture. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for some tips on seafood cuisine!

And, also in accordance with the rules of VBA, I shall now tell seven things about myself to my nominator! So, Jamie, consider yourself forewarned…

1. I like beer!

2. I like spicy food!

3. I enjoy classic science fiction.

4. I can’t stand words like persnickety or artificial compound words like ginornous or chilaxing.

5. I think boy bands are the lamest thing to ever grace our planet. Not too crazy about girl groups either…

6. When I write something, I constantly worry it won’t measure up. Often I can make myself finish something and stand by it, but my inner critic is just too powerful to silence completely!

7. I hate editing and promoting. The post-creative process just seems so tedious to me…

All done! Good luck to you and all others who’ve been nominated!