Happy Anniversary!

fireworks1Today, I got an all=important notification from WordPress.com. It tells me that today is the third anniversary of this here blog, also known as storiesbywilliams.com. Yes, it was on this day, three years ago to the day, that I started this little enterprise in order to publicize my work, share what inspires me, and connect with other writers and bloggers out there.

And as with all anniversaries on this site, I’d like to commemorate this by sharing a few facts and figures, just to put it all in context context. Three years on this site has resulted in the following numbers:

  • 3 years
  • 1095 days
  • 8760 hours
  • 1576800 minutes

Or, to put it in terms of what I’ve actually done with that time, which seems much more relevant:

  • 410,057 views
  • 6,417 comments
  • 2,039 followers
  • 1,541 posts

And as usual, I would like to thank all those who helped make this possible. Since starting this blog, I’ve managed to publish all my works from 2004 onward. These include Source, the Legacies: Preludes collection, Data Miners, Whiskey Delta, and most recently, Papa Zulu. And in the coming months, I plan to release Flash Forward, and finish work on the long-awaited Yuva Anthology.

And, just as importantly, I feel I’ve learned a great deal, thanks to the personal and professional connections I’ve made. And wherever possible, I’ve tried to pass that experience and knowledge onward; and shall continue to do so whenever possible. This site is, was, and always will be about inspiration, and that belongs to no one and everyone.

So expect to hear plenty more from me, and be sure to make yourself heard as well – as often and as much as possible. Here’s to three years more, and to forever looking onward!

space_camera

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 😉

1000 Likes!

Holy crap, this has been the month of milestones! As the title suggests, I have just received my 1000th “Like”! You gotta appreciate the notifications feature on this website man, they really keep you abreast of things. And as usual, there are many, many people to thank.

First off, I would like to thank jazfagan for being my 1000th like. As the person who pushed the stock ticker over, you deserve special mention. I also notice you’ve been following me and liking my posts for some time, so good for you! And me…

Also, there are many people who take the time to come by and like what I have to say. I know I can’t possibly honor everyone who has done so, but I shall try to do my best by giving credit where credit is due. The following people deserve special mention:

Amateur Professional
caralaceo
iampeterstorey
khaalidah
kotev1000
nine and a half hours ahead
magikostudios
Nonoy Manga
ramiungarthewriter
sotetangyal
thegoodbadpeople
urbannight
vandyscape
versipellusfenris
writerlious
victorsmoviereviews
zencherry

Were it not for your attention-giving, on a pretty much daily basis, I’d be typing to myself! I know this is starting to sound repetitive after three separate announcements, but it’s still true. And all the kind words of encouragement, suggestions and constructive criticism have been extremely helpful and encouraging. While I am still not as accomplished as I would like to be, stuff like this makes me think like it’s truly possible.

Thank you again, and best of luck to all of you in all your future endeavors!

20,000 Hits!

Morning! Some good news, netter news, and bad on this rainy day here in Victoria BC. Good news first, I’m finally over my flu… well mostly. For days it’s been dogging me and keeping me grounded. Luckily, I turned this  time towards more articling and have topped 250! Good for me. As for the better news, I just learned that my hit ticker, the thing that monitors my overall traffic, has just passed 20,000. YAAAAAAY!

Okay, now for the bad news… I lied, there is no bad news! At least none that I can see right now, but I’m heavily biased by this good news. Perhaps I’m tempting fate… Who cares?! Point is, I’ve finally reached this milestone and there are plenty of people to thank!

For starters, I want to thank Worpdress.com for the FP back in March of this year. Were it not for them posting my article Dystopian Science Fiction, on their home page, I never would have made it this far. I know, the moderators give FP’s to like a dozen people a day, but thanks to that sliver of recognition, I got over 7000 hits in the space of 24 hours. That’s almost twice what I managed to get in the 12 months leading up to it. In the space of a day, my overall traffic went from just over 4000 to 11,000, just in the space of a day!

Wow. But more importantly, that day allowed me to pick up roughly 100 new followers. 100 new colleagues, peers, friends, and collaborators to spin ideas with, bounce my thoughts off of and help with ideas of their own. This meant that every day thereafter, whenever I published something, I had 100 people to share it with, rather than just speaking my thoughts to the void. That kind of interaction is invaluable and matters far more than overall traffic, let me tell you 😉

And things only got better from there. As March rolled in April and April to May, more and more people came by to comment on what I had to say and began following my blog. In those eight weeks, my total followers went from just over 100 to 200, on WordPress that is (think I got like 600 from twitter, but they rarely stop by!) So naturally, my endless gratitude goes to all the people who came by, liked what they saw, and decided to stay. Without you, this would really be impossible!

And of course there’s my family, my darling bride, the good folks at Grim5Next, and Story Time to thank. You’re encouragement, invitations to join in writer’s projects, proofreading and editing and helpful comments have always been a source of help and inspiration. I dream of someday writing professionally, which in addition to committing all my time to it means that I’ll also get paid. Hopefully, that dream isn’t too far from realization. I can’t tell you how annoying I’ll be when that happens, at least to those who sign my checks… Freaking PAY ME!

So once again, thank you all and I hope you’ll keep coming by in the future. I have plenty more to share, new ideas to formulate, and about a million more articles concerning science fiction, pop culture and the changing world we live in. And rest assured, if I EVER get famous, I’ll be taking all of you with me! Good luck and good day!

200th Follower!

Yaaaay! I just got a nudge from the moderators that I’ve just picked up my 200th follower here on wordpress. I’m honored and would like to thank you to all the good folks who’ve chosen to take time out of their busy day to listen to all of my inane thoughts. And I would like to especially thank Stewarty, who just happened to be the one to get me to this milestone. Were it not for all of you, I’d have no one to share all my thoughts with… and then I’d probably go nuts! Cheers and best of luck to everyone 🙂

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 (www.asouthernjournal.com) – 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!