Thursday, October 27, 2011


Many, many weeks ago, Rusty over at The Blutonian Death Egg awarded me the 7x7 Link Award. I was just beginning to move at the time, so it's taken me  a while to get back to this one. If it was a normal award, I think I would have just conveniently forgotten about it, which I did anyway for a few weeks, but I kind of like this one, so I figured I'd honor it.
Not that I really understand the 7x7 part of it. I mean, I get the 7 links, but where does the x7 come in? It's like that "5x5" thing from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I looked that up once, and it doesn't really mean anything in the way they use it in the show, so I've always found that phrase curious and wondered about its origin. It's an interesting leap from the original meaning, the area of clearest reception from a radio station, to... well... I'm still not completely clear on the meaning in Buffy beyond "I'm cool." But I digress.

So I'm supposed to link to a bunch of my previous posts, so here goes:

1. Most Beautiful: I don't think I really do "beautiful" at this point. I generally don't go in for that kind of prose in the blog, although, maybe, I should. Actually, when I ever get around to talking about poetry, I might end up with some posts I think would qualify, but I'm not sure when I'll get to that. The closest I probably come to that is The Farm about the burning of where I grew up.

2. Most Helpful: I'm going to have to go with one of my earliest posts, which is one most of you probably haven't seen. It's called 400 Words and deals with part of my strategy that enabled me to sit down and make it through writing my first book.

3. Most Popular: I don't have a good answer for this one. How should I know, really? I'm going to divide it into categories:
a. most clicks: By far, my post with the most clicks (almost 3 times as many as the next most clicked) has been my review of the movie Hanna. I think it's the quote I used for the title of the post, because most of the click throughs to it have come from web searches on that quote. I have a secret experiment in the works to test this, but it's going to take a while before I know anything.
b. most comments (no restrictions): The Man With No Eyes has received more comments than any other post, but that's probably because it was involved in one of the campaign challenges for the Platform Building Campaign, so I don't think it's a good pick.
c. most comments (restricted to posts not involved in a blogfest): It looks like Writing in the Slow Lane takes the award for most popular just in and of itself. There are a couple of others that are probably close, but this one's not related to a blogfest of any kind and seemed to get a lot of meaningful comments.

4. Most Controversial: I'm going to have to go with my very last past, The Cliche Monster. I'm really surprised by this one, but I must have just fumbled the ball somewhere in there, because I got the feeling that most people just didn't get what I was really saying there. Yeah, I may be projecting somewhat because there was a huge drop in comments on that one and I lost followers for the first time ever after posting it. Really, I was just trying to say that writers shouldn't worry and obsess so much about whether or not someone has done a similar story, because, you know, someone out there has written a similar story. But it's the telling that matters, not the story itself. It seemed to make some people unhappy, though.

5. Most Surprisingly Successful: Again, I'm going to have to go with the review of Hanna. I'm still surprised at the steady stream of click throughs I get from that post. Not that it seems any of those people hang around, but who knows?

6. Most Underrated: That would have to be this post about zombies. I just expected it to get more response, but I feel like it really just flew right under the radar. It's also one of my favorite posts, because I think I had a real insight with that one. Oh, well...

7. Most Prideworthy: I have to say that the post I have the most pride in is the one annoucing that my book, The House on the Corner, is available for sale. Or for buying. For you to buy (and you should (ask Rusty Webb (hey, I have to plug the book sometime!))). However, there's nothing about that post in and of itself to really have pride in. So... a post I think is really well done that I would point out to people and say, "hey, I wrote that," that's a harder question, and I actually have a few. Some of them are already listed, so I've picked one more that's not previosuly listed: The Dream Vs the World. Okay, and one more: Publishing and the Real Estate Market.

Well, that's about it. It's interesting to look back at what I've done so far, especially since I'm approaching my 100th post. Interesting to see how the readership has grown and how the way I write posts has changed. I sort of assume that I present a more challenging blog than most people are interested in. I tend to be long (I'm very uncomfortable with anything less than around 1000-1200 words), and people (often) don't like long, so I appreciate you guys that do stop by and read what I have to say. I hope I tend to make people think. I do try to include humor in the blog, but I have to stop and remember to do it, really, because all of this is pretty serious stuff to me, and it's what I spend my time thinking about. Not that I don't laugh. I'm a big fan of comedy. And I don't use pretty pictures. Really, I just don't have time for it. After spending a couple of days (sometimes more) on a post (writing is a slow process for me, and, although, a blog post goes quicker then fiction, it isn't by much), I just don't have the necessary energy (or time) to spend many more hours looking for images to toss in.

As a special treat, though, and kind of because Matthew MacNish inspired me with his series on monsters, here's a short excert from The House on the Corner (just to prove that the humor does live inside me (it just may be a little closer to middle school humor than my wife would like)):

Mom opened the door to send us over to get Lewis and Carroll, because we were going trick-or-treating with them. Before we went out the door, I asked, “Mom, what's an imp?”
She frowned at me, “Where did you hear about imps, Sweetheart?”
“Elli said there would be imps outside tonight, and imps are mean because they've been constipated by demons from living too close to Hell.”
Everyone stared at me. I hate that. “What?” I said and made a frowny face.
“What did Elli say about the imps, Sweetie?”
“She said they're constipated.”
Sam started laughing, “Contaminated! Imps are contaminated.”
“Huh?” I said. “Oh, yeah! Contaminated! She said they're contaminated!”
Everyone started laughing. Everyone but me. “What's contaminated?”
Tom said, “Contaminated is like when something is polluted. Pollution contaminates the Earth.”
“What does that mean? Imps aren't the Earth.”
Mom knelt down next to me, “Contaminating something is making something that was good into something that's bad. Like when you leave food out and it gets mold on it.”
“Ohhh...,” I said. “Then, what's constipated?”
Tom and Sam started laughing harder.
That made more mad than when they were laughing before. “What! What does it mean?”
“Constipated is being full of poop,” Sam said and kept laughing.
“Maybe imps are constipated! Maybe that's what makes them so mean!” laughed Tom.
Sam fell on the floor laughing, “They're contaminated with constipation!”
Mom rolled her eyes and shook her head, “Boys... Just ignore them.” She opened the door and walked out with me.


  1. Interesting about your "Hanna" post. I remember enjoying that one, and also like that quote. Creepy little kid.

    Congrats on the award!

  2. Hooray awards! And now I'm going to have to go read that Hanna post...

    Also, I think I still owe you an e-mail. :)

  3. Congratulations on your award. I did one of these's a good way to reflect on your past blogging experience. However, it is a lot of work.

  4. Congratulations on your award. Plus, I like the tone of your blog :-)

  5. Bess: It is interesting. I wish I had access to more data so that I could really figure that one out.

    And she is a creepy little kid. I wish I'd enjoyed the movie more.

    J: You probably do. But you've been busy.

    Michael: Yeah, Rusty gave it to both of us at the same time. And it was a lot of work but actually easier to write than my usual blog post.

    Sarah: I'm glad to hear you say so :) Thanks!

  6. I agree with Sarah, I like the tone of your blog. I actually remember several of the posts you linked to. I think that says a lot about the quality of what you write.

  7. Are you sure you really lost followers? Someone had commented on a post of mine that blogger had made them think that a time or two. I have a hard time believing the cliche post would make people draw the line in the sand (yes, the use of cliche was intentional). I went back to your 400 blog and loved it, as I do many of your posts.

  8. I do believe your posts make people think; they certainly do so for me!

    I liked this award, as well. Very interesting concept. Better than the usual.

    I haven't read the Cliche Monster yet, but will have to do that. I am so behind!

  9. Rusty: Well, thanks, Rusty! :) Of course, it might also just be that it hasn't been that long since I posted some of those :P

    Nancy: As far as I can tell, I lost followers. I'm not so obsessive about followers that I have a master list or anything like that, but I do keep an eye out when new people join, and I'm pretty sure the numbers matched up, so a drop in numbers should have meant an actual loss of followers. >shrug< It could have been unrelated, but, you know, sometimes paranoia takes over.

    Shannon: I'm glad they make you think. I've often been told that I think about things too much and that I just shouldn't think about things so much, but I kind of can't help it, so it's good to be able to put all those thoughts into a format that's useful to other people.