Sherry Ellis has one of the best blogs going around. Her blog Mama Diaries contains little almost-daily stories about her kids and the innocent mischief they get up to. I was pretty blown away when she named me as an inspiration. It was my skydiving video that did it: made her want to get out there and do something death-defying herself. We here in the Think Tank* applaud that attitude and I can't wait to see the results.
*That's the first time I've tried to name this place. What do you think?
Anyway, being an inspiration and all, she decided to hand me an award. The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is normally given to those who save a fellow soldier's life on the battlefield. If the person awarding it doesn't know anyone who's been to war (and let's face it - we're writers, not fighters), then it's to be given to those you find inspiring. Sherry decided I'm one of those people.
If that wasn't good enough already, the award found its way back to me again a few days later. One of the other great blogs of the internet - Cherdo On the Flipside - had gotten it from Chrys Fey who had in turn gotten it from Sherry. She thought it was fitting to hand it to me a second time because you know what? I'm just that darn good.
The award comes with a few rules attached:
- Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog. (check!)
- Display the award logo. (check!)
- Mention three things that have inspired you over the last few weeks (can do)
- Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to their blogs. (15?!?! I barely even know 15 people!!)
- Go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they've won. (15?!)
The first (and most cliched) is the friends I've made so far on this blog. I've mentioned once or twice before that I used to have a different blog which fell by the wayside when life got hectic. I accidentally deleted it and some of the best parts of my history disappeared along with it. It was actually my friend Sarah who pushed me into starting up a new blog. She told me how much she missed the old one and how she enjoyed my humour and liked knowing what's going on in my life. It hadn't actually occurred to me up until that point that anyone really cared. A few months later, I had the idea to do the New Experience Challenge and a blog was born. Most of my friends from the old blog have disappeared from the internet, but I'm making some really, really great new friends who are inspiring me to be more proactive and creative with my writing. I owe the gaining popularity of it to them.
The second is my acting agents, Nick and Carina. They agreed to represent me late last year and I'd been doing acting workshops with them until about a month ago. Every time we'd run a scene, they'd talk about past experiences that can be used to draw from in order to get the right emotion or reaction. They've led the most incredible lives. They've had soaring highs and crushing lows and in the short time I've known them, I've already seen them go through both. One particular evening we had just finished working a scene and Nick got onto the topic of a very depressing stage in his life. It was such an engaging and emotional story that it made me start to think about my own life. The thought process went something like this:
- They've gotten hurt a lot in the past, and it's made them the fantastic people they are today.
- I've been through my fair share of suffering, but I haven't had many painful experiences for a couple of years.
- That sounds good in theory, but it means I'm not growing. I'm just coasting through life in a state of purgatory, not moving forwards or backwards.
- The biggest difference between Nick & Carina and myself is vulnerability. I don't really put myself out there if I think I'm going to fail. I'm scared of getting hurt. So I don't allow it to happen. They on the other hand open themselves up, wear their hearts on their sleeves.
- I need to allow myself to be vulnerable again.
The third thing is the improv classes I've been taking. By this stage in my life, I'm getting pretty good at making people laugh when I want to. But I'm also fascinated with stories and would love to be able to engage people with stories of my own. Improv is a great way to practice creating characters and conflicts. And because you have to do it on the spot, in the spur of the moment, it sharpens your brain for that kind of thing. I also love being so in-the-moment and the excitement of that sink-or-swim environment really gets the adrenaline going. I always come off-stage wishing it had gone longer.
Now... As for nominating other bloggers. 15 is way too many. One person nominates 15 people, all those people nominate another 15... That's already 241 bloggers covered. Keep that going and you'll either have all of Blogger covered in ten rounds, or you'll get A LOT of multiples like what's happened here.
So I'm going to nominate four people, two for each award. Hopefully they respect the power and responsibility that comes with it.
- Jimmy Fungus at JimmyFungus.com - Jimmy has created a great little niche in YouTube and shares his videos on his blog. He's got a good eye for pop-culture and current events.
- Pat Hatt at It's Rhyme Time - This guy's somehow managed to come up with a new poem every single day, all making fun of a different aspect of life. That's over 1400 posts. I didn't even know there were 1400 things to talk about.
- Jacquelineand... at Cheapskate Blethering - Hilarious and engaging, the two things I try to be with my blog and in life. To her it comes easily.
- Debra at She Who Seeks - Another person who's hilarious and engaging. She has a great ability to connect with people from all over the world, no matter what their culture.