Blogging Awards 2017
So one day in band camp . . . Wait. That’s not how this story goes. I got it. I got it. A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy far, far away. Ummmm . . . I’m still not on the right track? Hmmmm . . . let me see. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Is Dickens too corny? Oh yeah! That’s right. I was just nominated for another award. Ah, Blogging Awards!!! Elizabeth from Betty’s Battleground nominated me for the Liebster award, or the sunshine blogging award . . . one of those two. I’m still not sure. Or as my dear friend and nominator calls it, the Liebshine Blaargh Awards!
There is such stress and pressure to receiving and accepting this nomination that I don’t know whether I can handle it. Seriously! I have to answer 11 questions. And then I have to nominate up to eleven bloggers for this award, aside from the stress and strain of putting a blog graphic on my website. And for those that I nominate, I have to come up with 11 brand new questions of my own. Oh, wait. Maybe it’s not so hard after all.
Normally I find award acceptances (or even nominations), strange. As a person who likes to critique the Oscars, I find those awards unseemly. The Oscars are a bunch of people giving themselves large pats on the back, all the while making politically motivated nominations, and preaching to others about the benefits of some such pet project they had. But now that I have been nominated for a blogging award by a blogging peer I say, fight on dear old Academy. Keep doing your self-congratulatory best. Because being recognized by your peers is pretty darn cool. I just wish I could be the one preaching to the universe about the benefits of my pet project. Give to the Oreos for Oreos foundation!!! Wait. That’s my dog’s pet project! (Oreo you know you can’t eat chocolate right?!?!?)
In the spirit of the nomination, the staff at the Guide researched these awards to come up with the proper tone to set for this serious blog piece. (Because everyone who reads this blog knows how serious we are here at the Guide. And the fact that we would be nominated for a Sunshine Award?!?! Very suspicious!) So I begin with the list of rules that have been set up by the non-existent rules committee in some deep dark dungeon in a German Castle somewhere. *Cue Lightning flash* I started going to previous nominees for these awards and tried to trace the origins of them. What evil genius would do such a dastardly thing? I will get to what I discovered, but that’s question number one. (Thanks, Elizabeth.) In the meantime, these are the following rules for the Liebshine Blaargh Award:
Liebshine Blaargh Award Rules
Rule #1 –
You have to accept the nomination. I know that this may be hard for some of you in Hollywood to comprehend; because for the Oscars, they can force you to be nominated and receive an award against your will. They even give out awards to the dead. With this blogging award, you have to actually say that you want it in order to receive it. Can I still reject this nomination? Is it too late? Oops! Does anyone know where Sacheen Littlefeather is?
Rule #2 –
You have to nominate someone with less than three hundred followers. This one is utterly confusing and if anyone checked out my old blog, one could complain that I was way past that. But social media following I don’t think should be counted as blog following. So when my blog says 130 followers, it means it. But if you are willing to get hundreds of people to subscribe to my blog so that I would no longer qualify for this award, who am I to reject the will of the people?
Rule #3 –
You have to thank the blogger who nominated you for the award. This is incredibly rude and presumptuous, right? Making you thank the person who nominated you should be against blogging etiquette or something. I mean, it’s like torture to make you actually thank the person who would do such a kind thing for you and notify all of their followers about your blog. Now that I think about it . . . thank you, Elizabeth. Really, you have been one of the kindest bloggers that I have met since starting my journey. And if I don’t tell you enough, you have the most amazing hearts that I have known. You have to deal with things that would make me want to crawl up in a corner and hide from the world and yet you continue on. Thank you for your daily inspiration.
Rule #4 –
Be pulled in by Homeland Security and be waterboarded while you answer eleven questions of national importance. Ok! This may not be the case. You just have to answer the eleven questions provided for you. But I’m horrible at answering questions. And every answer becomes its own treatise. So I am just hoping that you do not fall asleep before you get to the end. Or maybe I should hope you fall into a trance and use this blog for hypnosis, getting you to subscribe to my blog at the end. You are getting sleepy . . . sleepy . . . sleepy.
Rule #5 –
Nominate eleven other people for such torture. Wait! Yes! This nomination does have its benefits. It’s all part of my plan to take over the world! Now shhhh!!! You are getting sleepy . . . sleepy . . . sleepy. Now, follow my blog. Follow my blog. Follow my blog.
Rule #6 –
Come up with eleven questions to ask your tortured victims. (By that I mean nominees.) I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, really. I don’t want to make my nominees feel like I have become the Spanish Inquisition part Deux. But I also don’t want to ask questions like Beer or Vodka? I was never a frat boy. And even if I were in another life (not that I believe in past lives), I don’t want to go back to being one now.
Rule #7 –
Rule number 7? Now, what was that rule again? I think I’m running out of rules and I wanted to make this list go to eleven! Rats! Oh yeah. I have to post a picture of the award on my page. I was gung-ho about the first six rules but when I got to this one I was like, “I’m out.” They actually want me to post a graphic on my web page? Who do they think I am, a blogger? What were they thinking?
Rule #8 (Rule for the Sunshine Blog Award only) –
The blogger I nominate must bring light to my life in some way. Then again, if I was nominating people who brought darkness to my life, I would be a real masochist wouldn’t I? I would only nominate people for any award that brought something of value to my life. So I guess this is a rule that goes without saying. But I said it. So there!
Following the Rules:
Ok, let’s knock off these rules one by one so that I can say I followed them to the letter of the law. You know, those nebulous blogging laws that exist. Because they are a thing. Or the rules police will get me.
Rule #1 –
I accept this nomination. Either that or this is the strangest blog post ever. I think by writing this my acceptance would be self-evident. As my daughter would say, “Duh daddy!”
Rule #2 –
I will only nominate people with less than 300 followers. But, as I have said already, this means that they have less than 300 following their blog. I will not include social media accounts followers.
Rule #3 –
Thank you, Elizabeth (Betty’s Battleground) again for nominating me. Now on to the fake history of the Liebshine Blaargh Award!!!
Rule #4 –
After waiting hours for Homeland Security to show up to torture the answers to these questions out of me I got the bright idea that maybe if I answered them before they get here I won’t have to deal with their torture. So here it goes.
How did the prestigious Liebshine Blaargh Award get separated into two distinct awards-the Sunshine Award and the Liebster Award?
Once Upon a Time in the Land of Blogos, or as some people called it, The Web, there existed a race of people called bloggers who typed sentences into a strange box that would broadcast all of these sentences out to the world. Sometimes they were random sentences. And sometimes they actually made sense. But these bloggers were always involved in their wonderful creations to bring these sentences out to humanity. Sometimes these sentences actually had corresponding pictures with them as well.
Unfortunately for this race of bloggers, they did not always live close by one another. So the only way they could form community was through these small boxes that were on desks. They would form action committees, provide correspondence, and have celebrations sitting behind these boxes with screens on the top. This race of bloggers grew so fast that some people thought that bloggers were like some parasite that would body snatch people to join their ranks. This growth went on for several years as the bloggers would create leadership groups to keep track of their growing ranks.
One day there was a membership committee leader named Mel (His name has been erased to protect the innocent) who was looking at the growing list of bloggers to add to the membership ranks. As he was staring at the numbers, instead of the constant growth of the race of bloggers, one afternoon he actually saw the numbers go down. And what was peculiar about this was these missing bloggers were relatively new. This panicked Mel. Was there a hit man sent to take out this new race of bloggers? Did the politicians find a way to erase these people from existence? He didn’t know, but he needed to find out.
So Mel ran down the corridors of Blogos headquarters and sought out Dave, the master of technology. (Yes Dave’s name has also been redacted to protect the guilty. But that’s a whole other story.) Mel was in a panic and it took Dave several minutes to calm him down. When Mel showed the numbers dropping in their race, Dave’s face grew very dim. It was like the world was crashing around him until he got an idea. He had a strange and wonderful idea.
Dave thought if he could make all of the bloggers in the world happy enough that no one would want to do them harm. But how would they make them happy? So Dave looked at Mel, and Mel looked at Dave. They stared at each other for hours until they were about to pass out when all of a sudden they shouted the word in unison: “Leibshine.”
Leibshine wasn’t really a word, per say. Leibshine meant happiness to the German contingent of bloggers. And that’s what they needed to promote. Happiness! They both had been binge watching Academy Awards shows of years past. (I am not sure why they were but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) And they saw how happy these nominated people were as they accepted their awards. So they thought they could do this for bloggers. And as they were especially concerned with the new bloggers they put a cap on the number of followers these bloggers could have at 3000.
Years passed and Mel and Dave were very proud of the work they had done to keep the race of bloggers from Blogos growing. But that positive energy only lasted for a few years until Mel and Dave had a massive falling out. And what was this falling out you ask? Mel and Dave noticed the numbers of bloggers stagnating and dipping again. And the Leibshine awards were not working as they had intended them to work.
Mel, the more accounting inclined of the pair, decided that it was because they were allowing bloggers with too many followers to keep receiving the award. He thought this was unfair and made the new bloggers depressed and die out early. Dave, the more laid back and jovial of the two, decided that they were not making these new bloggers happy enough. So he thought taking away the specific number of followers and focusing on people who made others happy was the way to prevent the rapid death of Blogos.
The two fought for days about how they should change these awards to keep the blogging race from becoming extinct. And after an intense battle of rock paper scissors which lead to a declaration of war between the two, they decided they were better off in their own corners of the halls of Blogos headquarters. With the ending of their partnership and hundreds of mediators of Blogos unable to bring reconciliation to the pair, they decided they would break the name and awards in half. Mel took the Leib and created the Liebster Award. And Dave took the shine and created the Sunshine blogging awards. And these two separate awards exist to this very day.
What ever happened to Mel? And whatever happened to Dave, you ask? I am told after much research that they now are sipping Mai Tai’s on an island with Jimmy Hoffa, John F. Kennedy, Elvis, and Marilyn Monroe. Whether that is true or not, I cannot say. But you no longer can hear them haunting the halls of Blogos headquarters, getting into rock paper scissor battles to the death. It is almost as if they have been erased from existence.
2. What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome in this life of yours?
Honestly, I would say that they would be my own personal fear of failure. There is a lot to that. I have so many stories from a child that have instilled that fear in me. So often people tell you what you can and cannot do. And it’s easy to fear doing those things because people have already told you how you will fail at them. I cannot say that you will succeed at everything in life. But what I can tell you is that you will feel a jolt of energy greater than you have ever felt before when you find the thing you were meant to do.
When I began this blog I felt this bolt of lightning. And now that I have experienced it, I am not going back. I no longer fear failure. I no longer worry that my blog will fail. Instead of the fear, what I think about now is what will happen when it succeeds like I know it will. Because I know I have found my purpose.
3. What do you still struggle with?
I think I still struggle with feelings of loneliness from time to time. I was an extremely shy child, which to some may come as a shock. So when my parents changed my school for my brother’s benefit, I lost all my school friends. I had no real friends at school for years. This made me acutely aware of feelings of loneliness. Later on in my marriage, my partner abandoned me and glommed onto our child for support when outside circumstances made things go badly.
I had people living in a house with me and yet I was very alone. When my ex-wife left and took our child, I don’t think I ever felt so lonely in my whole entire life. I am doing much better with it. But there are still times, especially on the weekends I do not have my daughter and I am home by myself that I feel extremely cut off from the world. And in those moments I still experience loneliness.
4. How have your blogging goals changed or adapted since you first started blogging?
On some levels, I feel really good about where I am. I know that I made sure I wasn’t going to worry about generating income or things like that for the first six months of my blogging journey. I wanted to focus on the blogging, social media, and growth for six months before I thought about any of that. But now I will be transitioning to this next phase where I focus on what I can do to generate income with my blog as it was all part of the plan from the beginning. So I am really in a transition phase right now. But it still feels really good.
There are some things that have changed from the beginning, however. Expectations about how fast I should grow have changed. I have had to temper some of them. I had to change how frequently I was writing the blog because it got to be a bit too crazy for a while. And I had to change how often I was doing things on social media because it got to where I was working a 40 hour a week job and was marketing a 60 hour a week blog. I knew I needed to step back. But I don’t feel bad about that. I think that is all part of the growing pain process of this. And I am looking forward to how things will change and how I will adapt in the future.
5. What are your favorite methods of self-care or self-love?
I would say that good food, going to fun or beautiful places, and movies are all methods of self-care I use. They make me feel inspired and they bring energy to what I do. I love them. Although if I were, to be honest, as I am aging, I am thinking that it may be high time to use a masseuse. Being able to relax would add more to feelings of peace and contentment I believe.
6. What’s your favorite inner or outer attribute?
This is a hard one to describe. I would say my favorite attribute would be “my muse.” My muse is not necessarily a physical being, although certainly a beautiful woman, a beautiful person, or a gorgeous piece of scenery can inspire me. But whatever drives me to write, the moment where I see the words on the paper flow, almost like I am not writing them, excites me the most. I almost do not know how to describe it. I believe everyone has gifts and talents in this life. We develop them and use them for the good of others. Nothing in the world makes me feel like I feel when I am writing. That “muse” is my favorite part of me.
7. What is my favorite book?
I could go a hundred ways with this. But I still have to go with the one that inspired me to be a reader in the first place. I always loved reading. But I do not believe a novel inspired me until I read The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, when I was 10 years old. That story had everything. It had murder, revenge, pirates, theft, love, loss and betrayal. It blended my love of history with my love of good storytelling. I have read a ton of other novels since then, but there is nothing like that book which so captured my imagination. Others may technically be better written. So, I suppose some of the reason for it being my favorite book is nostalgia. But so what!
8. Favorite vegetable? Include how you prepare it!
Not fair! You actually want me to discuss how I prepare the vegetable?!?! Ugh! Lol. Ok! Here it goes. For those who say that potatoes aren’t vegetables, I will refer you to this article. As I consider them vegetables, I will say that my favorite way to prepare them is a recipe I got from Alton Brown. It has four pounds of Russet Potatoes peeled and cut into small inch pieces and then boiled for thirty minutes. In the meantime, scald a pint of Half and Half with six cloves of minced garlic. (Do not bring to a boil.)
Take the potatoes off boiling and drain the potatoes, putting them back into the pot. Then pour the scalded cream into the potatoes and mash for a little bit. Then take six ounces of grated Parmesan cheese and add it to your creamy potatoes. Whip well! Trust me, it is potato heaven, or calorie hell, depending on your point of view.
9. Tell me about a time you misjudged or misperceived a person, situation, or community, and what you learned from the experience?
I am not sure that misjudged is exactly the right word here. But what I would say is that I allowed myself to ignore warning signs with my ex that should have had me running for the hills. Aside from the depression she experienced, she refused to forgive anyone she thought had wronged her, and wish them harm. She would do semi-violent things to those who had wronged her. Furthermore, she would do violent things to herself if she felt over-stressed. All of these issues and much more would haunt me in our marriage, even as I assumed that they would never happen to me.
While understanding that these were signs of problems to come, stating this is a bit of an oversimplification. If you have questions about what happened to me, I would be more than willing to go into further detail. But I will not here to keep this brief. (Too late I know. But I don’t want to write 10,000 words for an article.) I know that people develop all sorts of coping mechanisms for dealing with trauma. And I don’t blame them for developing them. And so my ex-wife developed all sorts of coping mechanisms for what happened to her in her life. So I try to be understanding, even if I know I need protection from the things she is capable of.
What I did learn from the experience was more about me and less about her. I learned that I have my own personal limits about what I can handle in a relationship. Aside from the limits, I learned that I have my own personal needs as well. You cannot be the only one giving in a relationship. If energy runs only one way, you will run out of it. Furthermore, I learned that I cannot fix someone else’ problems. I can be there for them. I can love them. But I cannot fix them. And I have a tendency to want to be the knight in shining armor for someone. This relationship made me realize that I can do that no longer.
10. What is a common misperception that you would like to dispel?
I honestly do not know if there is a misperception I feel the need to dispel. What I do believe is that people have a whole bunch of misperceptions about bloggers. First, many think it’s easy. Wrong. Takes tons of time but you would only know if you were doing it. Second, many believe that bloggers don’t really have anything to sell so they are life’s lottery winners. The truth is, aside from any books or materials they create to sell, bloggers sell their ability to influence. How companies quantify that influence is always under debate and it changes. But we do sell a service of sorts. And we have to keep being relevant to be influential.
Third, Bloggers get a ton of “free” stuff. Define free. They send us stuff if we provide a service for them. It’s a little like clothes at an Academy Awards. They give these actresses crazy dresses because they want the dresses to be seen and then for people to buy them. Companies give bloggers stuff so we will tell our followers how amazing it is and then convince them to buy it as well. Really, we are just a marketing extension for producers of products. And as television viewing habits have changed, companies have had to find other ways to sell their products.
Finally, Bloggers are open books with extreme cases of verbal diarrhea and can be known with all of their oversharing on their blogs. This is true and not true. We write a lot. And many reveal a lot about themselves through their works. But we still hold a lot back. And like with anything on the net, we project a certain level of wish fulfillment in our lives. We seem gregarious but can be the shyest and reserved people out there.
Yes, we are everything that’s in our blog. But we are also so much more. And sometimes we are even less. I would say if you love a particular blogger and want to get to know them, interact with them. Don’t just read their page. You will get to know so much more about them than you will through the 800 words on any given post. Or in my case, the 4,000 words.
11. What was your big dream when you were a kid?
Dream? What’s a dream? Oh! You mean those things were you feel good about yourself at the end. Ah yes! Actually, as a kid, I had so many different dreams I could not count them all. They changed based upon time and circumstance. If I were merely to pick one, I would say that I would have dreamed of directing a big movie musical someday. I grew up watching classic movies, and I loved the movie musicals. Fred Astaire, Gene Kelley, and Donald O’Connor were the heroes of my youth. I wanted to create a more modern day version for new audiences.
Of course, with all dreams, they get confronted with reality. I would have been happy to be a director and make movies. Musicals don’t generally play on the big screen well at this point. But that went by the wayside as well. Life is a journey. You cannot get upset by the ride you take. Just learn to appreciate the little detours you take along the way.
Rule #5 – My Eleven Nominations
To be honest, I am not sure I am ready for this. Last time I was nominated for something I think I only came up with seven. But I am going to do my best to find eleven that I love . . . AND . . . that fit criteria number two. It’s going to be hard, but here it goes.
- Brandi Kennedy Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman – Last time I was nominated for something I couldn’t nominate her because she had been nominated by the same person. I am so excited to be able to nominate her this time. Even though she at this moment is worried what I am doing. She has gone through a lot to get to where she is raising two lovely daughters and still having a smile on her face. She is inspirational for sure.
- Daddy Poppins – UK Dad who always makes me laugh with his sense of humor and love his heart for his kids. If you ever need a smile, he will make you laugh.
- Veggies By Candlelight – She is always tempting me by her amazing dishes that she prepares on her site. But her site is so much more. She is a mom, an entertainer, a friend, and someone with an amazing heart for people. Drop on by and find inspiration.
- Termine Talks – Another Dad Blogger who makes me laugh with all of his adventures. He tells his stories with a good deal of humor and is easily relatable.
- Airing My Laundry – An inspiring mom blogger with a husband in the Military and a son and daughter she is raising. I love reading through her stories. And trying to balance her life while raising a child with Aspergers I am just constantly amazed.
- I Breathe In Emotions – I am a big book nerd. So I am always up for someone who loves books. But this author communicates with so much passion and I love that. A more recent discovery but definitely worth a read.
- A Shield Maiden Life – Another person who has suffered a bit and struggled. A relatively new blogger, only a month in, but I appreciate the way that she writes and the relentless positivity she has.
- Naked Souls – Another recent discovery. Anne from Naked Souls has an eye for the visual and tells a story through her pictures as much as her words. Definitely, be inspired as you read her blog. And she’s a classic film junkie which I love.
- Anna Love Life – Sometimes artists tell stories through other methods that just words. And Anna is definitely an artist. She does some amazing work and the photos are worth well more than a thousand words.
- Kumin Kueche – I am always on the lookout for new food bloggers. And in the short time that I have seen her, she puts out food to die for. And the photography is a sensual delight.
- Soul Care For The Misfits – For the most part I have distrusted people who sound a little too “self-helpy” to me. People telling other people how to live I am always suspicious of. But Jim is real in a way I cannot describe. He definitely relates to his audience.
Rule #6 – My Eleven Questions
What was your first idea when you started your blog?
How soon did you feel like you had found your blogging voice?
What is your blogging why? Why do you blog?
What blogger inspired you the most since you started blogging?
Of all your blogging experiences, what has made you laugh out loud the most?
What is the one place you are still looking forward to visiting and why?
If you had the chance to work with one company on your blog, what would it be and why?
If you had one thing you wanted to communicate to your audience, what would it be?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What was your best vacation?
Who has been your biggest hero?
Rule #7 –
Rule #8 –
You can judge for yourself whether they bring brightness to your world. They certainly have brought brightness to my world. I hope they can do so for yours as well. I don’t know what else to say here. Mic dropped!
Continue The Conversation
So I know you had to wade through this novel. What was your favorite blogger on this list that you took a look at? Who are some of your favorite bloggers? And I have to know, what you thought of the fake history of the Liebshine Awards. I definitely let my creativity get the better of me there.
If you appreciated this post and read it all, please follow me here at the blog. And definitely, check out some of these that I mentioned. Subscribers by email will get access to the Dad Rules, ten rules that every dad should follow. Or else I might have to torture you with a nomination. 😉 Thank you for stopping by.
Until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life
Other Odes to Bloggers: