I am always so honored to hear when my efforts have touched someone else. I came back to my blog after a month-and-a-half hiatus today to find that someone has nominated me for an award. 🙂 Thank you, Daily Presents! The author of Daily Presents is a fellow Monkee, and her blog is quite, quite beautiful. Check it out.
And, in the spirit of the thing, here are my fifteen pay-it-forward nominations, my favorite blogs (not sure where versatility comes in here, I’m just going for “love them” blogs). Starting with six not-yet-famous favs:
Jaimie Teekell. I’ve been following Jaimie for a while. I especially love when she posts snippets of whatever novel or story she is working on. She is quite an exceptional fiction writer. I can’t wait to congratulate her when her first book comes out.
The Cherry on Top. I’ve known Lisa since the year she taught me to teach at-risk kids and saved me from probably quitting early and/or shooting myself, 2001. Scrapbooking is not really my thing (not my thing AT ALL, way too much organization required), but I love this blog anyway. Lisa just never stops amazing me, what she accomplishes. Also, she posts freebies constantly. If you like scrapping, check her out.
An Everyday Mystic. Amy and I went to college together. She won the English department’s top award our senior year, for which I will never forgive her. Well, maybe some day. Anyway, she is a pastor now in Canada and she writes the most beautiful, beautiful things. I never cease to be amazed at the incredibly minds I was blessed to attend school with.
Blurb is a Verb. Really love this one. Don’t remember how I found her. It’s all about creative ways to promote your books. Sarah gets successful authors to come on her blog and talk about creative and unique methods they use. Very cool. Also, Sarah’s an accomplished author herself. Check out the recently published audio version of her novel: Julia’s Child.
The Very Worst Missionary. This is a new one for me, just discovered, and I LOVE her. It all started with sex. A post about sex, that is. And how to talk to your teenage boys about it. Best post about sex ever. Really. Then I read more, and the more I read, the more I loved. Check her.
High Desert Chronicles. Angela writes in great detail about building a self-sustaining lifestyle in the desert. Very interesting!
Lev Grossman. Lev Grossman actually IS famous, just not his blog. Author of two best-selling (amazing) novels and a third on the way, he has quite a significant fan base. And yet, somehow, his blog seems somewhat neglected. Both by himself and by the fans. Each entry gets maybe ten or twelve comments. Why is that? Anyway. If you haven’t read his books, do. Also, he seems like a really nice guy, too.
Plus four well-known blogs I love. If you haven’t found these yet, check them out. There’s a good reason they’re famous.
Free Range Kids. Self described as “the world’s worst mom,” Lenore argues that in the name of safety, we are stunting our children’s development by preventing them from doing anything we deem “dangerous.” She became famous when she wrote about letting her 9-year-old navigate the New York subway by himself (and got soundly reamed for it by the general public). I’m letting my 12-, 9-, and 5-year-olds fly to Colorado by themselves in August. And I let them climb trees, play with knives (yes, I DO, please stop looking at me that way), and walk around the neighborhood alone (not so much the 5-year-old on that last one but knives, YES). So, yeah.
The Bloggess. Irreverent, and best known for the giant metal chicken, the Bloggess is now a best-selling author. I was following her before that. Just for the record. But not before the chicken. The chicken is how I found her. Just read. Unless you’re easily offended. Or offended ever by anything. Then skip this one, because most likely you’ll be offended. Fair warning.
Momastery. This. is. my. fav. Why is she so near the bottom? Don’t know. Best for (almost) last, I guess. It’s not the great writing, the fall-off-your-chair-laughing sense of humor. I mean, it’s both those things. The profound insights. The raw, real, true story telling. All of those things. Mostly, though, it’s the way she’s changing the world through love, kindness, determination, keep-at-it-ness, and, oh, Love Flash Mobs. Glennon is my hero.
Farnam Street Blog. This is great brain food. They review really good books daily, and you’ll learn something fascinating in just about every one.
Okay, and one more. This one is kinda-sorta self promotion, because I maintain the blog. But it’s not really me. It’s my uncle.
POW Diaries. My Uncle Pierce was a POW in Japan in WWII, and he gave me a copy of his memoir. I’m typing them up and publishing them as a blog, each section 70 years after the time he was writing about.
…. Wow, fifteen is a lot. That was not fifteen.
I read quite a bit, but blogs aren’t the ONLY things I read, which they would have to be for me to keep up with fifteen regularly. Could this award maybe ask me to nominate twelve blogs, because that’s how many I can think of right now?
Okay. So the other thing the award asks you to do is to share 7 things about yourself. Presumably things your readers don’t already know. Which is hard for me because, you know, I share pretty much everything. All the time. So… hm. Here we go anyway:
1. My best friend in England growing up was named Helen. We were never ever ever ever apart except when we weren’t at school. The teachers had trouble telling us apart: Heather and Helen. Except that she had short curly hair and a bona fide British accent (mine was only partial), we were practically the same person. To make it easier on everyone to keep track of who was who, we decided to change our names and *insist* that everyone use our new names. We chose Tess and Tass. Because that made sense to us. To us. (Edited to add: I’ve been looking for Helen ever since the advent of Facebook, with no luck. Periodically, I stalk all the Helen Cousins’s I can find through FB search and hit them all up with PMs. So far, nothing. If you know a Helen Cousins who lived near Newmarket and went to St. Felix Middle School in the early 80s, please tell her Tess is looking for her. Thanks.)
2. I play Diner Dash and Ranch Rush on my smart phone. Sometimes obsessively. Especially at night in bed until my eyes are so heavy I fall asleep with my phone still on.
3. Related to #2 I get depressed at night. My serotonin levels get really screwed up or something, just plummet through the floor, and I get scared and worried and feel like it’s just not worth it to keep trying. But my brain is going so fast I can’t sleep either. Around 4 in the afternoon I’m always thinking, “I am SO going to bed early tonight,” but once those serotonin levels plummet around 8pm, I will do anything in the world to stop my brain thinking all those horrible thoughts. So I keep myself so busy with other things that eventually I fall asleep (often past 1am) and get to miss the anxious-scared-worried-about-everything stage. Unfortunately, it also means I miss out on several hours of sleep.
4. I’m thinking of selling my chickens. Carey rolls his eyes at me because I am constantly changing things up. I was so in love with the chickens. Now I’m frustrated because they hide their eggs. And I figure if I’m going to sell them, now is the time, while they’re young and desirable. They’re really a quite expensive hobby even WITH eggs, but without them, they’re sort of pointless. Cute. But pointless.
5. My brother and I used to walk across our hot gravel driveway, in the California high desert in summer, in bare feet, just to see how far we could go.
6. Once we found a bird who had been injured somehow. Mom helped us get a box for it and take care of it until it died. When it died, she helped us bury it. I love my mom.
7. Another time, we kept a friend’s dog and she ran out in front of a car and got killed. It was awful. I remember wanting desperately to know where the body was, and my parents refusing to tell me. I understand, completely, why and what they meant by it, even if I disagree with it as a parenting decision. Still, it’s a vivid and dark memory for me.
7.5 I’m sure I’m making lots and lots of mistakes with my kids they will later remember vividly and darkly. I’m sorry. Also, this doesn’t really qualify as one of the seven, partly because I already wrote seven, and partly because it’s something I’ve already said elsewhere in different words.
Thanks again for the nomination. It’s an honor. 🙂
And, to whet your appetite… coming up… I really AM going to write that how-to-build-the-chest-of-drawers-brooder post. Really really. I’ve actually written part of it already! Maybe next year I’ll be done! Look for it!