The Liebster Award

A little love came my way recently. Richmonder Marci Rich, who writes The Midlife Second Wife, nominated my blog for the “Liebster Award,” a recognition of bloggers by bloggers. A condition of Award-receipt is that I, in turn, recognize five blogs that I love—five blogs that each have fewer than 200 followers. It’s a lovely little way to encourage blog traffic while identifying blogs that shine and speak to us. Thank you, Marci!

My first thought was to award The Liebster to fellow craft-of-writing bloggers, but there’s a blog I follow that isn’t about writing, per se, and I just have to start with that one:

1. Written by Pam Watts, whom I met in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Strong in the Broken Places shakes me up and makes me think. Abused as a child, Pam decided to write her blog “to help the lives of children living through adversity. It’s about abuse and neglect and homelessness and any other number of really tough issues children face in our society today. And it’s about what we as children’s book people can do to help them.” Her posts remind me of the many ways literature can make a difference in a kid’s life—how the books we write really do matter. Thank you, Pam!

2. Almost every time I read Valley Haggard’s posts, I’m struck by the honesty of the writing. By her willingness to dig deep and speak truths I’d feel embarrassed to admit. I’m still working hard to overcome my mother’s mantra: don’t-air-your-dirty-laundry. When I read Valley’s writing, I feel exhilarated. It’s daring. Exciting. Freeing. Her writing invites me to loosen mine, to get real, to dig deep, to experiment on the page. Thank you, Valley!

3.  Another blogger whose writing helps me loosen up is Shann Palmer, author of the chapbook, Change. Her blog, Shann Palmer says, is all about poetry. Some of her stuff is fun, some serious, some playful, some hateful. Always honest. “If I can do it, you can do it,” she tells everyone. “Try a poem a day. Just try it!” Shann’s encouragement is contagious, and gets me to take off my critical-lit student hat and relax. Play with words. See where they take me. Have fun. Again—such a freeing blog to read. Is there a theme here? I love blogs that invite me to loosen up and experiment with my writing.

4. Then there is Lindsey Lane who writes The Meandering Lane “because a writer doesn’t always go in a straight line.” A playwright, author of Snuggle Mountain (Clarion 2003, and available as an iPhone/iPad app), and fellow Vermont College of Fine Arts alum, Lindsey is another writer who strokes my creative side. From Austin, Texas, she blogs about the writer’s life and how we have to face our fears and step out on thin, bendy branches to find a whole new point of equilibrium in our stories.

5. My fifth Liebster Award goes to Kristi Tuck Austin’s River City Fiction, a blog in a bit of a hiatus now, but soon to be back with book reviews and more. Kristi writes about her experiences connecting with readers, authors, librarians, and booksellers in Richmond, Virginia. Currently drafting her own novel, Kristi will be coordinating James River Writers’ 2012 professional development series, The Writing Show, a monthly panel of speakers waxing eloquent about the craft and business of writing. Stay tuned…

Thank you, all, for making the blogging world more fun, dynamic, and creative.

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