Thought of the Week: It Happened Again

This is all getting a little bit too much, and I’m starting to get worried. My blog appears to be having an unintentional effect on some of the people reading it. At first, I thought it was just a one-off, and I reassured myself it wouldn’t happen again.

The second time, I began to be concerned. What kind of thoughts was I planting in my readers’ heads? Without meaning it, I was playing mind games; I actually seemed to have the power to redirect their thoughts. It was worrisome.

And now – it has happened a third time. And I realize that it is now inescapable. I began this blog as a way to express myself, to open myself and my writing to the world. As it grew, I began to write about other topics that concerned and humored me, and over time, I realized that there were a few people out there who seemed interested in what I had to say. Some of them told me their thoughts; others gave me feedback without comment.

And so it appears that, for as long as I continue to blog, these things will keep happening. I have to remind myself that it is outside of my power to influence these people, and they will act the way they do when they read my words. I must simply accept it.

That’s right: I’ve received another award!

I made my own again – what do you think?

This one comes courtesy of Dan Kline, over at What to do about me and D.I.D.. I discovered his blog a while back, and have been touched at his daily struggles, and the commitment he makes to his family in spite of them. I’ve gained inspiration from him for my own turbulence, and his support has come to mean a lot. He has also shown a remarkable devotion to my little story, and his multitudinous compliments have turned my ears red on more than one occasion!

So in a lovely irony, he has nominated me for the Reader Appreciation Award – being one of my most-appreciated readers!

Now, this award comes with a few rules, so I will abide by them this time…

  1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog. ✔
  2. Answer the ten questions below for fun, if you want to. ✔
  3. Nominate ten to twelve blogs that you enjoy (or you pick the number).
  4. Pay the love forward: provide your nominees with a link to your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
  5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you. ✔

Or not. The truth is, the bloggers I appreciate know who they are, and if they don’t (!), they’re at the bottom of every page, all the time. Bear in mind that there are many, many blogs out there that I love; these ones are those that have impacted me, and made a difference in my life.

And now, you get to learn even more about me!

  1. What is your favorite color? Any color, as long as it’s black.
  2. What is your favorite animal? The cat, followed closely by spiders, octopi and falcons.
  3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Honestly? Are they trying to make this as unexciting as possible? Fine – water. Isn’t that kind of crazy? It has to be good water, mind you. Something cold and pure, from a high mountain stream, preferably.
  4. Which do you prefer: Twitter, or Facebook? Talk about choosing the lesser of two evils. Facebook lets me post meaningless trite; Twitter lets me post slightly shorter meaningless trite. I very much enjoy being prosaic, so I’d have to go with Facebook.
  5. What is your favorite pattern? Um…you know, I never really thought much about this one. Giving this question a once-over in my mind, I’d have to say organized chaos. The sort of thing where a vast system of entities is strewn about at random, each independent the others…and then, for one, brief, glorious moment, everything aligns, snaps into place, and you’re given the briefest glimpse of the true meaning of the universe. Then – it all disintegrates, and the world once more turns to dust. Sort of like a Rubik’s cube.
  6. Would you rather give or receive presents? That depends on the present.
  7. What is your favorite number? Three. And seven.
  8. What is your favorite day? In life? The day my son was born. In general? The first day that the breeze comes cool, and the scent of woodsmoke is on the air, and the leaves shine crimson and gold in the fading light of the ever-earlier sunset.
  9. What is your favorite flower? Easy – the orchid.
  10. What is your passion? Well now…it’s been some time since I’ve felt any true passion. My book, however, has been a driving force for some time now, and it is a prospect that still keeps me going. Other than that, music is a thing I could not live without. Dark, sweet and soothing, it puts to rest a mind that is so often uneasy.

And that’s it! This award is precious to me, though I buy it with great pain.

Thought of the Week: Sunshine? I guess they missed where I’m from.

I spent fifteen years – grew up, actually – in the North of England. Apart from, perhaps, Finland, there are few places on earth that see so little of the heaven’s rays. Our exercise bike, maybe. This is what a good day looks like where I’m from:

Ah, the glorious Yorkshire skies.

It’s quite possible this has shaped my mood and disposition. I’m quite upset that the northeastern United States has so little rain; on a rare wet day, we found ourselves in a cute British teashop, speaking to the owner about the weather and feeling homesick. I find myself counting down the days to that odd day in Autumn when I can drive to work with the window down, breathing in the heady scent of damp and wet leaves, the first chill on the wind.

The original Sunshine Blog award looked a little canned, so I made my own. Hee!

So, it’s quite surprising, and not a little weird, that I’ve been nominated for the – wait for it – Sunshine Award by a good friend of mine! Apparently, my recent bouts of photo-posting has brought some sunshine into her life. I tried to say I didn’t mean it, but it seems to have done her good, so I’m leaving it.

Now, of course, I have to do all that awardy-type stuff that goes along with this and dying-cat chain emails. Now, Elyn didn’t particularly set any questions or weird-fact stuff for me, so – heh heh – I get to make up my own. Watch out.


Seven (or other) weird things you probably didn’t want to know about me:

1. I always wear black.

2. My wife, who buys my clothes, doesn’t know this.

3. I know far too much about Star Trek.

4. I’ve been to twelve countries. I never lived in any of the good ones.

5. I like to borrow things. I don’t like giving them back.

6. I love Disney movies, but don’t tell anyone.

7. I’m an excellent cook. My kitchen doesn’t know this, and continually foils me.


Ooh, and then there’s some questions…

Seven (or other) questions I have to answer snarkily:

1. Why do you blog?

Beats me. If you find out, let me know.

2. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yes. I just didn’t know I’d ever actually do it. I always figured I could get away with just feeling really, really bad about not writing anything, and then be famous after I died. Much of that sentence is still true.

3. What is your favorite form of entertainment?

Lying on the floor with my head positioned precisely halfway between two perfectly placed speakers with my eyes closed in the dark or on a cloudy day listening to a brand new album by Opeth.

4. What do you hate?

Hate is such a strong word; there are things I’m not comfortable with, but for the most part I feel like I’m pretty tolerant.

I hate British sausages. And the British who make them.

5. Why?


That sort of answers everything.

6. Do you remember that episode of The Outer Limits when it came on in the middle of the day when you thought it was going to be Scooby Doo and it started with a news report that we had received a signal from outer space, and it was the first definitive contact with aliens in history, and the world was going crazy and every single news channel was exclusively reporting this event, and that’s why Scooby Doo was interrupted…and you believed it?


7. What would be your perfect day?


8. Will there be seven questions in this award questionnaire?



And now, the ever-so-prickly issue of nominating other blogs. As with my previous (and only other) award, I really can’t bring myself to single out any particular blogger to suffer the fate of a sunshine award, so I will again direct your attention to the list of links at the bottom of this page: these people represent some of the finest blogging I’ve come across, and many have become good friends. Who needs Freshly Pressed?