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Prompts for the Promptless: 502 Shining Lights

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In the midst of one of the more difficult weeks of my life, with all of the Sturm und drang, agonizing and fear, two strangely marvelous and marvelously strange events occurred.

First, because kindness and generosity are always a marvel, a gift never to be underestimated or ignored, my kind readers have rallied around — along with my oldest and best-loved friends — to make me remember that there is always a reason to go on with life.

To accentuate the amazingness, rediscovering how people you’ve met through an electronic, completely magical medium, can show they care, are real people, even though they are too far to come and personally offer a hug … I tipped over the big 500 number and stand at 502 WordPress followers.

That’s amazing. Hard to believe it’s real. More than 500 people like my pictures and my writing — and me — enough to subscribe to this little blog. It’s awesome, marvelous, and strangely wonderful!

I hope the months to come won’t take me away from this remarkable connection to so many people I have come to cherish as a virtual family. I know there will be a break at some point, at least for a while — but I hope it won’t be for too long … and won’t happen for a while yet.

There’s a third thing. It may not sound so marvelous but it means more than I have words to say. A simple thing … a bouquet of flowers from my husband. Bright and shining on top of the cold woodstove on the fireplace mantel. Reminding me that I am, despite how crazy, broken and difficult I am, I am nonetheless loved.

Thank you. All of you. From the bottom of my imperfect heart.

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Following The Leader — Bellwether, by Connie Willis

Connie Willis_1996_BellwetherBellwether was the first full-length novel by Connie Willis I read after finishing her Cambridge Time Travel series. One of the rare book that grabbed me from page one … really, from sentence one … in the process of rereading it I realized that this isn’t a science fiction book. It’s just a very good book. A very funny book.

bellwether

Not merely was I highly entertained by the story, but I learned a lot about chaos theory, fads, sheep, and the meaning of “bellwether,” a term I’d heard and used — and misused — for years but never understood. Neither its literal meaning or social implications.

It was the bellwether and sheep connection I had never got. What do I know about sheep? And why would I care? It turns out, sheep and people have an unnerving amount in common.

A bellwether is the leader of the sheep, the ewe who the flock follows. There’s no discernible reason a bellwether is the leader of the flock. She just is. There is something about her that other sheep sense, but is invisible to us. Regardless, whatever the bellweather does, all the other sheep do too. They will follow her mindlessly, blindly. Moreover, the flock is unaware they are following the bellwether. They just do it.

The book is laugh out loud funny. Erudite, witty, and replete with trivia guaranteed to upgrade your anecdotal abilities.

Bellwether carries a not-so-subtle message that’s a little disturbing. The parallels between humans and a flock of sheep — the running theme of the story — explains much of human behavior and not in a flattering way.

Connie Willis

It explains a lot of events throughout history that never made sense. Even after you understand what happened and (sort of) why … they still don’t make sense. Everything just happened. Because someone copied someone else and the rest of the sheep followed.

Human life, history and relationships are not logical or reasonable. They happen. Human society is the epitome of chaos and the only predictable thing is unpredictability.

I found Bellwether wonderfully original, insightful, amusing and thought-provoking.

And hilarious. I can’t imagine what more anyone could want from a book than to be entertained, amused and enlightened. I recommend it both in its printed and audio versions. Both are delightful and memorable. This is a book you will read and remember. Then, just because … read it again.

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Daily Prompt: I’m ready for my close-up. Where’s Mr. Demille?

Who can I get to play me?

Dustin Hoffman could get my voice perfectly. Didn’t he play a truck once? And he’s about the right age. Or maybe Meryl Streep could do it. She can play anyone, even me … I wonder if she’s got time? Then there’s the matter of a script. Whoever wrote the last Avenger script … I want him. Or her. Or them. As long as they don’t blow me up or something like that.

I'm ready for my closeup. I'm a superstar!

I’m ready for my closeup. I’m a superstar!

Oh bother. I think I’ll just hang here in the meadow, enjoy the sunshine. Might as well. Yup.. It’ll be winter soon enough.

Did anyone bring an oil can?

Daily Prompt: I’d Like to Thank My Dogs, Husband, Friends, and All Benign Deities

In accepting The George Burns award for surprising achievement in not dying, I recognize it is a trifle premature. The year is not yet over, but I thank you all for your optimistic projections of a future in which I hope to be a living participant.

Thank you George Burns, for leading the parade to Longevity. Betty White may yet show you up! I think there’s a chance she will live forever. But then, I thought you’d never die either.

Thank you, thank you. Thank you all. No flowers, please, cash only.

George Burns Award

Sunshine Award once again!

Marilyn Armstrong:

The Sunshine award from one of my favorite bloggers. This is one of my spiritual ports of call, when I need an out-of-body experience :-)

Originally posted on Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me:

The Sunshine Award passed my doorstep again, this time awarded by Jean, a fellow Ireland lover and indeed an inhabitant of the proudest county in Ireland: Waterford. I gladly accept the award so as Jean’s blog always brings something new every day, a picture, story or poem, always written fantastically and with lots of passion.

The Sunshine Blog award is an award given to bloggers, by other bloggers. It is given to “bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”.

Rule 1: Link back to your nominator. 

http://socialbridge.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/sunshine-and-celebration-gatherings-from-ireland-229/#comment-5180

Rule 2: Display the Sunshine Award image as you see below:

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Daily Prompt: If you feel successful, you are.

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You can’t write about success  without defining the term. Success is relative, after all. When I started blogging, success was ten hits in a day, five of which were no doubt my husband. Then, as numbers rose, I  began to get the hang of it. The election kicked into high gear and a monster storm battered the east coast. I wrote about them and began to see pretty large numbers. My expectations rose accordingly, while simultaneously, my definition of success subtly altered.

September 8, 2012

September 8, 2012

Driving home last night from the Cape, I began thinking about where I am these day with my blog. I passed 90,000, close to 91,000 now. When it gets to 100,000 … I’ll celebrate. Maybe. Or when my followers, now at 476 (more or less, last I checked) hit 500.

The thing is, my numbers have slowed. Or maybe stabilized … sort of. I could push to speed them up … but I don’t want to. Because that would mean I’d have to write about things only to pull people in rather than what I feel like writing about. If I do that, I won’t have so much fun. My readership seems more or less steady. I’ve got friends out there. Maybe that is success.

My most popular all time post was written during a five-minute commercial interruption of the 2012 première episode of Criminal Minds. Over a thousand hits came pouring in for it in about an hour plus another few hundred over the next few days and many more in the months since. It remains my highest drawing post. When the season première came around in England, I got 1400 hits in one hour. It’s time has, I think, finally expired. I used to get a steady 50 or more hits a day from it, but it no longer makes the top 10. Just as well. It was a false statistic and only obscured the more important numbers.

I always know when the episode is playing somewhere because each time it shows, anywhere on earth, in rerun or as a new series, I get another thousand or so hits. The last time was the middle of June when a rerun of the episode was on cable and I got just under 900 hits in about an hour and another 300 the next day. Sure does goose up those stats, eh?

June 2013

June 2013

What have I learned from this? If you want to be popular, write about television shows. Be lucky. It helps if Google has you at the top — or near — of the search results. I wrote a little piece quickly, published it within a couple of minutes. It accounts for 10,111 total hits: The FBI can’t do a simple Google search?

In second position for all time hits, with a solid showing of 5,043 hits is a joke about cell phones and Albert Einstein. I copied and pasted it from Facebook: The man who saw the future …

Other very successful posts (in a viral kind of way) include reblogs, tech reviews, and photo galleries. The pictures never go “viral” like writing can, but good pictures get looked at. Nice and steady.

August 2012

August 2012

And well-written articles get read. Not as much as pictures get looked at, though. In the grand scheme of things, probably 75% of my followers come for photography. Which is okay. I make pretty pictures. Photography has been an important hobby for more than 40 years, though writing and editing has been my profession. I’ll bet a lot of people who follow me don’t think of me as a writer at all, but as a photographer.

We have, some of us, many lives. I have one friend who still thinks of me as a musician. When we were closest, back in college, we were both musicians. He stayed a musician, or at least, music has remained the center of his world, even if performing is no longer how he earns his daily bread. Me? I didn’t entirely abandon music, but I went back to writing — my first love, nearest and dearest to my heart. And stayed there for nearly 50 years. I took pictures too. But never professionally.

December 2012

December 2012

The thing is, I write about what I love and many of them, being books, are not my most popular posts. I also write about history and love those articles because ferreting out obscure historical stuff is fun. Doing it makes me feel like “The Time Detective.” If only numbers counted as success, these not-so-popular posts would disappear. Sure, I wish more people read them but I don’t write just for numbers. If that were the single reason to keep blogging, it would be work.

Blogging would stop being fun — and I would stop blogging. I would be poorer for my loss and maybe, here and there, a few others would note my disappearance.

Fortunately, there are times and areas where high interest (on the public side) and my interest (on the writing end) coincide. That’s when things get a little “hot.” Comments and hits roll and it’s fun, but I know the curve will continue to roll up and down and I have to live with that or become something I don’t want to be.

The real bottom line success is I love writing, love the interchange with readers. Love the conversations, pictures, life stories, new relationships. I love reviewing new books, even though they are my least popular posts.

The Best Moment Award - April 2013 from Mike Smith

The Best Moment Award – April 2013 from Mike Smith.

I am mad about books and being even a tangential part of that world makes me happy. That IS success, though there’s no statistical way to compile it.

I’m not a one-subject, focused blogger. When big events or issues are in the news, I write about them and reap a statistical bump from them. I enjoy it when it happens and if I can tie in news and other trendy stuff to this blog, I do. But I won’t force the issue.

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Hot Rod Cowgirl Ropes In An Award!

Marilyn Armstrong:

From a blogger I love and admire, an award to be proud of. I am grateful, honored, and touched.

Originally posted on Hot Rod Cowgirl:

Hot Rod Cowgirl ropes in an award!

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I am always so very humbled when fellow bloggers and readers, photographers and writers, present HRCG with an award. When I began doing my blog I had no idea that we would be given awards by our peers…the best part is that I also get to pass them on to other well deserving bloggers too!

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The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award Was Given To Me By

http://chasingtheperfectmoment.com/awards/

 Go check out Ginny’s wonderful life-giving blog…she writes with honesty and her true self as she seeks to encourage any who read her blog about life and memories. She loves to laugh and shares her life through her words and the different pieces of her life…and she hopes we will share our life pieces too:)

Telling our story, our history and life, can bring us a sense of peace down deep in our souls. Being…

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Daily Prompt: The Stat Connection – How to make friends and influence people

My most popular all time whiz-bang post was written during a five-minute commercial interruption of the 2012 première episode of Criminal Minds. Over a thousand hits came pouring in for that post plus another few hundred over the next few days and many more in the months since. It remains my highest drawing post. When the season première came around in England, I got 1400 hits in one hour.

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I always know when the episode is playing somewhere because each time it shows, anywhere on earth, in rerun or as a new series, I get another thousand or so hits. The last time was the middle of June when a rerun of the episode was on cable and I got just under 900 hits in about an hour and another 300 the next day. Sure does goose up those stats, eh?

swan 93

What have I learned from this? If you want to be popular, write about television shows and be lucky. Make sure Google puts you at the top of the search for that thing, whatever it is. Because that’s what drives them to me. Not my brilliant writing, not the extraordinary subject matter. I wrote a little piece quickly, without much thought, published it within a couple of minutes. It accounts for 10,111 total hits. I have no idea what kind of lesson to take from that. Do you? You may read it here: The FBI can’t do a simple Google search?

In second position for all time hits, with a solid showing of 5,043 hits is a joke about cell phones and Albert Einstein. I copied and pasted it from Facebook. It’s funny, but it’s not exactly a cogent, well-written commentary on the human condition. I’ve written shopping lists with deeper meaning. In the name of scientific inquiry, feel free to give this your full attention: The man who saw the future …

Finally in the number three position with 2,645 hits is a reblog of an article comparing two Olympus cameras, the PEN PL-5 and the PEN PM-2. It gets from 20 to 100 hits a day, every day since I published it about a year ago. Apparently if you are shopping for Olympus cameras, you are more likely to find me than the original author. The mystery of Google strikes again. You will enjoy this if you are buying a new mirrorless camera. The information is excellent and if I’d written it myself, I’d be prouder still: Olympus E-PL5 vs. Olympus E-PM2, a surprise. I bought the PM2, by the way. I already owned the PL-1 and P3.

There is no connection between these posts other than they hit the public fancy and placed well on Google’s search engine. One was written by someone else, another is a well-known Internet joke, and third comments about a popular TV show and involves hunting serial killers. What it proves to me? Popularity has little to do with good writing, meaningful subject matter, or even good taste. Taken by themselves, statistics are worse than meaningless: they are deceptive. If you can find another interpretation, I’m all ears.

Rarely are your best efforts your most popular posts. So far, never. The pieces of which I’m the most proud often languish unnoticed while articles written in haste with little thought, but about popular subjects do very well. On the rare occasions when a piece I’m genuinely proud of does well, I glow.

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Meanwhile, by dint of working really hard at finding interesting, entertaining and valuable subjects to write about, I’ve got almost 85,000 hits, more than 400 followers, about 1200 posts and Word Press has never found a single thing I’ve written or photographed worthy of being Freshly Pressed. Not a single picture or post. That boggles my mind too because I’ve read a lot of the freshly pressed material and can’t remember any of it. It was smooth reading and totally forgettable. Maybe I’m trying too hard.

Some days I wonder why I bother? I could just go find stuff on the Internet and reblog it and get fantastic numbers. But then I slap myself on the face and remind me I don’t do it for the numbers or even for the recognition, though I certainly wouldn’t mind positive input.

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I do it because I love it. The writing, the photography, the relationships. I really, truly love it. So until I just wear out and give up from sheer exhaustion, I guess you are all stuck with me.

Other recent top entries, many of which are informational and/or technical should not surprise me because I was a technical writer for 35 years and I write a good reference stuff. After all those years, you’d figure I’d have a grip on that, at least. So here’s a list of my most popular posts (not in order, but overall hit count showing). Within the list are contain some pieces I think are pretty good. Well-written and containing interesting or useful information, or just an opinion I’m glad someone found worth reading.

Why tablets can’t replace computers. And why they shouldn’t. (301 hits)

Amazon Kindle Fire 7-Inch HD: 13-months later (369 hits)

The Felix Castor Series, Mike Carey (359 hits) 

How many states are trying to secede? (843 hits)

Things that go bump in the night (354 hits)

Gazing through to the other side: Hollywood and Moral Character (751 hits)

Where do the swans go? (334 hits) (photo gallery)

Old Coney Island Impressions (306 hits) (photo gallery)

Nothing ties these articles together. Not theme, style, subject matter. The only thing they share is (with two glaring exceptions) the author — me. What should I make of this? You tell me. I don’t like any of the conclusions I draw.

A Twofer for Moi! Word Press Family Member (In need of washing) Plus The Sunshine Award

A huge thank you goes to Draliman on Life who obviously thinks better of me than I deserve. One award is a big deal, but a twofer … and two I’ve never received before. Thus he honors me while depriving me of bloggers to whom I might pass these awards. I mean, there oughtta be a law, y’know?

I was going to defer doing this until I next come up for air. But I started counting on my fingers (consider it a fleshy abacus with limited functionality, but infinite availability) and realized it might easily be the end of August or even September before I find a space in time. I might as well just do it.

I’ve been broadening my reading, writing, reviewing, picture-taking and enjoying the results immensely, but collapsing under the weight of committment to so many deadlines. They don’t call them deadlines for nuffin’! Yoicks. Why do I do this to me? Truly I am my own worst enemy. I’ve been enthusiastically saying YES my whole life. So you’d think I’d have learned something. Apparently not so much. Old Dogs (or Bitches, in my case) can learn new things, but are not so good at unlearning old bad habits. Woof.

Whining time is officially over.

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On to the accepting portion of the program. The two awards with which I’ve been honored are the Sunshine Award — which I assume has to do with spreading light and joy throughout cyberspace. I’m not sure I’m such a ray of sunshine, but I take pretty pictures and say something fun now and again. Maybe that’s what counts. Note I’ve created a shiny new badge ’cause the old one was getting a bit droopy.

The rules for the Sunshine Award require me to answer a few questions. These are not mind bending quizzie things, so I think I can get through them unscathed. And … I can do it with pictures! Yay! Yah? I’ve taken a few liberties because some of the questions were meaningless to me, so I didn’t include them. You’re welcome to add anything you want, however.

Favourite colour?75-RainbowNK-2

Favourite animal?

Bonnie Resting

Big Guy

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Favourite number?

FortyTwo

Favourite non-alcoholic drink?

Mr. Coffee

My passion?

Our books say a lot about us ... maybe too much.

Cameras

Cameras

Prefer getting or giving presents?

Be sure to close the barn door on your way out
Favourite days of the week?

Mayan calendar
Favourite flower?

summer flowers

The second award is the WordPress Family award. I am definitely a part of this family, but apparently Mom and Dad at WordPress don’t approve of me. I’m the kid (every family has one) about whom they speak in whispers behind closed doors. With 80,000 hits, more than 350 followers plus well over 1000 posts, I have never written or posted a single thing worthy of Freshly Pressed.

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I think I’ll survive the slight though I remain forever un-fresh, un-pressed and unheralded. I embrace my cyber family and joyfully contribute to daily prompts in photography and writing, though I’m stale as old coffee. Ah, but when I think of all my pals on the humongous cyber blogsite in the sky, my virtual sun shines again!

WordPress Family Award

YOU guys, you out there …. you’ve all been so kind and so welcoming. You’ve changed my world in all the good ways worlds want changing. It makes the effort a joy rather than a burden, gives me a focus for my days (and my nights, as often as not).

Here are the rules for the WordPress Family award:

1. Display the award logo on your blog. Done!

2. Link back to the person who nominated you. Done again!

3. I will nominate 10 others who I think deserve notice. That’s 10 combined for both awards, right? Because 20 is over the top. I want to point out if we keep requiring every recipient to pass it on to 10 or more bloggers, every blogger will have received every award many times over. This is effectively a pyramid scheme, a chain letter. It can’t keep expanding forever.

Many of the people to whom I want to give awards have just gotten them, from me or someone else. I have a suspicion they won’t consider another an honor. More a lot of work for which they don’t have time. Maybe it’s time to consider making sensible modifications to these awards. ALL the awards. Before no one wants them.

4. I will advise my 10 awardees of that I have awarded them. But it’s going to take a while.

5. This is it. The big moment. Ten — that’s 10 — friends who blog. I’m spreading love. I got it. A minyan.

All of you, heads up! You, at the computer. Don’t look around, I’m talking to you.

I’m giving you two awards. You may choose to ignore them, acknowledge them or pass them along to whoever you feel would genuinely like to receive them. And deserves them.

To my friends who have gotten every single award I’ve gotten, often at the same time — I’m not going to name you again. I love you as much as ever, but I understand you’ve got lives and obligations. Maybe even a family and a job. If you genuinely want more awards, let me know because I’m not sure how many of you see this as an honor versus how many wish I’d take my awards and disappear. I love you, I really do, but I don’t wish to burden you.

The Bookshelf of Emily

The IPC

Lasers, Monsters, and Barbarians, Oh My!

Films and Things

My Beautiful Things

Fish of Gold

The Queen Creative

Iam Who Iam

Catnip of Life

Sunday Night Blog

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I’ll Have Them Both, Thanks! The WordPress Family Award and the Sunshine Award, WOW a twofer!!

Marilyn Armstrong:

Draliman on Life has kindly shared two wonderful awards with me and although I don’t have the day to put into fulfilling all its contractual terms and sub-clauses, I did not want to let this lovely gesture and honor pass uncommented.

I aways start out with a big WOW, THANK YOU, YOU REALLY LIKE ME, YOU REALLY LIKE ME!

These are beautiful awards and if I do not respond quickly — I probably won’t because I have so many deadlines and commitments over the next weeks — don’t think I have forgotten YOU or the lovely awards. I really need to learn to look at a calendar and recognize the finite number of days per page and know I can’t make a deadline in a day. There’s a process that requires more time than I allow myself — and this crunch is the result.

I’ll expect to be dug out by sometime in August if I don’t make any more promises. Does a vow to not make any more vows really count? You’d think I’d have learned by now, but apparently NOT.Sunshine AwardNK-1

I love blogging, but I need to get organized and more realistic Thank you and thank you again. I like your “U” additions. I’ve always felt that “or” becomes ever so much classier when accompanied by a “oUr”! It’s why Brits always sound so much smarter than Yanks.

I’ve made a fresh image for the sunshine award. It was getting a bit tatty and pixelated from too many clonings, so please come by and grab one :-) It’s a thank you from me, to you … and all Sunshine awardees! If you want a really BIG one, ask and it shall be given!

Originally posted on draliman on life:

A few days ago Khana over at Khana’s web nominated me to receive the WordPress Family award. Then a couple of days later Nanuschka nominated me for both the WordPress Family award and the Sunshine Award!

I’m touched – I feel as if my WordPress buddies are part of my extended family and I’ve wanted this award for ages! I love reading about the experiences and views of people from far-flung places like the USA, South Africa and so on as well as posts from closer to home. I feel like I almost know some of you people.

The Sunshine Award – now, I’m not really a “Sunshine” kind of guy. Maybe my overwhelming pessimism doesn’t come out in my posts? But I’ll accept this one as well – maybe it will inspire me to positivity!

Here come the logos!

WordPress Family Award

Sunshine Award

Here are the rules for the WordPress Family award:

1. Display…

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Guilty Pleasures

Ingmar-Bergman-The-Seventh-Seal-Criterion-Collection-Blu-Ray-Disc-1080p-Screencapture-1920x1080-001

No matter how sophisticated we may become, no matter how many degrees in film, literature or the arts we may obtain, we retain our guilty pleasures — by which I mean those movies, books, and television shows we know aren’t great art and may be really dumb. It doesn’t matter. We love them anyway.

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I have a whole bushel of them, ranging from television shows about vampires with glowing eyes (Forever Knight), to reruns of the original Lassie. I’m a sucker for any movie featuring a non-human, be it cat, dog, horse, or sea creature. I’ll watch pretty much anything in which Candice Bergen starred or was at least featured. I’ll watch anything from any season of any Star Trek, even if I’ve seen it a hundred times.

star_trek_the_original_series

I love comedies by Mel Brooks, even the bad ones because they make me laugh. Ditto the Zucker brothers for the same reason. If you can make me laugh, you’ve got me. Sometimes, I watch things that are unintentionally funny … Xena, Princess Warrior comes to mind. I don’t know whether it was supposed to be funny, but it made me laugh until I cried.

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My lists of favorite movies, books and television shows are a study in contrasts. I love The Lion In Winter and The Seventh Seal. I love Airplane and Hotshots Deux. I never miss a run of Best Of Show or A Mighty Wind. Or the original version of The Haunting.  From the sublime to the ridiculous, I will watch or read whatever grabs my fancy or makes me laugh without discrimination.

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It’s one of the reasons I think that “awards” like the Golden Globes and the Oscars need many more categories. How can you put a screwball comedy against a serious drama and have any kind of sensible outcome? It would be like having a dog show that included camels and goats. It wouldn’t matter how beautiful a goat or camel you have entered, it would never win Best of show.

forever-knight-season1-cast1

I’d love to hear about your guilty pleasures? What makes you laugh? What cheers you up when you’ve got the blues? Are you a secret fan of Gilligan’s Island or Love Boat? Fess up! Time to come clean :-)

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Shine On Award from Tazeinmirzasaad

Marilyn Armstrong:

Wow — a very nice award and completely unexpected! Thank you so much!

Originally posted on It's ME:

Woooohoooooooooooo……………… more awards for ME!!!!

Thanks to Tazeinmirzasaad for nominated me for Shine On Award. Now I shines like a star..

                    
                     \    /   /            _\/_      
                       .-'-.              //o\     _\/_
    _  ___  __  _ --_ /     \ _--_ __  __   | __   /o\\
  =-=-_=-=-_=-=_=-_= -=======- = =-=_=-=_,-'|"'_"'"--|-,_
   =- _=-=-_=- _=-= _--=====- _=-=_-_,-"      (")    |
  jgs=- =- =-= =- = -  -===- -= - ."       '-( : )-'
             ... anything is possible...

shineon

RULES TO FOLLOW:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3.  State 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

Hmm… About ME!

  1. An extraordinary girl
  2. Love pink very much
  3. Like ice-cream….yummy!
  4. A little bit stubborn
  5. Nasty girl with nasty blog
  6. Dream to be a supergirl…haha!
  7. Yup, a shy shy…

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Daily Prompt: Four Stars — Remembering the Garry Armstrong Show

For 31 years, there was a continuing series on Channel 7 in Boston. It was my favorite show and I watched it faithfully. It was on several times each day. The first performance often aired during the pre-dawn hours. The final day’s  episode might air long after most people had finished dinner and many had gone to bed.

It was an excellent series. Watching it kept me informed about events taking place in my neighborhood, the city and the region. What was especially nifty was I how close I was to the star, though it was sometimes difficult to reconcile the handsome star of the series to the exhausted, crabby guy who finally came home expecting dinner. As a faithful viewer, I never had to ask how the star’s day had gone. I knew. I had seen his day. I usually taped the episodes so we could review it at leisure.

Garry with Tip O'Neill

Garry with Tip O’Neill

Thus I watched my husband on TV every day and it was — for us — normal. It came with some perks: invitations to snazzy events that sometimes appeared in newspaper gossip columns. It was funny reading about us as if we were real celebrities. I suppose, by some standards, he was. I was just the celebrity’s wife, but even reflected glory is rather glorious. Although we rarely got the opportunity to have dinner in a restaurant without being interrupted by fans, mostly, it was a nice thing. Garry was recognized and loved by people who thought of him as a friend. After all, he came into their homes every day. Many viewers had been watching him since they were kids, so he felt like a familiar family member.

That’s what he did for a living. So did so many of our friends so I didn’t think about it much. It was our life. I had a ritual. As soon as I got in from work, I turned on the news. I kept a tape in the VCR, so when Garry came on, I was ready.  This was the only way he was able to see how his stories looked because he didn’t see the finished piece at work.

He covered or was involved with virtually every important event in New England for 31 years. I wish I had more to show you, but the tapes I made disintegrated over time.

Garry and I at President Clinton's party on Martha's Vineyard

Garry and I at President Clinton’s party on Martha’s Vineyard

Most of Garry’s career was pre-Internet.  No Facebook, no Google. We have one of his three Emmy awards on top of the television, but no tape except this one piece I found. It’s not a major story, but it’s something. Garry’s segment appears at about 1 minute and 30 seconds into the noon news. You can fast forward and skip the intro or choose to watch from the top of the show.

That was a “live shot.”

Time passes. It’s good to have something tangible to remember the show, though lucky me, I still have the star by my side.

On September 12, 2013, Garry Armstrong will be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasting Hall of Fame. It’s quite an honor and I’ll be proud to be there with him.

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Nominated for the Liebster Award again :D

Marilyn Armstrong:

And I am honored again. You like me. You really LIKE me!

Originally posted on Films and Things:

It never ceases to shock, stun and amaze me that people actually read the crap I write on this blog! What stuns me even more is that they like the crap that I write on this blog!! I’ve just been nominated for a second time, pop over and have a look at Senorita Still Standing :)

The rules are simple; give 11 facts about you, answer 11 questions then nominate 11 people, so here goes!

I’m actually struggling to think of facts about me that I haven’t already given, so apologies if these are either repetitive or really stupid and pointless!

11 Facts

  1. I’m tall; 5 ft 9 and bordering 6ft in my heels
  2. I dabble with a lot of things, I’m a bit of a butterfly. There’s not one particular thing that I do, I flit between writing, painting, filmmaking and various other bits and bobs.
  3. I’m slightly in love…

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Originally posted on Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author:

Nominated April 24, 2013 by JR Barker~ Children's Author

Nominated April 24, 2013 by JR Barker~ Children’s Author

First of all, I would like to thank JR Barker, Children’s Author  from http://jrbarker101.wordpress.com/the-blog/ for this gracious nomination. Please check out her awesome blog.

The Very inspiring Blogger Award, the rules are as follows:

  • Display the award on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers

Looking for a little inspiration today? Visit these 15 very inspiring blogs! My nominations are…

http://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/

http://www.lindaloegel.blogspot.com/

http://ameliacurzonblogger.wordpress.com/

http://cindyknoke.com/

http://ivonprefontaine.com/

http://kid-lit-reviews.com/

http://leslie4kids.wordpress.com/

http://lorrieporter.wordpress.com/

http://thephoblography.wordpress.com/

http://thepoetsbillow.org/

http://sagedoyle.wordpress.com/

http://swittersb.wordpress.com/

http://teepee12.wordpress.com/

http://nutsfortreasure.wordpress.com/

http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/author/petrel41/

Seven things about me…
My kitty’s name is “Midnight,” and she is a marvel!
My husband and soul-mate is a super-hero in my book!
I am passionate about nature and collect everything from birds’ nests to barnacle-encrusted seashells.
I love art and collect ‘art finds’ discovered at yard sales and thrift shops.
For…

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A Versatile Blogger says Thanks

I must both thank and congratulate Mike Smith at Mikes Film talk for honoring me (again) with the Versatile Blogger Award. We appear to be on an award exchange program that seems to be working out well for both of us, especially me :-)

This is my fifth Versatile Blogger award. It definitely grants me “award-winning site” status and actually, as one of the awards that is highly appropriate to my site — I’m nothing if not versatile —  makes me feel appreciated. Special even. I realize I will never be everyone’s favorite cuppa tea, but there are a few deranged people out there that do seem to like me. Perhaps because they are equally deranged? 

I think one has to be a bit mad to persist at the whole blogging thing. We don’t make money and whatever fame and glory we garner is fleeting and limited to a community of other crazy people who do the same thing. I could say we each do it for our own reasons, but that’s not entirely true. We do what we do in our way, each of us focused on what most interests us … or, as do Mike and I, focus on whatever has grabbed our attention now.

But that’s what we do, not why we do it. It certainly doesn’t explain why we continue to work at it when we are sick, tired and would just as soon go shopping. What drives all of us is a kind of internal prod. It makes us return to the keyboard, the camera, both, or whatever. We do what we do because we need to do it. Despite rumors to the contrary, ambition isn’t a big prod in the blogging world. Big numbers are a bit of validation and may indicate you’ve become a moderately well-known blogger … but really, we are equal in this world.

Whether we have 10 followers or thousands, our fame — notoriety? — whatever you want to call it, is ephemeral. If we stop publishing, we will be swallowed up by the cyberworld with the speed of a high-speed connection. Maybe some particularly close friends will remember us but as for the rest of the world? We will be no more remembered by the bigger world than is a pebble thrown into a pond once the ripples have disappeared. It’s a big world and ripples don’t remain long to trouble the surface of the pool.

If you have never visited Mike site, I urge you to visit. Despite the title of his site, it’s not all about movies. He talks about movies and does excellent reviews, but he also talks as much about books, life, and the meaning of everything. Setting titles aside, he is passionately eclectic, something to which I fully relate.

These awards are a great way to learn about new blogs and their writers. Each award is set up to allow the reader to learn more about the guy or gal who posts and, serves to drive “traffic” to that site. It helps turn a bunch of miscellaneous writers, photographers, movie lovers, pundits and Sunday philosophers into something like a cyber community. It makes a difference. Many of us count on our internet community for feedback and a hook to a larger world that we can access on our own.

Award rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Include a link to their blog.

3. Name the bloggers to whom you would like to pass the award and send them a link to tell them you’ve selected them.

4. Finally, tell the person who nominated you seven things about yourself.

Number’s one and two have been accomplished. I cross-reference Mike’s site on a daily basis. You can always find him in my blog roll, recent “likes” list, and frequent reblogs of his fine postings.

Nominees:

Now, for a few some nominees: Sharla at Catnip of Life. Sharla, I love you. I don’t expect you do deal with this until your life is a little less fraught. Just wanted to remind you that you are very far from forgotten! Sharla is the epitome of eclectic and versatile, manages to be an upbeat and wonderfully supportive friend to so many people. If you need a pep talk, drop by her site. There’s always something positive and encouraging.

My Beautiful Things, a woman who find beauty everywhere and in everything. In a world where so many people seem to be grumpy and discontented all the time, it’s a real pleasure to know someone who is exactly the opposite! Go and visit … and be inspired!

Vastly Curious is the perfect versatile blogger. She writes about every that interests her and her interests are many and varied. Her photography is top drawer and she writes beautiful. If you have been to visit, please do. Whatever interests you, she’s got it on her site!

I have gifted pretty much everyone else with at least one award recently, so I’m, going to quit while I’m ahead. I’ve got a lot of awards in my back pocket. If I accidentally missed you, if you let me know, I will instantly rectify the problem. I’m not sure how many awards I can heap on friends before I start being the (virtually) annoying friend who keeps dropping in around dinner time.

I can gift anyone with almost anything at any time, so beware! I’ve got YOU in my crosshairs!

And About Me:

I have a collection of hard plastic and composition dolls of the 1930 through 1950s. Although I’ve stopped adding more dolls, I still have a few hundred of them and their eyes follow me where I do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ONE:

I used to collect very antique Chinese porcelain. I have a Tang horse (real, not reproduction), a Han pot, and many vases.

Tang Horse

TWO:

Despite their antiquity, they look great with daffodils or roses. The Chinese really knew a thing or two about pottery and glazes.

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THREE:

We have too many books, but we’ve read all of them.

MystuffNIK_06_01

FOUR:

We have too many movies, but we’ve seen all of them (and can do dialogue with most of them).

MystuffNIK_01_01

FIVE:

We have too many dogs, but we adore them and couldn’t live without them.

Mystuff_NIK-12_01

SIX:

My hair turned white over night when I was ill, just like in bad novels.

96-HidingFaceCR-228

SEVEN:

The only time I’m not reading, writing, processing photographs or editing text, I’m at the doctor, eating, cooking or sleeping. It seems I don’t have a very eclectic life, just taste :-)

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