The Blogger Recognition Award–and a Few Notes and Sundries

It seems beyond belief to me that The Eye-Dancers blog has been in existence for nearly five years now.  The old saying is true–time flies when you’re having fun.  It has been a blessing beyond anything I ever imagined interacting with all of you over the past five years.  It’s true, of late, this blog has been less active than it used to be, and posts have gradually become fewer and further between.  That, however, is temporary, and about to change.

 

For the past three years, I have been writing the sequel to The Eye-Dancers.  And now, at last, that sequel–The Singularity Wheel–is close to completion.  There are, literally, fewer than ten pages to go before the first draft is done.  This has been a project full of stops and starts, beset with major surgeries midway through, rewrites and revisions galore, and just over the past several months, a wild dash to reach the end.  The first draft will be finished before the end of the month, and then it will be time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, to edit and polish and cut, cut, cut.  Indeed, you must “kill your darlings” as Faulkner once said.

 

So–over the past few months, while concentrating on finishing The Singularity Wheel, I have neglected The Eye-Dancers blog more than I would like.  But I needed to buckle down, make the commitment, and complete the writing project.  Now, at long lost, that is about to happen.  And when it does, I will return to blogging more frequently.  I will be sharing much more information about The Singularity Wheel, which has a planned release for this summer, and will gladly get back in the swing of the wonderful WordPress community.  I have missed blogging, and I hope you’ll welcome me back when I return in full force within the next few weeks.

 

Even while being too often AWOL over the past few months, though, I have still been humbled and honored by your encouragement, support, and friendship.  Recently, I was nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award.  Ipuna Black nominated me for the award just last month, while Dear Kitty nominated me last fall.  I wanted to take this time to thank both of you and accept this award.  I also encourage everyone to become acquainted with Ipuna’s blog and Kitty’s blog.  They are great places to visit, pull up a chair, and stay for a while–and return to again and again.

 

The rules for The Blogger Recognition Award state that recipients need to explain why and how they started their blog.  Well, in my case, I began The Eye-Dancers blog in the summer of 2012, for the primary purpose of “getting the word out” for my then-upcoming novel, The Eye-Dancers.  I had never blogged before, had never been on social media–I was a neophyte in the purest sense of the word.  I was also nervous.  Who was I to tell people to download my book?  Who really wanted to read anything I wrote?  Was it arrogant to pitch my novel?  These questions, and many more, dogged me through the earliest days of this blog.

 

But as I soon discovered, I had nothing to worry about.  Right from the start, the blogosphere was welcoming, warm, kind, and encouraging.  What had begun as a means for me to spread the word about my book quickly morphed into a gift of virtual friendships that spanned the globe, an opportunity to hold ongoing, invigorating discussions about writing and the mysteries of the creative process, to connect on tangible, as well as intangible, levels.  For me, The Eye-Dancers blog has been a joy.  I treasure the friendships I have formed over the years with so many of you.

 

There is another layer of instruction to The Blogger Recognition Award–and that is to give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.  I’m not sure I have anything profound to say here; I can only share two of the best things I learned along the way.  The first is–just be yourself.  Post about what interests you and what motivates you, and write with honesty and passion.  The great readers on WordPress will appreciate your willingness to share.  And the second is–don’t be afraid.  Don’t hesitate.  You might think you don’t have anything special or unique or profound to say, and, amidst the unrelenting doubts, you may choose not to post.  Don’t give in to the doubts.  You had a reason to start a blog.  You have something to say.  You have a unique and special point of view.  Don’t worry about the topic.  Just write whatever you feel compelled to write, and share your thoughts and perspectives with the rest of us.

 

Now here is where I will break the rules!  The Blogger Recognition Award instructs to choose ten other bloggers to nominate for the award.  But I want to share this award with all of you–anyone and everyone reading, the friends who have supported me from day one.  You are the reason I’m here.  You are the reason I love to blog, and can’t wait to return in full force within the next few weeks.  I hope many of you will accept this award.

 

Thank you, Ipuna, and Kitty!  I greatly appreciate your nomination!

And thanks so much to everyone for reading.

–Mike

 

A Versatile Blogger Award, Breaking More Rules . . . and a Thank-You

It seems hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for close to three years now.  I remember vividly making the decision, in the summer of 2012, to create a blog devoted to my then-upcoming novel, The Eye-Dancers.  With those first tentative steps, little did I realize how joining the WordPress community would add to my life and enable me to make many friends from around the world.

And that still impresses me, amazes me, even.  You have to remember that I am old-school, having grown up in the ’80s and gone to college in the ’90s . . . my generation was the last one to come of age in a world sans email and chat rooms and social media and smartphones.  So it still astounds me that we have such reach today, such an ability, such a platform–literally, a worldwide audience.  Children growing up today likely take this digitalization of our world for granted.  To them a smartphone is no more extraordinary than the mail would have been to me in 1989.

1980s

 

So for this lifelong reader, writer, classic movie lover, comic book aficionado, and Twilight Zone enthusiast, the WordPress community has been a tremendous blessing–right from day one.  And it’s with great appreciation and gratitude that I accept the nomination of the Versatile Blogger Award from Melissa at Today, You Will Write. For those of you not familiar with Melissa’s fabulous blog, please take a virtual trip over there.  You will be glad you did!

I actually was nominated for the Versatile Blogger award some twenty-six months ago, but I wanted to accept again so I could thank Melissa for nominating me and also thank everyone for all your support (more on this at the end of this post!).  Additionally, the rules for this award have changed a little since March of 2013, and I wanted to take a stab at it.  (Not that I follow rules when it comes to blogging awards!)

Speaking of, here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award with links to their blogs.
  • Finally, post 7 things about yourself. (Answer the questions from the person who nominates you, and then ask 7 of your own.)
  • Also remember to add the Versatile Blogger image to your post.

https://theywalkthenight.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/versatile-blogger.jpg

Here are the seven questions Melissa asked, and which I now will answer . . .

1. Who is your favourite author or what is your favourite book?

It’s very tough to choose just one!  As for authors, I can’t really say I have a favorite–there are so many!  Two, however, who have always served as inspirations are Ray Bradbury for his enthusiasm, imagination, and heart; and Truman Capote for his skill and talent–a master wordsmith if there ever was one.

A favorite book?  Very difficult to choose just one.  But if I absolutely had to, I would probably say To Kill a Mockingbird.

tokillamockingbird

 

2. If you had a super power what would it be?

I’m not sure it’s a super power, but I would probably choose a photographic memory.  I’ve always been keenly aware of all the things I forget.  It strikes me that, if you think about your life, probably 99% of it is forgotten.  Granted, much of it is trivial–what did you have for supper on June 17, 1999?  What time did you go to bed on February 7, 2006?  Even so, it seems sad that we forget so much.

3. If you could produce a movie, which one would you choose?

The Eye-Dancers of course!

eyedancers

 

4. How has WordPress helped you to become a better writer?

This is a great question, and I think the answer is–the regular (or, for me these days, semi-regular!) posting of articles.  Maintaining a blog forces you to come up with (hopefully) original, creative posts on a fixed schedule.  You can’t just wait until you feel inspired or when the spirit moves you.  If you want to maintain something of a steady schedule, you have to write posts on a regular basis.  This steady need to come up with original material has been a wonderful way for me to exercise my creative writing muscles.  They are no longer permitted, since I’ve joined WordPress, to get flabby or out of shape!

5. What fun thing do you do to keep yourself from burning out?

Nothing cheers me up like watching reruns of, well, Cheers or The Honeymooners, or reading a corny old comic book.  And when a physical release is needed, I have always felt at home on the tennis court.

cheers

sa161

 

6. When you were a child, what did you want to become?

For a very brief period, I toyed with the idea of becoming a marine biologist, and there was a time I wanted to be a detective, but for the most part, I have always wanted to be a writer.

7. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you go?

Right where I am–living in the hills of Vermont!  A close second would be Prince Edward Island, Canada, the most beautiful place I’ve ever experienced.

pei

 

Now it’s my turn to ask seven questions for anyone who wants to accept this award.  Yes, it’s rule-breaking time!  Rather than nominate fifteen bloggers, I want to nominate everyone who follows The Eye-Dancers website!  I hope very much that some of you will accept this nomination and delve into the following questions . . .

1. You have the opportunity to step into a time machine and choose any destination you want: past or future.  When and where would you go?

timemachine

 

2. When you were growing up, did you have an idol?  If so, who was it?

3. You have three choices, and only three:  you can watch either a 007 movie, an Alfred Hitchcock classic, or a reality TV show.  Which one do you watch?

dialmformurder

 

4. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

5. What is something about you (it could be a hobby, interest, talent–anything) that most of your friends would be surprised to learn?

6. If money were not an object and you could do anything you wanted for a career or profession, what would you do?

7. There are three items on the table in front of you (only three!):  a chocolate bar, a Stephen King paperback, and a Rubik’s Cube.  Which of these do you reach for?

rubikscube

To conclude, I wanted to thank everyone who has visited, supported, and read The Eye-Dancers blog.  Without your interest and participation these past three years, this blog would not exist today.  Admittedly, I am not posting as often as I once did, as I continue to work on the sequel to The Eye-Dancers (which now, at long last, is close to having an official title!), but my appreciation for all of you is as strong as ever.  You are the reason I enjoy blogging as much as I do.  Hopefully the best is yet to come.

thankyou

Thank you so much for reading these scribblings of mine all these many months!

–Mike

It’s A Wonderful (Award)

In Frank Capra’s enduring classic It’s A Wonderful Life, some of the most well-known and memorable scenes feature Clarence, the bumbling angel who has yet to earn his wings.  Clarence is assigned the task of trying to help the movie’s hero, George Bailey, realize that his life is worth living.

itsawonderfullife

 

clarenceandgeorge

 

To achieve this, the angel restructures the very fabric of reality, and allows George to see what the world would have been like if he’d never been born.  Clarence’s brainstorm succeeds–and George does indeed come to understand that he’s really had a wonderful life.

lifeworthliving

 

But the ending of It’s A Wonderful Life, while not as fantastic or mind-bending, offers the kind of feel-good (some would say corny) moment Capra became famous for.  Corny or not, it remains one of my all-time favorite scenes.

One of the main reasons George Bailey had been in such dire straits to begin with, and why Clarence the angel’s services were needed, concerns a weighty matter of lost money for the family business–the Bailey Building and Loan.  If George can’t find the money, he will go to jail.

But upon returning home from his extraordinary adventure with Clarence, seeing the bank examiner there ready to deliver the grim news, and hugging his children, thankful to be alive and a real person again, despite the pall hanging over him, George is surprised when his wife, Mary, steps inside and tells him, “It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle!”

cominghome

 

One by one, friends, neighbors, residents of the town stream in after Mary, donating whatever money they can spare to help George pay off his debt.  Within minutes, it becomes clear that, not only will the debt be paid and prison avoided, but, in the words of Harry Bailey, George’s younger brother, George has become “the richest man in town.”

money

 

The kind of community spirit and support depicted in this classic film is, in very real ways, kept alive through the WordPress community.  I can’t thank all of you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support of The Eye-Dancers blog, and for continuing to read and comment on these ramblings of mine. You are the best.

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I want to thank Sherri for nominating me for The Shauny Award.  If you’ve never checked out Sherri’s wonderful blog (or even if you have!),  A View From My Summerhouse, I hope you will take a few moments now.  It’s a great place to stop in for a virtual visit, so please take your time!

Before accepting The Shauny Award, I want to thank two other bloggers for recently nominating The Eye-Dancers for two awards–The Sunshine Award and The Dragon’s Loyalty Award.  I was lucky enough to have been nominated for these awards previously, but thanks so much to Dear Kitty. Some blog and to Janice at jemsbooks for the nominations!  After pulling up a chair at Sherri’s blog, I hope you will visit both of these great blogs as well.

I also wanted to take this time to thank Teagan Geneviene.  Teagan was the winner of the recent Eye-Dancers promotion, and she was gracious enough to include me in her fabulous blog, inviting me to participate in her very fun and creative Three Ingredients serial.   Please check out Teagan’s site–you will be glad you did!

And, while you’re at it, I hope you’ll buy her book Atonement, Tennessee, available on Amazon . . .

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shaunyaward

The Rules for The Shauny Award  are quite straightforward:

Show Humanity, Show Love, Be Yourself, Don’t Be Others, Don’t Gossip,

and Share the Love by giving This Award to 10 others.

As readers of The Eye-Dancers blog probably already know, I have a penchant for breaking the rules.  (Kind of like the maxim to never, ever split the infinitive, and how the passive voice should be avoided!)

As such, I am going to break the rules again, simple as they are, for The Shauny Award.  Rather than narrowing the nominations to 10, I would like to nominate every single follower of The Eye-Dancers site.  You are the number-one reason blogging is so much fun for me, and I hope all of you will accept this award.

I may not have been about to jump off a bridge, as old George Bailey was in 1946, but when I began The Eye-Dancers blog, I was hesitant, not at all sure how my posts would be received.  From the first, you all made me feel accepted and welcomed, and for that I thank you.

Because of you, It’s A Wonderful Blogging Life.

end

Thanks so much for reading!

–Mike

Some of My Favorite Things (Blogs) . . . (Or, the Blog of the Year Award 2013!)

Just shy of one year ago, when The Eye-Dancers site was a fledgling neophyte in the WordPress community, I received my first blog award.  Sheri from The Other Side of Ugly awarded The Eye-Dancers with a Blog of the Year 2012 award.  It was a wonderful moment.  Just starting out, unsure of even the simplest steps to take in the blogosphere, it was a tremendous boost of confidence receiving Sheri’s nomination.  I truly appreciated it then, and truly appreciate it now.

sunrise

 

So it seems fitting somehow that Sheri has again nominated The Eye-Dancers for a Blog of the Year Award–this time for 2013!  Thank you very much, Sheri!  Your continued support over the past year has meant a lot.  For those of you not familiar with Sheri’s blog, The Other Side of Ugly, I hope you’ll take a look.  It is a gem of a site, and should not be missed.

blogofyear

 

Before going on, I would like to take this opportunity to pause for a moment, and thank the wonderful bloggers who have nominated The Eye-Dancers for several other awards over the past few months . . .

Thanks so much to Reshu Malhotra who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Reshu has a great blog where she writes about health and beauty, sharing with her readers very knowledgeable tips and helpful advice.  Hers is a  beautiful blog, in every sense of the word!

Jennifer Marsh nominated The Eye-Dancers for One Lovely Blog Award.  Jennifer is a very talented author, and I am a big fan of her site!  Please take some time to browse through it.  I’m confident you will become a big fan, too.

Leslie from lesliesholly nominated me for The Sunshine Award.  Leslie has a very eclectic blog, where she talks about a variety of topics, and always keeps her readers engaged.  Her blog is a great place to visit!

Ampbreia’s Space nominated The Eye-Dancers for The Leibster Award.  Ampbeia’s blog is diverse, well written, thought-provoking, and just plain good.  I hope you will stop in for an extended visit!

And Sherri from A View From My Summerhouse nominated The Eye-Dancers for a Dragon’s Loyalty Award.  Sherri’s site is a treasure.  I promise you–if you stop by, you’ll want to stay for a while!

I was lucky enough to have already been nominated for each of these awards previously, but I wanted to thank all of the great bloggers above for their nominations!  I really appreciate it.

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The instructions for the Blog of the Year 2013 Award are simple:

1-Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link :http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page.Click the link here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear

Share your blog posts with  an even wider audience.

6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

stars

Who doesn’t love collecting stars? I can see a bright smile on your face and stop being shy. Come on! It’s all yours and grab the awards

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once-this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award- and every time you are given the award by another blog- you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs- and even if they have already been given the award by someone else- you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum of 6 stars! You can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award- or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award 6 times!

You can find all the badges and banners and information you need via this link: ‘Blog of The Year 2013′ Award Badges.

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In the celebrated Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, a defining moment is when Maria sings “My Favorite Things” to the von Trapp children.  It is one of the first moments of true bonding Maria shares with the children, and is one of my favorite scenes of the production.

som

 

So, without further delay, I would like to nominate some of my favorite blogs for the Blog of the Year 2013 award!

http://stormy1218.wordpress.com/

http://stylesalvation.wordpress.com/

http://honeydidyouseethat.wordpress.com/

http://thebondingtool.com/

http://lolarugula.com/

http://oilpastelsbymary.com/

http://charronschatter.com/

http://dadialogues.wordpress.com/

http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/

http://awaywithwordsblog.com/

http://wannabephotographer87.wordpress.com/

http://beebeesworld.wordpress.com/

http://jkmarsh12.wordpress.com/

http://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/

http://whenibecameanauthor.wordpress.com/

Some of Maria’s favorite things in The Sound of Music include “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens . . .”  The blogs listed above are some of mine.  And I’m sure they will be some of yours, too.

In this season of thankfulness, I also want to extend a hearty thank-you to all the great followers of The Eye-Dancers website.  You are the reason this is so much fun for me.

tgiving

 

Thanks so much for reading!

–Mike

An Anniversary, An Award, a Reminder, and a Thank-You!

One year ago yesterday, I published my first post on The Eye-Dancers site.

anniversary2

 

At the time, I really had no clue what I was doing or if anyone would even read the post.

I had visions of it floating in a dark, forgotten corner of cyberspace, existing but not existing.  My mind concocted variations on the old tree-falling-in-the-forest riddle:  “If a post is published on the Web but no one ever sees it, is it really published?”  I was so new to blogging, I didn’t even think to use keywords or categories (I have since added them to my initial post!).  I just wrote a brief synopsis of The Eye-Dancers, held my breath, and hit the “Publish” button.

I didn’t have much of a plan at the time.

confused

 

I wanted to introduce the four main characters of The Eye-Dancers, too–each in their own post.  Within a span of a few weeks, character profiles for Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski were created.  After publishing Mitchell’s post, I received an email.  A blogger, somewhere, Liked the post!  (Yes, even now, I still remember that first Like!)  A couple of weeks later, I discovered that, indeed, it might be a good idea to tag posts with keywords and organize posts into categories.  I was, literally, learning as I went.

index

 

For the first few months of The Eye-Dancers site, up until the book was released in mid-November 2012, I was utilizing the blog strictly as a promotional tool for The Eye-Dancers.  A character profile here, an update on the release there–that sort of thing.  But then I got to thinking.  This website could be so much more fun than that.  Why not write about the things I’m interested in, create posts that can talk about the book, yes, but that also explore other topics–writing, quantum physics, comic books, movies, Twilight Zone episodes . . .  The possibilities seemed endless.  My main concern was–would anyone want to read my musings?  I thought it over, then decided to take the plunge into full-scale blogging.  The results have been, to put it mildly, much more rewarding than I ever dared to imagine–and that is because of all of you.  I know I’ve said it before on previous posts, but it merits repeating.  You are the reason why I blog, and you are the reason it’s fun and enjoyable.  You made a blogging neophyte feel welcome and at home here in the blogosphere, and I can’t thank you all enough.

blogosphere

 

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I have been fortunate enough over the past several months to be nominated for several blogging awards.  And even though I’ve neglected to do an awards post lately, please know that all nominations are very much appreciated.  It’s really a great feeling knowing one of your blogger friends chooses to nominate you for an award.  And I wanted to take this moment to thank those who have nominated The Eye-Dancers in recent weeks . . .

Thanks to Briana from When I Became An Author for nominating me for the Liebster Award!  Briana is a fellow author, and she maintains an exceptional blog.  Please check out her site!

Thanks to the Ambitious Poet and to Sherri at A View from My Summerhouse for nominating The Eye-Dancers for the WordPress Family Award.  I truly appreciate it, and highly recommend that everyone check out their fantastic websites!

Thank you to  Violet Wave and Mary at Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel for a Supersweet Blogging Award nomination!  Two very talented and creative individuals who author wonderful blogs!  I hope you’ll visit their sites.

Many thanks to Josey from Joseyphina’s World for her nomination of the Dragon’s Loyalty Award!  I can’t recommend Josey’s site highly enough.  Please take a look!  I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Thank you very much to Lucia at Luminous Blue for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Lucia has a captivating blog!  You will be glad you stopped by.

And thanks so much to Mary at Oil Pastels by Mary for nominating The Eye-Dancers for the Sunshine Award.  Mary’s site is a treasure trove of creative energy and talent.  It’s a privilege receiving this nomination from her.

I was lucky enough to have already been nominated for each of these awards previously, but I wanted to thank all of the great bloggers above for their nominations!  I really appreciate it.

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The Eye-Dancers has also been nominated for The Inner Peace Award!  I want to thank Jane at Jane Dougherty Writes, Joanna Fay, Samina at Samina’s Forum for Police Support, and Sherri at A View from My Summerhouse for their nominations!  If you’re not already acquainted with these wonderful bloggers’ websites, please take some time to do so.  I am happy to wait . . . !

The Inner Peace Award is an award that comes with no rules, no questions . . . no conditions.  As such, I will do what I’ve done a few other times in Awards posts, and pass the award on to all followers of The Eye-Dancers site.  (Even when there are Awards rules, in other words, I tend to break them!)  I hope you will accept this award and, even if you do not post on it, I hope you’ll put the image onto your blog . . .

inner-peace-award

 

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I would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that The Eye-Dancers gift card promotion is still running–the last day is August 22, so there is still time to take part, if you haven’t already!

reminder

 

But mostly, I would like to say one big, hearty thank-you to all of you.  Thanks for reading these off-the-wall posts of mine, for continuing to stop by The Eye-Dancers site, for your great and thoughtful comments, for your ongoing support.  I created The Eye-Dancers site one year ago, on a late-summer day not unlike this one, with the intention of marketing my book of the same name.  And I did.  (And as the previous paragraph attests, I still am!)  But I’ve discovered along the way that the blogging experience is richly rewarding in and of itself.  I genuinely enjoy coming up with posts that I hope will contain some small kernel of truth, interest, or intrigue.  And I enjoy the WordPress community more than this post is able to express.

thanks

 

It’s been a great first year for The Eye-Dancers.   Here’s hoping the second year will be even better.

Thank you as always so much for reading.  You are the best.

–Mike

A Super Sweet Blogging Award, and Tag! I’m It!

It continually amazes me and fills me with gratitude that The Eye-Dancers site has been nominated for so many blogging awards.  It’s been such an enjoyable ride, and I can’t thank you all enough.  WordPress is a wonderful place to be, and I am honored by your award nominations.  It really does mean a lot.  You are the reasons why blogging is so rewarding and so much fun.

I have been nominated for two new awards–The Super Sweet Blogging Award, and the Tag!  You’re It Award.

But first, I did want to thank several great bloggers for nominating The Eye-Dancers for the following awards, as well . . .

Thanks to Reshu at Reshu Malhotra.com for a Best Moment nomination.   Thank you to Kathmandu at lmoktan for a Sunshine Award nomination!  Thanks to Janice at Jems Books for a Shine On Award nomination.  And thank you very much to Mary at Oil Pastels by MaryThe Clumsy Fool, and D-Anna at Style Salvation for a Versatile Blogger Award nomination!  The Eye-Dancers has been fortunate enough to win each of these awards in the past, but I wanted to give a shout-out to these fantastic bloggers.  Please be sure to visit their sites!  I am sure you will enjoy them!

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A very warm thank you to Janice at jemsbooks, Jackie at Jackiewriting, Kristy at FamilyEverything, Lyn at The Encouraging Scribe, and Katie at The D/A Dialogues for nominating The Eye-Dancers for The Super Sweet Blogging Award!  You all have magnificent sites, and I appreciate the Sweet Award!

cupcakes-super-duper-sweet-blogging-award

The rules for the Super Sweet Blogging Award are as follows . . .

1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you

2. Answer five super sweet questions

The 5 sweet questions:

Cookies or cake? —  Hmm.  Well, it depends on the kind of cookies and the flavor of cake!  But, as a general rule, I would go for the cookies.

Chocolate or vanilla? — Definitely vanilla!

vanilla
Favorite sweet treat? — Tough to pick just one, but if I had to, I might just go with the old-fashioned, simple piece of apple pie!

applepie
When do you crave sweet things the most? — Probably at night, when I shouldn’t be eating them . . .
Sweet nick name? — My aunt used to call me Polly Wolly when I was  a kid, and she used to sing a Polly Wolly song every time she saw me.

3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in your blog post

4. Nominate a dozen other bloggers. The following list is in no particular order. You all have amazing, sweet, thoughtful blogs.

1. http://suaaddartistry.wordpress.com/

2. http://kelihasablog.wordpress.com/

3. http://ididnthavemyglasseson.wordpress.com/

4. http://shiro51144.wordpress.com/

5. http://fashionskyfall.wordpress.com/

6. http://bondingtool.wordpress.com/

7. http://myfavesjournal.com/

8. http://depressionexists.com/

9. http://wannabephotographer87.wordpress.com/

10. http://cowboysandcrossbones.wordpress.com/

11. http://warmtoastymuffins.com/

12. http://everydayinadress.com/

Thanks again to Janice, Jackie, Kristy, Lyn, and Katie for the nomination!  And I hope everyone will check out their great blogs!

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And now I would like to thank Perpetua at The Seeker57 and Shaun at Praying for One Day for nominating The Eye-Dancers for the Tag!  You’re it Award.  It is an honor being recognized by two such prolific and talented bloggers!

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The rules.

1.  Post a picture of the award on your blog

2.  Tag back to the person who tagged you to let them know you’ve accepted the award.

3.  Share 11 facts about you.

4.  Answer the 11 questions I’ve asked you.

5.  Tag the same amount of people as their are letters in your name.

6.  Ask your OWN 11 questions to the people you’ve tagged.

7.  Contact the people you’ve tagged to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Questions for me to answer (from Shaun at Praying for One Day):

1. What is your favorite color?  Green.  The color of a Vermont field . . .

vermontgreen

 

2. Where have you been to in the world, away from your country?  I have never been overseas.  I have only been to Canada, which I really enjoy visiting!

canada

 

3. If you had a time machine where would you go and why?  The 1950s.  I’ve always been drawn to that era, and always wished I could have experienced it.  The characters in The Eye-Dancers do get a chance to “live” the ’50s–after a fashion . . .

1950s

 

4. What food do you love most?  Probably my favorite treat of all is French fries.  I’d have answered the same way when I was 8!

fries

 

5. What is your favorite TV show?  The Twilight Zone, without a doubt!

tzone

 

 

6. Who is your favorite Actor?  I would have to go with Jimmy Stewart.  He always brought an “everyman” quality to the screen, and he was very talented and likeable.

jstewart

 

7. When was the last time you were in the Hospital (No reasons needed):  I have been fortunate, and have never been an in-patient in a hospital.  I’ve gone for routine check-ups and tests, but never for an overnight stay.

8. When did you 1st fall in love, if not, when would you like to?  Well, I always say my first love was writing, and that happened at a very young age!  Way back in the second grade.  Writing and I, we’ve had a very rocky relationship at times, but it’s always been love . . .

9. Do you understand String Theory?  A little–some of the basic concepts.  But whenever I need clarification, I just ask my pal Marc Kuslanski . . .

10. Where IS Waldo?  Search me!!

11. What type/make of Mobile phone do you have?  I have an outdated, archaic Tracfone that never fails to elicit laughs.

tracfone

 

My 11 questions for the nominees below:

1. You are going to a remote place–no TV, no cell phone, no electronics.  And you can only bring along one book.  Which book do you choose?

2.  You have a plate full of French fries and a plate full of apples before you.  Which plate do you go for?

3.  What is your favorite season of the year?

4.  What is your favorite sports team (or player) in any sport?

5.  Which do you prefer?  Rocky or Rambo?

6.  What is your favorite old movie (“old” here being defined as any movie prior to 1990)?

7.  What celebrity are you the most tired of?

8.  There is a romance movie on one channel, and a sci-fi movie on the other.  Which do you watch?

9.  What is the most outrageous dare you ever accepted?  Did you follow through and do it?

10.  Do you believe there is life “out there,” in outer space?

11.  Which decade from the 20th century do you think had the worst fashion sense?

Here are 11 facts about me . . .

1. I never wash my car.  When you live on a dirt road in Vermont, as I do, washing your car is a futile activity.  It will just be dirty again the next day.  When is it washed?  When it rains!

dirtycar

 

2. William Faulkner is often cited as one of the greatest American authors.  While I appreciate his talent, I have never been a fan, and have found his signature work, The Sound and the Fury, to be nearly unreadable . . .

faulkner

 

3. I have always been drawn to the “off-season,” the quiet times, like the woods in November, stripped bare, the baseball stadium in winter, silent, the field hidden under a blanket of snow.  Or the summer amusement park in January, empty, the rides vacant and still, the food stands bare, the crowds a memory.  And yet, amidst the silence and solitude, there is the promise of tomorrow, the anticipation of laughter and fun and activity. But for the moment, all is hushed, and still . . .

emptypark

 

4. Much like with Faulkner, I am not a huge F. Scott Fitzgerald fan either.  I have often heard people cite The Great Gatsby as the greatest American novel ever written.  Certainly it’s in the news of late, with the new movie.  And again, while I clearly can see and appreciate the talent, Fitzgerald is not a favorite of mine.  I much prefer the prose of Truman Capote, John Knowles, or Harper Lee.

gatsby

 

5. My mother has not purchased a single donut since 1980.  The reason?  She says if she buys one, she’ll buy a dozen, and eat them all at once.  I am the same way with ice cream.  I rarely buy it, and when I do, I eat it very quickly!  It’s a twice-a-year-treat.  I can’t trust myself to get it more often than that.

donut

 

6. My favorite Shakespeare tragedy is King Lear.  A masterpiece.

kinglear

 

My favorite Shakespearian comedy?  A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

amsnd

 

7. I love baseball history, but don’t really follow baseball very closely today.  Ask me about the 2013 Yankees and I’ll come up blank.  But ask me about the 1927 Yankees, and I can give you all the information you’d want.

baseballhistory

 

8. I recently created a Twitter account.  I’m enjoying it, but still learning about it!

twitter

 

9.  I have never traveled abroad, though I’d love to.  Maybe someday . . .

overseas

 

10. When I was six years old, I went to a softball game to watch my father play.  While at the plate during his first at-bat, teammates kept shouting “good eye, good eye!” to him as he took several errant pitches.  From that day on, I called him “Good Eye.”  The thing is?  I still do . . .

11. I am not a big fan of air travel, and, in fact, have not been on a plane since 2000.  I wouldn’t say I’m afraid to fly, but I prefer not to.  But, as mentioned in #9, I would love to travel overseas.  And in that case, I’d gladly hop on a plane . . .

airline

 

Well, since my full name has 14 letters, here are 14 nominations for the Tag!  You’re It! Award!

1. http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

2. http://familyeverything.wordpress.com/

3. http://jackiewriting.wordpress.com/

4.  http://soulofspice.wordpress.com/

5. http://dadialogues.wordpress.com/

6. http://cncfimoparadise.wordpress.com/

7. http://theencouragingscribe.wordpress.com/

8. http://honeydidyouseethat.wordpress.com/

9. http://poeticparfait.com/

10. http://likeitiz.wordpress.com/

11. http://foodflavorfascination.wordpress.com/

12. http://khmazzola124.wordpress.com/

13. http://feralc4t.wordpress.com/

14. http://fictionalmachines.com/

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Thank you again to the great bloggers who nominated me for these awards!  And thank you very much to everyone for reading!

–Mike

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award — 2013

I want to thank Valentina at carmenisabelgonzalez.wordpress.com for nominating The Eye-Dancers site for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award –2013.  Please visit Valentina at her site–it is a wonderful and diverse platform where I’m sure you’ll want to spend some time browsing around and enjoying all of her great posts.

I also wanted to mention that Carissa at ramblingsofabipolarwoman.wordpress.com had nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award recently, as well.  Apparently, this is a very similar award, but not quite the same one!  I had already been fortunate enough to have been nominated for this award late last year, but The 2013 Very Inspiring Blogger Award nomination allows me the opportunity to share with you Carissa’s wonderful site.  I hope you’ll check it out!

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As part of this award, I have to share a few things about myself so here it goes:

1. I am a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock movies.  “The Master of Suspense” was a remarkable and groundbreaking director, and his resume is jam-packed with cinematic triumphs.  My favorite Hitchcock movie is Rear Window.  Only a very accomplished and confident director would tackle such a script, where the entire film takes place in one room of a small apartment.  A real masterpiece of a movie.

rearwindow

2. At the age of two, I declared I would never wear a short-sleeved shirt again.  (I called them “arm shirts” when I was little.)  And, to this day, I have, with only very few exceptions, kept my word!  I’m not sure why, exactly, but I have always been more comfortable in long sleeves, even on the hottest of summer days.

notshirt

3.  Some people have asked me which of the four main characters in The Eye-Dancers I most relate to.  Well, the four protagonists in the novel are inspired by some of the neighborhood friends I grew up with.  That said, I am probably most like Mitchell Brant.  When I was Mitchell’s age, in junior high, I shared his shyness around girls, his love of comic books, especially The Fantastic Four, and his overactive imagination.  So, Mitchell has a special place for me among all the characters in the book.

ff1

4. I have enjoyed James Bond movies for many years, but to me, there is only one real 007, and that is Sean Connery.  Pierce Brosnan was good, too, but none of the other actors in the series can match the original Bond.

sean

5. I took German for three years in undergraduate school, but today I have forgotten almost all of it–due to disuse.  I can still count in German, and there are a few words and phrases I remember, but if I had to converse with someone in German, I wouldn’t be able to understand 99% of what they said.  I regret that, because I enjoyed the language when I studied it.  It just illustrates that the best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in the culture for a while, and really talk to people.  Classroom learning of a foreign language can take you only so far.

german

6. Even though I grew up in Rochester, New York, and now live in Vermont, I do not like winter!  And I am fed up with snow.  For the most part, I spend the winter looking forward to spring.  People sometimes laugh at that and say, “You don’t like the snow, but you live in Vermont?”  I always counter by saying I enjoy the other three seasons in northern New England.  So–three out of four isn’t too bad . . .

snow

7. My favorite board game is still Trivial Pursuit.  When I was a teenager, my parents would invite some of their friends over for one Saturday night each month to play, and I would always join in.  In time, we managed to acquire eight different versions of the game (the regular trivia box, a sports edition, a movies edition, a Baby Boomer edition, a TV edition, a Vintage edition–you name it, we had it!).  So, here we were, playing the game, and when someone landed on a color on the game board, their team had to choose which box they wanted a question from.  For instance, if you landed on a Pink square, you could choose Entertainment from the regular box, Titles from the Movie box, Football from the Sports box, Sitcoms from the TV box, and on and on.  It became a tough decision just to figure out what category you wanted, let alone answering the question!  The games were a lot of fun, though.

trivia

8. I can be long-winded sometimes.  See questions 1–7 above as proof . . .

And now it’s my privilege to nominate the following websites for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award — 2013!  Please visit these sites.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I do . . .

http://fairytaleepidemic.wordpress.com/

http://myfavesjournal.com/

http://charronschatter.com/

http://fashionskyfall.wordpress.com/

http://transcendingbordersblog.wordpress.com/

http://ramblingsofabipolarwoman.wordpress.com/

http://caitlambert.wordpress.com/

http://plantbaseddietadventures.com/

http://bondingtool.wordpress.com/

http://redpeffer.me/

http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/

http://hearingwiththeeye.wordpress.com/

Thanks again to Valentina and Carissa for nominating The Eye-Dancers!  And thanks so much to everyone for reading.

–Mike

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