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!

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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

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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?

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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

An Awards Extravaganza, and . . . Breaking the Rules!

It’s always a great feeling when The Eye-Dancers receives a nomination for a blogging award.  Blogging awards offer us a wonderful way of spreading the goodwill that makes the WordPress community the special place it is.  And it is again with much appreciation and gratitude that I accept the nominations from several blogging friends.

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Thanks to Anne at Tales Along the Way; Jennifer K. Marsh; and Janice at jemsbooks for nominating The Eye-Dancers for The Shauny Award for Blogging Excellence, The Sunshine Award, and The Inner Peace Award, respectively.  I was fortunate enough to have been nominated for these awards previously, but I wanted to thank all three of these wonderful bloggers!  If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting their sites, I strongly urge you to do so!

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Within the past few weeks, The Eye-Dancers has been nominated for three new awards. . . .

Thanks to Janice at jemsbooks for The Butterfly Light Award.  Janice has been a steadfast and ongoing supporter of The Eye-Dancers, and I can’t thank her enough.  I hope you’ll check out her great blog, and download her wonderful books!

butterfly-light-award

 

Conditions For Accepting The Award

Here are the conditions for accepting the award :

1. You must write an acceptance post, making sure you link back to the blogger who awarded you and thank them. You MAY NOT lump this award in with a batch of other awards.  [Oops!  This is the first rule I am breaking in this post!]

2. You must individually name and re-award to a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 9999999 bloggers. You must let them know either personally with a comment on their blog OR a pingback (I’d suggest their about page) [Hmm, this is the second rule I am breaking . . .]

3. You must link back to Belinda’s blog either to http://idiotwriting.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/i-love-charismatic-geeks/ OR http://idiotwriting.wordpress.com/about/

4. You must write a short paragraph (yes only one paragraph – damn this is easy) – Entitled either “How I’m Spreading Light” OR “How I’m A Positive Influence”

5. Display Belinda’s lovely “Butterfly Light Award” badge on your blog.

 

“How I’m A Positive Influence”

Honestly, this one was tough!  It feels a little egotistical to use such a heading.  But one thing I hope The Eye-Dancers site has done, and continues to do, is to encourage everyone to unleash the creative powers within, to let them out with a flourish.  Tell your story.  Sing your song.  Paint your picture.  Do what you love, and then share it with the world.  Only you can tell your story.

creativity

 

As for the blogs I nominate, please keep reading!

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Thank you to Jennifer K. Marsh for The Imagine Award.  Jennifer has supported The Eye-Dancers for the long haul, and I very much appreciate it!  She has a wonderful blog (more on this in a minute), and is a very talented author.

the-imagine-award

 

The purpose of The Imagine Award is to highlight blogs which make special use of creativity and passion.

According to the rules, I must nominate 3-5 blogs for the award  [more on this later–more rule-breaking, I’m afraid!] as well as state 3-5 reasons why I like Jennifer’s blog . . .

 

Jennifer’s site is great.  There are many reasons for this.  Here are five . . .

1.  She has a deep appreciation for nature and the environment.  Her posts reflect this, her words portray this.  As a fellow nature lover myself, this is something I genuinely appreciate and admire about Jennifer and her blog.

2. Jennifer is a highly creative and imaginative person, and her posts have the ability to lift me up on wings, enabling me to fly high overhead, and enjoy the view.  She is a talented wordsmith and a dreamer of dreams.

3.  Jennifer has a wonderful sense of humor.  Regardless of what type of post she is writing, her humor shines through.

4.  She is very honest, open, and holds nothing back.  Jennifer will post on subjects that mean a great deal to her, and is not afraid of sharing her heart with her readers.  This, combined with her fantastic sense of humor, truly makes her blog a very personal and heartfelt reading experience.

5.  Jennifer exhibits a tremendous variety in her posts.  From one post to the next, she keeps things fresh and unpredictable.  And when it comes to creative writing, unpredictable is good!

unpredictable

 

So for these reasons and many more, I hope you will visit Jennifer’s blog!

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And thanks so much  to Alisha Williams at Poemotherapi Shoppe for The Paragon of Fine Art Blogger Award nomination!  Alisha’s blog is a creative cornucopia of beautiful words and images.  She is a very talented and accomplished poet.  I am sure you will enjoy visiting her site as much as I do!

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The Paragon of Fine Art Blogger Award celebrates bloggers who love art.

Rules for the acceptance of this award:

  • Along with the acceptance of the PFAB Award please post anything that would express your love for art, it may be in a form of a painting, a photograph, an illustration, a poem or essay, anything done for the love of art.
  • Choose 6 bloggers who should merit the said award.  [I think you know where I’m going with this by now!]
  • Notify the deserving bloggers of the award, let them know the rules.
  • Acknowledge the presenter of this award by linking back.
  • Pin the Ajay-inspired badge on your blog.

 

For this award, I wanted to write a few words on why art is important to me and, indeed, to the world.

It’s an age-old debate.  Does art reflect life?  Or does life reflect art?  To me, both aspects are true.

Art certainly reflects life.  Any artist–writer, painter, singer, etc.–brings their own experiences, their triumphs, failures, loves, and losses into their art, into the things they create.  This much is irrefutable.

But the reverse is also true, and it provides the more important aspect of this life/art, art/life duality.  Ray Bradbury was once interrogated by the police for walking around the streets of his neighborhood at night.  His crime?  Simply walking, thinking, being.  Out of this experience, he created “The Pedestrian,” a futuristic little tale that depicts a world where everyone remains indoors, hidden away from the world, existing within the confines of their walls, glued to their televisions and trapped in a virtual, artificial reality.  This is art.  Taking a personal experience and broadening it, crafting an imaginary tale that on one hand transports us to a faraway world, while on the other forces us to look at our own society, our own laws and mores, our own selves.

pedestrian

 

And by doing this, art shapes our lives.  It causes us to think about things we may not otherwise have considered, it causes us to see the old with a new pair of eyes, with a new point of view.

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It’s always very difficult nominating just a few bloggers for each award.  There are so many wonderful blogs out there, selecting only five or ten or fifteen is virtually impossible.  And the truth is, it is all of you, everyone in the WordPress community, that makes The Eye-Dancers blog so much fun for me.

And so, I would like to share each award mentioned here–The Shauny Award, The Sunshine Award, The Inner Peace Award, The Butterfly Light Award, The Imagine Award, and The Paragon of Fine Arts Blogging Award–with each and every follower of The Eye-Dancers site.  I hope you’ll choose to accept at least one of these awards, and, perhaps, all of them!

thanks

 

Thanks so much for all of your ongoing support!  It means the world to me.  And thanks so much, as always, for reading!

–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

A Journey into 2014, an Eye-Dancers Promotion, and Jumping Off of Cliffs

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

journey

 

A year ago, at the start of 2013, I had a distinct end in mind.  I wanted to spread the word as effectively as possible about my new YA sci-fi/fantasy novel, The Eye-Dancers.  Admittedly, generating a readership for the novel was my chief aim when I launched The Eye-Dancers website.

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But then a funny thing happened along the way.  I began to enjoy blogging in and of itself, for no other sake than for the joy of interacting with fellow bloggers, a virtual worldwide meeting of the minds.  Now I won’t lie.  I still hope you will all buy a copy of The Eye-Dancers!  (More on that in a bit.)  But, far more important, 2013 showed me what a wonderful endeavor blogging can be.  I was blessed as the year went on to make many new online friends, share some tremendously enriching conversations, both on WordPress and through email, and to read so many great posts throughout the WordPress community.  This has been a fantastic year, and I thank each and every one of you for it.  You are the reason why The Eye-Dancers site is still here, and why I love doing this.

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One of the things that has truly humbled me over the course of the past year are the awards The Eye-Dancers blog has received.  Recently, I was nominated for several awards that I had been lucky enough to win previously, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the bloggers who thought of The Eye-Dancers . . .

Thanks so much to D-Anna at Style Salvation for nominating me for the Best Moment Award; to Jennifer K. Marsh for nominating The Eye-Dancers for the WordPress Family Award; and to Sandra at the Quirky Books Blog for nominating The Eye-Dancers for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, the Sunshine Award, and the Shine-On Award.  D-Anna, Jennifer, and Sandra have provided ongoing support to The Eye-Dancers over the course of this past year, and I can’t thank them enough.  I highly encourage everyone to check out their fabulous websites!

greatblogs

 

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On two separate occasions this year, I decided to run a promotion for The Eye-Dancers, and now, as we make the leap from 2013 to 2014, I thought it would be a good time to run another one–very similar to the promotion that took place over the summer.

onefortheangels

 

Just as with that promo, whoever purchases a copy of The Eye-Dancers during the promotional period will be eligible to win a gift card. . . .

giftcard

 

Beginning today (December 27) and ending February 10, 2014, if you buy The Eye-Dancers, wherever it is sold, please notify me–either with a comment on this website, or via email at michaelf424@gmail.com.  I will keep track of  each person who buys the book during this time frame and then, on February 11, the day after the promotion ends, I will randomly select one winner.  The selected person will be awarded a gift card–to anywhere!  It could be to Amazon, a favorite restaurant or department store . . . it doesn’t really matter.  The choice will be yours.

choosedessert

 

The amount of the gift card will be based on the number of overall purchases of The Eye-Dancers during the promotional time period.  For each purchase, $2.50 will be earmarked toward the gift card.  (This is an increase from the $2.00 that was earmarked for each purchase during the last promotion.)  So, for example, if there are thirty purchases during the promotion, the gift card would be for $75 (30 purchases x $2.50 per purchase).  The gift card amount, in other words, will be determined by you!  The more purchases, the higher the amount on the card.

Please just remember that if you do purchase The Eye-Dancers during the designated promotional period to make sure and contact me so I can enter your name into the gift-card contest.

The previous winners of The Eye-Dancers gift-card promotion were Mel Fowle and Katie Sullivan.  Now it could be your turn!

The Eye-Dancers is available for purchase at the following online retail locations . . .

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-ebook/dp/B00A8TUS8M

B & N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eye-dancers-michael-s-fedison/1113839272?ean=2940015770261

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/255348

Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/books/The-Eye-Dancers/nKFZETbWWkyzV2QkaJWOjg

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So, yes, as you can see, I still am indeed hoping to sell many copies of The Eye-Dancers!  But just as Hemingway suggested, having a goal to aspire to is good, but the journey, yes, the journey . . . that is where the true joy and fulfillment are found.  And, because of you, the bloggers of the WordPress Community, this has been a truly rewarding year for me.  I can’t emphasize enough how welcome you made me feel when I was just starting out, how you encouraged me to keep writing and posting through your comments, Likes, and overall support.

thankyou

 

I genuinely thank you, and look forward to what 2014 has in store.  I am eager to read your future posts, share in more conversations with you, and continue on this fascinating journey.

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One of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury, also penned one of my favorite quotes.  It goes something like this: “Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.”

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At the start of 2013, The Eye-Dancers website, fledgling, new to the blogging world, had in the neighborhood of 25 followers.  By the start of 2014, that number has grown to nearly 1,600.  It is that kind of support, that kind of community that makes all of this possible, and it’s why I can’t wait to begin 2014.

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One year ago, I was standing at the edge of the blogging cliff, not sure if I should jump, take the plunge, take the risk . . . I am so glad I did.  Any wings this Eye-Dancers blog has been able to unfurl on the way down have taken form and spread because of you.

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Thanks so much for reading, and for all the great and ongoing support.

Let’s make 2014 our best year yet.

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–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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Thanks so much for reading!

–Mike

A Harvest of Friends

In the first-ever episode of the iconic, long-running television series Little House on the Prairie, titled “A Harvest of Friends,” farmer Charles Ingalls and his family move to Walnut Grove, Minnesota.

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Immediately, Charles gets busy, working several jobs, until he can bring in the harvest.

landon

 

But then misfortune strikes, and Charles loses money and breaks his ribs in a fall.  As things deteriorate from bad to worse, and it appears the Ingalls may lose their farm, the community of Walnut Grove steps in and helps the family through to the harvest.  As the episode ends, Charles realizes the truth.  Yes, he will keep the farm, and yes, his crops will grow and the family will make it, after all.  But, more than anything, the real harvest is one of new friendships and community support.

I have said it before, and will say it again.  When I began The Eye-Dancers site late last summer, I had no idea what I was getting into–I had never blogged before.  All I knew at the time was that I wanted  to create a website to help get the word out regarding my new young adult sci-fi/fantasy novel, The Eye-Dancers.  Beyond that, I didn’t know what to expect, and didn’t know what the response would be.

Like Charles Ingalls when he moved to Walnut Grove, I have quickly discovered what a great community I have joined.  A harvest of friends, indeed.  Today The Eye-Dancers has reached the 1,000-follower milestone, and so it’s a perfect time to say thank you to each and every one of you.

I am honored that The Eye-Dancers has been nominated for more blogging awards–The Most Influential Blogger Award, The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, and The Interesting Blog Award!

But first, a shout-out to Kavita at Talking Experience for nominating The Eye-Dancers for the Tag You’re It! Award;  the Ambitious Poet for nominating me for the  Liebster Award; and Kristy at Family, Friends, and Everything in Between for the nomination for the Shine On Award!  I was lucky enough to have received these awards previously, but I wanted to encourage everyone to visit these wonderful blogs!

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A hearty thank-you to Samina at Samina’s Forum for police support for nominating me for a Most Influential Blogger Award.  It is a privilege being nominated for an award like this from someone who has such an influential blog herself.  Thanks you, Samina!

most-influential-blogger-e1364230844577

The rules for the Most Influential Blogger Award are as follows . . .

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Answer seven questions.
  • Nominate (no limit on the number of nominations) [an aside–this is good, since, for this one award, I am not technically breaking the rules!] other bloggers for this award and link back to them.
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award requirements.

The seven questions are:

1. If you could create your own planet what would it look like?

A. It would look a lot like Earth.  Our planet is full of natural wonders and variety.  I think it would be difficult to create a more naturally beautiful planet.

earth

 

2.If you could visit one nation you have never visited before. What nation would that be?

A.  Scotland, probably.  But it’s hard to choose just one!

scotland

 

3. Have you ever taken a long distance train trip?

A.  I have!  From Rochester, New York, to Denver, Colorado . . .

amtrak

 

4. What is something you would collectively change about humanity?

A.  I would encourage everyone to keep an open mind.  Nothing is impossible.  Many of the great inventors or thinkers were ridiculed in their day.  Be open to possibilities, potentialities, and the unity of all things.  Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it “wrong” or “foolish.”

openmind

 

5. What is your favorite song?

A.  I don’t really have one that stands out, head and shoulders, above the rest.  It’s hard to choose just one!  I have always loved the song “Edelweiss,” from The Sound of Music.  And I enjoy some of the classic ’50s songs–“Only You (And You Alone)” by The Platters, for example.

edelweiss

 

6. If you could meet one person who is still alive who would you choose to meet?

A.  The person around the next corner.  I wouldn’t know who they are until I meet them . . .

aroundthecorner

 

7. If you could choose one symbol to represent you, what would that symbol be? Why?

A.  Probably an image of the universe–something vast, infinite, mysterious.  I always want to keep searching for the unknowable, and reaching for the stars . . .

universe

 

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Thank you very much to Joseyphina at Joseyphina’s World, Lisa at She’s Losing It!, and Katie at the D/A Dialogues for nominating The Eye-Dancers for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award!  You all have great blogs, and I very much appreciate the nomination!

wonderful-team-membership-award

The rules for this award are  (and I will break them!):

The Nominee of the Wonderful Team member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her blog.

The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little.

The Nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during 7 days.

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And another thank-you is in order to Katie at the D/A Dialogues for nominating me for an Interesting Blog Award!  If you haven’t checked out Katie’s site, please pull up a virtual chair and do.  It is a delightful, fun, and very engaging place to spend some time!

Interesting Blog Award

 

The rules (meant to be broken??) for the Interesting Blog Award are as follows:

Thank person who nominated you.

List 5 random facts about yourself.

Nominate 5 other blogs.

Answer the 5 questions the blogger awarding you The Most Interesting Blog Award asked you.

Ask 5 questions of your own to nominees.

Here are 5 random things about myself:

1. When I was a kid, I never had to move.  In fact, even to this day, my parents still live in the same house where I grew up.  That’s a rare and special thing these days, and it makes “going home,” when I visit Rochester, NY, that much better.

2.  One of my favorite all-time shows is Jeopardy!.  I remember, growing up, I would watch it with my parents, and we’d try to guess the answers to the questions.  Or, seeing that it is Jeopardy, the questions to the answers!  Like any true geek, I used to keep a personal scorecard, tallying up how many questions I got right, each show, every week . . .

jeopardy

 

3.  I have never Skyped!

skype

 

4.  I am an introvert by nature, very much an observer.  I’m fascinated watching people–at parties, out on the street, at work, in stores . . .  And I have always loved to listen to conversations–the manner in which people talk, their accents, their pet expressions.  It never gets old.

5.  I do not like heights!  I wouldn’t say I’m terrified of them, but I avoid high places if I can.  You will not find me up on the roof!

heights

 

The five questions for me to answer (from Katie):

What is your favorite moment in history?

Any time a decided underdog has stood up to, and bested, the favorite.

If you could eat one food item for the rest of your days, what would it be?

Easy.  French fries and ketchup!

fries

 

What is your fondest childhood memory?

Honestly, I can’t choose just one.  I was lucky.  I had a wonderful childhood, all in all, and I am always grateful for that.

If a madman in a box whisked you away and said you could go anywhere and anytime in the universe, what would you choose?

Tough choice!  But if I had to choose just one, I would like to have the best seats in the house in Yankee Stadium on October 8, 1956, the day Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history.

larsenp

 

If training, ability, and money were not an issue, what would you like to be when you grow up?

A best-selling novelist, of course!

My questions for the nominees of this award are:

1. Seinfeld or Cheers?

2. Country music or heavy metal?

3. You have a chocolate muffin and a piece of cherry pie before you, but you can choose only one.  Which do you choose?

4. What city, anywhere in the world, would you like to visit and why?

5. There is a zombie movie on one channel and a James Bond movie on the other.  Which do you watch?

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Rule-breaking time!  I would like to nominate all of my followers for the above awards.  If you want to accept all of them, please do!  I hope you do!  Or perhaps you’d only choose to accept one or two of the awards.  Or none.  It doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that you know how much I appreciate your comments, feedback, and support.  You are the ones who make blogging fun and worthwhile.

I thank you, very much, for reading these ramblings of mine!

–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!

tag_your_it_xlarge

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

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