My dear blog friend Bud over at Older Eyes has suggested I play a bit of a blogging game. That’s my description of it, not his; his description of it is “it’s NOT a meme.” It’s called the Seven Links Challenge, and the purpose is to give bloggers a chance to share previous posts that might deserve some props. Two rules: I have to publish seven links of my own blog, one per category listed below; and I have to nominate 5-7 other bloggers to do the same.
But this is not a chain letter, so if the people I select don’t participate, nothing bad will happen to any kittens and God will not smite them with His mighty hand or otherwise judge them to be faithless heathens… like when you ignore other chain mail.
I found this challenge to be an interesting one for a couple of reasons. One: I haven’t been blogging long. Just since March. So even my “old” stuff isn’t very old. The other is that I am pretty critical of my own writing and often go back and re-read to find it’s not nearly as great as I thought it was when I published it. So this was an exercise in putting aside some of that criticism, as well.
And here I go:
1. Most beautiful post. Well, I don’t generally write “beautiful” posts. I generally write “smart-ass” posts. That being said, one of the first posts I ever wrote was an example of how I can write when I’m not being snarky. The Smell of Spring won’t necessarily resonate right now as summer wanes, but at the end of a long, cold winter, my fingers were itching to write it. I wrote half of it in my head, just walking from my car to my apartment late at night after work. It was the second thing I ever posted, back on March 19.
2. Most Popular Post. I had a hard time with this one, believe it or not, because I couldn’t decide how to define it. I’ve never been Freshly Pressed, so it’s not like I had one post that did gangbusters over others. Was it based on the most reads? or the best reactions? Finally, I settled on Who Let You In Here?, a post I put up on May 30 that generated 29 comments (half of them mine, I admit) and six “likes” from fellow bloggers. Turns out, writing about chasing a mouse – and a cat – gets a good reaction.
3. Most Controversial Post. Oddly, I haven’t stirred up a lot of controversy on my blog. There have been times when I thought I was opening up a can of the proverbial worms, but then there wasn’t much tussle over things in the comments. So I’m offering up a post that I think might have been the most controversial if anybody had read it. It’s called God is not a carcinogen. Now what?, and it is one of the most raw emotional things I’ve published here. It was posted on March 20.
4. Most Helpful Post. Well, I suppose It’s a Muscle, Not A Dinosaur…and Other Things I Learned On the Massage Table wins that distinction. Since its publication on May 7, it’s gotten the highest number of views of any post I’ve ever written. I gather that’s because a lot of people search the interwebs for photos of the muscles of the lumbar spine, which I was kind enough to provide in that post. I say that post got the highest number of views because I’m quite sure the people who somehow stumbled upon it on page 82 of their Google search results didn’t actually read it.
5. Most Surprisingly Successful Post. Hands down, Enough Is Enough from July 26th. I knew it was a high-caliber political rant and I knew I was striking while the iron was hot, but I had no idea it would get as many views as it did. That is thanks in large part to Dan Bain over at bainwaves, who was kind enough to socialize it on various social media outlets.
6. Post That Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved. This was a tough one to determine. There were posts that got less attention than Betty Friedan Would Be So Disappointed, but I didn’t necessarily think they “deserved” to get more. I actually really like a lot of the stuff I wrote in March and May (as you can tell from the pattern of what I’ve chosen), but I really liked this one from May 6, and to date it has gotten fewer than two dozen views. Sad.
7. Post I Am Most Proud Of. The one I decided on for this category could have been Most Controversial, as well, but again, if there were readers who found it controversial, they didn’t comment, so I don’t know. It’s called Just A Man. I wrote it after the death of Osama bin Laden. I was struck by the realization that if someone came across him and had no idea of what happened on 9/11, or other attacks, they would have no idea that he was who he was. It seemed unbelievable to me that a man who was behind so much horror could possibly not actually seep it from his pores. That was a valuable realization for me because it made me think about the way history shapes our understanding of its characters.
I hope the selections I’ve made are worthy of their distinctions. Feel free to comment on them when you read them. If you read them.
Meanwhile, over on jodistone’s page, I’ve been honored to be called a Versatile Blogger. Jodi’s page is centered around her dogs, Sampson and Delilah, and if you’re an animal lover, it’s a go-to page for sure. Her gracious recommendation comes with the commission to tell readers seven things about myself and nominate 15 more bloggers. Bud at Older Eyes has bestowed this honor on me in the past, so now I’ll come up with seven more things so I don’t bore you all. And again I’ll say that I don’t have 15 bloggers I can solidly call “versatile,” but I’ll happily give you links to the ones I’ve discovered since the last time.
1. I want a dog, either a black or chocolate lab, at least 50 pounds (so maybe a bit of another dog in there for heft), at least a year old, and I want to name him Seamus. Or Guinness. But I can’t have him until I buy a house. Oh, and he has to have a good bark for when people walk up to the door.
2. I never drank coffee until about two years ago. I blame Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato for this. It’s a gateway drug. Now I drink the hard stuff. But only one cup, in the morning. Unless I have two.
3. My favorite season is fall. I love to curl up all cozy and warm with that crispness to the air and that smell of burning leaves. To hell with the environment.
4. I despite “reality” television. Except for “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Don’t judge me.
5. I cannot think of a turnoff more vile than the sound of food sloshing around in one’s mouth. You could be George Clooney– if I have to listen to you smack your lunch around, I’m totally writing you off.
6. I vascillate between thinking I’m entirely too picky and thinking I’m nowhere near picky enough. I usually think the former when I’m not seeing anyone and the latter when something’s just ended.
7. I’m grateful that the Bluetooth system and that in-car phone system have been invented because now I can talk to myself freely in the car and no one looks at me like I’m crazy anymore.
My nominees for Versatile Blogger:
pithypants – I think she and I should be friends in real life, and I have told her as much in a comment on her blog. So she probably has taken out a restraining order against me.
lafemmeroar – warning: not for the faint of heart. This girl lays it down for real. Make sure your kids don’t see it.
Bainwaves – Dan’s got good sense and a good sense of humor. Plus he can write, and I love his blog’s tagline: “The world is hurting. Laugh more”. Can’t argue with that.
PDX Running Chick – She’s new. And she’s baring her heart and soul in a very brave way. I find her inspiring. Plus she makes me feel better about being a total train wreck sometimes. (That’s not an insult, PDX.)
The Observationalist NYC – he’s a 32-year-old costume designer in New York, with a Dog. A French Bulldog, to be precise. And that dog is the man, figuratively speaking. NYC’s posts can range from sequins and thread to heartache and confusion. Like NYC itself.
steadilyskippingstones – She’s funny, she’s serious, she’s honest, she’s easy to blog around… I can’t imagine why anybody wouldn’t like her.
Your turn, blogfriends. Go!