The Oscars are coming! I know, I know, they can be cheesy and self-serving and they don’t always pick the movies you really want to win, but I have fun at my aunt and uncle’s Oscar party every year, so that’s mainly why I watch. But it seems the craze to give each other a pat on the back is spreading beyond Hollywood. Over the last few weeks I’ve been hearing about blogging awards — by the bloggers, for the bloggers. They’re free, they’re easy to spread, and a great way to build a readership for your friends’ blogs.
Darlene Foster is a relatively new friend of mine, but also a good one. A fellow writer, she’s always a great encourager who constantly teaches me to never give up. I have her to thank for giving me not one but two awards: The Versatile Blogger Award and The Genuine Blogger Award. Now one thing about these awards is that they often come with “rules” about spreading the joy around to your friends. But after doing a little research, I discovered that The Genuine Blogger Award was specifically created without rules (read more about it here). I decided that I liked that idea. And further decided that, while I’ll gratefully accept both, I’ll only hand out the one that comes with no strings attached.
No need for an envelope and drumroll. Why celebrate just one winner? I’ve got six I want to share with you.
First up is Organized Chaos, operated by my good friend Matthew. He hasn’t posted in a little while (Matt…), but what he has posted has been extremely thoughtful and considered. It’s not a blog about anything really. Just little musings on life mixed with a bit of poetry. But it’s lovely to read. I always feel like I’ve gotten to know him a tiny bit more every time I read one of his posts.
Next is Beauty, Bliss, Benevolence, three very good words. This one’s courtesy of another good friend Kelsey, and it also isn’t about anything in particular. She’s in Zimbabwe at the moment (I’ll let her share why), so it’s also gone a bit quiet just now. But her posts are always incredibly deep and very well-written, examining her faith, sharing experiences, and offering snatches of philosophy. And the best part about it is the surprise of a musical experience whenever you visit; a playlist sits at the bottom of the page, filled with tunes that soothe and excite at the same time. I have Kelsey to thank for introducing me to Ingrid Michaelson. Thanks, Kelsey!
Third is the blog of my friend, Dan J. Marcus. Again, his blog is fairly quiet. He’s very busy…making movies. Dan is a filmmaker with a couple short subjects up his sleeve, and a feature production in the offing. So what is on that site (namely his work) is very, very cool. He and I have been online friends for several years now, and we’re always encouraging each other and bouncing ideas back and forth. I’ve featured Dan before, but now I get to give him an award to go along with it. I’m sure he’d like me to thank the Academy on his behalf, and all the little people who supported him along the way.
And then there’s Joeandheidiwhite.com…by Joe and Heidi White. Imagine that. I like their blog because they regularly post updates on all the fun adventures they have: snowshoeing, rock climbing, hiking, skiing, rock climbing, camping trips — did I mention rock climbing? I’m not an outdoors person, but I can really appreciate that sort of lifestyle when I see it through their eyes. They also have tons of pictures of their incredibly gorgeous little daughter and a few pictures of their equally gorgeous brand new baby son, which are always a treat.
I have to give a shout-out to Dan Perret’s Blog, another ordinary name concealing something amazing and unique. Now technically, this may not seem to qualify. It’s been dead for a little bit because it was intended simply to be an online journal about Dan’s travels through South America a couple of years ago. I looked forward eagerly to each new post and the news and pictures it would bring. He describes his journey wonderfully, and brings the people he meets to vivid life. He happened to be in Ecuador during the police uprising (remember that?) and he shared some of his experiences from the “front lines”, as it were. Even though the trip is long done, I encourage you to go and check out the travel diary.
And finally, Darlene Foster’s own blog. Dedicated, disciplined, and determined, she’s already published two books in a YA series and is in the middle of writing the third. I enjoy her passion for literature, the pictures she shares from her own travels, and most of all her positivity toward life. She also writes reviews, suggests books as gifts, and is always generous with giving shout-outs to her own blogging friends.
So there you go. Some of my favourite blogs to follow are the ones that give my friends voice and expression, celebrating who they are in all their vast diversity. Be sure to check them all out.