Accepting the Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I recently received notifications from two bloggers that they had nominated me for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award.” My first reaction was that inspiration must be getting scarce for me to be nominated, twice at that. However, this is not an award so much about individual accomplishment as it is about connecting with and affecting other people beneficially, so to win it, there are things I must do — those are the rules for this award (see the end of the blog).


First, my thanks to Judy of Janthina Images, whose images of Florda wildlife, especially the birds, demonstrate artistry and talent as well as a love of nature; and crimsonprose of Crimsonprose (and Feast Fables 1 and Crimsons History, one of the few places you will read about the Rapes of Sussex, and that’s land, not sex), whose fiction combines philosophy, mythology, and history in fantasies of reality-structuring magic. Not only have you nominated me for this award, you’ve both read and commented on my own productions, frequently and at length. Take a look at them, folks: they’re nice people and have entertaining blogs.

The award requires that I nominate 15 other blogs and tell you 7 things about myself. I decided to make this harder for myself. I could not list any blogs listed by the two people who nominated me, with one exception. (So check out their lists here and here.) I limited it to WordPress blogs, though I’ve included one honorable mention from another blog set. And I also decided I had to explain my choices. Finally, those of you whose blogs I’ve nominated: take a look at the rules at the end. You have to follow them if you are going to accept the award.

Now, there was one problem with this: I haven’t been following 15 blogs actively. I easily came up with 9 blogs. But what about the other 6? Well, I went looking for them. I looked for them among people who were following me, and I went looking for them among people who have interesting tags. So some of the blogs below were new to me, too. I guess that’s one thing the award encourages.

So, with that out of the way, let’s start with the first thing about myself: I’m a historian. Yes, I have the sheepskins, though it’s odd they get smaller as the degrees become more advanced. More importantly, that’s how I think, as a historian. You wonder why my fiction often delves into history or why I offer historical material to illuminate my stories? Now you know why.

With that in mind, here are five related blogs I am nominating:

Past@present: This is the blog of the History Department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where I got my Ph.D. They did not have a blog while I was there. I’m annoyed/envious/happy they have one now.

Streetsofsalem: History with pictures! Donna Seger is a history professor at Salem State University (Massachusetts) who seems to have an endless supply of colorful images (which, unlike me, she does not crib from Wikipedia) to illustrate her posts about local and world history. I found her blog through “Freshly Pressed.”

John Matthew Barlow (formerly Spatialities): Can you guess the name of the blogger? I like erudite blogs. This one is filled with history, geography, sociology, and cultural analysis. I wouldn’t know about this did I not know the author’s spouse. It’s nice to benefit from someone else’s marriage!

The Junto: Early American History grad students writing about life and history. For me, a combination of knowledge and nostalgia!

The View from Sari’s World: I’ve only recently started following this blog, but it has a delightful treatment of many subjects, from history (naturally) to science to literature.

Second thing about myself: I never tried writing fiction on my own until just after I finished my dissertation in December, 2009. Writing a dissertation will ruin your writing style. So I had this idea, which was originally simply called “the zombie story,” that had been percolating around in my head for months to years. I sat down to write it. It would take me until January of 2011 to finish the story to my satisfaction. It’s where the Sillyverse began.

With that in mind, here are four related blogs I am nominating:

The L. Palmer Chronicles: A developing writer tackles pop culture, with a heavy leaning toward the sci-fi/fantasy genres. I usually smile while reading this one.

So,…hear me: Anyone who writes a historical detective story (see this post) deserves credit. That she’s a Canadian who also writes on popular culture is a bonus.

Michael A. Ventrella: I met the author at ARISIA/2013 on several writers panels. His blog covers interviews with figures in the sci-fi/fantasy field, along with his own work in the field.

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors: Seek out others who are trying to work at writing and publishing, please! Talk to them! Listen to them!

Third thing about myself: I had an early attraction to the weird, gothic, fantastic, and supernatural in the arts. I got my first record by asking my parents for an LP of Halloween music. The Addams Family was one of my favorite shows growing up. On the other hand, I didn’t see Star Trek until the second season, but subscribed to the Doubleday Science Fiction Book Club not long after.

With that in mind, here are four related blogs I am nominating:

My search for magic: The author seeks out places and arts that give him that thrill of the uncanny, mysterious, and weird. I even reblogged a post once.

Edward & Amelia Vs. The Vampire King: Russell writes a nice fantasy that is at times heroic, and at times horrific, and stars two teenagers who are more out of place than most. This is the one repeat I’ve allowed myself off one of the previous lists, to encourage Russell to keep on with the story.

Lisa’s Blog: A mutual acquaintance put me on to this filmmaker’s work. What I’ve seen, which is weird and wonderful, I’ve found interesting. I need to see more!

The Horror Online: “Horror with humor,” it says. Probably the best way to critique the genre!

Fourth thing about myself: While I’ve traveled a bit, only once in my life have I lived outside of New England: a two-year-stay in Manhattan while pursuing my M.A.

So, for New England, here are two related blogs I am nominating:

Birds of New England: I’ve often wished to be a knowledgeable bird watcher, especially after reading things like this blog.

An Armchair Academic: A Vermont doctor writes about life in New England. I was attracted to this by his treatment of slate gravestones from the region.

Fifth: I grew a beard because I was going on a five-day hike in New Zealand, and didn’t want to pack shaving gear on the hike. I’ve kept the beard because I look like some village’s idiot when I shave it off.

Bonus blog: it’s not on WordPress, but if you’ve seen the artwork of E. J. Barnes on this blog and liked it, she blogs at Shunpike: The Road Less Travelled. Why do I mention her here? Because she much, much prefers the bearded me.

Sixth: My first career was in high tech. I used to program minicomputers in their binary machine code. How good was I? I once figured out how my code was malfunctioning just by watching the display panel to figure out where in core memory the program was running.

Seventh: I collected coins as a child, helped along by my father’s coin collection, which included many obsolete coins. Ever held a U.S. silver three-cent piece in your hand? Did you even know the U.S. Mint issued such a coin? It’s so thin you can bend it with your fingers unassisted. That’s one of the reasons I became interested in currency and economic history.

Whew! OK, that’s the blogs and that’s me. Thank you for your patience and tolerance. Now, go look at some of the blogs I’ve listed, and enjoy!

If your blog was nominated here, and you wish to participate as an award winner, here are the Rules for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.

2. Display the award on your post. (Copy it from above.)

3. List the award rules so your nominees will know what to do.

4. State 7 things about yourself.

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.

6. Contact your nominees to let them know you have nominated them. Provide a link to your post.

7. Proudly display the award logo on your blog, whether on your side bar, ABOUT page, or a special page for awards. Let other bloggers see right up front that you are an award winner and HAVE participated in the award process.

And that’s it!


About Brian Bixby

I enjoy history because it helps me understand people. I'm writing fiction for much the same reason.
This entry was posted in Reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Accepting the Very Inspiring Blogger Award

  1. crimsonprose says:

    You scatter your nominated blogs across the surface of my consciousness like ground-bait. It’ll take me months to check these out. But, oh boy, I think I’m in for one hell of a treat. Thank you.

  2. Wow, thanks for the nomination – a lovely start to 2014 for My Search For Magic. It is great to get such encouraging feedback!

  3. Judy says:


    I love they way you serialized your seven things, interspersed as they are between blog nominations!! I too look forward to reading the blogs of your choice as they sound very interesting. Looks like you and EJ both started out tech and migrated to the creative. Oddly, that seems not all that unusual..those I once though it was. One of my sons showed a lot of promise as a writer in high school..wonderful characters, plotlines and dialogue..great at poetry too. He’s the one who ended up a computer programmer as he is a wiz at that too. I am sure someone knows of a brain linkage between algorithms and writing/art. My father is also an avid coin collector since he was quite young with a remarkable collection. So I collected coins too as a kid and always particularly liked the heft of silver dollars in my hand and all those old dates!!

    I am so pleased that you enjoyed the award and even more so passing it around to some very interesting people!!

    Happy 2014!!

  4. L. Palmer says:

    Thanks for the nomination! I think I more enjoyed how you set up the sections. I also think your beard makes you more scholarly and knowledgeable looking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s