Gannet Girl of Search The Sea and Desert Year recently gave me the Friends Award.
"The Friends Award isn't about being the most popular blogger or having the most read blog. It is just because you consider the author a friend. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
First off, thank you. GG, you are indeed a friend, regardless of how we know each other. I think there's a tendency to think of friendships that are just online as somehow not quite real. Blogging has taught me otherwise. I think I was lucky that I began as an AOL blogger. We developed a community over there. Real connections were made. I started a couple of months after they started blogs, and I was stunned when people started reading my stuff. Soon, we were interacting, communicating and sharing real parts of our lives and truly caring. When many of us moved into the larger blogging community, it made making those connections with others easier. I've made some wonderful friends blogging, and I'm glad to let them know. I know that some of these have already been given the friends award, but hey, they're my friends too, and I want to let people know. Now, in no particular order...
Lisa, of Coming to Terms. She has a mind, a heart and a spirit that just get to me. She's a wonderful writer, an acute political observer (Oh, what the big time blogs and newspapers have missed by not snatching her up), and a courageous entrepreneur who had the guts to make a dream a reality and the honesty to show what real life dreams can actually be like. Lisa was one of the first people to read and comment on my blog, and I'm so glad she's part of my life now.
Theresa, of Theresa Williams -- Author. Theresa is a college lecturer, the author of The Secret of Hurricanes, a poet, an artist and (need I say) an inspiration. She has mentored me more than she realizes, encouraged me and her belief in my writing has kept me writing when I felt like my voice was gone and my efforts were nothing more than pretentious bullshit. Our relationship has moved beyond writing, and I'll always be grateful.
Paula of Stained Glass Buddha. Paula is another college lecturer, a poet and author. She's a blogger I've actually met in person. She came and had dinner with me one night, and anyone who could tolerate my home when I shared it with nearly 20 cats (yes, I found homes for all but two of them) is something special. Paula has one of the most brilliant smiles I've ever seen, and her beauty is enhanced by how bravely and publicly she shares her battles with depression. You see her and can't imagine her with anything but joy. Then her courage awes you.
Nelle, of Joy Cometh in the Morning. Nelle is another person whose positivity, courage and kindness just inspire me. Through illnesses of her own and of those in her family, Nelle has faced life with bravery and humor. I read her blog and find that faith, joy, humor, generosity and hope are reaffirmed. When I went seriously hermit, she reached out to me with cards and letters. When my church was helping shelter Katrina evacuees, she sent clothing to help. What can you say about a woman like this?
Jul. Her blog is private, so I can't provide a link, but I have to include her. At a time when I was so down, I didn't see up as even possible, she reached out to me. I felt like a pity sucking black hole, and she told me how much I had shared and given just in my blog. She helped me see value in myself when I saw none and find a way to start working my way back up. I will forever be grateful.
Laura of Biddies In My Brain. Laura is another blogger I've gotten to meet in real life. We first met in a religious issues message board, and she intimidated the crap out of me. The woman is just so smart, funny and passionate. She challenges me to think and to live up to my ethics and makes me laugh while she does it. She's another one who faces life with courage, humor and kindness.
Gigi of Lotus Martinis. This is my secret. When I grow up I want to be Gigi. I like to think we're a lot alike despite the fact that I'm not funny, artistic, sophisticated, or well travelled, and couldn't do yoga well if you threatened me with a Uzi. Gigi found my blog early and stuck with me through a hell of a lot of whining. She also has a depth that her humor tries to hide.
Mary of Just A Hippie Gypsy. Mary is another one of the former AOL bloggers, and we've been reading each other practically since the beginning. Another beautiful writer, a thinker, a marathon runner, someone who treasures family and who sees both the beauty and bullshit in life and keeps laughing. Besides all this, she got me into The Saw Doctors.
This was hard, not because eight was a lot of people to pick. There are so many more people I could give this too, but if I don't limit my blogging time, I can do this all night. Blogging has been a real gift to me. I got into it simply to redevelop some discipline about writing regularly after letting it fade away from me for a few years. I didn't expect to develop real friendships, but I have. I've met some amazing women and men by blogging, and my life has been broadened and enriched. Thank you all so much.