Recently I discovered that there was such a thing as a blog award when I was kindly nominated for ‘The Cute Blogger Award’ by Angela Addams (which I shall accept officially in a future post). There are other ones, but generally they celebrate achievements like being a ‘Versatile Blogger’, or reaching targets and goals like the ‘CampNaNoWriMo’ awards. Some awards cater for the cooler, darker side of the web, like the ‘Minions of Misery‘ award.
This is all wonderful, and encourages writers to reach for the stars, surpass themselves, and achieve the seemingly impossible. Then they get to brag about it to all their writing mates, whispering, “Nah, Nah!, I’m better than you…loooserrrrs!” behind their backs, but what about the looooserrrs? Is there nothing for them?
Despite my recent accolade I was overcome with a righteous indignation. That there are so many unsung heroes and heroines out there is unforgivable, unjust, and unfair. I could no longer sit idly by and watch this travesty continue. What if you suck? What if your characters are wilful sociopaths who refuse do what you need them to? What if all your plotlines tangle into a noodle-soup before the final chapter? What if you have spent three years writing that trilogy about the torrid affairs of intestinal worms, and no one recognises your brilliance? THIS AWARD IS FOR YOU!
Criteria for Acceptance:
To be eligible at least one of the following should be applicable. You must be:
1) Really struggling to be understood: The world at large, publishers, your critique partners, your family, friends, readers, no one has a literary bone in their body. In short everyone is stupid apart from you.
2) Suffering insurmountable odds: Your computer is the only one in the neighbourhood that is struck by lightning, or destroyed by a freak meteorite shower, falling satellite debris, or a Jumbo’s lost engine plummeting from on high. Every time you sit at a computer your chosen word-processing software keeps losing your files, or saving them in a format no one else can read; your computer always crashes seconds before that scene that is vital to your novel is finished, you haven’t saved for hours, and you know the inspiration for it is forever lost. The kids draw over you manuscript; the dog eats your manuscript; the cat shreds your manuscript; the mad lady-with-the-shopping-trolley leans in through your window and sets fire to your manuscript; and the irreplaceable notes you scribbled in your little pad whilst on the train are left in your trouser pocket that is now going around in the washing machine (you forgot your pencil that day, and the child’s felt-tip pen you grabbed in a rush is already staining the whole wash).
3) Stone-walled in your writing career:
a) You have received nothing but rejections ever, or repeated rejections for not less than twelve months since your last acceptance.
If you’re published you are NOT eligible unless:
b) The sequel has already been rejected by at least ten publishers.
c) Your ebook is languishing at least 1,000,000 plus in the Amazon rankings, and has been since its release six months ago.
d) The only positive online reviews were done by your Mum and your Gran, neither of whom knows how to turn on a PC, let alone submit a review. So you wrote them, both.
e) Something so horrible is going on in your personal life you are counted as a sympathy case.
4) Undeserving of any other awards: You watched the pretty icons, the plaudits, the fame be passed around your writer friend’s blogs. This time I’ll be nominated; this person is bound to pick me for the next award, and then it never happens. It’s like prom night where all the hip kids pair up, writer & award, another writer & another award. You’re left standing alone and uncool by the punch bowl, hoping the fruit juice will spontaneously ferment by midnight. It never does.
Having fulfilled the criteria the beauty of this award is that you need only nominate yourself. That’s right, no depending on other shortsighted, fickle, unreliable, self-absorbed hacks to get a nomination! Award Central just went D.I.Y. baby. Insta-recognition, in a can! OK, not in a can, but you know what I mean…
All you have to do now is complete the Acceptance Ceremony, as detailed below:
You will require:
A semi-darkened room, with door locked and curtains closed: This sets a suitably ceremonial atmosphere and lends the necessary gravitas to the proceedings. Curtains should be closed for modesty; this is not a crass display of flesh like the Oscars or Baftas.
The Helm of Inspiration*: easily assembled (see photo) from a colander/sieve, a sheet of tin cooking foil, blue-tack, and electrical wire. Additional electronic components can be added to increase functionality, and because they look cool.
The Sock of Sorrow**: One old sock, with hole.
The Shawl of Sacrifice***: a tea towel will do.
The Journal of Jotting and the Pen of Parsimony****: You are a writer, use your imagination.
The Strangest Underwear you possess: Ceremonies are all about symbolism, and by submitting to this ritualised self-abasement you signal to The Muse that you are ready, nay willing, to receive this earthly representation of its favour.
As you now spend an appropriate interval meditating on the depth, breadth, and meaning of your craft you may don each of the above items, then sit clasping the Pen contemplatively above the Journal. Whilst installing each of the items in its natural resting place upon your person, be mindful of the deeper truth each epitomises:
The Helm of Inspiration: From whence does it come, our creative muse, our gaoler, our liberator?
The Sock of Sorrow: Which of our brethren, the members of our sorority, has not felt the pain, the humiliation, the debilitating dehumanization, at the repeated rejection of the core of our creative being?
The Shawl of Sacrifice: Which of us has not faced sleeplessness, spreading midriffs, bleeding fingers, R.S.I, hunch-back, D.V.T, and all those sundry hazards to our health, simply to let our magnificence shine onto an indifferent world?
The Pen of Parsimony: A writer must courageously face daily that most feared of predators, the wolf at the door. We scrimp and save, going without the material blessings others take for granted, simply so we can continue this most noble endeavour, our irrevocable calling, to write!
The Journal of Jotting: Eternity! Denied the meaningless transient rewards other lesser mortals gird their feeble sense of selves with, do we set our words down for posterity? No, I say! It is our very selves we seek to immortalise through the written word. The Penless can only look on, uncomprehending of their inadequacy, at those magnificent transcendental beings; we who call ourselves writers.
Having garbed yourself in the necessary outward attire, and regaled your inner soul with the glorious mysteries of writing, it is time to receive your reward:
THE BLOOMERS OF BODACIOUSNESS!!!
Please feel free to download/link-to these images, placing them with due reverence and link-backs please onto the blog/web site of your choice. Please add a short refrain, ditty, or piece on what this solemn and profound occasion and generous gift means to you. This selfless act brings honour, both to yourself, and writing-kind as a whole. Add a link in the comments below, and others of like mind will know where to find you. You are not, nor ever have been, alone.
Alternatively feel free to copy the Criteria, Nomination, Acceptance and Meditation Sections directly to your site, along with an obvious link back here, to the origin and source. Why? A respect for history and posterity! The origins of the Versatile Blogger and the Cute Blogger awards are now lost, or at least obscured: extensive efforts to uncover the ancient ancestry of these venerable badges of achievment came to naught. (If you know from whence they came, please let the internet community know here). Such a criminally truncated history should not be the case for the Bodacious Bloomers Award!
Alternatively, should you so wish, you may pay homage to the deserving in the comments section below. Be always bountiful, and mindful of your illustrious history, present calling, and future destination, for you are, in truest essence, a writer.