Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

Lovely Blog Award (2)

This week, I am honoured to receive another Lovely Blog Award, from Marilyn Armstrong.

Last time I messed with the logo (the original is the pink one above). This time I’m bending the rules, just a little:


Once upon a time there was a writer, and his friends, they looked upon his blog, and found some things about it that they considered lovely. They bestowed an award on him, and this cheered him up no end.

And so the minutes turned into hours, the hours to days, the days to weeks, and the writer was gleeful, then happy, and then content. The weeks turned into months, and the writer started to doubt. What had happened to his blog’s loveliness? No one commented on it, mentioned it, or even hinted at it. If his blog had no loveliness, maybe his own had disappeared? Had he lost it? Had it faded? Was his loveliness nothing more than a half-remembered dream, or a delusion that had never really existed?

What shall become of me if I have no loveliness? thought the writer. Without at least a little loveliness in my soul all that shall come from me—everything I create—will be forever desiccated, fallow. As a writer, I shall be an empty husk with no heart. Or, worse still, the roiling darkness within will break free. Uncontained, who knows how many crushed aspirations, trampled hearts and shattered dreams my darkness will leave in its wake?

Just as the writer was preparing to withdraw from society, in order to protect the innocent and those he cared about (the writer had not lost his realism, and many of those he cared about were hardly innocent—they knew who they were), there arrived, unexpectedly, a goodly Samaritan.

And the Samaritan gazed upon the writer, and knew him not, and yet still the Samaritan saw the faintest glimmer, the tiniest luminous seed within him, that if blown with care could be carried to a place where it would alight, and rest, and grow. The Samaritan was moved, and taking pity upon the writer bestowed upon his blog a new award. And behold! The blog was made Lovely, and so the writer was Lovely and Gleeful once more.

And so the minutes turned into hours, the hours to days, the days to weeks, and the writer was gleeful, then happy, and then content. The weeks turned into months, and the writer started to doubt. What had happened to his blog’s loveliness? No one commented on it, mentioned it, or even hinted at it. If his blog had no loveliness, maybe his own had disappeared? Had he lost it? Had it faded? Was his loveliness nothing more than a half-remembered dream, or a delusion that had never really existed?

What shall become of me if I have no loveliness? thought the writer…


And the moral of the story? Accolades, praise, and success—although always welcome—are fleeting. In the end, do what you do because you find joy in it; everything else is a bonus.



Humbled by the Samaritan’s generosity the writer, T. James, thusly unburdens himself:

1. I confess to being mostly house trained—except for the clothes pile on the bedroom floor, and my ability to find a potential use for almost anything which means nothing gets thrown away, ever.

2. I confess that I like fruit centred chocolates, and was greatly irked when they removed the lemon centres from my favourite assortment.

3. I confess that, aged 12, I invented a bike powered by pedalling an electric motor that should have reached speeds of 280mph. I was defeated by air resistance, friction, and the laws of physics.

4. I confess that as a child my bedtime friend was a flat blue donkey called Neddy. Any current mental malfunctions can be traced back to my exposure to psycho-active cuddly toys at an early age.

5. I confess that I have a wide and eclectic taste in music. It ranges from classical, including the film score of Trois Couleur Bleu, to dance, and bands like The Prodigy and The Black Eyed Peas.

6. I confess that I still have a toy collection (I don’t kid myself that ‘action figures’ are somehow different than toys). One of my faves is a C3P0 head which folds out to become a mini Cantina Bar, from the scene in Star Wars.

7. I confess that I enjoy bath time water pistol fights with my son at least as much as he does. We both enjoy the loud squeal from my wife when he sneaks up on her and puts his wet and freezing hands on her stomach afterwards.



Some lovely people and their blogs—why not check them out?

The Samaritan:

Marilyn Armstrong: a most noble and gracious blogger who writes about anything, everything, and tech. Why not visit her blog, Serendipity.

The Writers and Where They Live:

Rich Weatherly: his venerable years have given him wisdom, compassion, and an appreciation of history, poetry, and books. He’s good at writing them too, and has a short story collection coming out at the end of July.

Steve McHugh: is such a lovely man. Nate, his action hero character, likes using magic to bang heads and lift things—and quite a lot of people are loving it. The writer himself, on the other hand, is a devoted family man and someone you would invite over for dinner.

Krista Walsh: is a writer of many wonderful tales, and taker-apart of mine. Currently masterminding and hosting the Greylands collaboration, and it’s looking good.

Matthew Lee Adams: what this guy doesn’t know about writerly things is probably not worth knowing. He’s done the time, paid his dues, and has several well-written novels to show for it.

Danielle La Paglia: this lady can write. She’s just decided that, for the time being, she is pursuing the traditional route to publication. You’ll have to wait a little longer for a novel, but there’s plenty of prose on her blog to keep you going. She could write poetry too, but she thinks she can’t because her sister can. The truth is they both can. So there.

J. G. Banks: hangs out in his big bear’s den. Pay a visit and you get enthusiasm, honesty, and big furry hugs. You may even be able to download podcasts too, eventually.

Sandy Coelho: does a good line in fast paced vivid prose—currently filling a novella. She’s a warm and genuine person too.

Dianne Waye: has been in the writing game a while, working hard and honing her art. She’s awaiting her big break, and she someone who deserves to get it.

Tammy Crosby: her blog has been quiet for a while because she’s been busting a gut to help the Ink Babes team get there first compilation done. It’s now out, and looks dark and awesome (and maybe a little naughty in places). She’s got details on her blog, so why not check it out?

Colin F. Barnes: because the ‘F’ is important—it means you don’t want to mess with him. One of the most genuine and helpful writers I’ve met online, and all round Jolly Good Egg. The beard is the clue though, as it hints at the darkness in his creative soul—and he writes it very well.

Savvy Annah: is new to the world of blogging, she shares her life in an open and encouraging way. She’s also the only blogging Aussie I know.

Anne Michaud: is a writer of dark imaginings, and unspliced Gothsis to

Angela Addams: is a writer with naughty imaginings. They are both in-Cure-able fans.

Magda Olchawska: writes stories, children’s books, and makes indie films with feeling and a conscience. Her latest, on ethical hacking and slavery, is being cut before release around the film festivals.

Lisa Greer: runs a review blog reviewing gothic books, and was kind enough to feature a review for me recently. Rumour has it she wears diaphanous dresses.

Chrissey Harrison: is a writer and blogger who is into photography and dabbles in indie film production. She is currently in a love triangle with her partner, and her Canon camera.


  1. Savvyannah

    Omg! I love it!
    TJ once again you’ve had me giggling while hovering over my iPad! Thanks for the nomination, I shall wear it with pride :D
    Plus, it’s pretty and I love pretty things (my daughter for one!)
    Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me, and I really love reading other people’s blogs too.
    Some of the bloggers above are new names to me, and I’ll be sure to check them out too :)

    • T. James

      Thank you. :-)

      I’ve only been online for a year and, like you, I’ve found blogging and reading blogs is a great way of making friends. That’s why I like these awards – they give you an excuse to meet new people and a chance to thank your mates.

      P.S. I accept no liability or responsibility for damage caused to electronic equipment due to giggling. Giggling is undertaken entirely at the owner’s risk.
      P.P.S. I’ve never seen anyone hover over an iPad. Your meditations must be going really well. ;-)

  2. Anne Michaud

    Oh TJ, you never stop to amaze me;) Danke for the award, I shall drink from my virtual pink tea cup proudly ♥

    • T. James

      I’m glad you liked it. It’s always fun to give bright, fluffy pink things to dark, gothic people. Enjoy. :-)

  3. Tammy Crosby

    Always such a joy to read your musings TJ! Thank-you so much for the accolade darling. *air kiss* awe who’m I kidding? *slugs TJ in the arm* thanks dude! ;P

    • T. James

      Ow! Thanks, Tams. I shall wear the cast with pride. Could you sign it please? These Canadian girls are *tough*. ;-)

  4. Sandy Coelho

    Golly, gee, gosh *blush*. Thanks so much for the recognition T.J.! The lovely pink will stand out on my site LOL. ☼

    • T. James

      I always thought the combination of shocking pink and bright red was particularly fetching… ;-)

      All the best with your writing and the novella Sandy.

  5. Matthew

    Thanks for the write-up of so many blogs (and mine as well).

    And I completely agree with what you said about Danielle La Paglia’s writing abilities.

    • T. James

      You’re welcome – an award like this is a chance to say ‘thanks’ to a few people for all the support I’ve had in my first year online. So, thanks to you, Matthew, and to all those who’ve helped and guided and encouraged, and face-planted on my behalf.

      *If you’ve not been mentioned in the above post, it isn’t because I don’t value your assistance or your friendship.*

      We may have to start a Danielle fan blog. Then we can get together and go “SQUEEE!!!” whenever she releases another piece of flash fiction. :D

  6. B Yeo

    Too true do the things you love just cause you love them. :) Also I love that you have toys. My husband and I have a stash in our room (Hot wheels and video game figures and stuff). My son’s see them some times and ask when we are going to open them and if they can play with them. We are like no. LOL My toys. :) We want them to share but leave our toys alone. :)

    • T. James

      That made me smile – our son is the same. We’ve compromised, and if my toys are not boxed he can play with them under supervision. It’s still hard to say no, especially when he’s looking all cute and earnest: “I’ll be careful Dad.” Experience has taught me that a five-year-old’s definition of ‘careful’ and what’s written in the dictionary are a little different… :-)

  7. Gareth

    LOL, well done TJ. A whole host of writers to go visiting. Incidently you’ve reminded me of a film for you to look up and see if you fancy it:

    I saw an advert for it a while ago and it made me laugh.

    • T. James

      There’s some great people and blogs on the list.

      I’ve just checked out the trailer for Ted. It’s wrong on so many levels – it looks great fun. Thanks for the tip, Gareth. :-)

  8. Danielle La Paglia

    Thank you so much, James! I will pass this along next week as soon as I think of seven interesting things about me….I’m pretty boring.

    • T. James

      You’re welcome. :-) As for being boring? I don’t see it – Monster is 50% you, and she has to have gotten her ‘Monster-ness’ from somewhere… It’s always the quiet ones. ;-)

  9. Angela Addams

    I am NOT a Cure fan, TJ! Take that back!!! Grrrrrr

    lol…great post as usual ;-)

    • T. James

      Long darkish hair – check.
      Dark clothes – check.
      Light skin – check.
      Tattoos – check.
      Dark eyeliner – check.

      Verdict: Looks like a Cure fan to me. ;-)

  10. PJ Schnyder

    I love that you enjoy bath time water pistol fights with your son. :)

    • T. James

      They’re great fun, although considering it’s supposed to be his bath time the wettest things in the room tend to be me and the walls. :-)

  11. Gareth

    LOL, when I catch up with my nephews, they bring a water pistol, I take the Flash Flood Supersoaker. (Oh and Rambo up with Water Balloons. LOL)

    My Dad isn’t happy as he normally has to make do with whatevers going spare. (Although I have caught him perusing Water Pistols at Smyths in preparation for the Summer Holiday.) I would lend him mine but I suspect he wouldn’t give it back.

    • T. James

      He He He! The very best for ultimate soaking power? The good, old fashioned, washing up liquid bottle. Hold huge amounts of water, great range, and excellent soakability rating – my choice every time (outside). :-)

  12. Marianne Su

    I love your moral of the story. So true.

    • T. James

      Some writers choose to write for cash, or to please a target group of readers. Some writers choose to follow wherever their whims take them. Some do a little of both, but if you don’t enjoy writing then why do it? There are a lot easier ways to make a living… :mail:

      Thanks for dropping by Marianne.

  13. j d waye

    Great blog, TJ. Thanks for the mention.

    Ah, water pistol fights – good times. Good to know you’re house-trained, just in case you ever drop by LOL.

    • T. James

      haah … haah … haah … haah. *Drools on carpet*. “RUFF!” *Bounces up and down, cutely* “RUFF!” “RUFF!” *Mournfully stares, and turns head to one side* “Ruff?” *Whines*

  14. J.A. Campbell

    Oh, great confessions :)

    Congrats on the award and thanks for sharing!

    • T. James

      Something to live by: If you are going to share, always over-share. ;-)

  15. Marilyn Armstrong

    I never checked the comments on my “about” page … so, more than a month late, thank you for getting back to me!

    • T. James

      No problem, Marilyn. :-)

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