JC Piech left a comment on my last post that she had nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I thought, pretty much simultaneously, ‘cool’ and ‘um, what is that?’

Turns out it’s basically a meme, the internet version of a chain letter, but an awfully nice one as these things go. The rules are:

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

I marked that bullet list to quote, but it sure doesn’t look any different than normal text to me. Well, note, please that the bulleted list is cut-and-pasted from the VBA website–I didn’t write it.

So thank you, JC, it’s very nice of you!

I use Google reader to follow blogs, so creating a list of links might be sort of arduous. We’ll see if I can do fifteen. And I suppose it would be good to pick both versatile blogs, ones with a mix of content, and blogs that are less visited. But hmm, I’m not sure I can figure that out easily either. Well, I’ll just start and see how it goes.

Bumblebee nation This is my friend Suzanne’s blog and she is not going to be grateful that I gave her this award. But I’m doing it anyway because when she blogs (very rarely, alas) she almost always makes me smile and she should blog more often.

Problem Girl I’ve been following this blog for a really long time, although I hardly ever comment so she probably doesn’t know that. But the blog owner is a surrogate mom and her stories open my eyes to a world I know nothing about.

Patricia C. Wrede’s blog probably doesn’t need such an award; she’s a much-published author and I’m sure reaches plenty of people. But hands down, this is the best writing blog I’ve ever found. She’s not blogging about the writing business, she’s blogging about the craft of writing and it’s wonderful, useful information.

I’m going to utterly fail at avoiding well-trafficked blogs, because honestly, I don’t know who gets traffic and who doesn’t. I read in Google reader and I don’t usually check the comments. I suppose I could check all their most recent posts and rule out anyone who’s received twenty or more comments, but that’s starting to seem like a lot of work when I should be writing. And this versatility thing is killing me, too–most of the blogs I read are fairly focused on one thing or another. *sigh* It’d be nice if I wasn’t so obsessive.

All right, I’m just going to quickly list a bunch of blogs that I like, and maybe you’ll find something you like, too.

An Olive Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Yummy, yummy, yummy food.

Kindle-aholic’s Book Pile. We don’t share 100% taste in books (I am over vampires, just done, done, done with them) but she’s definitely pointed out some titles that I’ve added to my wish list. 

Smitten Kitchen. Definitely tons of traffic, because everyone I know loves the recipes from this site. In fact, pretty often when someone I know has a recipe that’s so good they have to share, it’s come from Smitten Kitchen. If you like to cook, or even if you just like to eat, you should read this one.

Geek Mom This is actually lots of moms, not just one, but their chosen topics are probably obvious from the title. I actually can’t keep up with this blog: it gets a folder of its own in my RSS feed so I can read it when I have time, because they post a lot. But when I have time to look at it, I often find something interesting.

Stellar Four is actually in that Geek Mom folder, too, and again, there’s more than one blogger posting. For a while, they were kind of heavy on stuff posts–gadgets and crafts and objects to buy–which is mostly not my thing (unemployed graduate student = not spending money on anything non-essential, and my chosen craft is writing), but I’ve found some interesting links through their site.

Moody Muses is another group blog. I guess I notice these the most because group blogs are able to post more often than singular blogs. But this is a group of four writers, blogging about writing and about life, and I like reading what they have to say. 

Artisan Bread I bought their cookbook and then I created their Facebook fan group and then I stopped reading because somehow, overnight, I was ten pounds heavier. Eating bread every day, lots of bread, was not good for  me. But if you want to bake interesting kinds of bread, the recipes on this blog make it simple.

Cocktail Party Physics This is a Scientific American blog, so maybe it misses the point? But it’s such well-written science and so entertaining.

Julia If you type Julia and hippo into Google, you wind up here, which I think probably means she’s doing just fine on traffic. (I have not made much of an effort to find out how to measure this kind of thing. My blog has been happily invisible for all the years of its existence.) But I think this is the only mommy blog that I still read regularly because Julia is an incredibly talented writer who could probably make doing laundry seem like an adventure. Okay, maybe not laundry. But definitely cooking dinner.

Am I at fifteen yet? This is quite the time-consuming little project…Nope, three more to go.

Momastery is a brilliant blog. I only recently found her, so you’re probably going to say um, slow on the uptake, aren’t you? But I guess this means that I have two mommy blogs that I read. (I have nothing against mommy blogs, I used to read a lot of them. I just sort of stopped over time as I moved out of that stage of my life.)

You’ve read Hyperbole and a Half, right? I’m not counting her as one of my fifteen, although I’ll certainly nominate her for any award that there is, but to the best of my knowledge, every single solitary person I know adores her blog, so it’s not like I can introduce her to anyone. I’m just including the link in case…(and if you don’t know her, click on the link, add her to your RSS feed, you won’t see her again for weeks, maybe months, but when you do, it will be oh, so worth it.)

Aha, Glenn Bullion has a nice writerly blog.He’s an indie writer, and doesn’t post a lot, but when he does, it’s interesting.(To me, at least. But he’s got a good writing style, so you should at least give him a try.)

One more…you know, I think the hardest thing about writing this post was discovering how many blogs in my RSS feed haven’t posted anything new in six months or more. I found one that hadn’t posted anything new since 2009. I’ve been deleting them, but it feels sad. Okay, that’s the wrong emotion, though — one last blog for the Versatile Blogger Award, and I think I’ll give it to:

Kristin Cashore, This Is My Secret. She is the author of Graceling and Fire and the upcoming Bitterblue. She’s an award-winning author, so probably doesn’t need me nominating her for any new awards, but her blog is as versatile as they come: she posts about trapezes and Indian musicals and writing and Bank of America and really, just about anything. And she’s always fun to read. You should definitely check it out!

Whew…wow, that was exhausting.

So. Seven things about me:

1) I tend to be obsessive about doing things “right”. I might have obsessive personality disorder, or I might just be the kind of hypochondriacal student who diagnoses herself with everything that comes along. Speaking of which…
2) I meet the clinical criteria for agoraphobia.
3) This annoys me and I think the clinical criteria are way too general and should be made more restrictive.
4) My favorite event of the year is Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. (<-See? Not really agoraphobic.)
5) If I win the lottery/become a best-selling author, I might like to live on a sailboat.
6) But only if I could bring my dog.

7) I don’t actually believe in ghosts. But I wish I did.

I think this might be the longest post I’ve ever written. I might have to go take a nap. Except my poor heroine is in the police station, waiting to find out whether she’s going to be charged with a crime. Probably I should get back to her and help out of her jam!