Periodic Sappho’s Torque Best Commenter Awards

A little over a year ago, I earned a Best Commenter Award from the lovely SJ and Meg over at Snobbery.  It was a delightful moment because I hadn’t been part of the blogosphere long but felt like I had, at least, done something useful enough to connect with other people.  And without a doubt, connections with other people, especially writers and avid readers, has been one of the best parts about having a blog.  I have loved that.

Anyway, I thought this concept was fun and paid the award forward, as I was supposed to do, and it occurred to me that I could continue having a Best Commenter Awards recognition on my own blog regularly.  I don’t know how often it will be — annual?  semi-annual?  quarterly? — but I’ve come up with my own badge and my own set of interview questions (with SJ’s blessing, since the format, though not its content, is shamelessly stolen from Snobbery’s awards).

So here’s how this works:  I will list the award recipients below along with the interview the recipients are asked answer.  We at Sappho’s Torque love and appreciate all our commenters, and winning this most excellent honor is based, very simply, on how much one participates in this blog.  All recipients should please answer the interview questions in the comments section of this post, then post the Best Commenter Awards on their blogs and choose their top 5 commenters to pass the honor and the interview along to, if they so choose, and thanks for playing.  (If they do not so choose, well, boo.  Frowny face.)

So without further ado, here they are!

best commenter badge

Our top 5 commenters (and their blogs, because this time the top 5 are all bloggers as well) are…

*  kvennarad

*  sj

*  David Jón Fuller

*  The Byronic Man

*  laine

Congratulations!

And here are the interview questions:

  1. What was the first food you ever learned how to make?
  2. What’s your favorite movie, and why?
  3. Do you own a melon baller?
  4. DC or Marvel or indie?
  5. If you had the time to be a novelist, would you want to be?
  6. What’s your favorite fashion accessory?  Would you be interested in sharing it with us on a Fashion Friday post?
  7. What is the best book you’ve ever read that you really didn’t enjoy while you were reading it?
  8. What are you listening to today?
  9. Do you remember when and how you first discovered Sappho’s Torque?  Will you please tell us the story?
  10. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  11. What’s your preferred variety of Munchkin card?
  12. Complete this lyric:  “If I had $1,000,000, I would buy you…”

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And that’s it!  Have a good weekend.

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2012 Wrap-Up for My Blog

I never intended to read or — heaven forfend — write a blog.  Ever.  In fact, about seven years ago, when people were still doing Live Journal and I found it to be — how shall I put this graciously? Not to my tastes in terms of etiquette or maturity — an acquaintance of mine Continue reading “2012 Wrap-Up for My Blog”

Special Guest Post from SJ Over at Snobbery!

A while back, SJ over at Snobbery won a contest here on Sappho’s Torque, and  her reward was to have a guest blogger spot.  This week we’re featuring her post, a book review of a novel my rising-9th-grade niece is currently enjoying.  I hope you enjoy her review!  Be sure to check SJ out on her blog and on Twitter and on Facebook.  Super delightful stuff.

And just as a quick reminder, you still have four days left to enter the Chindogu Challenge.

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book cover photo borrowed respectfully from Goodreads

Recently I read Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – I know, I know, just the name is a mouthful, right? – a book I fully expected to love.

Did I love it?

Yes…ish.

Look, I loved the IDEA behind this book, but I felt it was a little lacking in execution.  I was expecting something of a faerie tale version of Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always (which I have read and re-read because it succeeds where I think this book fails) – a book for younger readers (if I MUST pin a YA label on it, I will) that parents and adults can enjoy as well.

What I found, though, was a book that read as if it were geared towards adults either attempting to regain that childlike sense of whimsy, or reminisce about those fantastic books they read as children.

Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot about this book that I think was done right – but I can’t imagine any children I know being particularly interested in it.  I know (for example) that if I handed this book to my almost 13-year-old (who loves faerie stories, btw – he’s my son, after all), he would probably read about 10 pages before handing it back to me and saying, “Nah.  Can I go read some more Barsoom?”  …or A Series of Unfortunate Events, or The Looking Glass Wars, or whatever else it is that he’s into at that point in time.

This is a book that is marketed as being for children, but when I read it, it seemed like it was clearly written for adults.

That bothered me, and is why I have to append the “ish” to my answer of whether I liked it or not.

What did I love?

Well, that’s a lot more fun to talk about!

First of all, there are some absolutely delightful illustrations by Spanish artist Ana Juan, they were a lot of fun to come across, and each one made me smile.

The fantastic characters we meet in Fairyland were wonderfully realized.  I cared about them all, especially the Wyverary.

What’s a Wyverary?  Simple!  It’s a wyvern whose father was a library!

Look! A Wyverary! (image respectfully borrowed from Amazon)

I appreciated the slightly dense/flowery prose, but that’s another reason I think younger readers might have problems with it.  It really read like it was a faerie story I would have enjoyed when I was younger, but it was a little…more, I think.  Like I said – some adults will squeal over it, but children will probably just stare blankly.

Final verdict?  If you’re an adult that still loves faerie tales, this book will probably scratch an itch you didn’t even know you had.  If you’re not…you should probably skip it, as you’ll likely find it a bit too twee.

Voting for the Silliest Thing Contest

So not too long ago I launched another contest, this one rather spontaneous and impromptu based on something asinine SJ over at Snobbery had alerted me to that day.  (Thanks, SJ!)  Lots of people entered with truly inane contributions, some of them more than one.  Yay!

So now it’s time for you to vote on the following entries to my Silliest Thing You’ve Ever Heard Contest, and the winner of the most votes will be offered a guest blog spot on Sappho’s Torque this summer!  (Details to be negotiated with the winner at a later time.)  If you want to read the original posts from participants in this contest, just click on the link above, in this paragraph, and read the comments section of the original post.  (You can find working links to some of the entries there as well, in case the ones in the poll itself don’t work for you.)

You may vote every day if you like.  Be sure to tell others about this incredibly unscientific poll as well.  I look forward to finding out who wins!  The poll closes in one week.

May the best crazy-talk win!

Best Commenter Awards

So I was recently awarded a Dodisharkicorn Best Commenter Award from the lovely ladies over at Snobbery.  (Yay!)

In fulfillment of this award, there are some things I must do.  First, proudly display my award badge, which I will do here:

Here it is! 🙂 The dodisharkicorn lives!

Next, I must answer the following questions:

  1. What is your third favourite colour?
  2. Would you rather be:  a Jedi, a Pokemon Master or a Wizard/Witch?  Choose ONE.
  3. Who is your favourite Doctor?
  4. Can you whistle?
  5. Would you name your child Sirius Albus?
  6. What is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything?
  7. Do you own a lawnmower?
  8. Do you think Legolas is a (very pretty) pansy?
  9. What’s the trashiest thing you’ve read in the last year?  Should we cover it for Trashy Tuesday?

My answers are below.

Next, I must announce my winners and pass them on to my Top 5 Commenters.  However, since the directive of the original award is to “spread it around like Nutella” and some of my commenters are tied for frequency, I’m giving it to more than five people.  Lucky them!  They are (drumroll…)

1.  Cindy and Seema tied for 1st place

2.  Kara in 2nd place

3.  Alanna, LouAnne, and Peggy tied for 3rd place

Now, this award is all about frequency.  Please rest assured that all my commenters are awesome in terms of quality!  And if you weren’t named this time for the award, you definitely have the chance to participate more on the blog to increase your chances for next time.  (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

So winners, please answer the questions!  You may do so in the comments here, so that we can all enjoy them, or if you have blogs of your own, please pay this award forward there and link back to this post.  (It’s just good for your karma to do so, and you know it.)

To set a shining example, I will now answer these difficult questions to the best of my ability.  Enjoy.

1.  My third favorite color is emerald green.

2.  What would I rather be?  It’s a very tough choice between a wizard/witch and a Jedi, but I think I’m going to have to go with Jedi Knight.  I once dressed up as one for work — I teach in a high school — for a themed costume day.  The theme was “Come Dressed As What You Want To Be When You Grow Up,” and when I was a kid, Jedi was high on my list.  My costume was awesome.

3.  My favorite Doctor is probably David Tenant because I like his other work.  Sadly, I missed the boat on Doctor Who decades ago and have only a fleeting familiarity with it.  Heresy, I know, and I hope you will all forgive me this severe cultural transgression.

4.  I cannot whistle and am thus an embarrassment to my family and to my species in general.

5.  I would name my child Sirius Albus if his father were Harry Potter.  Beyond that, this is an exclusively theoretical question, so I’ll just say, sure.  Why not.

6.  42.  This one’s almost too easy.  RIP Douglas Adams, you betoweled hoopy frood extraordinaire.

7.  I own a lawnmower in the sense that my husband has one, and what’s his is mine and what’s mine is his. But you’re not likely to see me lay a finger upon said lawnmower, unless it needs to be moved from behind my car before I back out of the driveway because my husband left it there.  Reciprocally, my husband has a collection of absolutely exquisite hats he wouldn’t touch with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole. I like to wear them when I go out for tea.

8.  Yup, I sure do.  Please observe this photograph from very shortly before Peter Jackson’s first LotR movie came out, of my darling husband who is as unpansyish as a man can get and still be intellectual and liberal, and of his cat who is no longer with us.  For further evidence of his unpansyishness, see the note about the hats, above.

My cute hubby with his cat Sarah Jane: He looks sort of like Beowulf, don’t you think?

9.  Although there’s a tough competition between this and any of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, I think the trashiest thing I’ve read lately must be A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.  Please feel free to cover it for Trashy Tuesday.  I’m not sure I could do it TT justice myself, although I might blog about it at some point in the future.  I promise, I do read quality stuff, too, most of the time!  In fact, Cole’s book really didn’t have much competition here.

So that’s all!  Have a good week.  Award winners, comment here with your answers and demonstrate just how awesome you are, and how sincerely you deserve this award!

Beautiful Blogger Awards

So this week the delightful SJ over at Snobbery named me as a recipient of the Beautiful Blogger Award.  Wheee!  How cool is that??  (Thank you, SJ!)  You should all check out her blog, which is really entertaining, and which is actually created by two people, SJ and Meg (whose illustrations are absolutely top-notch).  Among some of the great stuff they churn out is a regular column called Trashy Tuesday, in which they (usually SJ) sacrifice their time and mental energy to read and review in detail terrible books so we can feel sanguine about not getting around to reading those things ourselves.  May I never find one of my books on their docket.  😉  I fell in love with the posts when SJ reviewed the Mortal Instruments series.  If Snobbery hadn’t already won this award, I’d be sending it their way this time, too.

Apparently the criteria for the Beautiful Blogger Award are open to interpretation.  Perfect.  🙂

Now, a few simple rules come with this award, all of the pay-it-forward variety.  Here they are:

1.  Thank the person who gave you the award.

Thank you again, SJ!  🙂

2.  Paste the award on your blog.

See above.

3.  Link to the person who nominated you for the award.

It’s up there.  Way back up at the top.

4.  Nominate up to 7 other bloggers.

See below.

5.  Post links to the (up to) 7 blogs you nominated.

And here we go…

MY NOMINATIONS FOR THE BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD (in virtual-drumroll-accompanied alphabetical order)…..

1.  The Airborne Timeline — The new blog of a first lieutenant in the US Army, who is on her first deployment.  She left last week.  She’s in Afghanistan.  I suspect this blog may be updated catch-as-catch-can, but I guarantee she’s a really good writer, and I’m expecting this will be well worth the effort.

2.  The Byronic Man — This blog makes me laugh like few ever have.  I kind of want to take a sabbatical just so I can peruse the archives.

3.  Deidra Alexander — Her introduction line says, “I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy.  I am not the Angel of Death.  I’m a fiction writer.”  I think that about says it all.  I’ve never been disappointed when visiting here.

4.  Lone Star Squared — Here’s the blog of one of my former students, Rachel Rosenthal, who’s currently studying abroad, writing about her experiences with immense passion and joy.

5.  Paula Billups Art — This blog follows the work and art of painter and art teacher Paula Billups.  She is also very talented.  I have a few of her paintings in my humble collection.  We have little hangable wall space in our house, and she totally makes the cut.

6.  Stay-at-Home Economist — Dr. Margo Bergman explains in accessible terms the intricacies of the PPACA, as well as blogging about other Rather Important Things.  And she’s the mom of The Rhyser and Professor X.

7.  you do doodle too — This is a charming blog about all kinds of things meaningful and domestic which really drive home the idea that the Human Condition is something to be cherished.  Especially when it manifests in such graceful ways as stories about our kids and the fun things we do with them.

Ta-da!  🙂  That was fun.  It must be noted that there are many other blogs out there which I enjoy very much, and if the BBA or some other appropriate opportunity comes around my way again, they will be on my list to share with you.

Now that you’ve had a chance to see all these other cool blogs and know how much I esteem them, please take a click-trip on over to my most recent poetry contest, which is closing this weekend.  Read the entries so far and even throw your metaphorical hat into the proverbial ring, should the Muse descend.  Have a great week!

Trashy Tuesday Book Reviews

This week I want to highlight another blog, one I read entitled “Snobbery.”  It’s by a self-proclaimed book snob, and it’s really great.  (Okay, both parts of that last statement are really oversimplifications, but go with it.)

One thing the author does is review wretchedly, comically unworthy books, reading and explaining them so we are saved the misery.  (Please dear God, don’t let my books ever end up there.)

But I thought you might enjoy some of this, and so this week I have her permission to feature one of her “Trashy Tuesday” reviews.  This is the link to the review of the first book of the Mortal Instruments series.  Enjoy.