A is for Awards (The #atozchallenge begins!)

Hi lovelies! I'm not sure if any of my fellow bloggers have heard of / are participating in the A to Z Challenge, but I've decided to try it this year! :) I hadn't previously heard of this, so when my friend introduced me to the concept a few days ago I knew I wanted to join in the fun. :D Basically, the challenge is to post every single day of the week in April, except for Sunday. Sounds pretty simple, right? The catch: each of the posts has to be based on a letter of the alphabet, from A to Z - that is, today is A, tomorrow is B, day after tomorrow is C, etc. The posts don't have to be drastically different from the ones that are usually posted, as long as they relate to that day's letter in some way. So, as you all know, I generally post on Monday through Friday, but for this month you get to enjoy my presence for an extra day on Saturday... yay! ;)

The first letter of the alphabet is, of course, A, and that's quite convenient because just yesterday I was nominated for four lovely blog awards - the Wonderful Team Member Readership, I'm NOT Featured on Freshly Pressed, Parliament, and Liebster (second time for this one, actually!) awards. All of these were given to me by Karen, whom I've talked about previously - seriously, she's an AWESOME blogger and possibly an even better friend, and I'm so happy and honoured that she's nominated for all of these awards. Thank you so much, Karen! :D

The first award is the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. The rules: the recipient of this award posts the logo on their blog, then nominates 14 of their own blog’s readers who they appreciate. They can post their nominations all at once or little by little over a period of 7 days. They need to links to their awardees’ blogs and notify them that they are WTMRA recipients on their blogs.

Probably one of the simpler awards, which is why I decided to open with this one. ;) I'm going to make the nominees a little more streamlined as well, and only choose 6; I hope that's okay! So I'd like to nominate Annie, Emily, Edwina, Rachel, Akira, and Ann for this award - I know that not all of you do awards, but please know that I truly appreciate you and you're amazing writers/friends. :D

The next award is quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen: as the logo says, the I'm NOT Featured on Freshly Pressed award! ;) The rules for this one:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the “The I’m NOT Featured On Freshly Pressed Award”.
  2. Write a blog post and tell us the blog(s) you have chosen – there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.
  3. Include in your blog post a paragraph about why you’d like to be on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed OR a paragraph on why you couldn’t care less about Freshly Pressed. Up to you …
  4. Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them – (please don’t alter the instructions or the badge!)
  5. Come over and say hello to the originator of the “The I’m NOT Featured On Freshly Pressed Award” via this link: http://DonCharisma.org/2014/01/01/the-im-not-featured-on-freshly-pressed-award.
  6. And as a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award, and then PROUDLY display the award on your blog.
  7. If you ever do get officially “Freshly Pressed” then take down this award badge and display the official “Freshly Pressed” badge instead.

Well, I'm going to be completely honest here: yeah, I think it'd be pretty cool to be featured on Freshly Pressed! What blogger wouldn't want that? ;) I'd love to share my work with a larger audience and expand the community, plus of course it would be an immense honour to be chosen for that kind of thing. The blogs chosen for Freshly Pressed are, to be quite frank, absolutely  amazing, though - I'm not entirely sure if I could ever get to that standard! ;) But of course, I'm going to keep blogging and see where it takes me.

Also, I'd like to nominate the same bloggers as above for this award, as I'm quite sure none of them have been featured on Freshly Pressed... yet! So again, that's AnnieEmilyEdwinaRachelAkira, and Ann. :)

Then we have the Parliament award, the rules being as follows:

  1. First, display the Award on your site. You earned it and you deserve it!
  2. List a few things that make you a loyal member.
  3. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  4. Nominate at least five (5) well deserving bloggers whose loyalty and love you value and consider part of your Parliament and Pack for the Award and let them know the wonderful news by sending them a message on their site.

My loyalties (three C's, incidentally! ;) )...

  1. Commitment. I firmly believe that there's nothing more important than throwing yourself into everything and being committed to whatever cause you're working / cheering / campaigning / fighting for.
  2. Compassion. Life's a journey, and there's really no point in going on it if you don't stop to help others out along the way.
  3. Community. Nobody ever got anything done by themselves. People say writing is a lonely profession, but who says you can't have friends to support you and be there through the ups and downs?

Aaaaaaand, as for nominees, please see above for mine. I'm going to nominate the same people, because they are absolutely amazing and are pretty much perfect examples of my loyalties. :)

And finally, I've been nominated for the Liebster award once more! As I'm sure you guys remember, this constitutes of nominated a few bloggers (same as the first three - you guys deserve all the awards!), answering some questions, and posing my own. Here are my answers to Karen's questions:

  1. What motivates you? People who tell me I "can't do it" - whatever it happens to be at the current moment - really motivate me, mostly because I just want to prove them wrong!
  2. What holds you back? When I work myself too hard and burn out. Bit of a drawback to this whole gig, I think, although one that is most definitely worth it! :D
  3. Name one goal you’d like to achieve in the next five years. Publish Frozen Hearts and release Falling Star. Also, getting into a decent college would be a plus. ;)
  4. Using love as a metaphor, describe writing/art. It's the easiest thing in the world to pour a broken heart onto a page, because writing is a language that all can understand and sympathise with; there has never once been a pen that forgot to call back or a book that didn't understand you almost more than you understood yourself.
  5. Some say anger is the strongest emotion. Others swear it is sorrow. Still others insist joy outweighs the rest. Which emotion do you feel is the strongest, and how does that emotion play into your writing/art? The strongest emotion? For me, undoubtedly sadness. I feel sorrow much more strongly than other emotions, but on the other end of the spectrum I also believe that happiness is incredibly potent as well. I tend to write a lot of emotionally-charged poetry and songs, as most of you probably know! ;)
  6. When you’re a famous and fabulously wealthy author/artist, how will you spend your days? (Dream big, folks.) This is an insanely boring answer, but I'd probably just write some more. It's what I love to do - why would fame change that in any way?

Since it's getting really late over here - even for me! - and I'm kind of working on like 5 remaining brain cells, I'm just going to use the questions I asked for the previous Liebster award I was nominated for (as I believe I've only nominated one of my current nominees for this one!). :) Here they are:

1. What made you start blogging? 2. What’s the best thing you’ve ever written, in your opinion? 3. Hey, you’ve won the lottery! The first thing you buy is…? 4. Who’s the most badass fictional character you’ve ever encountered? 5. Name one person who inspires you? 6. What’s the one song you think would sum up your life so far? 7. Have you ever written a real paper letter? If so, to whom? 8. What’s the number one thing on your bucket list? 9. Quote the worst advice you’ve ever been given? 10. What makes you insanely, ridiculously happy?

Thank you so much for all the nominations, Karen - it means the world! Night, everyone - sorry for the ridiculously long post, and kudos to you if you read through it all! I'll see you tomorrow for letter B of the A to Z challenge. xx

love, Topaz