F is for Four Hundred (Plus, Blog Awards!)

Hey guys! Uh, so apparently the follower counter on the front page of my blog is glitchy or something, because although it's still at 398, I just checked my Stats... and I'm actually at 404 followers (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) This is such a huge accomplishment - thank you so much for following, everyone! Your comments, likes, and follows seriously make my day (like, every day!), and I'm incredibly happy that people actually like the stuff I ramble on about. ;) Seriously, y'all are the best - thank you so much for everything!

And on a similar note, I was recently given the honour of being nominated for not one, but two more blog awards (yikes! There've been a billion lately!). :D I'm so incredibly happy and honoured, and I'd like to thank the amazing Karen and T for the nominations for the Beautiful Blogger Award and the Howler Awards! As I'm sure you guys know, Karen's one of my best friends and she's insanely creative, talented, and supportive - seriously, I don't know where I'd be without her. <3 And T is a new friend of mine; we've followed each other's blogs for awhile, but I didn't really get a chance to talk to him until a few weeks ago. He's a fellow young author (and, coincidentally, a romance fanatic just like myself!) - only 20 years old and he's just published his very first book, Hero's Romance. He's such an inspiration and I'd definitely recommend his blog for everyone to take a look at. :)

First nomination, from T, is for the Beautiful Blogger Award...

The Beautiful Blogger Award is an honour bestowed by fellow bloggers to show how much they love reading your blog and appreciate the beauty in your words. The title is so nice and I'm flattered to have been nominated! :) The rules are as follows...

1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo. 2. Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back. 3. Nominate 7 (yes only seven) other bloggers and say a little something about them.

Now, I'd like to nominate these 7 people for this prestigious award:

Karen @ My Train of Thoughts On... Karen's been such a wonderful friend through this whole process, and she supports me (and Frozen Hearts!) through the this-is-actually-the-best-book-the-world-has-ever-seen days, the ugh-why-did-I-even-start-this-stupid-book days, and everything in between. She blogs about books, quotes, authors, inspiration, and other writing-related stuff, and I always enjoy reading her opinions. :)

Edwina @ Edwina, The Writer I originally met Edwina on Twitter, and since then we've grown pretty close. She's another writer working on her first novel, and I thoroughly enjoy exchanging ideas, advice, and inspiration with her. I'm waiting with bated breath for the day I (and the world!) get to read her book The Story of Magic, as well!

Ankanksha @ My Safe Haven Ankanksha approached me on Wattpad a couple of weeks ago and asked me for tips on running a blog right before she opened her own - and really, she hasn't disappointed. My Safe Haven is so inspiring; I really look forward to reading all of Ankanksha's posts, and they just make one incredibly grateful to be alive. :D

Annie @ Actually? Annie Annie and I have been through a lot together, and she's one of the most talented, creative, and just downright amazing people I've ever had the pleasure of calling my friend. :) She hasn't really been blogging much lately because of some not-so-great things that are going on in life, but I know she'll push through it, and I can't wait to see her posting again.

Melissa @ The Ultimate Voyage I haven't really talked to Melissa much lately, but I absolutely love reading her blog - it alternates between hilarious, relatable, and motivating. Plus, SHE WATCHES SHERLOCK. AND LIKES JOHN GREEN. ('Nuff said.)

Rachel @ Spilled Ink I don't even know why Rachel has such flawless skill with words. It kinda-sorta-may-or-may-not blow me away. ;) I love, love, love reading her short stories every Sunday, and I wish her all the best with her writing endeavours - I can definitely relate to struggling to balance everything along with her writing, but knowing her, she's probably way better at it than I am!

Kim @ Kim Graff I will forever be in awe of Kim's skill - she's an uncommonly talented writer and graphic designer, plus she does both manuscript and query critiques. (Also, I like her taste in books. ;) ) I originally met her through Story Cartel and now we're both part of a bi-weekly critique group - I'm so lucky to have her as a friend and I'm constantly blown away by her writing. Plus, the cover she created for FH is flawless. :D

The second award, nominated by Karen, is the Howler award! I'll admit that I'd never heard of this one before, but I really like the premise of it and it's so lovely to be nominated. :) Here are the rules for this one:

1. Display the award on your blog. This can be in your sidebar or on a special award page 2. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to their blog 3. Give 3 examples of things you would like to see changed in the world 4. Nominate (in your own time) at least 5 bloggers that deserve the award 5. Donate the equivalent of $10 to a charity of your choice (optional because I can not check it, however it would be HIGHLY appreciated)

I think I'm going to cheat a little with this one and nominate two more people because I don't really want to leave anybody out - so, I'd like to nominate these people for the Howler award: TEdwinaAnkankshaAnnieMelissaRachel, and Kim. (The same as for the Beautiful Blogger award, except replacing Karen with T because Karen was the one who nominated me for this one in the first place! ;) )

The three things I'd most like to see changed in the world:

1. Less prejudice against young and/or inexperienced creators - be that of words, art, music, science, or anything else. Too often I see people getting discouraged just because others who have the slightest bit more experience shoot them down. We're all learning - why do we have to make it so clear who is "better" and who is "worse"?

2. More hours in a day. *sigh* I wish. ;) If only there were two extra hours - one for playing music, one for writing - I would be the happiest person in the world!

3. More connections with strangers. I was just discussing with Karen the other day how a smile from a stranger can make us so happy. I think it would be lovely if we could all just take a moment every day to do something nice for someone we've never met - the earth would be a much better place if everyone did that.

Again, I'd like to thank T and Karen for nominating me for these two blog awards, and all of you for getting me to 400 followers! I'm so grateful to have such wonderful friends and supporters - thank you so much, for everything. xx

love, Topaz