Friday, 3 February 2012

Awards and other news

Hello again. First off, apologies for the lack of any post over the weekend - we had been to see Snow Patrol at the SECC in Glasgow on Saturday (the gig was brilliant, by the way), stayed over and came back to muchas dishes and laundry. Then on Tuesday, my older stepdaughter turned 15, so there was a lot to organise around that. I know, excuses, excuses... At least it's been nice things that have occupied my time. We have a wedding on Saturday, but rest assured normal service will resume thereafter. Apart from the following weekend when we're making a pilgrimage to Disneyland Paris. I think things will settle down after that...

As you may have worked out, I have been fortunate enough to have two more awards bestowed upon me. On to those in a minute, but I thought I'd do a quick progress report while I'm here. My WIP is going pretty swimmingly (by my standards at least), and is at nearly 20k words now. I feel I've got into a much better rhythm and routine since having the weekday mornings to write. How about you, how are all your projects going?

Now the awards. I have been given the Versatile Blogger for a second time, as well as the Kreativ Blogger, from my estimable namesake Nick Hight over at Writing Fire. Thanks, Nick! If you're not already following his blog, it's a must. He's only a teenager, but you would never know it - his posts are amazingly insightful and offer solid advice. Sorry Nick, I probably sound pretty patronising, but I know at that age I wouldn't have had the discipline or wherewithal to do anything like that. Hats off to you.

So, let's see if I can drag up seven more juicy titbits of gossip about myself. Good word, titbits... They're going to be mostly from the realm of childhood again, I reckon.

1. When I was a kid I had an American penpal. The only thing I remember about his letters is that he told me his favourite band were Def Leppard. He also said they were German and that their name translated as "The Leopard". I later found out this was utterly wrong.

2. I once appeared on a French TV chat show when I went to Strasbourg with my French A-level group. With the group, not on my own. Luckily, I didn't say a word.

3. Sticking with the foreign exchange theme, I've got a story that I might well regret sharing. At 14 I went on a German exchange. We went in conjunction with another school in my local area. On the last night of the trip, we were divided into groups comprising of one pupil from our school, one from the other school and our two German counterparts, and each group was taken out for a treat by the German parents. In my group the other English pupil was a girl, and I thought, foolishly, that I might try and impress her - my reasoning being, "Well, she's from a different school, she doesn't know I'm a nerd". I didn't bank on the fact that the parents decided to take us ice skating - the one and only time I have tried this. My attempts at wooing were an epic fail, as I spent the entire night going round the edge very slowly while holding on to the side. The English girl nicknamed me Speedy Gonzales.

4. I have zero aptitude for any sports whatsoever, as I possess no physical co-ordination. (See above.)

5. I can't eat anything with tomatoes, mushrooms, mint or coconut. No dietary reason, I just don't like them. Cooked tomatoes are OK - I can eat pizza, just not one with mushrooms. And I don't know what I'd do on a desert island.

6. My first gig was actually a festival - the Brighton Essential Festival in Stanmer Park, 1996. It was the tail end of Britpop and we saw loads of bands - some still around today, some long forgotten. Ocean Colour Scene, Super Furry Animals, Marion, Echobelly, Menswear... I could have linked all those, but it's pretty late and I'm not even sure the last three would have anything to link to. But feel free to hit Wikipedia if you're feeling driven.

7. I once created my own fantasy role-playing adventure book. You know, the kind where you have to roll a dice to determine your stamina and luck.

And now for the erstwhile individuals who will each receive both of these awards:

1. Shallee McArthur @ Life, the Universe and Writing

2. Paul D Brazill @ You Would Say That, Wouldn't You?

3. Ted Cross

4. Stu Ayris @ Tollesbury Time Forever

5. Kathy McKendry @ Imagine Today

6. Shelley Sly @ Stories in the Ordinary

7. L C Frost @ [sic]

8. Shell Flower @ Tangent Shell

Some of these blogs are pretty new to me, but there is a great variety of content in all of them. I'll be round to notify you all of course, but it will need to be tomorrow as I'm off to bed! Take care.


Lisa Shafer said...

I share your lack of aptitude for sports. I tell my students I am athletically retarded. They always like that. :)

Luanne G. Smith said...

Hello from the US. Now that we are blogger pen pals I should tell you that my last name actually does mean...oh never mind. I'm a Smith, which always sounds like an alias and makes people think I'm hiding from the law. :P

Congrats on your awards!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations! Yeah, Def Leppard was definitely American. And I lack in the area of sports as well.

Nick Wilford said...

Lisa - I like that too.

L.G. - Thanks! How do I know you're not hiding from the law?? :)

Alex - Thank you. Actually they're English! And that settles the matter. :P

Ted Cross said...

Thank you, Nick. All of my favorite classic rock bands are English!

Stu Ayris said...

In terms of projects, Nick (can't wait to read yours by the way!!), I am more than half way through the revisions of the novel I wrote when I was 22 - and it will hopefully be available on Kindle in the next week or so.

I have been progressing well on my next novel, The Bird That Nobody Sees, and am about 15,000 words in - aiming for 74,000 - couple of months of wine, whisky and writing and I'll be there.

And finally, just plugging away at getting the word out about Tollesbury Time Forever!!

Keep on keeping on you fine fellow!!

kjmckendry said...

Awesome!! Thanks for the awards!!
I'm a figure skating coach so if you are ever in Ohio, I can help you with that skill!

Nick Wilford said...

Ted - You're welcome.

Stu - Good luck with your new book. You've set a high bar with TTF - no pressure! ;)

Kathy - No problem. Thanks, I'll remember your offer if I'm ever in that neck of the woods!

Trisha said...

Nice story about Def Leppard ;) Recently I discovered an impressive surprise in one of their video clips for "Pour Some Sugar On Me". hahaha

Shannon Lawrence said...

Congratulations on your awards! I'm American and had a pen pal from Morocco in elementary school. I still think that was neat, and remember how she described her life and how mesmerized I was by the differences.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Shell Flower said...

Congrats to you and thanks for passing the awards on to me, as well. My son (16) loves Snow Patrol. I had a French pen pal at one point, but all I can remember is a picture of him in front of his house.

Nick Wilford said...

Trisha - What happens?

Shannon - That sounds interesting. It's probably a bit mean that all I remember about my penpal is this band-related error. I don't even know where the letters are!

Shell - It's funny we can't even remember the names of these people. They're probably blogging away somewhere as we speak...

Laura Louise Cox said...

I went to see Snow Patrol on Friday in Manchester!!!



Nick Wilford said...

Laura - They're great live aren't they? There was an amazing atmosphere in Glasgow because it was their adopted hometown for so long. I didn't know they had left now!

L.C. said...

Hi Nick! First off, I'm so. freakin'. jealous. that you've seen Snow Patrol. They're fantastic.

Thanks so much for the blog awards! Sorry I haven't replied until now--been a very weird week, to say the least. But thanks, again. :-)

Also, I see on your side bar that you've read Heart of Darkness recently? Niiice. It's not my favorite novella, but it's got lots of conversation pieces, that's for sure.

Hope you're having a great week!

Nick Wilford said...

L.C. - It was actually my third time seeing them. Hope that doesn't rub salt into the wound! Maybe they'll be touring near you some time?

You're welcome. I can perfectly understand not having time to comment!

I wasn't that amazed with Heart of Darkness. Somehow it didn't quite match up to what I had expected. Still very good and haunting, though.