Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thanks, Randall

Yesterday, my good friend Randall of Musings from the Hinterland bestowed an award on me (the origins of this award can be found here). It's always humbling to be praised, especially when the praise comes from someone whose blog you admire yourself. Thank you, Randall.

Said award is to be bestowed on blogs which, and I quote, "we love, can't live without, where we think the writing is good and powerful." O heavy burden! If this blog has become someone's daily sustenance, I do apologize for that person's impoverished condition. But one way I can help your condition is by following the award's requirement that I name five blogs I think are deserving of such an award. Like Randall, I can also simply advise you to visit any and all the blogs I've listed over in the right gutter under "Daily (B)reads" and "Whatever Is the Hurry?" But choose I must. So here goes:

327 Market. Camille lives in San Francisco and is a working artist and teaches art full time. Her writing is full of whimsy and, as when she writes about tea, magical.

Atlantic Ave.. I learned about Amy's blog through Randall. You think someone writing about life in a small town on the New Hampshire coast for the local paper isn't worth your time? I confess I thought that, too. But then I started reading. She writes about the people who live there with genuine warmth and respect, but she doesn't romanticize them. She makes them real.

A Lake County Point of View. Long-time readers know that Hank's blog gets mentioned here quite often. His great strength is long posts on (ostensibly) a single subject which range back and forth through time and across disciplines, just following where Wikipedia leads. See, for example, this recent post on ibises. Hank is fiercely curious about many, many things, and his voice in his posts as he describes what he has learned in infectious.

Tales from the Microbial Lab. I learned about Pam's blog through Hank's. Her blog's title is a bit misleading, seeing as she also writes about gardening and nature and art and poetry in addition to the vicissitudes of working at a college marine research lab in South Carolina. I've admired Pam's blog for some time now, but in recent weeks it has made for especially compelling reading.

Today at the Mission. This blog's writer, who signs himself "[rhymes with Kerouac]," runs a program that provides hot meals to homeless and other transients in a large city in Canada. RWK is a minister who writes honestly--sometimes painfully so--about the failures and successes of his ministry there and his growth as a Christian.

[Aside: It's a bit of a surprise to me to realize that, though these blogs could not be more different, one thing they do share in common is a very strong sense of place. In the virtual space that is the blogosphere, a blog's firm link to a place in the real world just might be a crucial ingredient for an engaging personal blog to have.]

I hope you'll pay these fine writers a visit sometime. I assure you that, if you think this blog is worth your time, they deserve it even more.

7 comments:

Pam said...

Thank you John.

R. Sherman said...

Speaking of sense of place, my daughter and I were discussing O Pioneers! on the way home from a basketball game yesterday. (Don't ask about the game. She might as well been flinging buffalo chips at the basket.) She mentioned that she's so glad we've driven across Nebraska to the Rockies, because she really gets Cather.

Cheers.

Amy said...

Thanks, John, not only for the kind mention but for giving me new good blogs to visit and explore.

John B. said...

Pam, thanks to you for writing so engagingly and even passionately about all those things you address in your blog.

Randall, surely one thing that makes American literature distinct from other national literatures is [Sweeping Generalization Alert] its attention to place: if not to landscape per se, then to people and the way they speak and interact with each other. There's a real sense in our literature that, even as, as in Cather's novels, characters are drawn to this place to "write" their lives (landscape as blank slate), the land shapes them as well. You can tell your daughter, then, that her insight partly qualifies her to give a decent introductory lecture to an American literature class.

John B. said...

Amy, you're most welcome--indeed, it's I who should be thanking you for writing so well and sharing that with others.

[rhymes with kerouac] said...

Thanks you, sir. I appreciate it.

The County Clerk said...

Very kind, sir.