Two Awards in One Day

Two fellow bloggers separately named “The Gad About Town” as a winner of the “Lovely Blog” award today. That is as cool as it gets.

Both are blogs that I enjoy reading regularly, by two very different writers in different parts of the world: Tidlidim and The Reluctant Baptist. Thank you both. Both writers have strong personal voices in their work and sometimes include their own photos.

In the blogging world, there are some rules of etiquette in the form of paying forward the “lovely” attention. Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
2. Add the “One Lovely Blog” logo to your post. Display the award on your blog—by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget.”
3. Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

The last one first. I have been participating for the last 10 weeks in responding to our WordPress service’s Daily Prompt, which has helped spur my most prolific period of writing since graduate school. (This prolific-ness is a good thing, too, because I am working on a terrific project, due out soon, with another blogger.) Most of the writers with whom I have been communicating regularly, several of whom ask me questions and give me applause every single day, I met via that service. My subscribers have doubled and so has the number of blogs that I subscribe to. Go to the Daily Prompt any day and you will see the several dozen blogs that I read and often like every day.

I fear I will leave someone out, is all I am confessing.

Several random facts about me:

1. The number four is my lifelong “secret lucky number.” (Anyone who has gambled with me knows about this. Read: The Gad About Town: Against NYS Proposition 1.) Now, I know that in most of the world’s luck traditions, if one declares out loud that something is secret and lucky, one has immediately kiboshed all secrecy and luck out of that thing’s existence, but that is the beautiful thing about my “secret lucky number 4”: It remains lucky and maybe even grows in power every time I speak of my special relationship with it. Maybe.

2. I left New Paltz in 1995 to work in Narrowsburg, NY, and moved back to New Paltz in 1997. I left New Paltz again in 2000 to work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and returned to New Paltz in 2006. (There are legends about New Paltz and eternal return and gazing upon the nearby Wallkill River—I am legend, I suppose.) And then I had to move again, this time to Goshen, NY.

3. Depending on my relative levels of optimism or pessimism, I may refer to my spinal muscular atrophy as an “illness” versus a “condition.”

4. I pretended to write before I knew how to write. There may even now be pieces of furniture at my family’s house with my crayon scribblings on them and in them—I did not draw, I wrote, wavy lines that I would then inform my parents was a story. I’ll guess I was about three or … four. See? It must have been a lucky number.

5. I am very audiologically sensitive (I do not know if that is even a term). I can identify voiceover actors, even when famous ones are used anonymously. The downside of this is a sensitivity to certain noises … if the faucet in your kitchen sink is dripping, I will excuse myself from your living room to see if the tap can be tightened or if the faucet swung away from any container under it. Bloop bloop bloop. Sadly, this sensitivity does not translate to any musical ability. I have none, just an appreciation for music and performance.

6. I see words as I speak them.

7. My favorite animals growing up were dinosaurs. My favorite dinosaur was the triceratops. In the children’s books about dinosaurs, the triceratops always seemed to get into a tangle with the fearsome T-Rex and walk away, unscathed.


  1. joatmon14 · October 7, 2014

    Well deserved!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tidlidim · October 7, 2014

    Thanks for taking part 🙂 I had never heard of audiologically sensitive people, but I guess everyone’s got a bit of a “specialty”. My dad can give you the name of a car from looking at a bit of a dashboard. Don’t think it’s a skill that has ever been really handy to have, but hey, the pride on his face when he got his guess right is worth a million dollars 🙂
    That said, I totally agree about the leaky faucet. I’m not a sensitive person, but it bugs me. I dread to think what it would be like for people who have a better audio sense than me 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lifelessons · October 7, 2014

    Strange how our brains respond. Certain colors make me dizzy and even ill. Your awards are well-deserved, Mark. Judy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ifollowislands · October 8, 2014

    Congrats to winning the awards – much deserved! 🙂 Love your facts, they’re really interesting. Don’t mention to anyone Chinese that your lucky number is 4 😉 It’s basically their major unlucky number because the Chinese word for it is nearly homophonous to the word “death”. So lots of hotels won’t have a 4th floor! Thanks for sharing the blogs that nominated you, I really loved them especially the Tidlidim blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. abodyofhope · October 8, 2014

    That’s so awesome Mark! You deserve it.
    I really liked the fact “I pretended to write before I knew how to write.” Something many of us bloggers do, I believe 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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