Sunday, June 27, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you, WritingNut, for this award! If you haven't visited WritingNut's blog yet, give it a look; I think you'll enjoy its mix of inspiration, imagination and writing tips.

The award came with a few fun rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...).
4) Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

One is done!

Now to two; 7 things about myself:

1. I write fiction in the traditions of literary cubism and absurdism.

2. My academic background isn't in literature or its related subjects; I'm a chemical engineer.

3. I'm a proud American; my parents are Indian; I was born in Africa.

4. In addition to absurdist fiction, I created a cartoon strip titled Dr. Mohamed. I asked Kurt Vonnegut if he'd like to collaborate on the strip. He declined via postcard:

5. A Presbyterian minister taught me the Lord's Prayer on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem at the site where Jesus is purported to have first taught the prayer to his disciples.

6. I visited Mecca in the 1990s and got so close to the Kaaba (the large black cube) that each time I bowed to pray, the top of my head touched the base of the Kaaba.

7. Laughing, sex and artistic creativity are my favorite things in life!

Now, to pass the award on to 15 super-duper bloggers:

1. Samuel Park @ Samuel Park's Daily Pep for Writers
2. Medeia Sharif @ Medeia Sharif
3. Stephanie @ Relics of My Mind
4. Ted Cross @ Ted Cross Blog
5. Lua Fowles @ Bowl of Oranges
6. Lydia Kang @ The Word is My Oyster
7. Amanda Borenstadt @ A Fortnight of Mustard
8. Kristine @ Light and Shadow
9. Valerie Geary @ Something to Write About
10. Michele Scott @ Holy Terrors
11. Cruella Collett @ The Giraffability of Digressions
12. Jennifer Shirk @ Me, My Muse and I
13. KM Weiland @ Wordplay
14. Susan Fields @ Susan Fields
15. Talli Roland @ Talli Roland


  1. A postcard from Vonnegut. That deserves to be treasured. Thanks so much for passing along the award!

  2. Thank you so much! :)

    Great to learn more about you. I'm curious, what is literary cubism? I'm familiar with the art movement, but not in literary...

  3. Thank you, Ms. Weiland! Rest assured - Vonnegut's postcard IS treasured! :)

  4. You're welcome, Talli! And I sincerely hope that the weather cools down in London (and here on the east coast of the US).

    I wrote a short paper on literary cubism a few months back:

    In the way I practice it, literary cubism is the use of multiple literary media for the construction of a story or novel. Things like e-mail messages, grocery lists or a person's "to-do" list can become part of the novel or story as long as they somehow advance the action or convey character or serve some other practical story-building purpose. My latest WIP is a novel; some of the vignettes are written in the form of plays, others are poems, another is a volley of instant messages. The only checks I have for any given structure in my writing are: does it advance the story; does it "work" in that particular piece at that particular moment in the overall composition.

    Apologies if my response is long-winded; it's just that I truly enjoy this technique of writing.

    Take care!


  5. Thank you!! :) That postcard is EPIC!!

  6. Thanks, Valerie! I was out of town when it arrived. My Dad had picked up my mail for me and I remember going through the little pile of envelopes while he and I were talking. Needless to say, he asked what was wrong when I found the postcard and yelped :). Epic indeed.

    I hope all is well out there in Portland.

    Be well,

  7. Thank you for the award! And it was fun to learn more about you, it sounds like you've lived a very interesting life indeed! I enjoyed reading your response to Talli's question, I had the same question myself. :)

  8. Thank you so much for the award! I adore the postcard - what a treasure! And such a lovely story to tell. I suppose using the postcard as a part of that story isn't entirely far from what you would do in your writing technique? (I too enjoyed learning about literary cubism - it is not something I was familiar with before I found your blog)

  9. Thanks, Susan; I hope that you get a chance to fully rejoice and refresh during your hiatus from the blogosphere. Can't wait to follow your new posts once you're back!


  10. You're welcome, Ted! Hey, I loved your post about Green Day and Joan Jett at Wembley Stadium in London. You lucky guy! Can't wait to read your impressions of Pearl Jam in Hyde Park; wish I was there. Enjoy! :)

  11. Cruella,

    You know, I'd never thought of that! You're right: using a postcard as part of this post is an application of literary cubism. Cool.

    Hey, I really liked the way you described the current snowfall in Norway: " someone was sitting in the top of a very tall tree blowing dandelion parachutes down on us." Nice. Can you send some of that cool weather this way? :)

    Enjoy the June snows,


  12. Thank you so much for your kind words Mohamed! :)

    That postcard is amazing! It was great getting to know you a little better.

  13. Thanks for the award Mohammed! Do you know I gave you an award last Thursday? We're trading!
    That postcard is AWESOME! Do you have it framed or in a vault or something?

  14. Thanks so much. I already linked it on my awards page.

    If I received a postcard from Vonnegut, I would treasure it forever. I love his writing.

  15. The postcard! The postcard! The postcard!

    Comics are super cool. My favorite online is buttersafe:

  16. Congratulations on the award!
    I hope I'll get to visit the Kaaba one day...
    And thank you so much for passing it along to me, I’m honored! :)

  17. You're welcome, WritingNut; and thank you for the original award. Happy writing!

  18. Lydia,
    Wow! No, I didn't know about the award on your blog. I'll go check it out today :)

  19. Thanks, Medeia! Yes, I saw that you included Vonnegut's "The Sirens of Titan" in your blog's book give-away; very cool. I saw your recent post about all the summer reading that you've been doing. Gosh, I wish I could read only HALF as much as you! Keep enjoying your summer :)

  20. Dear Storialist,

    I just visited Cute artwork! Is the postcard an image worth writing a poem about? Let me know if you do; I'll post that link to this blog :)

    Thanks for visiting here!


  21. Lua,

    Thanks, and you're so very welcome. You'll get a chance to visit the Kaaba one day, Inshallah. Are you spending the summer in Istanbul or the University of Kent? Either place, I hope that you're having a wonderful, creative time.

    I love the Salvador Dali image that you've got on your blog, the one with the "lazy" clock. That's one of my favorite images in visual art. I visited the Dali museum in Florida a few years back. Amazing work!

    Be well :)


  22. Thanks so much! :D

    Wow a postcard from Vonnegut! That's the most amazing coolest thing!!!

    Born in Africa?- Cool. Kinda like my brother-in-law. My husband and his parents are Polish but my husband's brother was born in Africa while they were living there. They are all U.S. citizens now. But my husband lived all over the world.
    Me- just Washington state and California. Guess I'm a global hick! LOL :p

  23. Hi, Mohamed. Thank you very much for your kind comment at my site. It's so nice to meet you. I'm coming to your blog on a good day, because I get to learn cool things about you. Your life is very interesting. The places you have been are fantastic. I would love to go see them someday.

    The Vonnegut postcard is awesome! It also makes me like him even more than I already did. I love famous writers who take the time to correspond with people.

    Your writing also sounds great. I look forward to checking it out.

  24. Amanda,

    You're so very welcome!

    Small world. I was born in Uganda. How 'bout your bro-in-law?

    I've been to Washington state and CA. They're both beautiful! You're no global hick - you're the resident of a beautiful coast of one of the world's most affluent democratic republics. You're doin' good! :)


  25. Hi, Julie - Yes, I've been fortunate to have experienced so much of our world. There's so much more left to see. I agree - the only thing that tops Vonnegut's brilliant writing is his generosity of spirit. I like your poetry; like I said on your blog, the best way to describe your work is "Quintessential American, a beautiful amalgam of Steinbeck and Sandburg."

    Looking forward to reading more of your poetry through the coming months,


  26. Bro-in-law was born in Ghana.
    Yeah, my husband tells me California is exotic to him. He's lived all over the world and has no desire to move. Well I guess there must be some reason so many people want to live here.

  27. Oh, thank you so much for the award!!

    Wow, #5 is so cool. I hope to someday go there.

  28. Jennifer,

    As I said to Lua regarding her desire to visit the Kaaba in Mecca - Inshallah. That means "God-willing." Inshallah, you'll visit Jerusalem. In addition to the Mt. of Olives, you can do the Stations of the Cross, visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, climb down to Lazarus' tomb and walk through Gethsemane. I did each of those. If you can, take the drive up to Nazareth and see the Church of the Annunciation. You'll have SO much to write about by the time you're done, you won't know where to start :)

    Happy 4th!


  29. A proud American, born in Africa, to Indian parents... fascinating.
    Congratulations on your award :-)

  30. Thanks, Agnes. The rest of the data to round-out my identity: proud father to two adorable rescue dogs, born and raised a Muslim and married to my best friend, a beautiful Jewish woman.

  31. You're welcome, Kristine! And what a lovely trip to Italy, you had, studying art and nature. Very cool!