1. I discovered Turn Around and Swim‘s blog after Daylight Savings Time began. After writing my own post on the topic, I did a search for the tag and found her post on the subject. I started reading more of her posts and decided to follow her after reading her letter to the owner of bistro that was decidedly not child-friendly.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email saying she had a new post. While reading it, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she had nominated for an award.
The Sunshine Blog Award is the blogging world’s equivalent of a chain letter, but without the threat of some horrid future should you break the chain. Being a nerd, I tried to find this award’s origins, but could only get back to January 2010. Back then, one of the “rules” for the award was to nominate twelve other bloggers. I also discovered other award winners who say the rule is to nominate ten others. In the rules list on my nominator’s blog, it stated that one need only nominate five bloggers.
Regardless of who started the award, or its exact rules, the intentions are harmless. One is supposed to acknowledge fellow “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” The award is a nice way to let others know you read their blog and enjoy it. Nominating others is a way to introduce readers of your own blog to other writers they might enjoy.
That’s all well and good, but when I started looking at the list of questions that I was supposed to answer about myself, I panicked. It was as if reading the questions immediately brought on writer’s block. How would you describe yourself? What do you fear? Where would you live? I was especially terrified trying to figure out how to answer the question “What is your style?”
I decided to skip to the part where you nominate other people. Piece of cake. I can easily come up with five.
Remember how I told you that “I are college educated“? Yeah, by the time I finished, I written about six nominees. I obviously can’t count.
I decided to chuck the rules and procedures of the award and just write about blogs I like.
Not only did she get the award, she nominated me as well. Unlike the Sunshine Award, this citation has its own blog site. Still, it has the same murky origins and the similar function of linking bloggers to one another. And its rules say that you have to nominate 15 (!) other blogs.
That’s when I decided that this award thing would be great fodder for a Thirteen Things Thursday.
Gwenael, the author at My Little Green Thumbs, blogs about her family and small business. Her family will soon grow by one when they complete the process of adopting a child from China. I had no idea how much time and paperwork and time the process took. I’m so glad that Gwenael commented on my blog so that I could discover hers. I thank her for the nomination and wish her the best on the adoption.
3. Outrunning the Storm: This is the first blog that I followed that did not belong to a person I knew in real life. This was shortly after we got Philip on the waiting list for his autism screening. I was finally figuring out the purpose of tags and discovered her blog when I looked up “autism.” She writes passionately and eloquently about her experiences with a son with Asperger’s. She was the impetus for the flash blog event in April when someone found her blog by using the search term “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers.” I immediately knew I needed to nominate her when I read her post in which she came out. It was amazingly brave, and this is the only way I can think to show my support.
4. Life on the “J” Train: Once I started exploring blogs tagged “autism,” I soon discovered a community of parents who blog about life affected by autism. I found this blogger because she had commented on a post by Outrunning the Storm. The blog name piqued my interest, I clicked through and discovered a delightful blog written by a mom of two boys, one of whom is on the spectrum. I’m always excited to hear about the latest triumphs with Jay or to commiserate with her struggles.
5. It’s a Wunderful Life: When I first started my blog, it was private. I told a dear friend from high school about it, since it was her blog that inspired me to start my own. After a few weeks, I shared the link with my best friend. Several months into the project, I linked my blog to my Facebook account.
Again, it wasn’t until I realized that Philip had autism that I made my blog “public” and searchable. I started tagging my posts in a meaningful way. That’s how the father who writes It’s a Wunderful Life found my blog and I, in turn, found his. His twin boys have autism. Once a week, he writes about the successes and “opportunities” of the previous week. I love the positive energy of his writing. He is just one of several daddy bloggers I follow, but he was one of the first to follow my blog.
6. In a Handbasket: The blog that inspired me to start my own. When my friend has the time to blog, she writes about her latest crafty projects. Had I answered those personal questions as part of the awards, I certainly wouldn’t have described myself as “crafty.” I really enjoy seeing how creative she can get since I’m a bit hopeless when it comes to such artistic endeavors.
In addition to blogging about crafts, my friend also shares stories of her family. Please check out this recent post. The heartwarming tale brought tears to my eyes.
7. love many trust few: When I was writing a post every day during Autism Awareness Month, I found a parent from Australian doing the same. She suggested that we both write posts on the same topic during our blogathons. We did this on purpose once, but it turned out that our posts often had similar themes written from our own perspectives. She is a single foster “mum,” so I enjoy reading about life from her point of view on the other side of the world.
8. Between Hope and a Hard Place: Not only do I like reading Lisa’s blog, I find that her comments on the blogs of others are always thoughtful and supportive. I usually click “like” on a post and then get stumped when trying to come up with a comment. I might start writing a comment, but then I usually backspace until it’s gone because I’m afraid its tone isn’t quite right or I fear the blogger will think “Who is this person, what the hell is her point, and why is she trying to make it on my blog?” Lisa doesn’t seem to have my hangups. She gives fellow bloggers a virtual pat on the back or hug, as needed.
9. The Bloggess: I was introduced to Jenny Lawson’s blog when a friend share this post on Facebook. I laughed until it hurt. That post is why I now own a pair of decorative lawn chickens. She has a gloriously off-beat sense of humor that she uses to combat depression. I can’t wait to listen to the audio version of her recently released book.
10. Yeah. Good. Times: Since my blog is not private, I (usually) think carefully about how much I am going to share in my posts and the manner in which I share it. While I can curse like a sailor, I try to clean up my language for my blog. (Hey, my parents read this thing for the stories of Philip. They don’t want to know their daughter has a potty mouth).
Jill also writes carefully at her blog Yeah. Good. Times. However, she is not as conservative as I am. For that, I am grateful. I appreciate someone who can tell it like it is, stick up for herself and her children. She also provides a safe haven for other bloggers to do the same. On The Dive Bar page, bloggers can anonymously post stories that express anger, hurt and fear in language as colorful as they need it to be.
What led me to this blog was actually a different page, the “All Kids Do That” collection. Here you can find guest posts from other parents who write about why particular behaviors in their children with autism are not just something that “all kids do.” The posts illustrate that, even if all kids do something, children with autism know how to do it to the extreme. When these parents share a story, they don’t want someone dismissing their concern by saying “All kids do that.”
In addition to serving as a hub for other bloggers to share, Jill writes her own posts. To get a taste of her style, I recommend checking out this post written in response to a string of press releases about possible causes of autism.
11. Emotional Chaos Builds Character???: When I first came across this blog and saw the subtitle “Autism as neo-transcendalitism,” I thought, “I’m an idiot. I don’t think I know what that means.” I’ve since discovered that Lola writes quite philosophically about life with her teenaged-son with autism. Many of the bloggers that I follow write about much younger children. Obviously, I can relate to those posts quite readily. However, I can’t help but wonder about Philip’s future, so reading these posts give me a glimpse into one’s person experience with an autistic teenager. This mom is using PECS and a visual schedule, so I pick up helpful tips from her posts.
12. Flappiness Is . . .: One of Leigh’s first posts on her blog was featured on Freshly Pressed. I was thrilled to see that a blog about autism was selected for this. The writer is a teacher, so she uses her blog to educate others about autism. But she is also sharing her own story and experiences.
13. Everything Under the Sun: Turns out there is a fellow “Cyn” out there. This blogger from Canada also writes about her son with autism. He is just a bit older than Philip. She frequently comments on my posts, sharing ideas or support. I look forward to following her stories about her son as he grows up.
I actually worked ahead on this post, had it as finished as I thought it would be, and scheduled it for publication on Thursday morning. Later in the day, I received notification that there was a new post on the other Cyn’s blog. I wanted to read it in case it would be good to link in this post.
It turns out that Cyn was nominated for the “very inspiring blogger award.”
She, in turn, nominated me for the award. For that, I thank her. Your timing was impeccable.