A few weeks ago I received a comment on one of my blog posts from Green Onions, AKA:
Your blogging superhero that has absolutely no powers. Nerd of literature and other such expressive art. Sensational partner, amazing father, spectacular ninja-like chef.
Green Onions nominated my blog for a 2016 Liebster Award and stated “Your blog can help a lot of fathers and I appreciate what you do. You deserve a little recognition, thank you.”
Wow. Thank you, Green Onions!
I started this blog in December 2015 after I had reached a point in my post-divorce journey where I felt comfortable enough to discuss my path, and my continued struggles. My goals for the blog are to find my voice, but to also be a voice for other dads who may be going through similar challenges. I am still working on developing a consistent approach to this blog, but acknowledge that my posts might be a help is a huge confidence boost. So thank you, Green Onions.
Green Onions focuses his blog on reviewing the novels and comics that he enjoys along his “bookish adventures”. It has taken me some time to accept the award and follow through on the award rules (check out my post from this morning to understand why). Since this award is meant as a way to promote new bloggers, I see it as a honor and a responsibility.
Before I answer the questions that Green Onions has given me to answer as part of accepting this award I offer the rules for my nominees:
The Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2016
Back in 2011 the rules were a simple case of acknowledgement of the nominator and to nominate 5 more. Now in 2016 it is a little more involved!
If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
- Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
- Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
- Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
- List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
- Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)
My answers to Green Onions 11 questions:
1. What prompted you to start your blog?
My separation and divorce has been a long, difficult process. My ex-wife’s infidelity, her terminal cancer, and my kids’ struggles (especially my daughter’s) have been a perfect storm of challenge. I found talking with people to be the most therapeutic part of my recovery, and the blog is an extension of my need to talk. I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve, so why not an interweb sleeve?
2. What inspired you to write your blog on the topics you have chosen?
I focus a lot on the challenges that my divorce has raised, but I also have a lot of experience with children. Between my three teens, and my 20+ years of teaching, I have an understanding of kids that I think can be helpful to parents. That is what I try to share on my blog.
3. Do you hold yourself to a schedule as a writer? How often do you write your blog?
Unfortunately not. Being ADD my planning and habits are a challenge. This has led, for example, to a month long break recently. The advice I keep hearing about being a successful blogger is that short posts can be just as effective as longer posts. I am trying to remember that every time the inertia to write hits.
4. What are some issues or causes that are important to you, and why?
I have spent my professional life raising teens and thinking about teaching and learning. Raising healthy children is a profession and a passion. I recognize the challenge that parenting is, so I try to focus on helping parents understand their kids and how their own behavior contributes to their kids’ behaviors.
5. Name one fictional protagonist that is important to you and why.
Nice question. And there are many. The series of books that I keep returning to, especially when life is getting me down, is the Carlos Castaneda books about his relationship with Don Juan Matus. Written in the late 60s and 70s they focus on the supposed (it has been debated whether Castaneda made the character up, or whether the man actually existed as Castaneda claimed) worldview of a Yaqui man of power. The books are filled with philosophies that speak to me and give me strength. For example:
“Only as a warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge. A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”
6. Who is your favorite fictional antagonist, and why?
I enjoy Russian literature, especially the short stories. The antagonists in these stories vary from people, to objects, to ideas. Leonid Andreyev is my favorite of the Russian authors, particularly because he tends to draw on the darkest and absurd themes, which speak to my East European soul. The first story I ever read by him was the story “On The Day of the Crucifixion“. The antagonist of the story is a tooth.
“On that terrible day, when the universal injustice was committed and Jesus Christ was crucified in Golgotha among robbers–on that day, from early morning, Ben-Tovit, a tradesman of Jerusalem, suffered from an unendurable toothache.”
7. Name one story you believe everyone should read, and why.
The Lone Wolf and Cub series is a classic graphic novel, originally written/drawn in the early 70s. It is the story of a father and his toddler traveling a path of vengeance after he is framed for a crime he did not commit. It is a violent, but beautiful, samurai story. I have loved it since I first encountered it in the late 80s. I also tend to have a soft spot for stories about fathers and their relationships with their kids.
8. Have you encountered any challenges with your blog since you began writing for an online audience?
Not really. Although, because I write about very personal topics, and make comments that would be inflammatory to my ex, I have tried to keep the blog as private as possible. I try to balance my own need to get these thoughts out, but I also need to protect my children from coming across the posts. One of my students came across the blog, and although I don’t think that will lead to any issues, I do have concerns about what happens if my children or my ex come across my posts.
9. What has been most rewarding about your blogging experience?
I have been asked to write guest posts on other blogs. The requests came with feedback that my posts tend to voice feelings that many men either don’t understand or don’t easily express. That was feedback that I truly appreciated.
10. Is there a principle or philosophy that guides your writing? If so, what is it?
Not really. I do try to avoid posts where I am complaining about my challenges and more specifically, me ex. My hope is that there is either a lesson to be learned, or a chuckle to be chuckled, from everything that I post.
11. What has been your favorite blog as a reader, and why? And can you share?
It is not a new blog, but BrainPickings is beautiful blog. The writer, Maria Popova, is prolific in reviewing books, art, and ideas. Her posts are inspiring and thoughtful. From her About page:“Brain Pickings is my one-woman labor of love — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.”
My 5 nominees for the Liebster Awards:
1. Lisa Arends @ Lessons from the End of a Marriage
Lisa has been blogging about divorce longer than I have. Her focus is a positive one, “how to create beauty from trauma”. A good read.
2. Nicole Melanson @ WordMothers
Nicole’s blog is about writing and the “role of women in the literary arts today.” She is a writer herself, a mom of 5 monkey boys, and a good friend. Go and find some new voices at her blog.
3. Matthew Williams @ Love, Laughter & Truth
Matthew writes from the perspective of a single dad. Sound familiar? He and I started our blogs at the same time. However, he’s figured this blogging thing out.
4. John McElhenney @ The Whole Parent
John is a prolific writer and Tweeter from a single dad perspective. An inspiration.
5. Doug Robertson @ He’s the Weird Teacher
Doug is the elementary school teacher you wish you had. A well traveled social media maven, his posts are entertaining…and weird.
To my 5 nominees, if you choose to accept your Liebster Award, then please answer these 11 questions. Some are passed forward from my nominator, and some are of my own wonderings. Best, Kris
- What inspired you to write your blog on the topics you have chosen?
- What is that hardest part of writing for you?
- What are some issues or causes that are important to you, and why?
- Name one fictional protagonist that is important to you and why.
- Name one story you believe everyone should read, and why.
- What is your favorite piece of artwork and why?
- Have you encountered any challenges with your blog since you began writing for an online audience?
- What has been most rewarding about your blogging experience?
- Is there a guiding principle you try to follow in life? If so, what is it?
- What has been your favorite blog as a reader, and why? And can you share?
- Each of my nominees in their blogging has expressed challenges in either marriage/relationships and/or parenting. What is advice, based on your challenges in one or both of those areas that you would offer to anyone reading your blog?