Monday, April 16, 2007

The Island Grove Press Writing Award

Go ask correspondent Josie about clever young girls who offer literary awards to literary bloggers.

The recipient is at first thrilled, tells the other bloggers, they offer congratulations, make copies of the award avatar--and suddenly a fizzle!

The award is bogus, a marketing ploy, and worse, it'll more often gum up your computer with a virus than not.

Poor pity the striving blogger who is either trying to be the tallest tree on the hill or the prettiest little shrub in the valley.

They get swindled, spammed and jammed and get on telemarket rolls all the same.

It's a dangerous world out there for us literary bloggers, a world full of vanity publishers, ascerbic critics, literary hired guns, frauds, poseurs, bloggers looking for a fight, William Hungs, psychos, snots and other forms of artificial life.

Nobody want her dream shattered; damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, even if she does write like a sausage and not know it--It's all the publishers' fault, the agents', the critics. "My talent will finally shine, and it'll be between covers, not just up on this here blog."

Those of us who have paid our dues--and still pay them, dammit!--are pretty used to being abused, badly treated and generally shat upon by the established literati--being sent to the address of an agent who doesn't exist, getting a literary grant through a publisher who later welches on the contract, being told to sell pencils when a publishing contract is suddenly taken from you and given to somebody else.

But gee, Wally, there has to be something along the way to keep a confident though thwarted writer going.

A signpost.

A few paragraphs in a newspaper that might resemble an article.

A poem published in a small but but influential little magazine.

Or an award, a real one, even if it is only electronic. You can put the little avatar right up there on your blog on a permanent post--Hey, somebody out there with a bit of brain seems to think I'm all right, that I'm a writer after all, that I have talent.

Some of the logos shine like little stars. They look good. They draw congratulatons, comments.

I do have a publishing company in my hip pocket. It came from publishing a lot of my students and former students in a creative writing class at Seneca College hereabouts.

Well, now that I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the electronic world, I do notice that some--certainly not all--literary bloggers really have the gift.

One of my favourites on the web is e.a. monroe. She has a web page, SHADOWS OF TIME.

I read her memoirs of her youth and said to myself, Hey, this is a little Willa Cather, that lady who wrote about the prairies, and Mesa Verde, and all those places that remind you of who your are, where you live, among whom you move.
You don't have to visit Mesa Verde to speculate about a lost people. You can read e.a. monroe and reminisce over your lost youth...Or is our youth ever really lost?

So while reading Elizabeth's memoirs, not all of them fictional, I said, "Hey, this girl deserves a publishing," and so I published something of hers, and just yesterday, I see that she has produced a brilliant "Op-ed" piece about the bombing in Oklahoma City twelve years ago. I thought her writing deserved some sort of award. You can't hide your light under a bushel forever.

So I sought an award logo for somebody like Liz (A whole coterie of equally talented Liz's seems to be out there!).

My efforts at first were whimsical. A tiny Newfoundland Retriever, with the caption, "Lost Newfie Award".

A picture of the splendid racehorse some angel in Australia had named after me...Hey, that was an award for old Ivan, no kidding!

But finally, after my consulting with a talented lady--shall I name you, J?--we decided to design an award that was professional looking, to the point, and would offer a talented writer some incentive.

So here she be.

78 comments:

Josie said...

Ivan, yay! Finally someone who deserves an award will get a real award, from someone who (whom? help me out here...) knows what he's talking about. Liz deserves it.

And it's not some phony/baloney meme, but the genuine article, like Liz.

Cheers,
Josie

islandgrovepress said...

Hi Josie,

Well, those OKA women can write, can't they?

I just read a fine reminiscence by
Donnetta.

Yes, Liz deserves the Island Grove Press Writing Award--We trust this will be only the beginning.

Ivan

Josie said...

I just read Donnetta's post as well. Wonderful.

You know, this is your award to give out as you see fit. And it may become a prestigious award to receive...! Do some scouting, and see who you find. The sky's the limit.

Josie

islandgrovepress said...

Oh, they'll find out.

islandgrovepress said...

Josie,

You certainly deserve an award.

...Even for being Josie!

Ivan

Josie said...

Oh, I've been told I deserve a lot of things ...just for being Josie. Ha!

islandgrovepress said...

Josie,
You are a good and natural writer.
I am utterly charmed by the little montage you'd set up in your very first comment. Who and whom. The humour shines through.

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" is one of my favourite novels.

I really think the award bell should ring for thee.

Ivan

Josie said...

Me? Nah! I just putz around. I am amazed by some of the writers out there. Patterns of Ink is one of them. You should check out his blog. You can link to it through my blog.

Josie

EAMonroe said...

Ivan, Josie and you are the best two friends anyone in the world could ever want to have!

I'm thrilled and honored to accept The Island Grove Press Writing Award! I know how hard you and Miss J worked on designing and creating its special look! It's a spiffy award!

I have to say you and Josie inspired me to write to the best of my ability and I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go. I'm still hiding under that bushel basket, but you both keep popping open the lid!

Ivan, you should offer on-line writing classes because as a creative writing teacher there are none better than you and the time you take and the effort you give to make all of us a little better as writers.

That's certainly true for me. You set the standards and keep raising the bar ;-) and the Mongoose!

Oh shucks! Who said blog writing was easy?! Now, I'll have to work harder than ever to live up to your wonderful award!

Next up -- Josie needs a "who/who" award, Maybe with one of Dr. Seuss' Whos from Whoville/Whomville on it!

I have a Siamese kitten perched on my shoulder, purring in my ear and giving me a wet willie. San the Peskie Eskie wants to go for a walk and I want to hurry back and post your award before JR and his "students" confiscate it!!

Thanks ever so much! I love you guys!! ~Liz

islandgrovepress said...

Cheers, Liz,

Yes, I'd better watch out or JR and his wards will come and do a safecrack on the sacred seal. Heh.

Yes, Josie does deserve a very special award, and Dr. Seuss would by right up her alley--certainly my alley...I think Dr. Seuss was a genius. Talk about Modernism with a mad touch!.
Thing is now for me to get Josie to teach me how to make a logo from scratch. I have a learning curve about as flat as Texas.

Island Grove Press is a touch "market" and I congratulate you on this first Island Grove Award.

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Whoops! That should read, "Island Grove Press is a tough market."

Ivan

Josie said...

You guys are a hoot! Too much fun. BTW, I LOVE Siamese cats. I have had several of them. They have wonderful personalities.

Off to do my Monday post now.

Cheers,
Josie

Donnetta Lee said...

What a grand idea and for a grand person and writer, too! Josie is absolutely right: "someone who deserves an award..." Ivan knows a winner when he sees one! Congratulations, Ms. Lizzy! This is the beginning. There is undoubtedly more in your "stars." Keep shining bright!

Donnetta

Josie said...

Hey, you guys, check out the side bar on my blog.

Josie

JR's Thumbprints said...

Oh, the misery I shall endure, the day after day churning of words trying to recreate the events of my life, and yet the ladies get the compliments, the ladies get the "real awards." Liz can write, that's for sure. Loved her last post. I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

islandgrovepress said...

Migod.

A clutch of quarks on your sidebar.

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Ah.

Sisters of the Quarkhood.

Ya Ya!


Ivan

Josie said...

JR, You got the Big Foot award, and that is very special, for sure...!

Josie

islandgroveress said...

JR:

See? Ya got support.

Ivan

EAMonroe said...

We all love ya, JR!

islandgrovepress said...

Sez Sienna (Pam), who is having a devil of a time with her computer(Josie, any suggestions? She's having trouble with her rams. I'd suggested she open the barn door and wave a red flag in front of the IT man. If he drops his tools, it's all over. Rammed for sure.
Here's an e-note from Pam:

G'day Ivan

I have had difficulty accessing folk's blogs again...was able to read a couple this am but wasn't able to comment...computer techman thinks I'll be ok with more rams, but he can't get them for a week

The last email with your older site is excellent! Part of The Black Icon, electronic, so handy...beauty newk.

The award looks so classy, excellent image, I loved the animals but the LON pic just seems perfect...you and Josie have come up with a ripper. Love it...I hope to be able to congratulate Liz, I will keep trying....what wonderful and talented people you all are.

Pam

Josie said...

Ivan, I'll see what I can do to help Pam. We all miss her.

Liz's award looks fantastic on her sidebar.

Yay!

Josie

islandgrovepress said...

It was your genius flash, Josie.

I had decided to get away from the animal pictures, substituted the Island Grove jeep, but you made the quantum leap and instead did a treatment of my LOM book cover.

It worked. In spades!

Ivan

Josie said...

Well, what better than the actual Island Grove Press icon?

Is it only Tuesday today? Oh, please tell me it's at least Thursday. Sigh...

We have a roxic manager here and she is driving everyone crazy today.

Josie

Josie said...

I meant to say toxic, but roxic will do as well. I just invented a new word.

islandgrovepress said...

Maybe he's on rock. Heh.

Josie said...

Oh, I wish. Might be a little more pleasant.

Think... bulldog.

Josie

EAMonroe said...

Ivan & Josie, I have the new "pentaquark" logo on my sidebar! A new "secret society" and Pam has come up with an initiation ceremony that she said is sure to land us 20 years in the clink!

Do you think we might get JR for our teacher??

islandgrovepress said...

What the Quark!

Josie said...

Liz's pentaquark badge looks good on her sidebar. I'm going to put mine up. Yes, let's get JR to be our teacher, if we land in the klink. He's too cool for school :-)

Josie

islandgrovepress said...

The term for safecracker is probably obsolete, but there's no way he's going to get yegg on his face.

Ivan

http://www.creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,

Do you remember the mental cruelty we inflicted on poor Erik when we suggested that if it's erotic writing, it's probably by Erik's hand?

Ivan

Sienna said...

Ivan all seems to be working slowly but strongly here for the minute, I will make hay while the sun shines, yes the weather is absolutely dreamy stuff, the sunrise I will post up, the horses are content and I'm glad to be out of the sun for the moment...but I have a question, what is a quark? my dictionary (Oxford) doesn't have it and the internet says a new cheese particular to central Europe?

I agree about letting the rams loose, I couldn't stop giggling over the word association, but I was on my own with my sense of humor...glad someone else gets it...must be the purple brain syndrome :)

Pam

Donnetta Lee said...

IVAN: I got the pentaquark symbol on my blog!! Yay!! I didn't think I would be able to do it!! Oh, happy day.

Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...

Pam,

It had been my understanding that quarks were fundamental units of matter, that they came in threes, and that they were inseparable.

Now it seems that we have five quarks with Island Grove Press.
We have broken all the laws of subatomic physics in having five quarks instead of the original three.
That's like the New Testament going metric, though backwards.
"If God had intended us to go metric, we would have ten apostles," says our old comedian Don Herron, from Parry Sound, Ontario.

Here is a bit out of Wikkipedia about quarks.

In particle physics, quarks are one of the two basic constituents of matter (the other are the leptons). Quarks are the only fundamental particles that interact through all four of the fundamental forces. The word was originally coined by Murray Gell-Mann as a nonsense word rhyming with "pork".[1] Later, he found the same word in James Joyce's book Finnegans Wake, where seabirds give "three quarks", akin to three cheers (probably onomatopoetically imitating a seabird call, like "quack" for ducks, as well as making a pun on the relationship between Munster and its provincial capital, Cork) in the passage "Three quarks for Muster Mark!/Sure he hasn't got much of a bark/And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.". Further explanation for the use of the word "quark" may be derived from the fact that, at the time, there were only three known quarks in existence.

Quarks come in six flavors, and their names (up, down, strange, charm, bottom, and top) were also chosen arbitrarily based on the need to name them something that could be easily remembered and used.

Antiparticles of quarks are called antiquarks.

Isolated quarks are never found naturally; they are almost always found in groups of two (mesons) or groups of three (baryons) called hadrons. This is a direct consequence of confinement, explained below.

Contents [hide]
1 Free quarks
2 Confinement and quark properties
3 Flavor
4 Spin
5 Colour
6 Quark masses
6.1 Current quark mass
6.2 Valence quark mass
6.3 Heavy quark masses
7 Properties of quarks
8 Antiquarks
9 Substructure
10 History
11 See also
12 References and external links
12.1 Primary and secondary sources
12.2 Other references


In all truth doesn't all this quark stuff give you a huge horselaugh?

We got quarks making up Island Grove Press now.

...So everybody quack like a duck. We are the quarks!...And we come in flavours?
Heh



Ivan

islandgorvepress said...

p.s. to Pam (Sienna):

I am an old cheese particular to central Ontario. :)

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Liz and Donnetta,

Here I am, a self-repecting wizard trying to start a cult and you quarks have got something going already. The Quarks!
Makes me think of Mickey Mouse and his madcap hat with al the stars on it in "The Sorcerer's appprentice."

Bring on the marching brooms?

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

What Josie and Liz and Donnetta (and now Pam?) have wrought?

... --- ...

That's S.O.S. in Morse.

Aaghh.

Ivan

EAMonroe said...

Ivan, hey! Your descriptions of quarks sounds about like us! And, we pestered poor Erik so much he retired from blogging! If he's not at the Gazebo anymore does this mean we can sneak over and make all the crucifixtion crosses and Icons we want to now?

Josie said...

Ivan, everyone is invited to my place for a game of strip poker.

Josie

patterns of ink said...

I just popped in to see what's going on at IGP and stumbled into a chat room. You guys are something! Ivan, I'm in the middle of a series of post called "Why Bloggers Blog." Comments from your experience would be welcome.

islandgrovepress said...

Hi P of I,

Ask and thou shalt receive.

But I think I came in a little bit garbled in my comment just into your blog.
I set up an imaginary situation where neophyte JR asked to become a Quark.
The ladies had a dialogue in Heaven (Hell?).
In this imaginary situation, I failed to convince the Quarks that JR should become one too.
I had said in my comment: "Make JR and honorary Quark."

...should read "an honorary quark".

Anyway, it ended up thumbs-down for JR's immediate Quark mambership.

Ivan's Quarks won't go!

islandgrovepress said...

Josie!

Queens and wee-uns?

LOL

Ivan

Josie said...

Ivan, I just read this blog from start to finish, and I'm laughing so hard the mascara is running down my face. Most unattractive. Omigod, it's too funny. You should publish just this post and the comments. You guys are a hoot.

If you go into Wikipedia and type in pentaquark, you will get this:

A pentaquark is an hypothetical subatomic particle consisting of a group of five quarks (compared to three quarks in normal baryons and two in mesons), or more specifically four quarks and one anti-quark. Okay, which one of us gets to be the anti-quark? Hmmmmm? Ha!

I definitely think we should make JR an honorary quark. Ivan, would you like to do the honors?

This blog posting is too funny. Or as Anthony Blanche would say, "T-T-T-T-T-Tooo F-F-F-F-F-Funny."

Josie

islandgrovepress said...

Josie,

Quarkhood is a serious calling.
You gotta write good.

Tell you a story:

While employed by the Star Weekly PANORAMA, I felt my editor was getting a bit disappointed at my performance. The commute to Toronto would wear me out and I was losing a lot of zip and fizzle.
Part of my sluggishness came from taking university courses at night in the same city.

"University courses!" the editor had snorted.
"Is any of this going to make you write better?"

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Josie,

You broke me up too with the "pentaquark".

"'A pentaquark is an hypothetical subatomic particle consisting of a group of five quarks (compared to three quarks in normal baryons and two in mesons), or more specifically four quarks and one anti-quark.'
"Okay, which one of us gets to be the anti-quark? Hmmmmm? Ha!"

We make JR a pentaquark? You wanna design the logo?

But make no mistake about it.
Pentaquarks somehow remind me of Kato Kaelen.

EAMonroe said...

Is JR the Anti-Quark??

islandgroveress said...

Hi Liz,
No. JR wants to be a quark.

Heaven forbid he has to turn female for that! All the quarks are female, 'cept for resident warlock...And I keep getting nails in my foot from anti-warlocks who give me a large pain in the foot.

Days when I feel nailed down every time I try to ride a freight out of town.

Hey, in a prison atmoshere, where he is a teacher, stranger things have happened.

I know you girls like him. He is a handsome devil.

But beauty is as beauty writes.

Hell, I have had eight beers! I am convinced that I am beautiful and I can write...Strange delusions when you're drunk and you think you have hidden talent and want to write.
Ah, well, for me anyway, there is always the palliative.

I get drunk, look into the mirror and say to the ghost of my former wife: "If you could only see me mnow, Martha!"

Crap, if she could see the degenerte face, she whill probably echo what my three-year-old son said in a Superstore one day (He'd been listening arond the house):

F-off, Ivan

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Can we make an anti-quark logo?

Ivan

Josie said...

I have made one for you, Ivan, now you have to put it on your side bar. Four quarks and an anti-quark total a pentaquark.

;-)

Josie

islandgrovepress said...

Holy Antiquark!

I am honoured.

Guess I'll have to figure out a way to put it up.

I have drained the entire coffee caraffe dry, I am out of smokes and fit to be tied.

But as soon as I calm down, I will proudly display the coveted antiquark logo.

Ivan

JR's Thumbprints said...

Huh? I'm no Quaker. Wasn't Richard Nixon a Quaker? I'm the anti-Quaker.

EAMonroe said...

We can always use a Quark Jester.

Josie said...

Ivan, you have to put your AntiQuark label up, and we have to figure out a way to get JR's honorary AntiQuark label to him.

Josie

Donnetta Lee said...

Hi guys. Like Josie, I just read this thing from start to finish. Oh, my. This is a novel unto itself! Well, I'm thinking that each Quark should have name. The Wikipedia said quarks have names. Of course, Charm Quark is appealing. Master Quark. Super Quark. Dark Quark. Major Quark. Princess Quark. Oh, the list could go on...

Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...

Omigod.

I leave the house for two hours and come back to find 25 emails waiting, and another five comments.

I thought for a minute this was all spam, but no. These were the pentaquarks and fellow subatomics. Even a Quaker-shaker.

I have never had 20 real emails come in pretty well all at once. Same for five comments pretty well in a dollop.
You guys have been as busy as a colony of minks on a sandbar.(Mink are known to take eight hours, some of them, to attain climax). Was it good for you?
Anyway, thanks quarks and shakers for making this the busiest day yet at "Creative Writing"--and Pam thinks we've written a novel here.
WooHoo.

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

JR,

Sounds like you're reaching for the NABISCO.
That, or performers that we are, we may yet be shot from guns...Whoops not sure where I'm going with that.
Would you say that we have formed a cell?

islandgrovepress said...

Josie,

I am trying to put the antiquark logo up, but no word from my techie so far.

I'm convinced he thinks I'm something of a horses's ass with my endless technical requests--not an entirely new concept for some!

We'll get her up.

I've been multi-tasking and emptying ash trays all night.Lord,there has to be a butt still long and firm!

Ivan

eamonroe said...

Ivan, you comment about the 20 emails has me laughing so hard tears are running down my face and my stomach hurts from all the laughter.

I know how you feel. I was late checking my email and when I did, lord have mercy! Was your inbox jammed up with pentaquarks?

Sienna said...

This is so funny, may it be preserved in a time capsule and shared with the world of 3000ad, they will need a good laugh by then.

Tantric-sand bar-mink-sex climaxing times, the mind boggles.

Hope you found your nice firm long butt!

Too funny, Ivan how is it you are not Canada's National Icon?
What talent and what humor and what a character!
I am laughing so much Josie, meant to be feeding and working horses.

Pam

Josie said...

I read this post from top to bottom the other night, and I was laughing so hard I'm sure the neighbors must have heard me.

What a bunch of goofs :-)

Cheers,
Josie

islandgrovepress said...

My electrons here were tortured so hard I thought of going thought the phone book to see if young Lyndie England was still available.

Sienna said...

Ha haa, your neighbors will be looking at each other:

"There she goes again"

"What do you think she is doing in there?"

"I just don't know, but it sure sounds like fun.."

islandgrovepress said...

I hear old Pope Benedict is in hot water with the animal rights activists for having an ermine lining for one of his hats.
Well so what? That mink was *#*ked a long time ago.

islandgrovepress said...

Pam,

The mayor of Newmarket stood up in council one day to announce that I was some kind of treasure.
But as soon as he learned of my candidacy for his job, he came over and burned my office down.

No sense of humour, that man.

Beware of Italians bearing gifts?

Ivan

islangrovepress said...

Josie,

They're coming after you.

I hear hoofbeats!

Ilandgrovepress said...

Liz,

Omigod.

I just noticed.

66 comments.

The end is nigh!

Ivan

Donnetta Lee said...

And here is number 67!! A world's record. Of course, nothing is impossible in the world and land of Quarks. It's like a miracle or maybe an anomaly. Whatever. Quark on...
Donnetta

Donnetta Lee said...

Uh oh. I meant to say, "68." You know, some Quarks just can't count. Now, it's 69.
Donnetta

Anonymous said...

"You guys are so selfish," complained the lady.
"All you want to do is play 6."

Ivan

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http://www.creativewriting.ca said...

Well, to miss-quote Douggie L. Bassett, one of my employers while I was with the Sunday SUN,

"I've got a hadron for fine paintings.

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

To the anonymous guy with all the gold: Gold Finger!


Ivan

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