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 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.