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Why do we blog? WordPress seems to have grasped the psyche of bloggers in five words: “Express yourself. Start a blog.” If being free to self-expression is the intrinsic reward of blogging, then being heard and read is the extrinsic reward. And, to top it all off, getting unexpected awards for what one already enjoyed doing is the icing on the cake.  A few months ago Arti had the first taste when she received the Excellent Blog Award.  This past week Arti has tasted more icing from fellow bloggers in the form of two awards.  In chronological order, they are:

The Premio Dardos from Ms. Place (Vic) of Jane Austen’s World. Thank you Vic for naming Arti as one of your 15 recipients of this award “that is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing”. Thanks Vic for the honor and for the translation from Portuguese:“O conceito deste prémio passa por reconhecer valores culturais, éticos, literários e pessoais, transmitidos de forma criativa e original nos pedacinhos rabiscados por cada blogueiro que o receba.”

To meet the requirement, in turn, I am naming the following blogs to receive the same award.   To avoid duplication and to make it more meaningful, I have selected 10 instead of the 15 suggested.  Here are their excellent sites in alphabetical order:

  1. Austen Quotes is the blog of Lori Smith, writer of the book A Walk with Jane Austen, her personal experience of treading the paths of Jane’s in England.  She has inspired me with quotes from the works and letters of JA, some witty, some wise, some poignant, and all of them delightful.  Lori may have taken a hiatus due to physical ailment, but what she already has chronicled in her site is worth reading time and time again.
  2. Austenprose is a wealth of JA information and forum. Laurel Ann offers Janeites with a wealth of Regency knowledge, book discussion, interviews… a delight to visit every time.  This is one of the first blogs that got me hooked on JA…, no I wasn’t born a Janeite.  I only discovered this wonderful world a few years back.  And it’s blogs like this that feed me to my fill.
  3. Blogging for a Good Book is created by the staff of Williamsburg Regional Library.  In there you’ll find in-depth and insightful book reviews.  With several contributors, the blog offers a new post almost every day, keeping us up-to-date with newer titles. The quality writing and informative entries are enjoyable to read.
  4. Film Think is a site where films, theology, and criticism meet.  Writer M. Leary offers a wealth of resources and knowledgeable discussions and critique for those interested in the intellectual pursuit of the art of film, and its interaction with Christianity, criticism theory, other art forms, and their relevance in society today.
  5. Itinerant Idealist is Sarah’s journal  “in search of a soul awake”.  I’ve enjoyed her excellent writing.  In her casual way, Sarah embeds her prose and poems with style and spiritual insights.  Hers is one of the long time blogs I’ve been reading since the beginning of my own blog.  I’ve learned and gained much from reading her posts.
  6. Looking for Life’s Humor looks at life and brings out the joyous perspective.  As a mom with an autistic child, the writer of this blog depicts the humor and love that we often miss in many of life’s circumstances.  A heart-warming and delightful read in every post.  A truly enjoyable break in the midst of daily chores and chaos.
  7. Of Books and Bicycles As a book lover and an avid cyclist, Dorothy has successfully created a concoction of writings involving both…well maybe more about books.  Informative reviews and personal book experiences can be found here, while she has another site dedicated more to bikes and her training as a cyclist.
  8. So Many Books Stefanie chronicles “the agony and ecstasy of a reading life” with detailed research and insightful commentaries.  This is a literature lover’s blog.  Just the Blogroll is impressive enough, for there are probably hundreds of lit blogs on her list to provide almost unlimited avenues for blogging and reading pleasure.
  9. The Happy Wonderer It’s a joy every time I visit Ellen’s blog.  As a happy wonderer, Ellen wanders in the fields of photography, food, life, family, and the Bible, offering us musings, pictures, and inspiration, a celebration of life every day. This is one of the earliest blogs I found when I first started blogging, and I’ve been reading her since.  “To honor and encourage”, that is exactly so.
  10. The Task At Hand What Linda Leinen has created here in her relatively new blog is nothing short of a compilation of model writing.  Every single post is an example of style and inspiration.  At this point of her life she is a boat varnisher along the Texas Gulf Coast (how cool is that!), and she writes what she lives.  In her blog, she has woven artfully a tapestry of penetrative observations and skillful, affective writing.  I have gained and learned much from reading her every single post.

*****

The other award I received just a couple of days ago is the Arte y Pico given by Linda of The Task at Hand. Directly translated from Spanish means “Art and Peak”, at the peak of its art. Linda has included Arti’s Ripple Effects for its “creativity, design, content and contribution to the blogging community, regardless of language”.  Thank you Linda, I’m greatly humbled by such an honor.

To fulfill the requirement of the Arte y Pico, I’m naming 5 other blogs to be recipients in turn.  Noting that it’s Spanish in origin, and the phrase “regardless of language”, I attempt to highlight some of the ones I visit that have a different geographical or cultural flavour, although I admit they are all in English.

  1. Blogging in Paris As a 64 years-old cancer survivor, Claude’s attempt at blogging is in itself inspiring.  She writes from Paris, and from her many travels in Europe, affecting us with her zest for life and eye for beauty.  It’s a mixed bag in her blog, some photography, some journal writing, some personal musings.  A delight to visit.
  2. Moderato brings a European perspective to the discussions of art, books, music, films, and literature.  The writer offers in-depth and well researched commentaries on the subjects.  A very fine and intellectual lit blog.  Some great You-tube clips to augment the enjoyment.
  3. The Errant AEsthete From New York, “Essentials for the Cocktail Swilling Savant”, ok, it may sound a bit exclusive, but the art, photography and visuals presented in the blog are stunning and often thought-provoking.  And since it’s located in the ever widening blogosphere, anyone can visit and better yet, no dress code.
  4. Hidden Art A blog for the arts and crafters among us. The name says it all… art can be found and creativity unleashed in almost every homely place.  I’ve enjoyed the casual atmosphere and the stimulating ideas for mixed media and paper arts that are achievable by those who, like myself, are not art school graduates.  Accessible art speaks a universal language.
  5. Edible Landscape This is a unique blog on food written by a young guy from Hong Kong, an interesting diversion from the blogs on food and cooking we see from North America.  Wilson concocts an international flavour with his fine, quality writing on food and restaurants.  What more, where do you ever read a 20-something young man writing about cooking and cuisine art with such expertise?

Wow, that’s a mouthful!  Why do we blog?  The above are some of the obvious answers.

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