Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Passin' on the Love...The Fabulous Flash Award

I had heard tell, the past couple of days, of a pyramid scheme a prestigious award flying about cyberspace. It finally landed in my back yard where I quickly retrieved it before the dog got it.

Jon Strother, 'pappy' of the #fridayflash community of writers, has created a new award recognizing those regularly producing outstanding flash fiction (1000 words or less). The Fabulous Flash Award was presented to me this morning by Cathy Olliffe at Life on the Muskoka River and by Laurita Miller, a fellow islander, who blogs at Brain Droppings. I have become good friends with both of these ladies the past few months (and not just because the are fellow Canucks!) and enjoy every creative creative story, poem, photograph, photoshopped photograph, interview or whatever is going on at their blogs. Please check out their blogs if you haven't done so before.

The acceptance of this award means, of course, that I must sportingly follow a few rules:

  • Recipients of the Fabulous Flash Award should acknowledge receiving the award in a blog post

  • link back to the person who awarded it

  • select four other fabulous flashers to receive the award to keep spreading the joy

  • write one or two short lines explaining why you’ve chosen each recipient

  • optionally (I know not everyone is on Twitter) tweet, “I just gave the Fabulous Flash Award to (name). They’re worth reading.” Include a shortened URL back to your post in the tweet.

  • Pose for a full-body photo wearing only a fez and a smile

Ok, so maybe I made up that last one...

The hard part is selecting four people to pass this along to. There are probably over 100 people contributing stories to the #fridayflash scene and I have about 40 bookmarked and visit them regularly. I think my criterion is to select those blogs who I feel compelled visit each time they post a story and who always reward me for doing dropping by. My selections are...

Anthony Venutolo...what hasn't been said about Ant? His stories always take you to different times and different places in the American culture. With a few words he can shock you, impress you and amaze you with the depth of his characters and the often sordid lives they lead. Drop by his blog Bukowski's Basement, you may get a nibble of caviar or perhaps a bite from a greasy old burger. Either way, you won't go hungry.

Mark Kerstetter...I have been really enjoying my visits to Mark's blog The Bricoleur the past few weeks. I have little background in art, but I feel that I have learned more these past few weeks than all of my previous 47 29 years. His merging of art and fiction is flawless and the factual/fictitious stories of famous artists he has posted have been fascinating. Of all the bloggers I have come across, I have met none who write from closer to the heart than Mark. And I thank him for that.

Pamila Payne...I haven't been following Pamila's blog Bella Vista for very long, but she has impressed me with every flash story. If anyone was to surpass the previously mentioned Anthony Venutolo for 'seedy' stories, it's Pamila Payne. Her street-wise characters may be course but they show a glimmers of salvation and her descriptive stories make you wonder if she is in the room with real people; she is studying their movements and speech, faithfully recording them on paper.

Peggy McFarland...since I have started following Peggy at Eldritch Way, she has posted science fiction, human drama and horror all with equal skill. Her characters are so well-rounded and her descriptive passages are so vivid you feel that you are immersed in their world and you will be held there until Peggy chooses to let you go. Make time to check out her stories.


Cathy Olliffe said...

Hooray for pyramid schemes!!!!
Alan I laughed out loud at this: "I had heard tell, the past couple of days, of a pyramid scheme a prestigious award flying about cyberspace. It finally plopped in my back yard where I quickly retrieved it before the dog got to it."
And this: "Pose for a full-body photo wearing nothing but a fez and a smile."
And especially this: "I feel that I have learned more these past few weeks than all of my previous (47) 29 years."
(I threw that thing in mine about me and Peg being 27 and it just blew right on by!!!!)
But then I also appreciated what you wrote about your four picks, all completely worthy ... and I completely agree with what you wrote about them. Congrats to you, Alan - me and Laurita have flawless taste!

Laura Eno said...

Congrats to you and your picks!

So...where is YOUR photo of you with just a fez and a smile? You know, you have to set an example if you want others to follow the rules.

Bukowski's Basement said...

I'm honored to be in the company of such great writers.

Thank-you Alan...

Marisa Birns said...

Ooh, was told there'd be a picture with a smiley fez. *looks around*

Oh. In any event, congrats to you! And you've picked very well, indeed. :)

Mark Kerstetter said...

I haven't been reading Anthony, Pamila and Peggy for long, but long enough to know I'm in great company here. I deeply appreciate what you say about me, Alan.

I may have to use the FFA badge as a pillow this Friday though if I don't come up with something soon.

pegjet said...

Alan.... oh, Alan, Alan, Alan. Thank you so much for the award. (I am not worthy... Game on!)

Thank you for including me with names I admire. Coming home from work and finding this award made me smile (and I admit, I got warm and tingly.. better stop there).

Funny thing is, I came so close to giving you this award (but expected Cathy would prefer the honor) so I passed it on to someone else. I admire your stories and your wry humor ever since I discovered you (let's thank a 27 year old woman I met that lives by the muskoka river). I almost always come to land's edge and laugh. A lot (excuse my american slang). I laughed even more that you wanted naked pictures with fezes (is that the plural for fez? My 27 year-old body says of course you'd want a picture!).

I am touched (keep your hands to yourself!), I am honored and I will treasure this compliment... and then become selfish by keeping this award all to myself. (I'm not compute savvy and it took me most of one morning to pass this thing on to four--copy, paste, link, rewrite, sh*@ I lost the link, revisit, recopy, repaste, rewrite... you get it.)

Alan, you rock.

Susan Cross said...

Great picks, Alan. I try to read these as much as time allows. I don't write often enough and will enjoy trying to keep up with the pyramid scheme that has caught on. Does Madoff know about this? I'm sure he'd find a way to make money off of the idea. If you pick me, I'll comply with the last rule only. If you really want to see what someone my age looks like in a fez, well, first I'd have to find one. On second thought, I'll just keep my #fridayflash submissions to a minimum and take a seat in the audience. Much more comfy for me unless the host is Graham Norton--too much audience interaction on that show.

Pamila Payne said...

Alan, pyramid scheme or not, I appreciate being included on your list of writers you read. If someone comes back to read another piece, week after week, that's a great reward to me. I'm happy to be in the company of writers I also like to read - you're definitely on my go look list. Thanks!

Laurita said...

Great list. I'm big fans of all four of your choices, from Anthony who I know from waaaay back (like a whole two years) to Mark who I really only got to know more about since the daisy chain poem. This list has education and entertainment all wrapped up.

Now, all I have to do is wait for those fez photos...

kathryn said...

Well, congratulations, mister! And to have TWO people nominating you...that is quite the honor!

You've written high praise on your 5 choices and I look forward to checking 'em out.

John Wiswell said...

Hard to disagree with your selections, Alan. Ours look very similar!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Thanks, all for the kind comments. I'm pleased that you liked my choices to pass the Fabulous Flash Award on to. Thanks again to Cathy and Laurita for passing it on to me.

It was suggest to me by a reader of this blog that my opening paragraph may have been somewhat sarcastic and perhaps showed a bit of disresect to Jon Strother, founder of the #fridayflash group and originator of this award. Having read it back I can understand how it could be taken that way.

I'd like to say that that was not my intention. And if I have offended Jon in any way I am very sorry as I have the utmost respect for him. It was merely an attempt at humour that, this time, fell flat.

I appreciate all of you that drop by on a regular basis and comment on whatever I post. Be it the good, the bad, or the ugly.

Lauren Cude said...

Have to admit I had a really good laugh at the pyramid scheme comment. Congrats on your award!