Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Some kind folks passed me some blogging awards while I was away on vacation, so I need to pass them along now.
This really awesome Fantasy & Sci-Fi Blogger award came from Aubrie at Flutie Words. Thanks, Aubrie!

There aren't any rules for this one except to pass it along to some great Fantasy and Science Fiction writing bloggers. Now, since I am writing this in the evening and am too lazy to look up each and every follower site to see who all is fantasy or sci-fi, I'm simply going to name a few that I am absolutely certain about and let the rest of you know that if you are a fantasy and sci-fi blogger, you too can have this shiny new award for your blog. Give thanks to Aubrie for creating it!

I'll pass this along to:

Matt Rush
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Maria Zannini
Bryce Ellicott
Kevin Hearne
Francis Cossette

The next one is the Sure Fire Winner award, given to me by Anne aka Piedmont Writer. Thanks, Anne!

 The rule for this award is that it can only be passed to one person, and it should be someone who does great work but has struggled in some manner recently. Also, the recipient must say something nice about their own writing. So, to fulfill that request, I will say that despite my imperfections, I feel that writing comes very naturally to me. I never feel that I struggle with it or lack ideas. Now if only I could become much better at it! I'm passing this along to Roland Yeomans.

The last award was given to me by no less than four people (!!) - Tessa Conte, Watery Tart, Amanda Borenstadt and Mohamed Mughal. It is the Versatile Blogger award.

I am supposed to list seven unusual things about myself. Hmmm.
1. I was once offered a pro contract in soccer (a lifetime ago at age 16). Since it meant moving to Mexico, my mother wouldn't allow it.
2. The one season that I pitched baseball, I won all 24 games that I pitched.
3. I am a correspondence chess master.
4. I tied for 1st in the 2001 U.S. Amateur Chess Championship in Tucson.
5. I have played chess live against 4 world champions -- Kasparov, Karpov, Kramnik, and Anand. I also met Boris Spassky, and I lived in Reykjavik along with Bobby Fischer when he died there two years ago.
6. My first job in the Foreign Service meant flying into Moscow in October 1993 just when the big coup happened and the tanks were on the bridge down the street blasting away at the Russian parliament building. It was a dangerous and oddly thrilling time. Then in 1995 someone fired a rocket propelled grenade through the wall of the embassy building where I had been working earlier in the day. I might as well top off the dangerous stuff by saying that I also witnessed two Russian mafia attacks during my stay there.
7. I'm a diplomat and have now lived/worked in six countries, and I have visited around forty. As dangerous as Moscow may have sounded, it was my favorite posting, and it was there that I met and married the most wonderful woman the world has ever seen (with slight apologies to my lovely readers).

Now, I am not going to pass this along to 15 readers (as the rules stated), first because it is getting late and I need to go to bed, but also because I am simply too lazy right now to post and link to so many! So, I am passing this along to:

Mary McDonald
Theresa Milstein
Alexandra Shostak
Angie Lofthouse
The astonishingly gorgeous Victoria Cross (so amazing that the British named their highest award for her!)

Okay, I'm exhausted, and before I sleep I have to go let each person know about their award. Please check out all of these fabulous blogs if you don't know them already!


  1. Congrats on receiving the awesome awards and thanks so much for passing the Versitile Blogger award on to me. :-)

  2. Thanks so much for the award! And congrats on yours too.

  3. Thanks for the award Ted, you are the best. And according to the answers to those questions you are even cooler than I already realized!

  4. You are a wonder Ted. And living in Moscow, how lucky you were, in more ways than one. Congratulations.

  5. Now that's a cool award!! Thanks, Ted.

  6. Hey Ted, thanks very much! I got to visit my editors at Random House today, and I hope you will get to make a similar visit someday soon. I'll be blogging about it in the next few days, but talk about a dream come true—they put me in a room full of books and said, "Take anything you want!" :)

  7. Congrats to all the winners! Let the celebrations begin (life is short...never miss an opportunity to celebrate!)

  8. Thank you, Ted. And it's an especially beautiful graphic.

    I love the design.

  9. Congrats on your lovely awards! And Congrats to everyone who received them!

  10. Congratulations on all of those awards and to everyone you passed it along to. Thanks for passing on one to me.

    You may have the best list of seven unusual things about yourself I've read so far. It looks like you could have been successful in many different things.

  11. Thanks, Ted, for that great award. And like Kevin, I am wishing that very, very soon you find yourself talking to the happy publishers of your book.

    The fire tempers steel. Let our steel be made stronger by the fires each of us face, Roland

  12. Thanks to all of you for making blogging worthwhile. I think that I would lose interest at some point if not for the many terrific people that stop by every now and then!

    Kevin, that sounds awesome! Good for you!

  13. congrats on your awards and to the winners!

  14. I'm curious whether you use chess (either directly or as just the strategies) in plotting your books. Your DIPLOMAT stuff though, sounds fascinating! (and I like how you talk about your wife)

    Congrats on the awards!

  15. Hart, I think chess helps everything in a general sense, but I haven't purposely used it in my writing.

  16. Ted - Thanks so much for the award, and for reading my posts in the first place. You have a very interesting blog, and definitely deserve the notice you've received. Good luck as you continue to go forward with your writing, and may we all continue to inspire one another to reach our writing goals.