Sunday, August 14, 2011

Appreciation, Serendipity, and the Liebster Award

In a post on the Dream of Things blog, publisher Mike O'Mary shares a note he received years ago that changed his life. His simple story is powerful encouragement for us to let the people around us know that they're appreciated, that they've done something special or made an impact on our lives.

In April, he launched The Note Project a campaign to make the world a million times better by helping people share notes of appreciation.

I had an English teacher in seventh grade who always wrote supportive comments on my compositions. Long into adulthood, those notes gave me the courage to keep writing and submitting my work for publication. Years later, I wrote her a note of thanks, told her how much her support meant to me, and enclosed a copy of a magazine containing one of my published articles. You never know which of your actions someone will remember you for.

How will someone know that they've impacted you if you don't tell them? Watch the clip, but have a pen handy; when it's over, you're going to want to write someone a note.

Teacher, parent, neighbor, friend - who will your note be to?

After I drafted this post a few days ago, the kind people over at Cabinet of Curiosities nominated my brand new blog for a Liebster award. (Translation: Beloved) I love the serendipity of that. A huge thank you to Pat Esden, Suzanne Warr, Becca Fitzpatrick, Laura Andersen, and Ginger Churchill.

The goal of this award is to spotlight upcoming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers. The rules of the award are:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all - have bloggity-blog fun!

My five choices are:

1.  Poets Marie Elena Good & Walt Wojtanik, Across the Lake, Eerily
2.  Fantasy writer Katrina DeLallo, The World Crafter
3.  MG & YA writer Mikki, Word Painter
4.  PB writer Miranda Paul, Miranda Paul Books
5.  Children's writer Dawn Malone, Here's the Story


  1. Well thank you...My first blogging award. I'm humbled!

  2. Thank you so much! I love the sentiment behind this award, it says so much. I also had a wonderful professor in college who wrote the most inspiring and encouraging notes on my papers. I wish I had followed in his footsteps sooner than I did! thanks again, Ruth, it's deeply appreciated.

  3. It's good to see these awards going around. It's like getting those kind notes or a pretty sticker at the top of the page.

  4. Notes, those lovely words you read and tuck away with the cards you can't bear to part with. I've got tons of them and I love to take them out and re-read them. They're a kind of a journal that let's me remember the times I've shared with others or the gifts I've given and the pleasure of that exchange--a gift, a note, a bond between people.

  5. Thank you so much for the award! And I love the idea of sending appreciation notes. I have some special ones tucked away that I've received over the years that I reread every now and then when I need a lift. I've sent my share, too, but not in awhile. It's time...

  6. Wonderful post.

    A few years ago, I emailed Charles de Lint to thank him for his stories. I didn't want or expect a response from him. But the email I got in return made me even happier that I'd taken the time to tell him the part he'd played in my life.

  7. I had a great English teacher in high school too and although she never inspired me to write, she made me feel insightful and clever, which in turn made me want to write. She's long gone unfortunately, so I have to write her note in my mind.

    A friend of mine claimed to be grateful to all the teachers who told him he was a lazy bum -- he said it made him want to try harder just to prove they were wrong. I've never had the guts to try that with my lazy students.

  8. Miranda & Mikki, You're very welcome! I've been enjoying your blogs very much, so it was a great opportunity to share the love and let others know about them.

    Angelina, Oh, I had forgotten about those pretty stickers. I homeschooled my kids, so as both teacher and Mom I had tons of stickers.

    C. Lee & Dawn, I, too, have a stash of saved notes in a shoebox under my bed. It's like a treasure chest of memories.

    Pat, It's always cool to be surprised by kindness like that!

    Mary, Oh, I had a teacher like that my senior year. You never forget them when they really reach you like that. Hah, I think you're wise not to try the "lazy bum" technique - bet it backfires more often than it inspires. Glad it worked for your friend!

  9. Congrats on the award.

    I keep thank you notes from my students.

    I've been trying to track down one of my English teachers, because she inspired me to write and I'd love to send her a note.

  10. Ruth, I can't seem to paste the award on my blog. I'm either doing something very wrong, or blogspot is being totally uncooperative!

  11. Thanks Medeia. I hope you find that teacher!

  12. Hi Mikki,

    I just right clicked on the award, clicked on save picture as, and then saved it to my desktop and pasted it from there. I hope that helps.

  13. Ruth, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a word of support for Hound Dog True. I'm looking forward to this one; it looks like it's right up my alley.

  14. Wow, what a great way to start out your blogging experience, huh!? And what a wonderful message this post is sending. Very inspirational and I thank you for posting it.

    I do try to tell people in my life thank you and how much they mean to me as often as I can but of course, it's never enough. Maybe this post will remind me to try and do it more often!

  15. Thank you so much for your comments!

    Yes, they are fluffy aren't they? They bring such joy into my life. Your dogs sounds like very lovable trouble makers too ^_^. Jujubi (my girl cat) loves to play. Most of the time, she'll howl and meow and wreck havoc until I play with her. Pookah (my boy cat) is a straw stealer. He'll take it right out of your glass when you're not looking and carry it off.

    About my poetry - I was going for really creepy when I wrote those... So in a way, I'm glad that I was able to create that effect ^_^. I checked out that site Underneath The Juniper Tree and I was scared just looking at the home page! =)(I'm not normally a scary writer, I just thought I'd write a creepy poem or two to mix things up. You know, try a new experience.) Though, I may go poking around the site to see what other authors have written to try and tone up my creep-factor when writing heebie-jeebie poetry. Thank you for the link!

    No... I haven't submitted any of them to a publishing house... I feel I'm not quite ready to take that leap yet. But, I may try in the near future.

    Yes, it would be a bit boring to watch a reality TV show on writers ^_^. I just thought it was an amusing idea that person had presented. Fodder for thought, but, not tangible enough to actually put that thought to work.

    Again, thanks so much for your comments! It's nice to know people are actually reading the silly things I put up :D.

  16. Love the video. Very touching. Yes, something like a note can touch someone's life and make a huge difference. We all need support and love. And it seems to feel better when we given than when we receive (which is pretty darn nice!).

  17. P.S. Congrats on receiving the award!

  18. Congrats on the award. That was a nice story. Notes/words do make a difference.

  19. It is a wonderful honor, and then you feel good paying it forward! Thanks for stopping by my "trail to publication". Love your byline...shy writer goes social.
    ~Candy Lynn

  20. I enjoyed this post a lot. Very touching. I'm also grateful you found my blog. I signed up for the Campaign, and then immediately lost the link and forgot which blogger started it and wasn't sure how to find it again. Now I can find it through your blog....