Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rated E

Country Dew over at Blue Country Magic recently awarded this blog an E for Excellence. Her blog had received the award from a fellow-blogger and she passed the honor along. I'm grateful to be one of the recipients.

Now, I’m going to pass the honor along. I read a lot of blogs, and many are excellent or at least darn good. So—I had to narrow down the criteria a bit. I considered longevity, theme, writing, etc., and came up with these criteria for what I think makes for a great blog:

  • Blog must have existed for over a year.
  • Blog shouldn’t carry ads or try to sell something.
  • Blog should have a purpose, a premise, or a reason for being—and should usually stick to it.
  • Blog should demonstrate writing that’s clear, concise, coherent, unified, and emphatic.
  • Blog should have a consistent style that reflects the personality of the blogger.
  • Blog should generally use good grammar, spelling, syntax, diction, punctuation—unless there’s a good reason not to do so (typos happen).
  • Blog should tell readers what they don’t already know—or at least tell them what they do know in a new way.
  • Blog should have good photos—not clip art or photos plagiarized from other sites.
  • Blog should use links effectively and appropriately.
  • Blog should be G-rated—the blogger should keep in mind that kids cruise the net.
  • Blog should be well-designed—graphics shouldn’t overwhelm the viewer, font should be readable (a dark font on light background rather than vice-versa), etc.

So—here are my two winners of excellence (and it was tough to narrow down all the blogs I read to just these two):

On the Blackwater. Marion’s blog captures the concerns of women of (ahem) a certain age and does so with insight and often humor. Plus she makes good book recommendations, reports on local literary doings, and shares bits of her life and the class she’s taking at Ferrum. Her blog is the first one I read every morning.

Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer. Sally doesn’t post as often as she ought to, but her blog carries out her “contemplations” theme, all of her photography is excellent (some is breath-taking), and the craftsmanship in her writing is evident. Her love of home and family shines through.

OK, I’ll award a newbie E for Excellence award, too: The Virginia Scribe has only existed for ten months, but Amy gives us a glimpse of being a mother, a wife, and a returning college student. She blends the diverse bits of her life together in a manner that’s interesting, entertaining, insightful, sometimes funny, and sometimes educational.

A few years ago, I could never have imagined how much enjoyment I now get from reading the really good blogs of both friends and strangers.

So many blogs, so little time. . . .

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Blogger Amy Hanek said...

Thanks for listing your recommended blogs.

I found the Smith Mountain Mystery Writer blog a great read. I was glad to find another local writer!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Marion said...

Thank you, thank you! (bow from waist, applause..oh, you shouldn't have!).

Now I need to pass this along, right?

4:18 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

Keep in mind that it's merely a cyberaward and comes with no cash, trophy, etc.

Pass it along as you wish. Be warned that it's a tough job deciding who gets it (hence, I developed criteria).

4:58 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

And, Amy, you were one of the finalists for the newbie award!

Sally has been in Lake Writers with Marion and me for years. A couple of other Lake Writers blog, too.

5:22 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Following your criteria I'm not sure I would qualify for a give back! My blog doesn't seem to have a focus. But then neither do I most of the time... and I also have Google ads. You're a tough sell!

3:14 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

Ah, Countrydew, Blue Country Magic does have a focus: you write about a lot of things country (and/or magical), and your blog has a blue background.

(I usually ignore the Google ads, some of which can be rather strange.)

10:39 PM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

Becky you made my day! You know you taught me everything I know!!!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Yes, Marion's and Amy's blogs are wonderful. I'll have to check out the other one when I get time.

Now too bad we all don't get paid for our blogs!

9:41 PM  

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