The Versatile Blogger Award asks recipients to thank their sponsor (done that), nominate another fifteen blogs (that might take some time, but I’ve started the ball rolling below) and tell everyone seven things about yourself. I’m sure I read somewhere it’s supposed to be seven interesting things; fortunately, Norah hasn’t set the barrier as high as that. I thought I’d take it as an invitation to illustrate the extent and limitations of my versatility, and have a bit of fun along the way. Some of these even come in multiples of seven.
While I’m truly grateful for my nominations, I certainly agree that it’s the comments and connections that keep me at it. There’s such a supportive community bloggers linking up through things like #WWWBlogs, #MondayBlogs and now #ArchiveDay on Twitter and writing challenges hosted on various blogs. One such is Lisa Reiter’s (another of Norah’s venerable versatile blogger nominees) bite-size memoir challenge. Although I’m not so keen on memoir, I’ve joined in when I can, and I’ve very much enjoyed the ensuing debate. This week’s prompt on camping sparked a lot of memories I could run with, but what clinched it was Norah’s post, in response to Charli’s latest flash fiction challenge (sorry if these interactions seem tangled, but that’s partly my point), on Life: a choose your own adventure – how do you choose? I hope you can see the connection:
Grown-up to grown-up, my dad managed the initial chitchat at the water tap, such as it was. But in the whitewashed toilet block, I had to confront this strange creature by myself. Bare-breasted, splashing cold water under her arms; she seemed at ease with her odd predicament, as if there were nothing untoward.
Looking back, it’s hard to find my teenage role models, any heroines other than in books. That woman extended my sense of what was possible and, although I’ve only done it once, it’s thanks to her I’ve dared go camping alone.
Struggling with the gap between my abilities and the sentiment I wanted to express, I was on the point of giving up on this week’s challenge, when I read Jenny Lloyd’s latest post. Independent, going her own way, she was just like the lone female camper who inspired me as an only-just teenager, even when I wasn’t ready to be inspired. Awards aside, connecting through blogging can really get those synapses firing. You never know where it’s going to take you next.
Happily, I do know where this blog is going next: I’m posting a review on Thursday of a novel, though not about camping specifically, that explores what happens when a quirky family and a few of their friends go on holiday as a group. If you’re interested, you can subscribe to this blog by email via the sidebar, and never miss a post.