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Makya McBee’s is probably the best ever blog entry on WordPress “awards”: “Here’s how they work. When you win this award, you are requested to nominate ten other blogs…it’s essentially an award chain letter. Obviously, if every blogger that won this award were to nominate ten others, every single blogger in the world will have won within a matter of days. I’ve got to figure this hurts the prestige just a little. I mean, if after winning the Academy Award, Denzel was given ten more Oscars to quickly hand out to folks in the audience and so on and so forth…

…The internet has helped to create a world in which anyone can rant about anything, upload hilarious shots of teenagers getting hit in the crotch, and create your very own “music” video…and talent is never a prerequisite. Like almost everything in the universe, this is good and bad. But the web’s content is still mostly the latter. I’m sorry, but we’re not all special.

But not me, I am special. Clearly. I mean, I won an award, suckers.

To me, the award thing is like recommending your favorite books to your ‘real life’ friends – it certainly doesn’t mean the book you liked increased its chances of winning a Booker, but the friend will appreciate the recommendation; more so that advice on books is the only advice i personally take from others. See, i gave up long ago advising anyone on anything – and i don’t ask for advice either; when we are ready to deal with anything perceived as a challenge, we are granted clarity of thought too – and strength to handle whatever was sent sent our way; before that – it’s futile to get advice and in my experience it only develops animosity to whomever is giving it.

Just think of the last time someone close to you vented about their partner or children, how irresponsible or inconsiderate they were… If you are naive enough to advice them anything – to calm down, not to take it that way, to seek counseling – first, chances are they’ll take out their frustration on you, second – once they make it up with their significant others, you’ll be the mean bitch who wished them ill… So, nay. I am not listening to angry rants – and i am sparing my friends of mine; there are peeps who are trained to deal with it – i am not.

When it comes to books, it’s all another story – if you recommend me a book i haven’t read and i like it – you opened the door for me to an adventure of which i didn’t know it existed and that’s the kind of surprise i like the most. Especially when it comes to these complex philosophical subjects i like to meddle with – a good recommendation is worth of gold.

So, that’s how i view WordPress ‘awards’ – its merely my list of blogs i check out whenever they post something new because its authors are talented, creative and non-commercial.  Which is – on many blogs i follow you can buy photography or books, that’s one thing, but the blogs which open with: I started this so you can buy  *insert whatever they are selling ..* No, thank you – i can look up myself whatever i need to buy and i loathe aggressive marketing tactics, i have enough of marketers in real life.

(And if one is down to pressuring their  blog followers to buy products or services – i believe they’d rather rethink their business strategy, i really don’t think it earns anything more then embarrassment; a blog, as i see it, is for expanding on what we do and why, and to promote it – not to guilt trip someone to buy stuff just because they stopped by to read an entry or two – in my opinion that is.)

So, this is my list of some of my favorite blogs (in no particular order) which offer awesome content – and some of it is available for sale; i really don’t expect anyone to continue this chain-thing, unless they find it utterly entertaining :

1. Arlen is a super cool guy from Armenia who loves animal and writes books: http://arlenshah.wordpress.com

2. Dianne Gray is an amazing author from Australia whose latest blog entry got Freshly Pressed: http://diannegray.wordpress.com

3. Bonnie Cehovet is a prolific blogger who writes great microfiction and the best tarot and oracle reviews i know of: http://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com

4. Tea& Tao is a great blog for daily inspiration: http://teaandtao.com

5. Judy offers amazing recipes and baking tips: http://petit4chocolatier.wordpress.com

6. Slicethelife posts awesome insight into American history and some great pics too: http://slicethelife.com

7. The cultureur has impressive intellectual content: http://thecultureur.com

8. Leanne Cole posts great photographs: http://leannecolephotography.com

9. I love Christian Mihai’s writing style: http://cristianmihai.net

10. Russel Ray and Zoey are among my favorites: http://russelrayphotos2.com

11. Setsnap is a place to go on gloomy days, you’ll love his pictures and they will brighten your mood: http://sethsnap.wordpress.com

12. Marviilous is an amazing Indonesian woman living in US who is snapping some marvelous  pictures of wildlife and landscapes: http://marviiilous.wordpress.com

13. Anne writes great poetry: http://shrewdbanana.wordpress.com

14. I adore Truth&Cake: http://truthandcake.com

15. Shovonc is one of the best satire writers around and his blog is on the stuff that does matter: http://shovonc.wordpress.com/

There are many more blogs i love and follow, but sadly this round i can recommend only fifteen of them.

I am also supposed to write seven things about myself (and so are you, if you are to continue the game), so here they are:

1. I am somewhat irked by the term ‘blogger’ – many of us are published writers and recognized artists who simply choose new venues of publishing. Here you can read my musings on the phenomena of blogosphere.

2. I don’t really make a difference between so-called “real life” and online experiences, To Hell With Common Sense is about that.

3. Prague, a coming of age story is an excerpt from my memoir, and the first piece i wrote in English; it took ages and i cried of frustration, but i am glad how it turned out at the end.

4. According to WordPress statistics, in less then a year since i started this blog more people have read what i write – than in 12 years since i was first published in my native Montenegro.

5. The photographs i often include in my posts are taken by automatic camera, i can’t claim i know anything about the art of photography – i simply snap some moments that are special to me; i am happy i can connect with guys who are pros that way and i love keeping up with what they do.

6. I oftentimes prefer thinking in solitude to events and crowds of people, so this blog and my writing in general is more about ideas which to this or that extent influence all of us – no matter the geographical location.

7. I’ll be moving to Moscow soon, i am working on my PhD thesis there,  so stay tuned for more  From Russia With Love writings and pictures too.

With Love,

wherever you are

L.R.S.