Wagblog Nominated for the Liebster Award – Wow!

Note that this is a two part posting. First half is my Q and A part of the Nomination, and tomorrow’s will concern the nominees that I select for the Liebster Award. (I see no other way to do it, as I have already spent four hours on this and it is midnight now).

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves. 

2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you

First half is done here. Second half of the award will be done tomorrow in the post then.

plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

FIrst things first.

11 Things about me.

1) I am a twin, most likely identical, though  there are some questions about it. I guess that has to be said first, though I am pretty certain it is not first and foremost on my twin sister’s mind much these days. In fact, I am pretty certain  that she cannot stand having me in the world.

2) I have never been able to work a full-time job.

3) I recently taught myself to use my left hand for a lot of things, including using scissors.  I write exclusively left handed, though I would be naturally right-handed.

4) There have been four miracles in my life, field botany, poetry, Zyprexa (an anti-schizophrenia drug) and art.  Each miracle involved my mind more than my body and each completely changed my life for the better in ways I could never have anticipated.

5) My idea of a great meal would be to forage for berries and greens and wapato tubers during day and prepare and cook up what I gathered that evening…

6) I love eating vegetables and fruits. I love healthy foods, like quinoa and flax meal, and amaranth and yes, brussel sprouts and jerusalem artichokes.

7) I am teaching myself Italian. Come stai? Sto abbastanza bene.

8)  Tuletko ouiman? (If I remember the spelling correctly, that should mean something close to “Do you want to go swimming?” in Finnish…but I am reaching into deep down memory banks because  I learned that when I was 16 and spending the summer with a Finnish family in Helsinki. That and “kitoksia palmin” or thank you very much, are the sum total of all the Finnish I remember from that summer of 1968.

9) I quit smoking two weeks ago. Blimey!

10) I like new shoes, though I never buy them.

11)  Generosity, kindness and honesty are my core values.

11 questions for the nominees:

1. What food do you eat that people around you find extremely weird and/or disgusting?

Sorry, I hate to be boring, but I don’t regularly eat much that is weird or disgusting, except maybe brussel sprouts. I love those….Yes, okay, I have eaten grasshoppers.  I even made a youtube video of that. 

2. Why do you choose to blog?

I was first asked to blog at schizophrenia.com. and I would still be there writing the original Wagblog except that they experienced a most unfortunate server crash which made the site go down for more than a year, devastating all their blogs. Wagblog was their first, and for many months the only one, so I had a great deal of traffic in the early 2000s – and to my knowledge, while the site is back up and running the blogs remain still only archives of their former selves.

I waited about 6 months, hoping that I could return to my schizophrenia.com “homebase” but no word ever came from the webmaster, so I decided to start Wagblog elsewhere, that is, here at WordPress.

I know that’s only a partial answer. I could have chosen not to blog at any point even after they asked me to do so, and especially after that devastating server crash, but I have always, always been a writer, paid or unpaid, and it never occurred to me to quit just because I had no sponsor. I have never needed outside motivation to write. I write because things just need to get written down. Period.

3. Where do you get your inspiration for your posts?

Hmmm. Inspiration is a tricky word. I believe that if you need something as insubstantial as inspiration to trigger your writing or any other art, you are going to be on shaky ground and had better rely on something else for your bread and butter, better choose a different career. Not that I am anything like a career writer, or a professional journalist, I have no career or profession at all. But I do know that I can and could write on demand, mostly because I have practiced it. If I want to write on a subject, if I am asked to write on a subject, I know how to approach it and all things being equal, I can and will do an okay, and even a bang-up job most of the time.

That being said, I do pick and choose what I want to write about in my own blog, and I don’t write all the time or even regularly, mostly because I am too busy with my art projects. OTOH, I have plenty I could say and plenty to talk about. So I would never be at a loss for things to write. I guess it just feels like a weird question, The entire world is out there so how could there ever be a dearth of subjects to be “inspired by”?

As William Blake wrote in Auguries of Innocence:

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

That’s the key, that’s the mindset one must get into. Then everything is a source of inspiration, and you never again need to worry where the next blog post inspiration will come from because everything will inspire.

4. What was your favorite subject in school?

School? Yeowch, that was, what? 40+ years ago now…I can scarcely remember what I gave a damn about in school. In high school I was good in history, mostly because the teachers understood never to call on me, but to let me decide when I wanted to volunteer a comment or question. When thus permitted to choose, I would come out with something worthy of being said…I could not be badgered into speaking. In all other classes if called on, I would be mute, but the history teachers hit on the right solution, and so we got on okay. I did not know how much I would love ecology and botany at the time. Not until college. But I wish I had learned field botany in high school. I wish we had been introduced to natural history and ecology in my day. It wasn’t a subject of as much interest in the 60s..  Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” had come out, yes, and other books, but there were so many social ills and protests going on then that “eco – anything” was just one movement of many that needed attention. Plus, I was already getting ill and unable to attend to anything beyond my own little world. Eventually my own little world did include field botany and ecology, mind you, it just didn’t include much of the rest of the world in addition.

In med school, by the way, my favorite subject was probably hematology, but that was because it was a little like field botany and natural history, using my visual skills to identify blood on slides.

5. If you had a million dollars, and could NOT use it for charity, what would you buy?

Ah, what a lovely question to have to ponder…I would buy, I would would buy…I know exactly what I would buy: land somewhere in New England, with a big old house, nothing too fancy but with potential, and turn it into a eco-friendly Wholeway House and Healing Community for me and other recovering (or getting older) so-called “mentally ill” persons who need a permanent home. Ideally, it could be built into the side of a hill so as to take advantage of natural geothermal heating and cooling properties, or a would love to do that…and be as green as humanly possible.

6. Biggest pet peeve? You really shouldn’t ask me because I will only irritate people by admitting that “my biggest pet peeve is when” 1) people who should know better say things like, “I should have went” instead of “I should have gone” 2)  “I think I will lay down on the bed” instead of  “I think I will LIE down on the bed.” Oh, you know I am SUCH a language snob!!!!! Beat me, beat me, beat me with that wet noodle! 8p

But you know I cannot help it, I really get peevey when people say, 3) “I would have been rich too, if I would have had your luck…” instead of “I would have been rich too, if I had had your luck!” You know, it is only a matter of knowing the proper use of conditionals. But we don’t teach conditionals any more in this country, the US at any rate. I don’t know about England, but proper grammar seems to be a problem here – at least to my ears. No one cares any longer, maybe no one understands that there are rules in the first place.

Lordy, Lordy, where are the English (Language) Teachers of yesteryear?

7. Are you one of those people who keeps focused and organized, or are you one of those that keeps open and a bit messy?

Here are a few photos of my apartment, which should be answer enough.

8. One word to describe your blog. (I almost wrote “yourself” instead of “blog” but remembered that is the most cliche question EVER and that I absolutely HATE it!)

Enduring (I cannot think of the word, the one word I want to say to mean, “Not temporary” but one that has lasted…I started the first Wagblog in 2003, at schizophrenia.com and here it is, still going strong ten years later at WordPress.

9. First book you ever read (or remember reading)?

Black Beauty…I had no idea what it was about, and was disappointed when I found out it concerned a horse. Read it through to the end purely out of duty and a sense of competition with Los Bender, who had told me only that she could not put it down. She was an “equinomaniac” so to speak, so I should have anticipated the subject but having never read an entire book before then, I didn’t know that one could write nearly 300 pages about a single horse . (It is possible that I misremember, that this was not my very first book per se. But at any rate. it is the first book I recall being disappointed by, and that stuck in mind more strongly apparently than whatever the very first book was.)

10. Do you blog only when you want to, or are there times when you feel you need to post something to keep a routine?

I confess I do literally nothing by routine. I do not even eat on a routine or at regularly scheduled hours. Sigh. Oh, yeah, I do see my psychiatrist at set times, because she keeps a regular schedule of appointments, and I cannot exactly subject her to my sort of whimsical lifestyle, but otherwise I cannot think of a single thing that I do on a regular, literally routine basis, the same time every day, on my own by choice.

11. What is your real job? (Yes, the answer can be blogging, Mom or Dad, nothing, etc. No judgement, just curious)

No real job, alas. Not for pay since I suppose that’s what you mean by “job” is what do you do for a living…? I have been considered and designated officially “disabled” by ther federal government since 1980,  I believe. Since that time, I have been in and out of hospitals, halfway  houses and lousy apartments…until and even after, I landed here in this “safe” elderly, disabled HUD-subsidized housing complex. Very nicely kept up, 250 people or more live here. Community living in a way, though I keep to myself. And while I am not hugely unhappy here (I just used a figure of speech called a litote, if anyone cares) I do not like it, and want to move out someday if I can, before I am really too old to be able to…And I want to be UN-disabled before it is too late.

Truth is, I was always too ill to work, all my life until I became an artist five years ago by a stroke of happy accident. But now that I am able to do art I think I could actually earn some income from it, and in that sense earn my way and a living by hook or by crook, and get off some of these programs, if only I had a chance. It is just that so many people are worried that I would lose my actual living, housing situation and be out on the streets if I left here and couldn’t earn enough…As am I, as am i. I am too old to fend for myself as a homeless person. I never did have any savvy even when I was homeless. Luckily, I was always rescued and hospitalized by those who knew the street was no place for me…I was not someone who would have survived there, or would ever have preferred the street to the hospital…That said, I have had it with hospitals in CT and the abuse heaped on me here. And I do not want to be disabled any longer. I want to make it on my own. And regarding my last twenty or so years or however much time that may perhaps be granted to me, I would love to know that I  would have some freedom to use the time as I chose. That’s why, purely selfishly, if I had that Mythical Million I would buy a big house on land in New England, preferably Massachusetts or Vermont where there is universal health care already set up in a liberal state, and create a Wholeway House and Healing Community.

10 thoughts on “Wagblog Nominated for the Liebster Award – Wow!”

  1. Yes, i only knew him as theodore deppe, the poet, not the nurse….saw him read at tunxis cc.way back a long time ago.

    Thanks for the well wishes and for stopping by!

    Yrs,

    Pam

    Pamela Spiro Wagner: Artist, poet, author of Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia (St Martins Press, 2005) and We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders (CavanKerry Press, 2009). Available for readings, speaking on mental health issues, and sales/donations of her art. Please contact for details by email or skype phone: 860-263-0280 Check out http://pamelaspirowagner.com for links to Wagner’s art and poetry. Her art site for now is https://pamwagg.see.me

  2. Bob Deppe now prefers Ted & yes, he directs the Stonecoast low-residency MFA in Ireland. Wish I could remember what I was searching yesterday, instead of working on poems, when I found you, but my short-term memory is pretty short..
    Much warmth & admiration,
    Joan

  3. Thank you, joan. I appreciate your response. Yes, i know the nurse poet to whom you are referring, though his name escapes me at this particular moment…he moved to ireland i believe. When sharon b hinton was in the rn directors seat natchaug was a good place, but only then. Now, and before her, it is the same old hellhole as it likely always was, abusive and stuck in that same coercive mindset.

    I wonder just how you did find wagblog, but no matter. It is nice that you did. Glad to have you pay a visit! Happy poetry writing!

    Cheers,

    Pam

  4. Chomp, chomp, chomp!!! Those crickets were tasteee! Remember, john the baptist ate locusts and honey in the desert ( that seems to be a meal favored by a great many desert saints and martyrs) and they must know something, to wit: when the swarms of locusts have eaten every living morsel in sight, they are full of nutrition, so better eat them than suffer famine and die of starvation. They say it is a dog eat dog world? I say hardly! Its an Eat the bugs before they eat us world, rather!

    In any event, i did it mostly to prove that i could and would. Also just to disgust people and be revolting to beef and pork-eating hypocrites who nevertheless shy away from eating “poor Bambi” or the ” vermin insects.” I suppose i didnt have to, but it was fun anyway, and i learned that i could do it too, without being in extremis.

  5. Hi Pam,
    Just stumbled on your wonderfully honest blog, or was I led? Grateful to reconnect. You’re not alone, complaining about the rape of our language. Stu keeps emailing the Wordsmith, etc.
    BTW, I’ve been telling him for years not to give $ to Natchaug, ever since our poet-friend-psychiatric nurse (who quit long ago) told me about staff-patient abuses.
    Keep writing and drawing, painting, etc.

  6. Hi Ing!

    Yes, very unfortunate. I don’t remember the poetry class! Was it any good? I hope soI left you messages somewherewhere was it, asking about your poetry, whether you had kept it up and written anything, but didn’t know whether you ever got it. I know, it was at PoemHunter I thinkAnyhow, how are you and are you still reading and trying or actually writing poetry? I am so glad to hear from you.

    Pam

    Pamela Spiro Wagner. Artist, poet, author of DIVIDED MINDS: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia (St Martins Press, 2005) and WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS (CavanKerry Press, 2009). Available for readings, speaking on mental health issues and others, also art sales/donations. http://pamelaspirowagner.com and https://pamwagg.see.me Please contact for details by email or skype phone: 860-263-0280

  7. Thanks, Marty. I appreciate you’re taking the time to comment! And your support. Maybe, just maybe I will someday be independent of this “system” and able to support myself for once in my life. That is my dream

    Pamela Spiro Wagner. Artist, poet, author of DIVIDED MINDS: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia (St Martins Press, 2005) and WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS (CavanKerry Press, 2009). Available for readings, speaking on mental health issues and others, also art sales/donations. http://pamelaspirowagner.com and https://pamwagg.see.me Please contact for details by email or skype phone: 860-263-0280

  8. HEHEHE I am still laughing about the cricket video! HA! I think I would rather eat them than the brussel sprouts ;-P Love these answers- THANKS

  9. Congratulations Pam. It’s unfortunate that the sz.com server crashed. Remember the poetry class you started for us wannabes.

  10. Congratulations on the award Pam! Thank you sharing so much about yourself… Good luck with the art, your very talented and I think that given a chance you will be able to make a living at it.

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