365 days – one year ago today!

The Flight of Fantasy Award

How time flies when you’re having fun?! 😀

Exactly one year ago today, on a rather chilly and snow-covered afternoon much like this, I decided to dip my toes in the shifting sea of blogging. Being not just an technophobe but also a certified techno-idiot, I severely doubted my skills in this area. SAM_2255

When it comes to computers I tend to push random buttons and hope for the best!

However, I am a quick learner and a tenacious little bugger so I keep trying and trying and by some mysterious force and the wonderful support of YOU, my lovely internet supporters, friends and family, this personal little blog has grown into something rather special.

So, what aims did I have when I started this blog?

594Probably much like any other I suppose. For me, this was always going to be a personal blog, not a commercial site, a buy buy buy me site, I find most marketing sites a complete turn off. No, this was an odyssey of self-expression, a way of making sense of an increasingly bizarre world, and a way of sharing poetry, short stories, travelogues, writing tips, a little philosophy and my experiences with others. Octavia's Bookshop signing 2012

As a writer, we all have very different paths and journeys to follow which take us in different directions. No author’s journey is ever the same, that is what makes it so special and so unique. Advice is wonderful and helpful, but of course as with life, one size doesn’t fit all. Take what you need and leave the rest. Decide what is important to you, what works and what doesn’t.

To thine own self be true.

Try not to be derailed or bullied into producing someone else’s vision. Your vision is your vision. Be proud of who and what you are, warts and all. Nobody is perfect. As a perfectionist myself, I know that to be true especially of myself, but strive and never stop striving!

Remember, nobody ever truly fails from having high expectations, from pushing themselves that little bit harder. You may not attain the dizzying summits you are aiming for, but at least having them in your sights will bring them damn close. But if your dreams are limited, your expectation low, then so will be the results of your endeavours.

To strive and never give up no matter the odds or obstacles, believe me, there will be A LOT of them and from unexpected quarters!!!!

Yeap, one thing I can promise is that the life of a writer is never easy. Much of the time you will feel utterly alone and like you are constantly swimming against the current. You’ve just got to grow fins and be a bit of a salmon, keep swimming upstream, over waterfalls and harsh terrain until you reach your goal!

Life ain’t easy, but I guess nothing ever is. Just remember, no matter how difficult things get, you are NEVER alone, there are thousands of other little fish swimming upstream along side you. So when you can, stretch out and lend them a fin and share your journey with them. A trouble shared is not only a trouble halved, but it reminds us of our collective humanity and the ties that bind us all.

Again, a little kindness goes a long way… 😀

In the shark infested waters of the book business, where even the great can be easily swallowed by the tides and sink without a trace, it’s good to be a strong swimmer and help your fellow minnows along. There’s safety in numbers, right? 😛

To that fact, as well as thanking the 9,000 or so lovely visitors who have graciously visited this little blog over the last year and left their indelible presence behind (and to whom I owe so much), I must thank those wonderful talented fellow fantasy minnows that I first met back in November 2010. I speak of course, of The Alliance of Worldbuilders, brainchild of the Dark Lord himself, creator Tristan Mander (TRM)!!!

When I joined the Harpercollins writing site, Authonomy back in 2010, I had no idea what a profoundly wonderful experience I chanced upon. A collective group of truly amazing writers, each imbued with a generosity of spirit, a wicked sense of humour and a talent and passion for fantasy writing. These inspiring individuals have since gone on to not only take over Authonomy as by far the largest group and thread on the site, but have produced a staggering range of excellent fiction!

I am immensely proud to call myself a member of The Alliance of Worldbuilders (AWB), as Tollam (Thane of Fyrrens), and though I don’t visit my talented AWBer’s as often as I’d like, they are never far from my thoughts. Their friendship and support have been simply amazing! Thank you so much guys!

Please check out The Alliance of Worldbuilders website: http://theallianceofworldbuilders.weebly.com/

and Authonomy where the magic all began: www.authonomy.com and the AWB thread itself: http://www.authonomy.com/forums/threads/99758/the-alliance-of-worldbuilders-part-iii/

So, in reverence to these amazing individuals, I (techno-idiot extraordinaire) have decided to really commemorate this special one year blog anniversary, by creating my very own blog award – The Flight of Fantasy Award. 😀

The Flight of Fantasy Award

This award is specifically intended for fantasy writers only – creators and destroyers of worlds, fantasy authors who inspire us, who thrill us with their dark imaginings, ignite our dreams and fuel our imaginations. They can be writers of urban fantasy, high/classic/epic fantasy, comic fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy horror, paranormal fantasy (ghosts are fine but no vampire stuff please) and sci-fi fantasy.

If you are lucky enough to be nominated for this award, then CONGRATULATIONS you officially ROCK!!!

The Rules of the Award are as follows:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 11 things about yourself (it’s a Spinal Tap thing!), including why you love fantasy and your first or favourite fantasy book.
  4. Nominate 7 bloggers for this award and link to them. (If you want to link back to me as well, that would be lovely but isn’t required!)
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.


Now, as the creator of this prestigious award, I’m going to get the ball rolling by nominating the first fantasy bloggers…and yes, I’m being naughty and am nominating more than 7! 😀 xx

Please check out these extraordinary blogs and writers (in no order)!:

A.F.E. Smith  http://www.afesmith.com/

Lindsey J Parsons http://lindseyjparsons.wordpress.com

Will Macmillan Jones http://willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com/

Kay Kauffman http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/

Katrina Jack http://kateannejack.wordpress.com/

Lisa Wiedmeier http://lisawiedmeier.blogspot.co.uk/

Ryan Holmes (Griffin’s Quill) http://griffinsquill.com/

Tricia Drammeh http://theclaimingwords.com/

Ashen Venema http://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/

Andrea Baker http://www.andreabakerauthor.com/

Gretchen Steen http://thedragonladyofraevencliffcastle.weebly.com/

Jeremy Rodden http://www.toonopolis.com/

Hazel Butler http://aadenianink.com/

Tamara Hickman http://tamarahickman.wordpress.com/

Sam Dogra http://indigolightning.blogspot.co.uk/

Emily Rebecca McKeon http://www.theabsenteeblogger.blogspot.com

AMAZING writers and bloggers one and all, check em’ out guys! 😀 xx

The Flight of Fantasy Award

25 thoughts on “365 days – one year ago today!

  1. Oh, thank you so much, Sophie. What a wonderful idea to create your own award! And, I feel so honored to be included. The award logo looks lovely on my blog, I might add. I took the liberty of adding the award logo to my regular blog (http://blog.triciadrammeh.com) since The Claiming Words blog is largely a static site.

    Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a year. So much has happened, including your book making its debut. I’m looking forward to another wonderful year of blog posts, Sophie. Congratulations on your magnificent blog and cheers to all those nominated in the very first round of The Flight of Fantasy Award.

    • 😀 I’m thrilled that you like it sweetie!

      I just thought the occasion warranted something special, and the idea of an award specifically for fantasy writers seemed, like the perfect fit and a lovely way of ‘paying it forward’. I really am genuinely honoured to know you guys. A real wealth of talent!

      Can’t wait to see the logo on your amazing blog, Tricia, really very humbled! 😀 xx

  2. M T McGuire says:

    There’s a lot of great advice there. Much like yourself I like to set myself distant aims but unlike yourself I suspect I’m rather less likely to get there. For poeple like me, who take hopeless aeons to achieve anything, Ifind cutting the journey into smaller local targets makes me more likely to get there.

    I’m frankly in awe of anyone who manages to write anything that is good enough for someone else to publish. So great stuff, well done, excellent advice and keep doing what you do.



    • Thanks honey. Damn, I knew I’d leave someone out! I was focusing just on AWB members for the first round, but you should certainly be getting this award for your amazing fantasy work!!

      Cheers MT, believe me, I take aeons as well. While a lot of writers seem to whisk through one novel after another, I plod along behind cursing my slowness!

      But it is true, the whole experience of being and becoming a writer is a steep learning curve and a really difficult journey. Trying to juggle that with a full time job and other life commitments is…well…tricky to say the least. I certainly haven’t found the balance yet.

      I guess that’s it really, no matter what your circumstances, keep striving and never give up!! So many amazing writers throw in the towel because it is a mountain we’re all climbing and sometimes the ascent just seems too much. That’s when we can reach out, throw a line to someone and help each other along! Thanks honey. 😀 xx

  3. Thank you so much Sophie!! It’s an honour to get this lovely award from such an awesome writer as yourself!!
    Having such wonderful friends as the AWBers has been a really massive help to me. It is a lonely road, writing, and the life lines others throw for you can mean the difference between giving up and carrying on!! I am so proud to be a member of the AWB, such a wonderful group of fantastic, fantasy and sci-fi writers!! 😀

    • Totally!!!! I know I’m somewhat of an absent member these days, I really do intend to come back with a vengence once I can get this book finished, but yeap, they are an amazing group of people who I feel so incredibly lucky to have stumbled across!!!

      I really hope that anthology does get off the ground as The Alliance deserve to have some collected works as well.

      But Linds, you are VERY deserving of any accolade going honey!!!! 😀 xx

  4. Thanks dear Sophie, and thanks to the amazing team of fantasy writers you support. I finally rose to the challenge, couldn’t resist the lovely award your created.

    • Lol! Thank you , Ashen, I know you really don’t do these awards, so I’m so flattered that you’ve picked up on mine! Sorry to be a pest 😛
      I do leave it up to the individual as to whether they want to respond or not – sometimes life just gets in the way, right? But thank you sweetie, for sharing, I really do appreciate it! 😀 xx

      Sharing the fantasy love! 😀 xx

  5. […] stop by Sophie’s Blog and check out her list of nominees. I’m proud to count many of these amazing authors among my […]

  6. […] 365 days – one year ago today! (sophieetallis.wordpress.com) […]

  7. A.F.E. Smith says:

    Happy blog birthday! Creating a new blog award for fantasy writers is a wonderful idea, and I’m honoured to be on the list 🙂

    • Lol! Thank you honey! Yes, silly but it felt like a real landmark event especially for someone like me who has never been able to keep a diary going longer than a few weeks! So, I guess I just wanted to mark it somehow and take the time to say a massive thank you to the wonderful fantasy writers who have been such an inspiration to me.

      Lol! Just sharing the fantasy love I guess! 😀 xx

  8. ermckeon says:

    Thank you, Sophie! I just got the message. Is it possible for you to change the link to http://www.theabsenteeblogger.blogspot.com? The link you have is old. 😉

  9. […] 365 days – one year ago today! (sophieetallis.wordpress.com) […]

  10. […] on the heels of my Very Inspiring Blogger award I was nominated by my friend Sophie E Tallis for this fabulous award too!! To say I’m thrilled would be an understatement. Sophie is a […]

  11. I have nominated you back for this fantastic award because I thought you of all people deserve it most! Congratulations and thank you!! 😀

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