Sunday, 2 May 2010

Nothing but the truth

Jean Henry Mead, writer of the excellent Escape and the Logan and Cafferty series, creator of and contributor to several blogs, has written to say she’s given my blog the Honest Scrap Award.

My first reaction was to suspect that the ‘S’ at the beginning of the second word was a typo but apparently it’s an award for blogs which share honest bits of information about their writers. I assume that Jean was thinking of all the things I’ve said to convince readers that I’m possibly the nicest person in the universe. And there’s the rub – because the conditions of accepting the award are as follows:

1. You have to present the award to 7 other bloggers. (Well, that’s easy enough – the only problem is choosing from a longish list of possibles.)

2. You have to make a list of ten HONEST things about yourself. (Hmmm.)

I therefore have a choice. I can either stay as I am – awardless – or tell the truth about myself and lose all credibility. Unless I can come up with a stratagem. So while I’m pondering that, let me identify the seven others (in no particular order):

1. Michael Malone’s May Contain Nuts.

2. Gary Corby’s A dead man fell from the sky.

3. Scary Azeri's Scary Azeri

4. Marley Delarose’s Love knows no boundaries

5. Linda Faulkner's Linda Faulkner … on writing

6. Kari Lynn Dell’s Montana for Real

7. Sandie Dent’s Sandie Dent

All very entertaining, enlightening, funny and varied.

As for the 10 honest things, my strategy is to make them the sort of ‘confessions’ that are so boring that no one will get beyond the 3rd or 4th. So:

1. I’m wearing black moleskin trousers and a sort of corrugated cream shirt.

2. My inner self is 50 (and sometimes 60) years younger than the outer one.

3. I take a bike ride before breakfast most days (and am often overtaken by a tall, loping jogger).

4. I sometimes read thought-provoking or ‘intellectual’ books because I think they’re going to be good for me. (I’m usually wrong but even when I’m right, I forget what was in them very quickly.)

5. I have a daughter who reads the same books because she actually enjoys them.

6. I would love to understand the ‘truths’ of mathematics. I’ve tried many times but never succeeded.

7. I’m inordinately proud of my 2 brothers and 3 sisters and, if you spent any time with one or all of them, you’d see why.

8. I thank my car after any particularly long journey. Just a wee pat on the bonnet and a ‘Thank you, car’. (Come to think of it, this fits with my previous blog about ascribing feelings etc. to inanimate objects.)

9. When I scratch myself, I do it relatively discreetly.

10. And I realize that, despite all my worst intentions, I’ve actually been honest and all these statements are true so I’m obviously losing my grip on deceit.


  1. Excellent stuff, Bill. I especially loved your Honest Truth No. 9 - a man who can scratch discreetly is a glory to behold.

    And thank you for nominating me for your own Honest Scrap Awards - I'm flattered and pleased to accept. Will now have to consume enough wine to make me reveal 10 truths... oh dear, this could get messy.

  2. Okay, I'll give it a shot though coming up with 7 other bloggers might be difficult. I do not believe you are overtaken each morning by a jogger. I'll bet you wear some of those snazzy biker shorts and a matching helmet, eh? I'm still working on a flash fiction entry. Getting behind.

  3. Sandie, re. your appreciation of discreet male epidermal scarification, you are a woman of taste. And please don't stint on the wine - I want to hear the sort of truths that may attract lawsuits.

    Marley, I swear the jogger thing is true. He's about 6 foot 6 and moves so effortlessly up one particular very steep hill that I'm amazed to see him moving past me, but that's where he does his overtaking. He even has the breath to say 'Good morning'.
    And great to hear about the flash fiction entry. Looking forward to it.

  4. I think you're being dishonest about not understanding the intellectual books, Bill and what the feck is a corrugated shirt? Is that not corduroy?

    Oh and thanks for the award. Now I need to think of 7...

  5. If I took a bike ride every morning before breakfast, I'd be overtaken not only by the tall, loping jogger but also by a short one gasping for air. I might pass out before breakfast, as well. Your truths are commendable.

    Thank you for the nomination for the Honest Scrap Award - now I need to come up with another item of honest (s)crap for my blog and my list of 7, and 10.

  6. Enjoyed reading this, and of course grateful for the award, even though I promised myself a very long time ago that I would not get into those.
    I am leaving the space for all those ads, you know. :)

    Saying that, I always feel very excited when someone nominates me. Thank you!!!!

  7. Bravo! Well said, Bill. An excellent list but I'm wondering too, what is a corrugated shirt, if not corduroy?

    Thanks so much for the kind words about my novel, Escape.

  8. Michael, I’m not lying about the books, I promise you. And I deliberately called the shirt corrugated because while it has a corduroy effect, it’s not corduroy, unless there are genres of that material and it’s a sub-species or something.

    Linda, I recommend a wee bike outing in the morning. It increases the smugness quotient perfectly and makes breakfast taste better.

    Scary, as I said, no pressure to use the award. It’s just me saying I enjoy your blog.

    And Jean, you started it all in the first place, so thank you. And you know how much I enjoyed Escape – so that was honest, too.

  9. About the corrugated shirt...I wonder if an iron might do the trick?

  10. Sorry Bill, I forgot you were in Scotland. And perhaps I should have specified, a "corrugated iron" and thereby guaranteed a groaning end to this stack of comments.

  11. Thanks Bill! I've accumulated a number of these awards now. I think I'm due for an award blog post of some sort.

  12. "When I scratch myself, I do it relatively discreetly":)) There is a phrase in Azeri "English humour". I can't say exactly what it means, but I suppose it refers to something unexpected and funny:) (You are Scottish, but just like Azeris are often said to be Russian, all people from UK are often mistakenly called English)

  13. Actually (and secretly, between you and me, sofisticos), I was born in England and thus am English. I have, though, spent most of my life in Scotland and feel that this is where I belong. And I wonder whether that Azeri expression should be 'British humour' because Scots are very, very funny and they have a facility with words and quick character sketches that's very clever and witty.