The Seven Links Award

It was on Valentine’s Day this year that I sat for hours working out what I was going to say on my first post.

A wonderful friend had walked me through the process of getting started, filling in details, migrating my way through the maze of instructions on how to set up pages and posts.

I have spent many hours since then, refining, changing themes, adding bits, deleting bits, making it my own space.

I had no clue when I started what I would eventually find out there in cyberspace.

I wasn’t sure that this would be more than another short stint at something that didn’t work.

And I knew nothing about the direction it would take.

In fact, I have not followed the rules. Find a niche I was told and stick to it.

Right…that was never going to happen. My mind is never in one place long enough.

I write what comes to me – usually knocking loudly in my brain demanding that I give it voice.

Like my life, my blog has many rooms. They all interconnect in some way. While the bonds may seem obscure at times, they exist.

Poetry was a given, short stories, pieces from my life, observations of my world.

But the volume and the scope was never expected.

The reason for these unexpected outpourings has been the community that has welcomed me, encouraged me, nurtured me in writing every day.

This community has also shown me the generosity of their comments, encouraging me to push myself.

Some bloggers do not like to have to spend time on acknowledging awards.

I understand this, yet for me – I wish to celebrate this one as a way of expressing my gratitude to the bloggers who have made my journey both fun and challenging.

Penny at lifereconnected is one of those. I always come away from reading her posts with a sense of gratitude that I was lucky enough to find her. That she wanted to include me in her seven links is an honour.

I like this award because it allows me to focus on my archives and posts that have had special meaning for me.

Did I just say archives?

I feel like a – wait – are there any librarians out there before I make a blunder.

Today I shall link to seven posts of mine I think you’ll enjoy if you missed them.

Then I get to tell you about seven blogs that you really shouldn’t be missing.

Only seven? That might be difficult – may have to cheat there a bit.

So here they are.

1. Most Beautiful:


I’m pointing you in the direction of something I actually began writing a long time ago. It has had many reincarnations, but essentially the story is unaltered.

It is one of my most vivid memories. The reason I have listed it here is not because of its beautiful literary prose.

The Gorillas of Virunga National Park has always signified beauty to me. The experience was one of my life’s outstanding moments for many reasons.

Its memory never fails to raise the hairs on my body, or bring warmth to my skin.


2. Most Popular:

Baby and the boys

This is a difficult one. Do I pick the post with the most hits or the one with the most comments? 

So I am going to cheat and name both – that way you can tell me later which one you think deserves the title.

The Song Remains The Same has had so many more hits than anything else I have written. It is one of my personal favourites, because it is about – yes – you guessed it – Supernatural.

It was a great episode, and I enjoyed writing the review.

If we take the most comments on a post as an indication of popularity then a poem I wrote for a photo prompt for Magpie Tales is the definite winner.

Wake was an important poem for me. The moment I saw the prompt the idea came to me for it and cliché as it sounds – it really was a work of love writing this poem.

The amount of positive comment was fantastic. When something means so much to you – having it appreciated is very powerful.


3. Most Controversial:

The boys

Controversial – me – really?

Difficult again.

I am going to say Laminated List for one reason only.

It was mentioned that it seemed a bit odd that in my list two names had not been included, and not much notice was taken of my protestations of their being way too young.

I really do feel motherly towards the boys.


4. Most Helpful:

I think that this post has earned the title of most helpful. It has had a lot of hits, and the picture has been clicked on a fair bit.

My recipe for Tuna, Cannellini Bean, Avocado and Red Onion Salad came about from my need to address my cholesterol issue, so not only has it helped me in eating healthy, yummy food, but going by the stats it is out there in the cyber world doing its thing.


5. Most Surprisingly Successful:

The day my father would have turned 102 became a celebration unexpectedly. I had gone to sleep thinking of him, and on awaking my thoughts were consumed by Dad and our relationship.

I started writing and I remember nothing of the writing process. It really did pour out of me. Word after word after word.

Then came the moment I was finished writing, and it felt both familiar and strange. I actually thought ‘Wow – did I just write that?’ I read it through for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and posted it.

Colin Arthur Bryant and the third child was the first time I had done that.

Normally I sit on a post for a while – rework and edit a few times. In truth, there has only ever been two pieces that I have posted literally straight from my head.

It just worked right from the first time. Which seldom happens with writing.

It also seemed to strike a chord with people who read it.

Another reason I consider it so successful is the cathartic effect it had on me. Putting those thoughts out there help me to let them go.

p.s. One of my seven bloggers has just posted some scribblin’s on emotions, embracing them, writing about them, letting them go when the time comes. If you want to read this thoughtful piece, check it out here: Pirate thoughts on emotion.


6. Most Under Rated:

Motorsport New Zealand and the Ordinary Man is a story I first wrote when I was at university.

An assignment required interviewing someone about a facet of their life and converting that information into an article.

I love the article, maybe some of it has to do with the fact that it is also about a dear and cherished friend, but I felt at the time it gave an insight into the Kiwi male mind.


7. Most Pride Worthy:

I am about to do it again. Cheat. I’m sorry but I can’t choose between these two. I am very proud of both of these for very different reasons.

A Piece of War started out very different to the version you will now read.

The character became dear to me, and I was driven to tell his story. I hope you feel I have done him justice.

The Capacity of Katie was another labour of love.

Katie taught me many things in the short time she inhabited my home and my heart.

This tiny wee bundle had so much to give and she gave it freely. I still miss her.


Seven Links Awards Recipients.

How do you choose seven?

1. I was tempted to name another post as my most popular, because of the enormous amount of traffic and comment that it has had – but as it was penned by another I thought that it may be cheating again, and I’ve done enough of that already.

Balladeer’s Blog is actually indescribable. This talented man wrote the saga of Buckshot Bryant for me, for which I shall be eternally grateful.

If you ask nicely – he’ll probably write you one. Like I said I can’t do justice in describing what he’s about – so go check it out.


2. I came across California Ink in Motion through a poetry site link up.

The post was The Aftermath; A horse and man *revised*, and that was it for me. Subscribed to the RSS feed and on repeated visits I have been amazed at the talent that explodes from this lady’s mind.


3. I found this maid through the Cap’n. We’ll get to him later. Sara then led me to the Balladeer. Incestuous isn’t it !! Sara has 2 blogs, and I will admit I enjoy her other one as well.

However, visiting The Midaeval Maiden blog is like spending time at your favourite fun park. So much to do and see and so little time.

She is one talented wordsmith/artist. While you are there check out her amazing art work, and read her saga ‘Six Gun Sara’, but be careful – she’s worth keeping an eye on.


4. A part of me still calls Australia home – I don’t think you ever lose that bond with the land you were born and raised on.

So it is not surprising that I find myself also drawn to the blogs of those living in the land where women glow and men plunder.

Sorry, I had to slip that in somewhere here – no more aussie inside jokes I promise.

Cheryl, at Kangaroos of the Scrubby Bush, has a blog that is as aussie as they come.

The stories she shares are heart warming, poignant, sometimes heartbreakingly sad, as she takes you through the journey of rescuing and raising native animals in the Australian bush until they are ready to be released.

A particular favourite of mine is Merrilyn’s Story, but there are many other treasures to be found.


5. Now there is absolutely no way that I could get through these seven without mentioning the Cap’n.

This pirate of the WWW started blogging around the same time I did, and I am happy to report that I am officially an on board crew member.

RoughWaterJohn the Pirate is a terrible influence. He is also silver tongued (as any good pirate should be).

This pirate poet has given me many hours of pleasure. Drag your minds out of the gutter you lot – I’m talking about his way with words. So do yourself a favour and get on board.


6. unga bunga girl – need I say more? Her blog contains, as she puts it, the musings of a cave dweller.

Well, hit me on the head with a club and drag me inside please. You never know what you are going to get when you visit, a laugh, a tear, a lesson.

Each visit is a surprise, take her Ghost Hunt in York for example, you’ll get more than you bargained on. – kind of like entering Aladdin’s cave, where everything is shiny and new.  I want to burst into song after that line.

No – better this lady than me.


7.  Some time ago I read a post that stopped me breathing for a moment with the beauty of it.

Brynne, over at presence of magic can capture a slice of life in such a way that you want to crawl inside her words and become part of that moment.

The pictures she draws with her words are so vivid you go into sensory overload.

Be warned – when you visit – leave yourself time to really explore, and make sure you read the post that first captured my interest, To See With One’s Heart’, and tell me if you didn’t catch your breath.



So I cheated somewhat.

What did you expect?

There is a possibility The Kelly’s are ancestors of mine !!

We’re talking Ned’s family here people…

And I’m a member of a pirate crew.




  1. Mrs Bryant I wish I had enough time to read all your work. You are an inspiration and thank you for everything.

    ‘I Like my life, my blog has many rooms. They all interconnect in some way. While the bonds may seem obscure at times, they
    exist.’- I love this(I want to say that in a few years time) Many thanks and congratulations on your reward, and may you achieve many more


    1. Dear Ethan, what a lovely comment for you to leave here for me. Thank you. Please – call me Jo – I am certainly not a Mrs anymore, and it makes me feel, well, older than my brain still thinks I am. In my mind I am still the cute young thing (who thought she was fat – and not that nice to look at. We are so critical of ourselves when young), that snuck out at night to go riding in cars with the boys, drank too much Blackberry Nip, and spent her days on one of N.S.W.’s beaches. I am sure that you will be able to that in the future. You’re building the blocks to a great life, and blog, right now. 🙂


  2. Aw thanks Jo. I think I’d already told you I was sending you an award on tomorrow’s post – it’s different to this one, thank goodness. I’ll save this one until the following week. I’m thrilled to be included! Congrats to you on being included. Sometimes these awards bring some work, but they do say that you are remembered amongst the thousands of blogs out there so well done and, again, many thanks!


    1. I am sorry I put a kink in your schedule Cheryl. How sweet of you to think of me. How could I not include you in this? Your blog is inspiring, as is what you do with your life. No thanks necessary. I thank you for what you do for the animals of the Scrubby Bush !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And for keeping us up to date on their lives.


  3. This is great Jo – can’t wait to read all your posts and check out some of these blogs. A reading weekend is now scheduled! And thanks for your kind comments 😉


  4. Really….. only with words? 😉

    The Capacity of Katy was the first piece of yours I read on my first visit to your blog. Loved it, stayed, started looking for a place to put a bedroll down and read at my leisure. Thanks from the bottom of my Pirate heart for the mention of my blog, and admitting you’re crew. 🙂 I try and look at everyone in my blogroll everyday (I don’t always succeed, but I try), and yours is always the first one I click on. Oh by the way, did I mention TB’s are selling the 67, and using an AMC Pacer next season?


    1. What? What? What? What ?
      What do you mean ?
      I’m going into shock.
      Cruel. very cruel. 😦 😦 😦 😦
      Always happy to admit to being crew.
      Glad reading Katie’s story kept you around.


    1. How could you?
      Me – lying here sick still – yes – imagine it.
      You are a VERY BAD pirate !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      When I finally recover from the shock I shall have more to say on the matter.


  5. Uhhh… I had been drinking, no wait… the sun was in my eyes, wait, would you believe 18 pygmies in hang gliders swooped past the bow of my Pirate ship, and when I swerved to avoid them, my hands slipped onto the keyboard and typed the wrong words?

    You didn’t REALLY believe me, did you?


    1. Who ? Me ?


      Me ? That gullible ?
      I’m a pirate remember…
      It was not me hunched over the computer – searching Google for any trace that you might be telling the truth. Sir.
      But I forgive ya anyways.


  6. I loved reading this whole post, watching the movies and following the links. Just when I thought the excitment was over, I find you and the Cap’n. Silver tounged and devilish, what a way to make us all stressed out. Big belly laughs, the kind that disturb everyone in the room. Im lovin it.


  7. p.s. your ability to produce perfectly on-topic mini movie clips of the boys on any topic at a moments notice, has now elevated you to the level of ‘slighly more than obsessed fan’ level.


  8. Sara, I was think’n exactly the same thing. How does this crazy girl have the appropriate movie clip for every situation and comment, within minutes. Nicely done though, you have to give her that. 🙂 Of course, if I elevated dear Jo any more in my eyes, she’d have to sit in the crows nest.


        1. Uh…
          I mean…
          why would I get excited over something like
          or this…
          What so exciting about TBs ?
          Really ?
          makes no sense

          almost as little sense as GWB. 🙂


  9. I think this might be my first time to visit you. What a beautiful blog. I love how you write. Thanks so much for coming to visit me tonight. Your sweet comment truly made my day!


  10. thank you so much Jo for sharing your links. I cried when I read about Katie, your Maltese. And I totally agree with you about Kangaroos of the Scrubby Bush. Can’t wait until Fridays to find out what Merrilyn had been up to. I love your blog!


    1. You are welcome – it was fun to share. Katie was so special – I still miss her. I think any animal that is so giving just wraps itself around your heart forever, and when they go they walk away with a piece of you.
      I too wait for every Friday update with the kangaroos… 2


    1. Cathy – you are welcome – I love visiting your blog.

      Cave dwelling women are ceeeeeeeewwwwwwwllllllllllll !!!


      Those light bulbs are soooooooooo cool huh???


  11. Thank you so much, Buckshot! I would have been here to thank you days ago but this week has been hell at the office. You are such a talented writer I’m really flattered by the nice things you said about me and my blog.

    Your blog always has so many hidden gems and all of us faithful readers love that!


    1. Awwwwwwwwwwwww – what a nice (God I hate that word, but I am too snotty and gross with flu to think) thing to say. I LOVE BLOGGING. And my fellow bloggers. I am off to boil the kettle and steam myself foggy… LOL 🙂


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