Until I started blogging I never dreamt I'd be able to write anything that might get read by anyone. Then, I began LLD and found out that writing really is a skill, one that's done by other people. Here in the Lankanosphere we're blessed with a big and healthy dollop of bloggers who write with the delicate yet powerful hands possessed by the most masterful Kandyan drummers. They weave words and manipulate sentences like only a Sri Lankan judge can.
I could go on, sounding arty and chucking our similes and metaphors like a bat out of Belgium, but I won't. Today we celebrate these proper writers, we salute the heroes of the virtual written word and we give one of these buggers the title of the Best Written Blog. Last year's worthy winner was the shy and reclusive David Blacker with the Blacklight Arrow. This year we hope the standard is going to be even better.
I welcome a very new and very special guest judge for this one as well. I first mentioned him in a post here and since then I've become of his most ardent fans. I bunged him an email recently asking if he'd like to be a guest judge and he kindly replied saying that he'd be delighted and all. Of course a large amount of money has had to change hands but I've told him he can pay in installments if he needs to. I'm kind like that.
Yes, Ladies and Gs, our very special guest judge for this award is none other than the best selling author himself; Mr Ashok Ferrey. And I mean it, really, not like Britney Spears, that was actually made up. I should stress that the nominees and the winner weren't chosen by him, I don't feel he's up to that level of responsibility yet, maybe next year.
Let's get this show on the road and introduce the nominees:
1. Brandix for The Black Lullaby - One of last year's nominees has come back for more. Everyone knows him and even more people know his blog. Like DB last year Brandon is a published author and he dishes out quality posts and writings quicker than a Sri Lankan mother dishing out emotional blackmail at a wedding. Last year I was particularly taken by Phlash Fotografy - Klic One and the follow up, cunningly called Phlash Fotografy - Klic Two. Check them out for examples of his best pieces of prose.
Guest Judge Ferrey had this to say of our Brandon:
" The writer with the strongest voice here, and no surprise therefore that he is also a published author. You can imagine this accomplished raconteur sitting across from you, regaling you with humorous stories in that slightly waspish tone!"
2. Portrait - by Electra. She's a bit of a legend is Electra. Hers was one of the very first Sri Lankan blogs I discovered and one that got me well and truly hooked. I was captivated by her infectious passion, her intelligence and very clear blend of love and frustration that she feels for the motherland. Take a peak at this post to see her at almost her best. Then read comment number 5 to witness her writing at its absolute best. You wouldn't want to come against wit and clarity of thought like that in a dark alley, particularly if your surname is "nut"
The Right Honourable Lord Ferrey said of Portrait:
"A painfully honest dissection of present happenings, all the more powerful for being presented, intentionally or not, in the voice of an ingénue. I am amazed at the amount of vituperation the author patiently puts up with. Is this normal in the world of blogs? It actually makes Rajpal sound like Mary’s little lamb. (Or do I mean Mary’s little mutton?)."
3. The Bohemian Gypsy - This isn't the sort of Gypsy who goes around selling clothes pegs and crapping in car parks. This is a girly one who writes rather heartwarming and heartwrenching pieces every now and again. One day I hope I get to meet this mysterious person, but pray that "she" doesn't turn out to be a bloke with a rice gut and BO. Take a peak at this Santa post to see what I'm enthusing about. Or try this one if you want a bit more. It's the detail and the levels of description that grab me every time.
My close friend Ashok, the guest judge said:
"Beautiful use of language, nicely judged balance between the immediacy of journalism and the fanciful imaginings of creative fiction. There is a wistful feeling that runs through the bass notes of the writing, like the subtext of a Chopin Nocturne."
It goes to show that even people like him can make mistakes and spell "shopping" wrong now and again.
4. Dance In A Triangle - Another well known, well read and much loved blog that's been floating around in the Lankanosphere longer than that musty smelling jar of something that smells a bit like Maldive fish but isn't but you're reluctant to throw it away just in case. T's blog has gone a bit private and confidential lately so I'm not sure if you'll be able to read it when this post comes out. If you can't, then take it from me, it's rather good. Actually, I'll tell you what, take it from our guest judge. He read it and said these nice things:
"This blogger is patently a poet in the guise of prose-writer. Her poem Still Here is hauntingly beautiful. Her prose may be a shade too purple for my taste, but please don’t take this comment to heart – it is only a prosaic old cynic speaking."
You know me, poems delude me, I just don't get them. Unless it's got a line about a man from Brazil whose balls shot over the hill it's about seven layers too deep for me. Once I got mugged by a gang of poets, I was so unaware that I didn't see them coming nor could I give even the briefest of descriptions afterwards. But, when the Ashok Ferreys of the world say things like that about T's poetrocity, then I know that it must be good.
Well there you have, those are the esteemed nominees, a set of blogs that continually remind me how much there is to learn.
I am very pleased.......to............announce...........the..............winner..............is.......................
.......................The Bohemian Gypsy.
Thank you to the Gypsy on behalf of all her fans.
And a mahooosive thank you to the special, albeit in a slightly too figure hugging T shirt, guest judge, Ashok Ferrey. I'm sincerely touched that he was so kind and gracious. I leave you with his words on all the candidates:
"I’ve been asked to make a few comments on these winning blogs, and first of all, let me say how very, very good the writing is. I’m amazed at the accuracy of the grammar, the beauty of the language, the poignancy of the content. Should I not be? Well if you had been at the receiving end of as many contest entries as I have, recently, you wouldn’t be surprised at my surprise! What strikes me most is the freshness of the prose, something we writers strive for, but usually fail miserably, for one very good reason: we tend to cook our words too long. Perhaps this is the beauty of blogs though it can also be their failing. When you shoot from the hip you are usually not too bothered about form and structure. This is where these particular blogs differ: there is definitely an underlying structure to most of these pieces that raises them above the ordinary."
I think we'll just leave it there.