CBS Tampa's Most Valuable Blogger 2011

Last week I was awarded with CBS Tampa's Most Valuable Blogger Award in the local affairs category.

I appreciate the inclusion and honor, even though I’ve lacked the time to write about it until now. I’ve been a little busy with life - doing good, enjoying havoc, entertaining myself and getting by. 

Thanks to Clark Brooks, fellow winner and creator of the blog Ridiculously Inconsistent Trickle of Consciousness, and a great cheerleader and friend.

Also big hug to another winner, Kate Robinson of Out in Left Field. I think we both got our start as Tampa writers as bloggers at Sticks of Fire, the best blog ever to ever grace Tampa but a few years before its time. (Can it come back now that the city is ripe & needs it more than ever?!)

Also many thanks to a very thoughtful advocate & blogger I don’t know, Benjamin Kirby of The Spencerian, who recently wrote that he can’t stop reading my blog. Might be the best compliment my writing has ever gotten.

I started this blog because I wanted to write regularly and have a reason (as if I needed one) to participate more in my community. I didn’t anticipate anyone making my words part of their daily routine, so thank you.

Now a few thoughts about doing good: I believe that everyone should, as they say at WEDU, be more. Do what you can, then see if you can take it up a notch (BAM!). It'll take some time to build, but after a while you'll have created a neat web of resources, friends and acquaintances. You'll meet your neighbors. You'll know what's going on around town before it ever makes the news.

There's no Brownie points for good intentions, for wanting to help, no life experience spending the evening’s prime time hours in front of the computer or TV. It’s human nature to need one another, and ridiculous that American society practically discourages togetherness. Think segregation, suburbs, polarized politics, gated communities, private clubs, and on and on.

Practice moderation. Helping others is not about taking on too much, after all helping others only works after you’ve helped yourself.

Focus on those who want to be helped, not the ones who don’t. Ask if your help is needed, and don’t get discouraged if your offer is rejected. Be resilient. Someone somewhere needs the skills and support you have to offer.

If you have a bad experience volunteering one place, move on. Gravitate towards places and people that make you feel appreciated. Don’t waste your energy or passion on people that make you feel bad.

Most importantly, though, is simply showing up.


  1. Congratulations! That's awesome.

  2. Thanks to Ted for your tech support (even though I kinda dropped the ball on the follow through), and Stogie for your constant encouragement. (If this were the Oscars, they'd be turning up the music by now ;)