The No Bell Prize

Before I threw this blog into gear, in April of last year, I’d hardly ever looked at any of the who knows how many millions of blogs that flap their wings in cyberspace. Since then, though, I’ve become a blog addict and have clicked on the pages of at least a thousand. Most I’ve never revisited, for reasons only my valet Jeeves is privy to. But there are over 100 whose words and images I imbibe anywhere from occasionally to frequently. And that’s because they are good. Real good in numerous cases. If anyone had told me in April 2015 that Planet Earth houses many times more strong thinkers and boffo writers and discerning photographers than I ever imagined, I’d have responded “yeah right, and I’m going to win the Nobel Prize in Literature before this decade is out.” Well, all I can say is that I now am totally impressed, and intimidated, by the oceans of citizens who can turn a sweet phrase and/or snap a fine photo. And despite the obvious fact that a Nobel isn’t part of my future, I’m here to announce somewhat reluctantly that a No Bell is. More about that later.

Intimidated. Yes, that word surely applies to me. Trying to keep pace with the many who, anywhere from twice a week to daily, knock out good stories for their blogs intimidates me. I mean, it’s all I can do to compose a ditty once a week. Twice a week or more often than that? Ain’t about to happen anytime soon. I’m more likely to pack my bags for the Himalayas and scale Mount Everest or K2.

Inspiration that leads somewhere is what it boils down to, and some writers have it up the wazoo. Me, uh uh. Take one day last week, for example. I hit my blog’s “Publish” button early that morning, lofting my latest masterwork, Ponds, into the ethers. Hours later I was sweating up a storm, racking my brains for a topic I could wrap my head around and turn into another addition to the publication whose sentences you presently are glued to. The pressure was on. If something didn’t emerge pretty soon I’d be in sharp danger of being empty-handed when, the following week, the “Publish” button coolly beckoned me to depress it confidently. Becoming more desperate by the minute I yelled to myself “come here, topic, come here. Be a good boy and come here.”

And who’d have guessed it? Next thing I knew a few ideas began to dribble in. Starting to feel better I grabbed a pen and a pad and scribbled some notes.

img_1254Cape Cod were the first words I jotted down. Sure, how about another opus about The Cape? My previous two fell into that category, so why not make it a threepeat? On the other hand, I quickly decided, fuhgeddaboudit. I needed to point my blog in a direction away from The Cape, if only temporarily, before my meager readership abandoned ship entirely. “Cape Cod, my love,” I said to myself, “I’ll come back to you. Sooner rather than later. Wait for me, my dearest. Please wait.”

monkey-scratching-headIf not Cape Cod, what then? A few more words transferred from my brain cells to paper: Movies That Made Me Scratch My Head. Not a bad idea, I thought, as I’d seen two action flicks in October that I enjoyed but whose plots, par for the course for me, I couldn’t keep up with. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, a Tom Cruise-led endeavor, and Ben Affleck’s The Accountant were the films in question. Sitting back on my living room sofa I tried to bring Reacher and Accountant to life in my mind, but had only middling success. I could barely recall the plot twists that a few weeks earlier I’d been scratching my head about. Like much of my life, they’d faded into wispy memories. What, you expect a body to take notes when he goes to the movies in the event he might want to comment pointedly on them for his blog? I’ll take it under consideration.

You get the picture. I played around with a couple of other ideas and ended up tossing them aside too. And so, here I am with an essay about not much of anything. And the “Publish” button is staring me in the face. What’s a boy to do? That button is a demanding and inscrutable entity, one best not to ignore. It’s anyone’s guess what ghastly forces might be unleashed if I do.

In conclusion, I return to the aforementioned No Bell Prize. Here’s the situation: I have it on good  authority that next week I will be invited to Stockholm, Sweden, where, should I accept the invitation, I would be presented in December with a document inscribed as follows: We at The No Bell Institute Of Blogging Mediocrity hereby state that Neil Scheinin’s blog post from November 10, 2016 is not ring-a-ding-ding. It is unworthy of any number of bells, not five, not even one. No bells being more like it, we are issuing this certificate to Mr. Scheinin.


Oy vey!!

Onward and Upward!!!


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27 thoughts on “The No Bell Prize

  1. Cindy Frank November 10, 2016 / 4:05 am

    Never mediocre. Eminently readable. And you write because you must write. In which case the awards become meaningless. Keep the posts coming.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. everythingsundry November 10, 2016 / 5:25 am

    Don’t forget that “Seinfeld” was a long-running TV series about “nothing.” Keep on writing!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Joyce November 10, 2016 / 8:14 am

    I still say take a picture of your poop tree and write a story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger November 10, 2016 / 10:29 am

      Hi Joyce. Thanks for the suggestion, but I’ll take a pass on that one!


  4. mostlypissedoff November 10, 2016 / 9:17 am

    I always enjoy your blog posts. Perhaps you could share some of the blogs that you enjoy? I’m always on the lookout for new blogs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger November 10, 2016 / 2:03 pm

      Hi. Thanks for checking out my story. I’ll have to think about your request. To be honest, I’m reluctant to name any names. If I do, I likely might offend some bloggers whose blogs I didn’t mention.


      • Lucie November 11, 2016 / 4:52 pm

        You’re damn straight about that!!! 😉


  5. andrewcferguson November 10, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    Honestly? I enjoy the fact that you don’t post often, Neil – quality over quantity, I say (as you may have noticed from the sporadic nature of my own blog). Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger November 10, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      You know, I’d be glad to put out pieces every 4 or 5 days, instead of my once a week tempo. I’m OK with once a week, though. Still, it amazes me how some folks post good stories on a frequent basis.
      Anyway, thanks for your complimentary words, Andrew. Appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jerseydreaming November 11, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    You must have something worthwhile to offer. Yours is one of the blogs I visit regularly and, as you say, there’s a lot of them out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lucie November 11, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    Actually Neil, I loved this post…..found it touching, funny, well-written and highly enjoyable. Maybe you could do a blog of “human interest nothing”, as you say, and another one about your travels??????? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger November 11, 2016 / 5:42 pm

      Thanks, Lucie, for the compliments. This piece is a sharp detour from the stories that preceeded it, and I’m glad you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lucie November 11, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    PS So let’s start this “No Bell Prize” and I nominate you to win the first, Kiddo! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • Lucie November 11, 2016 / 6:08 pm

        That’s my humble opinion, but then again, you KNOW how I feel about “The Liebster”!!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Martin November 12, 2016 / 11:06 am

    This is great, a blog post about how hard it is to write a blog post! It certainly captures how I feel on a regular basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. K E Garland November 12, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    Hey Neil! Write about whatever you wanna write about and guaranteed several people will appreciate it and make a comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger November 12, 2016 / 12:33 pm

      Hi Kathy. Thanks for checking in. Yeah, I write about things that spark me. Sometimes the sparks don’t hit me as cleanly or clearly or as often as I’d like, which is sort of what this piece is about.

      I appreciate your thoughts. See ya’.


  11. marilynyung January 3, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    Love reading that others struggle to find a topic, too. Some bloggers who post daily should allow their ideas to brew (and maybe they do but they’re just way more organized than I’ll ever be.) Lotta fluff out there. Stay unfluffy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger January 3, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      Hi Marilyn. Thanks for adding your thoughts.
      By the way, I wonder if you coined a word: unfluffy. It’s a great word.


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