Versatile Blogger Award: Seven Random Facts About Sharkbait

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Blogging, Social Networking, Writing

That’s right, folks! I have recently been awarded the very prestigious Versatile Blogger Award. Okay, it’s technically one of the blogging community’s answer to the chain letter, but my friend Christina Esdon was so thoughtful enough to pick little ‘ol me! Thanks, Christina!

 So, what is a versatile blogger anyway (pulls out dictionary)? Aha! (Points index finger up) That means I’m adaptable and inconsistent. Okay. Well, I guess that’s a pretty good definition of me. You never know what you’re going to get when you read my blog.

Now that I’ve been given such an esteemed award, I guess it’s only proper to give my “thank you” speech. (Clears throat) I’d like to thank all of my supportive followers for putting up with—I mean—reading and commenting on my blog. I’d like to thank my wonderful family, my fellow bloggers and authors, all of my friends on Twitter…

– 20 minutes later –

… my mailman, my accountant, my bookie, my mechanic, my— (taps on microphone). Hey, is this thing on? Okay, fine. I can take a hint.

As a recipient of this highly exalted award, I am required to fulfill certain duties:

  1. Nominate 15 bellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
  2. Display the Versatile Blogger Award (see picture above) with pride.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you in the post with a link back to their blog.
  4. Share 7 completely random (and hopefully true) pieces of information about yourself.
  5. Include this set of rules.
  6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs, tweeting them, or sending smoke signals. Whatever floats your pirate boat.

My list of nominees can be found at the bottom of this post, and who can miss seeing that beautiful badge of pride at the top of this post? I will continue to proudly display this award on my site.

Cradles “Versatile Blogger Award” in arms and sings a song to it.

Ahem… um. Sorry about that! I just got lost in the moment there. Anyway, you’re probably wondering when I’m going to stop flapping my lips and get on with the seven random facts, because that’s why you started reading this post in the first place right?

Leans over and whispers in imaginary agent’s ear, “Nosey bunch aren’t they?”

Seven Random Facts about “Sharkbait”:

1. I drool a little bit when I see an exotic sports car or muscle car. I’ve always been an exotic sports car and muscle car enthusiast ever since I was a little kid playing with Hot Wheels cars. There’s just something about the roar of a muscle car’s V-8 engine and the scream of the V-12 engine of an exotic sports car (a.k.a. super car) that gets my heart throbbing. It has always been my dream to own a Ferrari, Lamborghini or a classic muscle car, particularly a Corvette Stingray. One of my dreams came true during the Summer of 2009. On my way to work every day I would drive past a black Corvette Stingray parked in front of a body shop. The Corvette had a “For Sale” sign on it tempting me every day for weeks. Finally, one day after work in May 2009, I decided to stop and take a look at the car. The next day I test drove it and the rest is history. The car fit me like a glove! Well, it turns out this dream of mine turned into a nightmare! But, I’ll save that for another post!

2. I collect dragons and used to sell them. While I don’t drool over dragon collectibles like I do sports cars, as a fan of the fantasy genre dragons have always been a part of my life. I have a fairly large collection of dragon figures, many of which I added when my mother and I went into business together selling stuff at the local trade show. It only lasted a couple of years, but it was fun while it lasted. The best thing about having access to a warehouse full of dragons imported from China (like everything else) was being able to purchase items for my own collection at ridiculously low prices. My favorite (pictured here) is one of a knight battling a dragon that is protecting its treasure. The battle occurs on top of a castle. Concealed within the castle is a complete chess set. The knight and dragon are actually attached to a removable lid that reveals the chessboard underneath.  

3. I used to play Dungeons & Dragons with my brother when I was a kid. That’s right, I’m a D&D nerd! I haven’t played for years, but it was one reason my brother and I got along so well (on the most part) when we were kids. My brother taught me how to play D&D when I was around eight years old. He and his friends would play all day and all night going on fascinating adventures simply by using paper, drawing maps, and rolling dice. As corny as it may sound to those who don’t understand the game, it was such a great way to use my imagination. Think World of Warcraft without the computer screen, mouse and keyboard. You actually have to use your imagination when playing the game. And no, we didn’t sacrifice animals and worship the devil when we played either.

4. Speaking of animals, I have had a number of unusual pets. I grew up in Austin, and the first house my parents bought was on the outskirts of the Texas capital city. This neighborhood was still under development, and we had a huge back yard that led into an “enchanted forest” that had a mysterious cave in it. Plus, the forest that surrounded the neighborhood was home to lots of creatures for my brother and I to catch and bring home. My mother absolutely loved the critters we brought home too! Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice? They ranged from snakes, lizards, spiders, insects, you name it. We didn’t care if they were poisonous either! My dad eventually bought us a boa constrictor, which remained in the family for about 10 years. Her name was Rosie, ate the Easter Bunny’s offspring for lunch (T.M.I.?), and was scared of thunderstorms. There are a few entertaining stories that go along with this new addition to the family which I’ll eventually write about in another post.

5. For someone who is fascinated with sharks, I am deathly afraid of swimming in the ocean. And before you ask, my nickname “Sharkbait” actually has nothing to do with that. Some folks think my nickname comes from getting bitten by a shark. Nope! It’s very simple. You can thank Steven Spielberg for my fear of the ocean waters. That’s right, as irrational as it may sound, the famous Carcharodon carcharias (Great White Shark) from the 1975 blockbuster hit is the reason you won’t find me swimming in the ocean anytime soon. Ironically, though, I’ve always wanted to get in a cage and lowered into a tank infested with sharks. Go figure!

6. I am addicted to video games. Okay, maybe addicted is a bit too strong of a word to describe my joy of video games. I grew up in the 80’s where video arcades were very popular, but after getting my first home video game system (you guessed it… it was Pong!), I was hooked! I have a decent collection of video games dating back to the late 70’s all the way to today’s first-person shooters and role playing games. I also own an old Intellivision (Mattel’s answer to the Atari 2600) home video game system, which still works and I continue to play to this day. That’s me in the photo playing Bump ‘N Jump on my Intellivision (I still have that game and still play it). Video games can be a distraction that is sometimes hard to overcome when trying to write a novel. However, playing my NASCAR games actually inspired some scenes in my book Pursuit of a Dream (Book 1 of Victory Lane: The Chronicles). So, my addiction actually paid off there.

7. I’ve had an awkward (but funny) moment with a former President of the United States. In 2008 President Clinton was in town campaigning for his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton. I went to go listen to the President speak, but the auditorium (shown in background of photo) was at full capacity. There were still hundreds of people outside wanting to hear the President speak, so President Clinton suggested that the rally be taken outside. He spoke from the back of someone’s pickup truck. It’s not every day you have a former President visit your town (at least where I live), so it was kind of cool that the President made this last-minute change.  Shortly after I took this picture of President Clinton, I shook his hand, and as I was releasing my grip a young lady asked if she could take a photo with him. The President acknowledged that it was okay and kept a firm grip on my hand even as I was pulling away. I just stood there patiently waiting for the President to let go. President Clinton didn’t release my hand until after the picture was taken. So, needless to say that was kind of awkward, but it was kind of cool shaking hands with a President of the United States, even though he held my hand hostage for a few moments. 🙂

Okay, so there you have it. Those are seven bites of information that probably resulted in many of you wondering why the heck you are following a nut like me in the first place. Now for the hard part…finding 15 other bloggers that haven’t already been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and hopefully participate just for the fun of it.

After much scrupulous research (and numerous distractions), in no particular order I have my list of nominees for the 2012 Versatile Blogger Award:

Jesse James Freeman – Billy Purgatory: I am the Devil Bird
Shelli Johnson – Small as a Mustard Seed
Karen DeLabar – Writing on the Rocks
Thea Atkinson – Gonzolink: Because I Write What I Want
Virginia Lee – Dagon’s Blood
Sara Furlong-Burr – Starving Novelist
Tess Hardwick – Riversong
Dannie C. Hill – A Writer’s Life in Thailand
Sheilagh Lee – Fear Not the Darkness
Cara Michaels – I am Definitely Literate
Michael R. Hicks – Writes So You Can Have Fun Reading
Carolyn Arnold – A Writer’s Journey
Al Boudreau – In Memory of Greed
Eden Baylee – Fall into Winter and “campaign chairperson” for #IndiesUnite4Joshua
Jeff Bennington – The Writing Bomb

Update: Honorable mention…

Thaddeus Howze – A Matter of Scale. You are officially on a Versatile Blogger list bud! Cheers! 🙂

Okay, some of the above mentioned nominees have already been nominated, but that should be an even greater honor for them, right?

Thanks again to Christina Esdon for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! To my readers (well, for those who managed to keep reading this far), be sure to check out the above listed blogs.


  1. I know I read this before and yet… I didn’t know you liked classic cars, wait maybe I did! In fact I even commented up there! ^^ Anyway if you like classic cars and haven’t checked out my other blog There’s also a link to my site at the Outlaws car club on that post if you want to check it out. And Congrats again!


  2. Sheilagh Lee says:

    Aw thanks Rob. Your posts are great. You deserve this award. Thanks for sharing with us.


    • Thanks for the kind comment, Sheilagh. When I wrote this post I never anticipated such a great response. It always puts a smile on my face when my friends post comments on my blog. I’m glad you’re enjoying my “versatile” blogging.



  3. Very cool learning a bit about you! Congrats on the nomination. And thank you for passing it on to me.


  4. Hi Rob, you fabulous man!

    Congrats on winning a well-deserved award. Thank you so much for giving it to me, too!! I’d also like to thank . . . 20 minutes later . . . and the local Walmart where I buy all the coffee that fuels my writing (lol ~ your opening cracked me up).

    Okay, so here’s the scoop, you are my kindred spirit. I, too, played Dungeons & Dragons when I was younger (and I’m a female!) & loved it. I, too, am afraid of the ocean for the same reason: Jaws! Darn that Spielberg, ruined swimming in the ocean for a generation of people. 🙂 While not addicted to video games, I did have an Atari & loved Pong. My kids (with their PS3) laugh at the ridiculousness of the graphics long ago.

    It’s great to get to know you better. Thanks again for including me in such fine company.



    • A female Dungeons & Dragons gamer. Awesome! Where in the world were you when I was playing Dungeons & Dragons back in the 80s? I’m guessing your main character was a fighter/magic-user? Thief? Paladin? Okay, my nerdiness is really showing here. I feel like watching the old Dungeons & Dragons cartoons now. 🙂

      Regarding the ridiculous graphics in our video games back in the day, I have just one thing to say… REPLAY VALUE! Back then it was all about beating your high scores and your friends’ high scores. Also, the fact that the graphics were so basic made us use our imagination more. As a gamer, I’m glad I was able to grow up playing the very basic games to really appreciate what we have today. Many games nowadays are so focused on the cinematic sequences and high-detailed graphics, many times sacrificing what really matters…the gameplay. The game can look beautiful and really stink at the same time.

      I can build a whole article just on this subject alone, so I’ll leave it at that. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by.



  5. eden baylee says:

    Hello handsome, what a lovely thing to wake up to on a Saturday morning! Thank you soooo much for including me in your esteemed list. The best thing about these awards is learning more about the person giving it- I love your picture as a child — SO cute, and I think we had a TV just like that one! Funny how far technology has come.
    As for the Prez – WOW! Just wow! Now why would he have kept holding your hand? That’s perplexing.
    I was and still am a fan of his, so I may not have washed my hand for a few days after that if it were me. 😉


    • Yeah, I was a cute little booger back then wasn’t I? 🙂 I procrastinated on writing this post for a little while, but I’m glad I accepted the award and participated. I had a lot of fun building this post! I agree that it is amazing how far technology has come. No telling what the tech wizards will bring us 10 years from now. As for the POTUS, it was very cool meeting him. He has a great sense of humor too. And the speech from the back of a pickup truck was a nice touch. Reminded me of the time my pastor preached from the roof of the church.

      BTW… #IndiesUnite4Joshua is doing very well. Getting close to $3,000!


  6. danniehill says:

    The award is worth more coming from you, Rob! And learning more about you is great. Afraid to swim in the ocean but you had a pet snake? Come on. Thanks, bud. This is a great honor! But the honor is being in with the great group you picked!


  7. Jack says:

    Four words “Freakin Awesome”! Okay, I was never really good at math, but I make a mean pancake!


  8. What a great post, Sharky! I’m honored to have made the list.


  9. Loved the speech! LOL! Congrats you earned it.


  10. Ebonstorm says:

    Okay, what do I have to do to get on this list of versatile bloggers. Check out my blog and see the horror of versatility unleashed! (