I’ll shake hands or kiss something for your vote; or kiss hands and shake something

image Tonight is the second round of elimination for the Performance of the Year award at The Public Blogger, where I’m among 10 nominees remaining after last week’s public vote. Thanks to all of your incredible support at the polls, fueld by word of my terminal health situation which thankfully turned out to be just undigested Trix cereal in my stool, your voting put me at No. 1 heading into this second week of competition — So THANK YOU!

(And General Mills, my lawyer will be in touch about the mental anguish caused by your cereal.)

Anyway, tonight at 7 p.m., the competition will continue with the second round of voting. Below, I have included a list of my fellow nominees — artists, poets, singer/songwriters, photographers and a humorist *wink* — along with samples of their art and links to their work. I have done this so that you to will have an opportunity to experience the nine other talented nominees in order to:

1) Form an unbiased decision for yourselves
2) Go to the polls tonight with confidence
3) Vote for me because of that terrifying health scare

All joking aside, the best part of this experience has been getting to know all of these artists. Though it’s a competition, we have all become good friends in the process and the level of kindness, support and encouragement has been truly inspiring. No matter how you vote tonight, please DO vote. I already feel like a winner because these amazing people have become more than just names to me — they have become my friends.

And as my friends, I expect them to demand a recount if I get eliminated.

Ladies and gentlemen, here are your remaining 2015 “Performance of the Year” nominees (and my friends):

Oscar Plascencia


Hour of Confession
The hour of confession has arrived:
All but my broken heart has survived
The changing seasons in our life.

We promised to take it day by day
And it seemed to work, until today:
Your memory cut through like a knife… (More)


H-Y Loco

“s/o to The Public Blogger”


Charles Okpere



Your rules and regulations where not something you took time to plan because you where imperfect like that; your head was always soaked in your passion, work and ideas. All of a sudden; your day-to-day existence became something they cherished and wanted to live by.

…so you became my hero.
And when I asked you what your secrets to success were and how you managed to ignore all the odds and even used them all to your advantage; this were the words you shared with me: (More)


Rebecca Lemke

(Writer, Blogger)


Dear Strangers

Dear Strangers,

I’m glad you were excited to see a pregnant lady and to celebrate my unborn baby, but…


I’m sorry, it had to be said.

My pregnant belly was not a genie in a bottle… (More)


Robert Goldstein

(Writer/Mental Health Activist)


I’m Only Human

I liked to discuss the meanings of words and phrases with my Grandmother when I was a child.

I think this is the source of the way I understand words.

Words shape the way we think and the way we agree to perceive reality.

The words on this page express some aspect of my version of reality.

My Grandmother’s world view was shaped by two world wars and a great depression.

I once asked her why we expect the strong to protect the weak.

Her reply was that when the strong protect the weak it makes everyone stronger… (More)


Anew (Duo)

(Christian hip-hop)


Summer Rose

(Digital Photography)





Kelly Lewis



Into Nothing

Last night, I looked out into the vast sea of darkness and saw a light off in the distance

I stopped dead in my tracks and kept looking back with an overwhelming sense of dread

Torn between advancing and relapsing; questioning to move forward or to remain in place

Clinging to the familiar fiends buried within that prevent me from being seen or heard

Realizing that something is missing, I fight a little harder to make a significant change – starting today

The light is so far away, yet I must be on my way and accept my fate before I fade away… (More)


And This Guy…


Please, don’t let my offering of these kabobs influece your decision at all…


Voting is from 7 p.m. (PST) tonight until 10 a.m. Monday. Once the voting link goes live, I will post it here and on my Facebook pages. Scoring is based on the number of votes (70%) tallied at The Public Blogger and number of “Likes” (25%) on each nominee’s Facebook page link. To make it easy, the link I post here tonight will take you directly to my Facebook page, where you can “Like” the post then proceed to the voting booth at The Public Blogger.  For those of you in Florida, don’t worry: there won’t be any chads involved so we expect this to go very smoothly. In the unlikely event of a tie, sudden-death elimination will be determined by a Trix cereal “eat-off.”

So no matter what, come Monday morning, one of us will start their day by getting flushed…

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

23 thoughts on “I’ll shake hands or kiss something for your vote; or kiss hands and shake something”

  1. HEY! No trash talkin’ my chads, now!!! And as for all the kissin’ and shakin’ of…stuff…how about we just try a good ol’ southern-style hug around yer neck? I’ll vote for you tonight, and you’ll owe me one! 😀

    Good luck, Ned! This is exciting. Now, please excuse me while I go throw away that giant economy sized box of Trix in my pantry. We oldsters can’t be too careful, you know. 😉

        1. Ha! Reminds me of the movie “The Runaway Bride”. Remember at one point Julia Roberts escapes a wedding in a FedEx truck? Someone asks where she is going and the response was “I don’t know but where ever she is going she’ll be there by 10 am.” Ha!

No one is watching, I swear...

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