Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Liebster Award - Author Life

And the Liebster Award goes to... Me! And apparently all those awesome bloggers out there that I get to tag. =D YAY!

Okay, lemmie explain a little about what's going on here. The wonderful and talented Bethany A. Jennings put together a wonderful blog this week (while in LABOR of all things) about the Liebster Award...

“A Liebster is a ‘pay it forward’ sort of blogging chain mail. Liebster is German for some lovely traits such as endearing, welcoming, and valued. Those are kind compliments to pay via this nomination! It is also to encourage readers to discover new blogs.”
So thank you for those kind thoughts about my blog, Bethany! Bethany frequently comments on my blog, and she blogs about similar things sometimes, with an amazing faith twist. =) Make sure you check out her blog!

So I've got some rules to post about this...

– Answer the 11 interview questions
– In that post, link back to the person who awarded you.
– Choose 11 other bloggers to award, focusing on those with 200 followers or below.
– Link to those bloggers in your post, then go and leave them comments to share the good news!
– Be sure to ask them 11 original questions.

And here are Bethany's 11 original questions!

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

Hmm... That's a hard one honestly. I like a lot of my posts. But probably it's a toss up between The Emperor is Naked, a blog post about Naked Emperor books in the academic world (don't forget to check out its follow up post, Crossing Worlds), and my series of posts about My Writing Process, My Editing Process, and My Reading Process in animated Top Gear memes. XD I just love how much can be said with a simple image instead of words. It's fun! 

What makes your heart sing about your current WIP or creative endeavor?

Ha ha, WHICH work in progress? I've got tons. XD I'm actually working on a short story, a novel, and several outlines all at once, and I think the thing that will always make me sing about these is the characters. Characters are SO key to a story, and I love all my characters. 

Right now my short story follows one of my fav characters, Matt Azure, when he's a teenager. I've never written him as a teenager before, so it's an odd refreshing task. He's a total brat as a teenager, a stark contrast to his adult self, so it's been fun working through his teenage angst. 


If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Oh man, the obligatory superpower question. Honestly... I'd love shapeshifting powers. I'd love to be able to transform into any animal and just run around in animal form. I think that's why I write so many animal characters.  

Where’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to, and why?

Honestly, I love traveling anywhere where there's a bunch of gorgeous nature. I feel very in tune with God around nature and it just makes me happy. I love anything where I can pull up under a tree or sit on a rock and just stare at the beauty of creation. 
One great place to do that is the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. 

Not a great picture, but still gorgeous.

Speaking of travel, what’s your favorite mode of transportation?

As weird as it might be, I prefer cars. Specifically manual gearbox cars with a throaty engine. I love cars, and I love driving, so I'll stick with them as much as possible. =) 
Though a cool alternative is the boat. I also love boats. XD 

What is your ideal dinner/supper?

Anything my amazing, wonderful, talented husband makes for me. =) He's a great cook and he really throws his heart and soul into everything he cooks. On the plus side, if he cooks something for me, that means I get to eat with him, which makes it that much more enjoyable. 

Joe teaching my best friend Karen how to make sloppy Joes from scratch. =)
What was the first story you ever wrote?

Ha ha, that's a good question. I've been writing so long, I don't know. Two old stories spring to mind though. One was a short story I wrote for an English class in high school. It was a stupid story about a girl who goes into a closet, finds herself on the moon with a lizard named Lugia, and has to defeat some sort of evil thing in order to get back to Earth. It was a nice stolen mix of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and Pokemon.

The second was my first "novel" - a hundred pages of flashy magic with elements stolen borrowed from the Lord of the Rings and the His Dark Materials stories. I wrote it in my creative writing class in high school and even printed and bound what I had of the story. 

I actually found the book while cleaning the other day and took the time to read through it. The craft if laughable and the story has no direction, but it wasn't a total waste. There are a few character names and world concepts that I've kept for the Zyearth Chronicles and my main character in this book, Jamaih, has several similar character traits to Matt... I suspect Matt is Jamaih reincarnated.

The one good thing this book did for me is give me confidence as a writer. It's horrible now, but back then it was the longest thing I had ever written and my teacher had so many good things to say about it. She was an amazing teacher, and I feel like I'm a better, more confident writer because of her.

Do you like poetry? If so, what kind?

Eh... I'm kind of jaded by poetry. Since I was an English major, most poetry I read was agenda driven and frustrating. It was so easy to recognize annoying tropes and copy them. Like one of the more prominent ones... the poem written in English by someone who's native language isn't English. I've read dozens where they throw in random words in their home language, with little or no context, so I can't understand the word. That gets very annoying to me and it makes it hard to connect with what the poem is saying.
Writing poetry has similar problems. Structured poems, like sonnets, are really hard to write, but to me, free verse poems are SUPER easy to write and there's no challenge. Boring. 

The only kind of poetry I really enjoy are the kinds with tons of gorgeous, vivid imagery. William Carlos Williams, for example, has tons of amazing poetry like this. The Red Wheelbarrow is a good example. 

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
Simple, vivid imagery that just speaks to me because of how vivid it is. Very nice. But that's about as far as my love for poetry goes. In fact, I have a habit of skipping poetry in books because it generally annoys me. =P

Tell me about a treasured childhood memory.

Ha ha, I always have the same answer for this one. 
Back when I was I think 8 years old, we lived near a park with a huge hill on it. Sometimes my father would ride down the huge hill with one of us kids (I have two siblings) in a red wagon, kind of like Calvin and Hobbes. 

Problem was, at eight years old, I was a bit too big. But I wanted to go down that hill anyways. Mom tried to get us to stop, but Dad wouldn't hear it. 

So we piled into the wagon and flew down the hill. But since the two of us were so big, we picked up much more speed than my siblings did and went way too fast and too far... and ended up crashing into a tree and turning sideways. Neither of us were hurt, but I remember Mom rushing down the hill, screaming and asking if we were okay. Dad and I just laughed. 

My father passed away four years later just before my 13th birthday. He had a heart attack. I do know that my life would be SO different if Dad was still in it, but I still miss him. This is a pleasant memory to remember him by.

Now tell me about a moment in your life that changed you forever.

Insert obligatory wedding day reference here. XD Though honestly my wedding day was a day to remember and we DID change our lives that day.

But I think a really important day besides that one is moving into our own place for the first time. When Joe and I first got married, we couldn't afford our own place, so we lived in my mom's house. Getting our own place was a taste of freedom that I'll never forget. 

It's been a wild ride living here, but a really happy one. I love it so much.

If you could become an expert in anything overnight, what would you choose?

Ooo, probably drawing. I'd love to be able to draw my own covers and characters for my books and website, but right now my skills aren't really up to par so I have to pay others to do that. Give me the art skills! D=
And those are the rest of the answers!

I don't really have much in the way of people who I can tag... Most of the people I could tag have already BEEN tagged... But I will tag a few.

Andrea Fingerson

Linda Rhoades

Heather Dubois

Jess E. Owen

Mark Malcolm

Becky Minor

Kindra Sowder

Amanda Cate

And anyone else interested. =D If you have a blog (which I know not all of you do) link it here and I'll add a link to your name. =)

Here are your questions!

1. What was your favorite book growing up? 
2. Do you watch sports at all? If you do, what kind and who's your team? 
3. What was the first and last convention you visited? 
4. What was your favorite subject in school, and how much does that subject affect your life now? 
5. What's your favorite snack food? 
6. What's your favorite hobby? If writing is your favorite hobby, tell me your second favorite hobby.
7. What is your least favorite music genre and why? 
8. Vampires, werewolves, ninjas, or pirates? 
9. When was the last thing you sent something through snail mail that wasn't bill related? 
10. Cars - Should they be practical or fast? 
11. What is your favorite part of the Etch-A-Sketch experience? 

Have fun guys! Make sure you post your blogs in the comments when you finish! =D

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