A Liebster Award

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award!

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Thank you so much for tagging me, E.J W! Kids, go check out her blog, One Word At A Time. She’s got some really helpful (and practical) writing tips, plus she’s writing a pretty awesome book.

Now let’s see what this tag is all about. First of all, guidelines.

The Rules of the Tag

  • Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  • Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.
  • List eleven random facts about yourself
  • Nominate up to eleven other bloggers that you think are deserving of this award (with less than 200 followers)
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them
  • Give them eleven questions to answer

(I love this tag already. It says “up to eleven,” which means it can be less than eleven. It will probably be less than eleven.)

The Questions

If you had a whole day with nothing to do and nothing that needed to be done in the future, how would you spend it?

I guess I’d write. Write, write, write. I have so many books that I need to write, and having a whole day to crank out as much writing is possible is a wonderful idea.

What is your favorite book and author?

Favorite… book?

Of… all… time?

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Okay. *deep breath* For now, I can give you some of my favorite books. Three books that have most impacted me as a writer are The Hobbit, The Book Thief, and Animal Farm.

Oh, and my favorite author is C.S. Lewis. (Although I’ll give a close second to Tolkien or Austen.)

Ice cream or cake?

Ice cream, especially since I’m not allowed to eat gluten for the next few months. I could take or leave cake.

What is your favorite mythical creature?

Svartalfar! No, wait, dragons! No, wait, Maiar! No, wait…

It’s too hard to pick; I love them all. But let’s say that if I could have any one of them for a friend, I’d choose a dragon. You can’t go wrong there.

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What is the one chore that you absolutely hate doing?

Shopping. I haaaaaate shopping. There’s just something despicable about navigating a concrete building filled with fluorescent lights and grumpy people who don’t want to be there any more than you do. Shopping is a character-building exercise, to be sure.

Which is your favorite season?

Fall, of course. I used to live in Pennsylvania, and not to brag, but we pretty much have the best autumn ever, with colorful leaves and pumpkin candles and gentle rain.

What is your favorite breakfast food?

Waffles, except for… ahem… the gluten-free thing. I miss waffles.

Why did you decide to become a blogger and what do you hope to accomplish by it?

Ah-ah-ah, two at once! That’s cheating.

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Why become a blogger? On the more philosophical side, I blog (and just generally write) because I have the freedom and therefore the responsibility to share truth with others. That’s just part of being a Christian. On the rubber-meets-road side, I just think a lot about a lot of things, and that naturally spills over into blogging. People like talking about writing, about the Bible, and about the struggles that we all face, and a blog is a great place to do that.

And what do I want to accomplish? Well, I guess I already answered that- I want people to be able to talk with and learn from one another, whether we’re talking about writing tips, theological insights, or how to survive a particularly difficult four years of your life.

Would you rather fly or be able to breath underwater?

Fly. Then I could wear a special cloak and fly through cities and fight evil sorcerers and basically be Dr Strange.

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Yes, we really did need a random Dr Strange gif thrown in.

What is your favorite genre of music?

Does Hans Zimmer count as a genre?

What is the most recent crazy thing you have done?

Eh, I don’t really do crazy.

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Well, a few weeks ago I did dress up as Galen Erso and let my younger siblings (dressed as Krennic and Co.) throw me into the trunk of my car for a film project. Looking back, I see how that was kind of crazy.

Eleven Random Facts

  1.  I am a Christian. (As if it wasn’t terribly obvious.)
  2. In real life I’m much quieter and saltier than I seem on my blog… if that’s even possible.
  3. I’m exactly the same height as Napoleon. (5’6″, if you want to know.)
  4. I often lose count of how many siblings I have. I have a lot of them.
  5. My Spotify playlist is currently paused on a song called “I See Dead People in Boats.” Like I said, Hans Zimmer.
  6. I have never watched Star Wars: A New Hope all the way through.
  7. Rude people scare the heck out of me.
  8. I prefer to subsist on tea and turkey sandwiches.
  9. I’ve thought about becoming a film director.
  10. I’m allergic to pretty much every furry pet known to man.
  11. I like sweaters.

And now, the real good feature…

The Bloggers

For this award, I hereby nominate:

Congratulations, y’all!

The New Eleven Questions

  1. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
  2. What’s your personality type? (Or, if you don’t know, your Hogwarts House.)
  3. Who are three of your real-life heroes? (They can be living or dead, but they have to be real.)
  4. Axe or sword, or some other weapon?
  5. Describe yourself with a gif.
  6. If you could play any fictional character in a movie adaptation of your favorite book, whom would you be?
  7. Hot tea or sweet tea?
  8. What is your favorite song/band?
  9. What’s a skill you’d really like to learn if you had the time?
  10. What’s your favorite non-fiction book?
  11. In one sentence, how would you explain the meaning of life?

That’s all the time we have today, kids! Until next time.

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I Have Been Tagged

Today is a big day, kids. Not because it’s Valentine’s Day, nor because it’s the digital release date for Doctor Strange.

No, this marks the first time that I realized that I was nominated for a tag and then forgot to take it. Hooray me! Maybe this is just what college looks like, or perhaps I’m finally losing what is left of my mind. But the important thing is that now I’ve remembered this tag, and we get a new post of gifs and philosophical ranting.

Anyway, today we’re doing the Blogger Recognition Award tag. Thanks to Jess at The Artful Author for nominating me! (PS: Her blog is very good. Go read it.)

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Behold, an award.

The rules.

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers for this award.
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and link to the post you created.

Insert mandatory Barbossa gif about guidelines versus rules.

So where did this blog come from, anyway?

Once upon a time, I was a newly self-published teen author who was a dunce at marketing but a prodigy at research, and in all of those researching adventures, I found out how important it was for a self-publisher to have a blog. After all, people want to know the author as well as the book, and what reader doesn’t love weekly blogs? Time to get together and talk about writing.

In addition, I’m of that rare female Mastermind type, which means I love to think and write out my thoughts. How nice to have a single space where I could write about anything and everything that struck my fancy for all my internet friends to see! Oh, and the gifs were a particularly useful bonus.

It’s a pretty simple equation. Add these two facts together, and you have my blog.

Now for some advice…

Advice #1: You’re the boss, so just write.

When I first considered tweaking my blog’s theme, I was a bit worried about losing readers. People were coming for story rants and writing tips, not for philosophical digressions into the worldview of Thomas Jefferson. But I left out one critical factor in my equations: for every writer who leaves, there is a philosopher or artist or history buff to take his or her place. Blogging is not about the numbers. It’s about sharing your thoughts, doubts, and ideas with others. Write well in the genre you love best, and the readers will come; they always do when you’re writing honestly.

But with that in mind, remember the next bit:

Advice #2: Be mindful of what you’re writing.

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I suppose this has been on my mind lately because of the increasing globalization of… well, of everything. Write a tweet and regret it forever. We’ve all seen countless flame war dramas play out online, possibly even this week: public figure writes thoughtless tweet, population takes offense, and figure loses face and/or job. That could happen to any of us. Deleting tweets doesn’t always work, either, not when people can take screenshots and share them faster than the speed of light. That’s why it’s so important to be considerate- and, I would add, prayerful- about what you share online. It can be as simple as having your sister read your posts before publishing. People have watched their careers vanish into the void of cyberspace simply because they didn’t think twice before hitting “post,” and we would do well to learn from those tragedies.

Well, way to end on a happy note. Good job, Hannah.

And now for tags.

Otherwise known as the breaking of the rules. You see, the odds are that everyone I can tag has already been tagged by someone else, therefore the act of me tagging them, though considerate, would be worthless. So I’ll just leave you with some easy criteria: if you have a blog and you know what an Oxford comma is, consider yourself tagged.

Until next week, fare well and happy Valentine’s!

Release Date and Other Fun Stuff

Well met, writers and story nerds! Yes, I’ll still be writing a real post later this week (probably a rant about some animated dinosaur movie), but I have so many good updates that I can share right now.

Firstly, I have an official release date for Alen’s War!

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FYI, my release dates are always written in American format because I’m American and like to keep it consistent, therefore the book comes out July 1, not 6 January. I know you are all very smart people and probably figured that out, but I don’t like confusion. And yes, that’s the overall design which will probably become the cover. Maybe. I make no promises.

And what in the world is happening with the book Alen’s War itself? Well, I plan to send the “final” draft to my beta readers on May 15, and perhaps I can even finalize the cover while awaiting their wailing and gnashing of teeth helpful feedback. This of course means that in the interim I will share some more snippets, and hopefully all my incomparable blog readers will give me advice on cover design. Goodness knows I need it at this point.

Ah. Now that we have that over with, I have two blog recommendationsMy dear younger brother Josh has started a blog, MadeofBlox, about Legos, Minecraft, and anything else that’s, er, made of blocks. But even if you, like me, aren’t into that sort of thing, you certainly like lots of pictures and lighthearted commentaries from a perfect young gentleman. So click the link and read some of Josh’s stuff! I know some of you already have. You are awesome. 

And my writing colleague E.J.W. has a blog of her own, too. Do you like writing, recipes, Narnia memes, movie reviews, or honest encouragement about how God is still working in the world? Then check out Chokmah&Kishron. This week she is kindly introducing us to her good friend Shakespeare, which of course will include a laugh or two.

Next, an opinion poll. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of starting my own video podcast in which I talk about movies, books, plot structure, MBTI, and of course villains. But, before I make a decision, I need to know what all you incomparable blog readers and writers think. Would you be interested in something of that ilk? Please do share your advice in the comments!

Finally, a post worth readingTen Essential Big Family Skills from writefury. I have a large family myself, as you know if you read my mom’s blog, and I only discovered this post today and fell in love with it- if you can fall in love with any funny-but-true post. Just go read it if you haven’t already. There is nothing more perfect.

Happy Sunday, and see you next week!