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?

 the weeknd pissed xo scream internally that xo GIF

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.

 the lord of the rings the hobbit martin freeman lotr hobbit GIF

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.

BBC sherlock benedict cumberbatch sherlock holmes bbc one

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!

Q&A Tag

Remember last week when I said I had another tag challenge for us? Well, it’s time to do that. Welcome to the immensely popular Q&A Tag!

For which I have been kindly tagged by Ellyanna, your friendly neighborhood queen of Narnia. Muchas gracias, Elly! Again, we have some simple rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions you were given by that blogger.
  •  Nominate 10 bloggers, give them ten new questions, and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Chuckling in my sleeve at the last one…

If you could be any character from any book, who would it be?

Gandalf. He’s honest, wise, and snarky, and the party don’t start till he walks in.

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Hiking outside or playing a board game inside?

Can I take some allergy medicine first? Then I’d go hiking any day.

Summer or Winter?

If I was still in the northeast, I’d say winter, because it’s like autumn with snowflakes and frigid pink sunsets. However, living (clap clap clap clap) deep in the heart of Texas, you can’t beat the endless summer of cowboy boots and sunshine.

What is your favorite Holiday?

Christmas. No contest.

Future career dream: be it unrealistic or completely serious.

Ah, the old career question! Seriously, I can’t pick just one- I’d like to be a parent, a director, a missionary, a venture capitalist, a historical-accuracy-checker for BBC… everything. Is there a career for a jack of all trades? Entrepreneur? Let’s go with entrepreneur.

What’s your favorite animal?

Dragon. Dragons are animals, too.

Would you rather spend the day at the ocean or in the forest?

The ocean has shells and cold water, but it also has sharks. The forest is obviously magical and peaceful, but it may have hostile elves. Ah, who cares? Let’s go with the forest.

You have all day to do whatever you want at home: What would it be?

See above “entrepreneur.” I’d be working on one of those goals, or else designing a plan for my villain to take over a fantasy world.

What’s the job you tend to avoid?

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This was literally my reaction to the question.

It might be faster if I told you what jobs I don’t avoid. I hate laundry, shopping, citing sources in APA, Facebook promotions… you name it. If it’s boring and repetitive, I’m willing to do more work trying to get out of it than I would do for the job itself.

Do you love God? If so, why? and if not, why?

Absolutely, “because He first loved me.” Don’t people usually love their best friend who also happens to rule the universe? Just as with Christianity in general, Iogically, ethically, empathetically, I have no alternative.

And now for the tagging of bloggers.

  1. Shoulda Broughta Book
  2. Rubix Cube
  3. Jason A. Meuschke
  4. Sarah Spradlin (if and only if you have the time)
  5. through 10. Let me go totally cliche and tag the first five people to read this post.

Questions:

  1. Favorite book/story in the Bible?
  2. Chocolate chips or Skittles?
  3. You get a five-minute public broadcast interview with an influential person in your government (president, Supreme Court justice, prime minister, etc). What do you say?
  4. According to this test, which Disney character are you?
  5. If you could choose to live in another time period or an alternate universe, where would it be and why?
  6. Can you write something in a different language? (No translator help!)
  7. What was the last dream you had that made you laugh?
  8. Do you know how to build a fire?
  9. Amazon.com or brick-and-mortar stores?
  10. What is one real-world problem that truly bothers you?
  11. Bonus: What would you do to change the problem in #10?

Enjoy the challenges, and have a happy week!

The Book-Room Challenge

Hey, kids, guess what? I’m not actually dead! It just happens that I’ve been tagged by not one, but two of my favorite bloggers in an already-busy month. But… of all the kinds of busy, this is the bestistest. This week, we’re just going to start with the one, but come back next week because we’ll have some more awesome stuff.

the-book-room-challengeFirst, the one and only Blank Mastermind genius (thank you, writefury!) has tagged me for the Book-Room Challenge, which will be fairly self-explanatory.

We have an order of events tonight. First of all, the rules.

  1. Write 3 of your own books as rooms. They can be finished, works in progress, or even just ideas, but they have to be your own.
  2. Write 1 of your favorite books to read as a room.
  3. Tag 5 other people.

Then the tag. I had a little trouble deciding what approach to take; should I write the rooms as if they were from palaces and villages in fantasy worlds, or should I write more modern rooms with fantastical flavor? I was up for a challenge, so I chose the latter.

Son of Ren

A foyer in an old Victorian house. The floor is marble, with an old Saxon tapestry as a rug. Several mahogany chairs line the blue walls, and several white Hellenic statues line the far wall. One stained glass window is over the door, and overhead hangs a chandelier with lit candles. Smells like winter and history books.

Alen’s War

A boathouse by a river. An old sword from the Civil War hangs above the doorway. Several raincoats hang on pegs and boots sit on the worn pinewood floor. Two floor-to-ceiling windows let in the grey morning light. There are no chairs, but a large wooden table is at the center with some books on it, and the whitewashed walls are covered with old maps, navigation charts, and flags, and at the far end of the room hangs a huge painting of a royal flagship.

Aaaaand…. I didn’t plan to tell everyone about this project quite yet, but now is as good a time as any other. I am writing a speculative/scifi/dystopian novel. Yes, it will probably be finished within the next five years. No, you may not read it yet. Thank you for asking. Its working title is…

Monsters Becoming

A dark, sad living room splashed in golden light. The walls are dark blue-grey and the floor is faded tile, but it’s brightened by yellow lamps, a soft rug, and a warm fireplace that smells like burnt coffee. The walls are decorated with what looks at first like paper chains, but are really metal chains painted bright colors.

Mismatched chairs surround the fire: several metal folding ones with cartoon character blankets, one kitchen chair with a quilt-pattern cushion, and a recliner with a laptop bag sitting beside it. Several important-looking folders are stacked on the table next to a box of crayons.

King Richard III

Because it’s the only Shakespeare play I really enjoyed. (Lately I’m watching The Hollow Crown version and loving it- maybe I’ll talk about that later this month.)

A small office/meeting room. The floor is black carpet with red and white geometric shapes. One wall is covered with a bookshelf with Latin-sounding books; another has a huge whiteboard scribbled over with charts and lists of names. At the center of the room stands an oaken table, and in the middle is an old faded Risk board game.

Now for the tagging of bloggers, which is where I usually break the rules. Not on purpose- I’m just can’t always find people who haven’t already been tagged. This time, though, I might be able to get by…

And there you have it. That’s all for now, so enjoy another October week complete with hot cocoa and rich descriptions. 🙂

Quote Challenge: Day Three

We come to the last day of this little adventure. As Shakespeare would say, “Goodnight! Parting is such sweet sorrow / That I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.” But of course that’s not The Quote.

A reminder of the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you (thank you heartily, gretald!)
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers everyday
  • Post a new quote everyday for 3 consecutive days

I needed a quote that packed a lot of punch, and I already use too many C.S. Lewis quotes, so I went straight to G.K. Chesterton. As always, he did not disappoint.

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I’ll let that one speak for itself, sans exposition.

Now this is normally the place where I tag other bloggers, but unfortunately I don’t think I am acquainted with any other bloggers who haven’t already been tagged and who would be interested in such a tag. So… I’m tagging anyone who wants to take it! If you have a blog and like quotes, go ahead and take the Quote Challenge. Just remember to leave a comment so I can read about your favorite quotes.

Until next week, fare ye well!

Quote Challenge: Day Two

Ah, this is so late! I suppose that’s what I get for being sick on the weekend.

Anyway, welcome to the second day of the Quote Challenge! This is getting to be fun. Let’s get down to it. For those of you with short-term memory loss, here are the rules again. 😉

  • Thank the person who nominated you (thank you heartily, gretald!)
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers everyday
  • Post a new quote everyday for 3 consecutive days

The quote:

Liberty

Tocqueville knows what is what. I am aware that many disagree with him, specifically on the idea that morality needs faith. However, even though I can list a number of morally upright people who had no Christian faith, in every case their morality was built on Christian values which they accepted. It was a matter of having faith in something bigger than themselves. As for freedom… go watch a political debate for ten minutes, and you’ll see exactly what Tocqueville meant. And I’ll stop before this gets inflammatory.

And now to tag other bloggers.

Check back tomorrow for the final quote!

Do you agree with Tocqueville? Where do you think freedom has its foundation?