So there’s this thing called the Liebster Award, which is apparently something bloggers can tag each other for. It allows those nominated to share more about themselves and connect with their online friends, and those nominees in turn have to pick others to do the same. The whole objective is to foster a sense of community among bloggers and help little-known blogs be discovered.
I was nominated by Nicole over at Thoughts Stained With Ink to do this (thanks, Nicole!). She’s a fantastic girl, so honest and candid about her struggles in her blog posts, but always encouraging, especially to writers. I feel like she’d be a great person to have a heart-to-heart talk with and connect with on a deep, personal level even though I have never met her in real life. She’s a young twenty-something writer who is just starting out on her road to publication, and her determination and passion for writing is always a huge dose of inspiration for me. I have no doubt we will see her works on bookshelves real soon.
So, the Liebster Award.
- Write about a favourite blog that is not yours.
- Share 11 facts about yourself.
- Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
- Nominate up to 11 bloggers and write 11 questions for them to answer.
It’s hard to pick just ONE favourite blog. Nathan Bransford, Maggie Stiefvater, Victoria Schwab and more keep fantastic blogs that are so helpful and candid, and that foster warm, encouraging communities.
But if I had to pick just one, it’ll have to be Laini Taylor’s (though she’s fallen off the blogging bandwagon lately as she’s hard at work on her manuscript).
Aside from her beautiful art to her drool-worthy travels and home decor pictures to her adorable daughter, the bestselling author of the young adult fantasy trilogy, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, also shares inspiring advice and motivational quotes for writers. It’s a treasure trove for all creative types, and her blog posts are natural mood-boosters.
This post is one of my favourites – I even printed it out and stuck it in my notebook so I can re-read it every time I feel demoralised during my creative journey:
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Not For Robots, another site that Laini created years ago where she shared all her writing wisdom.
11 FACTS ABOUT ME:
1. I walk really fast. Like, really fast. People always tell me to slow down, but eventually they give up and let me speed off into the sunset.
2. I once fell on my tailbone. Hard. Had to work from home for three months. The pain is real, guys.
3. I listen to the same song(s) over and over again all day errday when writing a novel, so I can get into and sustain the momentum.
4. I’m a hermit, and I write best when I’m in a cold, dark room with a cup of warm green tea by my side.
5. The fastest I ever wrote a book was one month: I pounded out the first draft of Lambs for Dinner by writing an average of 3,000 words a day without fail. I can’t seem to find that kind of discipline (or uninterrupted stretch of time) anymore 😦
6. I have never been in love. Crushes, yes. But love for an actual guy, no.
7. I need space. Lots of space. A lot of people don’t understand my need for alone time.
8. I am terrible at 1-on-1 interaction. It stresses me out to have to sustain a social interaction alone with someone, so I often choose to hang out in a group.
9. I’m afraid of cats.
10. I had anorexia when I was 17.
11. But I’m over that now. My happy food is roasted/baked pumpkins 🙂
QUESTIONS FOR VICTIMS:
1. If you could choose one author to be your best friend (we’re talking giggling at sleepovers and having brunch on Sundays to talk about the latest tabloids kind of best friend), who would you choose and why?
Laini Taylor. Regular readers of this blog would know that I completely adore her. She is so incredibly charming and personable, and her family is equally endearing (how adorable is Clementine Pie!). I’ve been stalking her blog since 2014 (and read every one of her old posts too), and it always puts me in a good mood because she is so inspiring and upbeat and artistic and free-spirited ugh I just LOVE her. I want her charmed life.
2. Favorite kind of cheese?
3. This is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of question. Path A: What book series should be adapted into a video game and why (I’m thinking a la Witcher here)? Path B: If you don’t play video games and thus can’t travel down Path A, please tell me how you function without such soul-sucking enjoyment in your life?
Ummmm. What the hell, Nicole. LOL. I don’t play video games, but I’m going to pick Laini Taylor’s DOSAB trilogy to be adapted into a video game, because imagine all the costumes and LARP-ing that it will inspire!
4. If it were my birthday and you were buying me a puppy, what kind of puppy would you get me (pictures preferred)?
A golden retriever because it is just the cutest.
5. What are you most excited about, writing-wise, right now?
Getting started on the two Shiny New Ideas brewing in my head right now! Also, finishing this damn WIP already. It’s in first-draft mode and making me want to tear my hair out.
6. What is the plot of the ultimate dream story you want to write (or have written or are too afraid to write)?
Something that spans generations, where the follies and foibles of the last generation affect the lives of the next. Or something really twisty and delicious like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. But I don’t think I have the brain capacity to take that on!
7. How do you plan to better the world?
I wouldn’t assume that I have the power to, but the only way I know how is by writing stories that people can relate to and characters they can empathise or connect with so that they don’t feel alone in the world. Because that’s exactly what reading other people’s stories have done for me.
8. What “rule” do you break in writing (purposefully or otherwise)?
A lot of writers advise knowing your ending before you actually get started on the writing. I plan a general skeleton, then leave room for the story to meander and find itself. Sometimes, that works – I get pleasantly surprised by where the story takes me. Other times, I have to go back and change a number of things before I manage to reach the end finally.
9. Which fictional characters make you question whether you’re actually ficto-sexual, i.e., whom can I swoon over?
Michael Moscovitz (from Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries) was my very first fictional crush. But lately I’ve been very taken by Nikolai Lantsov from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. That charismatic rogue prince/ship captain is quite a charmer!
10. What fictional language do you wish was actually commonplace?
Tolkien’s Elvish! Imagine how dramatic and grand everything would sound. Even something like, “I’m going to the store to buy bread.”
11. Lurtz (see below if you’re not on a first-name basis) is about to kill you. What do you do?
To quote Hermione, “That thing has a name?!” Guess I’ll just use Boromir as a human shield. (What? He dies in the show, anyway.)
Compared to Nicole, who really puts in 101% effort into maintaining relationships with all the friends she meets online, I don’t have that many writer friends that I keep in constant contact with. Maybe just a handful that I exchange text messages and emails back and forth. And since I’m blogging less frequently now compared to a couple of years back (thanks to work and life and everything in between), I don’t have many followers or e-meet many other bloggers. So I’m just going to nominate the following whom I’m closest to:
QUESTIONS FOR NOMINEES:
- What is your strangest writing habit/routine?
- What is your biggest regret in life?
- What kind of music do you listen to, especially when you’re writing?
- What is one skill you have always wanted to learn?
- Who’s your biggest writing inspiration?
- What was your favorite book or series as a child?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
- If you were stranded on a desert island with three books/series, what would they be? (“How to Build a Raft” and the like don’t count!)
- What is your biggest fear?
- What is one author quote that you identify with the most? (It can be about writing per se or life in general.)
- What made you decide to be a writer and where do you see yourself in five years?
Well, this has been fun! Thanks again for the nomination, Nicole! Nominees, you know what to do 😉