The Liebster Award


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.


  1. Write about a favourite blog that is not yours.
  2. Share 11 facts about yourself.
  3. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  4. 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.



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 🙂



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:

  1. Becky Donahue
  2. Jenna Villforth Veazey
  3. JF Koh
  4. Joyce Chng
  5. Meredith Crosbie



  1. What is your strangest writing habit/routine?
  2. What is your biggest regret in life?
  3. What kind of music do you listen to, especially when you’re writing?
  4. What is one skill you have always wanted to learn?
  5. Who’s your biggest writing inspiration?
  6. What was your favorite book or series as a child?
  7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  8. 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!)
  9. What is your biggest fear?
  10. What is one author quote that you identify with the most? (It can be about writing per se or life in general.)
  11. 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 😉


10 thoughts on “The Liebster Award

  1. I am so impressed that you actually went and looked up the rules! And really ashamed that I didn’t :p That being said, writing the damn post took me so damn long that I’m glad I didn’t know I needed anything more in it. Phew. Also, I love that we both gave Nicole a golden retriever: they are SO CUTE AND SO FLUFFY!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It IS a pretty long post! But I was genuinely curious about what this whole thing was about, and it turned out there was an extra part to it. This was so much fun to do, Nicole deserves a cute picture of a golden retriever puppy and more! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this! And thanks for nominating me!!

    For Fact #1: YES, same. I walk super fast, and then always have those awkward interactions where I try to pass people (like we’re driving), but then they decide to speed up suddenly and oh lord it’s just awkward
    #3: I do this too, whenever I find new music that I love I get OBSESSED with it.
    #5: Whoa that’s incredible! I’d love to do that in November, with my WIP. (I’d like to try and do NaNoWriMo). But I totally know what you mean, how life just doesn’t seem to have that kind of time/space anymore

    Question #6: YES you can totally write that, and totally should. That’s such an interesting concept, how different generations are affected by each other….I would love to read something like that.
    #11: OMG poor Boromir!

    Since you and Nicole both nominated me I’ll do two posts to answer both of your questions. Yours are tricky……but I’m excited to answer them!

    Also – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Hope you have a lovely day 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Meredith! My 26th was one filled with lots of laughter and love. So glad you had fun with this.
      #1: My friends have taken to walking before and after me so they can “pace” me. It is immensely frustrating, but they seem to delight in my misery!
      #3: What are you listening to right now?
      #5: Challenge accepted? A novel in a month, go!
      #6: I wish I could attempt something like that (actually, I’m sort of doing that with Before I Remember You), but all those layers and nuances in the story will need to be handled with care and I’m not sure my fingers are delicate enough for this! Baby steps. Let me survive this WIP and maybe I’ll come back to this thought.
      #11: I’ve always empathised with Faramir instead – he has always lived in his brother’s shadow and never quite received the same amount of love from his father.

      I’ve read your post and shall comment there! Such fun. Will also answer your questions here 🙂


  3. Pingback: Liebster Award Part 1 | M.A. Crosbie

  4. Pingback: Liebster Award Part 2 | M.A. Crosbie

  5. Ahhhhh, it was so exciting to learn so many new things about you! 😀 Thank you so much for all of your kind words. You’re absolutely fantastic and I’m so glad I connected with you on here.

    I also walk super fast and sometimes I’ll get caught behind a gaggle of slow crawlers and I wonder if they are actually walking at a normal pace and I’m just insane or if they are actually walking as slow as I feel they are and they need to pick up the pace. 😛

    I am SO impressed with how quickly you wrote Lambs for Dinner. Also, could you tell me what the concept is behind that, because it sounds utterly fascinating just by the title!

    I also totally sympathize with my need to recharge or just be alone for long periods of time. It’s so important to me and it’s nice to know someone else who functions like that!

    Laini Taylor sounds fascinating and I’m definitely going to have to look her up.

    That puppy is everything. ❤ ❤ ❤

    I agree with Melissa: you should totally write that book, even if you don't think you have the capacity for it. Once you get that first draft down, you can always edit a shit-ton and make it more complicated and complex with each new draft.

    Also, you quoting Hermione about Lurtz actually cracked me up legitimately. And even more when you sacrificed Boromir and are just like, "What?" Ha! XD

    Thank you for doing this, Joyce! It was so awesome to read your answers and learn so much about you. It made me respect and admire you even more than I already did! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed reading this, Nicole! I am so happy to have discovered your blog and found a kindred spirit in you, you have no idea.

      Lambs for Dinner is YA contemporary novel inspired by a book by Hermann Hesse called Steppenwolf. It’s about a girl who is trying to move on from her father’s premature death when she meets a boy with a troubled past. I was curious about what it would be like to fall in love with someone like the Steppenwolf, in whom exists a man-wolf dichotomy. The wolf represents the feral, animalistic side of a person, while the Man is the persona who has been tamed and civilised by society. Hesse posited that one can never find peace if Man and Wolf are in conflict. So I wanted to explore the relationships someone like that would have (or not have) with the people around him. I’m not sure if I’m making sense – I’m terrible at explaining my books to people. Most of the time, I just hand them a copy and tell them to read it for themselves and tell me what they make of it. HA!

      Are you an INFJ or INFP too? Because it’s usually these two MBTI types who get my need for solitude and me-time.

      You should totally check out Laini Taylor – she is in a league of her own. I would read ANYTHING she writes! SO original in her ideas, so skillful in weaving her plots, and her prose is so lyrical it’s practically poetry.

      I’m excited to start on those stories too, but I already have a couple of Shiny New Ideas lined up that I can’t wait to delve into as soon as I’m done with this WIP! And I agree: the first draft is the hardest to pound out, but once it’s done we’re already halfway there!

      Seriously, though – is that his real name? Like, officially? And sorry, Boromir! You were a liability anyway – you DID try to take the ring from Frodo.

      You are too kind! I’m just another writer struggling to get her stories out in the world, very much like you ❤


      • It was such a joy to read!

        Holy crap, Lambs for Dinner sounds absolutely FASCINATING. Remind me, what’s the status of that book? Are you still editing it, have you shelved it, is it published (because in the back of my head, something tells me you have published something before. Is that right?)?

        I am a proud INFJ! That makes sense.

        Any author who you can just recommend the author and tell them to read anything and everything is a win in my book. I’ll add her to my list!

        Shiny News Ideas are always so much fun! I hope that they stay fresh and exciting for you as you get started working on them!

        Lurtz is totally his real name. A lot of the orc and Uruk-hai captains and commanders have formal names: Lutz, Gothmog, Grishnákh, Shagrat, Gorbag…those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. Here’s a more comprehensive list:

        ❤ ❤ ❤


      • Lambs for Dinner IS the one that was published! You can find it on Goodreads and Amazon.
        INFJs unite! *fist bump*
        So excited for you to read Laini’s book! You are going to LOVE her.
        Wow. I’m getting schooled in orc and Uruk-hai identification. You learn something new every day!
        Hope the writing is going well for you and that the gods and goddesses of inspiration continue to be kind! 🙂
        J ❤ ❤ ❤


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