My Liebster Award Nominees
Now that I’ve responded to the questions put to me by Anne Goodwin @Annecdotist, it’s time for me to nominate ten deserving blogs for the Liebster Award! Now, I hope I did this right and chose blogs who have 200 followers or less, but if I did not, it’s because you kept your followers secret from me! How dare you be more popular than I am… LOL.
Here are my nominees!
My first nomination is my good friend and fellow librarian Jen Driscoll, for her blog http://jeninthelibrary.com/. Her flannelboards are so amazing and she shares great ideas for storytimes. Her blog is a major professional resource for me.
Kwee Lewis, at http://akweelife.blogspot.com/, was my first companion on my #52stories journey when I first tried it back in 2011. She continues to share beautiful art and writing on this blog and on Flickr.
Thaddeus Howze is a writer of speculative fiction and an “iconoclast” on many levels. He is also way, way more prolific than I could hope to be and has a cool 30 stories in 30 days challenge on his blog http://hubcityblues.com/.
Matilda Hynes is a librarian and a mom who blogs about how motherhood drives you crazy at http://tinycrackers.com/ and about information seeking at The Information Chase (http://matildahynes.com).
Esther Bradley-DeTally is a warm, wonderful person and an extraordinary writer and teacher who teaches a writing class at my old library branch and edited two Courage to Write anthologies for the library. At http://sorrygnat.wordpress.com/ she blogs about writing, life and spirituality.
Adam Byatt, an English teacher, musician and writer, blogs about the creative life at http://afullnessinbrevity.wordpress.com/. His posts are very insightful and inspiring, and I love his micropoetry.
Margaret Finnegan is an author I discovered through a book of short stories written in and about Pasadena. Her story, sort of about a microuniverse created by a child’s science experiment, was the most unforgettable for me. Her blog, titled “Finnegan Begin Again,” is about motherhood, writing and life: http://margaretfinnegan.blogspot.com/
Peter Schwartz is one of my oldest writing friends and we even coauthored a poem for the collaborative literary journal, Admit Two. Another writer who is WAY more prolific than I am and who I hope will never stop. http://publishingproject.wix.com/peter-schwartz
Adam Santo is a Sci Fi/Fantasy author who blogs about writing but also sometimes about deeply personal and thoughtful things, as in his last post about National Child Abuse Prevention Month (read it here—it’s a great post: http://www.adamsanto.com/1/post/2014/04/leave-the-belt-on.html) . His blog is http://www.adamsanto.com/.
Finally, a blogger who is close to me but who I will leave unnamed, tackles the subject of atheism and coming out of the spiritual closet. People who don’t believe in God often have a hard time being taken seriously in a world full of believers, and are even scapegoats for many of the world’s problems because believers find it so easy to say “If everyone believed in the religion I profess the world would be a better place… So the evil in the world must be the atheists’ fault.” Anonbeliever blogs about his own personal experience with that as well as challenging the things that theists write about atheism. His blog is at http://onenationunderatheism.blogspot.com/.
And here are my questions for them. (If you are too busy to answer these questions that’s okay—please don’t feel pressured to do this.)
1. What is your favorite thing about writing/blogging?
2. What have you learned about yourself as a result of writing your blog?
3. (I like this question so I’m stealing it from Anne) Which famous person would you most like to visit your blog, which of your posts would you most like them to read, and why?
4. What do you think is the most serious problem facing humanity today?
5. If your grandchildren read your blog fifty years from now, what would you like them to learn from it? Is there anything in your posts that is bound to be outdated fifty years from today? Do you think your grandchildren will learn anything about life in the early 21st century?
6. If you had a million dollars, what would you do?
7. Is there anything that really gets your goat and makes your blood boil? What are your pet peeves?
8. That said, what kinds of things restore your faith in life and in humanity?
9. What would your Inner Child think of your blog?
10. What else do you wish I’d asked you and how would you respond?
To anyone who actually answers these, thank you! I look forward to hearing your responses!
I was recently nominated for a Liebster Award by the very talented and very gracious Anne Goodwin. Part of accepting this award involves answering ten questions, and then paying it forward by nominating ten other blogs who have less than 200 followers.
My nominations will follow in another post. First, the questions:
What has surprised you most about your blogging experience?
That I could create a piece of writing every week. When I first had the idea three years ago, I thought it was near impossible. Now, I haven’t been 100% up to speed ever since my son was born in November, but I have tried to write something small every week and that has really helped my craft.
To what extent do you blog for your own entertainment versus for the benefit and/or entertainment of your readers?
I’m pretty heavily focused on writing and posting my stories just for my own entertainment, but welcome readers if I get any. Mostly I do it to keep myself accountable, to keep myself writing SOMETHING every week, no matter what it is.
I also write for therapeutic reasons. I have an especially strong imagination and empathic ability, so whenever I hear about something sad, I feel like I’m going to cry unless I do something about it. So I write about it. A lot of my stories started out that way.
If your blog were to come to life, what form would it take?
I guess if my writing came to life, it would be a toddler. I still feel like I’m learning to write, taking shaky, wobbly steps and sometimes falling down. This blog represents my developing craft, which in my opinion is still in its infancy.
How does your blogging voice differ from how you present yourself in “real life”?
In my stories I often discuss subjects I wouldn’t discuss in “real life,” and I often take a tone that I wouldn’t take in public. Sometimes I show that I (or my characters) may not be as “nice” as most people who know me consider me to be. I am certainly more opinionated than most people know. But when I’m with people, I generally prefer to listen to them and keep an open mind.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse on your blog?
The word I hate myself for using too much is “little.” I often have to go through a draft and excise every instance of the word “little.” I probably still don’t catch them all. In both my speech and my writing, I use it for everything. I sprinkle it on phrases like salt. It’s terrible.
Which famous person would you most like to visit your blog, which of your posts would you most like them to read, and why?
Oh goodness… I’m very grateful for even the smallest bit of attention given to me, and I am overjoyed whenever somebody retweets something or likes something. But I guess my dream come true would be if Alice Munro visited my blog and gave me some feedback or writing advice. She won the Nobel Prize for writing her stories, and inspired me that even a mom with very little time can become a Nobel Prize winning writer one day, just by inhabiting those worlds.
My other pick of a famous person would be Ben Folds. He’s my favorite songwriter. It would be so cool if he read one of my stories and decided to write a song about it.
Most of my posts are merely excerpts of stories, but I still feel like my single best piece of writing was the opening to a story called “The Holy Innocents” which I wrote three years ago but which is still on my blog. I wonder why I’ve never quite matched that level of close writing in my writing—in most of my stories I try to keep the focus on plot and character development. Plus this particular story was refined over months and didn’t take me just a week. I don’t know if it’s song material, but I definitely prefer to lead with that. http://52storiesin52weeks.tumblr.com/theholyinnocents
If you could invite a fictional character to write one of your posts, who would you choose and why?
Anne of Green Gables. I first met her when I was nine, and she taught me that imagination is the foundation of compassion. I’ve carried that lesson with me, and it has especially informed my writing.
If time and money were no object, where in the world would you like to go to research your next post?
Saudi Arabia. The middle grade novel I’m writing will be partially set in a place similar to Saudi Arabia.
As a consumer of blogs, what are the main factors that entice you to read on?
Good writing and good ideas, and something else too… A feeling that the person behind them is a real human person with a heart.
What else do you wish I’d asked you and how would you respond?
Hmmm… A debate I often find interesting is the debate about whether a writer ought to have another job or do nothing else but write. I like to ask people how their day jobs, hobbies and other parts of their lives inform their writing. I’m a librarian. It wasn’t until I started working in children’s services that I started writing for children. I’m not published yet though so we’ll see how successful that venture is. But I also find my library job helps to inform my writing both by bringing me in contact with a lot of great books and by introducing me to a wide variety of people and their questions.
Thanks again Anne for the honor of this award and for also making me aware of nine wonderful bloggers. Now it’s my turn to nominate ten deserving writers!
New story of #52stories #amwriting “Ships”
This one’s dedicated to people who will probably never read it…. Here’s to letting them go.
#52stories #amwriting Rosha and the Sun, Chapter Two
I’m back with another installment of my story about my aspiring scientist heroine, Rosha Calderon.
New story of #52stories actually a chapter of a middle school novel… #amwriting
So as all self-serving writers have to do from time to time, I am rewriting the rules of my own project to allow for chapters of novels to be counted in my “story” count (since it’s more or less the same number of words, anyway).
#28 of #52stories #amwriting
This story is about a very frustrated and probably abused little girl. Sadly, it was inspired by something I read online about a real little boy, which was written by the boy’s grandmother. What she said about her grandson bothered me and this is sort of my response to her.
Am I saying too much? Best just to read it.
#27 of #52stories #amwriting
Ira Glass said it best: if you want to do something really well, you have to do it over and over and over again. You have to set a deadline for yourself, and try to crank out another story every week. Well, I’m proud to say I’m slowly and surely catching up to my quota (still not quite there yet) and after seven months I now have 27 short stories. Woohoo!
This one is based a little bit on a story my dad told me about a roommate he had. I hope that’s okay. It’s just one of those things you remember and it gets into your subconscious and you’re like, what a weird person—I want to write that!
Two new stories
There are two new stories on the site, which I have just posted today. I was waiting to hear back from a publisher about one of them. Finally got a very nice rejection letter explaining that the subject was already overdone but inviting me to try again. Still, not all bad, especially for a nobody like me :)