A month or so ago, I was nominated, not once, not twice, but THREE times for the Liebster Blog Award, a recognition typically given to blogs with fewer than 300 followers, and an opportunity for people to learn a little bit more about some of the sites that are out there. Or at least the writers behind them.
While I had never heard of the award before, I was extremely excited and touched to have been recognized in such a way! However, in reading the rules for accepting the award, I realized that I would have a lot of questions to answer, so it’s taken me a little while to put all of this together. (This is also a really long post, so if you start to skim through it, that is completely okay!)
I wanted to do my due diligence and answer all of the questions posed to me by the lovely Miss LilaJune of LilaJune’s Book Saloon, Stefani from Caught Read Handed (seriously love that title!), and Meg of Pigspittle, Ohio, but some of them were extremely similar and I doubt you’d want to read the same answer multiple times. So, in an effort to help pare things down a bit, I’ve combined those questions in a “General” section, with all of the other questions then broken out by whom asked them.
But before I go too much further, here are the rules:
– List 11 facts about yourself.
– Answer 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
– Ask 11 questions to 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers (you can’t re-nominate the blog that nominated you).
– Go to their blogs and tell them that they have been nominated!
Now, on to the other bits!
11 Facts About Me
1. I am an only child from a ridiculously amazing family (not biased at all!) and have two loving parents, who are some of my best friends.
2. Born in Illinois, I was raised in Pittsburgh and consider myself a Steel City girl, though I am more attached to my college team (Let’s GO Mountaineers!) than I am to the Steelers, so I’m sure some of my friends would disagree.
3. I absolutely LOVE the color orange! It is just such a happy hue to me and I am determined to have something orange in every room of our house.
4. I cannot stand the taste of cilantro. I’m not entirely sure where my strong dislike comes from, but I’m extremely sensitive to it and can pick it out as a flavor, even when used in minute amounts.
5. I fell in love with an amazing cook and while he leaves me alone on the whole cilantro thing, he has taken it upon himself to make me eat tomatoes, mushrooms, and many of the other foods I have hitherto avoided. I’m not really sure why it’s become a goal for him, but there you go!
6. I am a book nerd, through and through! I’ve been reading voraciously since a very young age and even worked at three different Barnes&Nobles over a five-year period. I keep having fantasies of working in publishing, but then remember that New York is too big of a city for me.
7. I make a mean chocolate chip cookie. Sure, I mostly follow the recipe on the bag of Toll House chips, but they were some of the most requested treats in high school.
8. I have a ridiculous obsession with nail polishes – it’s probably one of the few really, really girlie things I get into. While I am not nearly gifted enough to do free-hand artwork like some bloggers out there, I’ve picked up every season’s “hot” color for the last several years and have two buckets full of options. They are, of course, separated into lights and darks.
9. Speaking of lights and darks, I actually really enjoy doing laundry. I’m not entirely sure why, but since C hates it – or at least folding – it’s a chore I can do to help make up for the fact that he does ALL of the cooking.
10. Oh, totally random, but I am a southpaw… well, kind of. I eat and write with my left hand, but I do everything else with my right hand. For instance, when playing softball, I always batted right-handed and I could never use left-handed scissors in elementary school.
11. I used to dream of being a fashion designer and then a movie make-up artist. I got really into it and still have binders/albums of my sketches and different looks.
1. Why did you start blogging?
A fuller answer to this question can be found here, but the short version is: I needed a more creative outlet than the one I was getting at work.
2. Where is your favorite place to read/blog? Do you have a specific nook or chair?
We don’t have an office in our apartment, and I predominantly work on a laptop, so I’ve commandeered our loveseat for my writing purposes. I try to switch sides so it wears evenly, but more often than not, I’m curled up on the right side of the couch when I’m blogging and on the left side when I’m reading.
3. Who is your favorite fictional character?
This is a bit of a toss up for me. While I want to say Hermione Granger, like many of the girls who nominated me, she’s the answer to a later question so I’m going to go with Veronica Mars. She is strong and sassy, and I’d totally love to be her!
Qs from LilaJune
1. If you were going to recommend one book to everyone, what would it be?
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I first read this book my sophomore year in high school and have re-read it multiple times since. The story is just magnificent and Follett has such a way with historical fiction that you never quite know what’s truth and what’s made up.
2. Do you have a soundtrack for the books you read?
Not really. I usually like it to be quiet when I read a book, so I can really get lost in the words, but I will say that Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits is my go-to album if I’m studying or doing some serious editing.
3. What are your guilty pleasure reads?
I’ll admit it… trashy romance novels. I don’t read them often, but picked up the habit when the little store I worked at in high school had a big box of them in the back that we could read when things were quiet. (I worked with mostly middle-aged women who brought them in.) They are all fairly cookie cutter, but make for great beach reads!
4. Did you grow up in a reading family or discover a love of reading on your own?
Reading family, without a doubt. I’ve been around books all of my life and wouldn’t have it any other way!
5. What books have most influenced your life?
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series for introducing me to Hermione Granger. The books came out at a time when being the smart, bookish girl wasn’t necessarily appreciated and I really identified with the character. As she came into her own, I did as well and embraced the nerd within!
6. What are your top 3 favorite books right now?
This is really hard to answer since I’m reading – or at least planning on reading – so many different kinds of books. I’m always a fan of Sophie Kinsella’s books though, and love the H.I.V.E. series by Mark Walden. Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games is another perennial favorite.
7. Do you have a story to tell? Have you already started writing it?
The story my mother keeps telling me to write is one based on my year studying abroad in England. I filled four diaries with my thoughts and experiences from that time and its working title is “The Oxford Chronicles.” I think it could be a lot of fun to work on, it’s just a matter of finding the time.
8. What is your favorite classic book?
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I read this my sophomore year in college when a friend and I switched favorite books (he got Pillars of the Earth), and the story just really stuck with me. Like similar classics, it can take some time to get into the rhythm of the prose, but it’s worth sticking out.
9. Are you a bit of a book geek or fangirl? Do you have a deep dark geek secret/story to share?
Oh my god, YES! And it’s only getting worse as C exposes me to more geekynerdy things. As for stories to share, I wrote a paper my freshman year of college about why Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was the perfect summer blockbuster. I got an A.
10. It’s the Zombie apocalypse!!! AHHHHHHH!!! What’s your survival plan?
HA! What survival plan?! While I would most likely starve to death in my apartment, I prefer a stronger image of my post-apocalyptic self so I’m going to go with someone like Julie in Warm Bodies, sneaking into desolated parts of town to get supplies and shooting zombies in the head.
Qs from Stefani
1. What’s your least favorite book-to-movie adaptation? Most favorite?
Hmmm… least favorite, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Overall, the movie was okay, but I really didn’t like the casting of Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange. In reading the books, I caught some sexual undertones in her relationship with Lord Voldemort so I expected someone who looked somewhat haggard – she had been in prison after all – but was still sexy. Carter, however, just looked crazy.
I know there were mixed reviews on Netflix, but I really liked Starz’ take on Pillars of the Earth. I thought they did a nice job with casting and condensing the story down to its essential bits.
2. If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be?
Without a doubt, Oscar Wilde. His wit always makes me chuckle, and The Importance of Being Earnest is my favorite play. I think a conversation with him would be a hoot!
3. Have you ever bought a book based on just its cover? Where you disappointed?
The Sundowners by Lesley Lokko, and YES! The copy I saw had a pink and orange cover and looked like a typical summery, chick-lit kind of book. It was much denser than that, however, and I never really latched on to any of the characters. I finished the book, but it was definitely a slog.
4. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Oh goodness… I was raised in a family with a “Have Passport, Will Travel” mentality so there are very few places I don’t want to go! However, I would love to go to Russia at some point. Having studied the last days of Czar Nicholas II and seeing a Fabergé egg exhibit in elementary school, and then Soviet history in college, it would be fun to go see some of the places I’ve read about in person.
Qs from Meg
1. If you could live in any historical period, what would it be and why?
I am a history nerd so there are a number of time periods I think would be fun to check out – Medieval England, Revolutionary America, etc. However, the caveat is that I would have to be a part of the aristocracy because let’s be honest, that’s where the money and privilege were.
2. Who has influenced your life the most and how?
It may be corny to say, but my parents. They have always supported me, no matter what, and have been great role models, both in how to be a good parent and a good partner.
3. What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
At the moment, my alarm clock, though I’m working to find better motivation.
4. How do you get past writer’s block?
Take a break – if you’re having a block, there’s no use trying to push through it. The work is going to be sloppy and you’re just going to have to go back and change it later. Get up from the computer, go outside, do something fun and unrelated for an hour or two, and then come back to it!
5. What do you want to be doing in five years?
Hopefully more of this! Or finally opening up the grilled cheese shop that C and I keep talking about.
6. How much time do you spend writing/blogging each day?
Since I have a full time job, I don’t write/blog every day, but it’s something that I’m trying to work on!
7. For what are you most grateful?
My family. In an age when the divorce rate is near 50%, I have always been very grateful for the fact that I grew up in a two-parent household with people who truly loved each other – and are still madly in love with one another – and loved me unconditionally.
8. If you could give someone you love a gift, what would it be?
This may be a bit heavy, but I would love for C to see himself the way I do. In many ways we are all our own worst critics, myself included, and I just want him to see the funny, handsome, caring, thoughtful man that I am so deeply in love with.
9. What song makes you want to dance?
What song doesn’t make me want to dance!? I’ve always loved music and totally wish my life came with a soundtrack sometimes! Though I do enjoy classic rock every now and then, I’m usually more of a Top 40 girl because I like songs that I can sing along to as well.
Qs from Me
1. What made you decide to create a blog?
2. From what/where do you draw your inspiration?
3. Is blogging something you do full time, or is it more of a hobby?
4. What is your favorite movie of all time? Favorite book?
5. If you could star in any role, what would it be and why?
6. What are your must-see television shows?
7. What is one thing on your bucket list?
And because we have to have some nerdy questions thrown in…
8. Batman or Superman?
9. Marvel or DC?
10. Who is your favorite Avenger?
11. Pepsi or Coke?
Okay, so I’m cheating here a little bit because I’m new to this whole blogging thing and most of the blogs I follow seem to be fairly well established. While I am certainly going to keep a look out for worthy blogs, I feel like the process should be organic and don’t want to randomly nominate sites for the sake of following the rules. So for now, this section is TBD, but I will update it when necessary!