Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Liebster Award

The always wonderful Karen Elizabeth Brown has given me the Liebster Award. Thank you!

Okay.  To accept this award, I must tell all of you 11 things about myself.  Then I need to answer 11 questions that Karen posed to me.  Lastly, I pass it on to 11 other deserving bloggers, and I have to come up with 11 new questions for them as well. That's a lot to do!

It seems like you start to run out of facts to share about yourself after awhile, but I will do my best to come up with something.  However, I cannot promise anything amazing.  I never could get the hang of Thursdays, after all.

  1. I am a sucker for pi jokes.
  2. I love to search through space images on the internet when I'm bored.
  3. I think scientists make great philosophers.
  4. Almost all of my socks have holes in them, and I hate that.  I really need new socks.
  5. I've been watching the Olympics every day, though the rest of the time I never watch sports.  There's just something about the magic of the whole world coming together, I guess.
  6. Gymnastics is my favorite Olympic sport to watch.  Man, I wish I could do some of the things those amazing athletes can do.  As a kid, I couldn't even do something as simple as a somersault.  No Olympic gold in my future, I guess.
  7. Is it bad that while watching the track events I suddenly had an urge to watch the movie Cool Runnings?  I mean, I know it's about the winter games, but it started with sprinting.
  8. Sometimes I hide my opinions from certain people I know won't approve of them.  It isn't because of the fear of judgment either.  Sometimes I just don't want to get into an argument.
  9. I find it especially irritating when I do get into an argument over a sensitive issue and people refute what I said by saying "Oh, you're being brainwashed" or "You're uneducated about this."  Why don't people realize those aren't valid points?  They don't win the argument, they just dead end it.  After someone says this, they've successfully closed themselves off to any points you may try to put forward after that point.  If you want to convince me, tell me why you think I'm wrong and what you believe to be the case.  This is half the reason why I try to avoid so many arguments.  Obviously, if I'm going to write, I have to get over this to a certain extent.  When strangers leave me a message saying something similar, I will do my best to ignore them.  I have to be authentic.  However, when you know the people saying these things, it's harder to avoid.
  10. I wish I had a time machine just so I could get all my housework done, do everything I need to do for my kids, get plenty of writing time, and still get a good night's sleep.  (And maybe to win the lottery.)
  11. I am sick to death of political ads.  I hate them, hate them, HATE THEM!
Now it's time for Karen's questions.

What kind of music inspires you when you write?  I love rock music to get me revved up when I'm writing a good action scene.  I also like instrumentals.  Here's an example of a song that inspires me. And yes, it comes from Star Trek TNG, so that helps too.


What is your favorite holiday?  As a kid, it had to be New Years.  I got to stay up late with my parents playing board games, and we had a table full of snacks.  I still like it for the idea of starting over fresh.

Barefoot or sandals?  Barefoot.  I love the feeling of soft grass on my feet.  Of course, when there's really hot sand or sharp rocks, I will put the sandals on.

What are your goals for writing this year?  I want to have a short story published by the end of the year, and I'd like to self-publish something by the end of the year as well.  We'll see how that goes.

What are you reading right now?  I'm in between books at the moment.  I have a lot of writing to get done in the next week.  I guess I'll find out what I'm reading next after a trip to the library.

Do you outline before you write? If not, do you have some other preparation for you story?  When I'm writing novels, I absolutely outline first.  It can get overwhelming if I don't.  When I'm writing a short story or flash fiction, I tend to just start and see where it goes.  Sometimes with a short story, I write the climax first so I can get an idea of what kind of story I'm really dealing with.

Who or what is your special muse?  Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I've named my unpredictable  muse Pleiades.  She is not actually a physical entity so much as a convenient embodiment of the way array of things that inspire me out of the blue. Sometimes my kids inspire a story. Sometimes it's something my husband says in passing.  Pictures frequently work as well.  I've learned to be open to inspiration, regardless of where it may come from.

Do you have a special place to go to get inspired?  I used to go to a coffee shop in Ames called Cafe Diem.  I always felt inspired there.  Since having kids though, that can't happen nearly as much.  Now I enjoy a good sunset or stargazing in the backyard. That works well as a source of inspiration.

Do you prefer to write during the day or at night? Do you have a schedule? I prefer to write at night.  That seems to be when my creative side really gets going.  It's also after my kids go to bed, so that certainly doesn't hurt.  Also, I've never been much of a morning person.

Favorite author(s)?  Here's a short list that is in no way complete: Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, J.K. Rowling, Anne McCaffrey, Octavia Butler, Ursula Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, and Frank Herbert.  There are a ton more I love, but I have to stop somewhere.

Beef, chicken, fish or tofu?  I love beef and chicken so much it's impossible to pick.  They're both amazing in stir fry, and are wonderful off the grill as well.  Man.  This question made me hungry.

Now that you all know so much more about me, I'll formulate a new list of questions.

  1. Which do you prefer: reading or writing?  Or does your preference depend on your mood?
  2. How do you prefer to travel: car, bike, or foot?  For longer distances: train, plane, or boat?
  3. What is the craziest thing you wanted to be when you were a kid?
  4. If you could pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
  5. Board games or video games?
  6. If you suddenly became a millionaire, what would buy first and why?
  7. Where in the world would you like to travel most?
  8. If you had a chance to go to space, would you do it?  Why or why not?
  9. What is your favorite movie or TV show?
  10. Do you collect anything?
  11. Chocolate or vanilla?
Okay.  That part is over.  Now to determine who gets the opportunity to answer these questions.  I don't know who all has this award and who doesn't, and I know a lot of people don't even accept awards.  So if I give it to you and you choose not to accept it, I understand.  If that's the case, you may simply choose to take my nomination as a compliment.  However, I hope at least a few of you answer these questions.


  1. You are very kind L.G.. Thank you for the consideration. I'm away at the moment and when I have time i will try and sit and give this a go. But my sincerest thanks. It was nice getting 2 know a bit more about u here, hope 2 do the same. Best, SFF

  2. Aw, shucks, thanks! I don't usually do blogger awards but I'll be happy to answer your questions. I enjoyed reading your post. Good luck on your writing. It can be hard with kids.

    Which do you prefer: reading or writing? Or does your preference depend on your mood? Depends on how tired I am. Really tired, I sleep. Mostly tired, I read. Not tired, I write.
    How do you prefer to travel: car, bike, or foot? For longer distances: train, plane, or boat? Less than a mile, by foot. More than a mile but less than 500, car. More than 500? I really have to want to go there. I'll still drive, if I have the time to spare.
    What is the craziest thing you wanted to be when you were a kid? I wanted to be a race car driver when I was six, then an astronaut until I was about 14, then I thought computer programming was the coolest thing ever. Now, I'll settle for being Han Solo.
    If you could pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be? Whimsical
    Board games or video games? Depends on the game. We have plenty of both at my house. If it involves coordination, forget it. Luck? Definitely my kind of game.
    If you suddenly became a millionaire, what would buy first and why? I'd build a spaceship in my basement family room. I've always wanted one and that's the closest I'll ever come. We have a half-baked one my husband concocted out of scrap lumber but I'd love to do it right.
    Where in the world would you like to travel most? The south Pacific. I've always wanted to visit a tropical island and just lay around and be lazy for several months.
    If you had a chance to go to space, would you do it? Why or why not? I would love to, but I probably won't. I get motion sick on a swingset. I wouldn't enjoy any of it. I'd be puking the whole time.
    What is your favorite movie or TV show? Spacehunter in the Forbidden Zone. Early 80s bad sci-fi, horribly cheesy, but so much fun to watch.
    Do you collect anything? I collect toy squids. They are very rare and hard to find, which keeps my collection very small and manageable.

    Thanks again for a lot of fun.
    Chocolate or vanilla?

    1. Wow. You sound a lot like me. I also love Spacehunter in the Forbidden Zone. That's one of my dad's favorite movies, and I grew up watching it. I would also love to build a spaceship!

  3. I wish I had a place called "Cafe Diem" to write in! And I'm a night owl like you - always feel more creative and interested in writing under the cloak of night...
    Some Dark Romantic

  4. Hi! Thank you very much for the award, but it is one that I've already been given. But I really appreciate the nomination and I'll answer your questions here if you don't mind:

    1. Well, both. I've always loved reading, so I've enjoyed that the longest. But now that I write, they go together like breathing: Reading is the inhale, and writing is the exhale.

    2. Depends. If I have time, I'd always prefer to take whichever way allows me to see scenery or new things. but many times, it's whichever way will get me there fastest.

    3. Um, maybe an astronaut -- I still love space, astronomy and cosmology.

    4. "Writer"

    5. Board games with others, video games for solo entertainment.

    5. Pay off my bills and the house, set aside funds for the family, and donate a part of it.

    6. Anywhere I've never been. Always had a dream of walking on the Great Wall of China, though...

    7. Yes, absolutely! Well, provided I could get back and prevent the motion/no-gravity sickness I know I'd get while in space.

    8. Um, so many... Check out my Blogger profile for a longer list, but off-hand, I'd say "ST:TNG" or "Cosmos" for TV and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" for movies.

    9. Not really -- I have over 700 CDs but haven't bought a new one in years, so I guess that's no longer true. I'd guess the main thing I seem to be collecting these days are writing rejections, lol!

    10. Oh, no doubt -- chocolate, and the darker, the better!

    And, as a bonus gift for the fondness you mentioned in #1 of the 11 things about you, here's a 50-word story I wrote last year for Pirate week at, called "Arrrgh, Maybe I Should Join the Union:"

    Fanghorn Redbeard was exhausted. It had been a long first week.

    Fifty hours of pillaging, plundering, and marauding had been grueling, but finally it was payday.

    He took his check from the clerk and winced: $157.08!?!?

    He complained and was told, “Sorry: $3.14159265 per hour is the standard Pi-rate wage.”


    1. That's a funny story! Thanks for sharing and answering my questions.

  5. Thanks for the tag! ;) Always nice to learn new things about fellow writers!

  6. You are very kind to offer me the award and I thank you. I have had this one, so feel I should leave it for someone else this time, but it's so nice to be included and offered, I want you to know I do appreciate it.

    And great facts. I was thinking about cool Runnings too! They so should repeat it when the Olympics are on! (Love gymnastics too!)

  7. Thanks very much for the Liebster Award L.G. But its one I already received in April. I really want to thank you for nominating and for encouraging me. I will find time.

  8. Thanks for the award L.G.! I do appreciate the attention. It's cool to learn about you. Best of luck!