Liebsterish Questions

I’m way overdue for a Liebster Award blog post, as I’ve been given it by three people — one in March, one in April, and one back a couple Decembers ago before I even had a blog… But I’m finally going to do them!

The rules to the Liebster Award as I’ve encountered it seem to usually be along these lines:
1. Thank the person who tagged you and link back to them
2. List a number (it seems to vary) of facts about yourself
3. Answer the questions given you by your tagger
4. Give the same number of questions for the next people to answer
5. Tag that number of people (who are supposed to have less than 200 followers)
6. Inform the tagged ones that they have been nominated

Since there are so many questions, instead of listing random facts about me I’m just going to answer the questions. And I’ll try to follow the less-than 200 thing but it’s sometimes hard to know.

*proceeds to answer 32 random questions* (This may get long…)

Lisa of God’s Daughter 4 Ever tagged me, and since she didn’t give questions but answered the questions given to her and the questions given to the person before her, she said to pick 11 of the 22 questions to answer, so I have… Thank you, Lisa dear!

1. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Um. I think I’ll pick “food”. That way I have all my options covered…

2. Do you have a favorite letter?

Not really… L’s are nice. And I seem to be strangely addicted to giving characters names starting with T’s.

3. Chocolate or peanut butter?

Chocolate all the way! Or… nutella.

4. Which is your favorite hair color: pink, blue, or green?

All of those are rather unusual, and though I love the color green I’m going to have to go with blue because I think it looks the least weird as a hair color. (Or maybe I could say purple… I have a character with purple hair.)

5. Do you work well under pressure or snap?

Depends. If it’s NaNoWriMo, then an intriguing combination of the two…

6. What’s your favorite music genre/band?

Celtic music and beautiful soundtracks are my favorite genres. My favorite band is probably The Chieftains.

7. Do you like to bake?

Sometimes, when I feel like it.

8. Batman or Superman?

Batman if I have to choose between the two. But I’ll just pick Hawkeye instead.

9. What was/is your best subject in school?

Anything relating to writing and words and English and stuff. Maybe history too.

10. Do you do your own thinking or allow others to just give you the information?

I try to do my own thinking, but it is useful to have others give me information to think about…

11. What’s your favorite ink color?

Plain ol’ black. ‘Tis pretty.

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Questions from jsleflore, who tagged me in March. Thanks so much!

1) What inspires you?

Music. Pretty pictures. Walking in the woods.

2) Sunrises or sunsets and why?

Sunsets. There’s just something about the evening drawing to a close and the pretty colors in the sky, and then the stars coming out. (That, and I don’t usually get up early enough to see the sunrise…)

3) If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?

I wouldn’t want to do that, but as far as fantasy hybrid animals go, I’ve always thought Griffins were cool.

4)  What’s the last thing you took a picture of?

Some cool looking old steps at a State Park.

5) If you could learn any language fluently what would it be and why?

Gaelic/Irish/Welsh/all the Celtic languages. Because I love Celtic things. Plus, pretty.

6) What is the name of your alter ego and why?

I’m not sure I have an alter ego…

7) Have you ever used the phrase “back in my time” to someone younger than you?

Yep. Which is humorous considering “back in my time” wasn’t so very long ago…

8) Do you have any unusual fears or phobias?

Does talking on the phone count? Because I really don’t like doing that.

9) Do you prefer to wash in the mornings or evenings?

Dunno.

10)  What’s the funniest rumor you started?

I’m not very good at rumors, humorous or otherwise…

Liebster Blog Award

A very very long time ago (seriously, we’re talking ancient history here) I was tagged by the lovely Mirriam Neal, even though I didn’t have a blog at the time. So since I do have one, since they’re such fun questions, I’m going to go ahead and do it, late though I may be. Thanks a million, Mirri!

1. Do you create playlists for your novels when you write, or do you write better without music?

Usually when I write I have inspirational music on. But sometimes I’ll find songs or tunes that go really well with a story or character I’m writing, in which case I’ll listen to those. I don’t usually make playlists for specific books, but I’ve been starting to do that more lately.

2. Is there anything you have given up in order to be able to write?

. . . My sanity? Oh, sorry, no, wrong answer. *cough* I’d say I’ve lost a lot of sleep. Staying up late, or getting up at 2 a.m. to write a scene that’s bugging me to write it. Seiously, what’s sleep when there’s a story to write?

3. What character (not your own) has moved or inspired you the most? Why?

Um . . . I have no idea how to answer this one. I can’t think of one in particular.

4. Have you ever seen a real-life version of your character walking down the street?

Sadly, no. Online very occasionally though…

5. Have you ever been inspired by something completely random and strange?

Oh yes. Random and strange things are absolutely fantastic. They are my friends.

6. Have you ever come up with a fantastic idea, only to find out that someone in the past stole it from you?

ALL. THE. TIME. But worse than finding it in the past is already having written an idea, and suddenly everyone else has it, but you *know* you had it first . . ! This happens to me more than I would like.

7. Is there one thing people tend to say all the time that you absolutely hate?

I can’t think of anything like that right now . . . and I’m wondering if that is a bad thing or not. *laughs*

8. Is there a Tumblr you go to for inspiration?

Nope. I’ve never understood Tumblr. There are several friend’s Pinterests however that are highly inspirational…

9. What does your writing space look like?

I started by describing it, but . . . a picture’s worth a thousand words. So here’s a glimpse of it.

writingspace
10. Do you have a ‘routine’ for writing?

In general, I almost always have to have an outline before I write something. When I’m ready to do some writing, I tend to turn on my music and close my door, shutting myself into the world of my story, and generally hope to have at least an hour of uninterrupted writing time (probably why I don’t write as often as I should). Sometimes I act the scene out a bit or reimagine it in my head. And occasionally I find inspiration by sitting outside to write. If “routine” is supposed to mean “habit or particular time I write”, I’m afraid I don’t have those… Which I need to change.

11. Have you ever been struck with creative lightning at an inappropriate time?

YES. The middle of the night is the most common . . . I have fortunately taken to always having something around to take notes on. Seriously, ideas, pick some better times, won’t you? (But really, I don’t care. Inspiration, you may strike whenever you wish. I’ll be here waiting . . .)

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And now to pass it along.

11 Questions for the Tagged Ones:

1. Do you name your electronics?

2. What color is your hair?

3. Do you prefer libraries or bookstores?

4. At this moment, if you could magically have any kind of food (or drink) what would you wish for?

5. If you had to pick between never drinking tea or coffee again, which would you choose?

6. Who is your latest favorite character that you’ve “met” and why?

7. Do you own multiple unused journals/notebooks and if so how many?

8. In your writing, are you a plotter or a pantser?

9. What’s your favorite genre?

10. Favorite theme song from TV or movie?

11. Happy endings? Tragic? Bittersweet?

I Tag:

Hmm… Since I just did the Sunflower tag recently, I’m going to try to tag other people. This might be hard…

Lauriloth

Samscham

Pepper Darcy

Miss Melody Muffin

Morgan or Rachel (or both) at Of Kings and Cabbages

Matt

Mikayla

Emily

Reagan

Sarah Holman

Sarah Leilani Sunblade

If you do it, be sure to link back here or come back and comment to say you did, so I can read your answers!

Readers, be sure to check out their blogs because they’re awesome. 🙂

Favorite Reads of 2013

I read a lot of wonderful books in 2013, so here without further ado I give you a list of my favorites, not counting re-reads. I’m including three books I read that aren’t published yet, written by people I know. When those books are published, I’m going to be the first in line to buy them.

TOP 15 BOOKS READ IN 2013


1. Paper Crowns (Unpublished)Mirriam Neal

Yes, my favorite book of the entire year was an unpublished story. Was it really that good? The answer is YES. ABSOLUTELY YES. It was perfection in awesome fairytale form. Publish it soon, Mirri, so that it can sit in a place of honor on my bookshelf and so I can send multiple copies to all of my friends. ❤


2. The Court of the Stone Children – Eleanor Cameron

This was a truly amazing book, a delightful mixture of historical fiction, fantasy, mystery, ghost story… I’ve never read anything like it before. Plus it’s by one of my five favorite authors. I’m going to be rereading this again soon I think…


3. Searching for Dragons – Patricia C. Wrede

I loved this book! Second in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and even better than “Dealing with Dragons”, the first one–even though I thought the series couldn’t get better. I loved all the fairytale things hidden throughout, and the whole thing was epic and witty.


4. The Kingdom of the Starlit Valley (Unpublished)the Princess of Dol Amroth

Hilarious humor and fun and adventure, plus one of the very coolest characters EVER made this book wonderful!


5. The Penderwicks – Jeanne Birdsall

Considering the fact that this is a modern story, which is not my thing, it just shows how amazing of a book this was that it made it this high on my list! It totally felt like a really classic older book and I was amazed to notice it was only published in the last ten years. The fun adventures of four sisters, I really enjoyed it.


6. Princess of the Midnight Ball – Jessica Day George

Okay, so Twelve Dancing Princesses is my favorite fairytale, and this was a MARVELOUS version of it. Add in the fact that it was set during a musket time-period, and it reaches near perfection for me…


7. Secrets of Camelot (Unpublished)Lauriloth

I had the great privilege of getting to beta-read this for my friend (still working on the notes, Lauri!) and let me just say… I. Was. Blown. Away. The story mixes together King Arthur legends and Robin Hood legends, and add in some dragons in there and just… whoa. Does it get any better than that? The answer is no! This was SO epic!


8. The Fairest Beauty – Melanie Dickerson

This was an AWESOME book! You may be noticing by now that I’m a big fan of fairytale re-tellings, and this was an incredible version of Snow White. I really loved it and want to try more things by the author!


9. The Naming – Alison Croggon

This was recommended to me by a friend, and though a bit thick to wade through I was extremely glad that I did! Though it seemed to borrow heavily from The Lord of the Rings for a few things, it was a great fantasy story and I’m looking forward to finishing reading the series!

10. Facets of FantasySarah Scheele

This was a collection of five novellas, and each one of them was something special in itself! Awesome adventure stories, Sci fi, and Fantasy, and also one of the most hilarious stories I’ve ever read. The author is currently serializing a rewrite of one of the stories in this collection, on her blog–an incredible and original Cinderella retelling that I am LOVING, so be sure to check it out! I can’t wait for the conclusion!


11. The Amaranth Enchantment – Julie Berry

This was a great fairytale-ish fantasy story–it even had an element of Cinderalla that was fun! Very vivid and original, I quite enjoyed it.


12. The Boggart – Susan Cooper

This is possibly the oddest thing on my list of favorites this year… But Scotland! I listened to the audio version which was awesome. Very funny and cool and unique!


13. Castle in the Air – Diana Wynne Jones

Sequel(ish) to “Howl’s Moving Castle”… enough said! This was extremely fun.


14. Tears of a Dragon – Bryan Davis

Fascinating conclusion to the “Dragons in Our Midst” series, it was extremely engaging and fun!


15. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

Going on my slowly-growing pile of books I’ve read by Jane Austen (all right, I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice besides this) I enjoyed this story immensely! It’s interesting how much I “got” it, despite it having been written so very long ago.

FAVORITE NONFICTION:


Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit – Corey Olsen

Fantastic look at The Hobbit, and really showed me some good things to think about when re-reading it! Highly recommended!

(If you’re a fan of Tolkien, check out Corey Olsen’s AMAZING downloadable MP3 college lecture series on Tolkien’s works–they are the most fascinating thoughts on Tolkien I’ve ever found; not to mention extremely fun and informative!)


The Four Loves – C. S. Lewis

Lewis always has great things to say, and this year I branched out from his fiction into some of his non-fiction. I was very glad that I did! This was my favorite I read in 2013 and had a lot of interesting and inspirational thoughts.

FAVORITE SHORT STORIES:

Wintermoon Wish – Sharon Shinn (from “Firebirds Rising”)

This story. I just… I can’t. It’s a WONDERFUL short story. Which is extreme for me to say because I’ve been finding that short stories are usually not my thing. It’s basically a Christmas story, or like what a Christmas might be in a fantasy land that doesn’t have Christmas. It was wonderful. It was also basically the only story in the entire collection it was in that I liked…

The Apprentice Thief – Seumas MacManus (from “In Chimney Corners: Irish Folk-Tales”)

I loved this story about an apprentice thief doing seemingly impossible things–it was awesome!

Westwoods – Eleanor Farjeon (from “The Little Book-Room“)

And this one, about a king who’s looking for someone to marry, was just SO delightful! In fact, many of the stories in the book it’s collected in are great!

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So there’s my year in books! Have you read any of those? What did you think? And what were your favorite reads of 2013?