What a wonderful surprise! I was out of touch for a week while I was at a meeting for work, and when I resurfaced, I found my blog had been awarded not one but two blog awards! These peer blog awards are a thoughtful and friendly way to recognize bloggers and let them know we appreciate what’s being written. So often we painstakingly send our missives out into the blogosphere and have no idea if anyone’s even looking. This is a nice way to recognize what’s out there and “pay it forward.”
Thank you to Charmaine Elizabeth for the One Lovely Blog Award. Charmaine’s blog is charmainelizabeth.blogspot.ca.
So what is the One Lovely Blog Award?
Rules for the One Lovely Blog award are to thank the blogger who nominated you, give seven facts about yourself, post the blog award badge on your site, and nominate other noteworthy blogs, notifying them you did so. Here are my facts:
1. I’ve been writing since I was 5 years old.
2. My mantra is: This, too, shall pass. It’s so easy to think that whatever situation we’re in is going to last forever, but thankfully—or not—it doesn’t.
3. I got my first gray hair when I was 13 years old.
4. I’m a certified hypnotherapist and think hypnosis is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s easy, amazingly helpful and beneficial and it’s fun.
5. I’m a Grammar Nazi.
6. I cannot imagine life without a dog or a cat (preferably both), books, sunsets, music, clean sheets of paper, pens, clouds, wild animals, mountains, waterfalls, hummingbirds, fall color, chocolate, starry skies and butter, not necessarily in that order.
7. I believe we are put on this earth to learn, to grow, and to help each other grow.
My award pick is:
http://rosannedingli.blogspot.com/ by Rosanne Dingli. Rosanne has several books that combine art, history, travel, mystery and fast-paced action into compelling stories.
Other blogs that I think are especially helpful to all writers:
Thanks to Sunni Morris for giving me the Liebster Blog award. Her blog is here: http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com.
What is the Liebster Blog Award?
The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German for pleasant, valued, and many other synonyms. The rules for this one state that you answer the 11 questions asked of you by the Blogger who gave you this award. You then nominate other blogs and leave your own list of questions for those bloggers.
Sunni’s questions for me to answer are below.
1. What is your greatest achievement so far and why?
That’s a tough one. I think my greatest achievement is living the life I want to live. I’ve heard so many people moan about the city or state they live in, how they’d love to move but they can’t because of (choose one) job, family, economy/money. Although my life is somewhat confined by the need to earn a living, my husband and I have always been willing to move to places that fit our lifestyle and do things we enjoy. I have never been shackled to a location because of work, family, or lack of imagination. I live in places I love (Arizona), I go places that haunt me (Australia), and I do what I can’t imagine not doing—writing and publishing. It doesn’t get any better.
2. How do you spend your free time?
Free time always seems to be at a premium; there are always so many “have-tos” to get done. My favorite enjoyment is (surprise!) reading. Beyond that, I absolutely love being out in wilderness places, watching wild animals, enjoying the sun, the wind, the clouds, thunderstorms and clear night skies.
3. What is your favorite season and why?
I have always loved fall; love the feel of the air, the colors of the leaves, the breezes, the clouds. However, in Arizona, things are slightly topsy-turvy and we don’t have the fall color here I had in California or Oregon. Here in AZ, spring is the best, when everything starts waking up, greening up, budding up.
4. If you could live anywhere besides where you do now, places today or times back in history, where would it be and why?
My two most favorite places on the planet are the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell, and it would be awesome to live at either. I’m already close; after retirement will soon be closer.
5. To date, what has been your worst disappointment in life?
It may sound weird, but I can’t think of any. Oh, I’ve had disappointments, sure, but the worst? Seems like every disappointment I’ve had has been a springboard to something better. I got laid off at my job at the phone company after 21-1/2 years; I soon found my current job at the National Observatory, the absolutely hands-down best job ever. I’ve had rejection letters on several of my books that cut my heart out, but I’ve now published 10 books to date, both traditionally and self-published. How bad can a disappointment be if we overcome it? They don’t even rate.
6. How did you get interested in writing?
I have been writing stories since I was 5, too long ago to even remember why. I guess I’ve just always been a natural-born story-teller.
7. What advice would you give a new writer?
Stay true to yourself and your story. Writing is such a solitary pursuit, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a lack of confidence, by contrary “advice” given by “experts,” but no one knows the story that’s in your heart and mind like you do. Accept constructive criticism cautiously, mull it around, lay the blueprint of your story over it and see if it fits. If it does, great; you’ve made your story stronger. If it doesn’t, throw it out! You are the only and best authority of what you want to write.
8. If you could start all over in life, would you change anything?
The only thing I would change in my life would be the timing on my own leap of confidence (see 7 above). I spent too many years believing others knew better than I did what I needed to do or write. I spent too many years trying to make other people happy instead of taking responsibility for my own happiness.
9. What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
Exciting, hmmm. Para-sailing in Hawaii? Zip-lining in Costa Rica? Adult Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama? Digging fire agates out of a mine in California? All fun and exciting, but the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done was going to Machu Picchu. I’ve wanted to see this place for myself ever since I first heard of it as a kid and it was everything I’d dreamed and hoped it would be. It is one of, if not the, most amazing places on earth.
10. Are you scared of anything, or do you conquer all your fears and do it anyway?
Ha! I have a horrible fear of heights and my favorite place in the whole world is the Grand Canyon. Go figure. I doubt I’ll ever “conquer” my fear of heights, but I contain it as much as possible to be able to enjoy my small adventures. I have pushed through enough to go para-sailing and zip-lining, both hugely fun even tho terrifying. Sky-diving? Never!
11. What are the best five words that would describe you?
Positive, confident, thoughtful, encouraging, imaginative.
My award for a great blog is:
http://lynnkelleyrandomactsofwriting.blogspot.com/ by Lynn Kelley. Lynn has a knack for writing as and about kids, something that eludes me. In reading just a bit of her latest, Double Digits, I realized that she has nailed the life of a 10-year-old.
Now, my questions to my awardee:
1. Who do you most admire and why?
2. What’s the most difficult challenge you’ve ever overcome?
3. What has writing taught you about yourself?
4. What’s your favorite book (not your own) and why?
5. What inspires you?
6. As a reader, what’s your biggest complaint?
7. What are you grateful for?
8. What’s your best advice for aspiring writers?
9. What’s your perfect environment for writing? (Place, time of day, peripherals)
10. What’s your first consideration for choosing books to read?
11. Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.
Thanks again for the awards! Now get out there and pay it forward!