Blogger Recognition Award

I would like to thank Colleen Chesebro of Word Craft for nominating me for this award/game. If you’d like to read her very sweet and awesome responses, you can do so here! I really do enjoy these sorts of games, so anyone who wants to tag me in this sort of thing can do so.

If I nominate/tag you and you want to participate in the game, here’s the rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to. (No response required).
  • Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.

It won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t want to participate! If you’re here reading, though, it’d be great if you could choose one or two blog posts tagged at the end of this.

How Did I Start My Blog?

I actually started the blog in 2013 with the short story Waiting for Company. It was a Southern Gothic horror based strongly on my grandmother, and it’s so bad. So, so bad. You can read it if you want to know how far I’ve come. I then published several more shorts, then the short novels Evolution of the Predator and If I Only Had No Heart, both of which you can download as a PDF by clicking on the links. All during this time, though, I wasn’t very serious; the blog was mostly a place where I could leave stories, have a link, and email that link to my mom so she could read them.

Then, in January 2018, she told me she’d never clicked on a single link I’d sent. She’d never read a single story and didn’t have plans to, no matter how many I sent.

That was about the time If I Only Had No Heart went up. I was pretty depressed after my mom said that, so I decided to see what blogging was really about and start connecting with other people.

Speaking of Connecting…

My first piece of advice to new bloggers is to connect with other bloggers. You never know who is going to come up with something so creative and helpful that you must love it.

What’s hard about getting into that mode is the time it takes to build these connections. Yes, it will entail reading and commenting on other blogs. Yes, it will mean paying attention to other people. But the payoff in friendship and camaraderie was worth it for me.

Decide What is “Worth It”

So it was worth it for me.

But it might not be worth it for you.

You can only do so much social media before your ability to function explodes. Blogging, while my favorite social media, does take up quite a bit of time. So, if you decide to blog, come up with a goal for it. Is it to have 5,000 followers in a month (lol, good luck)? Is it to sell your books? Is it to meet other people and learn about your craft? It doesn’t matter what you want out of it so much as understanding what is possible and understanding if the effort you need to put in is worth the reward.

If it’s not worth it? Don’t be afraid to quit. Your blog will be here if you want to come back later.

Some Excellent Posts to Read

I’m behind on my reading, but here’s a few posts you’ll want to see by authors you’ll want to follow. Technically, this is the “nomination/tag” section, but once again I’d like to say that no one I’ve tagged has to continue this, no do they have to like or comment or any of that jazz.

  • Kevin Parish’s Daddy – An absolutely heartbreaking poem. I’ve long had a terrible relationship with my dad, and this one got to me because of the goodness and strength of the titular father.
  • Chelsea Owens’s A Starving Writing Muse – A clever piece about writing, recent motherhood, and toilet humor, I enjoyed reading this piece quite a lot. Chelsea’s hilarious and fun to follow.
  • Joanne Fisher’s Gnome Help – Cute as fuck flash fiction that made me feel cozy to read. She often has great poetry and flash, and many of her love stories are lesbian, which can offer you a fresh perspective to read about.
  • Charli Mills’s Carrot Ranch Writing Prompts – In addition to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompts (Colleen nominated me), the Carrot Ranch is a great community to join. Check out the most recent prompt and consider joining yourself!
  • Aak Fictionspawn’s Crystal Clear – Honestly you guys, I need more people to read this and solve the riddle. I think I was close.
  • Crispina Kemp’s Raised Against Us – This was such a poignant story. I thought the twist was really good. As well, check out her Crimson’s Creative Challenge writing prompt!
  • Lorraine Ambers’s Blogging, Social Media, and Marketing Tips – Lorraine is one of those great bloggers who gives out good advice articles. I always look forward to her tips and tricks.
  • Alexander Eliot’s Dragon Series – A long ongoing series with a great Mid-Grade or YA feel. Tackles some more difficult subjects along the way and has great monster building.
  • Violet Lentz’s Stories of the Forgotten – Violet’s stories always have an intensity to them that you just don’t get with other blogs. This one will hit you in the feels like a bus.
  • Ari Meghlen’s Should You Plan Out Your Whole Year? – Ari Meghlen’s blog is great because she makes her life story and brand so exciting. I love watching how she chooses to do things and trying to figure out how she makes it look so cool.
  • Jules’s Gnawing Chills – A great poem about squirrels that I think will give you some good feelings.
  • Hannah Russell’s Reading Games – I love following this blog because it keeps me inspired to read more. I think it’s done more to make me want to read than any other set of reviews.
  • tnkerr’s Midriff Culture – I thought this one was pretty funny, if a bit risque and a wee bit old-school. A great blog to follow for occasional flashes and fun times!
  • D. Wallace Peach’s blog – I can’t pick out a post, but I love Peach’s work. Everything she writes is fantastic, and you should follow her. Also has great indie book reviews. Didn’t link to a post because they’ve probably been nominated.
  • Sue Vincent’s blog – another blog with a ton of great posts. I especially like her Midnight Haiku series. Didn’t link to a post because they’ve probably been nominated before.
  • Roberta Cheadle’s blog – Fantastic reviews and responses to prompts. I know for certain they’ve been tagged in this game, so I didn’t link to a post.

So, there you have it! Please check out some of the suggested content and start conversations with someone new!

Also, sorry for forgetting the title, for those of you who get the email updates… 😦

Sunshine Blogger’s Award

Everyone knows I love these tag-and-question games. They’re a great way to get to know other authors, and I enjoy doing them.

So thank you, Kevin Parish, for nominating me!

I won’t be nominating enough people right now, today, because I’m not sure who enjoys this sort of thing. If you’d like to become a part of my usual tag-game fun list, let me know!

Kevin’s Questions:

  1. What verbal graffiti do you use too much? (Examples: Like…Well anyway… I know, right… Huh… Umm…)
    I think I just curse a lot and make people too scared to listen to the fact I don’t know what I’m doing.
  2. What is your favorite color?
    Plaid. Though, if patterns aren’t allowed, green. The kind of avocado green they used to make refrigerators.
  3. Do you love, hate or couldn’t care less about professional sports?
    Hate professional sports. I find it a waste of GDP and a celebration of toxicity.
  4. What’s the name of your longest-time best friend?
    Gah, that’d probably be my spouse, and I haven’t got permission to share that name on the interwebs.
  5. What’s the funniest nickname you have ever heard?
    This girl in high school went by Lu, and I thought that was a normal, somewhat masculine replacement for Lucille until I was in a class with her. On the first day, the teacher read off the names on the list, did a double take, and said sheepishly, “…Lucifer?” then the girl raised her hand and said, “I go by Lu.”
  6. Do you have a nickname that you can/will share?
    I don’t currently have a nickname. When I was in 4th grade, though, I was Scrooge in our class play of “A Christmas Carol,” and everyone called me “Bah Humbug” or just “Humbug.” I think it stuck for so long because I didn’t like the idea of being a humbug and got overly defensive.
  7. Have you ever started laughing really hard just by thinking about something? If so, and you can remember, what was it?
    Honestly, I laugh whenever I think of this picture of Nicholas Cage:A bad printing of Nicholas Cage
    According to the relevant reddit post, this picture was the result of a printer malfunction. I first saw the image in 2013 and it still makes me belly laugh when I think of it. I have it bookmarked.
  8. What are three of your “bucket-list” to-do’s?
    1. See Rod Stewart in concert
    2. Traditionally publish a book
    3. Figure out the secret to not being constantly miserable or something like that
  9. Would you rather have a lake house or a mountain chalet or something else?
    I’d rather just be a suburban loser who lives walking distance from the grocery store and driving distance from their parents.
  10. What country would you live in if you couldn’t live in the one you live in now?
    I’d diegiphy-1
  11. Do you believe that people can change? Why or why not?
    I believe people can change because I think everyone changes anyway. I think the main thing is that change is extremely slow and, often, that change can have temporary or permanent reversions. Because of this, we often don’t see the the state where people we don’t like fix themselves. We often have to gain distance and lose touch before we can see that change.

My Questions:

  1. What’s the most recent book you’ve read, and did you like it?
  2. How long do indoor plants stay alive in your abode?
  3. How long does your dried laundry wait until it is folded?
  4. A masked madperson puts a gun to your head and says, “You are going to time travel to a year prior to 1900 and live their for the rest of your life, or I will shoot you. You can choose the year and country of residence.” When/where do you travel to, or do you just let this mysterious person shoot you?
  5. Do you have pets?
  6. What is your favorite thing to cook?
  7. Off the top of your head, what book would you reccomend right now?
  8. Should toothpaste be squeezed from the bottom, middle, or top for maximum comfort? Do you follow your own advice?
  9. What are your opinions on breakfast?
  10. What is your optimal bedtime?
  11. Who is your favorite historical figure (must currently be dead)?

My Nominees

I’m nominating you because I thought you might like these games. If you’re not a fan, let me know in the comments and I won’t be offended! I’ll just stop tagging you. 🙂

  1. Hannahconda Blog – Recent post: Make Up Book Tag (look at the post for the funny gifs alone)
  2. Joanne the Geek – Recent post: My Life in Darkness (Seriously, this is a good dark romance. Really interested to see where it ends up!)
  3. Drawing a blank on who else might enjoy these sorts of games. I do want to nominate more people, but I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. Let me know if you want to join in games, and I’ll put you on my list of people to watch!

10 Unusual Things About Me

I wasn’t officially tagged, but Sophia Ismaa left the invitation open – so here I am, gearing up to tell you some weird junk.  Perhaps you will relate, perhaps get a chuckle, but I assure you that it’s all true.

TMD visual

I painted this.  Not a great artist, but a fun one!

  1. I was always intrigued by ‘milk and cookies’ grandparents on TV.  My grandma just wanted me to sit on their sawblade rug (it was a giant, steel sawblade on the floor, I kid you not) while she talked with dead people in the mirror and my grandpa complained about how he only had a couple years left in him and he just hoped Grandma would die first.
  2. A few years ago, I did beta reading on another site and posted a short story I wrote for others to critique.  I had left the narrating character’s gender purposefully vague, and I wanted to see what readers thought about it.  I was surprised to find most people assumed the character was the gender the reader was. I was also surprised that they also believed I, the author, was their gender even though I used a definitely gender-recognizable name at the time.  I started this blog with a side goal to see what would happen if I kept myself vague, and the same trends seem to apply here as on that little critiquing site.
  3. I was born with extra heart nerves that gives me weird arrhythmias. It’s under control now, but they may become a nuisance again later.
  4. I had extra teeth.  Several of my teeth were pulled, as scheduled, on September 11th, 2001, the day I contracted chicken pox.
  5. I have the ability to lucid dream – i.e. actively control what the main character does during a dream.  I don’t know if this is normal, but I’ve trained myself to look at clocks twice.  If the time is the same or reasonably the same both times I look, it’s real life.  If it’s different or otherwise nonsense, I know it’s a dream and can act with impunity.  I haven’t figured out how to make my brain defeat the physics of the universe the dream started with, though.
  6. In high school, I once purposefully stabbed a guy in the leg with a drafting compass, and I can’t decide if that makes me a supreme nerd or an inimitable badass.
  7. In middle school, I took a different guy down with a single leg followed by a trip, beat his face into the cement, then stood up and told the teacher who saw, “He deserved it” and somehow won with that argument.
  8. A couple years ago, I moved back to North Carolina and started working for one of my former coworkers who’d been very successful.  I reminded him how we met:
    “Hello, I’m H.R.R. Gorman.  What’s your name?”
    “I’m an atheist.  How does that make you feel?”
    “Uh… fine I guess?”
    “I am also communist.  What about that?”
    “I guess that’s ok too-”
    “I am Stalinist!  How about now?”
    “Uh… um… whatever floats your boat?”
    “You’re no fun.” He then stormed out of the room, failing to introduce himself at that time.
    Upon receiving this reminder, he said, “I don’t remember this.  I wouldn’t have done something like that without provocation.”
    “I used to wear a lot of Baptist t-shirts.”
    “Oh.  That would do it.”
  9. I enjoy procuring knowledge about terrible music.  Traditional Korean pansori barely beats out Lemonade by Coco Rosie for the title of “Worst Ever” in my book.
  10. I’ve played a total of 5 paladins in D&D.  It’s my favorite class by a wide margin.

This was originally a tag game, so I suppose I should do so.  However, I am aware of a sense of busy-ness that comes along with the National Novel Writing Month, and I don’t want anyone tagged here to feel obligated to participate.  So, I’m linking front pages rather than posts so no one gets distracted if they don’t want to be.

E. Kathryn – her book is coming out soon!  Woohoo!
Tom Darby – Dude has an interesting life, what can I say?
Marnie Heenan – I know you’re doing NaNo, but maybe this will be something fun to look forward to after

People like Brian from Books of Brian and Alexander Elliot – your sites are professional enough that I wasn’t sure if I should try tagging with something of this personal ilk.  Just know that I’m impressed and wish you the best!

20 Questions Book Tag

I was tagged by Hannah Russel on the Hannaconda blog to answer some book questions.  Am I a great fit for this?  Maybe, maybe not – I don’t read as much as a lot of other people do, but that’s why I tagged some GREAT readers.

20 Questions Book Tag

This tag was created by buydebook on Goodreads. You can find the post here!

1. How many books is too many books in a book series?
I don’t think the number of books matters to me.  My personal belief is that most, if not all, of the books need to be capable of standing on their own.  They need an overarching goal or theme to tie them together, yeah, but I don’t really like when a book ends at a cliffhanger or in the middle of something.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
I like cliffhangers at the end of chapters or sections.  They can make me flip the page and not stop reading. But I hate when books end on cliffhangers.  Sometimes I won’t pick up the next book out of spite after reading a cliffhanger ending.

3. Hardcover or paperback?
What is this shit?  I like ebooks best.  I dislike how, at this juncture in my life, I have enough ‘stuff’ that I can’t easily move where I live.  An ebook, however, helps me stay as close to my mobile youth as possible.

4. Favorite book?
I don’t really have a problem with saying Watership Down.  Here’s a review I did this spring.

Watership Down

5. Least favorite book?

I’ve said before Piper and Grudem’s Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, but since this blog focuses on fiction, I’m going to add a book whose review is coming out on this site next month (spoilers…).

 

Image result for burn it all gif (Had to leave in the elmo gif that Hannah Russel left there… it was perfect).

6. Love triangles, yes or no?
God, I can barely withstand romantic subplots.  So no.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

Well, since I finished Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court this spring (just due to laziness, not due to dislike of the book),

Mark Twain Yankee

the last book I didn’t finish was Thoreau’s Walden as assigned in Sophomore English in high school.

220px-Walden_Thoreau.jpg

8. A book you’re currently reading?

So, there’s a trilogy of reviews I’m posting in December… this is the second book in that trilogy.

green mars

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

Void Forge is an indie book I found somehow.  I recommended it to someone who liked Ready Player One, but wanted something with fewer 80’s orgasms. It has some of the typical problems of self-published work, but I find myself thinking about it repeatedly and believe it a pretty good piece of work.

Void Forge

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

Eep… does this count things I had to read in high school?  Because if so, I had to read the middle english Canterbury Tales.  If it’s looking at stuff I’ve read on my own, I did Shakespeare’s Macbeth without provocation by school.

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

It comes out officially in November, but Fire’s Hope by E. Kathryn!

Fire's Hope

12. Favorite author?
Hmm… not very good at this question.  I don’t read many repeats of author’s books, even in series.  I’m terrible.

Right now I guess Ann Leckie may be up there.

13. Buying books or borrowing books?
I like to buy books and support authors, but I’ll borrow from a library if I don’t have the budget or if I’m not sure about what I’m getting.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?

dune-book-cover

I’ve read several of Herbert’s works and I just can’t stand them.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?
I usually just use a piece of cardboard or paper I find lying around.  Or I remember where I was.

16. A book you can always reread?

I put Fire Sea only because Watership Down was already on the list. Probably read Watership Down fourteen or fifteen times.

17. Can you read while hearing music?
Yes

18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views)
I like one POV when it’s done well.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
I can read in one sitting, but recently I’ve had a bunch of massive books to read that I simply can’t read in one sitting.

20. Who do you tag?

Brian from Books of Brian (a recent post here)

Alex from MyBookWorld24 (a recent post here)

Tom from Eagle Canyon Flyer (a recent post here)

Another Pesky 20 Questions Answered

I was tagged by the indomitable Tom Darby.

  1. List 10 people [alive or dead] you would invite to dinner?  This is hard.  Assumptions I make to answer this: A) They know the language(s) they know or knew in life, as well as the same sensibilities and beliefs B) They’ll potentially be more interested in each other than in me, and it may be pointless to get people to a dinner with the idea of hanging out with them C) No one, including myself, is allowed to be armed; attempt at another’s life will be ill fated, so I can’t do things like “Hitler and a bomb.”
    1. Steve1989
    2-4. Karl and Bertha Benz and a person to translate German for us
    5. Richard Adams
    6. Hillary Clinton
    7. John McCain
    8. Maud Menten
    9-10. Apostle Paul and a person to translate (I personally think choosing Jesus is a cheap answer for these questions, just fyi)
  2. What are your goals to be achieved in the month of July 2018?
    Pay for the damn car I just bought
  3. What is your earliest memory?
    I remember pretending to read underneath a willow tree.
  4. What are your views on mainstream music?
    Whatever
  5. Where would you like to be in seven-years time?
    I want to make drugs.  The legal kind of pharmaceuticals, though, not the illegal kind. I wouldn’t mind if I’d published something by then.
  6. Button fly or zipper?
    I think this must be something people older than me get, because I’ve never tried a button fly.  So I’ll go with zipper.
  7. Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz?
    *stealthily looks up both*
    I like landscapes better, so I’d say Adams – but during my brief foray and research, I must say that Leibovitz had some amazing shots.  I’m not much of a visual art critic, so when I am able to tell that an artist is fantastic, I tend to be shocked by the good work.  This was a really cool question and I learned a lot.
  8. What are your favorite comfort foods?
    I’ve been pescatarian for a while, and I don’t think I’ve come up with a pescatarian comfort food.  Before the spouse and I gave up beef, though, I liked my mom’s beef stew.
  9. What animals would you like to have as a pet?
    Dogger
  10. City or countryside?
    I think they both have their benefits.  I think I’m an explicitly suburban person now, but I grew up in the country and have lived in the city before.  I like suburbia the best, but I’d have to say I’d go back to living in the country before I live downtown again.
  11. Five things about society that annoy you?
    How people screw other people over for money, how there’s no easy fix to any systemic problem, sports (all of them), human trafficking/slavery, the inevitability of overpopulation.
  12. How important is creativity to people?
    It’s not currently monetarily valued, so probably not very.  I don’t think it’s an essential element to being human.
  13. Do you have any siblings?
    One younger brother.
  14. Which three questions will you be deleting to add your own in and what are they?
    5. What’s a food you haven’t tried yet but would like to? 15. What’s your dream car? 16. Have you ever written a book?  If not, do you have an idea for a book?
  15. Your favorite childhood movie?
    The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark was my favorite a long time until I saw Flight of the Phoenix.  I still wonder if I should have been an aerospace engineer, then I remember how demand for American aerospace engineers is really subject to high fluctuation.
  16. What traits do you display when nervous?
    I think other people have told me I purse my lips weirdly
  17. Are you healthy eater?
    I feel like I’m either stupid healthy or living off candy, so… probably not, in the long run?
  18. Bullet point your day so far:
    (Written on July 7th 2018)
    Woke up
    Walked the dog
    Bought a car
    Ate sushi
    Came home
    Walked the dog
    Did this thing
  19. What are your five most favorite scents/smells?
    E. coli cultures
    Yeast Cultures
    Partial to beta mercaptoethanol, but it took a while to get there
    The fresh mud smell just after an afternoon thunderstorm
    Bakeries
  20. The three bloggers you are nominating are?  I did a lot of nominating last week, and I don’t think I want to press it this week.