Monday, May 18, 2015

BlogRoll: The Liebster Award TAG!

^^Feel free to copy this image for your post! ^^

I just won an award!!! Thank you Olivia at Inkspots for the nomination!

Okay, so the rules are fairly simple:

1) Thank and link back to the person who nominated you. (That would be me!)

2) List 11 Facts About Yourself

3) Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.

4) Nominate 9 bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers (and you can't nominate the blogger who nominated you, so I can't be one of those nine)

5) Ask them 11 questions (you'll find these down below)

6) Let them know about the nomination. (And this is important! I found out my own nomination quite by accident... Trust me, I've made sure it doesn't happen to the people I nominated!)

This is so perfect because I've followed a LOT of blogs over the last year, but haven't interacted much, (sorry!) and so this is the PERFECT way for me to give a little back to them! 

Ready? Here we go!

Part 1: 11 Facts About Me

1. My earliest memory is that of "reading" a book before I actually knew how to read words: I basically flipped through the book and made up stories about the pictures I saw. 

2. I write fanfiction. And also, I happen to take it very seriously.

3. My first experience with regularly attending a public school was when I started working in one. I was homeschooled for pretty much the entirety of my education. I now work as a public school staff assistant.

4. I dislike math because I cannot think in numerical expressions. Anything more advanced than basic algebra, if it cannot be explained using words, I do not understand it. Therefore, when approaching a math problem, I can only remember how to solve it by the steps that were explained to me--which tends to be tedious and it takes me a really long time and I don't enjoy it at all! (I also tend to psychoanalyze things, which is how I arrived at this conclusion... but that's another quirk...)

5. I prefer being too hot to being too cold.

6. I am allergic to peanuts. Now, before anyone starts asking "How do you know you're still allergic"... I know because I have actually consumed peanut products on at least six separate occasions over the course of my life, and I had an anaphylactic reaction (my throat swelled up) each time. (I blame my love of chocolate... peanut mixed with chocolate still looks like plain chocolate... boo...)

7. There was this one time I was in California for a week-long conference, and the hotel happened to have a few limousines in their shuttle service motor pool. So I rode a limo back and forth to the conference center for a week.

8. Speaking of limousine rides, I have visited 3 different properties owned by Bill Gates, spent the night at 2 of them (the property in Hood Canal, off Puget Sound; also the one in Palm Springs).

9. I am left-handed, a middle child, and an English major. (Not sure if there is supposed to be any correlation, but I just wanted to mention those three things and decided to put them all on one point; sue me)

10. This one time, I made up a language. The story goes that I had this Lord of the Rings fanfiction that was my first fanfiction (and it will never see the light of day if I can help it!) and I had a lot of fun using Elvish phrases and everything—two years later, I wanted to rewrite it as my own original work, but at the same time I didn't want to lose the Elvish. So I went and made up my own language, complete with grammar and spelling rules. It currently has over 300 individual words and I have the capacity to translate just about anything. (Feel free to send me a phrase or word you would like to see translated, if you're interested!)

11. Probably my second greatest literary accomplishment (second to the language thing) was reading a grand total of 100 books in a single year. 

Part 2: Olivia's questions

1. Favorite Author? How about Top 10? They would be: David Baldacci (Mystery/thriller), Brandon Sanderson (Sci-fi/fantasy adventure), Cornelia Funke (fantasy), Isaac Asimov (sci-fi), Marissa Meyer (sci-fi, and it's GOOOD), Kerstin Geir (what genre is time travel? Sci-fi? Paranormal?), J. K. Rowling (both the Harry Potter series and her "Robert Galbraith" novels--can't quite vouch for cleanliness of the subject or content, but I love her style of writing!), Mark Lawrence (sci-fi/fantasy-dystopian-MINDBLOWINGNESS; again, really high on the violence/graphic rating, but SOO GOOD), Simon Tolkien (didn't see that one coming, eh? This one--the grandson--writes crime novels and they're fantastic!), and Pauline Creeden (steampunk, paranormal sci-fi, horror... this author is so versatile but her style is consistently wonderful!)

2. What made you decide to start blogging? Well, I had a bunch of stories on my computer, and I was writing more all the time, and thinking about writing a whole lot—but my family and close friends just weren't all that interested. I started "The Upstream Writer" as an outlet for my writing, to make it easy to share stuff I write and potentially get feedback from people who don't know me, to judge whether my writing is worth the effort I am spending on it. That's the dream, anyway. 

3. Do you outline a story first, or do you jump right in? Outline, for sure! I've tried jumping in and just writing but I only get so far before I have to cave and plan out what I'm going to write, or I'll get lost. Either that or I'll come up with an idea that sounds good at the time, but the more I write the more I realize that it doesn't work, and it's so much harder to go back and rewrite a whole swath of scenes rather than just deleting or rearranging a few bullet points on an outline!

4. Fictional crushes? I don't really crush on fictional characters. They have their own world, their own stories. No need to set my hopes on something that doesn't exist! (Actors are a different story, but we won't get into that right now!)

5. Even if you like to jump right in, what do you do plan a book? I always start with the conflict or problem that needs solving; without conflict a story has no substance. Once I establish the conflict, I can backtrack a little to find my introduction to figure out the sort of characters I will need in my story, and then work forward from the presentation of the problem to lead my characters in solving it.

6. Where do you prefer to write? A quiet place, for sure. I can't write when there's lots of noise and movement. I write best when the loudest thing is my own imagination.

7. Favorite movie? Once again, I have SO MANY FAVORITES! Favorite fantasy movie would have to be The Secret of Moonacre; Paranormal? Frequency; favorite romantic comedy is Leap Year; Favorite War Drama is Defiance; Favorite superhero film would have to be The Avengers (both of them!); Favorite indie film is Extracted... I guess it all just depends on what mood I'm in!

8. What fantasy/medieval weapon would you prefer to use? Umm, an Elemental Stone? (I know, that might be cheating... It's a fantasy weapon I made up, a gemstone that allows the bearer to manipulate the elements; you did leave it open to interpretation, though!) 

9. Do you prefer third-person or first-person POVs? It really depends on the story. I have written in both, and I have read both. I don't actually have a preference.

10. Your favorite word? "Erstwhile" is currently cropping up in my writing; such a useful word! But beyond that, any word longer than two syllables and/or uses the letters Q, X, Z, or V. 

11. Favorite kind of music? Celtic music, symphonies, or certain selections of pop music.

Part 3: Nominations!

Whew! I made it! Now that that's over, I'd like to nominate the following:

1. Andrew Barber--Ravings of a Madman
2. Jeffrey Gartshore--Opalstar Stories
4. Ryan P. Howard--The Realm of Hearts
5. Lazette Gifford--Joyously Prolific
6. Raven--Bio Talez
7. Renee Jean--Author Musings
9. Shanan Winters--Interpreter of Inspiration

Here are my questions for you all!

1. If you could be a character in any one of the worlds you've created for your books--like take over an existing character, or be your own kind of character--which world would it be and what character would you be?

2. What's one item on your Bucket List?

3. What is your favorite genre to read?

4. What is one of the stories you have started/written? (just the title and one paragraph description)

5. What is your most prized possession?

6. What's your favorite vacation spot?

7. How would you describe your blog?

8. If you could give one piece of advice, using only six words, what would it be?

9. What is the craziest/nerdiest/geekiest thing you've ever done? (pick one superlative)

10. If you had a week (but only a week) to travel anywhere in the world and do whatever you liked, where would you go and what would you do?

11. If you could meet anybody, past or present, for coffee or drinks, who would it be?