About a month ago, I was nominated for what’s known as the Liebster Award by three members of my new blogging circle (Halfa1000Miles, CaledonAcres, and Still Not a Journal.) It’s an online blogging award presented to one blogger from another. It’s awarded to newer bloggers who the nominator finds worthy of recognition. It helps build community and helps fellow bloggers (and their subscribers/followers) find new content.
(FYI–I just ripped that whole description off of Half a 1000 Miles page, and I hope that’s okay? I think it’s the description that goes along with the award title, right?)
Anyway, this is awesome, and I’m really thankful to say the least! I started this blog mostly to get back in the habit of writing, find my ‘voice,’ and try to improve, etc. I know this sounds weird–but I didn’t really expect anyone outside of my family or a few friends to read it. Mostly I just wanted a pretty internet page to decorate and file my writing on. 🙂
But, in the past three months I’ve really gotten to experience the benefits of blogging. I’ve been introduced to blogs kept by the most talented of writers, photographers, illustrators and thinkers. I feel like I have this new community and a creative outlet, to boot. I love it! 🙂
So, when nominated, you:
- Thank the nominator and link back to them.
- Answer the questions they provided.
- List 11 random facts about yourself.
- Nominate 5-11 blogs of your choosing that you think deserve recognition.
List 11 questions to ask your nominees.
If one day your blog took off, and merely by mentioning and recommending someone else’s blog, they too could become famous, what blogs would you “bring up the elevator” with you? (I have already thought about this and know my answers, ha).
Not to cop out of this answer, but I would probably ask to bring up all of the people I recommend at the end of this Liebster Award questionnaire! They’re all so incredibly good. But, if I had to choose just one I’d go with Half A Thousand Miles. Her posts are hilarious! She has the best, most authentic ‘voice’ and insanely funny graphics to match her stories. I just think she’s a total star.
What do you wish your non-bloggy friends knew about blogging?
I must admit, I’m still getting a sense of what blogging is all about! I only became ‘bloggy’ very recently. But, the more I explore it, the more in love I am with the sheer variety of what’s out there. And, exploring one blog leads you to another blog which leads you to another blog…it’s endless (and awesome.)
What is your favorite TV show of all time?
I have two, and they couldn’t be more different! I’m a total Game of Thrones freak, which isn’t my typical genre. I usually avoid all things dragons and medieval porn. But, my husband forced me to watch one episode and I was HOOKED. Also, I can’t get enough of The Bachelor franchise. I’m seriously addicted to those shows. It’s sick. If people watch it with me, they aren’t allowed to talk unless it’s a commercial break. And even then they can’t talk too much in case the show comes back on and they’re mid-sentence.
What is your own personal favorite of your own blog posts, and why?
I had the most FUN writing ‘Visa Baseball.’ I wasn’t self -conscious at all and just let myself go—laughing and cringing at the experiences as I went along. A lot of times I stress out too much about my writing or over-think things. But, that post was a time when I just really enjoyed every second of being creative, and that doesn’t always happen.
Rate these in order of what you don’t have enough of right now: Sleep, Peace, Money, Time, Love.
I’ll go from what I have the most of, to what I have the least of (that’s the order we’re supposed to go in, right?) Love, Peace, Money, Sleep, Time. I have an eleven-month old daughter, so time and sleep are tough to come by these days. I do my writing while she naps (sometimes I get 30 minutes, and other times I get two hours.) She tends to take a short nap when I’m feeling ESPECIALLY inspired to write, of course.
What was the hardest part about your first year of blogging?
I’ve been doing it for three months and I think the hardest part is finding my voice, and also having the confidence to post. When I first started, I felt so excited about getting back to writing and just wanted to post, post, post. Now I’m more aware that (a few) people are actually reading this, so I put a lot more pressure on myself. I’m taking it (and myself) much more seriously, which is both a good and a bad thing.
The other hard part is finding time. Sometimes my daughter doesn’t nap, or I have things to get done while she naps. And, once she goes to bed for the night I don’t have it in me to do much more than scroll through Facebook or stare at the TV and not actually process anything that’s happening on the screen.
I am all about bloggers helping other bloggers. Help us help you. If someone wanted to show your blog some love, what would be your preferred method — a Facebook share? Sharing on Twitter? Subscribing to your blog? Commenting on your blog? Submitting your posts to Stumbleupon? Or something else? Let’s all read their answers and try to make that happen.
Oh, man, I don’t know. Any one of those things would be good, obviously, but what I love more than anything are comments. I post something and then definitely check in, oh, every ten minutes or so to see if I have any likes or comments. So, those are definitely appreciated!
What was the most enjoyable job you’ve ever had?
Dressing up as a giant rat and dancing at birthday parties when I was 16 was certainly fun, but the MOST enjoyable job has been teaching at an international school. The kids are amazing, the curriculum is interesting, and I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.
You have 3 months with the money and time to do WHAT EVER you like. What would you do?
I would most definitely travel! It’s hard to say where I’d go, because there are so many places I want to see. But, New Zealand would be on the list…Japan…Iceland…Thailand…Africa…I’d just see as much as I could in that three months.
What is your favorite food and where is it done the best?
I can’t get enough sushi and, I swear—the very best I’ve had is in Buffalo, New York at Fuji Grill. I realize that fresh, sushi grade fish is not to be found in the area, so it’s not a likely place for amazing sushi…but I haven’t tasted anything like it. I’ve also never been to Japan, so that’s the best I’ve got at the moment.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
When I first tried to get a job in Germany I packed some suitcases, bought a flight, and left! I stayed with friends and even in a hotel until I was gainfully employed. It was definitely intense! And then I did it all over again when I wanted to work in London. I even slept on a friend’s dorm room floor. He wasn’t allowed to have people staying there, so I had to be snuck in and out. One weekend he went away, so I had to stay inside the building the whole time and try to be as inconspicuous as possible. It was stressful and made me feel claustrophobic. But, in both cases I got a job. Whew!
ELEVEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME
- I have a phobia of rats and every animal that reminds me of a rat (to include mice, squirrels, seals, short-haired dogs, hamsters, etc.)
- When I was a kid, I used to train moths to sit on my finger for long periods of time. I thought it was cool.
- I’m obsessed with Coffee Mate (the powder creamer.) I go through a giant tub of it in a very short amount of time. It’s rather gross. But, otherwise I’m a relatively healthy eater.
- I joined Twitter for the sole purpose of following ex-bachelor contestants. This is just one more reason why I can’t watch too much TV. I go ALL IN and have to watch cast interviews, read their tweets, etc. etc. TV isn’t just TV. It’s a lifestyle.
- My favorite breakfast is dry Quaker oats in a bowl.
- Apparently I laugh and snort in my sleep. So attractive.
- My daughter looks exactly like I did when I was her age (11 months old.) I’m talking clone-level—it’s actually creepy to see pictures of us side by side.
- Freddy Kreuger scares me more than I can put in to words. Last Halloween my husband and I tried to watch Nightmare on Elm Street and I lasted all of fifteen minutes before I was so freaked out we had to turn it off.
- For the longest time I thought BTW stood for ‘Back to Whatever.’
- My family owns a haunted house in Springville, NY. It’s actually featured in a book called Haunted Places of Western New York. The man who built the property (the first in Springville) was a Civil War veteran. One day he left for New York City with a huge sum of money and was murdered there. It’s believed his daughters watch for him out of a tower attached to the house.
- Part of why I write is because I have a total fear of getting old and forgetting everything that has ever happened to me. It’s literally something that I think about a lot.
As I said, I’m new to blogging and am still in the process of discovering and following blogs. So, for the moment I’ll just keep it simple and point out just a few that have been entertaining me these days. Some already have Liebster Awards, but I couldn’t pass over them in this list. Consider yourselves Liebsters to the MAX! If you’re up for answering my questions, please do! (But, no pressure.)
HalfAThousandMiles—As she said in her Liebster Award post, I can’t remember exactly how we met. I think I may have seen a comment she wrote for someone, was intrigued by her blog name, and went there? I’m not sure. Great, now I sound like a stalker. Anyway, her blog is absolutely hilarious. I’m not really a ‘laugh out loud’ type of person. (It’s not that I don’t have a sense of humor, but I’m more a smile and nod type of gal.) But, this blog does me in. The writer lives in a small town and blogs about everything from flinging poo to that one time she drove her truck into the ocean. Something I really want to gain from this whole blogging experience is a sense of my own writing voice. Well, she has this nailed. I feel like I know the writer of this blog, even though we’ve never met. I admire her style so much.
FreeThinkersAnonymous—This is another favorite of mine. The writer is obviously smart, writes well, and has this awesome dry sense of humor. He tackles all kinds of topics, like octopuses, graffiti, cancer, poetry, pop quizzes, the origins of words and spinach bread. There’s a little bit of everything on this site, and it’s always fresh and interesting! As soon as a new post comes out, I stop what I’m doing and read. His is another style that I admire. I tend to write very long posts—it’s just what I do. He’s able to pack such a punch in a relatively shorter space. I think I can learn from him.
Caledon Acres and Sand in the Bikini—This writer has TWO blogs, which goes to show just how varied her experiences are. She’s originally from Romania, lives on a farm, is crafty, and covers a variety of topics from strange dreams to life with chickens. In addition to having an interesting blog, something about her that impresses me are the comments she leaves on other blogs. She genuinely takes the time to read other people’s posts and leave thoughtful comments about what she reads. I always get the feeling that she truly took time to think about other people’s writing, and that’s so neat! She’s a very encouraging and upbeat person.
StillNotAJournal—This blog has so much going on. I love it! The writer is a talented photographer. I particularly enjoy posts about her travels because she has a real eye for everything from action shots of her children to the quirky details (like giant chickens crossing a road) that make travel so fun. She has an excellent sense of humor. And, she also covers a variety of topics. Everything from books to crappy selfies and embarrassing experiences can be found here. Blogs are really a space to make your own. When I visit this writer’s site, I really feel like I am entering her world and getting a sense of everything from the personal stories to the images that make this writer who she is.
SilenceKilledTheDinosaurs—I literally just discovered this one last week (from the FreethinkersAnonymous blogroll) and am literally blown away by the sheer talent of the blogger. First of all, how could you not rush to check out a blog with a name as cool as this? Then you get there just to find someone who not only writes in a way that’s engaging, funny, and enlightening—she draws, too. The effect is awesome. Her topics include living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, dinosaurs, funny stories, serious stories, and everything in between. I wish so much that I could draw like she can and that my blog could look like that, too. I sort of want to bundle up her blog, stick it in my backpack and run away with it.
NorwayTimes—I found this blog while searching for other expats and was immediately impressed. The writer shares humorous, fascinating details about trying to settle in to life in Norway with her husband. Something I’m especially appreciative of is the fact that, like me, she often writes posts that are 2,000+ words. I love settling in to a detailed piece of writing, and this blog is so interesting that I always wish the posts were even longer. I’ve never been to Norway, and my interest is definitely piqued. I definitely feel like I can relate to this author’s experiences, even if we’re in different countries, speaking different languages, and dealing with different cultural nuances.
EverythingButTheKitchenSink—This blog is one of the first that I clicked ‘follow’ on, and I’m so glad I did. The writer posts beautifully written musings on what it’s like to live and cope with anxiety (I can definitely relate to that!) Her blog also features creative writing, and thoughts on life abroad. She is a thoughtful, introspective, and honest person. Reading her blog posts are like getting a glimpse into her soul—and that’s what blogging really seems to be about.
Questions For My Nominees for the Liebster Award
What, for you, is the hardest part about blogging?
What is your ultimate blogging goal? Why are you doing this?
How would you describe your writing ‘voice’ and style?
What is some of the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If we met you in real life, what would be different than how you’re portrayed in your blog?
What has been one major turning point in your life so far?
What is your favorite blog post that you’ve written? Why?
What is your least favorite blog post that you’ve written so far? What about it bothers you?
What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a blog?
How are you most likely to spend the weekend?
What is your favorite book, and why?