One Lovely Blog Hop

One-Lovely-Blog-Hop

This Blog Hop stop has been in the works long enough that not one, but two fellow writers invited me to take part: Angela B. Chrysler, and E. Rawls. I “met” Angela on Twitter (I think?) late last year, and we immediately bonded over our love of fantasy literature and our dreams of becoming published authors. She’s now preparing to self-publish her debut novel, Dolor and Shadow, which is due out in late May. As for E. (full first name is Elizabeth), she was also nominated by Angela for the same blog hop; and like me and Angela, she’s a fantasy writer and Tolkien fan. Thank you, ladies – and sorry it’s taken me so long to respond!

Here’s some information and rules about the One Lovely Blog Hop:

This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side to ourselves. We’ve been challenged by another author/ blogger (somewhat like the ‘ice bucket’ challenge) to list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s/ blogger’s persona we all like to project. But we want to show that behind every story is a story, our story, my story; and like everyone else, I have dreams, hobbies, problems, and goals. This blog hop is a way to share some of them with you, my readers.

The rules are that I share 7 Lovely Facts about myself, and links to a maximum of 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. If I’ve nominated your blog (see names below) please don’t feel any obligation to join in but, if you do, please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you (that would be me, Sara Letourneau), share facts about yourself, and nominate 15 blogs (or as many as you can).

My brain tends to freeze when I have to think of random things to share about myself… But I’ve come up with seven that fit the billing. 😉

 7 Lovely Facts About Myself

LOTR book trilogy

1. I didn’t start reading my favorite literary genre (fantasy) until I was 19 years old.

Of course, I was reading long before then. My go-to novels when I was a teenager were Nancy Drew mysteries, Ann C. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club series, K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs series (funny, I was reading science fiction before I read fantasy), and anything by Scott O’Dell. Then came Peter Jackson’s  Lord Of The Rings film trilogy. I’d heard of J.R.R. Tolkien and his books before then, but I had never thought to give them more than a passing glance. By the time I finished watching “The Return Of The King,” I knew I needed to read The Lord Of The Rings.

That was 11 years ago. I didn’t just enjoy the books, by the way. I escaped to Middle-earth and fell in love with all of its races, places, creatures, and conflicts – and after that, I wanted to read more fantasy stories and be swept up again in worlds very different from my own. I’ve been catching up with the genre ever since then.

2. I’m super-shy in person.

While I have no problem writing my heart out, in person it’s a very different story. I tend to clam up around people I don’t know. Even small-talk with strangers makes me nervous. The best ice-breaker for me is often finding a common interest, hobby, passion, etc. that I can talk about with the other person. I think that’s why I still feel anxious about Twitter sometimes: Except for sharing articles (mine or other writers) or talking about books, tea, or writing, I don’t always know what to say when I’m there. Maybe this explains the “brain-freeze” problem I mentioned earlier.

I think I’m slowly becoming a little less shy, though. At least on Twitter. I’m finding other things to talk about and new people to connect with. In person is still a challenge; I doubt I’ll ever be not shy, but the point is that I’m trying to feel more comfortable with talking to new people.

3. I’m a metalhead – to an extent.

It all started with Evanescence. Technically, their music is symphonic hard rock and not symphonic metal, but that band was my gateway to the “dark side.” I wanted to find more bands that played similar music. I began with other rock and metal bands with female vocalists, like Within Temptation, Epica, Xandria, Stream of Passion, and Autumn. Which opened the floodgates to male-fronted metal bands, progressive rock, and rock / metal operas. Which also led to my first freelance writing gig as a staff writer for Sonic Cathedral, the premier webzine for female-fronted rock and metal music. These days, rock and metal aren’t the only genres I listen to (my 10 Favorite Albums of 2014 list is proof of that), but together they take up a good chunk of space on my iTunes library.

Why metal? Well, it’s exciting. It’s dramatic. It’s some of the most intricate and expertly arranged music I’ve ever laid ears on. Symphonic metal in particular reminds me of film scores, which adds a whole other “visual” element to the music. I agree that metal gets a bad rap for some of its lyrical content (violence, anti-religion, etc.). However, not all metal bands sing about that. The bands I enjoy write songs about relationships, current events, humanity, internal struggles – even songs inspired by films or fantasy stories. These artists have proven that metal music can be emotional, cerebral, thought-provoking, and transportive – just like any other genre of music. And that’s why I’m proud to be a metalhead. 😉

4. I love ice cream sundaes.

OK, I have a sweet tooth in general. However, if I had to pick one indulgence to rule them all (yes, like The One Ring *ha ha*), a sinfully delicious ice cream sundae does the trick every time. Especially one with hot fudge – and it has to be REAL hot fudge that’s thick and creamy, not the runny chocolate syrup substitute. My favorite place to get an ice cream sundae is Emack & Bolio’s in Chatham, MA. (There are other locations in the United States and internationally.) Between the homemade ice cream and whipped cream – and hot fudge sauce just the way I like it – I’m in heaven. 🙂 I’m also a huge Coldstone Creamery fan.

5. I’m terrified of thunderstorms. 

Everyone has something that rattles their nerves. For me, it’s a thunderstorm. I don’t jump or scream when I hear thunder or see lightning, but I’m still paralyzed with fear – and I know why. During summer break after my first year of college, a particularly nasty thunderstorm blew through my hometown late at night. Lightning struck one of the lampposts that lined our driveway – and since my bedroom was at the front of the house and my window was open a crack, I heard the strike. I can still recall the shattering glass and deafening crack. *shivers* The strike’s impact also traveled through the electrical wiring and into the house, damaging some of our TVs (one stopped working completely), killing our electricity for a few hours, even burning one of our downspouts. It’s hard to not be shaken by that kind of experience with nature’s wrath, or to forget it as you get older.

Little Mermaid

6. The first movie I saw in the cinemas was “The Little Mermaid.”

I must have been 5 or 6 years old when it came out. Of course, I don’t remember a thing about that day now, but my dad claims I danced in the aisle during “Under The Sea.” *LOL* This was also the first animated Disney film I saw in the theater; and for several years after that, I religiously went to see the new ones when they were released. My two favorite hand-drawn animated Disney films of all time are still “The Lion King” (classic!) and “Lilo and Stitch” (random, but SO entertaining – and I wished I had Stitch for a pet for a while!).

7. I was a dancer for 13 years (14 if you count the year off I took during my first year of college).

Have you ever wanted to do something because an older sibling or cousin does it, too? That’s how I started dancing. I watched my cousin Katie (who’s 3 years older than me) at a dance recital when I was 6 years old. I loved everything about the recital: the movement, the music, the costumes. And I wanted to be part of it. So, the following September, my mother signed me up for my first ballet class. I kept on dancing until my senior year of college, learning a few other styles (jazz and hip hop) and performing at annual recitals. I also had the chance to choreograph a hip hop routine to the Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started” – and that was AWESOME! Other fantastic routines I danced in included Will Smith’s “Men In Black” (with the suits and sunglasses) and “Wild Wild West” (cowboy hat and all), ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” (complete with feather boas), and a rock ballet to Green Day’s “Holiday.” Notice how the costumes played a huge role in each of those. 😉

I know my parents were glad I danced, because otherwise I was a lazy bum at home. *lol* I had no interest whatsoever in playing sports as a teenager. Now that I think about it, though, dancing was a natural choice of exercise for me. It was creative; it allowed me to express myself through movement, rhythm, and color. Dancing also taught me that patience and practice pay off in the long run, and complimented my work ethic in school. So, in several ways, I’m grateful I followed Katie’s footsteps – literally.

My Nominees for the One Lovely Blog Hop

This is always difficult. I know not everyone is keen on doing blog hops, and I also want to be fair and highlight a few folks I didn’t nominate last time around. So, here they are, but please don’t feel obligated to take part if you don’t want to. Just know that I appreciate your support and encouragement, and I admire you for the work you do. 🙂

Molly Mortensen @ Woven Magic

Ashana Lian

Wendy Lu @ Wendy Lu Writes

Alex and Penelope @ Grace & Steele

Plus, this is the perfect opportunity to show my gratitude to two fellow writers who have nominated me for awards and blog hops in the past. 😉  And they are:

The Parasite Guy

Sara Litchfield

24 thoughts on “One Lovely Blog Hop

  1. I am starving for a delicious sundae right now, lol! Even if it is freezing cold outside 😉
    The dances you did sound so fun, I wish I could see them! “Let’s Get it Started” “Men in Black” 😀 That must’ve been lots of fun. The only dancing I ever did was ballet, which taught me the same important work ethic, but I would have loved hip hop.
    Lol, I used to read Nancy Drew too, and The Boxcar Children. Until the Lord of the Rings movie came along–right after I left the theater, I bought and began reading the 2nd and 3rd books 🙂
    This was so much fun to read! I’m glad you got around to writing it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mouth’s been watering for one since I wrote that fact, E. But… ohhhhhh, I sh-sh-sh-shiver at the thought of eating one when it’s so cold outside. :S

      They really were fun routines! I switched from ballet and jazz to hip hop in middle school because I wanted to try something different. I like how each dance style has its benefits, too. For ballet, it’s balance, toning, and flexibility. For hip hop, it’s cardio and just an all-around good workout.

      I read The Boxcar Children, too! I forgot about them… and come to think of it, I also read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books when I was younger. How did I forget about her??

      Thanks again for nominating me, E.! I’m glad I got around to doing this, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really want ice cream now…Haha.

    This seems like so much fun. Thanks so much for nominating us, this is definitely something I’ll do and I’m sure Penelope will jump on it with me!

    You’re a metalhead? That’s awesome. I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a metalhead, but I do love metal, especially some of the bands you mentioned(Within Temptation, Evanescence, Epica). I’m a big music freak and will pretty much listen to anything!

    Little Mermaid was a movie that I first saw on ice, I don’t if you remember or every went to one but when I was little the ice shows were big, they’d be on ice skates and everything? Yeah, that made me obsessed with Little Mermaid. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Alex! 🙂 Looking forward to reading your answers.

      LOL! Everyone suddenly wants ice cream after they read this article. I love it! XD

      Yes, I’m a metalhead, but very picky about what I listen to, as I explained above. I don’t care for a lot of the screaming or really heavy stuff, but I’m game for anything symphonic or with female voices. And like you, metal isn’t the only genre of music I listen to. 😉

      I don’t remember seeing The Little Mermaid on Ice. But I did see a couple Disney On Ice productions when I was little, though I don’t remember which ones.

      Like

  3. This made fascinating reading, Sara:). I loved reading these details about you… I also love Evanescence – and was fascinated about your stint as a music critic. Do you include music in your fiction, at all? What a lovely Disney film to see first:) The Little Mermaid is one of my absolute favourites – I think Ursula is a wonderful baddie and love the lush, rich underwater backdrop. Is it your favourite, too? And you were a dancer! Wow… So, do you still strut your stuff on the dancefloor?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah! 🙂

      Yes, there are little bits of music in the novel! Eva’s mother was a singer, and one of Eva’s fellow Councilors plays a panpipe. There’s also a scene in the novel that involves dancing to a well-known folk song (well-known in Eva’s world). That’s probably one of my favorite scenes in the book, for reasons I don’t want to give away right now. 😉

      I still like “The Little Mermaid,” but my favorite animated Disney film is “The Lion King.” The animation there is absolutely superb, and I love the setting and how all the animal characters feel so human. 😀 I also love “Lilo and Stitch” and a number of the Pixar films, especially “Wall-E.” Remember our Twitter discussion about house bots? Well, I think I want mine to be like Wall-E! *lol*

      I stopped dancing during my last year of college to focus on my studies. After that, I didn’t pick it up again. I wasn’t interested in performing in recitals anymore, but I wanted to do something on a recreational basis just to keep in shape. So I’ve been doing aerobics off and on for the past few years. I say “off and on” because, well, sometimes I go for lazy periods. *lol*

      Liked by 1 person

      • Riiight… in my experience ‘lazy’ is always a relative word. Yes – I’ll agree with you that The Lion King is beautifully made and the acting is superb. However, for some reason it didn’t chime with me… I fell hook, line and sinker for Wall-E, though and yes – wouldn’t it be wonderful to have one of those tootling around the home, packaging up the grot for someone to take away…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for nominating me. 🙂 It usually takes a while for me to remember to respond to these things, but I plan on doing it.

    I didn’t find fantasy until later either. Before that I tried to read what my friends were and surprise I wasn’t happy with contemporary. I’m super shy too. I’m glad I’m not the only one whose nervous about twitter. I can get social anxiety online, it’s quite a talent. I did ballet when I was younger too. I had to give it up when I was a teenager because I have no sense of rhythm lol and just remembering all the steps wasn’t enough anymore.

    This was fun. Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! And no worries about when you get to it. There’s no deadline. 😉

      Yeah, I just didn’t think of reading fantasy until after watching the LOTR films. Before then, I read the books I mentioned above (as well as The Boxcar Children and the Little House on the Prairie books – forgot about those!). And I didn’t care for most of the stuff I read for school, too.

      *whew* It’s nice to know that other people can be shy online as well. Let’s hope it’s something we can outgrow, right?

      Awww! *lol* I hope you still enjoyed the time you spent in your dance lessons before you gave them up. I stopped mine right before my senior year of college, so I could focus on my last year of studies. Plus, I was getting tired of being in recitals, too.

      Like

  5. Pingback: One Lovely Blog Hop: 7 Interesting Facts About Me

  6. Ahhh Evanescence is awesome! I was obsessed with that band back in
    middle school and high school. Amy Lee’s voice is #perfection. I’m a bit of a metalhead myself, though nobody would believe it if they knew 😛 I’m very particular about the metal I listen to, though. I like “Ride the Lightning” by Metallica and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dragonforce (probably my favorite metal band), but there’s also a lot of metal that I don’t like.

    You don’t seem to be all that shy on Twitter and the blogosphere 😉 Lol but I know what you mean. I used to be a mega introvert, and I still am when I’m around certain people. When I feel comfortable with my friends and/or bloggers like you, I can’t help but be talkative!

    “My dad claims I danced in the aisle during ‘Under the Sea.'” Haha awwwww! That is so cute 🙂 I don’t remember the first film I saw in the cinemas, but we do have a mutual favorite Disney movie (“The Lion King”)!

    Thanks again for nominating me, Sara! This was tons of fun to read, and a blast to participate in!

    -Wendy
    Wendy Lu Writes

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Wendy! I noticed the Blog Hop on your site this morning, so I’ll head over there in a little bit. 🙂

      You’re an Evanescence fan, too?? 😀 I’ve heard of Dragonforce, though their music is a little more “power metal-ish” than I like these days. It makes me curious to know who else you listen to, though, and if we have other common band interests!

      I think I’m probably (a little) more outgoing on the Internet than I am in person. And trust me, if you get me going on the right topics, I can go on and on. *lol* But I still feel self-conscious about “jumping” into people’s Twitter conversations and have trouble thinking of things to share that aren’t related to writing, reading, etc. So that’s more or less what I meant there.

      Yay for The Lion King! 🙂 I actually have a few songs from the soundtrack in my iTunes library. Not the character songs (though those are fun to sing along with), but the few pieces from the film score that were included in the soundtrack. So majestic and fun, especially with the tribal percussion and chants. 🙂

      Like

  7. Pingback: Time Flies!: March 2015 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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