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
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.
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. 🙂
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: