Back in September (which seems like forever ago now), Rona at Tea with Polly was kind enough to nominate me for my fourth Liebster Award. (Thank you, Rona!) It’s taken me a while to get to it because of the holiday craziness offline and the end-of-year posts I wanted to get out. But now, I finally have time to start catching up on awards again. (Yes, I still have others to do. It’s a little embarrassing…)
Btw, if you’re a fellow tea lover, I highly recommend you follow Tea with Polly. I’ve been part of Rona’s readership for a while, and have found some delectable-sounding teas and herbal tisanes I want to try as a result. 😉
Here are the rules for this round of the Liebster Award:
- Link back to the person who nominated you.
- Answer the questions given to you by the nominator.
- Nominate up to 11 other bloggers.
- Create 11 questions for the nominees.
- Notify all nominees via social media and/or their blogs.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Rona’s 10 Questions
Question #1: What motivates you to keep blogging?
Two things keep me motivated when it comes to blogging. First, my readers. I love reading your comments and interacting with you here, on your own blogs, and on social media. You’ve helped make this endeavor fun and worthwhile, and I’m grateful for it. 🙂
Second, I actually have a backlog of topics for future blog posts. (*blushes*) Between suggestions I get from readers, coming up with my own ideas, and following a number of memes, the well isn’t going to dry up anytime soon. Might as well share those ideas here, right?
Question #2: How long does it take you to write a blog post?
It depends on the article. Blog tags and award posts like this are easy to pull together. My tea reviews for A Bibliophile’s Reverie write up quickly, too. I write notes manually about each tea as I try them, then type up those notes later. Author interviews aren’t difficult, either, since those require mostly proofreading, formatting, and link-adding on my end. (The authors do the bulk of the work, to be honest!)
Question #3: What is the most beautiful thing you’ve seen today?
This lovely mug from Lang. It’s my “Mug of the Week” for tea at work. I bought it at a gift shop on Cape Cod a couple years ago, and immediately fell in love with its butterfly and blue hydrangea pattern. (Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers, and butterflies are one of my favorite insects.) Plus, the mug comes in a gorgeous matching box that you can use for either storing your mug or gift-wrapping. 🙂
FYI – You can buy the mug and gift box directly from Lang here.
Question #4: What is something you are interested in, but which most people think is “weird”?
I’ve gotten some interesting reactions when I tell people that I see a Reiki practitioner and explore new age concepts like chakras, tarot / oracle cards, and crystal therapy. (My younger brother said something like this: “Wait. You do that weird, creepy stuff?”) But it works for me. I don’t know how else to explain it, other than my life has changed for the better by embracing an alternative spirituality.
Question #5: Other than blogging, how do you express your creativity?
Novel-writing, of course! 🙂 I used to write poetry, too, as an outlet for personal expression. I’m not artistic in other ways; I don’t paint, draw, or compose / perform music, though I love music and appreciate all forms of art. However, I bought my first mandala coloring book (The Big Book of Mandalas Coloring Book for Inner Peace and Inspiration, pictured above) over the summer, and I really like it so far. It’s fun to choose the colors you want to use and see how the final piece turns out, and relaxing as well.
Question #6: What did your mother “always tell you” that turned out to be true? Or not?
I’m going with the “not turned out to be true” option.
When I was younger, my mother told me that, while there’s nothing wrong about dreaming of the future, it’s better to be realistic and settle for things (job / career, lifestyle, relationships) that are easy to attain. I believed her then, but now I don’t. If you don’t take risks – if you don’t fully believe in the vision of how your life can be and then work toward making those dreams come true – how can you be happy with settling for less than what you want? So far I haven’t been satisfied, and now I’m working steadily towards the things I really, truly want.
Question #7: Do you prefer planes, trains, or automobiles? Why?
Depends on how far I’m traveling. I’m fine with car rides up to 5 hours. (That’s roughly how long it takes to drive to where my relatives live in Maine.) Anything longer, and I’ll meet you at the airport or train station.
I once did a car trip to Baltimore, Maryland. It was about 8 hours from where I live in Massachusetts, including a couple rest stops along the way – but by Hour #7, I wanted OUT of that car. It was the closest I’d ever been to feeling claustrophobic, and after that I resolved to never travel that far by car again. Ever.
Also, I like the views you get when you’re in a plane or train. I’ve never been fearful of air travel. In fact, I find it fascinating to look down at Earth, see what’s below, and guess where I might be based on landmarks or coastal shapes. And when I rode the train to NYC last summer for Writer’s Digest Conference, I didn’t realize that part of the trip would involve hugging the Connecticut shoreline. It thrilled the ocean lover in me. 🙂
Question #8: What music do you like, but are embarrassed to admit?
I’ve never been embarrassed to admit that I’m a metalhead. At the same time, I’m aware that some people view metal music in a negative light. The lyrical content can be (*ahem*) disturbing at times; and the loud, distorted nature of the music combined with those lyrics and the band’s image can be frightening or unsettling. However, that stereotype is NOT indicative of what all metal music is like. It’s just like any other genre of music, and the lyrics can be about anything. Love, relationships, nature, current events and social issues, inspirations from books / movies / mythology – and the list goes on. Plus, metal bands often exercise their imagination with their music – and the results are can be incredible! Some use orchestras and choirs and feature classically trained singers. Others bring in keyboards and synthesizers for a moody, atmospheric sound; or incorporate influences from medieval, jazz, and world music.
I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m ranting (and I apologize if it does). But what I’m trying to say is that not all metal music is satanic, violent, or offensive. In fact, some of it is quite beautiful and lyrically relatable on a universal level. This is one of the reasons why I started my An Ode To… series. I won’t showcase metal bands every time; but when I do, I hope that some of what readers hear takes them by pleasant surprise.
Question #9: Are aliens real? Have you ever seen any?
Do the aliens I’ve read about in books or seen in movies or TV shows count? Probably not, right? I guess that’s a “no” to the “seen any aliens” half. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is or has been life on other planets.
Question #10: What’s your all-time favorite desert island tea? (Yes, you have to choose ONE!)
WHAAAAT??? You mean I can only choose ONE?!?! 😦
OK… Based on my mood right now, I would pick any jasmine-scented oolong tea. It combines my favorite type of tea with my favorite floral scent, and the flavor profile is like being carried to Heaven’s garden on a clear moonlit night. (*sighs happily*)
My Nominees for the Liebster Award & My Questions to Them
I couldn’t quite get to 11 nominees, but here they are. Please don’t feel obligated to accept if you don’t have the time or prefer to skip award posts. Just know that I think you’re deserving of the recognition. 😉
- Amelia @ Throwaway Literature
- Andrea Wiesner @ A Life of Pages
- Ayunda @ Tea & Paperbacks
- Sarah Sanborn @ Lady of the Pen
- Shim @ Sketches and Scribbles
- Solveig Werner
- Sunny @ A Splash of Ink
- Zezee @ Zezee With Books
Here are my questions for them:
- What is one thing you absolutely must do every morning, or else you feel like something is missing from your routine?
- Describe your sense of humor. Is it dry, snarky / sarcastic, silly / slapstick, etc.? What kinds of things make you laugh?
- Name one thing you were terrified of as a child.
- What is your favorite time of day (e.g., sunrise or sunset, morning / afternoon / night, etc.)?
- What is your favorite song from the year you were born?
- What book would people be most surprised to know is one of your all-time favorites?
- Who are some of your favorite creative inspirations outside your preferred medium? For example, if you’re a writer, who are some of your favorite musicians, photographers, or artists (if you have any)?
- What are some of your favorite food scents?
- You’ve had a bad day, and a loved one offers to make whatever you want for dinner. What would be your “cheer-me-up” meal?
- Do you know what your MBTI Personality Type is? Do you agree that it matches who you are?
- Name five (5) things you would want in your dream home. If you already consider your current home as your “dream home,” name your five (5) favorite things about it.
How about you? You don’t have to be a nominee to answer my questions, or the ones Rona asked me. Feel free to share your answers below!