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The Liebster Award

A titanic thank-you to The Arbitrary Fairy for tagging me in my first ever blog award!

I’m perhaps ridiculously pleased, but…I’m not even sure what a “Liebster” is.

So I Googled it.

I had a hunch it was German, like “lieblings” is favorite. Liebster translates as something closer to “darling” or “sweetheart.”

Makes sense. Sort of.

Anyway, before I let this entire post be taken over by my etymology habit, on to the tag!

Rule 1: Thank the Blogger Nominator

The Arbitrary Fairy! Go swamp her blog with likes and comments! Show some love!

Rule 2: Answer the 11 Questions

(cracks knuckles and adjusts spectacles)

What is your current favorite book/series and why?

…well, my favorite since–what, the summer of 2014 or something?–is The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I am a hopeless fantasy nerd and it is the best (ever). Hence the Tolkien-filled bookshelf on my home page, the obsession with Hobbits, and the preference for high epic fantasy. I love the characters, the brotherhood, the Shire, the scream-in-your-throat Two Towers suspense, the gorgeously long ending, the fandom–did I mention there’s also The Silmarillion? I will refrain from gushing too much because it would take a minimum of 5 posts to get through my adoration of the masterpiece…

…my precious.

What are your favorite genres to read and write?

Fantasy. High fantasy, urban fantasy–I really can’t bear to write anything else these days. This caused some friction when I took a creative writing class that wanted only “literary fiction,” which banned me from unicorns, cyborgs, dragons, and everything else that gives life flavor. Somehow I survived, but reached the tipping point that if I had to read one more literary fiction story set in a suburban kitchen where the only endings are pointless arguments or toxic relationships, I was going to scream.

Recently dipping my toes in science fiction, but it’s spilling out of my pen as science fantasy. I’m not too disappointed.

I read a lot of middle-grade fiction, if you consider that a genre, because I like kids’ fairytales. And occasionally historical fiction and classics (Any Oliver Twist fans out there? Just me?).

What is your favorite fandom?

Must I pick just one? The Lord of the Rings! The Silmarillion (some of their artwork is so incredible)! Harry Potter (their fandom is gigantic)! The Kingkiller Chronicle (when they’re not being super toxic and hateful because they want a third book)! The Phantom of the Opera! And most recently I am falling in love with all the beautiful Frankenstein things! But what I really love is when fandoms combine their efforts and suddenly we have fantastic and lovely new combinations. Like ComicCon group photos. Or Phantom of the Opera/Frankenstein combinations which I didn’t know I needed in my life…but really, really did.

Would you rather bring one of your characters to this world for a day or visit your favorite book world for a day?

Excuse me while I go rethink all my life choices.

I mean, instinct says I’d like to go spend a day in my writing because I could be with all my characters (and maybe they could spin a magic spell to let me stay). But there’s also such immense charm in confusing literally everyone on the planet by bringing one of my apprentice wizard friends here and pointing out the sights and getting ice cream and finding out what magic exists in everyday life and watching the sunset through new eyes and feeling so much less alone…

Okay, I confess this isn’t the first time I’ve considered either option.

Both is good!

What is your favorite kind of character to write or read about?

Oooh, this is tricky.

So reading first. I have a terrible weakness for snarky thieves like Scipio in The Thief Lord, Sage in The False Prince, Con in The Magic Thief.

But then I like characters who don’t admit who they are, even to themselves. Heroes with a little pain to them. Think Dustfinger in the Inkheart trilogy.

I like writing villains who get another chance, because we all need one. I like characters who pretend they don’t care about anything, who see the world blow up right after slipping out of their fingers and react with “Oh well, it is Tuesday.” People who have nothing to lose. People who know what matters most and will do anything, anything to keep it alive. People who are just slightly lost and out of place in the mad world we live in.


All the characters. Give them all.

Do you prefer coffee or tea? (Or something else?)

Until about a year ago, the answer was neither. I was comfortably uninvolved in the Ageless War of Caffeine.

Now the answer is Matcha, which is technically a tea but also a latte. Creamy with milk and very green. I’ll post my recipe if anybody pokes me for it in the comments.

Also nostalgic for hot cocoa when it snows. With marshmallows. Of course.

Would you rather be really good at one specific talent or average at a wide variety of talents? Why?

Probably one specific talent. Just because I’d love to know how to fence and juggle and parkour and do better calligraphy, but in reality I only have two hands and a much narrower range of talents. Left hand holds my violin. Right hand gets the ink pen. If I could be awesome at both of them, well, I wouldn’t complain.

What is your passion in life?

…Do I…have to answer this? Do I only get one?

Do you have any “unusual” talents or hobbies?

Ha! Yes.

I am a Renaissance faire child! This is a hobby which involves costuming, road trips (during non-Plague times), funny accents, and sneaking up behind people to suddenly play a burst of violin music as befits the situation.

Yes. I am that bard that just appears behind you, grins, and disappears.

I have a growing pile of posts about my Ren faire adventures that never get enough love, so shameless plug for these. I mean, really. We put Deadpool in the stocks. I get to hang out with a band of sword-wielding mercenaries. I visited real castles (the acoustics, my love. Oh, the acoustics). We got “Year of the Plague” T-shirts with a steampunk plague doctor dragon design this year since we couldn’t meet in person. What’s not to love?

Would you rather live in a desert or a snowy region for the rest of your life?

Um. Probably snowy because I fell in love with mountains on road trips as a kid. Unless it’s a desert island? That would be cool.

Can you think of a movie adaptation that is better than the book?


I hate to admit this, but yes. I liked both Howl’s Moving Castle and The Secret World of Arrietty better than the books. But not by like a gigantic landslide. The books were okay.

…and How to Train Your Dragon. I’m still having trouble understanding that the book series and film trilogy are related. At all.

But in 98% of other cases, the book is better.

Rule 3: Nominate eleven more bloggers for the award.

Liam Brodentel at The Lost Balloon Café (Maybe True, Mostly Metaphor is the best!)

F.A. Eid at (one of the first people to actively read my little blog)

Leah Ning at leahning (writer of one of the best stories in the last WOTF anthology)

The Temperamental Writer at allthingstrivialandinsignificant (only recently discovered this blog, but it’s cheered me up on several drab afternoons now)

Shaina Frantz at The Beauty of a Story (another new one to me with a voice all her own)

Jessica at Lildonbro (book reviews and recipes? Overachiever!)

Callie at Not Another Costuming Blog (I know it’s not a book blog, but there was nothing in the rules about that. I checked.)

Nathan Slemp at The Library of Scales (because dragons)

Emily Thompson at Sorry I’m Booked (because books)

Kevin at KP’s Pages (because fantasy)

And Julie at One Book More (just because)

Rule 4: Ask your eleven nominated bloggers eleven questions

The Sacred Eleven! Written by someone who isn’t particularly nosy and hates answering too many questions! Ready, guys?

  1. What book/movie/pop culture thing do you recommend to everyone?
  2. What are you reading right now?
  3. What is the coolest thing about your blog?
  4. Why did you decide to start blogging?
  5. What random thing about yourself do you want to share (can you yodel? Do you hate polka dots? Did you once sail around the world)?
  6. Favorite travel destination (real or fictional)?
  7. What piece of wisdom did you once really need to hear?
  8. Where do you go when you need inspiration?
  9. What is the most beautiful place to you (your couch, a meadow under the stars, etc.)?
  10. What would you love to try (crochet! Yodeling! Sailing around the world!)?
  11. Favorite dessert (everyone should have at least one)?

And now that we’re done, go over and check out the Arbitrary Fairy’s Liebster Award post. Because it’s cool.

Until next time, happy reading!


15 responses to “The Liebster Award”

  1. Ah, I ran into the same thing in my creative writing classes when I was at university. I don’t understand why “literary” fiction has to mean people having understated conversations in the kitchen while their marriage falls apart or they come to the apathetic realization that their life is meaningless–just why?? Why is that inherently more literary than a story that involves dragons or cyborg? You can write excellent prose and character arcs in any setting!
    I don’t have strong feelings about this at all XD
    *raises hand and waves it around frenetically* Ooh, me! I’m a big Oliver Twist fan!
    Confusing literally everyone on the planet by bringing one of your wizard characters to this world to eat ice cream sounds like the BEST idea. I fully support this.
    “Heroes with a little pain to them” yes yes yes always. And characters who pretend they don’t care about anything (but definitely do)? Yes yes YES.
    Thanks so much for the nomination! I’m going to have fun with those questions 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seriously though–this comment made my day. Triple thank you and three cheers for cyborgs in genre fiction and Oliver Twist forever! Thank you for supporting the ice cream idea. I’m quite fond of it too.
      Yes, I really do that with my violin! I have trouble sometimes thinking of witty things to say in character…so I just play music and run away. When Ye Olde Plague is gone…I hope to post many more violin adventures at Ren faires and Comic Cons. Stay tuned!
      Can’t wait to read your Liebster post! Good luck! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well hello there! Thank you so much for the nomination. But wait a second, when’s the deadline? Because we all know that if I’m not given a deadline, answering these questions will become another writing project that stretches into infinity…
    Fun fact: my wife and I got married to the Howl’s Moving Castle main song so I’d have to agree that the movie was pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so much for the nomination! I’m flattered 🙂 And I love reading your blog (even though I’ve been MIA lately whoops!). I loved the idea of bringing a character of yours into the real world to find the magic in the small things. So awesome! Also, yes I’d love that matcha recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • (cheers for your return!) You’re welcome! I can’t wait to see what you do with your Liebster post. And thank you for the lovely comments! Matcha recipe is coming soon. 🙂


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