Random Musings, Writing Posts

Liebster Award!

Y’all know R.K. Brainerd, right? The amazing writer and fantastic human being over at Awake Dragon? I’ve bragged about her before and will prolly brag about her numerous times as our careers explode in the best way possible and we take over the world using puppies, goats and straw houses  we work our asses off and get published.

Anyway, recently she got nominated for something called a Liebster Award. Her responses were glorious, hilarious and down right awesome. Naturally, as with any of her posts, I read through it with an unhealthy fervor, excited to learn so many new and interesting things about someone I look up to and a good friend who I’ve actually never met, but that doesn’t matter, because I love her anyway. Then, I was pleasantly surprised when she nominated me for the same award, which basically means you get a free pass to write about yourself and tell other people to write about themselves and so-on and so-forth.

Image result for you just gestured to all of me gif

*cracks knuckles*

Here are the rules:

  1. Share 11 facts about yourself.
  2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Nominate up to 11 bloggers and write 11 questions for them to answer.
  4. Bonus Rule, added by yours truly: wonder about the significance surrounding the number 11.


  1. I’ve had surgery three times. Once when I was two and they removed some weird people skin from my face (still dunno what that was), leaving a scar on my cheek. Second was when I was seven and broke my elbow in half, leaving a scar on my joint where the screw holds it in place and causing my body to adjust and now both elbows are double-jointed. And last on my tongue when they had to shorten the part that connects your tongue to the lower part of your mouth, leaving four X-shaped scars from the stitches that dissolved.
  2. My undergraduate thesis was a page-turner (*snorts*) about how you could read Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as an environmental warning for what is to come, comparing New Zealand to the Shire, England to Isengard and industrialization to Mordor. It was 47 pages long and spoiler alert: we’re not listening and it’s a war we’re losing.
  3. Brevity is not my strong suit.
  4. I have veins on my right leg that form the number 12.
  5. I struggle with depression and anxiety, the former which is directly tied and associated with my weight or body size.
  6. The current series I’m working on, The Adventures of Artemis Smith, was directly inspired by my frustration at not getting published, so I wrote a character who couldn’t get published (yet has kept writing and persevered into almost his seventies) and was forced to live through troped stories as an actual character, only able to escape and move on to the next story if he was able to figure out a way to break, twist or revert the trope he was currently stuck in to make the story unique and publishable. Only one book down out of nine, but I’ve learned so much more than I ever imagined possible and I am so grateful to him, and can only pray I am just as positive and stubborn with my writing.
  7. I read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy for a project in high school history because our teacher said no one else had ever read it for that project, always scared by the length. I read it in three days and wrote the paper the night before, receiving a 97% (I’m ridiculously proud of this, for some reason).
  8. In films, books, TV, whathaveyou, you could kill every character I have ever loved and I still won’t cry as much as if you kill or harm an animal (especially a dog).
  9. Though I claim that my biggest dream is to be published, I think my “real” dream (as if you can’t have multiple) is to find a man to love me unconditionally, without me needing to lose 40 pounds or becoming “cool” to do so. Yeah, I really, really want that.
  10. I’m really excited to get a home with a yard so I can get dogs. Yes, plural. I plan to name them after my favorite dragons.
  11. I have four tattoos and plan to get a sleeve on my left arm, comprised of three “sections,” if you will: Lord of the Rings, writing and my favorite video games. If anyone wants to fund this, I’m always taking donations. 😛

Questions for Me: 

  1. What’s your biggest regret? (We’re starting off deep here, apparently)
    1. Hating myself for so long, particularly physically (we’re going real deep here too, apparently). Especially considering I judged my worth as a human being based on the opinions of others or what size jeans I wore. Worse, I’m still working on switching this mindset. But my regret is taking so long to realize and admit that I was wrong.
  2. If you could be any animal, what would you be?
    1. Dragon. No pausing or consideration about it.
  3. What’s your dream writing space?
    1. I’ve always wanted to live in a small house with a turret that held my spiral library with a secret door into my writing space. Within the writing space would be my Tolkien collection. This place would be in the woods, far enough away that I can’t hear the cars but close enough that I can run and get ice cream when I need it (especially after I kill my darlings). Also, if we’re talking dreams, I’d be able to visit the ocean whenever I wished, because I also lived close enough to that. This location, if possible or real, is probably in New Zealand.

      So, really, my dream writing space requires me to become a Hobbit. I am totally okay with that.

  4. What author are you currently learning from/being inspired by?
    1. Christopher Husberg, author of Duskfall. On his blog, he catalogs his writing journey, amongst other events going on in his life. Not only was Duskfall the best new book I read this year, but reading Chris’s advice, his publishing journey and his musings about writing has resonated with me.
  5. What’s your biggest writer goal you’re working on right now?
    1. Editing is the hurdle I am battling. I have quite a few books under my belt, but none of them are ready to query just yet. I’m itching to query. So I’m trying to be patient and give my work the attention it deserves, while also trying to balance writing new material and ignoring the plagues of self-doubt that constantly berate and belittle me.

      So, just trying to be your average writer, at the moment. 😛

  6. What’s your biggest life goal you’re working on right now?
    1. Definitely loving myself wholly and fully. And figuring out how to pay freakin’ bills.
  7. If you could change your eye color, what would you want it to be? Strange colors totally allowed.
    1. Actually, I think I’d want it to change based on my mood (I know, that’s cheating). I love my blue-green eyes, but how cool would it be for them to turn pitch black when you piss me off or a crystal blue when you’ve wooed me or yellow when I feel threatened?
  8. Who’s your current/favorite book boyfriend/girlfriend?
    1. I love this question. But how does one choose?

      We got Mr. Darcy.

      Image result for Mr. Darcy
      Oh my Lord.
      Image result for mr. darcy pride and prejudice and zombies
      Definitely swooning.

      We got Murtagh.

      Image result for murtagh
      I don’t care that the film was shite. This man.

      We have Jon Snow.

      Image result for jon snow
      No caption necessary.

      We have Aragorn.

      Image result for aragorn
      I would follow you, my Captain.

      We…have a type, apparently.

  9. If you could get one material item right now without having to pay for it, what would it be?
    1. Do airplane tickets count?
  10. Outside of writing, what’s your dream job?
    1. My dream job isn’t actually possible within the realm of reality, so we’re going to roll with that, because I’d basically wanna be a rip-off of Tarzan. I’m a sucker for animals, particularly exotic ones. I’m the moron that recognizes that a tiger wants to eat me but still want to pet it because look at those paws. So my dream job would be opening up a wildlife sanctuary, like a zoo, but nothing is enclosed (so, basically, owning my own island specifically for all animals) and none of the animals want to eat me, so I can love on them all the time.

      Image result for baby tiger gif

  11. Finally, any exciting book release/promotion stuff going on? And if you’re still wandering in unpublished land like me: what’s a recent writing/life epiphany you’ve had?
    1. The biggest epiphany I’ve had in the past year is that I can actually put writing first in my life and life will still move on. I can write every day and make time for it. I can give it importance, because it’s real and it matters. There are prices to pay for that, of course, but with the output and the growth that I’ve had, it is totally, completely and utterly worth it.

Questions for Victims: 

  1. If you could choose one author to be your best friend (we’re talking giggling at sleepovers and having brunch on Sundays to talk about the latest tabloids kind of best friend), who would you choose and why?
  2. Favorite kind of cheese?
  3. This is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of question. Path A: What book series should be adapted into a video game and why (I’m thinking a la Witcher here)? Path B: If you don’t play video games and thus can’t travel down Path A, please tell me how you function without such soul-sucking enjoyment in your life?
  4. If it were my birthday and you were buying me a puppy, what kind of puppy would you get me (pictures preferred)?
  5. What are you most excited about writing wise right now?
  6. What is the plot of the ultimate dream story you want to write (or have written or are too afraid to write)?
  7. How do you plan to better the world?
  8. What “rule” do you break in writing (purposefully or otherwise)?
  9. Which fictional characters make you question whether you’re actually fictosexual, i.e., who can I swoon over? (Also, adapted this one from R.K. and I don’t apologize for it).
  10. What fictional language do you wish was actually commonplace?
  11. Lurtz (see below if you’re not on a first name basis) is about to kill you. What do you do?

    Image result for uruk hai lord of the rings
    ^^ Lurtz


  • Marie over at Light A Fire Instead: A great friend in real life who recently brought back her blog and got into writing again, despite real life trying to get in the way. You’ll want to support her and know her before the rest of the world (inevitably) will.
  • Rob over at Robert F Nugent: Discovered this gent through his blog and then started creeping on him on Twitter. Makes awesome armor, writes really amazing medieval stories I can’t wait to get my hands on and an all around person-you-should-already-be-social-media-stalking.
  • Philip over at Phil Charles R: A gem amongst stones, this man is. Loved his first book and can’t wait to see how he raises the stakes. Also, great guy and so encouraging. So happy that we’re friends and going to take over the world writing books (if you’re jealous, go say hi).
  • Ana over at AZ Pascoe: There aren’t enough words to explain how fantastic of a person Ana is, how lovely her blog is and how awesome her writing is. The only question is: why aren’t you friends yet?
  • Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek: The Book Review King, in my opinion. I absolutely love reading his reviews and he is so sweet to take the time to read mine, even though my site is still young. Go find your next favorite book (and reviewer) over on his site.
  • Joyce over at The Writes of Passage: One of the most encouraging souls I’ve ever met on the interwebs. This woman is going places, but she’s making sure none of us are left behind in the process, either. I adore her.
  • Tanna over at TeaPunk Noveling: My kindred spirit. My dragon-soul-sister. My INFJ twin. A fantastic writer, human and friend. You need her in your life. (Also, advertising now: our book series, both featuring dragons, will have a dragon tour across the world, taking place in a cave near you, years from now.)
  • Jessica over at Elldimensional: I have never had such thoughtful, well-spoken and kind thoughts commented on my blog than the ones written by Jessica. Consistently. Honestly. I support her indefinitely and I hope you do, too!
  • A.Z. over at AZ Anthony: Just stumbled upon this blog and human during #WIPJoy. I love making new connections and this one is pretty rad. Stoked to see where his writing takes him.
  • M.A. over at M.A. Crosbie: Though we’ve never met in person, I advocate for this human so much. So caring, so sweet, so genuine, so driven. I cannot wait to see where life takes her and what she does.
  • Sione over at Sione Aeschliman: An inspiration if I’ve ever known one. A mentor who I’m not sure wants to be labeled a mentor. A knowledge mine that explodes every time I ask a question that leaves me scrambling to absorb all of the information and less of the debris from the ground (I’ve read that analogy three times and I’m still not sure if it works. I’m sticking with it). If you ever dream of succeeding as an author, this is a soul that you need in your life. I promise.

Thanks for the nominated, R.K., and thank you for reading way too much info about this stubborn artist. Stoked to read your responses (if I didn’t tag you and you still want to answer my questions, GO FOR IT).


19 thoughts on “Liebster Award!”

  1. Thanks for the tag and the awesome shout out, the book review King – I like it. 😀

    I enjoy reading your reviews, some of them are quite like stories themselves at times – compliment, and there always entertaining to read. 😀

    Depression sucks, unfortunately I myself have wear my own scars from that and I also judge myself worth to. 😢

    Not to sure I’m technically eligible for the tag as it’s for blogs with around 100/200 followers and I somehow have managed to accrue over 600 but thank you for the nomination and I’m struggling with how I’d answer the writing questions as the nearest I get to writing is dabbling in poetry.

    But for the games question, Malazan, it’s such an epic series and I think if it was made like The Witcher games then it could be awesome.

    1. Well, I mean, you obviously are the Book Review King, so I was really just stating the obvious. 😛
      Thank you so much!
      Sorry to hear that, but I totally understand. If you ever need an open ear, you know where to find me!
      Hm…I wasn’t even sure of the rules in regards to the tag! I definitely just picked blogs of people I wanted my followers to follow. Oops.
      I’ve only read the first Malazan book (it is on my list!!), but I could definitely get behind that!

      1. Thanks and likewise.😀

        Ha, I’m down with The Book Review King, I actually had one of my favourite authors guest post on my blog yesterday, go me! 😂

        No worries, I only know the ‘supposed’ rules for the tag as I had it pointed out to me before.

        The first Malazan is good though it’s definitely not the best in the series, my two favourites were books two and three but damn, it’s a long series! 😂

      2. You can add the title to your resume. 😛 I can only dream of having such a following and posting so frequently! Oh gosh, I’ll have to check that post out!

        And look at you, pointing them out to me. Full circle! 😛 I know! And I want to start reading them and read the series straight through, but it’s definitely a commitment. I’m excited to read them, though.

      3. Ha, “full circle” I hadn’t thought of that but your right, I guess I was a bit like a Jedi Master giving advice, sorry.

        Ah, I post frequently where memes are concerned, not for reviews though, they have to wait until I’ve read the book and I can’t read and review a book a day like lots of bloggers seem to.😂

      4. Ha, absolutely no worries! 🙂

        I really need to post another one. I am almost done with my current book, so we’ll see how soon I can do something. Yeah, those bloggers are mental.

  2. AHHHH the things you learn about someone!! *flail* Also, you made me crack up several times.

    Question one:
    CAN I HELP RUN YOUR FENCE-LESS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY WITH YOU!? You stole it out of my brain! (I mean, how perfect would an island be!?)


    You’re my favorite ever. ❤

    1. I’m glad you cracked up! Having Internet friends is so nice because while it takes me hours to compose something and appear funny, you all think I’m funny, whereas my RL friends know that it takes a lot of work and effort on my part. 😛 😛

      UM, YES. As long as you’re okay with most of our animals are predators, like wolves, for example (a shit-ton of wolves). I dunno why I’m so drawn to them.

      I don’t have one yet either! I just plan for my forearm to be filled with them. ❤

      Right back atcha. ❤

      1. HAHAHAH! Okay, good point.

        I’m good with predators. We just need good fences for my goats. Or a separate island, like, right next to it. We can have boats, and decide each day to hang with the woofs or the goats. We’ll have to figure out how to feed the wolves (not with my goats). Can we have a panther or two? (Every ecologist in the world now winces as we try to put two separate predators together from different ecosystems).

      2. Bueno, bueno. We could have totally separate islands for our predators and our peaceful creatures, with your goals having a pedestal of honor. I actually want all of the predators, so…yeah, ecologists hate me. 😛

  3. There’s so much here to talk about here, but not enough space without sounding like a creep! But for starters, your series, The Adventures of Artemis Smith, sound really awesome. I love that idea! And hopefully it will one day make an appearance outside the confines of your word processor! I would love to read that, it sounds very clever.

    And you should be most proud of getting an A+ on your project with War and Peace! I’ve yet to read that book, though it’s on my list, and I’m curious as to how you liked/thought of that book? I’m not the biggest Tolstoy fan, but I suppose that’s rather biased of me to say since I’ve only read Anna Karenina, and simply stated, I didn’t like her at all.

    Speaking of being a fan — what are your favorite video games?

    I absolutely adore your 11 questions for the victims though! And a serious thank-you for all the kind words you have for me, and all those special people who have the pleasure of knowing you.

    I am sorry to hear that your outward appearances were tied to your self-image, but I am really hoping that this damaging sentiment will rid itself from you, permanently. Because you are a beautiful person on the inside, and it shows itself through you on the outside. It can’t be helped. I’ve struggled with this presentiment before, and it’s still somewhat there, but I’ve grown past much of those self-imposed bars not too long ago. The people who appreciate you for you won’t care what you look like, or judge you on anything you are or do (unless it’s detrimental to yourself!). And those are the only people who should matter in your life. The judgmental fool is worth forgiving, but never trusting, and never believing. The more you live and meet other people, the more your observations will teach you about humans. But don’t let me ramble here (:

    I promise to get to your Leibster soon! ❤ ❤

    1. JESSICA.

      Am I going to have a freak out moment every time you comment on one of my blogs? Because that’s the trend so far and I kinda love it. 😛

      First, you’re never a creep.

      Second, I am really glad that you are excited by Artemis’s story! I was initially (still am, honestly) but I can’t lie and say I didn’t get a little bit discouraged when I spoke with an agent about it and they said they’d “seen that before.” Still, I refuse to give up on Artemis because if I don’t believe in him, who else will?

      Honestly, I can hardly remember anything about War and Peace. o.0 I do remember that I enjoyed it, though, and it made me want to read Anna Karenina (which I still haven’t).

      Oh, girl. I love Mass Effect, Dragon Age (basically, I worship BioWare), Skyrim, ESO, Witcher III, Kingdom Hearts, Baldur’s Gate, Third Age, Assassin’s Creed, Shadows of Mordor (need I go on? 😛 :P). What about you?

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my questions! I had a fun time coming up with them. And of course. You’re one of my favorite Internet friends! ❤

      Thank you so much for your kind words!! They mean so much to me and I know they are going to help a lot on my darkest days. ❤ ❤ Your strength and knowing where you've come from is so inspiring and I hope you always remember how amazing you are and what radiance you bring to every relationship that you have!

      1. Aw, you make me blush! I try (:

        I’m not published or anything fantabulous like that, but I will tell you that sure, many plots are similar. I’ve struggled with this myself, as I think most us writers have — that “what’s the point of writing this? I’m sure it’s been done before.” Well, actually, that kind of sums up my recent sentiments, anyway. But kudos for not letting the agent intimidate you. They haven’t read the story, right? Upsetting that they’d classify the story without even looking at it. There may be 7 (or 6, or 9, or 29, or etc., depending on who you talk to) generic plots out there, but out of those story formulas, come millions of stories. And yours is unique, just as all of ours are (: Don’t ever get discouraged! ❤

        Your games list is impressive! I've completed Kingdom Hearts, and messed around with Skyrim for a little bit. But I've been playing Sims since its inception back in 2000… so that would be 16 years…!! D: D: What a scary thought. I'm a big big fan of the Final Fantasy series, too, though after XII, I kind of gave up playing video games. …Does Candy Crush Soda count??

        You are definitely one of my favorites of online friends, too! Many people have come and gone, and I hope the friendship doesn't fade like so many of my past online friendships have, but just know that you are a special one indeed. I pray you won't have any more dark days. It's such a pleasure to have made your acquaintance!! You give me faith in humanity *hugs*

  4. OMG you are officially my hero. Like Jessica above, I literally have comments on all of your answers but I’ll try to keep it short. (Brevity is also not a strong suit of mine…)

    Fact #2: This sounds like an amazing paper. (I also did a big school project on New Zealand, and it may or may not have coincided with the release of a certain trilogy…)
    #5: I know this all too well. The roller coaster of anxiety AND depression is a rough ride, each and every single day, but please know you are not alone. I guess we just have to find ways to make it through each day, and writing certainly helps make the ride a bit less hellish. (Side note: I genuinely HATE roller coasters…)
    #6: I second what Jessica said – Artemis’ story sounds incredible! I’d love to read some/all of it if you’d like to share. What a cool concept….
    #10: SAME. Can’t wait to have a dog-friendly place some day. And, oh man, dragon-names would be so bad ass!
    #11: Whoa that sleeve also sounds bad ass. I don’t have any tats, because I don’t know if I could pick something so permanent! (I’m indecisive when it comes to even ordering food at restaurants…) But if I ever did, I think it would be something Tolkien-esque, or in Elvish. Or I’d get a little tiny sailboat, like my dad’s old boat 🙂

    Question #7: Different colored eyes depending on your mood? DUDE…..Also this sounds like an amazing story prompt.
    #8: May I say that you have exquisite taste in book boyfriends? Especially Aragorn ❤ (I'm actually not acquainted with all of these gents, so I AM INTRIGUED. Who's the Murtagh fellow?)
    #10: Can I come visit your Island of Fuzzy Beasts? (And/or goats?) This is awesome, although I'd be a bit intimidated by the bigger beasties, so I'd maybe have another island with dogs 😛

    And thank you so much for nominating me!! Both you and Joyce tagged me, so I will probably do two posts so I can answer all of your questions. So excited 😀

    1. Eeeeeee, I worship you. ❤

      Never worry about brevity with me (as what a great problem it is to have, amiright?).

      That's brilliant! I have become so obsessed with New Zealand since LotR was filmed there. I HAVE to visit. What specifically did you write about in your paper?

      I also hate roller-coasters. And it's such a struggle because I am constantly trying to help others battle it and when I hear others degrade themselves, it grinds my gears and makes me want to scream, "Why can't you see yourself the way I see you?" And then I realize I can't take my own advice and I understand why. But let's stick together, okay? We are beautiful humans with beautiful souls and creative prowess and WE GOT THIS.

      THANK YOU SO MUCH. Like I told Jessica, I'm trying to believe that it is still a unique and amazing story even though the concept has apparently been done before. So every time someone tells me that they think it is neat or they can't wait to read it, it just inspires me even more!

      One day, I can't wait to share dog pictures together (also, is it weird I really want to come and visit you?). I want to have two black dogs named Dovahkiin (Dovah) and Toothless, a red golden retriever named Smaug (nickname will be Smauggie-Smaug) and a surprise breed as my Drogon. ❤

      I would be covered in tattoos if I could afford it. I am actually being a bad adult and setting up a consultation with a potential artist for my sleeve this Saturday, despite not having the money for it at all! But I've been waiting almost two years, so I'm definitely itching. LotR tattoos you can never go wrong with. I am trying to decide which ones to get. There are so many options! Also, that sailboat idea would be SO BEAUTIFUL AND SENTIMENTAL.

      I think it would be a blast!

      And those were just people who had cinematic representations I could take pictures from! That is definitely not my limit. 😛 Murtagh is from Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle!! They ruined the film, so the franchise didn't get the screen time it should have, but Garrett Hedlund is one of my favorite actors and he played Murtagh, which made it all worth it.

      We have a separate island where all our big predators won't be at, so we'll build you your own cabin there and then you can come visit me and the wolves on the other island! ❤

      I saw that! I still need to read through both posts, but I can't wait! ❤ 😀

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