Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Liebster Award Challenge

Ladies and gentlemen, today is a very special day! Rebekah at Wordsmithing and Worldbuilding tagged me in the Liebster Award Challenge! I've been blogging since 2010, but... THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE BEEN TAGGED TO DO ANYTHING. EVER. I'M SO EXCITED! Thanks, Rebekah! :)

Basically for this tag, Rebekah has asked me and ten other bloggers some questions. (Check out the link to Rebekah's blog above for more info, she has a link that thoroughly explains the award/challenge/tag.) Once I'm done, I get to tag more people and ask them my own questions.

1. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what? If not, why?
Almost always. It kind of depends on the situation though. If I'm writing a music review then I'll just be listening to the album I'm reviewing, but if I'm writing any other review or blog post I'll just listen to whatever I feel like. However, if I'm writing a story, I can only listen to instrumental music (usually film scores) for the most part. Otherwise I get distracted with the words and I want to sing, and since my creative writing is my 'serious' writing, I don't want to be distracted in any way. Plus, I search the Internet for instrumental music for specific scenes I'm writing. It helps if I have music that fits the feel of what I'm writing. But when I'm writing poetry I need silence.
Wow. I'm complicated.

2. Do you have a certain type of character that you always love/root for? (I. e., the orphan hero, the bad boy/girl with a heart of gold, the loveable rogue). Why do you like them?
Honestly... I think I root for all character types as long as I like the specific character, but I feel like my favorites begin at opposite ends of the spectrum: I really love the badasses and the orphan heroes. Let's face it, everyone loves a badass because they convey the strength we wish we all had, and they're usually really stern or sassy. But the orphan heroes are usually these really sweet people who deserve happiness and may seem so ordinary or even weak at the beginning, and they end up proving that we really can be strong... Isn't that just so heartwarming?

And then we can cheer even louder for the orphan heroes when stuff like this happens:

3. Has your taste in books changed much in the past ten years? Do you find that you like a certain type of book now better than you did then?
In some ways, yes, but in some ways, no. I still love all fiction and I still have a soft spot for fantasy/paranormal/science fiction, but I definitely have gone in spurts. I used to be completely enthralled by the paranormal romance explosion that happened after Twilight, but as stories got repetitive I lost interest (and it seems like I'm not the only one). I still don't read enough contemporary even though I appreciate it just as much. However, I've come to really love dystopian novels and my love for the classics just keeps increasing with intensity. I feel like I read a bigger variety now.

4. What literary trope or cliche do you hate the most? Which one really doesn’t bother you?
The whole 'love at first sight = we were reincarnated and meant to be together forever' thing. I mean, I get the appeal. Reincarnation is cool. I believe that it's possible. And really, the idea that love interests keep crossing paths is interesting... But it just happens too much and it feels like an excuse to get out of relationship building. Love triangles don't always bother me even though they probably are overused and never happen in real life -  however, the whole 'we're going to throw in a new contender that everyone knows isn't going to be with the main character anyway during the sequel' thing got old VERY quickly.

5. Name one book that you love that no one else seems to have read. Include a picture and a link so the rest of us can check it out.
Well, I'm going to choose a modern book and a classic:

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Villette by Charlotte Bronte

6. Do you prefer contemporary novels or historical fiction? Why?
I prefer contemporary. While I think historical fiction is fantastic when done well, it's risky. Obviously any author who wants to write a piece of historical fiction is going to have to research the given time period... But sometimes they get really carried away with the information they give readers and it doesn't feel natural. I don't want to read ten thousand words about wagons, horses, sanitation, etc. Just get to the point. I'm here for a story in a historical setting, not a lecture.

7. If you write (stories, novels, poetry, anything other than blog posts), do you write with the hope to publish, or just for fun?
That's kind of complicated. Ultimately, I write for fun, but I often do hope to publish. But I guess for me it might not necessarily be about the publication as much as it's about my work being good enough for publication, and since I often feel like the Editing Queen, publication would actually signify completion. When I write novel-sized stories I often think of publication as the eventual goal, but when I write poetry I scarcely ever think of publication. I just write it when I feel like it, and only recently have I begun to put serious thought into my poems.

8. Why did you start your blog? What keeps you posting?
I started this blog because I had been reading a lot of books but a lot of my friends weren't really into them, and I needed a place to fangirl without driving people crazy about stuff they didn't care about. This also happened a lot with music... Some of the stuff I listen to is rather unconventional. I figured if I let out all my feelings about all the fantastic books I'd been reading and music I'd been listening to it'd make me happy, and the only people who would bother to read it were people who have similar interests. I keep posting because I need to get my opinions out there, even if only one person reads them. I continue this blog for the same reasons I started it.

9. If the internet disappeared overnight, how would you feel? Do you think life would be better or worse, and why?
I would FREAK. OUT. I'd feel so... Cut off. Restricted. Keep in mind that I truly do understand that the Internet is making us lazy and that social media is probably making us antisocial, but I don't even have Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, so I don't particularly care about that. The access we have to so many underground artists that we'd never discover without the Internet - gone. The instant answers to random questions - gone. The ability to have conversations with fanbases on a global level - gone. I can't live in a world that doesn't have symphonic metal music, and I sure as hell can't buy any new CDs within that genre without the Internet. In fact, I wouldn't know anything about the future of any of the bands I listen to. My whole musical life would be ruined.

10. If you could have tea (or coffee) and a chat with any author living or dead, who would you pick? What would you want to ask them?
I'm totally picking more than one. Sorry, not sorry. The answer to me is clear: J.K. Rowling and Charlotte Bronte. They're my heroes. I'm not entirely sure what I'd specifically ask J.K. Rowling, but I know I'd definitely talk to her about her writing process, how she created such an intricate world filled with complex characters and how she coated everything in mystery. If we had enough time, maybe I'd ask her to read some of my writing and provide advice on how to improve. And of course, I'd tell her that I admire her as a writer and as a person.

And Charlotte... Well, I guess I'd ask her why she took it upon herself to write the unconventional, anti-Victorian novels she wrote, and what drove Anne to publish something as controversial as The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I'd thank her for having the guts to say what needed to be said, to write the books I so desperately needed.

And I'd make sure to tell her that things got better.

11. What do you like best about your writing or your blog? Why?

I think the best part about writing this blog is knowing that people actually read it on occasion. Granted I only really started it so I could just unleash the opinions and fangirling, but I love knowing that people are interested in a lot of the same things as me. Plus, it's fun to look back at all the old posts and relive the memories of discovering a favorite album or book for the first time. In a way blogs are like little diaries, no matter how professional or unprofessional they are. And of course, remembering a book or an album can help us remember our personal highs and lows at the time we were listening to it for the first time.


I have to admit, those were some pretty damn good questions. I had to really think about a few of them; it was fun!

Now... This is the part where I'm supposed to come up with eleven questions and tag eleven people. But here's the issue: I don't even think I follow eleven active blogs right now. I know, it's sad. And of that small group, I honestly can't think of anyone that would want to be tagged, and I follow more than just book blogs, so forming questions would be tricky...

So, here's what I'll do instead: If you are reading this post right now and you want to be tagged, leave a comment and I'll come up with eleven questions based on whether you blog about books, writing, music... If you blog about other fun things that I don't know as much about, like food or photography, I'll ask you about miscellaneous things - that could be fun!

...I don't always get tagged, but when I do, I apparently throw the rules out the window...? I'm kind of ridiculous. But seriously, let me know if you'd like to be tagged and I'll give you questions as soon as I can!


  1. Breaking rules is good with me ;) I have a Fred/George Weasley side, after all.

    I loved your answers (and I'm glad you enjoyed the tag!). I think your answer about the internet was one of the best - I know that I wouldn't have had much access to all of the awesome bands I've discovered without it. It's also an invaluable tool for an author.
    Charlotte Bronte would be an incredible person to meet. She's always been a writing hero of mine (all of the Brontes, really), and the reading world would have been worse off without her.
    And I love the Neville gif, by the way. Neville is awesome.

    1. Thanks again for tagging me! :) Yeah, the Internet and the Brontes slay. The Brontes are so awesome that there are actually asteroids in space named after them...