In Which I Answer Random Questions From a Friendly Stranger

(Guys! Guys! I’ve officially fixed my August Blues! I’ve successfully made some goals this month thanks to my Nano Cabin, my husband, my messy house, and dog faces. How have these things changed me? Tune in next time, same-ish time, same-ish week to hear the thrilling conclusion!

And now for something completely different!)

The very pleasant deviantdaydream nominated me for an award awhile back, and I’m finally getting around to it. It’s the Sisterhood of the World award, and it comes with questions for me to answer! Yay for me not having to come up with things all by myself! These questions are from deviantdaydream herself, so here I go!

sisterhood of the world bloggers award.resized

1. Morning bird or night owl?

That, dear friends, is a complicated question, although it didn’t used to be. A younger self would say “Night Owl” with a cheery, dreamy look in her eyes, all innocent and free from the responsibilities of adult life. Present Me scoffs at Past Me, as she wonders if 9pm is too early to go to bed.

To be truthful, I never thought I could love the morning. I always felt more alive and productive at night, and never had any problems staying up past the midnight hour. But now that I have a kid and stuff to do during the day, I’ve had to make the change. Fun little fact for you non-parents out there: children don’t sleep in. Which means you won’t either. Ever.

But you know what? It hasn’t been that bad. I now successfully get up at 5:30am nearly every day, 6:00am at the latest, to do this whole writing thing before my household wakes up. Past Me still can’t fathom it and wants to state that she has an evening soul, whatever that means.

2. Favourite food?

All of them. Like, really, I just love food so much. I wish I didn’t, but we can’t change who we are, can we? *innocently ignores the previous answer*

Some of my favorites include taco salad, chicken strips, chips and salsa/nachos and cheese, pickles, cold leftover pizza, spaghetti, and chocolate everything. Yes, I do hate dieting, why do you ask?

3. What’s your favourite season?

Yay, an easy question! My favorite season, hands down, no comparison, is Autumn. I am in love with it. In fact, other than friends and family, it’s the thing I miss most about the Midwest. I love the changing of the trees, and the nip in the air as things turn chilly. I love wearing hoodies and jeans. I love seeing piles of crunchy leaves on the lawn. I love Halloween and just everything about it. I love going to an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch and going on hayrides. I really just love the whole season, which sadly doesn’t exist in the desert. I think the trees in the mountains change colors, but it’s just not the same.

4. Favourite movie?

And back to the hard questions. I am not a movie-person, but there are some I like…but to declare a favorite? That’s a bit too difficult. Here’s a list instead:

Wall-E, The Incredibles, Iron Man, The Brothers Bloom, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, How to Train Your Dragon, and I’m sure there are others but I just can’t think of them…Notice all of these movies are older, because I’ve really stopped watching movies in the last few years (I make an exception for Marvel movies, because they are just too much fun not to watch.)

5. Favourite book?

Again, too difficult:

The Phantom Tollbooth (I think I had this book checked out of the library for an entire summer in my youth. I remember my dad would return it for me, and I would ride my bike back to the library the next day to check it out again.)

Speak and Catalyst, both by Laurie Halse Anderson

anything Stephen King, especially his short stories

I would have a longer list, but my personal library is currently in storage across the country, so I can’t go cheat and look’em up.

6. Best memory?

Pft. How in the world would I even begin to choose? Um…

-picking mulberries in my grandma’s backyard

-Reading books while sitting in the fork of a tree at my other grandmother’s house

-Meditating by a lake during summer camp

-riding my bike with my golden retriever running alongside me by the river

-all the freakin’ times my daughter has done something new and adorable and has made me tear up with tears of motherly joy at totally inopportune times

-going to my first anime convention with my best friends and we did a group cosplay that was super-cool like you don’t even know

-Trekking around Chicago, just me and my husband (can’t remember if we were married at the time), seeing the sights, wearing Converse sneakers because the Doctor wore them (David Tennant for life!). First trip on our own, first time on a public bus/subway/taxi, first time riding the train back to home.

-Everything in college: writing fanfiction after my more responsible roommate went to bed, playing my electric guitar on the steps outside my dorm, late-night winter walks with a warm hoodie for company, going to the cafeteria late so I could call my bestie every day during lunch

-Taking a road trip down to Augusta, Georgia to see my husband while he was in his army training. Drove a 13 hour roadtrip all by myself without stopping at a hotel and super-enjoyed it.

-And, more recently, taking my very first trip to Arizona. I flew all by myself (my first time on a plane ever), successfully navigated a layover, rented a car for the first time, drove across the desert for three hours, spent a week with my hubby who was already here, then flew back to Chicago to catch a train back home. Again, to reiterate, I crossed the country all by myself…In hindsight, it was probably a good way to become a missing person, but I made it! The scariest part was riding the subway and walking to the train station in the dead of night in Chicago.

7. How do you relax?

Hmm, how do I relax? I’ve been having a bit of trouble with being stressed out lately, so this is a good question for me right now. Back home, I really enjoyed walking on trails and such, but here it’s not really safe to do that alone (too many desert things that want to kill you all the freakin’ time). For bedtime, I have a sleep playlist that I made to help zone me out. I also really enjoy lying on the ground, like in the grass at a park or something (again, not something I can easily do here because the grass is not as soft, and laying out in the sun will cook me).

For just a get-away sort of feeling, video games have always been my go-to. Or shopping trips with friends usually work pretty well.

8. Why did you get into blogging?

I guess I thought it was cool?

Actually, once I decided to give this whole writer-thing a go, it was a pretty easy decision. Writers write, and I wanted a place where I could connect with future readers and write a little bit more informally. Plus it gives me a place to write about whatever topic I want to for no reason at all.

9. Most used app on your phone?

Hmm, let me look. *Gets out aging smartphone that is in its death throes*

Other than social media, I use a very pretty Digital Timer app for my writing sprints, Writeometer to remind me to write, MyFitnessPal for whenever I’m feeling like being healthy, and Cracked.com’s app, because I like funny and informative articles. Yep, pretty boring, but my phone is 3 years old and not doing superwell right now, so I don’t do much heavy lifting on it.

My tablet has my kindle app and all my games on it, but those are my mobile time-wasting shame games which are to never be shared, so too bad! You will never know how many stupid pet games and village-builders I play, mwahaha!

10. If you had 1 million pounds, what would you do with it?

Well, first I’d convert it to dollars, unless I was taking some crazy extravagant European trip, in which I would probably convert it to Euros (I think? I really have little understanding of the world, don’t judge! Ok, you can judge a little, I should know better by now.)

In my real life, I would do stupid normal stuff with it. I would pay off my debts, pay off my cars, possibly buy a new one (nothing crazy though. Probably a standard SUV/crossover thing). I would want to buy a house because renting kinda sucks a lot. I would make sure that my new house had a dedicated office room so that I could “go to work” and still stay at home. I would set aside money for my daughter to go to college. Perhaps I would get my hair colored, buy a new wardrobe, I don’t know. I’ve lived off a very tight budget for years, so spending a lot of money does not sit well with me. I would probably throw most of it in the bank until I thought of a decent way to use it (or maybe invest it, so it will grow, something responsible.)

In my fantasy life, I would go buy and stable a horse and all its accessories and take riding lessons so I could go on whimsical horse adventures. I would also take a train trip around the Western/Northern US. And probably get my daughter into some sort of preschool so I could have more time to write. Wow, don’t my exciting ideas just blow you out of the water?

Thanks for making it this far! Sorry those answers were so long-winded; I think I’m trying to compensate for not writing an article of any quality in such a long time. Luckily, that will be changing soon, so please stick around, won’t you? And thanks again to deviantdaydream for nominating me for this award! She is currently blogging her epic goal-setting summer on her site and she is doing much more interesting things than I am, so go check her out!

Have a great day, all you friendly faces!

-Christine B.

“I’m Versatile” and 7 More Facts About Me

So remember that time when I said I’d be more active on this blog this month and then abandoned it until now? Yeah, I don’t remember it either…Anyway…

Housecleaning Time! I’ve finally been catching up on all my notifications that I’ve been ignoring this month (curse you and your addictive productivity, Camp Nano!) and found that I was nominated for a couple awards in my absence! Yay! Nothing makes you feel like a great blogger than receiving awards for a blog that you’ve been neglecting all month, heh heh…

But I am seriously so thrilled to get them! They really motivate me to be the best writer/blogger/desert-dwelling hermit-person I can be! So without further ado, here’s the first:

The-Versatile-Blogger-Award

Yes, the Versatile Blogger Award! I’ve been seeing this award floating around on several lovely blogging pages, but sure didn’t expect it to end up here! I’m tickled pink, or maybe more of a magenta.

Lovely writer-person Shannon Noel Brady nominated me for reasons unknown, other than the fact that I think she’s a pretty cool human being. I discovered her blog like, oooohh, maybe the first week I started blogging? Like, Day One or Two? And I’ve been blog-stalking ever since (twitter-stalking too, because if you’re going to stalk, do it properly!). Her fiction really strikes a chord with me and her characters stand out from the crowd, and she’s got a sense of humor to boot…have you clicked her name already? Go do it. I’ll wait.

The rules for this award state that I have to thank the giver (Thank you Shannon, may many dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets find their way to your plate!), nominate five other really cool blogs, and then list 7 things about myself. Challenge accepted!

My nominations are (drumroll please…):

1) Orange Pond Connects : I just don’t know what to say about Orange Pond Connects, except the fact that I jump to her blog at every post. I’m a freakin’ Pavlov dog for this blog. Writer, Dreamer, Canadian…what’s not to like?

2) James Windale : His two books are at the top of my next-time-I-have-book-money-I-will-buy-these list. Interesting topics that are well-researched from a writer who cares.

3) Natasha Nalina : A fun art blog from a bubbly personality. If you’re looking for positive posts and adorable art, check her out! Last time I checked she was making art for a videogame, which gives her +5 awesome points.

4) Caroline Peckham : This blog started around the same time as mine and is infinitely more professional and impressive, so you should give it a look. Caroline is super friendly and I would expect she gives warm hugs. Also, she writes actual fiction-things that you can read (again, blog envy!).

5) Sandra’s Stories : If you’re looking for writing advice, look no further! I have a good number of her informative articles bookmarked, with topics ranging from plot and characters to marketing on twitter and more!

In making this list, I have realized that I am so behind on some of my favorite blogs…guess I need to have a catch-up day now that Nano is almost over. But first, 7 things about me…that I didn’t include in my previous ten facts about me article

1) I used to be a huge weather nerd. When I worked third shift doing at-home health care, I would turn the tv to the weather channel and leave it on all night. And that was during 2011, the year that the US broke all the weather records…I learned more about weather that year than the rest of my life combined.

2) Coincidentally, I dream about tornadoes a lot. I have had some pretty dang epic tornado dreams. I’m not afraid of them, but I do have a healthy dose of respect. I would love to actually see one in person (not bearing down on me of course, more like in a controlled storm-chaser way…)

3) And how do I know I dream about tornadoes a lot? I’ve been keeping a dream journal since 2013. I highly recommend it. Going back and reading my dreams is always a hoot and in some ways, is better than a regular journal. When I read them, I can perfectly place where I was and what I was doing in my life…and they’re hilarious. Please give it a try if you’ve never done it before. It’s so worth it.

4) I really don’t read as much as I should. When I was in school, I read all the freakin’ time. So many books. But now that I have a kid to look after, and writing to do, and video games to play…I usually only read a chapter or two a day. I’ve been trying to work on it, but it doesn’t take priority very often. #shame

5) I could live without television. If left to my own devices, I only use the TV for video games. I do like some shows, but I don’t really go out of my way to watch them.

6) And when I watch movies, I usually watch them in parts. I blame my short attention span for this one. If I do choose to watch a movie, I’ll usually watch about twenty minutes of it (just enough time to eat a meal) and then turn it off. I also have the ability to turn a show or movie off at any point in the plot. Hero hanging off a cliffside? Bad guy about to shoot an innocent? Whatev’s, I’ll find out next time.

7) Hmm, this seventh one is giving me trouble…do I tell you that I love taco salad? Or that I used to be obsessed with wolves to the point where I volunteered at a wolf park? Or maybe that I competetively breed Pokemon…Naw, I think I’ll go with the I’m-in-love-with-water-and-always-have-a-water-bottle-with-me-at-all-times fact. Yeah, that’s a good one.

Well, this has been fun! Thanks again to Shannon for the award which has inadvertantly motivated me into posting again, yay! As for the second award…I’ll save that for another day. This post is long enough already. Thanks for sticking with me, guys!

Happy Writing, Happy Reading,

-Christine B.