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liebster award badge

I offer now my official thanks to Vibina, “VB” of “Books for me,” for her kind nomination of my blog to receive the “Liebster” Award.  Roughly translated, Liebster is German for “Dearest.”  Thanks, VB – I really needed that! I still do – who doesn’t want to feel appreciated – or dear, let alone dearest!  Your reviews of the books you read are always interesting to me!  I encourage all of my own dear Gentle Readers to check out her blog, see what she is reading (she reads a LOT!), and perhaps from her recommendations find your next best read. Vibina also has two other blogs (a very busy lady!), and they can be found at the following links: “in bits nd pieces,” and “Backpack.”  Check them out, enjoy, and pass on the good word about this fine blogger from India.

As with the giving and receiving of all blog awards, there are the concomitant rules:

1. Copy paste the award onto your blog
2. Put forward 11 questions for your own 11 nominees (with less than 200 followers) and 11 facts about yourself.
3. Answer my 11 questions
4. Leave a comment on your nominee’s blog page telling them about the award.
5. Thank your nominator

Let’s get the 11 facts about myself out of the way, or as I like to put it:  “First things first!!”  Which means of course that I consider the facts about myself as the most important part of this whole thing. . .(Uh-huh!)

1. For what I sometimes feel is an inordinate number of doors that have been closed on me, God has opened some incredible windows – which far out-number and outweigh the doors shut.  Doubtless, you have discovered that my writing does not always reflect that conviction, but it doesn’t change the fact of the blessings showered upon me.

2. The phrase “bucket list” has been added to those that are rapidly becoming very annoying, trite, and cliché.  Nevertheless, there are a couple of items that are near the top of my BL:  One is to go skydiving – a tandem jump would be fine. Yes, I will be scared, but also yes, it will be counted, I am quite certain, among the great thrills of my to-date-quite-thrilling life.  The other is to have at least one more day of down-hill skiing, preferably at Stratton Mountain in Vermont – the place where I learned to ski, and where I frequently return, joyously, in my dreams.

3. I have a love/hate relationship with the bathroom scale.

4. The bathroom scale has a love/hate relationship with me.

5. I was informed this morning that when I – the human Humpty-Dumpty – took a great fall in the last week of January (I waited until yesterday to finally get an X-Ray) did indeed break my foot.  Dr. Cutting has requested my presence in his office tomorrow morning.  Goody.

6. I have a love/hate relationship with my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Paul Cutting (real name.

7. My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Paul Cutting, has a love/hate relationship with me (real name).

8. I have been at last able to settle the dilemma for myself as to who I consider the final judges of the quality of my writing:  Me, myself, and I.  They can be quite ruthless,  might not always be objective, but they have no preconceived notions as to what is good or bad, and make their judgments in full awareness of the way writing styles are in a constant state of flux, and are willing to consider any and all styles submitted for critique.  They are also not too proud to know that they can be exquisitely wrong!.

9. While I am an expert in the fine art of BMC (bitch, moan, and complain), I am also a very happy woman, because I have chosen to be.  Makes life even more fun.

10. I am fortunate to have married a man who was first my friend, and remains to this day my best friend.  October 25, 2013, marks 38 years of marriage to one of the finest examples of God’s creation.

11. Having just completed my third year of blogging, I am able to report that while the technology problems that are presented by software, hardware, and decaying gray matter can make the job a gigantic “pain-in-the-arse,” it is also something that I will likely continue doing, because I love it, until I stop loving it.

The answers to Vibina’s 11 questions for me:

1. What was the driving force for blogging? The need to express myself and to have others read them and share with me their own writing.

2. Do you have a TBR list which you follow or is it a random read? I have a list, but it is often ignored because sometimes I put books on the list only because I think I should read or should want to read them.

3. Do you have a target for every month regarding number of posts and books to be read?  I have had various targets over the past three years.  Daily posting, thrice-weekly posting, random posting.  I hit those targets sometimes, miss them the rest of the time.

4. Top 5 favorite books and why? Impossible list to create.  However, five books that are among my favorites, of hundreds of favorites.  Their place on the list changes depending on what I have just read. Since I am always reading, the list is always in flux.  The reasons why are the same for each one:  the book reaches me on at least one elemental level of feeling. 1.  “I Know This Much is True,” by Wally Lamb; 2. “The Hundred Secret Senses,” by Amy Tan;, 3. “Einstein,” by Walter Isaacson; 4. “Jane Eyre,” by Charlotte Brontë; 5. “The Stand,” (unabridged), by Stephen King.  Ask me again tomorrow, and the list will be totally different.

5. Do you see yourself as an author someday? Give reasons for either yes or no. Yes.  Mainly because I am already, because I have written, and been published (outside of my blog), although, other than winning cash prizes, have not earned money at it.

6. How do you manage your time for blogging? I write all the time, and there is no management whatsoever involved.  Being a better manager is a goal and not an accomplishment  – to date.

7. Who is your favorite cartoon character?  Gary Larson’s recurring character “:God as a child.”

8. What is reading and good books to you? Reading has always represented the world; It is a cure for loneliness; a good excuse for solitude; a possibility for illumination; the opportunity to feel included in families or groups of friends that exist within the covers of a book and in my mind; and being exposed to completely new ideas and concepts. 

9. Top 5 books you have disliked?  Even harder than Question #4.  Many of the books I dislike I have not been able to finish, so it is possible I am being unfair in my criticism, but – in no particular order, all being equally bad even if for different reasons:  1. “A Man in Full,” by Tom Wolfe; 2. “The Vampire Lestat,” by Anne Rice; 3. “Underworld,” by Don DeLillo; 4. “Running With Scissors,” by Augusten Burroughs; “The Adventures of Augie March,” by Saul Bellow.

10. On what basis do you choose a book to read? It varies. Certain authors, I will automatically read because they are favorites, and I have never been disappointed; some I will read because it is a requirement for a course or a book club/study group; and I often read a book at the recommendation of someone whose taste I trust, or because of an intriguing review.

11. Top 5 favorite authors and classics of all time. It is not necessarily a given that my “Top 5 Favorite Authors,” are necessarily writers of classics.  Most of them are writers of book series that I am addicted to, and while I consider them well-written, and most are considered best sellers, they nevertheless are probably not nor will they ever be considered “classics.”  1. Jonathan Kellerman; 2. Faye Kellerman, 3. Robert B. Parker, (RIP); 4. Maeve Binchy, (RIP); 5. Stephen King  

And, at last: My nominations:  I have done my best to highlight those bloggers who have a so-far small following (under 200, according to number of followers listed on their blogs) I also selected some who need more followers even if they already have thousands.  Please check out the blogs I list here.  I do  not believe that you will regret the time you spend getting a glimpse into their hearts and kinds.  I nominate the following bloggers and their blogs (in no particular order):

1. Purplepeninportland
2. Colonialist
3. Eric John Baker – Clawing at the Keys 
4. JannaTWrites
5. doesthishappentoyou
6. Daphne’s Tanka Diary
7. undercaws
8. Dakota’s Den
9. Short Poetry – Words Move
10. Cynthia Robertson, Writer
11. Lara Dunning – Toothless Cats and Piña Coladas

So, my Liebster blog friends, I hope you receive this award as a sign of my esteem of your wonderful gifts.  You brighten my days, and though I am a lousy commenter, I am a loyal reader and subscriber!  Should you choose to accept (I hope you will) then here are your eleven questions – I’ll try to make it easy on you!

1.  Why is the sky blue sometimes?
2.  What is your favorite word – one that sounds profane, but isn’t, and therefore can be used in questionable frustrating situations?
3.  If it should ever happen that the earth becomes one nation, what would you name it?
4.  Do you believe that Global Warming is really occurring as a singular event, and does it matter if one believes it is or not?
5.  Where have all the flowers gone?
6.  Do square roots ever grow round plants?
7.  Why do you believe that Paula Tohline Calhoun is among the finest poets writing today?
8.  What is your favorite post of all time by Paula Tohline in Reflections From a Cloudy Mirror?  If you are unable to choose only  one, feel free to select several – I’ll understand.
9.  Given your choice among the following five words, which one would you write a haiku about?  (If you do write one, then share it!) Aardvark, Cruising, Diva, Fanatic, or Separation
10. If it was within your power to uninvent any piece of modern technology (existing since the second half of the 20th century), what would you do away with? What you choose must be something created as a modern convenience, intended to make life easier – in other words, I am not referring to things such as the A- or H-Bomb.
11. Do you have a theme-song for your life?  What is it?  If one has not been written, what would you call the song you would write?  Supposing that your life was a sit-com, this song would be played as the intro to each episode.

So – come on – be brave!  Accept the challenge.  Remember – accepting the challenge means you get to pass it on – as a matter of fact, it is a requirement!

Thank you all for your talent and gifts.  May your lives continue to be suffused with the light that glows from the abundance of enough. . .