This week I’ve been tagged. Jean Lee has challenged me to take part in the Liebster Award. She’s answered 11 questions about her writing life with honesty and imagination, and has come up with 11 new questions for us, the 11 bloggers she’s tagged, to answer.
It seems to me that there’s more than one benefit to taking part. First, it provides me with a ready-made subject for my weekly post. Second, Jean’s links have provided me with new sites to visit, consequently I’ve made new connections.
It’s a long, long time since I’ve played tag, and this version has a few more rules than the play-ground variety, but at least it shouldn’t involve grazed knees. The rules are:
- Link to Global Aussie’s Award blog post. And put the official Liebster Award stamp on your blog. (Done!)
- Acknowledge and link to the blogger who nominated you. (Thank you, Jean Lee!)
- Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked. (Tick)
- Nominate 5 – 11 more bloggers and spread the ‘new blogger’ love. (Tick)
- Ask them 11 fun questions of your own. (Tick)
- Let them know on their blogs that you have nominated them.
- Write a paragraph about what makes you passionate about blogging
- List ten random facts about yourself
So, here are Jean’s 11 questions with my answers:
What would you consider to be your earliest creative work that foreshadowed the passion to come? Be it taken on a disposable camera, doodled in a school book, or tooted on a kazoo, those school-day scribbles count for something!
A cowboy story I wrote at school, when I was about nine years old. It had three chapters and was heavily influenced by The Virginian which used to be on tv on Saturday nights. The teacher read it out to our class, and they thought she was reading from a published book. I cannot express what a buzz that was.
If you could gain your favorite living artist’s permission to create an homage of their work (for example, writing a fan fic story with your favorite character), who would you approach and what character would you write with?
The witch, Serafina Pekkala, in Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy.
I’m always looking for strategies to fight back the distractions. How do you focus yourself in the sea of Life’s Noise to create?
I use music. My current favourite is Leo P at the BBC Proms, 2017, playing Moanin’ on the sax, with Christian Scott on the trumpet – though I sometimes spend too much time watching when I should be writing.
What are the three most inspirational places you’ve ever visited?
- Helen’s at Much Marcle, in Herefordshire. It’s now a venue, but I had a tour round it at a time when it was pretty much in mothballs – Wow.
- Liverpool city centre, at around 10.30pm one snowy February, after we’d seen a performance of Salman Rushdie’s, Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Walking home was surreal.
- The Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Just sitting in the empty auditorium has me reaching for my notebook – I once saw a matinee performance of a restoration comedy which must have been on at the wrong time of year, there were only about a dozen people in the audience. I felt like royalty.
Time for the dead artists now! If you could sit down for a cuppa or a pint with any dead artist, who would it be and why?
Aaah, does it have to be only one?
In that case, I’m going to be literal, and say Pieter Brueghel, the elder (1525 – 1569). His paintings are full of stories. I’m presuming you’ll provide a translator, as I don’t speak Flemish. But could I just watch him work?
What’s one stereotype people always apply to you because of who you are/where you’re from? Just for an example—I grew like a corn stalk when I was a kid, so EVERYONE assumed I was really good at sports like basketball. Guess what I suck at? ALL SPORTS. Because I live in Wisconsin, people around me just assume I’m a fellow Green Bay Packers fan. Guess what I hate watching? FOOTBALL.
Because I grew up on a farm, people expect me to write rural, and cosy. I rarely read it, and don’t write it.
If there’s one book on craft in your passion you’d recommend to every fellow artist in your field, what would it be?
Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose
Favorite grilled food? The answer should be bratwursts, but because you’re friends, I’ll try to keep an open mind.
Sorry, but the real answer is halloumi.
Okay, I’m not, I repeat, NOT, a huge Disney fan, but even I’ve got a few favorite Disney films, like Something Wicked This Way Comes. What’s your favorite Disney film? No, Pixar doesn’t count.
Pirates of the Caribbean.
And speaking of films, what’s one movie you’re kind of embarrassed to admit you like, but you just can’t help yourself? (Krull, since we’re sharing.)
Share your current endeavors! C’mon, you deserve a chance to plug your work.
This week I’m working on a short story, in between preparing classes for the autumn, ‘womaning’ the bookstall at the village fete, and wrestling with my weed-infested garden.
Step 3: I’m nominating five bloggers who I think might like to take part, and leaving the other six places open for anyone who thinks, ‘Why not?’ Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re tempted.
My 11 questions are all bookish:
- Hard-back, paper-back or e-book?
- If all fiction was banned, and kindles and books were to be confiscated, and you had a special hiding place for just one traditional paper novel, which title would you keep safe for the future?
- What story do you wish you had never read?
- What was the last book you couldn’t finish reading?
- What book do you wish you had already read?
- Is there a story you wish you could write a sequel to?
- If you could invite four characters from four different fictions to dinner, who would you choose, and what would you feed them?
- Is there a novel, or a section of a novel, that you cannot forget? If so, why?
- Which writer would you most like to be seated next to on a train?
- Is there a book that you’ve returned to, with fond memories, only to find it’s not at all the way you remembered – in either a good or bad way?
- If you could, would you rather be transported into a fictional world, or have fictional characters transported into your world?
There are two optional questions left, and I’d like to answer them, but this post is already much longer than I usually write, so I think I might make next week a ‘part two’.