My Twitter/blog friend Sarah at The Accidental Okie has nominated me for the Leibster blog award!
Sarah and I “met” a couple of months ago on her blog, or maybe on Twitter. We can’t remember. But we quickly learned we have a frightening number of things in common. Sarah (accidentally) lives in Oklahoma with her husband and kitties, where she writes about her life, her gluten-free culinary creations and design. I’m surprised and honored that she reads my blog, much less that she would nominate me for an award. So, thanks, Sarah! Right back at ya. The guidelines of the award are simple. I answer 11 things about me, then I answer 11 of Sarah’s questions. I nominate up to 11 other bloggers and write 11 questions for them. Hopefully they’ll pass it on and recognize other, fellow bloggers they like.
So, here goes.
11 Things About Me:
(I already had trouble coming up with 15 things, but I’ll try to stretch and give you 11 more.)
- I have been a loyal subscriber to People magazine since 1987. I still read it cover to cover every week.
- I am so not a morning person. The world — especially its work schedule — and I are not in sync. But if you want to start a project at 10 p.m., I’m your girl.
- I love tea, especially when it’s sweet or hot. I don’t actually like the taste of coffee, but I trained myself to drink it because I need the caffeine. I’d much rather sip a spot o’ tea anyday.
- I am terrified of heights, insects (read: spiders, roaches) and flying.
- I’m the only child (and daughter, no less) of a man who loves tools. So I’m pretty handy for a girl. In New York, I installed both my own and my friend Jess’s window air units. And I only bled a little.
- My very favorite destination in the world is Scotland. It’s wild and beautiful and majestic.
- I love to cross-stitch. I learned from my mom, who has done really large, intricate, beautiful pieces that are framed in her house. My cross-stitching ebbs and flows — I haven’t worked on something in years, before school. But I find it relaxing and creative to sew thread into linen and create pretty pictures.
- Everyone I know is tired of me recommending my favorite book, Wally Lamb’s “I Know This Much is True.” No one loves it quite to the degree I do, but I think it’s phenomenal and profound. Mr. Lamb is a genius. (And nice, too — I met him once at a book signing.)
- I don’t think I could live without Burt’s Bee’s lip balm. I don’t want to try.
- I’m obsessed with all things British, especially history, royalty and television.
- I despise karaoke. If you ever want to torture me, tie me to a chair in a karaoke bar. I’ll tell you anything you want to know.
Questions from Sarah at Accidental Okie:
- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Well, I used to write stories and go to writing workshops when I was 10-12ish, so I may have instinctively wanted to be a writer or novelist. In high school, I wanted to be a travel agent. In college, I wanted to be a historian. Then my dad questioned how I was going to work with a history degree, and I switched to journalism/PR.
- If you had $10,000 to spend on whatever you want, what would it be? (In this scenario, you have all the money you need in checking, savings, college funds, 401k’s, etc). I’m afraid I would do something practical like upgrade my house or buy a new air conditioner. Or travel.
- What is your dream vacation? Greece. Or a 6-month cruise around the world.
- What is your most used kitchen tool? Probably a wooden spoon, though I love a spatula too. My grandmother calls them “child cheaters” because if you scrape the bowl you cheat the child who wants to eat the leftover batter. By the way, I can’t stand when cooks don’t scrape the bowl on cooking shows. It happens so often — they leave so much that you could get another cookie out of it, at least. Drives me crazy. (Ahem, Giada.)
- What was your greatest accomplishment of the past five years? Wow, it’s been an interesting five years, so that’s a poignant question. It could be moving back to Charlotte, it could be getting a certain job, it could be finishing my MBA, it could be finding Oliver. There’s not one, easy answer.
- How do you deal with negative comments on your blog? Hmm, I’m not sure I’ve received any negative comments. If I did or do, I have to respect your opinion, but I don’t have to agree with it, respond to it or even display it. It’s a sort of cowardice to write mean, ugly, negative things to someone you don’t know when you can hide behind your username and computer. Remember the agage, “If you can’t say something nice, just don’t say anything at all.”
- Are you pro or anti PDA (public displays of affection)? Pro, I suppose, as long as it’s chaste. I’m okay with holding hands, giving a peck. But I don’t need to make out (or see you making out) in public. Save something for behind closed doors.
- What parameters do you place on your blog? Are there things you won’t blog about? I’m probably too careful with things I blog about. I’m not really a controversial person in daily life, so I don’t need to stir the pot or sound off on my opinion here. I am always thinking of the eyes that are reading or could be reading and their potential judgment so I have censored myself in snarky things I planned to say about someone in the public eye. I also am careful never to give too much away about who I am or where I work. There’s some crazies out there, y’all.
- What has been the greatest aha moment of your life? There have been a few, but the most recent was when I was tired of living in New York and tired of my job. I had lunch with a former coworker who’d already left the company. I told her my decision to quit my job and move in several months. “No!” she told me. “March up there today and give notice. Don’t live in fear.” And then: “Leap and the net will appear.” Those words hit me like a lightning flash. I gave notice the next morning.
- If you could be friends with a literary character, who would you choose? It’s so trite, but I’d like to hang out with Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice. Maybe once she’s married so I could meet Darcy and stay over at Pemberley.
- Two-part question: What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about blogging?
Challenging: just finding the time to do it. It’s pretty easy to come up with ideas of what to write about, but they are sometimes fleeting and then the moment’s passed. It’s hard to just sit down and write, and even when I find that time, it’s hard to get started. A blank page really is the most intimidating part of writing. Once I get going, I’m usually fine, and that’s the lesson, I suppose.
Rewarding: just doing it. As I say, once you get going, the creativity comes and I often surprise myself with the words I can lay on a page. Plus I’ve enjoyed the blogging/writing community — reading about other people in other parts of the country or world with their own, unique views of life. I may not always consider myself a people person (blame my inner introvert), but I think people’s lives and stories are interesting. I’ve also found the blog and Twitter universes to be especially supportive, encouraging and inspirational.
It’s mighty hard to come up with a list of bloggers I read and like who may have less than 200 followers. (Apologies if you’re much more popular than that.) But the folks below write blogs about their lives, their food, their thoughts, their favorite things and the crazy-funniness that happens to them. Just like me.
- The Girl in a Blue Apron — Elisa was one of my first blog finds through social media. As soon as I read her food philosophy, I was hooked. She’s a writer and editor by day, and blogs about food in her spare time. Plus, she has a great blog name that I covet.
- Learner Londoner — When people like my blog, I usually go and read theirs to see who they are. That’s how I found Ashleigh. She’s from Wales but is currently in the process of moving to London and chronicles the preparations on her blog. She lived in Africa and shares beautiful photos from that time. She loves fashion and bakeries. She’s my kinda girl.
- The Moody Box Fan — Josh and I go way back. He’s known me through at least three eras of my life, and I’m thrilled to say that we still chat weekly on Twitter or Facebook or email. He’s a gem. He’s also a brilliant writer who probably doesn’t think he’s as talented as he should. While he may not have updated his blog in awhile (ahem.), you should still go read it. Love it, love him.
- The Fordeville Diaries — Kim was my boss once upon a time, and took me under her wing both personally and professionally. On her blog she chronicles her daily hijinks with her children, her husband and her little pug Senor. (I remember him as a puppy, and now he’s probably elderly.) Her writing is laugh out loud hilarious and, I promise, she’s that funny in person too.
Great Smitten — Like Sarah, I also read (and love) Great Smitten. I won’t double nominate, but I at least have to second hers. I (along with tens of thousands of other people) found Faith when one of her posts was featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed. She’s a southern girl who worked in magazines then married a Brit and now lives across the pond with her husband and son. She’s witty and entertaining and faithful and sometimes says exactly what I need to hear that day. Plus, her stories give me the dose of Britannia I need every so often.
Passing it on — the rules for my blog nominees:
- Post 11 things about yourself.
- Answer my questions below.
- Choose up to 11 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers and link to them in your post.
- Create 11 questions for the people you’ve nominated.
- Tell them.
- What makes you happy?
- What’s your least favorite food?
- What keeps you up at night?
- What’s your favorite childhood memory?
- Why did you start blogging?
- What’s your most overused phrase? (in speaking or writing)
- If you could have dinner with three living people, who would they be and why?
- What are you most passionate about?
- What’s your favorite book?
- Where would you like to travel?
- What’s your favorite social media tool, and why? Least favorite?