Today I am thrilled and confused.
Thrilled because I won something, and confused because I don’t really understand what it is. But you don’t need to understand what you won to be happy, right?
Let me be more specific. The oh-so-classy J.J. Azar nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Look, isn’t it shiny!
As I mentioned, J.J. is one classy fellow. He’s everywhere in the blogosphere–whenever I discover an awesome new blog, J.J. has already been there and left his footprints in the comments–and he spreads sunshine and enthusiasm everywhere he goes. He blogs writing advice and about his journey towards authorship, and his posts manage to be both entertaining and rather more intellectual than mine.
Thank you, J.J., I am honoured to be nominated by such an awesome blogger. I will endeavour to live up to the faith you’ve placed in me.
Now, this shiny award comes with rules:
- Post the award on your blog. Check!
- Thank the person who nominated you. Check!
- Answer the 11 questions they set you. Let’s do that in just a moment.
- Pick another 11 bloggers.
- Give them 11 questions.
Let’s do J.J.’s questions for me now.
1. What is one food you could not live without? (water doesn’t count, ye sly one, ye).
Chicken, though I feel bad for eating it.
2. Candy or chocolate?
We in New Zealand do not recognise “candy” except as something weird that Americans obsess over, so definitely chocolate.
3. Fruits or vegetables?
I prefer to date people over either fruits or vegetables, but if you’re going to insist that I choose, I would go with vegetable. Specifically an artichoke. Have you seen how ridiculous they look? I’d never feel obliged to do my hair before a date. (Though I should point out I am happily married and no longer date vegetables or anything else.)
4. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Never ruin the joy of someone else’s discovery.
Maybe what they’re delighted over having discovered feels obvious and inane to you, but it’s new to them and you should never make them feel bad about that. Instead, share in their joy.
Yes, I was very young when I heard this, and maybe a bit of a know-it-all.
5. What movie scene never fails to make you laugh?
These lines in The Mummy Returns, when they discover that Alex is wearing the Bracelet of Anubis:
Ardeth: [to Alex] By putting on the bracelet, you have started a chain reaction that could bring about the next apocalypse.
Rick: [to Ardeth] You: lighten up. [to Alex] You: big trouble.
6. What is the best, lesser-know television show you would recommend?
See, to name a TV show that’s lesser known, I’d need to know what other people watch. And I don’t, sorry. But recently I’ve been enjoying watching Burn Notice, mostly because it’s clever and hilarious. And because spies.
7. How do you like your steak cooked?
On an outdoor barbeque, on a summer evening after the wind has died down, when the air is cool but not cold and the chickens are in bed. And not during hayfever season.
8. What is the greatest live performance (concert or otherwise) you have witnessed in person?
I was once in a lecture given to several hundred first-year university students by the most charming professor you could ever meet.
At the start of the lecture the students were bored and restless, as students tend to be. And note this was a compulsory course for everyone in the discipline, so a lot of people really didn’t want to be there.
The professor got his microphone working, but when he went to turn on the projector nothing happened. He tried all the tricks (like turning it off and on again), but nothing worked. The students muttered and fidgeted.
What do you do when three hundred impatient students are waiting for you to get the technology going?
Use the phone on the wall to call tech support, of course. But leave your microphone on and take the students with you.
“Um, hello. This is Bill*. I’m here in lecture theatre A1 with three hundred students and we can’t get the projector working.”
(Tech support speaks from the other end of the line.)
“Yes, we tried turning it off and on again.”
(Tech support talks more. The students have stopped fidgeting. Some are giggling.)
“Okay, we’ll check the projector’s plugged in properly.”
(He checks the plug as the entire lecture theatre watches, riveted.)
This went on for some time, and by the time tech support arrived to fix the projector this professor had every student in there along for the ride. Don’t ask me how he did it, but it was the most impressive live performance I’ve ever seen.
* Note his name wasn’t actually Bill.
9. What is your favorite song from your least-favorite genre?
I don’t suppose you’ll accept an answer of “that song that used to be on the radio”? I don’t even know the names of songs I like. I could hum you a few bars, but I’m pretty sure you still wouldn’t recognise it.
10. What is your favorite movie that most people probably have never heard of?
I don’t know what books you’d like and I don’t know what movies you’ve watched.
11. Would you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist?
I’m definitely an optimist, except with respect to the things I’m pessimistic about.
I tend to expect everything to turn out well, which makes me terrible at contingency plans. That’s one thing my main character has in common with me.
Okay, next I have to choose 11 bloggers for the award, and by “11” the rules apparently mean 3.
Now comes the stress, because no one told me what criteria I should use to choose these people. Some people don’t do blog awards. Some people are important and serious and would judge me and laugh at me for nominating them. This process is fraught, I tell you!
Since no one gave me criteria, I’m going to choose my own:
- They are lovely people (what? I like nice people),
- Their blogs posts entertain, educate, or inspire me, and are funny, thoughtful, or honest (or probably some combination of the above),
- They probably won’t laugh at me for nominating them (or at least not in a mean way).
My nominees are:
Wow, I’m racing through this list of requirements. Only one to go.
Finally, here are my questions for my nominees:
- What do you most wish people thought about you?
- What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
- If you were a game show host, what kind of game would it be?
- Are you more scared of krakens or black death?
- What do you wish there was more of in books?
- Where is your favourite place to read a book?
- What is the most “you” thing ever?
- Cats eating birds: more proud of the cat or sorry for the bird?
- What did high school English do for your love of writing?
- If you could have a mythical creature as a pet, what would it be, and what trick would you teach it?
- If you could have a superpower, what power would you choose?
Thanks again to J.J. Azar for the nomination and great questions that avoided being too embarrassing.
Don’t forget you can join one of my mailing lists for frequent or less frequent reminders to come and read my new posts, all 100% GM free. Plus you’ll be the first to hear when I release new stories.