Liebster Award!

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I woke up this morning to find that I had been nominated by Writing Underdog for the Liebster Award!

Here is how it works:

  1. Thank and link back to the giver.
  2. Answer the giver’s questions.
  3. ‘Nominate’ five other blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
  4. Ask five questions for one’s nominees to answer.
  5. Post it all on one’s blog

A gratified and humbled thank-you to Writing Underdog! Make sure you check out Underdog’s blog, where all writing underdogs are welcome. 🙂 

Now, for the questions:

  1. How do you find the time/inspiration to write your blog? Good question. I’ll think about something I want to blog about (researching for a book or talking with trees) and work it out in my head while I’m doing daily chores. Once I get a few spare moments, usually in the morning, I’ll quickly hammer it all out, come back while I’m eating lunch, edit it, and post it.
  2. Favourite type of music? I’ve recently developed a hunger for classical music. Because it’s emotional music, but without lyrics, it helps me create a ‘zone’ for when I’m writing or thinking about writing. If you searched my YouTube history you’d find embarrassingly high amounts of videos called ‘Epic Music’ or ‘The Most Sad, Epic Music of all Time.’
  3. If you could meet any person, dead, alive, real, or fictional, who would it be and why? Anne Boleyn was the first name that popped up, but when I think about it I’d probably be lectured on my state of dress and religious tendencies than actually learn anything from her. And yet, as much as I’d like to meet someone like J.M. Barrie, C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien, I still have to go with Queen Anne. I’ve invested too much of my time reading, writing, and dreaming about her to pass up the chance. She’s just such a mysterious, alluring historical figure, and I’d love to be the one who got that golden interview — ‘Anne Boleyn: What really went down besides her head.’
  4. Do you play any kind of “sport”? (Including martial arts/sporting activities) I used to ride horses quite a lot, but now our horse is mostly a lawn ornament. I’ve also tried my hand at Quidditch. Yes, the sport from Harry Potter. It’s a real thing. YouTube it.
  5. Can you say Anna banana 10 times fast? No, but I can say it nine times!

My Nominations, in no order. [Sometimes it’s impossible to tell how many followers one has…]

  1. I Dared to Eat a Peach
  2. Something Bigger Out There — I know I keep nominating you for stuff, but I love you, and you’re stuck with it! 🙂
  3. Diane Lynn Tibert McGyver
  4. The Songs We Knew — she doesn’t post very often, but her art is adorable.
  5. Dreampunk Geek was already awarded this, but I’m gonna nominate them again anyway.

My Questions

  1. Would you rather receive a time machine, seven league boots, or a 10-pound chocolate bar for your birthday?
  2. What three historical figures (or characters) would you want to have dinner with? Remember that you’re paying!
  3. Preferred time of day, and why?
  4. Do you have a hobby (other than blogging, of course!), and what is it?
  5. What is the strangest notion, concept, or thought that ever crossed your mind?

Happy blogging!

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Tag, confess, and pass it on!

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I’m a procrastinator (surprise!). Apparently it’s a genetic weakness.

I’m also up to my ears in midsummer events, making it impossible to sneak away to the computer long enough to read blog posts and update my own blog.

But that’s enough with the excuses. Way, way, waaaay back on May 28, Diane Tibert ‘tagged’ me. The rules are:

1) Answer the questions posed by the tagger:

a) What was the last book you read?

The Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser (I’m trying to catch up on Anne of Cleves, lucky No.4)

b) Physical books, ebooks or audio books?

Goodness, physical books! I love smelling them, feeling their pages. Though, if I ever found an audio book with Jude Law’s voice…I wouldn’t pass it up.

c) If your life was made into a movie, who would you like to play you?

Emma Thompson (think of her performance as Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter movies. Yes. That’s me.)

d) Who is your favourite fictional character—book, comic or movie—of all time?

The first name that popped into my head was Jo March, of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and Little Men. She’s so stubborn and strong and … different. And she has short hair, like me! Christopher Columbus!

e) If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

That’s not a fair question! So I’ll be vague — the UK! Places to go include Hever Castle, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, National Portrait Gallery — everything Tudor-y.

f) Blueberries, Raspberries or Strawberries?

All three, though I hate picking blueberries.

g) Have you written a story which included an animal? What was the animal?

The first story I remember putting to paper (age 7, maybe) was about a super monkey called George. More recently, the protagonist in my fantasy-esque manuscript has a horse called Frost, loosely based on my own horse by the same name.

h) Typewriter, computer or looseleaf for drafts?

If I had a typewriter, I’d definitely use it. But alas, I do not, so I alternate between looseleaf and the computer.

i) What is the name of your favourite character in one of your stories?

Tristan. He’s so broken and tragic, independent, mysterious… I want to hug him all the time. Plus, he’s pretty easy on the eyes. Maybe I’m biased.

h) Do you like to write in a particular genre? If so, which one?

Generally fantasy-esque type stuff, but I’d like to try my hand at historical fiction at some point.

j) Pool, lake or ocean for swimming?

We have a pool, so I’m gonna say pool… But I’m not picky as long as I’m in good company.

2) The next rule in the Tag Game is to post the rules:

1. You must post the rules!

2. Answer the questions and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.

3. Tag seven people and link to them.

4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

My eleven questions to those tagged (some are repeated from above because they were great questions):

a) What was the last book you read?

b) Physical books, ebooks or audio books?

c) If your life was made into a movie, who would you like to play you?

d) Who is your favourite fictional character—book, comic or movie—of all time?

e) If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

f) Blueberries, Raspberries or Strawberries?

g) Favourite genre of music?

h) In an inter-fantasy-species war, who do you want as allies?

i) If you had a time-machine, what year/place would you visit?

h) Are you looking forward to any books/movies this year? If so, what ones?

j) Favourite historical figure(s)?

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On June 24, Darlene Foster nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award AND the Reader’s Appreciation Award. I’m sort of in shock at this warm and wonderful gesture. Thank you, Darlene! Make sure you check out Darlene’s blog here.

 

 

Rules for the One Lovely Blog Award are:

 

  • thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
  • share seven things about yourself
  • nominate 3-10 blogs for the award and link to them
  • let them know they’ve been nominated

Seven confessions?

1. Latest curiosity is Julie de Saint Laurent, mistress of Prince Edward Augustus, father of Victoria. They lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a time while Edward was governor.

2. My favourite dwarf from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is Bashful.

3. I own 2 novels by Phillipa Gregory, but have no desire to read them after the bad rap The Other Boleyn Girl has received by Tudorphiles and historians.

4. I’m the tallest member of my mother’s family by an average of six inches (I’m pretty sure they’re descended from hobbits). 

5. I want to learn more about Christina of Milan, potential fourth wife of Henry VIII.

6. Trilliums are my favourite flower.

7. The first thing I would do if I ever set foot in Hogwarts would be to race desperately to the portrait of Anne Boleyn and have a conversation with her. (Though I might suffer a heart attack first, in which case I would come back as a ghost to finish the conversation.) If you haven’t noticed, Anne hangs on the wall in Philosopher’s Stone as Harry, Ron, and Hermione sprint up the staircase to save the Stone. Google it!

 

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So. I’m going to pass along the One Lovely Blog Award to and ‘tag’ the following blogs. Don’t feel obligated to accept them or pass them on (if you’ve already received/done this, well done! It’s up to you if you’d like to do it again). It might be a time-saving idea to merge the 2 together (I didn’t because I’m procrastinating something else at the moment).

  • Laura Best – read her witty posts on writing, her works, and living in a small town
  • Cristian Mihai – check out the wonderfully composed posts and advice on writing and self-publishing
  • Remembering the executed – touching and well-researched blog dedicated to remembering those whose lives ended in such tragic ways
  • somethingbiggeroutthere – Zozie’s blog regarding her writing, war cries, and faith

Make sure you enjoy this fabulous Nova Scotian weather! (And if you’re ‘from away,’ I hope your weather is just as lovely!

Brought to my senses by a cat.

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Here I am, sitting out in the glorious, buttery, golden sun with my laptop. My cat Remus is trying to eat my charger cord. I’m surfing through a dozen different blogs I follow, and a sharp pain in my calf — Remus has taken to biting my leg rather than the cord now — yanks me from my Internet-heavy haze.

Bad, Libby! Bad!

I have two weeks to meet my deadline for finishing my fantasy-esque novel (which is yet to be titled!) and I’m online? I have 10 more chapters to write (about 25000 words) plus editing and I’m looking at pictures of adorable shoes?

*hits self on hand with rule*

Bad Libby.

I believe I shall be disconnecting my computer from the World Wide Web until May. It is for the best, though I shall miss you. I reaaaaally need to spend the majority of my time with Arden Falconer and friends/foes.

And so, farewell, readers. I shall be seeing you either when I finish my novel (I highly doubt I’ll  get it done in time) or when May comes and I can work at my own pace again.

I leave you now with an article by Jon Tattrie. Enjoy, let them grumble, and watch out for Nargles (and other assorted creatures)!

Cursed Comments

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Spam comments.

*growl*

Why so happy, buddy?

Never had I realized (foolishly) that running a blog means sifting through spam comments. And, up until this week, spammers were far and few in between — until now. I’ve had nearly 100 cursed comments fill my spam folder in three days. It’s annoying. It’s inconvenient. It’s time-consuming. Mainly the commenters’ usernames are that of a business, or a seemingly random pattern of numbers and letters, and, to be honest, their comments are not harmful or insulting or advertisements.

They’re filler.

“Great post.” “I learned a lot.” “It was inspiring.” “It made my day.” etc…

I might approve these comments if they were on posts that made sense. For example, I’ve had a couple “Thanks for the advice” on posts starring the unpredictable Nova Scotian weather.

So, I’ve been deleting comments that are made by people with odd usernames (such as crane hire or skfjbsdnf34) and comments that don’t match the post they’re made on. If I’ve deleted a legitimate comment by you, I profusely apologize. 

And, while we’re on the subject of commenting, I have to confess that I’m a shy commenter. I follow more than a dozen blogs, and hardly have I ever made an attempt to make contact with the blogger. It doesn’t mean I don’t read your posts! I do, I really do. It’s just that I’ll open the comment box and stare at it for several minutes before typing something, deleting it, and instead ‘liking’ the post. It’s an easy way out.

It’s also a habit I’m trying to break, especially if the blogger has commented on my blog in the past.

Wish me luck. In the meantime, are you a shy commenter? Are you inundated with ‘cursed comments’?

Blogging Identity Crisis and Local Art Show

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Though I might not always know what to do or what to say, I’ve never lost that unique sense of myself. I know who I am and who I want to be. So it’s with utter bamboozlement and a little sadness that I admit to having a slight Blogging Identity Crisis.

It’s hard balancing all the things I want to talk about. I want to tell you about the colour of Anne Boleyn’s hair and the twelve different uses of dragon’s blood. I want to write about expressing one’s self through unusual clothing and the divine art of Pretend and the sincerity trees exude when you hug them.

Those are all very diverse things. Are they too diverse for one blog? Will they bore people?

While I can probably handle the content (after all, it is my blog, and I suppose people will grumble always), I’m most leery about the Theme. When you make a blog, you pick one of 170 themes. This is called ‘Chateau.’ I chose it because I thought it was haunting and beautiful and I enjoyed the default header picture.

But is it ‘grumbly’ enough? If the things I’m writing here are grumble-worthy and the Theme isn’t, then what am I saying? While Chateau is pretty, it’s not what I’m trying to imply to readers. It’s sophisticated, perhaps too much so for Let Them Grumble. It’s clean and neat — unlike nearly everything I do.

So over the next week or two I think I’ll be test-driving some other, more grumbly Themes. Albeo, perhaps? Or Matala? We’ll see. I’ll find it.

On a completely different note, the 4-H members of Colchester and Halifax East-Hants are pleased to invite you to an art and crafts show and sale!

The show will take place at the Winding River Art Gallery above the gift shop at Mastodon Ridge in Stewiacke.

The youth will be displaying photography, paintings, drawings, sculptures, rug hooking, jewelry, and much more!

Please join us for our OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION Friday, February 17th, 7pm – 9pm. Meet the artists and enjoy complimentary snacks and refreshments. And, yours truly will be doing a reading.

The Show will continue Saturday, Feb. 18th and Sunday, Feb. 19th, 10am – 5pm.

Not only is this a great opportunity to see some amazing work, but also to learn a bit more about 4-Hers. There is more to us than cows and rubber boots! I highly recommend any youth (between the ages of 9 and 21) join your local club next year; it’s a great program and I’ve learned wonders from it. You don’t need to show an animal — you can do Photography, Crafts, Scrapbooking, Heritage, Sewing, and tons more! Animal projects include Dairy, Light Horse, Rabbit and Cavi (Guinea Pig), Waterfowl, Poultry, Goat, and Sheep!

Anyway, spread the word about the local Art Show and hope to see you there! 

Helpful links: