A big thank you to Anshika Shukla and Sakshi Tiwari of The Little Dreamland for nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award! This young duo together remind us to “Dream it till it comes true,” each striking their own balance between deep reflection and lighthearted whimsy in their posts. They ask pointed questions and frame their posts with breath-taking artwork. If you haven’t visited their Little Dreamland, please do. It’s place of magic and beauty. Thank you again, Anshika and Sakshi!
- Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
- Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
- Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
- List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.
1. What is your say on all positive approach to life ?
I’m kind of mixed on the “all positive” thing. I do think it’s important to strive for an overall positive outlook. However, I think balance is equally important and that means allowing for some negativity. When I was a child, I used to listen to The Big Picture, a collection of children’s songs by The Chenille Sisters. One song, “In My Heart,” has a child asking an adult to accept rather than try to fix their shifting moods because…
“In my heart, I have lots of feelings.
Sometimes I’m sad.
Sometimes I’m needing
Your heart to let my heart be me.”
This song still touches me because my heart is one that feels many things, including sorrow. Sometimes it is painful grief and sometimes it is an anguished refusal to accept reality, but I also experience something I call “beautiful sorrow.” This is when I mourn the passing or potential passing of something while at the same time understanding that the ending is inevitable and even for the best.
It’s the healthy expression and motion of feelings that makes a bigger difference than the emotions themselves. Someone who feels anger might lash out blindly without reflection…or they might use it as fuel for action and change. Grief might lead a person to self-destructive behavior…or to personal reflection and reinvention. I cannot avoid all the negative emotions that may come to me, but I have learned to try to treat them as temporary dance partners. Don’t push them away or hold them tight. Just keep them moving and then go on.
2. What you do at times of writers block ? Also mention reasons for a writers block , if any .
I experience writer’s block a lot, so I have many strategies. Going for a walk or lying down for a bit are the first things I try. If I’m still struggling, I may even give myself permission to take a day off and watch shows, read books, etc. Sometimes I switch to a different project or actually forbid myself from working on the current project because my contrary brain likes to do what I tell it not to do.
These all work pretty well if I’m blocked by anxiety, fatigue, or a “bad mood.” Anxiety is usually caused by the delusion that I need to write things perfectly on the first go or feeling like I need to meet a certain deadline that’s coming up too fast. Fatigue is typically physical from not getting enough sleep or eating too many processed foods, but it can come from going over an idea to the point that I’m bored with it. And when I say “bad mood,” that’s sort of a catch-all for the other inspiration blocks, including an unexplained “meh” feeling, hot and sunny weather, allergies, colds, and all those other distractions life creates to prevent me from writing.
However, if my writing block is also accompanied by a general lack of emotional response, positive and negative, that signals a bigger problem. I think of that state as a pre-depression. After reading people’s descriptions of their experiences, I don’t think I can call it true depression, but it can slide toward that direction if I don’t take action. My solution is to cry. I end up pre-depressed because I am unconsciously blocking my emotions rather than processing them, so to get things moving again, I listen to sad music or think of sad times until the tears flow. I also try to probe my emotions by asking what I’m feeling, why I’m ignoring it and whatnot, but the crying seems to have a cleansing effect. By next morning, I’m usually more emotive and able to write again.
3. When you started or even now do you feel like deleting a frank post , overthinking that it’s too bold ? What you do if it happens ?
I worry about putting my opinions in posts all the time, despite the fact that I tend to stick to fairly un-controversial topics and I try to approach all topics with a middle-ground perspective. Still, I have opinions and they show up in my posts. Any time I use my “social commentary” tag or do an award post, I fret over my words. Have I said too much? Did I say it wrong and now someone will be offended? This is why my editing process takes forever. However, I have made a personal commitment that once a post is published, I can edit but not delete it. So far, nothing has exploded.
4. Do you believe in planning to the last detail or rough plans or no plan at all !
For everyday life, I plan to the last detail and try to adjust when things don’t work out. With creative work, I go with a rough plan so there’s more room for things to evolve.
5. What is the wierdest flavour or combination you ever found in a drink or snack ?
I think I once saw bacon ice cream, which was a big blech for me since I don’t like bacon. I often create flavor combinations that many people might consider weird, however, so maybe I’m not the best judge. As a child, I dipped pizza crust into root beer and now I make apple cinnamon nachoes. With beans and cheese and turmeric on them too.
6. What is your most embarrassing moment?
Right now, I’d say getting stuck in my car’s front seat while trying to return library books. Libraries are allowing returns again where I’m at and one library has a drive-up book return. I thought that would be easy, but then I realized the drop was on the passenger’s side instead of the driver’s side. No problem, I’ll just crawl over the seat…which turned out to be really tight. And I got stuck a second time on the way back to the driver’s seat. At this point I noticed two young women watching me with concerned faces. Embarrassing moments are always worse with witnesses. Forgetting the car was parked, I hit the accelerator, making a horrible sound. They were still looking at me and then one asked if I needed any help. “No, thank you,” I told her, and finally I escaped.
7. Are you a dog person or a cat person? Why or why not?
I’m an avid animal person, so I like both cats and dogs and I’m pretty good with the body language of each. However, I think my personality aligns best with cats. I prefer a quiet, gentle greeting and spending time in the same room but not necessarily engaged the whole time. I’m a picky eater who likes to clean but not necessarily organize, and my default way to de-stress is lying flat on the bed. I don’t like being licked or bumped by a wet nose, and I much prefer to clean a litter box than force a dog to go out on the grass if it’s cold or wet. Since I’m so much like a cat, I’ll go with “cat person.”
8. If you had the opportunity to pick one superpower for the rest of your life what would you choose : time travel, teleportation, telepathy, psychokinesis, invisibility
Hmm, tough one. I think I’d go with teleportation. I used to dream of traveling but I don’t really have the money to do that. What would be coolest would be invisibility and teleportation because then I could go places without worrying about having no passport, do research, and then zap back. That’s really the main thing I want from travel, the ability to research possible settings for my creative writing. The internet is a great source of information, but it’s not the same as being able to feel the specific flavor of sunlight in a location, to hear the sounds that make up its music.
9. How do you cope with stress or anxiety? Any special tricks you’d like to share.
I have a great arsenal of tricks for anxiety and stress. My newest is knitting. I have often found that counting gives my mind something to focus on besides my fears while physical activity helps work out nervous or pent-up energy. So working on a knitting project where I have to count how many stitches are in this row is the perfect way to snag and bind off my fears. I actually got the idea from a novel by Patricia A. McKillip. In Solstice Wood, a group of women have a needlework group that secretly uses their projects to contain encroachments from the fairy world that bleeds into theirs. I like the metaphor, and I often think of the story as I knit.
10. Is the universe finite or infinite? And why do things even exist at all?
When I was a child, I asked my mother if the universe went on forever and she said yes. Since then I have believed in an infinite universe. I know the current models of physics suggest an expanding universe which requires boundaries, but if something has boundaries, doesn’t that mean there’s something beyond? That something would be a larger universe, possibly populated with infinite multiverses, so in the end, even if this universe is finite, there’s still an infinite out there.
As to why things exist…I like to think they are learning tools. I believe the purpose of life is to learn, so in that sense all things are teaching materials. What lessons we are supposed to be learning, I do not presume to know.
11. If you had one week left to live what would you do?
I have had several dreams in which I knew I had one day left to live. In each one, I used the time to talk to my family members and contemplate what came next, what I believed and how I would cope with no longer being the “me” I knew. I am extremely grateful for these dreams because in my waking life I am paradoxically both terrified of death and deeply fascinated by it. No matter how strongly I believe in something beyond death, a voice in my mind doubts and thus fears the end of itself. If I had a week, I suppose I would settle what affairs I could in addition to what I do in the dreams. Maybe I’d try to finish a few projects, but a week really isn’t enough time to do all the things I still want to do.
My questions for you:
- Do you prefer pens or pencils?
- Name a bird that sings near you.
- Do you prefer tea, coffee, or water?
- Which of these views would you rather have outside your window? An ocean, a misty mountain, a sunny meadow, or a bustling city?
- What do you do when it rains?
- Do you write posts ahead of time or publish the day you write?
- How often do you remember your dreams?
- If you could safely visit any planet, what would it be? Fictional planets are allowed!
- Do monsters exist?
- What do you give people?
- What do people give you?