I received my 6th Sunshine Blogger Award nomination from Lotus Laura! It’s always fun to stop by Laura’s wonderful blog and see what she’s pondering and sharing. She recently started her Crystal Aura blog, which pairs with her YouTube and Etsy shop tarot readings. If you’re interested in her insights, stop by and take a look! On her main blog, you’ll also find posts on a variety of topics, including personal reflections, historical and philosophical pieces, and even her original fiction. Thanks, Laura!
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions given to you.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers and write them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your blog post.
1. Can you remember the first time you ever wrote for fun, what did you write about?
I’m not sure there was a time when I could write and didn’t use it for fun. I’ve discovered very simple stories about a rock or a bird written in the all caps scrawl of my 7-year-old self. I was about that age when I created a graphic story about a mermaid and a man falling in love. Or maybe she was a dragon. I know there was a series that had part-dragon people with little creatures plotting against them. No-see-boes, or something like that.
Anyway, the first time I wrote something fun that was mostly words instead of pictures was the start of a story about a museum where the dinosaur skeletons came alive. I only wrote about one chapter and the names I made up were awkwardly long, but I sometimes wonder where it might have gone.
2. If you could only pick between writing and reading, what would you choose?
I think I’d pick reading because I could probably get someone to dictate my writing for me (or I could use dictation software), but I doubt I could ever pay anyone enough to read aloud all the things I peruse for research and entertainment. Also, if I couldn’t read, I couldn’t edit my writing, and that would be a mess!
3. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would choose shapeshifting, specifically the kind that the kitsune/fox spirits of Japan have. They can turn into individual people, a range of animals, plants, and even inanimate objects. It would be a great way to learn about the world from different perspectives and I’d basically get a bunch of other superpowers for free.
4. If you could travel back into the past, would you observe, or try to change things?
I’d rather observe. It’s too easy to mess things up by changing them, and instead I could learn skills and general information that might be helpful in shaping a positive future.
5. What is your favorite thing about autumn?
I love so many things about autumn that it’s hard to choose. Watching the changing leaves dance in the wind is definitely one of my favorites. The return of mist and rain is also pretty cool where I live.
6. Regarding your blog, when you first started out, did you ever think you’d be where you are today?
In some ways, yes, and in some ways, no. I was hoping that I would still be around after a year, and there are several goals I have that are still in the future. However, there were a lot of surprises in actually blogging rather than just imagining it. I never expected the blogging community to be so lively and welcoming, and I’ve made a lot of great connections I could never have foreseen.
7. What’s your favorite amusement park ride?
I guess the swing ride. I like the sense of flying. But to be honest, I’d rather go check out the fairground barns to see the animals.
8. Do you have any book/TV/movie/music recommendations?
Oh, so many. But to keep this manageable, I’ll stick to some of my more obscure recommendations or those that I might not be able to recommend through my blog. Though please note that just because I cover something on my blog doesn’t mean I recommend it.
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: A man helps a wounded woman and finds himself drawn into the eerie realm of London Below. Certain aspects seem strongly inspired by the experience of homelessness.
- SLAY by Brittney Morris: A Black teen must deal with the personal and social aftermath of a death related to her virtual reality game that celebrates Black culture. The story does a great job of portraying a diversity of Black identity and perspectives.
- Semiosis by Sue Burke: Humans trying to colonize a planet learn they must partner with the dominant form of life—plants—to survive. The sequel, Interference, builds even more nuance into this interdependent world.
- Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez: A woman moves into an apartment that stabilizes reality and becomes a caretaker to several monstrous beings. I love Diana’s clever compassion, and the metaphor of how to handle our inner “monsters” reached me at a time I really needed it.
- Leverage: An insurance agent leads a con artist, a hacker, a thief, and a “hitter” in providing a modern Robin Hood service. Unlike shows like White Collar where criminals are coerced into doing good, in Leverage Nate brings his team together by inspiring them to trust each other and define themselves beyond the label of “criminal.”
- It’s Okay Not to Be Okay: A caregiver, his autistic older brother, and a fairy tale writer with antisocial personality disorder/psychopathy help each other heal from past trauma. Dark, yes, but ultimately so inspiring and one of the most well-rounded depictions of a person with autism I have seen.
- Parasyte: Considering it’s about the sudden appearance of shape-shifting, body-snatching, human-eating creatures who lack any natural empathy, this could easily have been a standard monster story. But because each parasyte is uniquely developed, it becomes an incredible thought experiment in inter-species psychology and relationships, environmentalism, and human nature.
- Raising Dion: A mother still mourning the loss of her husband finds the challenges of raising her son complicated when he develops superpowers. This show digs into some pretty deep issues around the super-stuff, and it genuinely surprised me several times.
- My Octopus Teacher: I just recently saw this documentary about a man observing the life of an octopus. When I wasn’t marveling at the antics and physiology of the unnamed octopus, I would simply absorb the mesmerizing footage of the ocean.
- An Adventure in Space and Time: Doctor Who is one of my favorite shows, and also one of the few where I find the story behind it as fascinating the show itself. It’s a delight watching Verity Lambert and her team transform a filler children’s educational program into a sci-fi show for all ages that is still going today.
- A Silent Voice: A young man who became ostracized after bullying a deaf girl in elementary school tries to reconnect and make amends with her. The different characters provide a nuanced portrayal of bullying and its various causes and effects.
- PK: A sci-fi rom-com Bollywood musical where an alien stranded on earth tries out various religions in hopes of finding the device that will let him leave. The film manages to question divisions and profiteering in religion with a gentle playfulness that doesn’t reject the wonder or heart behind spirituality.
- “Sakitama” by Rin’: This is the first song I encountered from Rin,’ a trio of Japanese women who mixed traditional and modern sounds during the 2000s.
- “Echoes in Rain” by Enya: I’m a big fan of Enya, and this is one of my favorites. Especially combined with the visuals of this lyric video, I find it a great mood booster when I’m down.
- “Shining My Flashlight on the Moon” by Christine Lavin: Christine Lavin writes songs about the absurdity and wonder of life. Many of her songs feature her biting sense of humor, but this one focuses on the simple beauty of appreciating the night sky.
- “Ancient Echo” by Peter Ali and Dean Evenson: Peter Ali taught himself to play a variety of Native American flutes as a way of healing from a painful time in his life. This song is one of my favorites from an album where he partners with Dean Evenson on silver flute.
9. What is your perfect environment for writing? For example, music or silence, outdoors or indoors, in a crowd or alone, etc?
I’ve often wished I could retreat to a cabin in the woods for writing. I prefer silent solitude as a general environment. The living green of the forest is also inspiring, but I’ve tried to write outside, and it’s too much of a hassle. The wind blows my pages around, the sun glares off the paper so that I can’t see my writing, and bugs tend to distract me. A soft seat is always a bonus too, so I guess a cabin in the woods with a sofa would be perfect.
10. What would you say right now to the person you are missing?
“Thank you for telling me your stories. I always listened.”
11. What gives you confidence?
Ultimately, I suppose it’s the sincere belief that there is purpose in life. That even the little, seemingly inconsequential moments and the pain no one should wish on anyone are but notes in a larger symphony that we cannot see from within.
My Questions for You
- Which would you rather watch, a sunrise or a sunset?
- How much do you organize your tools?
- If you could name a star, what would you call it?
- With TV or book series, how important is it to you to start at the beginning versus starting wherever you happen to discover it?
- What’s the weirdest animal encounter you’ve had?
- If you had to give up one sense, what would it be?
- If you could have one sense from another species, what would it be?
- If someone told you they had magical powers or were a magical/supernatural creature, would you believe them and with what evidence?
- If you were stuck in isolation, which three of these things would you most want to have with you: other humans, your phone or other device, your pet(s), a year’s supply of books, crafting supplies, exercise equipment, or curious but harmless wild animals?
- Which of these magical items would you most want to own: a door that opens to any room you choose, a cloak of invisibility, a cauldron that produces any food, a mirror that shows the truth, or a shield that makes you invulnerable?
- What is worth waiting for?