The Liebster Award

I was nominated for this by my dear friend Megan Cutler! Thinking of facts about me is always a challenge, since I like to keep things fresh. Eventually I’ll run out of things to tell, but maybe there will be a few things in here that surprise you!

Step 1: Post 11 random facts about yourself

1. As a kid, I was one of the least girly girls I knew. I always got along better with guys, because they talked about video games while the girls talked about shoes. But now that I’m an adult, I like dresses, jewelry, the color pink, teacups, lace, and even collect dolls. I still like video games, though.

2. I got myself ostracized from my Girl Scout troupe after a girl brought her Ouija board and wanted everyone to play with it. I wasn’t interested and thought it was dumb. Besides, EVERYONE who was actually looking could see Emily was moving it. But after that, none of the girls ever wanted to talk to or play with me. Maybe the spirits told them I was boring after I called Emily out on her crap.

3. I’ve always liked my middle name better than my first name. I think my middle name is beautiful. But my attempts to get people to call me by my middle name in my teenage years never took root, so I eventually gave up. I’m okay with being Beth, but I don’t like my full first name and always cringe a little when people use it.

4. I dream really strange, vivid dreams on a regular basis. In the vast majority of my dreams, I’m someone else. Never someone I know, but a fictional person who isn’t me. I never thought this was unusual until I mentioned it to my husband and he said he’s only ever had dreams of himself in different situations. Most of my stories end up coming from these dreams, so I’m chalking it up to being a writer thing.

5. I never attended public school and for the most part, I set my own pace with  my homeschooling. I did well with my studies, but I’ve always been secretly afraid that I’m really stupid. Even attending college, scoring the highest in all of my classes, and being offered a scholarship hasn’t changed that. Maybe I’m still actually stupid and I just don’t even know.

6. I’m allergic to peppers, which is terrible for my Mexican husband. What stumps me is that I wasn’t allergic to them when I was a kid and used to eat them in my childhood. Then one day in my teenage years, I was helping Mom slice bell peppers for a veggie tray before we had company and my arms broke out in hives all the way to my shoulders!

7. I believe in ghosts because I grew up in a haunted house. The previous owner of the home was murdered in the house and then dismembered in the basement. I remember seeing the gouges in the concrete from the screwdriver and claw hammer the killer used, but I never knew that was the place until two years ago. I used to play with Hot Wheels cars over that exact spot.

8. My husband and I met on the internet when I was 14. We started talking because of video games and exchanged email addresses because of Pokémon. Seven years later, we got married with Final Fantasy wedding rings. Video games still play a big role in our lives and are one of our favorite ways to spend time together.

9. For about a decade my go-to internet name was (and still is, in some circles) Myuu. The vast majority of people can’t figure out how to pronounce it and say it wrong. It’s the Japanese spelling of my favorite Pokémon, Mew, and is pronounced the same way as its English name. These days I mostly go by Lomilmalinde, which is strangely easier for people to spell and pronounce correctly.

10. I picked out my daughter’s name when I was a child. I’d never met anyone with the name or even heard of anyone knowing someone with the name, outside the occasional person saying that was their deceased grandmother or great aunt’s name. The year she was born, it was in the top 50 girl’s names for the first time in an eternity, climbing even higher on the list immediately after. How does that even happen?

11. While I can do a wide variety of things and am a sort of jack-of-all-trades, I don’t consider myself particularly skilled at anything I do. There’s a few things I do (such as writing) that I think I do well, but I don’t think I’m remarkable at them. I often feel I could improve if I dropped my other hobbies to focus on one point of interest, but I can’t seem to do that, even though I’ve tried several times. Despite my feelings on the matter, I’ve been told many times (by both friends and strangers) that they think I’m amazing at everything I do, and they’re surprised by how many things I manage to do at once. I think my feelings on this may be somehow related to #5, but I’m not sure.

Step 2: Answer 11 questions from your nominator

1. What is one thing you have done that you never thought you’d do?
Went to a hotel alone to meet a stranger I met on the internet. But we ended up getting married a year later, so it’s all good! It’s probably simultaneously the best and worst thing I’ve ever done.

2. What is your favourite book or series of books?
The Lord of the Rings was the first series that really swallowed me whole, so I think it will always be my favorite. But the early Dragonriders of Pern books hold a special place in my heart, too. I always think it’s unfair when someone asks what my favorite book is, there are just so many I love!

3. If money were no object and you could live anywhere, where would you choose?
If money were no object, honestly, I’d want to live right here in Tennessee. Maybe a little closer to Nashville, maybe in a larger and newer house, but here. There are a thousand places I’d like to see, but I wouldn’t want to stay there forever. I’d rather have a comfortable home base in a place I’m familiar with and then use that non-object magical money to travel to all those locations instead.

4. If you could meet any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
This probably seems like an obvious answer, but Jesus of Nazareth. Imagine the amount of wisdom and comforting companionship you could glean from just a few minutes with such a remarkable historical figure.

5. How do you find motivation on your off days?
My go-to for bad days where I can’t seem to get things going is to take a shower. Then I have a snack or a cup of good quality tea and put on some music that inspires me. One song that always helps me find peace on days that aren’t going well is Winds of Change by Kutless. It’s one of my go-to “I can do better than this” songs and almost always helps.

6. What is your favourite type of music and/or band/performer?
I find it hard to pick just one favorite type of music. I listen to a really diverse assortment of music and it seems to grow more diverse all the time! For example, right now I’m really into Asian Underground music, especially artists like Karsh Kale and Talvin Singh. It’s great music to write to. But at the end of the day, I go back to industrial rock and alternative rock. My favorite band is The Dreaming, and I finally get to see them for the first time this summer. I’m so excited!

7. If a genie were to grant you one wish, what would you wish for?
I’m assuming wishing for more wishes is out of the question! I’m kind of torn between wishing for five million dollars and agent representation for my epic fantasy books. Epic fantasy is hard to get people to look at and it certainly feels like I need a genie to make it happen, sometimes. But five million dollars would take care of all the rest of my desires!

8. What is your favourite way to spend your free time?
Another question where I’m hard pressed to pick one favorite. I have a ton of hobbies and not a lot of free time! But when I have a few minutes to myself, I gravitate to the same few things. Drawing, sewing, photography, reading, writing, playing video games, or–if the weather is nice–going out to the huge park only a mile away from here and walking the bike trails through the forest.

9. Who is your favourite fictional character and why?
I spent days thinking over this question and, while I have a lot of fictional characters I love, I think I finally concluded that I don’t have a favorite that stands out above all the others. I honestly couldn’t tell you why. If I’m given more limited parameters, such as asking what my favorite character within a series is, I can answer that. But I don’t have a general, all-purpose favorite.

10. What one thing are you most proud of?
Completing the book I started with. It took me around 13 years to finish the first one I began with the intent to write seriously, but I’ve gotten much better at it. I’ve finished 3 books in the past 4 years, two of them quite large. It doesn’t often seem like a great accomplishment to me because I spend so much time surrounded by other authors, some who’ve written (and had published) ten or more. I try to remind myself that it’s not a common accomplishment, just that my social circle skews the numbers to make it seem commonplace. I know many more people who say they want to write a book but never do, so it should be something for me to be very proud of.

11. What is your favourite piece of advice either that you have received or that you wish to pass on?
You will never have time to do the things you want to do with your life unless you make the time. I wish I’d learned this so much sooner. I’m always hearing people talking about the things they want to do “when they have time” or that they’re looking for jobs that give them time for their interests. No one can give you time but you. Make it, or you’ll never have it.

Step 3: Nominate 11 bloggers to do the same

Okay, I’m going to have to break the rules on this one. I don’t even know 11 bloggers, and most of the people I would tag aren’t keeping blogs any more! So instead, how about this? All my questions are for YOU, the people reading this! Feel free to answer it on your blog if you have one, or drop the replies in a comment here. I want to know more about you! So here’s a list of questions.

Step 4: Provide 11 questions for your nominees to answer

1. What is the most valuable thing you’ve ever lost?

2. What’s the most frightening thing you’ve ever had to face?

3. If you could travel to just one place with all expenses paid, where would you go?

4. If you could change one thing in your life, what change would you make?

5. Conversely, what is the one thing you love most about your current life?

6. What did you want to be when you grew up?

7. Did you make it happen or did your plan change along the way? If so, why?

8. If you could do any one thing that was not considered socially acceptable, but not get in trouble or face repercussions for it, what would it be?

9. What is one dream you’ve already accomplished?

10. What favor is asked of you most often?

11. How do you deal with your self-doubts and how do you overcome them?

Step 5: Notify your nominees

This one is easy for me, since I’m tagging all of you. 😉 Hop to it!

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