The Liebster Award

liebster-award

So I was just thinking about how I’ve been in a writing rut and haven’t been able to get myself out of it. I’ve tried all the usual things: walking around, playing mindless computer games, doing word-association exercises, taking long showers, eating lots of chocolate (wait, that last one is just for my own personal pleasure), but nothing is coming. I was even thinking it might be time just to say goodbye to blogging, at least for a while.

And then, along came “Raw” She Said and a nomination from her for this award. I’m honored and so surprised! Please go check out her blog. She has such an excellent point of view on the ins and outs of daily living. I find myself often reading and going.. “yep, I’ve been there…”

Now I have much to write about because there are some important things that come along with this award. Let’s just get started, shall we?

What is it?
The Liebster Award is designed to bring recognition to smaller blogs–that is, blogs with 200 or fewer followers.

The Rules
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog. Happily done, “Raw” She Said.
2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions asked of you, and create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate.
3. Nominate 11 blogs you think deserve to be noticed, and leave comments for them letting them know they’ve been chosen.
4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
5. No tag-backs.

Starting with 11 things about me…
1. Back in the 90’s amid the Beanie Baby craze, I sold three of them for $17,000 and was thus able to replace my broken car. Sometimes I wonder if that was my one “something big” in life and that’s why I never win on slot machines or stupid scratch off tickets.
2. I speak German fluently.
3. I LOVE live music. I’ve been to over 200 concerts, and that’s probably a low number. I just get such a high from seeing people doing what they love and sharing their art. I enjoy many other forms of art as well, but music just speaks to me.
4. I was the captain of my high school cheerleading squad and in a sorority in college, yet I am and always have been incredibly shy, awkward, and dorky. Stereotypes are meaningless. Also, neither of those things automatically bring popularity in the juvenile sense of the word. I was bullied a lot.
5. The love of my life/man I have chosen to be with forever is both shorter than me and younger than me. My mom swears it is the worst thing that’s ever happened to her.
6. I am learning to sew and have started making quilts for people. My eventual goal is to design and make my own clothes.
7. I really want to write a book, even if I never publish it. I’ve had several ideas, and I’ve even started on a few of them, but I either get distracted or lose confidence and end up abandoning the project. Time to cut that out.
8. I’m currently in the acute phase of a chronic illness (still yet to be diagnosed), and of all things I’ve lost because of it, I miss snowboarding the most. It’s such a release and so freeing. I’m hella determined to get back to it one day. When I do, there will be photos and videos and lots of joy.
9. I used to work as a coffee buyer, and therefore have a high appreciation for specialty coffee. It’s such a complex beverage, and I enjoy studying it as much as drinking it.
10. I mainly learned to cook by watching Rachael Ray on the Food Network. Say what you will about her “lack of formal chef training” or whatever. Girl can cook and makes it easy for anyone to do.
11. I have always thought of myself as a dog person, and still do, but now that I also happen to have a kitty (she found us), I have come to love and appreciate cats as well. I even delve into cat videos from time to time. They’re just so cute and funny. Barf, I know.

Now for some answers…
Why did you start this blog?
Sometimes, I don’t even know. I have always loved writing and thought I might even do it professionally one day. I don’t know if that’s in my future or not, but I still think it’s important to have ideas and document them. I also love reading about others’ perspectives on their own lives, and thought it only fair to start sharing mine. If anything I say either in my own blog or in a comment on someone else’s sparks a discussion, then I have succeeded.

Who motivates you in your daily life?
My man. He is working his ass off to keep our family afloat while I’m dealing with all this being sick stuff, and seeing him step up to the plate motivates me constantly.

If you could do one thing without any negative risk, what would it be?
Once upon a time, I started a charity and did really good work with it for about two years. Then, someone important got offended and threatened to sue me if I didn’t shut it down. I obeyed because I simply did not have the funding to fight it. If there were no risk, I’d go back and fight like hell. I was not legally wrong, and I know I would have won the battle if I could have stayed in the fight. At the time, I just didn’t want to put myself at risk financially or in reputation (since we all have to worry about that nowadays thanks to social media).

What was the last book you read that stayed with you?
Probably Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. It’s such an intricate and disturbing story.

When is the last time you spoke to your best friend?
Outside of my relationship, I have a few people I would consider “best friends.” I spoke to one of them about a week ago. None of us live in the same area, and distance is tough, but I’ve found some lovely people who have busy lives and understand that with communication, quality beats quantity. We all may not talk often, but we tend to just pick up where we left off, even if it’s been weeks or months.

What would be the trip of a lifetime for you?
Ooh I love traveling so much! I want to go back to Europe, but since I’ve already done that once, I’ll pick something new. I desperately want to go to Alaska and snowboard on some of the big mountains there. It would involve a bare-bones cabin, a helicopter, probably a blizzard or two, hopefully no broken bones, and maybe some amazingly fresh seafood.

If you had your own museum, what would you put in it?
Definitely all of my journals. Also a few key awards I’ve gotten over the years, my favorite book (Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugarman), my chocolate chip cookie recipe (but it’s cursed, so try all you want, it won’t work for you), and probably a whole bunch of cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and CDs.

Why do you love (or hate or remain indifferent about) the place you currently live?
This is a tough one because I don’t want to offend anyone. I won’t say what town, but I live in a relatively small town in Arkansas. I don’t hate it, but I can’t say I really like it all that much either. I grew up in a huge city, then moved to another relatively large city when I was 25, then moved to a slightly smaller city last year, and now I live here. I’m a city girl. I miss the options. On one hand, I sort of enjoy the slower pace of life, but damn I miss the options the city has to offer. When it becomes financially feasible to move, we will.

What signifies home for you?
Well, I mostly believe that home is where you are. This is where my life is, so this is home. At the same time, home is where you feel like you belong, and in that sense, Colorado will forever be my home.

What would you like to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for being compassionate. I don’t always do the right thing, and sometimes I can be really selfish. That said, I would like people to remember the good in me and all of the times I have gone to great lengths to understand someone a little better and be on their side.

Who was the first person to break your heart?
My mom. She has never liked me or understood me, and I still can’t get over it. I know she loves me as any mother loves their children, but we do not see eye to eye and it makes me so sad. I would give anything to change her mind and see the good in me.

My Nominations (a few of these have ever so slightly more than 200 followers, but they deserve even more, IMO):
From the Tree
29 to Life
I Thought This Would Be Easier
alanatphotography
A Manic World
Exploring My Culture, Exploring Myself
The Tick That Bit Me
a wild kristen appeared
princessdeficit
The Sober Diaries
[Always Falling Slowly]

Questions for the Nominees:
1. What has been the best/most surprising thing you’ve learned from blogging?
2. If you could go back and make one moment of your life last just a little bit longer, what would it be?
3. What are your favorite and least favorite foods?
4. If you could move your entire life somewhere else for a year and then come right back to where you were and pick up where you left off, where would you move to?
5. What would you tell today’s kids/teenagers if you could get them all together (and be assured they will listen to you) for 30 minutes?
6. Would you rather be surprised by death or have time to prepare?
7. What quality do you admire in someone you know that you wish you had yourself?
8. What is the best time of day?
9. Is Facebook wonderful or too dangerous to be worth it?
10. When is it ok to keep a secret?
11. How do you overcome writer’s block with your blog?

That is all! Thank you again for the nomination, and hopefully some or all of you will participate. This definitely helped me get out of a writing rut, and hopefully it will help inspire all of you to keep writing as well.

-Ava

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