Those Liebster Awards again

I have once again been nominated for a Liebster Award, this time by Janna Kaixer. I thank you for the nomination, but I have particular feelings about the Liebster Awards and I should write something about that on my About Me page.

However, I am grateful for the thought and I will answer your questions here, Janna.

1. Why do you write?

I’ve made up stories for as long as I can remember, and I feel an immense gratification in getting them down on paper and having other people read them. Apart from creative writing, I also journal to sort out all the crazy in my head so I can regain my grip on reality.

2. What do you hope to achieve with your writing? (E.g. raise awareness of something, tell a story, teach a lesson…)

I’m in it for the stories. I couldn’t agree more with Neil Gaiman’s, “We owe it to each other to tell stories.”

3. If you could go back in time and give yourself some writing advice what would it be?

“Don’t stop writing for anything. Yes, your university courseload is heavy, yes you work a part-time job, but you owe it to yourself to write and write often. Daily. At any chance you can get. Also, don’t wait until you’re 26 to give NaNoWriMo a shot.”

4. Do you listen to music as you write? If so, what sort of music?

I tend to listen to my current obsession, though I noticed a trend toward more electronic-themed music as I worked on Climbing Yggdrasil where I lean more toward ethereal vocals for fantasy writing. There was a time when I would listen to Of Monsters and Men’s “My Head is an Animal” every time I sat down to work on Project: Destiny.

5. Where do you get your ideas from?

Questions, mostly. The main idea for Climbing Yggdrasil came when I was watching Firefly and wondered, “How does the Cortex work? How do they transmit data quickly across all that space?” I read about Ursula K. LeGuin’s ansible and how it got adopted into sci-fi lore by many authors, but I wanted something more sinister and came up with synchronizers.

6. What is your writing process? Are you a pantser, a plotter or a mixture?

I used to be a pantser, but I would inevitably get stuck and lose hope, then start over. I decided to plot last year before NaNoWriMo; I wrote chapter outlines for what I now consider to be Part Two of Climbing Yggdrasil, then I went back and plotted Parts One and Three. I like having an outline to guide me, but I’m not afraid to deviate and plot anew.

7. Where do you write best? (E.g. at your desk, in bed, in a cafe…)

I don’t really have a specific place, they all have certain advantages. Home is nice because it’s comfortable and I don’t need headphones to listen to music. A café is nice because it doesn’t have all the distractions I have at home. I can say that I do my worst writing in bed, as I can’t get comfortable and have to keep shifting as I write.

8. Is there anyone that keeps you writing despite struggles? If so, who?

During NaNoWriMo last year, my husband was very good about telling me to go write when he could see I hadn’t done any writing that day. In the past few months, I’ve been good at pushing myself, though I need to get back on track, my writing has slowed dramatically in the past few weeks.

9. If you could meet any Author who would it be?

I’d love to meet Neil Gaiman, and I’m absolutely certain I would be starstruck and bashful and unable to discuss anything worthwhile.

10. What is your favourite book of all time?

Sabriel by Garth Nix. I reread it once a year on average. It was this book that taught me that magic must make sense and have rules, even if the reader does not know all of them. I also love Death as it appears in that world.

The Liebster Awards

Alexandra Needham has nominated me for a Liebster Award. I do appreciate the intent, but the chain-letter style of it makes me reminisce about why I left Facebook. However, I enjoy reading Alexandra’s blog and I liked the questions she posed as part of the nomination process, so here are my answers:

  1. What was your first pet? A black cat that I named, interestingly enough, Blacky. When he got run over, a few weeks later a dog of similar coloring, down to a white spot on one paw, showed up on our front step. We named him Blacky too.
  2. What is your ideal job? Writing, at home and in my pajamas, getting up at whatever hour (before noon) I please.
  3. Are there enough hours in the day? Absolutely not. If I could forego sleeping to make use of those nighttime hours, I would.
  4. What is the most obscure book you own? Why do you have it? I don’t know that I have any obscure books. My absolute favorite book, however, is Sabriel by Garth Nix. Come to think of it, I have a copy in French too. Does that count as obscure?
  5. What would you like to be able to see from your window? A nice garden, perhaps with a tree. Ideally, with a pond.
  6. Where was your best holiday or day out? It was a couple of days, actually. On my first visit to Québec, my husband took me on the train to Montréal, where I walked around in wonder at the shiny buildings and all of the strangeness of the city. We spent the night in a hotel, we shopped in underground malls, it was all so new and sparkly. I know the city a bit better now, but I still catch glimpses of how it looked that first time.
  7. Toilet paper, over or under? Under. It seems neater somehow. And perhaps it’s more difficult for the cats to unroll.
  8. What is the one thing you can’t get through the day without? My iPod. I must have music for the commute, or for walking, or whenever I am alone. I would be uncomfortable if I couldn’t read, or call or text people, but my iPod is my one must-have item.
  9. Describe your mug/teacup. I have many, but the one I currently use at work bears a pixelated heart that turns red when hot and fades to black as I empty it.
  10. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? I could Google this to figure out what the end of the joke was, but I’d rather just admit that I’ve forgotten. Though I did watch the Holy Grail incessantly when I was younger.