Ida Chiavaro over at Reflex Reactions nominated me for a Liebster award. At first, I thought, “That’s so nice!” But now I see what’s involved. Whew! But it’s like having guests over: you dread that you have to clean up the house before they come but you realize that … you cleaned up the house. I’m midway through as I write this intro and it’s already been a blast. I challenge anyone reading this to go nominate 11 others, answer the questions, make up new questions, do the whole thing. It’s a fantastic exercise to get you thinking–and doing, sharing and promoting those you’d like to help promote. Here’s the basics I’m copying from Ida’s Liebster post:
If you are nominated to receive the award you nominate 11 other bloggers (with fewer than 200 followers) and ask them 11 questions, as well as post 11 random facts about yourself and finally, answer the 11 questions asked by the person that nominated you.
I better get rolling as this is going to take a little thought.
Answer 15 questions from the person who nominated you.
1) What is the nicest thing anyone ever said to you?
“Please don’t stop writing.” Linda Watanabe McFerrin said it to me many years ago … when I pretty much stopped writing. I’m looking forward to letting her know I’m writing again.
2) Something your parents taught you?
The easy answer would be, “Everything.” But the most powerful advice I got from my mother who told me that I could do anything I wanted–if I really wanted it and was willing to work for it.
3) Have you ever dreamed of celebrities or famous people?
I’m not sure I’ve dreamt of them while sleeping, but I’ve certainly daydreamed of celebrities. I’m not-so-secretly a huge fan of Morgan Freeman. Especially in the Shawshank Redemption. Anything he says sounds like a proverb.
4) Do you have any quirks, rituals or superstitions?
Oh man, now you’re getting into secrets. I have tons. I used to be worse, but I’m getting better. When I was younger (teens), I used to not want to look at a digital clock when it was 12:10. I can’t remember where it came from, but I convinced myself that it would be a terrible thing. I would even turn my head for a full two minutes if it was 12:09 just to make sure I wouldn’t see 12:10. To this day, I don’t look …
Wow, I’m on question #4 and I think I’m going to get turned into the authorities already … 😉
5) What’s the most amazing thing you have seen in the sky?
Sunrise in Namibia. Woke up in the middle of the night, hiked sand dunes in the dark, waited at the top of a huge dune to see the sun come over the sand.
6) What’s the craziest thing you have done with your hair?
Ooh, easy one. Bleached it to a Andy-Warhol-white in high school. Denied that I had done anything to it.
7) Have you ever seen a baby being born?
Yes, both of my sons. Highly recommended woman-respecting experience.
8) Have you ever been with someone when they died?
Yes. The writers group I was in several years ago bound together and took care of a fellow writer who was dying of cancer. We had a whole schedule of who did what when. We spent the night at the woman’s house, even changed the IV drip. It sure put our lives’ little problems into perspective when you’re so close to someone else’s reality.
9) Have you ever had a strange experience that you just can’t explain?
I have, I just can’t explain it. 😉
10) Are you an excellent speller, bad speller, or thought you were good but use spell check a lot?
Could also put this under “Something your parents taught you.” as I’m a very good speller. In fact, I think it’s a disrespect for the language if you take it so lightly. People who misspell (and I mean at a first grader level) should either just use spell check or get a proofer or improve their spelling.
11) Do you have/have had any pet(‘s), pick a favourite.
Just got a dog! Pepper. He’s a starlet.
13) What was the last thing you said out loud?
“Slaap lekker, lieve jongetjes.” [Sleep well, sweet boys.]
14) Where are you sitting while writing this?
In my favorite red chair. I’m on my Mac, which is my “writing laptop.” I didn’t think it would really work, but I have a different laptop for writing than for my regular work. I have a desktop with a huge screen at my desk. But this laptop I’m on now is supposed to be only for writing or basically, anything other than work. Surprisingly, it’s working. I feel that I write better when writing here. Also, the red chair is my favorite chair and I have my cup of tea close at hand. Always.
15) What does your name/names mean?
My last name, Charbonneau, is French and comes from coal workers/miners. It means coal (charbon) and water (eau).
15 Things You Didn’t Know About MeOoh, this can get dangerous … I feel an ambiguity about whether to go negative or positive here .
- I can’t seem to type the word “experiment” correctly on the first try. Ever. I just typed it wrong there. See note above about the spell checker …
- I believe shoes tell a disproportionate story about someone’s character–whether they like it or not.
- I love lentils and eat them like candy.
- I didn’t make the cut for the high school basketball team (when I switched to a Catholic, all-boys, private school) and it put me in my place about my level of achievement in sports. No, really, I’m over it.
- I speak English, Dutch, German, French and basic Spanish.
- I get the chills when my kids speak using complicated grammar–and succeed. (I know, I’m a language geek.)
- I bicycled from the state of Washington to San Francisco in 10 days with a friend.
- I went to a small town in the north of Poland called Hel only so that I could say that I went to Hel and back.
- I was a mathematics major in university until I “accidentally” had more French credits than math credits and figured, “How is math going to get me to Europe anyway?” Moved to Europe the day after college. Haven’t missed the math degree. Still good at math.
- I think going to a (low-security!) prison wouldn’t be so bad because then I could just read all day (and not feel guilty about it). Although I guess I’d be feeling guilty about whatever it was that got me in there … hmm.
- I’m musically, uh, challenged, but every time I hear someone play guitar at a party I not-so-secretly plan to take lessons. And never do. I’m waiting for the genie and a bottle.
- One of my favorite things to do is cement events into memory by writing about them.
- I have always hated mushrooms and plan to keep that up.
- I missed my grandfather’s wedding. I can’t remember if I had a real reason, but it wasn’t a good enough one–no matter what. I was maybe 19 and at 19, I think someone has to still make hard decisions for you sometimes. In other words, I wish someone forced me to go.
- I don’t forget what I regret–for better or worse. So I’m trying to keep that list short–and make it shorter.
Wow, having done that I realize that some of the “negative” things are regrets. I guess I don’t forget them easily. Hmm, something to remember–and work on.
11 Questions for the People I Have Nominated
Is this wide open? Any questions? This could get serious …
- What’s the most annoying thing on your To Do List? Why haven’t you done it?
- Who’s your best friend? (Submitted by my 7-year old who asks me this weekly–bonus: Who’s your best friend who’s not family?)
- Where do you find inspiration for creativity? (A place, a person, an activity, etc.)
- What single project or task would you consider the most significant accomplishment in your career so far? (From The Most Important Interview Question of All Time)
- What was the last thing you said out loud? (Thanks, Ida, I love this one.)
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you? (From Great Questions at Story Corps)
- Your car just went off the cliff (sorry). You’re mid-air but you were visiting the Grand Canyon so you have a few extra seconds before it’s all over. Who did you wish you last kissed? What might you have said to them had you known about your unfortunate Cliff Diving While Driving experience? (tip: go say that to them today)
- What did you invent that you thought would be a great invention until you found out it was already done?
- What’s your favorite sound? (For example, mine might be the sound of bicycle wheels on the pavement when there is no other sound.)
- How would you like to be remembered?
- What question above was your favorite?
11 People I Nominate
Wow, this is hard. I’m not going to abide by the “under 200 followers” as I think the number should be more like 1,000. 200 could be your friends and friends of friends. Beyond 200 (or 500 really) is when you’ve gone beyond your friends and friends of friends and second cousins. But OK, OK, I’ll try to abide by the rules for the most part.
- DeeCoded. She has a great write up on Peer Pressure that has some examples that hit home. ” … can you believe people actually go around saying these sorts of things without you asking them?”
- Lori over at The Next Step. Really enjoyed her post on Respect.
- Cindy Dwyer at A Reason to Write. I know she has lots of followers, but it’s not often I laugh out loud at a post, but she had me with, ” … the washing machine does not require a secret code to activate.” (Why she does all of the laundry.)
- M.P. MacDougall. He’s on a mission and I want to help him get there … maybe because we’re on a similar mission (writing, health, etc.).
- Another Clean Slate. I really enjoyed her use of dialogue in her piece called, “Impressions Last.” It’s a good job of writing about an awkward situation. But “she did good.”
- Joseph Richardson. He had a new fan with his Snow Globes photo post.
- Andy W. Taylor over at A Guy Name Soo. I liked how honest he gets in R is for Relationships. “Not to sound melancholy, but as I get older my only regret is that its hard to make new friends.”
- Emilie Hardie at Writing for Life. Her titles are engaging, such as, 3 Things To Know About Resolution. She has some helpful tips, too, such as, “The main conflict is the whole frigging point of the story, so you better resolve the conflict in some way or the other.”
- Jodie blogs over at So this is 40. Really. She writes that we have a choice (and I can’t agree more). “Most people look at me strangely when I tell them we have a choice. We sometimes choose to soothe the obstacles through avoidance and denial. Such choices lead us away from our desired lifestyle.”
- Murees Dupé of Daily Drama of An Aspiring Writer writes about R= Regret. It’s a difficult one to write about. “I will probably never be able to do anything about most of them, which is why I believe that regrets should simply be left in the past.”
- Misha Gericke at Taking Charge of My Life writes Returning to Dreams and says, “Even if you’re not exactly sure about what you want from your future, there’s a definite, sure-fire way to at least get going.” I like that she’s helping people move forward, at least get started.