Liebster Award!?


My friend David, of The Warden’s Walk, has given me permission to steal the introductory paragraph from his Liebster Acceptance Post. He puts it better than I can:

I’ve been given the prestigiously obscure Liebster Award, in which one blogger with fewer than 200 followers writes trivia and answers to random questions about themselves, and then tags a bunch of other bloggers with fewer than 200 followers to write more trivia and more random questions. My eternal thanks to Lady Blue Whimsy for sharing the fun with me!

As far as I can tell, this serves 2 purposes. It spreads the word about obscure blogs to enjoy, and it is entertaining. Thank you for my nomination,

The rules, according to Lady Blue Whimsy are these:

1) Expose my readers to the randomness of my soul.

2) Supply my nominator with answers to her queries.

3) Impose this honor and task upon others deemed worthy.

4) Notify said worthies.

5) Demand said worthies to expose the randomness of their souls.

6) Give thanks.

Being the contrarian that I am, I shall undertake these tasks in reverse order. Therefore:

Thank you, Lady Blue Whimsy, for nominating me and providing such an entertaining post in the process! I am glad and flattered that you enjoy my blog enough to have thought of me.

As for making demands of my nominees, I cannot. Instead, I merely thank them for creating blogs that I enjoy, point others towards them, and give them the opportunity to have fun with this award if they so wish! If they do so, here are my questions for them (and for any other friends or fellow bloggers who like the questions and want to answer them):

5 Questions for the worthies!

1. If you could walk into a book and make a home there, where would that home be, what would it be like, and what sort of people/creatures would you try to befriend? Specifics would be fun and you can give more than one answer if you like.

2. Name a food you have read about, but never eaten, that you have since wanted to try. It doesn’t have to actually exist. What, in the reading, piqued your interest?

3. Do you have a favorite plant? If so, what is it and why do you like it so much?

4. What fictional character is your favorite hero (male or female), and what villain really scares you and why?

5. There is a crossroad at your feet. Behind you lies the path back to home and hearth (wherever that might be). The road directly ahead leads to a city, blue in the distance, settled among hills and on the edge of a bright inland sea. To your right lies a steep climb into old, low mountains clothed in forest and fern. To your left is rolling farmland that eventually flattens out into broad plains dappled by the clouds overhead. You can go as far as you like on any of the roads (even farther than you can see), including back home. There’s no wrong answer, only the where and why.

Consider them notified, as of your reading this (though not as of my typing it. What an odd idea that is to me!)

Now we come to it. Many whom I would love to link have already received this “prestigiously obscure” award from others. I’m not sure what the rules are on re-awarding, therefore I will stick to ones who, as far as I know/remember, have not received this one yet.

So without further ado, my nominees are (in reverse alphabetical order)*:

Technicolorlilypond – Photographer, scientist, crafter, writer and avid reader. And I do mean “avid.” This Renaissance Woman puts me to shame with the number of books (many of them dense and difficult) that she consumes.

StrangeFigures – I suspect this lady has more than 200 followers, but my feed only says 163, so here she is. Sharon is bold, witty and not afraid of a good debate. In fact, she seems to know very well that no one can grow or learn unless they are challenged. She certainly challenges me.

SoughingofPines – She does not post often in this venue, but perhaps some day she will. At any rate, she is a dear friend, an excellent writer, a kind heart and she plays the cello. Also, martial arts. You have been warned.

TheOldBookJunkie – He is a junkie for old books! In his posts on literature, culture, and society he often  challenges me, which is something we all need, and I enjoy our discussions and debates. I think and hope he does too.

Grimmella – A contrarian, like myself. Entertaining and sometimes acerbic reviews as well as other Fantasy-themed posts. She is not afraid to say what she thinks, and I have spent many a happy hour exploring her library of posts. I bet you will, too.

DreamingofOtherRealms – A wonderful dreamer, indeed, and a writer. She is also an inhabitant of New Zealand, which is exciting to me because I have yet to visit any place in the Southeastern Hemisphere. I am always fascinated by the impact location has on an author’s work.

BekindRewrite – And here, I cheat (you knew I would). Bekind definitely has more than 200 followers, but her blog and our discussions have been great inspirations to me, so I must include her anyway. At the least, I want her answers to my questions. If you are a writer, in any stage of the process, Bekind’s blog has useful resources, researched advice, writing exercises and inspiration-fodder. She’s also usually up for a good discussion or debate. Go there!

*If you are not on my list but I read your blog, know that either you have too many followers (and I didn’t want to cheat too much), you have already received this award (that I am aware of) or I was unsure whether or not you would appreciate the attention (the latter applies to family and a few non-internet friends).

Now to what you all have been… or rather what one or two of you might possibly have been waiting for. The questions!

LadyBlueWhimsy asked these questions eight!

1. If you could date a fictional character, whom would it be?

Hmm. Do Hobbits date? If so, Sam Gamgee, though only if Rosie did not exist. Also, I would prefer to be a Hobbit in this scenario.

2. If you could travel either forwards or backwards in time, which one, and why?

Backwards, if only because Forwards would take the fun out of the fun parts and make me wince in anticipation of the rough stuff to come. I’m a worrier by nature, and it is a lot harder to be worried about the past. I’d prefer to be an observer, also, rather than active in this scenario.

3. Vanilla, chocolate, or Superman ice cream?

What is Superman ice cream? Um… Chocolate. And Vanilla. In that order. *holds out hands expectantly*

4. If you had to name your children after your family and relatives, which five names would you pick?

Colleen, Harry, Austin, Wynn and Jenny would be my top picks, I think.

5. What one type of food or dish could you eat every day for the rest of your life?

Fresh Blueberries.

6. If you could be a fictional character, whom would you be?

Who am I most like, or who would I most like to be? I shudder to answer the first possible question, but as for the latter… I want to be Bilbo Baggins. I had to answer either a Hobbit or a Dwarf (yes, I know, my single-mindedness can be tiresome) and Bilbo has the best mix of adventure and happy ending of any of them. What a lucky chap.

7. If you could only write one story in your entire writing life, which would it be?

I suppose I will know if I write it. Right now there are three very close to my heart. One that I plan to finish but not publish is a picaresque following the sometimes-intertwining stories of a thief, several monks, a couple of dragons, a wizard and a deceased were-jackal. Competing for this place is also an epic-length quasi-epistolary story about a vampire. This is partially my rebellion against all things Anne-Rice-to-Stephenie-Meyer, and partially a way to deal with the fact that this particular character is very talky in my head. If I ever manage to write the thing (it intimidates me greatly) it ought to be a different kind of vampire story. And then there is my current focus, which is about three people who have lost their homes and with it their identities, and their adventures in a ghost-story world.

8. If you could change the ending to a favorite story, which would it be?

Well, stories with endings I do not like are usually not my favorites. Endings really can make or break any story. That said, I rather enjoyed the Harry Potter series, but the ending bothers me, A LOT. The one thing I was waiting for the entire series, the revelation that the main characters’ opinions of  Slytherin House were not justified, never came. Oh, some people will argue with me on this point, and even J. K. Rowling seems to have a higher opinion of her Slytherins than she communicated in her stories, but my opinion remains. They were painted with a wide brush, and the end left them with much the same image as the beginning.

And now, apparently, I am supposed to expose you all to eleven random things about myself. Consider yourself warned.

1. I was very excited when I learned that I have Welsh ancestors in my very mixed pedigree.

2. I name my cars, usually according to their make. My first car was Mononoke, my second was Kagura, and my third and current one breaks from tradition. Though it is of Japanese make, its name is Fred. This is mostly because my friend’s new car is named Ginger.

3. While I love Spring ephemerals, my favorite time for flowers to bloom is Autumn. Fall-blooming flowers give the air of being tough as well as bright, and they remind me of someone singing at the close of day.

4. My favorite smell is a tie between woodsmoke and partially-broken-down leaf-litter. You know, that dark stuff that looks like dirt, but doesn’t to stick to your hand and smells earthy and sweet?

5. I am immune to Poison Ivy and allergic to Juniper. Nevertheless, Juniper is one of my favorite trees and I planted several in my yard.

6. I am scared of camel crickets. They aren’t dangerous, but I can’t quite convince my instincts.

7. Despite their being usually full of the above-mentioned crickets, I love caves. I am also fond of elevators and closets. I am not a big fan of the Great Plains or deserts, though I am theoretically glad they exist.

8. I have learned to love reading my Bible. It used to be a chore (and one I would frequently skip), but now it seems to read me as much as I read it, and the interplay makes it truly fascinating.

9. I hate getting my hands dirty, but I love clay, gardening, cooking and various other crafts, like papier mâché. This causes a lot of internal conflict.

10. I hate being pigeon-holed. Every time someone tries to categorize me, my first instinct is to fight their assumptions.  On the flip side, I try never to assume I know the whole of any person. Mystery and uncertainty give birth to doubt, and doubt keeps us active, inquisitive and humble.

11. I love words, but perhaps my favorite one is “gloaming.”  …”Parsnip” is pretty fantastic, too, as is “mountebank.” I had better stop now.

And I believe that is it! I hope you found this massive post entertaining, especially you, LadyBlueWhimsy!

P.S. I meant the part about anyone who wants to try their hand at the five questions I supplied! I would love to hear your thoughts on them, even if you are not among my nominees.


About jubilare

Just another tree in the proverbial forest. Look! I have leaves! View all posts by jubilare

15 responses to “Liebster Award!?

  • Stephanie Orges

    Gasp! I name my cars, too, though not having to do anything with the make. My first was Barnaby and the current is Barnaby Mach 2. Both Honda Accords. I just like the name Barnaby.

    Your brand of vampire story sounds interesting. I hope you do write it someday.

    Your questions are hard! They look fun, too. I should be posting my answers some time this week. Thanks for breaking the rules to pick me! ; )

    • jubilare

      Barnaby always sounds like a sailor name to me, so I am now thinking of your cars as grizzled pirates. XD

      I hope it will be, and I hope I get the gumption to finish it. I’m a fan of the days when vampires were still really monsters instead of wells of wangst. Monstrous or comedic (I love Pratchett’s vampire photographer) for me.

      Thank you for agreeing to answer them! I tried to pick the kind of questions I would enjoy answering, and that I really wanted to see other people answer. Also, in my mercy, I decided to limit myself to five. ;)

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  • palecorbie

    1. I would live in the walls and rooftops of Gormenghast castle and try to befriend the crows and Steerpike, if I could, before he became a card-carrying villian with a black-painted heart.

    2. Butter tea with tampa…only to try, mind, not drink a whole bowl, since it sounds so disgusting it would probably taste that way from pure psychology to those not raised on it.

    3. I do not have a favourite plant, though I am very fond of thyme, gorse and heather. Thyme for the French summer associations, walking in the mountains, and partly the taste. Gorse is anarchist by nature, so I get on with it well, and it is very hard to look at heather moorland or lie among it and not feel a better thing than you did before.

    4. My favourite protagonists are rarely heroes, but if we’re looking for those, then Lucky Luke. He pulls off heroisim without self-righteousness, flaws without having a nasty/dark/angsty streak, and somehow manages to be a literal white hat without earning my instant distrust. As for villiains, mine comes from film – Arthur Burns from The Proposition, because he is equally capable of sincerely appreciating poetry, literature and the beauty of the natural world as wanton acts of destruction, rape and murder…also I fall in love with voices easily, and his sweet, rough Irish brogue captures the lack of split in his personality in a manner that makes me shudder.

    5. Mountains, because my home lacks for trees, and I miss them so.

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  • stephencwinter

    Now I know what a Liebster Award is. What a great idea! I agree with you about Stephanie Meyer, by the way. When my daughters began to read her my determination not to censor their reading was tested. I was very pleased (and a not little proud!) when both discarded her without any prompting from me.

    • jubilare

      Would you like one? I didn’t award it to anyone this last time, but I’d be happy to send a few questions your way. Alternately, I’d love to hear your answers to my five questions on this post.
      Sounds like your daughters have good taste. You have reason to be proud!

  • stephencwinter

    Reblogged this on Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings and commented:
    Jubilare’s Liebster Award posting & well worth reading. She has a unique voice and I hope this may prompt you to follow her blog.

  • stephencwinter

    May I try to answer your questions? I really liked them because they took me out of my normal thought pathways. I wonder where they might take me?

    1. This surprised me. My thoughts went to the borderlands between The Shire and The Old Forest and the friendship between Farmer Maggot and Tom Bombadil. I don’t want to live in either of their pockets but I would like to be a neighbour to both of them (a good one, I hope!) and learn their wisdom. I can’t pretend that I am a farmer (I grew up on one & left it when still young) & Tom is far too Other, far too Himself, but they would both enrich me immeasurably and there is something in them that I want to connect to.

    2. I love good food, wine & beer. I’m a bit of a hobbit really & realise as I pondered the question that I don’t usually connect to food by means of words but by experience. I did once want to write a piece about an afternoon I spent with a French winemaker in the cellar of his vineyard on a hot summer’s day. I can still feel the cool air and smell that cellar even as I write. “The kingdom of heaven is like…”! Maybe I should write that piece… I told you that your questions were taking me to unexpected places.

    3. Here I return to the Marish and the borderland of Shire and Old Forest. I can smell Farmer Maggot’s mushrooms! I love trees and await the moment when they burst into leaf in the spring time here in this Worcestershire countryside in central England. I have recently discovered some woodland near my home and what fascinates me about in this intensely cultivated island (the Entwives would love it!) is that no-one has paid any attention to it and the trees grow in bizzare shapes as they try to find their way into the light. When I learn what they are called I will answer your question more precisely but you see the direction I travel in.

    4. My favourite hero is Gandalf. I love his long patient wait through triumph and disaster in order to be ready for the one moment that really counts. He does not even know how important his friendship with hobbits will be, that’s not why he befriends them, but his playfulness with pipeweed and fireworks will prove to be just as important as his epic adventures. As for villains, I don’t think I am scared (though I would be very wary, very wary indeed!) but it is Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter who comes to mind. Her twisted femininity expressed in her exaggerated love of pink and her photos of kittens (though no real ones, I note!) combined with her delight in inflicting pain on others arouses a deep anger in me. I wonder where JK Rowling found her!

    5. I loved this last question! In my fantasy I long for open spaces and my first thought was to climb the mountains. They reminded me of the English Lake District near where my mother grew up and from which I feel too long sundered. But I also realise that I love a bed and a meal at the end of the day so it depends on the time of the day. As a young man I worked in Africa and travelled quite a bit. There are many uncertainties in African travel but one thing made every frustration melt away, a safe ending to the day. Newman’s beautiful prayer for “a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last” is one that I have loved since I heard the minister pray it when I was a young choir boy. It says something very profound to me.

    Thank you so much for asking me the questions. Answering them has been a genuine spiritual exercise for me and I feel greatly enriched. Time to go out to work now and I will carry this with me and bring it to all that I meet.

    • jubilare

      Yay! I was hoping you would.

      1. How very Tookish of you! I think there are plenty of non-farmers among the Tooks, so, presumably, there would be plenty of professions to choose from along that border.

      2. :) I connect to my senses very strongly through words. I would love to read that piece, as it sounds lovely, so you really do need to write it.

      3. Trees are truly awesome (in the old sense of the word) pieces of creation, and twisted trees have so much character that it seems they should be able to speak. They seem quite… entish.

      4. Agreed, on both counts. I confess, I’d be pretty scared of Umbridge.

      5. I’ve never walked the mountains in the Lake District, but I have seen some of them from a distance and I thought to myself “The Appalachians have sister-mountains!” My question was based loosely on the Smokey Mountains (part of the Appalachian chain) of my home state: and while I’m sure the ecology is very different from your mountains (which you ought to go visit!), I think their bones have a lot in common.
      I was unfamiliar with that prayer, but have looked it up and find it simple and beautiful. Thank you!
      I am glad. Blessings on your week!

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