OK, So, I’ve been nominated for another Liebster Bloghop twice over the weekend:

  • First by my lovely friend Joanna who drinks a fabulous amount of tea and has musical skills that I can only aspire to.
  • And second by my friend Gloria who ought to spend more time hanging out with us on Twitter!

Here are the rules for her nomination:

Rules for Liebster Award

 

This means you’ll be getting 22 answers but only 11 random facts!

So, step one is as complete as I am likely ever to do, moving on to Step 2:

Joanna’s Questions:

1. How would you spend a million dollars?

All the practical considerations like taxes and mortgages aside, I’d probably remain infinitely practical and make sure that there were funds set aside for my nephews’ college funds, etc. But there would be at least two trips involved: One lasting at least a month in Seoul and the other at least that long in Europe (finally) on a trip that involved way too many trains.

2. What time period in history would you like to spend a week in?

First of all, a caveat, I am not allowed to time-travel. I would be the Cassandra of whatever period I ended up in, trying to explain to them about basic health care techniques, vaccines, and just plain old handwashing. I would then proceed to start warning them about all the stupid decisions their leaders are about to make, and how best to prepare for the coming wars.

That said, I’d love most to visit the Habsburg Court in the late 1700s or early 1800s. Unless I could guarantee Mozart was performing that week and then I’d be all over that for specificity.

3. Soup or salad?

Depends on who’s serving. If it is a Korean restaurant I’ll be gorging on soup. Mmmmm, Yukgaejang. Most other places I’ll likely take the salad.

4. Write a haiku about something in the room you’re currently in. (okay I guess that’s not a question)

I love you, but no.

5. Have you visited any foreign countries?

I went to Mexico when I was in High School for a mission trip and spent two weeks near Monterey.

Then, two years ago, I spent two weeks in Korea. I stayed with my sister-in-law’s family and was an all around fangirl when not trying to confirm that jet lag is, in fact, not fatal. We were in Seoul for most of the trip, but we did 2N2D in Sokcho where I experienced the most amazing food ever known to humankind… Korean Fried Chicken.

I am available to wax poetic on the fried chicken and everything else about Korea (except sleeping on the floor, that is SO not my thing) to anyone who ever would be willing to listen.

6. If you had to trade in your car, would you choose an elephant, a camel, or an ostrich as alternate transportation?

For semi-practical considerations, I’d prefer the Elephant. Mostly because in MN it’s better able to handle the weather. Also, it is less likely to try to decapitate me like the ostrich would, and I have an issue with being in the proximity of anything that can fling its throat at me when it’s pissed off.

7. What’s your favorite word?

I don’t have A favorite word, but I love slang. Especially out of favor slang. One of my characters uses 40s slang. You’ll see me throwing out a Totally, or Awesome, or Coolies at the drop of a hat. It has to do with my natural proclivities toward hyperbole.

8. Cats or dogs?

Dogs. I have two. They have never systematically peed in my bed in order to drive me from the home the way a cat has. Also, I’m significantly less allergic and prefer my animals to mindlessly adore me rather than consistently check if I’m dead so it can eat me.

9. Who was your first fictional crush?

Mr. Rochester. Hands down. Ruined me for all other men. I even blame Mr. Rochester for my love of Logan.

10. What three authors would you want to have with you in the event you’re marooned on a desert island?

Oh, man, this is a tough one. If we’re talking books, that’s one thing, but since we’re talking actual authors I have to weigh the practical considerations of their skillsets so that I can get off an island in the middle of the ocean and back into the safety of my dark and dreary office. I don’t believe I’m qualified enough to answer this question, perhaps I’ll revisit it at a later date.

11. What’s the title of your current WIP (if you have one)?

Technically I have three:

THE NOUGHT (a.k.a. The Dwarf Book) is my Juniper Tree re-telling set in the world I believe the Dwarfs out of German Mythology evolved into.

FETCH (a.k.a. The Elf Book) is set in Alfheim among the Dark Elves who live underground and insist on being rather creepy. (Also this way I can say I’m trying to make Fetch happen)

AS ABOVE (a.k.a. The Vanir Book) is set in Vanaheim, and is a floating circus that travels between the sky cities of the Vanir with a shapeshifting teen who isn’t even sure of her own gender, nor of the dark secrets in her past.

Gloria’s Questions:

1 If you met your main character (or the main character from your favorite novel) in person, would you be friends, enemies, or frenemies?

If we’re talking about my manuscript NECESSITY, I would be so far beneath her notice both as an old lady and as a person, she wouldn’t even know I existed. If I forced the issue she’d probably be confused as to why I was talking to her.

2 What is the most unique part of your manuscript or blog?

I think the most unique thing about my stories is that I’m telling an epic fantasy from the perspective of everyone but the chosen one. The traditional central characters are the secondary characters and love interests and the focus is on the story equivalents of the Lady of the Lake, Morgana, and Nimue.

3 What is your career now, and what is your dream career?

As of this moment I’m a process consultant for small businesses who want to move their data into the cloud for use on wireless devices. I know way too much about wireless carriers and devices. I also confuse sales people because I run a complex environment without a single server or Windows box.

My dream career is writer. I’d like a good excuse to get these characters out of my head.

4 If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I LOVE my house. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I’m a huge fan of stability and I love Minnesota for all it’s seasons.

If I had to pick somewhere else to live, I wouldn’t mind doing a stint in Seoul. I’d want to live close to my sister-in-law’s family because it would be strange to be there and not part of the family. But, before I do that I’d have to not suck so bad at my spoken Korean and my husband would have to learn more than Hello and Thank you because I’m not going without him.

5 What inspired you to write (either your manuscript or you blog)?

My manuscript was written in a fit of ennui. The story is so far from the place it started, as all my stories tend to do. The original tale involved Tarot, and prophecies, and the moon. It’s now very Norse. I don’t even know how it got there except the characters liked the idea a lot better because I went from 5K words to a novel a lot faster after the change.

6 What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned so far in your writing journey or life?

My journey isn’t anyone else’s journey.

It’s a marathon not a sprint.

They sound like aphorisms easily tossed away, but really understanding them was the hardest part for me.

7 What is the best advice you’ve received?

The first draft is for me to tell myself the story. I get so caught up in making my story for other people I lose my perspective easily. I have to let myself write a crap first draft because it’s all going to be torn apart and put back together anyway.

8 Who is your closest confidante?

I have two, and they serve two different purposes. My husband is one because he’s my partner and favorite person all around and I’m going through this life with him. And my best friend because she wouldn’t let me not be her friend and she’s not stuck next to me all the time so she can be an outside voice when I really need one.

9 What’s your favorite blog and why?

My favorite blog is actually the Dramabeans Blog that I’ve been lurking on for eons. They do an awesome job of sharing upcoming drama news and recapping dramas with cultural context I may have missed, or, even better, letting me know if it’s a drama I probably should just miss.

10 Books, tv, or movies?

Yes.

Oh, was that meant to be multiple choice? Sorry, not how I work. I am a media consumer. I LOVE all of the above, though I’m less in love with American TV now that I’ve experienced the series approach of international television.

What it comes down to is that I’m a plot girl. Anything with a clear and engaging plot and I’m probably yours.

11 How do you make difficult decisions about your characters or settings? Any trouble “murdering your darlings”?

With a lot of thoughtful consideration. There are a few darlings that I would throw a fit over losing, but I think I have enough story rationale to keep them. I’ll sacrifice almost anything for the story, though. I can always write another cool character or a great sentence. I can’t always write this particular story the way it needs to be written.

On to Step 3! The Random Facts:

  1. My favorite food for breakfast is leftover Asian food.

  2. I have seen over 200 Korean Dramas and I only discovered the artform 4 years ago.

  3. I was Dara on AmberMUSH, the extra bitchy one who plotted evil. (Also Milly, Alyxis [I think that’s how I spelled it], Regan, Lexi, Sybil, and a crappy stint as Coral)

  4. I took Chinese and German my senior year of high school so I didn’t have to take gym.

  5. My entire family is from near Webster City, Iowa, and my first ancestors moved there in the 1850s.

  6. I made my husband fall in love with me by invoking the phrase “In the grim future of Hello Kitty there is only war”.

  7. My Meyers-Briggs Personality is INTJ (you’ve been warned)

  8. I’m Leo with Leo rising in the year of the Dragon (if the last one didn’t scare you enough)

  9. My tongue doesn’t stick out as far as most people’s does because when I was born the flap of skin went all the way to the tip of my tongue.

  10. In college I studied History, but my favorite class was History of Population and I have a sick obsession with inferring historical data from censuses.

  11. My least favorite food is water chestnuts and jicama. I refer to them as yucky things when my teeth make that sickening crunch against one in my food.

Step 4! And the nominations are:

I’ve decided to victimize some of my new friends from the Twitter spaces as a getting to know you technique!

  1. Stanislava (@stanislava28)
  2. Kosoko Jackson (@kosokojackson)
  3. Sara-Marissa Baker (@seesarascribe)
  4. Mary Lynne Gibbs (@marylgibbs)
  5. Andrea Contos (@In_Invisibleink)
  6. Heather M Bryant (@heather_b88)
  7. Anne Tedeton (@AnneTedeton)
  8. Jennifer Laird (@Jen_Laird)
  9. Mara (@little_mswriter)
  10. Jamie Zakian (@demoness333)
  11. Angela Caldwell (@AngelaMCaldwell) (Whose new book is out and you should check out her blog for that, too!)

Step 5… will happen out of order because I’m not entirely sure that the person who created this was aware of proper pathing in process design.

Step 6! Answer me these questions… 11:

  1. Why do you write?
  2. Who was your first character? (Not necessarily the first character you put in a story, the first one that was a real full-blown character.)
  3. What is your favorite part of a story?
  4. What’s your relationship to music?
  5. When considering the world your characters live in, what’s the most important consideration for you? (And yes, even contemp writers worldbuild)
  6. What’s the hardest part of the business side of writing for you? (Query, comps, loglines, Twitter pitches, 35 word pitches, synopsis, book backs, covers, shameless self promotion, etc.)
  7. What’s the easiest part of the business side of writing for you?(Query, comps, loglines, Twitter pitches, 35 word pitches, synopsis, book backs, covers, shameless self promotion, etc.)
  8. If you had one consequence free week where all your responsibilities were taken care of and there were no financial considerations, what would you do?
  9. What was the most surprising realization you made about yourself through your writing?
  10. Where is your favorite imaginary place?
  11. Where is your favorite real place?

Thus concludes my massive post!!

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