The Mystery Blogger Award (Part 1)

The Mystery Blogger Award

I’ve been procrastinating on these tags and have accumulated multiples of the same one, so I’ll be splitting this into two parts! For Part 1, I was tagged by two wonderful people–Justine from Milkz Bookshelf and Gerry from the UK Booknook. Justine is a relatively new blogger (only two months old), but she’s already been kicking ass and taking names. And Gerry’s posts are my kind of weird, hilarious, and passionate. Both are incredibly supportive and amazing, so go drop by and say hello!

RULES:

1. Put the award logo on your blog.
2. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog.
3. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well. (Maggie @okoto enigmas blog)
4. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
5. Nominate 10-20 people.
6. Notify your nominees.
7. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question.
8. Share a link to your best post(s).

flourish

3 Things About Myself

1. I used to play tennis competitively, from middle school to undergrad, up until my mental health issues got dialed up to 11. Nowadays I just play for fun, and while I do sometimes miss the thrill of competing, I definitely don’t miss the crippling anxiety that comes with it. I adore the sport, though, both the playing and the watching, so if any of you are tennis fans, for the love God, come talk to me.

2. I have trypophobia, which is defined as the “fear of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps.” I used to freak out whenever my mom added fresh strawberries to my cereal, because the milk would cover up the seed dimples and create these hellish white clusters.

3. I don’t like drinking tea. I’m pretty sure this makes me some of a heathen in the blogging community (“burn her!”). I like the idea of it–the smell, the varieties, the…aesthetic. But once it enters my mouth region, all my happy feelings decay into a train of “UGH” and “BLERGH” and “THIS IS JUST WARM LEAFY WATER.” Though if you end up inviting me to your place and serving me tea, I will drink it up with a polite–and definitely-not-pained–smile like a good Canadian. And quietly plot your demise.

Justine’s Questions:

1. How did you into book blogging?

Oh boy, it’s a real rollercoaster of a story, so brace yourselves.

*Ahem*

One day I was ranting about a book to my friend and they said (probably in an attempt to extract themselves from my crazed lecture), “You should just start a book blog.” And I was like, “You know what? Yeah! I should totally do that.” And 15 minutes later my blog was born.

*crickets*

The end!

2. What genre of music do you listen to the most?

Rock and alt-rock, probably! Early teen me was obsessed with Linkin Park, Rise Against, Damien Rice, and punk-rock Demi Lovato. And that kind of carried into adulthood. Some of my other favourites today are Poets of the Fall and Breaking Benjamin.

3. If you could never read a book genre again what would it be?

*Deep breath* Canadian. Historical. Fiction *Shudders* *Curls up into a ball and weeps softly*.

Listen, I love this country and we have some incredible authors–from legends like Margaret Atwood to more up-and-coming ones, especially in speculative fiction. But Canadian history (sans First Nations history) is about as exciting as watching the Windows 10 update screen for 4 hours. And there are only so many stories about 19th century immigrants starting potato-and-wheat farms and surviving famines I can take before I start fantasizing about ramming my head through the nearest wall. Grade 11 AP English was decidedly not a fun time.

4. What’s your favorite scent?

The scent of a forest after a fresh fall of rain. Very few things make me happier than hiking through a damp stretch of woods.

5.  What came first, the chicken or the egg?

I want to be a smartass and say chickens obviously came after because eggs of all kinds existed before chickens were a thing….but my scientist brain is yelling at me to give a proper answer. I would still say eggs because the evolution of chickens from whatever pre-chicken species existed in the past couldn’t have occurred without sexual reproduction and the formation of zygotes.

Gerry’s Questions:

1. If you had to name a cocktail after your personality what would you call it? Bonus points if you know what ingredients it would have.

“Night Owl” Yes, it’s less personality and more lifestyle, but shush, because I know the exact ingredients for this one: kahlua, espresso, and irish cream served on the rocks with dark chocolate shavings.

2. You’ve woken up and had the sudden realization that you’ve grown a pair of wings. What do they look like? Do they suit you?

They start out as little baby bird wings that are all stubby and sickly-looking and spectacularly useless. I stare glumly at the mirror every morning, cursing myself for ever having dreamed about having wings, and do my very best to resist punching every smirking asshole who asks me, “Hey, can I see your wings?” (In this alt-reality, winged humans are considered rare, but not outside the realm of possibility.)

Then one morning I wake up tussling with an unexpected bedmate in the form of a pair of 14-feet wings that just happen to be attached to my back. Hallelujah, it’s the world’s quickest growth spurt! (Too bad the same couldn’t be said for my height). The wings are eagle-esque in terms of shape and they’re a mix of black and auburn with the occasional streak of grey.

So the good news is that that’s a definite improvement on ugly duckling wings. The bad news? Turns out owning a pair of new untested wings is kind of like being a pubescent boy popping inappropriate boners everywhere. I get hit with a gentle breeze? Out they go! I’m getting nervous during a presentation? Whoosh! Overnight I’ve become a walking, breathing hazard and all of this is just making me more depressed than ever.

Then yet another morning (I really need to stop sleeping) I wake to find a tiny sparrow sitting on my chest, sighing and mumbling, “Beggars can’t be choosers.” And it yells, in a hysterically squeaky voice, “Fate has chosen thee for a higher calling! And because fate is a bitch with a cruel sense of humour, it’s chosen me to be your illustrious guide. So quit moping around feeling sorry for yourself and get your shit together because we’re gonna to need to clean up this fucking mess of a world.”

“…What the what?”

And so that’s how I get saddled with a disconcertingly adorable and foul-mouthed mentor who whips me into a barely-competent, highly-reluctant superhero whose badass superhero getup consists of a bargain deal faux-leather jacket (because apparently being a superhero isn’t what you’d call a stable career), jeans with copious grass stains (from weeks of practice landings), and a pair of aviator goggles that looks to be circa 1920. Oh, and a bike helmet. ‘Cause safety and all that.

Look out evildoers, because I’m here to crash-land all over your ass.

(Fun fact: I was very much obsessed with the Maximum Ride series as a teen and even more obsessed with the idea of having wings.)

(And shout out to Gerry for giving me mini story prompts as questions. :P)

3. If you didn’t have to sleep what would you do instead?

Read, draw, catch up on TV shows, fly out into the night with my newfound wings to punch all the nazis dispense vigilante justice and rescue all the puppies, play video games. You know, the usual stuff.

4. You have to chuck three books you hate into the volcano to appease the god/goddess of bad books. What three go in?

Atlas Shrugged. It’s coldly devoid of any humanity so maybe it can help cool the volcano down a bit.

The North Water. I have no idea how this won the Man Booker prize. Is torture porn considered a form of highbrow literature? …Don’t answer that.

Fifty Shades of Grey. Though I don’t hate the book so much as I passionately dislike the author.

5. You’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and have entered Wonderland. Where the first place you head to? Why?

I know I said I didn’t like tea, but the Hatter’s tea party is probably one I shouldn’t miss. Weird stories and riddles are my jam. Plus, I want to pet the dormouse.

My Best Post(s)

Hands-down, my “Of Wit Bonds, Mental Health, and the Power of Stories: How FitzChivalry Farseer Saved My Life” post. I find it a struggle to allow myself to be proud of my creative work, but I poured every morsel of myself into this essay and writing it was a therapeutic, near-transcendent experience. So yeah, I’m proud…and content.  And it’s funny because I wrote it when my blog still very new so it didn’t get much traction here. But I cross-posted it to r/fantasy and r/robinhobb and the responses I got left me sobbing.

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I tag:

– Aurora @ Aurora Libralis
– Avery @ Red Rocket Panda
– Consu @ Paper-Eyed Girl
– Elissa @ Elissa Reads
– Nicole @ The Bookworm Drinketh
– Susy @ Susy’s Cozy World

My questions (and yup, some of these aren’t technically questions):

  1. Tell me one thing you’re really good at! (Aside from being an awesome blogger)
  2. Name one favourite and one least favourite plot trope.
  3. A character that you initially hated but eventually grew to love?
  4. What’s one place in the world you would love to visit?
  5. If you could form an adventuring party with any three people (real, fictional, etc) who would you pick? Free cookies if you can name your classes and alignments.

25 thoughts on “The Mystery Blogger Award (Part 1)

  1. thebookwormdrinketh says:

    Ha ha!! I love your wings!! 😂😂 I totally agree with you about Canadian Historical Fiction. I love our Country, but technically it’s pretty much still a baby… So, nothing has HAPPENED to us yet!! Our biggest claim to fame has pretty much been a stop in the underground railroad!
    I’m so happy that you included Damien Rice in your music. He’s wanderful. 💖💖
    Thanks for the nomination!! I’m excited about your last question!! It takes me so long to get to these awards that I’ll say right now, I don’t know who will be in my party, but I am, hands down, the ranger of the group with my prowess with throwing knives, and I’m definitely chaotic neutral. 😋😂💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      I do really like the story of Louis Riel, mostly because I’m super into stories about revolutionaries, and he was kind of like a Canadian Joan of Arc. 😀 And before I used to think “Man, nothing politically/socially-interesting ever happens in this country,” but nowadays I glance down at our southern neighbour and go, “NOPE. BORING IS GOOD. I WILL TAKE BORING.”

      And hahaha a chaotic neutral knife-thrower definitely suits you! I love it. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebookwormdrinketh says:

        A “Canadian Joan of Arc”!! 😂😂😂 I LOVE IT! So true. And I understand your thoughts on our Southern neighbours, their “fearless leader” is definitely causing a ruckus. I just want to stomp on the floor and yell “hey, Trump! Keep it down, down there!” we’re all in this together, until he builds the wall to keep US out! 😉

        Like

  2. Vera says:

    I love your wing story. Please pretty please write more of such stories. 😊 I enjoyed both the concept and your imagination! You write really well Kathy. ❤️

    I don’t know much about Canadian history but I must confess that I disliked dry history lessons at school with passion. Tell me stories and I’ll listen, start listing dates you expect me to memorise and I’ll start day dreaming… 😂

    I enjoy getting to know the person behind the blog and had fun reading all your answers and facts about you. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      ❤️❤️ AHHH thank you Vera!! I’ve been super secretive about personal writing projects and it’s been ages since I’ve shared any fanfic (or other fiction stuff) with other people, so your words mean a lot!!

      And compared to other countries, we’re super young, so most of the history boils down to, “A bunch of politicians had some polite disagreements, but they eventually got resolved. Oh, and a continental railway got built.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. acquadimore says:

    Tea is warm, wrong-tasting water. It’s the truth and I don’t know why we as a community keep denying it.
    I love your short superhero fiction! …wings sound like a great idea until you realize how much space they take up – and clothes! how do clothes for winged people even work – and until you have to become a superhero, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      We should form a club. 😀 And aw, I’m glad you liked my weird fic! I assume winged-people have to learn sewing at one point or another because all their clothes need to be repurposed (i.e. adding holes in the back that don’t look as though a 5 year old went crazy with scissors). Plus they have to sleep on their stomach for the rest of their lives…
      Maybe detachable wings are a thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • acquadimore says:

        Detachable body parts sound like a great premise for body horror. The more I think about this situation, the more I’m glad we live in a boring, wingless universe.

        Like

  4. auroralibrialis says:

    I’m a non tea-drinking heathen too! As a community we really should’ve picked a better official beverage of choice. I though I’d be making tea wrong for years, until I finally realized I just don’t like it 😂 Teen you had really cool taste in music, Thanks for tagging me, Kathy! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight says:

    I used to do gymnastics, and I competed when I was younger but eventually just did it recreationally, and I get what you mean. Like, part of me wanted to compete again? But I don’t think I ever actually liked competing that much. It was definitely a lot of anxiety.

    Don’t worry, not only do I not like tea, I don’t like coffee either! *gasp!* I don’t even like the smell of coffee. So never fear, you will never be as much of a pariah as me lol.

    I love how easy it was for you to start a book blog lol. I’m so indecisive that I can rarely ever just do something like that in 15 minutes. I also love your very reasoned out chicken answer. That actually makes sense! I also love your wing story and the idea of wings that pop out and awkwardly get in the way at the slightest provocation when you’re still getting used to them! Man, writers are not being creative enough with their portrayals of non-human body parts. You should make that into an actual book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      Oooh I’m always in awe of people who used to do gymnastics! Like, I know kids are supposed to be super flexible and whatnot, but I always felt like a hunk of rock whenever we had to do cartwheels and balance beam stuff during gym class. And then I look over at the girl next to me and she’s doing these physics-defying moves. Also, I wish anxiety and other mental health issues were more openly spoken about in the sports scene. It’ll probably save a lot of kids’ (and adult) lives.

      And my favourite stories of people-with-superpowers (or super appendages, in this case) are the ones that go, “Hey, did you know special powers are kind of a pain in the ass and makes you even more awkward than ever?” And I can’t believe we don’t see more of that in books, so the idea kind of popped up. 😀

      And I love that this post is dragging all the tea-haters out. 😀 Yay solidarity! (I do like coffee, though–the super sweet, super milky kind)

      Like

  6. Aimee (Aimee, Always) says:

    TOTALLY hate tea as well. Leafy water is a no-no, also the caffeine doesn’t do well to my heart condition. D: And I’m also so done with local historical books–not a Canadian, and sure my culture is super rich and all, but after years of history class? Yup, I’m over it all. xD New WP follower, dear! You seem absolutely sweet and charming. 🙂

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gerry@TheBookNookUK says:

    What?! You don’t like tea? Sacrilege! 😛

    It’s so funny that you shudder at the thought of Canadian historical fiction because I shudder at British historical fiction. I think it’s what we have pushed down our throats when we study english! I’m the only person I know that is just so ambivalent about the Brontes and Austen.

    Love your answers to my questions especially the ‘Night Owl’ – yes please! That sounds just like my kind of drink. Love the wings story also 🙂

    Like

  8. Justine says:

    loll I love how everyone I’ve tagged in this post has tried to be really scientific about the chicken or the egg question. I was pretty big into alt rock in high school, too. My ex was super into Linkin Park and in the 7 months we dated we saw them in concert twice. I still like Rise Against but haven’t listened to Breaking Benjamin in awhile.

    I don’t like plain tea, but tea with a little bit of milk and honey and it’s sooo good! But otherwise, yea, sad attempt at plain water lol!

    Like

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