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).

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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.

Book Blogger Insider Tag

Book-Blogger-Insider-Tag-banner

I was tagged by Ashley from Ashley in Wonderland for this, so thank you, Ashley! Her blog is wonderful (and so pretty to look at), so be sure to check out it out!

RULES:

Answer the questions below
Credit the creator: Jamie @ ALittleSliceofJamie
Tag at least 5 people
Have fun!

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1. Where do you typically write your blog posts?

I’m an idiot and it’s 2 in the morning so the first answer that popped into my head was, “Uh…Wordpress? Duh.” *Smacks head* Right. So the locations at which I write my blog posts are my desktop and my bed. A lot of the structural, academical type of writing happens at the desktop and a lot of the creative work happens in bed. (*waggles eyebrows*)

2. How long does it take you to write a book review?

The shortest one so far took me about an hour. Usually it takes two days. One day for the rough draft and another for the final version. This current one I’m writing is turning out to be a record-breaker because I’ve been at it for nearly two weeks. It’s going to be the first perfect score given on this blog and I’m really desperate to do the book justice.

3. When did you start your book blog?

January 14th, 2018. The decision honestly came out of nowhere. I’d been rambling about a book to my friend–pretty much giving an impromptu review–and she was like, “Why don’t you just start a blog?” And I was like, “Huh, yeah, I should.” And that was that.

4. What’s the worst thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

The stress of trying to aim for a consistent schedule. Also, having all these drafts for future blog posts but feeling anxious about publishing them. Okay, I guess this one’s not so much the worst thing about having a book blog, but one of the not-so-great things about having a brain and, well, being human.

5. What is the best thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

All these new, awesome bookish nerds I get to interact with! It consistently boggles my mind that there are people out there who not only want to read my ramblings but leave kind comments in the process. You guys are all amazing.

6. What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far?

Uh, “fun” might not be the right word, but my favourite post I’ve written so far is my gushing love letter to Robin Hobb and her characters. It was a very personal post and something I’d been meaning to write for nearly a year, and I’m very satisfied with how it turned out. I posted it when my blog was still just a hatchling so it didn’t get a lot of traction here, but I did cross-post it to reddit, and the responses there were just mindbogglingly amazing.

7. What is your favourite type of blog post to write?

Lists are always fun and easy and a surefire way to encourage other bloggers to engage in a discussion. But, and this might be a weird thing to say, I love writing emotional pieces. So discussion and opinion posts (or even reviews) that relate back to me in a personal way, that other people can then also relate to, are the most fulfilling ones for me to write.

8. When do you typically write?

My brain thinks that 1 AM is the prime time for doing all the reading, writing, and gaming, so I tend to be the most productive around then. My best ideas also seem to come to me during that time, prompting me to drag out my tablet in the middle of falling asleep and tap out a wall of sleepy, semi-coherent thoughts. Thanks a bunch, brain.

9. How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? Cuddled up with your fur baby?

dog

This but skinnier because I’ve been squashing it so much.

 

With music and a lot of pacing. Sometimes with a snack, but never with tea (*whispers* I really hate tea. This probably makes me a heathen in the book blogging sphere). I also have a giant dog plush that takes up half the bed, so when I’m writing at night I sometimes cuddle up with that.

10. When do you write your book reviews? Right after finishing the book? Two weeks after finishing the book?

I usually do a rough draft of a review while I’m reading the book–writing notes as I read is something that’s been embedded in me since senior high English and undergrad. This is where I collect all the visceral, in-the-moment reactions, and they usually end up being the structural bones of the final review. After I finish the book, I expand on these thoughts. These are usually choppy fragments: my opinion on the setting, the plot, the characters, and moments I loved or hated. Then I let it percolate for a couple of hours up to a day (sometimes several days) and stitch them together into something half-way coherent. Then I do editing (er, sometimes). *Takes breath*

If all this sounds professional and organized, don’t be fooled! As with any of my writing projects, I’m usually buried under a mountain of sticky notes while I furiously stab the backspace button and mutter expletives at the screen.

11. How often do you post?

Right now I’m trying to aim for 4 posts per week. I’m a little afraid that going for more will end up burning me out, so I’m trying to moderate myself.

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I TAG:
Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills
Aurora @ Aurora Librialis
Consu @ Paper-Eyed Girl
Kristyn @ Bibliophile Empress
Vera @ Unfiltered Tales