Info You Never Knew You Wanted to Know

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Muppets? Or Chickens? by E.A. Schneider

Hello, dear pond readers and happy New Year. I’m recovering from a three week ordeal of upper respiratory infection, tis the season, and I hope you are enjoying excellent health as you read this. Being sick gives you time to think about things and, with the year beginning and all, it gives one time to reflect on things undone. Well, it is time to finish something I’ve put off. Today, I’m writing to accept a pile of awards that are all courtesy of the fabulous Jubilare, an amazing and talented blogger of whom I am a really big fan.  Apparently, she is a big fan of mine too, which I find incredibly flattering and humbling. I am rather unworthy to accept these awards, I’m afraid, because I really epically fail at reading blogs on a regular basis. I frequently feel like a hamster on a wheel or the living embodiment of the Red Queen Hypothesis: constantly running to stay in place. I realize I’m not special in this regard, everybody probably feels like this every day, but it is my primary explanation for why I can’t pass these awards forward as I ought to; I have put off accepting these awards and properly, formally thanking Jubilare for sending me more readers because I have felt very sheepish about this failure. But, I know when I’m procrastinating and the awards do sound like fun. So, here is my plan: I will go through the awards in order of oldest to most recent in turn and, at the end of this post, include links to the couple of blogs I read regularly as well as other nifty Internet things I check out to procrastinate and get inspired.

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Dragon’s Loyalty Award Rules

https://jubilare.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/dragonsloyaltyaward1.jpg?w=490

Jubilare: “Here’s the list of “requirements,” that are optional, and will break the 1000 word limit, alas!”

  • Display Award on your Blog.
  • Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
  • Present 15 deserving Bloggers with Award<–Um…yeah, I fail this.
  • Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded. Write seven interesting things about you.
    • Here goes! This is the one thing that I can properly do: Seven things of potential interest that involve me and my fondness for dragons.
  1. I won fourth place in a regional forensics competition in high school by performing Search for the Ten Winged Dragon by Jean E. Karl.
  2. My current reader’s journal is emblazoned with a dragon.
  3. Dragons are a recurring motif in my home creative lair.
  4. Despite my love of dragons, I’ve never used them in my fiction except in one really horrible story in college. I think I might be a tad intimidated.
  5. I watch Game of Thrones for the dragons. I’m kind of rooting for them reestablishing a successful population more than I’m rooting for any of the humans.
  6. While you probably know that my favorite writing utensil is a fountain pen filled with electric blue ink, you might not know that I have a dragon shaped fountain pen. It is gorgeous and magical.
  7. I have been privileged to see the Northern Lights twice. They undulate like green dragons dancing in the sky.

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The Liebster Award Intro and Rules:

 

Intro courtesy of Jubilare’s nomination post: “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…”

The Rules:

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. <–Feeling sheepish here.

4) Notify said worthies.

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

6) Give thanks.

5 Questions for the worthies courtesy of Jubilare! My answers are in blue.

  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. Gut instinct, my first answer is Narnia. I would want to live between Cair Paravel and the wood so that I could hang out with dryads and fauns but not be too far from the sea. I would probably live by the library or the school because one must have books, no matter what world one is in.
  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? I don’t know if I would particularly like them but I have long been curious about pumpkin pasties and what they involve. Everybody in the Harry Potter world just seems to really like eating them the way people in the US like sandwiches and I’m just kind of curious about that. A friend of mine made some that were delicious but I wish I could libriomancer my way into a book and pull one out for authenticity.
  1. Do you have a favorite plant? If so, what is it and why do you like it so much? Yes. My favorite plant is a specific hemlock tree that has been growing with me ever since I can remember. When I was a little kid it was just a little tiny whisp of a tree growing from an old stump and it was almost as tall, or as small, as me. As I’ve grown, it too has grown and it looks like a respectable young tree today but now it is definitely taller than me. I have included a picture of it below. I confess that I have measured my own growth next to that little hemlock and I find it tremendously comforting to think that it will, God-willing, still be growing tall after I’m gone someday. If a tree can be your friend, that tree is my friend.
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My Hemlock buddy by E.A. Schneider

  1.  What fictional character is your favorite hero (male or female), and what villain really scares you and why? Agggh! This is a super tough question. I’m terrible at picking favorites. I waffle all the time. Fictional character is a super broad category, too, which doesn’t help. Hmmm…well, without over-thinking this, the first character that came to mind is Rosie from Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End. So, we’ll stick with that. Rosie is tough, human, undaunted, and clever. Also, the book is very re-readable; I just enjoy its company very much.In terms of villains, the first thing that came to mind is The Goliath Corporation from Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. Mind you, Thursday Next is another top favorite hero of mine, but the Goliath Corporation is absolutely terrifying. Like the Borg, they are impersonal, huge, and growing all the time. You can’t escape their omnipresence and because they aren’t one person you can’t really do more than beat them back, they won’t be completely defeated. It’s terrifying but I think that that makes them a better metaphor for insidious, implacable evil than anything else.
  1. 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. All the directions sound appealing and I think that my answer would vary most every day. I would probably pick the uphill climb into the ferns and forest if I’m holding a camera, a walking stick, and/or writing accouterments. I’m not particularly fit and I’m kind of sensitive about heights but I never can seem to resist the view even if I have to crawl to the top to see it, and, yes, I have crawled. Besides, I like the woods; it would be fun to see what creatures I could find. Last time I went on a walk in the woods on some hills with a friend I found the treasure pictured below.
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Garter Snake by E.A. Schneider

Creative Blogger Award Rules

  1. I am rather addicted to blank writing journals. I keep them stashed in a treasure chest tucked into a corner of my lair and, whenever I need a new one, I sort through my stockpile and see which one calls loudest: “Write in me! Fill me with ink!”
  2. My favorite animal at the local zoo is a venerable South American River Turtle named Onassis. 
  3. I cannot do impressions for beans. I am terrible at them in a way that is funny only because it is so incredibly sad that I keep trying to do impressions.
  4. My sense of direction is not great. I generally get where I need to go but sometimes it is dicey and I have to phone for help. “Um…I’m by a Citgo and I passed an ugly strip mall with a health store? Do you know where I am?” 
  5. Civilization by Sid Meiers is my favorite computer game and favorite console game. I have devoted countless hours to conquering the world with those games.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers and add their links. <–Um…yeah, I still suck at this. 
  • Notify the bloggers you included.
  • Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!

There you have it, dear pond readers. More random factoids about yours truly than you ever realized you wanted to know. As promised, I will link to my current internet distractions here starting with the blogs I read:

  • Jubilare 
    • Her blog is fabulous with an eclectic mix of fiction, thoughts on fiction, art,  and photography all suffused with Jubilare’s beautiful prose and attitude. Also, with all of these awards, Jubilare nominated a bunch of bloggers that I plan to check out  because I trust her taste and I want to stop sucking at reading blogs.
  • Surly Muse
    • While he has not updated this blog in over a year, there are a whole lot of fabulous posts on it about writing that I have found to be highly useful and entertaining. I’m a fan and I hope that he will start updating it again soon, after he finishes his next book.
  • Rainyleaf
    • I am personally a rather mediocre gardner but reading Rainyleaf’s thoughts on plants and enjoying her beautiful photography always make me want to pull on the gardening gloves and try harder. I’m a fan.
  • Robin McKinley 
    • I adore Robin McKinley. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I have mentioned her books many times, including in this very post. She writes the most splendid fiction and whenever I read it I’m both transported and inspired. Reading her makes me want to seize a fountain pen and write fiction. Her blog is fabulous. I’m a fan but I’m rather too shy (ironic, I know) to participate in her forum but I eagerly read her blog whenever I have the chance.
  • Goodreads
    • I love tracking my reading progress and comparing notes with friends, I sink a lot of time into this site.
  • Geek and Sundry
    • I am a fan of their programs, especially Tabletop and Critical Role, as well as their articles. This is a big procrastination sink.
  • Craftster
    • This site is a great source of creative inspiration, I love seeing what other crafters come up with.
  • io9
    • My source for nerdy news, I check this every day.
  • Zooborns
    • I am a sucker for cute baby animals and this site cheers me up.
  • xkcd
    • While the jokes are occasionally over my head, I always find something interesting and entertaining with these comics.
  • Piled Higher and Deeper
    • This comic saved my soul in grad school and I still check it for old times sake.
  • The Oatmeal
    • A recent discovery, this site is rapidly becoming a frequent stop on my inter webs surfing.
  • Radiolab
    • I’m a regular listener to NPR and Radiolab is one of my favorite shows. While I like to listen to the podcasts, I also like reading the articles they post on their webpage.

That’s all, dear pond readers! You now know all sorts of esoteric things AND you have new procrastination fodder to explore when you need to waste time on the Internet. Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by and happy 2016.

The view from my lair by E.A. Schneider

The view from my lair by E.A. Schneider

 

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7 thoughts on “Info You Never Knew You Wanted to Know

  1. Transparently “soon” was a bit of a euphemism for “in a few months.” Apologies for the silence!

    I am very glad to learn of your passion for dragons. My lot heartily approve. I understand the intimidation involved in writing about them, though. How does one put something like that in words? Still, I hope you will try some day. I want to know what dragons are currently sleeping in your mind.

    “My favorite plant is a specific hemlock tree that has been growing with me ever since I can remember.” This warmed my heart so very much. I am not alone in my fondness for individual trees!

    “Agggh! This is a super tough question.” I know… it was cruel. But I am only a little sorry. 😉
    “It’s terrifying but I think that that makes them a better metaphor for insidious, implacable evil than anything else.” that… does sound super terrifying…

    There are mountains and there are mountains. The mountains that inspired the mountains in my question… well, I speak of them here: https://jubilare.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/msong/
    Beware the purpleness of my prose, but I’m lucky if I can keep from breaking out in poetry when speaking of them.
    I hope I can do justice to my fictional mountains in story, but I am bound by things like plot and characters and readability. Is it weird that I wish I could open an actual doorway and let people wander the world I write in? But then again, I’d probably be liable for any casualties, and given the dangers of said world, my limitations are probably for the best. If people don’t heed “don’t feed the bears” signs, how likely are they to pay attention to “beware of wendigos” or “don’t poke the dragons”?

    “am rather addicted to blank writing journals. I keep them stashed in a treasure chest tucked into a corner of my lair and, whenever I need a new one, I sort through my stockpile and see which one calls loudest: “Write in me! Fill me with ink!””
    Oh, yes. Yes. I totally do this too. I have a row of them waiting by my bed. The lure and danger of blank pages in empty notebooks probably contributed to my beginnings as a writer. And now that I think about it… the theme of blank books comes up in my stories. O_o

    “My sense of direction is not great.” Same here. Without landmarks, I’m hopeless.

    “Civilization by Sid Meiers is my favorite computer game and favorite console game. I have devoted countless hours to conquering the world with those games.” You and my brother. Seriously. I lean more towards rpg games, but I also love a bit of world-conquering now and again.

    Gorgeous pictures, as always, and it has been fabulous getting to learn fun tidbits. I have no regrets about bombarding you with awards. XD

    • I’m so glad that you enjoyed my random tidbits and pictures. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. I would probably wander through the door in your world and die standing with my camera raised in the act of shooting pictures of the dragon that is about to BBQ me. Hopefully, the camera would survive and the images would be really cool. :-p Thanks again for bombarding me with awards, I appreciate your readership more than I can say. ❤

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