As a new blogger, I’m constantly questioning whether I’m doing it right. At least four people think I am, because that’s how many blogging award nominations I’ve received (three Liebsters and one Blogger Recognition Award.) Yea for me! Strictly to avoid a lawsuit, I’m choosing to answer only two questions from each nomination. Heaven forbid someone drift off while reading this and damage their smartphone. Below my answers are my nominees.
Thank you to Louise Brady a.k.a. Dragonspire for the Liebster nomination. Louise is a fantasy author who shares great insights and advice regarding writing. Worth the follow.
Do you have any pets? If yes, how do they help/hinder your writing? One of my two cats vomited on my plot outline last year. She was right. I scrapped it.
If you could have two fictional characters brought to life, who would you choose and why? 1) Princess Jasmine, because she’d be like, get me out of this over-sexualized, non-period appropriate costume, and prince? I don’t need no stinking prince. 2) I’d say Hermione Granger, because she could change the world for the better, but Emma Watson is doing a pretty good job anyway. If she had actual magical abilities, we’d be all set.
Thank you to Ann Shannon a.k.a. The Manic Writer for the Liebster nomination. As an author, Ann specializes in the erotic romance genre, and I’ve been begging her to blog advice on this, so follow her if you’re also interested in her insights.
What helps you organize your writing work the most: At the top of my manuscript in a Microsoft Word document, I insert a table with three columns (chapter number, chapter name or brief keyword description, and word count). Then I right-click each chapter, select Link, then select the Place in this Document option. Before you do this, make sure each of your chapter labels within the text are set to a heading option under Styles. I also use a simple sum function at the bottom of the table to tally my word count: Table Tools/Layout/Formula/=SUM(ABOVE). Here’s the template.
What one piece of advice would you offer to someone who just discovered they want to be a writer: Modern publishers and readers have expectations that Jane Austen didn’t have to contend with. In order to find out what these expectations are, you need to start reading blogs by pros on what today’s fiction rules are.
Thank you to Rebecca Henderson a.k.a. Bright Lights Big City for the Liebster nomination: Rebecca blogs about what’s hot in marketing and life with a smidge of politics for good measure. I just binge-read a bunch of her posts and recommend all of them.
Three things you couldn’t be without on a desert island: Seeds, computer with Internet, solar-panel system.
What tourist attraction would you recommend in your country: Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, with its rolling landscape of giant boulders, has always held a special place in my heart. It’s like Mother Earth knew I wanted to jump around on big rocks.
Thank you to August Blair a.k.a. Survival is a Talent for the Blogger Recognition Award nomination: Writer August is a great resource both for those who have mental illness and for those who want to better understand what kind of behaviour is destructive for those who do have mental illness.
Give a brief story of how your blog started: During the PitchWars 2016 writing competition, there was a massive blog hop. I developed a bad case of FOMO and overnight, threw a blog together. I struggled with what type of ongoing content I would write, and have since settled into a niche of value-added posts for authors.
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers: 1) Each blog post should contain a payoff moment for readers. If you’re writing about something that’s been blogged about by countless bloggers, make sure there’s something new or insightful that differentiates your post from the masses. If you’re journaling, reach for your reader’s heart strings or put that tickle in their throat that makes them laugh. 2) As much as you can, reciprocate when people like or comment on your posts, and those people will be more likely to like or comment on your posts again.
Part of my duties as a nominee is to pay forward the love. First I will nominate 11 bloggers for the Liebster Award (in no particular order), and below that, 15 for the Blogger Recognition Award (in no particular order.)
Liebster Award Rules and Nominees:
Rule 1: Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
Rule 2: Answer the 11 questions the person asked you.
Rule 3: Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)
Rule 4: Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions (My questions are at the bottom of this post.)
allwritefictionadvice.blogspot.ca: Writing advice from author AJ Humpage who started out in the publishing industry.
joancurtis.com: Award-winning mystery writer Joan Curtis shares great writing advice.
kcmaguire.com: Thriller author and legal expert Jacqui Lipton (penname Kaleigh Maguire) blogs on all things writing and legal.
victoriamarielees.blogspot.ca: Author Victoria Marie Lees blogs about writing insecurities we can all relate to as well as writing advice.
jrcreaden.wordpress.com: Author Jess Creaden blogs writing advice in some very niche subjects, which I appreciate.
christianediting.co.nz: If for no other reason, you should follow author and editor Iola Goulton’s blog for her weekly Best of the Blogs feature, where she shares links to the best posts she’s read that week on writing, publishing, and marketing your books.
housevalerius.wordpress.com: Author Drew McVittie blogs about his writing journey and writing advice.
hodawrites.wordpress.com: Author and editor Hoda Agharazi blogs writing advice from the perspective of someone who has interned at a literary agency.
writingmime.wordpress.com: Author and mime Brista Drake writes book reviews and advice for writers.
davidfrancistucker.wixsite.com: Author and speaker David Tucker blogs about his writing journey and writing tips.
bardicblogger.wordpress.com: Blogs poetry, short stories, and writing advice.
Blogger Recognition Award Rules and Nominees:
Rule 1: Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Rule 2: Write a post to show your award.
Rule 3: Give a brief story of how your blog started.
Rule 4: Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
Rule 5: Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
Rule 6: Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
ecolitbooks.com: Writer John Yunker hosts this multi-contributor blog with book reviews and opportunities for writers in eco-fiction.
theshrinkette.com: Janani’s blog is all about promoting marginalized voices/authors.
wokegirlswanted.wordpress.com: Des Duplessis blogs observations related to current issues in feminism.
beentheredugthat.wordpress.com: Really useful posts about organic gardening.
wokemagazine.wordpress.com: Posts that speak to the positive steps being taken toward raising up the silenced voices, as well the social injustices still rampant throughout the world.
blindjournalist.wordpress.com: I love writer Robert W. Kingett’s posts on accessibility issues.
veganfeministagitator.blogspot.ca: Marla specializes in insightful posts about veganism.
simplegreensmoothies.com: I was looking for a new place to get green smoothie recipes from, but Jen Hansard’s blog is so much more. When I found her Zoodles in a Jar post, I was sold.
dagreensquid.com: Syd blogs about living sustainably.
indianforensicexpert.com: A great new forensics blog.
mylifeasatransgendermtf.wordpress.com: Riley blogs about their transgender life.
emilybookblog.wordpress.com: Brand new YA book review blog by a high-schooler.
zerowastenerd.com: Megean blogs about her family’s journey toward living as zero-waste as possible.
goingzerowaste.com: My plan was to only spotlight one zero-waste blog, but as soon as I saw Kathryn’s post about her zero-waste bachelorette party, I couldn’t not nominate her as well.
akhilvaani.blog: Akhilvaani posts about stigma and other issues relating to mental health.
My 11 questions for Liebster nominees:
1. Who is your favourite author that you haven’t listed as a password backup for a financial institution.
2. Invent a hashtag that you would like to see gain traction.
3. The wackiest writing prompt you can think of on the fly.
4. What genre(s) do you write in, and what subgenre(s) do you spice in?
5. What does your plotting/pantsing technique involve? Please describe using morse code. Kidding. You can use letters.
6. Using only three-word sentences, tell us about your childhood (i.e. I hated hockey. Mom re-married dad. Toaster broke window.)
7. Write the eulogy for one of your characters in less than 100 words.
8. Tell us something quirky about you.
9. I’m gonna need you to dig deep for this one. If chances are slim, how can something be fat about it (fat chance)?
10. If you could change one thing about a social media site, what would it be?
11. Please only answer a or b. (Hint: Don’t answer a, because the Internet is forever!) a) What is your number of sexual partners? b) How many plots do you have in your head on any given day?