The Sunshine Blogger Award

Today I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Julie. Thank you, Julie, for knowing I could use a little sunshine. I hope I’ve done “write” by you……the-sunshine-blogger-award-2018

Here are the award’s rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog. (Really? There are people who wouldn’t say, “Thanks!” if it weren’t a rule?)
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked you.
  3. Nominate 8 to 11 blogs, and ask them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

1.) To-MAY-to or To-MAH-to?

I’m from Texas, so it generally comes out as “tuhmayda.”

2.) What fictional character would you like to meet in real life, and why?

I have several, but it’s all the same theme. I want to meet Harry Potter the day after he first talked to a snake. I want to meet Peter Parker the day after he was bitten by a radioactive spider. I want to meet Carrie Mathison the day after she was approached by The Agency.

I want to meet these people before they became larger than life- would like to know how they’re coping in the midst of enormous change. Harry Potter didn’t know he had magical powers. He thought the whole world had taken crazy pills. Peter Parker wasn’t handspringing off the Empire State Building on day one- he barely knew how to use his new body. Carrie Mathison wasn’t station chief in Kabul/The Drone Queen the first time she drove up to Langley. I’d like to know how those huge personalities incubated…. like meeting the non-fictional Oprah as a high school freshman.

3.) What music do you listen to while writing, or do you prefer silence?

I go back and forth. It’s the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, I listen to the rhythm of my fingers on the keys. 20% of the time, I’m listening to jazz, classical, or film scores…. nothing with words, and nothing unfamiliar. If it’s new to me, I’m not really paying attention to my writing.

4.) Sunrise or sunset, and why?

I prefer the wee hours of the morning, starting between 4:00-5:00. I used to stay up all night just to get that kind of quiet, and then I learned about this new thing called “going to bed earlier.”

5.) What aspect(s) of blogging do you find most rewarding?

The single most rewarding thing about blogging is being able to go back and read my thoughts… the ones from the people I used to be. They should have been on the list of fictional people I’d like to meet now. On the other hand, what I could say to them without spoilers is it’s going to get so, so very much worse before it gets better, and I’m not sure that the “it gets better” would be the take home message. I would also advise myself to buy a lot of Finnish flags, because I couldn’t tell me why, but I could tell me they’d come in handy.

6.) What food is your guilty pleasure?

Rice Krispies. I swear to Christ I could eat an entire box in one sitting, preferably with whole milk.

7.) What advice would you give to younger you?

I think I’ve sort of covered this already, but I was such an introverted kid who made people laugh to cover up huge flaws and insecurities… so I would say that I couldn’t give myself any advice because I wouldn’t have listened. The younger me was lost in my own little world, and even an older version of me wouldn’t have known how to interrupt it. Other people were frightened by what an intense kid I was- why wouldn’t I looking back? I wouldn’t have any advice, just comforting knowledge. Teenage me couldn’t have conceived of federal gay marriage, or even the majority of the country not thinking I was mentally ill (well, I am, but not because of THAT).

8.) What is something other people seem to find important that you just don’t see the point of?

This is going to sound completely judgmental, but it is a personal choice. I don’t see the point in the emphasis on how much people need alcohol to get through their day. It’s not the drinking itself that bothers me, it’s the craze around Facebook/Twitter/Insta/etc. memes that make alcoholism look adorable.

I don’t know if it’s that I’ve had friends in AA who made me look at the issue differently, or whether culture itself has shifted. What I do know is that people look at me weird when I order a cherry Diet Coke in a bar, and I used to say I was driving or that I was taking medication or whatever. And then it occurred to me that there haven’t been very many times in my life where people haven’t looked at me like I was weird for some reason or another and to just stop caring what other people thought. Now people look at me weird when I do want a beer. I’ll never win, and that’s ok.

9.) Do you have any famous (or infamous) people in your family tree?

I seem to remember my mother’s father tracing our genealogy back to Zachary Taylor and James Madison… but my grandfather died when I was in middle school and I am WAY too lazy to redo all that research. I wouldn’t be if I was actually interested in genealogy, but it’s just not my bag.

10.) Which of your blog posts has had the most surprising response? (Comments you didn’t see coming, traffic that was unusually heavy/light compared to your averages, etc.)

My article on marriage had the most surprising response, because it was shared literally all over the world, and landed in both Martina Navratilova and Margaret Cho’s Twitter feeds. It wasn’t like I sat down that day and thought I MUST WRITE SOMETHING POPULAR. I’d gotten my nose out of joint by straight people thinking that gay marriage was this alien concept, so I was typing like a madman and hit “Post” fifteen minutes later. It astounded me that something I spent so little time on was a “hit,” and other things have taken hours and hours with no response at all… which is honestly how I prefer it. I write better when I don’t realize there’s an audience. I kind of picture my blog as an open dress rehearsal.

11.) What do you do when you get writers’ block?

I write about nothing. Literally, I just narrate the smallest things until an idea catches and I think, “well, there’s something.” Writer’s block comes from thinking you have to wait for an inspiration to write when it’s the other way around. In the process of writing, you find inspiration. It’s like waiting for a good mood. It rarely happens on its own- you usually have to put on loud music, go for a walk, etc. Your mood didn’t just lift on its own accord- you lifted it.

Here are my list of nominees:

Last, but not least, are the things I want to know about you……

  1. What is the smallest situation in which you’re embarrassed? For instance, even when I am wearing high tops and long pants, I am embarrassed when my socks don’t match.
  2. What do you do really well besides write?
  3. What do you do badly, but participate anyway?
  4. What is your favorite creative swear?
  5. How long can you go off the grid without twitching?
  6. What do you do professionally if writing is not your day job?
  7. What’s the best picture you’ve ever taken? Describe the landscape.
  8. Are you from a big city or a small town?
  9. What is your idea of home?
  10. Do you like your current haircut?
  11. What is the absolute funniest thing that has ever happened to you?

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