Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Three Tags and a Blogaversary

During my Fan Week, I had the fortune to be nominated by the lovelies Rachel and Wild Horse for a grand total of three blog awards.

Also, today is my one year blogaversary. And I’m proud of that, because a year ago I was dubious I’d manage a week, much less fifty-two. (To be fair, I did take a break in May, but I actually started it up again. Good for me.)

I’m using these awards to highlight some of my favorite posts of the year, and one of the awards in particular stands out to me as appropriate for today, but I’ll leave that until last—just for the fun of it.

with thanks to Wild Horse

The Rules:
Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
List the rules and display the award.
Add 7 facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other bloggers.
Follow on blogger the person who nominated you

Seven Facts About Heather
  1. I love Disney films :: my sister got into the ensemble for our school’s production of Beauty and the Beast and I have more of it memorized than she does
  2. I watch lots of movies :: this year’s record is August; I watched 26
  3. I did not like The Hunger Games :: I really enjoyed the first book, but I got so bored (twice, in the same place) I couldn’t finish the trilogy
  4. My favorite musical is Fiddler on the Roof :: for all my trends and obsessions, I keep coming back to this one
  5. H.I.V.E is my favorite series :: you have no idea how emotionally attached I am to this series
  6. I want to be a writer :: perhaps a fool’s dream, but I can’t imagine doing anything else right now, except for working in small shops and department stores to pay the bills
  7. I had a pet dead snake named Ferdinand :: my mom threw him away, and I will always regret that

with thanks to Rachel W
The Rules:
You must make a post to show your award on your main blog.
You must tag the person who nominated you in your post.
You must nominate all of your best buddies, and those whom you want to become best buddies with, who, to your knowledge, have not been nominated for this award.
You must ask your buddies at least 15 questions in your post.
You must answer all of the questions your buddies ask you on your post.

Rachel’s Questions

1. What is your favorite book from your childhood?
I have a lot of favorite kid’s books, but by extension if I didn’t read Have a Hot Time, Hades! by Kate McMullen I wouldn’t have met several of my best friends.

2. What is your method for keeping track of your writing ideas? (e.g., I have mine all categorized in a three-ring binder.)
I usually write ideas in a mess on one Word document and then try to find them again later… I use sticky notes—oh, I actually have a three-pane board I use for plotlines in my room.

3. Have you ever participated in any writing contests (e.g. Nanowrimo, 100/100), and how did you do?
I did Nanowrimo in eighth grade and wrote a 35,000 word manuscript (I think?) which I am ashamed of now, and have not participated in Nano since. I am currently doing Go Teen Writers’ 100/100 activity, which I’ve talked about before.

4. Tea or coffee (or hot chocolate)?
teaearlgreyhot. I’ll take an herbal blend or green, if not, but I started drinking tea because of Star Trek, so teaearlgreyhot is what I’d prefer.

5. Have you ever traveled outside your country? Where?
This summer my dad took me the Spain on my first international trip. We went to Madrid and Barcelona, and it was fantastic getting a chance to enjoy the experience of being somewhere else and learning how much fun it was to come home. (You can always reread my recap for more info.)

6. How long have you been blogging? Is this your first blog?
I’ve been blogging a year today! And no, this is my second blog, if we don’t count the blog I made for a science project. Otherwise, third. Wandering in a Blur is fourth.

7. Where do you usually do most of your writing?
When I’m in between projects I like to write in a notebook in my room, otherwise I write almost exclusively at the computer here in the home office.

8. Of all the characters you've ever written, who is your favorite and why?
I don’t know. I don’t exactly have strong emotional connections with my own characters, and I assume that’s a shortcoming of my own writing. *shrugs*

9. Do you have any pets? Do you want any?
Other than Ferdinand, no, I have not had pets. No, I do not want pets.

10. What do you do when you're not writing?
Blog, go on Pinterest, do homework, go on Facebook, chat, read, sleep. Eat. Watch movies. Do homework (more).

11. Do you ever get writing inspiration from TV shows/movies?
Absolutely. I don’t have an example of a character or anything, but I will say this—if I go more than a week without watching a movie I find myself completely drained of my writing ability and I sort of go kabonk. So movies revitalize my writing life, and the very least.

12. Horror or thrillers, or neither of them, ever?
I don’t mind the occasional thriller. J

13. Was there ever a time you thought the movie was actually better than the book?
Um, How to Train Your Dragon is one example. That’s all I can think of right now.

14. What is your favorite holiday/special occasion and why?
I really do like Christmas. It’s kind of a sparkly time of the year. And within my community, we have extra opportunity to be nice to one another.

15. Would you rather BE a dragon, or HAVE a dragon?
I am reading Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance right now and I would really rather have a dragon because I like me the way I am, and I am really more of a velociraptor or a praying mantis than a dragon.

And now, these age-old questions; Which is better: Pirates or ninjas? Ninjas or Jedi? And why?
They go in this order: Jedi :: Pirates :: Ninjas. It’s hard to explain why but I feel like in terms of the movies I have watched and the feelings I maintain about moral ambiguity I believe that this is the perfect order in which ambiguity can be created. I hope that makes sense…

And, my fifteen questions:

Who is your favorite author?
If you could meet three people (dead, alive, fictional, etc.) who would you meet?
Have you ever written a book?
What are your top five favorite blogs?
Would you rather read an eBook or a paper book?
Do you spend more time reading or writing?
Has a book ever made you cry?
Have you ever read a book in another language (other than your mother tongue)?
What is your least favorite fairy tale?
Have you ever broken a bone?
Do you see yourself blogging in the future?
Who used to read you books when you were little?
Do you belong to any fandoms?
How many books are you reading right now? What are they?
To whom do you recommend your favorite books?

with thanks to Wild Horse

The Rules:
  Thank the person who nominated you.
Leave a link to their page.
Give a brief story about how you started blogging, and share some tips.
Nominate 15 other bloggers
Notify your nominees by email or comment

Here’s the fun part, I suppose. How, a year ago today, this place came to be.
I was torn. On the one hand, I had been introduced to blogs like Writing Forward and An Infinite Mind, the latter of which I was especially jealous. In June 2013 I was especially antsy, surreptitiously asking whether it was worth it, whether I should, whether I shouldn’t.
So I pestered a friend of mine, ILikeSpoons. She started her own blog, and I continued to hesitate. “I’ll just write blog posts in a notebook every day,” I said. Because I wanted the practice. And if a writer needs anything, it’s practice.
And I wanted to and I didn’t. There’s a lot of pressure for writers to blog. If you aren’t a blogger than you’re not a writer, some say. You need to build a platform, you need to share your ideas, you need to learn to be consistent and you need to need to need to blog.
So I did. It was called Stuck Inside My Head, and I had a grand total of five posts before I gave up. Huge chunks of words, little voice, no apparent theme. I did nothing to advertise, nothing to reach out to other bloggers, and nothing to improve my style. I was alone. And so I gave up. Blog deleted. The end.
Fast forward to November. 
I was still really, really, really plagued with this idea of blogging. That it was a good idea, that I could gain an audience, that it was worth it, that I should. I relied on ILikeSpoons a lot—I’ve bugged her more than she deserves for failing to act on my dreams.
I ran into a new blog: Go Teen Writers. I was really impressed with the style, I found it helpful for my writing needs, and there was a Facebook group. I joined. And I have to admit, I was MISERABLE. I’m here with a pathetic writing life who is just trying to figure out who she is and what she wants and I’m surrounded by a bunch of thirteen-year-olds who have written seventeen manuscripts and are getting book deals and people who are self-publishing and blogging and being famous and I’m just sitting there like, @#$%&!.
It took me a long time to realize that most of the people on that group are just starting out, too.
Blogging kept bugging me. And I was like, screw it. Fine. I’ll do it. And I did.
It kind of sucked. It took eight months for me to get a comment from someone I hadn’t asked to do so. As I said last week, successful blogging really depends on a reciprocal relationship—and I was blogging alone. 
It was still miserable, and worse, blogging felt like a waste of time.
Which is why May is a postless month.
Fortunately, I signed up for the August Teens Can Write Too! Blog Chain this year… I think that’s where I started realizing the importance of community. I was so excited to not only have people look at my stuff but to see other people doing the exact same thing. Discussion. Words. Thoughts. It’s one of the things that kept me going.
I hobble along still. I honestly hate sharing my own work. I haven’t told my parents I blog—there’s nothing on here I’d be uncomfortable with them reading, I would just feel embarrassed drawing attention to myself.
And I’m still figuring it out. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s miserable, sometimes it’s fun. But I need the practice, and so I practice.

(Now, do keep in mind that I don’t hate blogging. If I’m completely miserable then I will stop doing something. But, I also think it’s important to remember that sometimes “fun” things are hard, and I didn’t realize how much work a blog takes to really take off. I like this place! But remember, these posts don’t show up magically. And that makes a year’s worth of this stuff a marvel in itself.)
If you want to try your hand at blogging, remember a few things: unless you reach out, no one will reach back; quit for good reasons, not emotional ones; if you want to blog, just start the dang blog and be done with it; find out what are realistic expectations for yourself, and then challenge yourself a notch above. And no matter what, remember that even things people do “for fun” require skill, persistence, and struggles—which is a liberating thought, since there are very few things I find fun 100% of the time.

I am by no means a sage, but that’s what I’ve got.

That was long, and it’s about to get longer, due to nominees. I don’t think I know fifteen bloggers, and I may have to tag the people who tagged me to get a decent number, but here are a few of the coolest folks I know. I don’t think everyone here has been tagged for all three, so pick and choose, do what you want. I dare you.

  1. Mariella
  2. Wild Horse
  3. Rachel
  4. Imogen Elvis
  5. R.R.
  6. Alyssa
  7. Lily
  8. Stephanie
  9. Aimee


  1. Thank you!

    And one year!! Yay!! :D *throws confetti* I bring you virtual pie and cake and ice cream and we should parrrrtttty ;)

    1. ;) Of course.

      PARTY PARTY PARTY! PARTY PARTY PARTY! Thank you for the cake, because I cannot cook and so it is great to have friends who bring the goodies. :D

  2. Happy Blogaversary! Happyhappyhappy! (Sorry, got a bit carried away.) I'll bring the pizza and lemonade, okay?

    And thanks so much for nominating me for these awards; I'm so flattered I'm flailing! Can't wait to answer all these questions :)

    1. Thankyouthankyouthankyou! :D Pizza! Lemonade! Great things!

      And you're welcome. :) I look forward to reading your answers!

  3. Happy Blogoversary! I can't wait for my blogoversary, which is in May. I love the storyboard that you have in your room; I should make one of those for myself because they look so useful.

    1. Thanks! I hope you have fun reaching yours—just seven more months, yes? And YES the storyboard is super useful. Having somewhere to track plot and initiation changes is superb for me. :)

  4. Happy Blogaversary! *throws confetti and brings cake* I've got a long way to go before I hit that milestone, and with where I am already it's truly an achievement to have pulled through for a whole year, so congrats!

    1. Gracias! But all the same, I'm sure you can reach it with plenty of persistence. Thanks again and buena suerte for yourself! ;)

  5. Oh my gosh! I never even commented on this. Shame on me. :P I LOVE YOUR ANSWERS!! and thanks for nominating me for the other two, that's the reason I'm back at this post in the first place; I needed to copy and paste the pics and rules. XD btw, teaearlgreyhot GIRL YOU ARE MY FANGIRL NERD SISTER CAN I JUST GIVE YOU A VIRTUAL HUG RIGHT NOW. Or whenever you get this comment. XD

    1. XD It's okay. Thanks for checking back, and I'm pumped to see your answers! YES MAY WE FOREVER COMMUNE OVER TEAEARLGREYHOT. *VIRTUAL HUGS* :D Thanks for stopping by again. :D

      (And ya know... it's been about twenty minutes. But ya know.)


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