Novel · Reflection

Liebster Award Part 2

Hello again! So the fabulous Joyce Chua has nominated me in the Liebster Award Q&A party, and I’m so thrilled she thought of me. It’s a great chance to get to know bloggers both familiar and new, and I’ve found a ton of new and amazing writers to follow.

(Nicole Evans also nominated me, so I answered her questions in Part 1. Thanks guys!)

lords-of-the-rings-hobbit-hugs

The rules are as follows:

  1. Answer 11 facts about yourself
  2. Answer 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you
  3. Nominate 11 more bloggers and give them new questions to answer

Joyce, in her blog post, also recommended a favorite blog, so I will too. I know I’ve gone on and on about him in other posts, but if you are not following Chuck Wendig’s blog Terribleminds, please do. His advice posts are always wise and hilarious, and I love his zany, bat-shit crazy writing style and sense of humor. Even if you’re not a writer, his listicles and rants and observations will cheer you up or give you a good laugh. They certainly have made me snort things up my nose with laughter, which maybe doesn’t sound so pleasant now that I think about it, but you know what I mean. He’s brilliantly wacky, and very sharp, and I really can’t recommend his blog enough. He also features new authors on the day their books are published, and lets them share five things they’ve learned while writing it, so those posts are always insightful too.

Now, on to the facts and questions!

1) I have a younger brother and an older sister, so I am very much a middle child. I dislike conflict, am really good at compromise, and can be very persuasive.

2) Related to that, I’m one of those people who zing back and forth between being extroverted and being introverted. I’m mostly an introvert, and desperately need my alone time after lots of social interaction, but I can fit in during a party or gathering as well. (V.E. Schwab, one of my fav authors, wrote a character like this, and I identify with him a lot. She called him a ‘social chameleon’, and I quite like that term.)(It was Prince Rhy by the way. Love him!)

3) One of my all-time favorite films is Kingdom of Heaven, but only the Director’s Cut. The theatrical version was a mess, so unfortunately the film flopped, but the extended version is absolutely brilliant. It’s got such depth, and the characters are so nuanced, and even though its set in the 1100’s during the Crusades, the themes are still relevant (or even more relevant) today. It’s long, but so worth it, and there are so many great actors in it. And if you watch it multiple times there is so much symbolism and beauty in the cinematography too. (Also Eva Green is in it, and she’s incredible, and my ultimate girl crush.)

kingdom-of-heaven-eva-green

4) I love blueberries. (Random, I know, but I wanted to keep this one short.)

5) My favorite season is Autumn, but Summer is a close second.

6) I speak a little Italian, and only a few words of Spanish, so I will always regret not taking more language courses when I was younger.

7) I prefer tea over coffee, but I like both.

8) I’ve always wanted to have red/ginger hair, but I’m too afraid to dye it. (I have long thick hair too, so it would be a bit expensive to ‘just try it’)

9) Places I’d love to travel to someday: New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Caribbean in general, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, and China. I’d love to do a big road trip across the USA too.

10) I accidentally attended the London premiere of The King’s Speech? Ok, so here’s what happened. I did a semester abroad here during college, and my program had discounted tickets to the London Film Festival. The King’s Speech was just another film listed among the festival offerings, so I signed up for tickets to it. I got one (and nowhere on it did it say anything about it being the premiere!), so when I got to the cinema, there I was, on the red carpet. I was completely flabbergasted. I sped down the red carpet, and pulled out a notebook and pretended to be a member of the press so I could hang out by the entrance and watch the stars arriving. I actually ended up meeting Benedict Cumberbatch too, because he was there (for some reason?), and I got his autograph. He’s very tall, and very nice, and I was a stammering mess. I’m still in shock that it all happened. (Boy, maybe I should have led with this story, huh?)

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11) Well I’m really struggling to think of things now. Er, I’m obsessed with Hans Zimmer film scores. I also love the acapella group Pentatonix, whose covers are actually better than the originals sometimes. (YEAH I SAID IT, OK?)

Now for Joyce’s questions:

  1. What is your strangest writing habit/routine?
    1. I won’t read anything similar to whatever I’m writing at that time. I’m afraid I might absorb something from it and accidentally/subconsciously copy something, and I don’t want to do that. So I try to read other genres or time periods from whatever it is that I’m writing.
  2. What is your biggest regret in life?
    1. Not spending more time with my dad, who I miss every day.
  3. What kind of music do you listen to, especially when you’re writing?
    1. Lots of film scores and video game soundtracks, because I visualize whatever scene I’m writing like it’s a movie, so the cinematic music helps me to ‘set the scene’, as it were. (One recommendation: The Witcher 3 soundtrack. It’s epic and spooky and thrilling and mysterious all at once.) I also try to find contemporary music whose lyrics or sound really fit the themes/plot of the story. I put all these songs into a playlist for each MS, and listen to it when I’m writing or brainstorming that story.
  4. What is one skill you have always wanted to learn?
    1. Like I said above, I’ve always wished I learned more languages growing up.
  5. Who’s your biggest writing inspiration?
    1. Probably Kate Mosse or Bernard Cornwell. Their books have always been hugely inspirational to me. I try to write in a way that combines what I love of their styles: atmospheric and heart-wrenching (Mosse), with intense action, attention to detail, and a wry sense of humor (Cornwell).
  6. What was your favorite book or series as a child?
    1. That’s a toss-up between Harry Potter, and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.
  7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
    1. Ooh that’s tough. I love London, so I’m quite happy with where I am, but my own private tropical island would also be nice.
  8. If you were stranded on a desert island with three books/series, what would they be? (“How to Build a Raft” and the like don’t count!)
    1. (Oh look an island! With books!  I’ll just live there then.) I’d have to say Lord of the Rings, but I also dearly love The Silmarillion, so I might try to sneak that one in too. The depth of the world that Tolkien created, and its mythology and languages and seemingly endless stories, would keep me occupied for a long time. (Until help came. Or until I decided the island was my new home.)
  9. What is your biggest fear?
    1. I have two: flying, and failure.

patrick-on-a-plane

  1. What is one author quote that you identify with the most? (It can be about writing per se or life in general.)
    1. I’m not sure who said it originally, but it’s “Write like you’re running out of time.” And it’s true. We won’t be around forever, but our stories might, if we’re lucky.
  2. What made you decide to be a writer and where do you see yourself in five years?
    1. I loved escaping into books when I was growing up (I still do), and I’d love to be able to give that gift of time travel or teleportation to someone else. I hope I can keep writing, and maybe, in five years, I’ll have an agent and be a published author.

Here are my questions:

  1. What’s your Hogwarts house? Or do you fit into more than one?
  2. If you could only pick one, what is your favorite film?
  3. Which planet in our solar system is your favorite? (Pluto and the mysterious Planet 9 are totally acceptable.)
  4. What is one of your pet peeves?
  5. What are you reading currently?
  6. What’s the best book you’ve read recently? Why?
  7. Have you read a book recently that you didn’t like or couldn’t finish? Why?
  8. If you could go back in time to any era or place, when and where would it be? (Without there being any significant consequences of course.) (Unless you wanted there to be….)
  9. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
  10. Who is your favorite artist? (Can be author/creative type, but I’m thinking more visual arts here.)
  11. What are you writing or working on right now?
  12. There is no number 12. Just testing you  😉

I nominate the following amazing people:

Bronwen Fleetwood

D.R. Sylvester

Jml297

Lindsay J Marsh

Jade M. Wong

-And Joyce and Nicole, but you can just do the questions part if you want  🙂

Thanks so much for nominating me Joyce, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

supernatural-castiel-confetti-parade

Thanks for reading!

~Meredith

7 thoughts on “Liebster Award Part 2

  1. And now it’s time for me to respond to these answers, because they are awesome and I have even more to say!

    1. I actually haven’t seen the director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven and now I really, really want to! I really enjoyed that film originally, so I bet that one is awesome! Have you ever seen King Arthur (with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley)? There is a version that they played on TV that had a scene I absolutely loved yet it isn’t included in the DVD version *or* the director’s cut. It’s the most messed up thing (great film, though)!

    2. I have also always wanted to try and dye it a deep red, but I have the same hair as you and have always been too scared! I have dyed it a black-brown before that I loved, but it is just too expensive to keep up (also, through the Liebster Award, I am convinced more and more that we might be the same person).

    3. All I want to do is visit New Zealand and move into a Hobbit hole until they kick me out. Let’s go together!

    4. I cannot believe you stumbled into that premiere and was able to just roll with it. You are so clever and I am just in awe of you right now.

    5. Hans Zimmer is the best. I also love the Witcher III score. There is a track on there from Arg Skellig that I actually totally want to incorporate into my wedding one day! (And I’m not even kidding.)

    6. THE SILMARILLION. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. Ok I’m sorry I’m so ridiculously late in answering but I was so excited by your replies!
      1. YES you must watch it! It’s a completely different film, it just gives the characters so much more backstory. It’s amazing. I have it here, we could totally watch it when you come to London! 🙂 And King Arthur is seriously one of my favorite films. (So many feels…) I think it’s very underrated. But also, it might have the same problem that Kingdom of Heaven had, where there are several versions, and unfortunately the best one wasn’t widely seen? Wait what’s the scene you mentioned? I remember watching the unrated version and thinking it was better, but I can’t remember any major scene differences (although it’s been a while since I’ve seen it…).
      2. Ok, someday when we’re both on the NY Times list, and can afford to, let’s dye our hair gorgeous shades of red 😛 Deal? Deal.
      3. YES PLEASE. Let’s go. (Especially now that the US is being flushed down the toilet…)
      4. The premiere was surreal. I doubt I’m in any of the backgrounds of the press photos, but if I am, I must look like a deer caught in headlights…
      5. Yes, it’s decided, we are basically the same person. (Yay birthday twins!) Which track from Ard Skellig?? They’re all amazing though, so that would be absolutely beautiful….Hmm maybe I’ll take a page from your book and use some Witcher music in my wedding 😛 Maybe the opening track for when we charge into the reception haha
      6. ❤ The Silmarillion has gotten me through most of the dark times in my life. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

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      1. *waves off your apology, as it is unnecessary*

        1. Ohhh, sign me up. Seriously, when my Mom and I come to visit, I would love to meet up. Please, please, please. Gosh, I have to remember that scene, too. It’s the one where they are in camp and they make a joke, I think, featuring Gawain. It’s a very small scene, but it was my favorite one (also been a while since I’ve seen it), but it strangely isn’t in any version I can find, only ones I stumble upon. Now, it makes me wonder how many films have such varied versions and I never realized!

        2. Ohmygosh, I can’t actual express my excitement when you suggested it. I hope you were serious, because I’m game.

        3. *starts packing bags*

        4. I’m still floored. You’re practically a celebrity.

        5. Oh man, I have to find it. Dang it, why did I mention all these things to you and then not realize I had them readily available for when you were like, “Yes, tell me more about that?” I love that you said “charge into the reception.” I really hope that happens. Now I just have to find a man who is willing to let me use video game scores in our wedding and I’ll know I’ve found the one. 😛 I’m searching for this track and I am going to get it to you somehow. I won’t forget.

        6. I seriously need to reread it. I’ve only read it ONCE, when I was a kid. *ashamed*

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  2. A great post – I loved the story about the movie premiere! And I can relate to your comments about not reading anything similar to what you are currently writing (I also fear the strong chance of osmosis) and to listening to soundtracks as you write. This is one of my favourite things when I’m trying to focus, and I also make playlists for larger projects. Snap! Thank you too for the nomination, you made my day
    🌟🌟🌟
    🌟

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