Muse in Pocket, Pen in Hand · Novel · PhD · Reflection

Mystery Blogger Award & Other News

Hooray it’s finally spring! In London that means a week of glorious sunshine and blossoming trees…and then clouds and rain and hail for about two months. But hey at least things are blooming now!

Wisteria at Hampton Court April 2017

I’ve also FINALLY completed and submitted the final version of my PhD thesis. It was a long process, but it’s so satisfying to see it printed and on my shelf. Huzzah!

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Isn’t it purdy?

I’ve also just done another round of edits on HONORS, and I’m pretty happy with how it’s polishing up. I’d like to shave another few thousand words off, but I’ll save that for the next round. I’m also making (slow) progress with THE DEVIL’S BELT, although I’m still working through the exact pacing of the plot and character arcs.

We’re still cruising along over at Muse in Pocket, Pen in Hand as well, and we’ve got lots of new ideas for content coming up (like venturing into poetry, perhaps? Or interpretive dance?). Joyce just posted some very inspirational bits and bobs from two of our favorite authors: Maggie Stiefvater and Laini Taylor, so do check that out. Here’s my story for our latest prompt, but if you haven’t read Nicole’s (that twist at the end!), Joyce’s (holy ultimatum!) or Becky’s (so many feels), please do. Next month’s prompt is going to be quite a shift in tone, but I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, we love getting your feedback!

And finally, I’m very excited to have been nominated by Nicole – my writer twin and fellow Muse – for the Mystery Blogger Award, which is meant to help build connections between blogs that aren’t super well-known, and highlight those that are inspirational (aww shucks). It was created by Okoto Enigma, and involves some Q&A, so let’s dive in!

The guidelines are:

  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post

So my three fun facts:

  1. I used to perform in musicals and operettas, like Gilbert & Sullivan shows. I miss it, and someday want to get back into singing and performing.
  2. Salty, crunchy snacks are my downfall.
  3. I’m a very visual person so I love maps, monthly calendars, and anything color coded.

And now to answer Nicole’s questions:

  1. Favorite dragon of all time? I accept GIFs as an answer. Ok this is a tough one, because Smaug is the chiefest and greatest of calamities, but I mean, how can you resist Toothless?Pandawhale GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
  2. What is your best advice concerning finding balance in life? This is an eternal struggle, because no matter how much we like to plan (and color code) our days, life will always find a way to surprise us. I guess the best advice I could give (because it’s worked for me before) is to go with the flow as much as possible, and always try to make time for who and what we love. Our jobs don’t have to be our entire lives, and shouldn’t be, I think. Our jobs are a way to help us live the life we want, and to make the most of the time that we’re not punching the clock. And that can mean just being in the moment and enjoying the little things, like a lazy night on the couch watching Netflix with your loved ones.
  3. Most underrated color and why? I’m going to go with green here, because who doesn’t love a sassy red, or a soothing blue, but I feel green gets a bit neglected. It’s the color of those first few leaves on the trees in spring, or that crisp head of lettuce you’ve just washed and chopped. It’s that fresh, earthy tone that signals new life and growth. It can be bright and limey, or dark and piney, but either way I love a good green. (Side note: hello unintentional rhyme…)
  4. What’s the question you’ve always wished you were asked on one of these things? And what’s the answer? If you could live forever, would you? And I would answer, no. Life is love, and relationships, and passion and sadness and joy. You can’t have that when you’re all alone, at the ending of the world. (Assuming you’d be the only immortal person in the universe…Oooh story prompt anyone?) Death is terrifying, and heart-breaking, but it’s what gives life meaning, and urgency, and beauty.
  5. How do you create happiness for yourself? How would you encourage others to do so? I love this question because it immediately assumes that we create our own happiness, it doesn’t just come to us. This is really hard to come to terms with, but it’s so true. I create my own happiness by trying to make the most of each day, and trying to find meaning in what I’m doing. Some days this is nearly impossible, but those are the days we have to try even harder to make our own happiness, or find it. To be more specific, I write and read whenever I can, because they are my passions. I unwind by watching silly videos online, and television shows and films with characters I love. I keep in touch with family and friends back home in the states, and I spend time with my fiance. I would encourage others to find things that bring you joy, and try to do at least one of those things each day.
  6. Bonus: Cute puppy picture just for kicks? ALL THE PUPPIESThree Adorable Little Black Newfoundland Puppies chewing on a Toy, Aww!:

 

Nicole and I follow a lot of the same blogs, so I don’t want to make the same people she’s nominated do this twice (unless you’d like to!), so I think I’ll just ask some questions for anyone reading. I’d love to hear from you!

  1. What’s your favorite or go-to hobby at the moment?
  2. Have you seen a good film or TV show recently?
  3. If you’re a writer, what are you working on right now?
  4. If you’re a writer, are you a pantser or plotter?
  5. Are you a dog or cat person, and if you’re a cat person, why? (Just kidding…) Other possible options are: goat, salamander, or sass-talking parrot.

As for my ‘best’ post, that’s a bit subjective, but I guess I’d say my post from last spring, Parallels. I was reflecting on how things have a way of balancing or mirroring each other in life, as well as in my writing. This was a post that helped me work through some of my grief over losing my dad, and I’m still working through things, since last week was the five year anniversary of his death. I can’t believe it’s been five years, but this year will be one of the hardest because when I get married in August, he won’t be there to walk me down the aisle, or dance with my mom. I may be all the way over here in London, but I still feel his loss every single day, and I know that while my wedding will be a happy day, it will also be missing something without him.

But that blog post also helped me build friendships with other bloggers, especially Nicole and the other Muses, and late last year we formed our short story blog. So it looks like things have come full circle again, since Nicole inspired this post by nominating me. Hopefully by this time next year I’ll have even more adventures to write about!

That’s all for now, thanks so much for reading.

~M

3 thoughts on “Mystery Blogger Award & Other News

  1. Congratulations on submitting your PhD thesis – I hope you celebrated accordingly! Nice to learn a bit more about you, and I agree that green is an underrated colour. It’s my fave.
    Now for your questions.
    1. What’s your favorite or go-to hobby at the moment? Taking photos. It’s becoming an obsession.
    2. Have you seen a good film or TV show recently? I know it’s old but there are repeats of Malcolm In The Middle showing and it makes me laugh every time I see an episode. Such a good feeling.
    3. If you’re a writer, what are you working on right now? A new short story, around editing a novel draft and writing blog posts 😊.
    4. If you’re a writer, are you a pantser or plotter? Usually a pantser with occasional outbursts of plotting.
    5. Are you a dog or cat person, and if you’re a cat person, why? (Just kidding…) Other possible options are: goat, salamander, or sass-talking parrot. I have a wonderful dog, Buster, a very bossy red cattle dog who brightens my day and keeps me company when I write. He insists on regular walks which is great for coming up with more writing ideas … and photo opportunities.
    Thanks for asking!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! And I love your answers. Malcolm in the Middle is an oldie but goodie! And Buster sounds amazing!!! I’m definitely becoming more of a plotter at the moment, but I used to be a pantser, so I’m really interested in hearing about other writers’ techniques. (Although I still try to leave some room for ‘pantsing’ to keep it interesting) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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