The Sunshine Blogger Award

I would like to thank Meredith from over at The Wayfaring Bibliomaniac for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I really do appreciate these awards, so thank you, Meredith!

What is it?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award for bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring – people who spread “sunshine” to the blogging world!

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog.

Meredith’s 11 Questions:

1. What is your favourite fandom?

There is no competition here. My favourite fandom has always been, and will always be, Harry Potter. It’s what I grew up with, and it’s what I love

2. Least favourite genre?

Huh, interesting question. People always seem to ask which genres you love, but never which ones you don’t. I suppose I’ll have to say non-fiction; don’t get me wrong, I can understand the need for non-fiction books, but for me, personally, I just think that if I’m going to read a book, then I want to escape to another world. I don’t want to learn about gardening tips.

3. How many books are on your TBR this month?

My realistic reading goal for this month is five books: DraculaMy Mother’s SecretThe Coral IslandThe Pharmacist’s Wife and Frankenstein. You can read more about these books here. At the same time, though, I’m planning on listening to a lot more audiobooks, including a few new fantasy reads.

4. What is your favourite time of day to read?

My reading habits probably vary quite a lot, but I’d generally say that I prefer to read in the evenings. That’s when I’m reading a book for pleasure, anyway. When I’m studying a book, I often find it easier to read in the day, which leads nicely onto the next question.

5. When are you most creative?

I am most creative in the mornings! If I start my day nice and early and begin work early, then I know that I will get a lot done that day. I do most of my writing in the mornings (I sometimes even draft some of my stories whilst still in bed, some inspiration having hit me in the night).

6. Which authors are on your auto-buy list?

Woah, woah, woah. I do not have an auto-buy list. I am a student currently trying to afford driving lessons. I do not need an auto-buy list and I do not want an auto-buy list; that sounds like a very dangerous game.

7. If you could recommend a travel destination, where would it be and why?

I am the opposite of well travelled, so I don’t really have much to suggest here. I always liked the idea of a nature holiday, where technology is banned for the week. I think I would cope fairly well, although it would certainly be a change!

8. What was your favourite trip ever?

When I was younger, my family would always go on holidays to Center Parcs. One time, we went to a park called Elvedon, and it was absolutely incredible! I saw rabbits and squirrels, and, even more excitingly, there were deer! It really was an amazing experience.

9. What’s your favourite review that you’ve ever written?

I’m quite proud of my review for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I absolutely loved the book and finished it in one day, so it was an easy review to write. The words just seemed to keep coming, and I was able to use the original illustrations to post alongside the review.

10. Who are your top 3 go-to bloggers when you want recommendations?

This is really hard because I follow a lot of book blogs who all post some wonderful recommendations. The below bloggers probably have the most similar taste in books to me, hence the mentions!

  1. Book Geeks Uncompromised.
  2. Misty’s Book Space.
  3. The Belgian Reviewer.

11. Who would you most like to meet (living or dead; fictional or real)? Why?

Well, as I’m allowed fictional characters, let me circle back to the first question. I would like to meet Hermione Granger; as a huge Potter nerd, she was my inspiration when I was growing up and I would dress up as her ALL the time.

My Nominations:

  1. Book Geeks Uncompromised.
  2. Misty’s Book Space.
  3. The Belgian Reviewer.
  4. Tales from the Mind of Kristian.
  5. The Haunted Wordsmith.
  6. Abelia May.
  7. Rambling Writer.
  8. Dorinda Duclos.
  9. The Bookish Pisces.
  10. The Girl of Ink and Paper.
  11. Yinglan.

To my nominees: there is absolutely no obligation to take part in this award if you do not want to. If nothing else, just see it as an appreciation of your wonderful work! To everyone else: if you’re reading this post and want to take part in this award, then consider yourself nominated.

My 11 Questions:

If you want to take part in this award, here are the 11 questions you can answer:

  1. Do you have a favourite word? If so, what is it? (This is a question that I’ve started to ask a lot; I can’t help it – I love words!).
  2. Have you ever read a book, cover to cover, in one day?
  3. Do you believe in judging a book by its cover?
  4. Do you have a favourite book? (It’s a big question, I know.)
  5. Do you believe that aspiring writers should read as much as they can?
  6. What time of day do you do the most of your blogging?
  7. Is there one particular blog post that you’re really proud of? (Share a link to it – I’d love to read it if I haven’t already!)
  8. What is one thing that you have learnt since starting your blog?
  9. Do you keep to any kind of a blogging schedule?
  10. If you could send a message to your past self, what would you say?
  11. Do you have any regrets that you want to share?

Well, that’s it! Thank you for reading and thank you again to Meredith for my nomination! As I mentioned earlier, please feel free to join in with this award if you would like to – you don’t need to be nominated.

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The Liebster Award

Thank you so much to the very kind Sweeter than Nothing and Tales from the Mind of Kristian for nominating me for The Liebster Award. It’s so lovely to think that my work is being appreciated by other bloggers! Please do check out their lovely work!

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Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or “gadget” (note: the best way to do this is to save the image to your computer, and then upload it to your blog post).
  3. Answer eleven questions about yourself (from the person who nominated you).
  4. Nominate five to eleven bloggers that you feel deserve the award, and who have fewer than 1000 followers.
  5. Write a new list of questions for your nominees to answer.
  6. Inform the people/blogs that you have nominated them for the Liebster award and provide them with a link to your post.

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an opportunity for bloggers to recognise and support other bloggers for their achievements. It’s available between January 1 and December 31, 2018. All nominations are voluntary and geared towards blogs with 1000 readers or less.

Sweeter than Nothing’s 11 Questions:

I have answered Sweeter than Nothing’s questions rather than those from Tales from the Mind of Kristian simply because Sweeter than Nothing was the first to nominate me.

1. What mythological creature would you have as a pet? Why?

There’s no competition here really; who wouldn’t want a pet who could send secret messages for you, heal your injuries and fly you around the sky with very little effort? Oh, and it’s reborn from its ashes, too. I’m thinking, of course, of the infamous pheonix. This fire-bird has existed in mythology for a long time, but if I could have any specific pet, then I would choose Fawkes from the Harry Potter franchise.

2. What is the silliest thing you’ve ever done?

This is a hard question because I seem to have deleted most of my silly mistakes from my memory; clearly, they were too mortifying for me to want to remember them. I’d probably have to say that the silliest thing that I have ever done was getting stung by a jellyfish. I had seen children picking jellyfish from the beach all day, but I hadn’t really registered the fact that there would still be some in the water. I was only a child, but I certainly did feel silly on the way to A&E!

3. What is the strangest dream you’ve ever had?

Perhaps it’s something to do with my over-active imagination, but I only ever seem to have strange dreams. I rarely even feature as characters in them; it is as though I am watching a scene from a play. The most memorable time that this happened, there was an old woman ill in bed and a man was knocking at her front door. She yelled to a younger woman (I have no idea who she was) to let him in. She kept yelling, over and over again, but as she yelled, her voice grew strangely hoarse and rather terrifying.

The younger woman let the man inside and they both ran upstairs. There, instead of the old woman lying under her covers, was a skeleton, bright white and shining. From under her pillow, crawled a spider, and from somewhere within my dream-clogged mind, I named it the ‘old age bug’ as it had caused the woman to age so much that she had become a skeleton. Think what you will; my imagination can be a very strange place.

4. If you were queen of your own country, what would your first royal decree be?

I’d probably be quite radical; firstly, I’d make it a law that tuition fees could not exceed £3000 per year (£9250 is far too much to pay for a term and a half of university)! Then I’d probably put someone else in charge: someone who knows what they’re doing!

5. Given unlimited money, what would you spend your days doing?

Writing! If I had unlimited money, would be doing a whole lot of writing and not have to worry about anything else. I’d probably also be living in the country somewhere, cut off from the rest of the world, and would be able to visit all of those countries that I am yet to see (Italy is at the very top of my list).

6. What inanimate object do you think has the best life?

What a wonderful question! It seems as though we abuse most of our possessions, from books to smartphones. Perhaps it would be something quirky, such as a torch. It’s always there, right in the midst of the action, but is rarely used.

7. Where is your favourite place in the whole world?

I think I’m yet to find my favourite place. In terms of fictional favourite places, it’s got to be the library in Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast. I love the idea of rolling ladders leading to different layers of books, but whenever I have seen any places like this in the real world, they’re always full of people.

8. If you could only eat one ice cream flavour for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Controversial though this may seem, I have never tried any flavour of ice cream. I suffer from some serious circulation issues which means that, even when it is boiling hot outside, I can feel freezing. The thought of putting anything even colder into my body seems rather nonsensical, so I’d be happy with nothing.

9. What is your favourite dinosaur?

I mean… I’ve never actually met any…

Seriously, though, when I was a child, my favourite type of dinosaur always used to be the triceratops. It’s a classic, I know, but they’re just such wonderful creatures – powerful, but at the same time, strangely lovable.

10. If you could ask one question of anyone, living or dead, who and what would it be?

I would probably feel the need to talk to Shakespeare, although I’m not quite sure what I would ask him. Perhaps I would tell him that he is the most well-known writer of all time, even four hundred years after his death. Then, I would ask him how he feels.

11. Is it okay that I HAD to give 11 questions, even though it’s kinda long and I didn’t get 11 because the rules say to ask 11 and the obsessive/ compulsive traits I have are going crazy right now?

Yes. Yes, it is very much okay with me. Eleven is a massive number when you really think about it, especially when you are having to talk about yourself!

Questions for my Nominees:

  1. If could choose to live in any place (real or fictional), where would it be?
  2. If you could change lives with any person (real or fictional), who would it be?
  3. Do you have a favourite smell? What is it?
  4. Would you rather live in the country, or in the city?
  5. Are you more of a hot-weather person, or a cold-weather person?
  6. What was your greatest childhood fear?
  7. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
  8. What’s your favourite book of all time?
  9. Do you have a favourite word? If so, what is it?
  10. What made you decide to start a blog?
  11. Do you have any advice for fellow bloggers?

My Nominees:

  1. Tidbits.
  2. Fingers to Sky.
  3. The Ceaseless Reader Writes.
  4. Curious Hart.
  5. Diary of a Bookfiend.
  6. Madame Writer.

Thanks for reading!

To my nominees: as always, there is no obligation to take part in this challenge – if nothing else, just see it as an appreciation of your work!

The Mystery Blogger Award

It’s been a little while since I have been nominated for a blog award, so I was absolutely delighted when I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Tales from the mind of Kristian. Please do check out Kristian’s blog; he posts a wonderful range of posts that are always worth a read. His blog is still quite new, but he’s come so far already!

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Rules:

  1. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  3. Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
  4. Nominate 10-20 bloggers who you feel deserve the award.
  5. Ask your nominees five questions of your choice (with one weird or funny one).
  6. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“This is an award for amazing bloggers with indigenous posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma.

Three Things About Me:

  1. I like words. It sounds generic, but it’s honestly a good way of describing myself. Whether I’m writing them or reading them, I like the way that words sound. They can make people feel all sorts of different emotions, and distract them from what is, let’s be honest, an inconveniently ordinary existence.
  2. I’m a self-professed Harry Potter lover. This series (the books, not the films) was basically my childhood, and I still listen to their audiobook versions (read by the wonderful Stephen Fry) on an embarrassingly regular basis.
  3. I’m currently at university studying towards an English degree (with my exams coming up in only a few, short weeks!).

Questions set by Kristian:

1. What has been the most unexpected result of blogging for you?

That’s a tricky question. I suppose that the most obvious answer is how blogging has actually encouraged my writing. I thought that maintaining a blog would merely allow me to reach out to people and receive some comments for my work, but I’ve also found that it makes me want to write regularly. This is particularly true for my serial-based stories because I cannot simply abandon them halfway through. I’m posting instalments as I go, which means that I have to follow the story through to the end!

2. When they set up a new city on Mars would you choose to stay on Earth or move to Mars?

Personally, I’d want to stay exactly where I am. Well, maybe not exactly, but you know what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, I love adventure, but Mars is a little too far for me, especially when I could read all about it from the comfort of my own home!

3. Ideally, would you prefer to live in a city, in the country, or in the Suburbs?

I’m a country gal. I’ve lived in small towns all my life, but even they can seem a little too crowded from time to time. I feel most at home when I’m surrounded by nature, wandering around in the middle of nowhere (preferably with a good pen and decent pad of paper).

4. What was the last book you picked up?

I’m currently reading a book called Perfect Match by D. B. Thorne. It’s part of the Readers First programme that I recently signed up to. So far, it has proven to be pretty interesting, so I’ll be sure to write a review as soon as I have finished (which, with my exams coming up, might not be for a fair while).

5. What would you say your least attractive personality trait is?

Okay, so sometimes when I’m writing an essay or piece of fiction, or even reading a book or watching the T.V., I get a little too into it, which, in itself is fine, but it means that I’m not keen on doing anything else. There’s washing up in the sink? Okay, just let me get to the end of this chapter. I need to go shopping? I’m making good progress here, though; surely we have enough food already?

Questions for My Nominees:

  1. I’m going to start with a weird one. So, if you had to choose a favourite word, what would it be? You don’t even need to explain why you like it if you don’t feel the need to – simply, what is your favourite word?
  2. Are there any ethical issues that you feel particularly strongly about?
  3. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now (completely free of charge), where would you choose?
  4. Do you have a favourite modern author? By “modern”, let’s say from the 1950s onwards (I’m an English student, so anything after this time is modern in my mind).
  5. Is anything bothering you? (I know, it’s vague, but it’s a question). This can be personal, political, or whatever you like – what’s on your mind?

My Nominees:

Some of these blogs are pretty new, whilst others are much older. Regardless, though, they’re all blogs that I very much enjoy reading. I apologise now if any of my nominees are “award-free”, but remember that there is no obligation to take part in this award. If nothing else, it’s nice to be nominated. So, here’s my list of nominees:

  1. Kept by Christ
  2. Misty’s Book Space
  3. Floating Thoughts
  4. Sliver of Darkness
  5. Andy Maudling: Written Word
  6. That’s What She Read
  7. Zezee with Books
  8. All of the Questions
  9. Writing on a Variety of Topics
  10. Moonlit Pieces
  11. Myths of the Mirror
  12. Swerve Strikes Back

Thanks for reading, and good luck to my nominees!

The Versatile Blogger Award

On the same day as I posted my last blog awardSoul Connection nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award! Whilst I was very pleased, I thought that it would be too soon for me to post about another award, so I decided to leave it a while. Nevertheless, I need to thank Soul Connection for this nomination! It’s so nice to feel appreciated in this way!versatile

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Nominate up to 15 bloggers for this award.
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Put the logo of Versatile Blogger in your post and display the rules.

Facts about Me:

  1. I absolutely adore nature. I consider myself – not an activist exactly – but I want to help animals and the environment. I hope, in the future, I can help our world as I can.
  2. I prefer writing to reading. I’ve always felt bad admitting this, particularly as I’m taking an English Literature course, not a Creative Writing course, but, even though I like books and I appreciate other writers’ works, writing will always be my true passion.
  3. I’m a bit of a Potterhead. I can’t remember how old I was when I saw the first film, but I remember that I was pretty young when I got hooked on the books. Even now, I listen to their audiobooks (read by Stephen Fry – I can thoroughly recommend them) to relax.
  4. I’m still not very sure about what I want to do in the future. As an undergrad, it’s about time that I started making some big decisions, but I’m struggling a fair bit if I’m honest.
  5. I have a tendency towards misanthropy (in other words, I sometimes view the human race pretty darkly. Philosophy taught me that we may only do good deeds out of our own need to survive, and, considering some of the evil things in the world, it’s not hard to judge our species).
  6. Having never really lived in a big city, I definitely prefer the countryside – I went to London a few months ago and hated every second of it; it was all noise and people, like there wasn’t enough space to breathe.
  7. I’m probably going to start a new blog section soon – more non-fiction based about either philosophy or Ancient Greece/Rome – let me know if you’ve got any ideas/advice for me!

This is the part where I’m supposed to nominate some new blogs for the award, but I’m going to have to pass on that this time. It just hasn’t been long enough since my last lot of nominations, and I know that a lot of people that I interact with are “award-free”, so I’m just going to leave you with this: anyone who reads this post and would like to receive the award, consider yourself nominated!

Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Soul Connection for the nomination! I really appreciate it.

Unique Blogger Award

I need to thank Vivid Tales for nominating me for my second ever blog award! It’s so nice to feel appreciated by other bloggers; it really gives a confidence boost, as well as prompting that nice, warm feeling that I’m sure we all know and love. Please do check out this blog – Abhi is a great writer and always manages to evoke those most powerful emotions.

Unique Blogger Award

Rules:

  1. Link to the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  2. Answer the questions you are given.
  3. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  4. Ask the people you nominate 3 new questions.

My Questions:

Here are the questions that I was asked; I must say, I struggled a little on the last one!

Q: As a writer, what is more satisfying to you (reader’s traffic, likes, comments, personal connection) and how will you define success as a writer?

A: I write because it’s what I like doing. It’s a hobby and it’s a way of expressing myself, so, of course I’m not going to say that likes and comments don’t make me happy. I want people to read my work and it encourages me when they give feedback. At the same time, though, I only like that; the response and interaction with others doesn’t actually affect my writing, and I wouldn’t stop just because my ratings dropped. I’d therefore have to say that the actual process of writing in itself is the most satisfying – whilst I like reading other people’s works and having them read mine, that’s not what really matters to me.

Q: Personally, deep inside your heart, what is your current state of mind and what things are you seeking in order to be happy – career, money, fame, love, etc.?

A: I’ve just moved into my first flat before I start my second year of uni, so, honestly, my current state of mind is pretty relaxed. It was pretty chaotic. I didn’t know whether I was ready for all the ‘adult’ things that come with renting a flat, such as paying bills and buying fridges and washing machines. Things are going pretty well, though. The flat hasn’t burnt down and things are getting sorted. It’s really encouraging, so, for the moment, I think all that I want, is for things to keep going as they are. I’ll hold off a while before I start thinking about any more big goals, I think.

Q: How wild and rebellious are you? Tell the readers some taboo-breaking experience of yours.

A: Well, I generally consider myself quite a good girl. I was always one to do my homework on time etc., so I haven’t really got any exciting ‘bad girl’ experiences to tell. I suppose the most rebellious, if we’re talking about doing something that is outside social convention, would be to move in with my boyfriend, even though we go to uni in different cities. I know people think it’s a little strange, and I certainly didn’t see it coming, but, I’m going to be honest… our flat is much nicer than student housing!

Your Questions:

So now I need to give my nominees three new questions. Here we go!

  1. Can you remember the first story you ever wrote? Can you remember what triggered it/influenced it? Or are you more like me – writing so much that you can’t remember that far back?
  2. Why do you write online, opposed to keeping your writing to yourself? I only ask because I used to be very private about my writing. I didn’t have the courage to show anyone because I was too scared that they’d criticise it. Was it the same for you?
  3. Which one of these do you think is the more powerful – a sad story that makes the tears flow, or a story that fills you with confidence and determination? I think it’s interesting; obviously both are powerful, because they affect us so much, but which does so more?

My Nominees:

Finally, if you’re looking for a new blog to follow, whether they’re a beginner or old-timer, these are the blogs that I highly recommend you check out! They all possess a unique quality of writing that is really quite admirable.

  1. Sweeter than Nothing.
  2. Soul Connection.
  3. Flip Flops Every Day.
  4. Ramblings of a Writer.
  5. Behind the White Coat.
  6. Neel Writes Blog.
  7. L.E.R.T.
  8. Jessica Bakkers.

One Lovely Blog Award

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I would like to thank Elsie Hagley for nominating me for my first ever blog award! If you haven’t checked out her blog before, please do so; she publishes a truly amazing range of posts, including weekly challenges, recipes and poems! This is a blog that I’ve followed for a good long while now and I always enjoy reading Elsie’s posts.

Rules:

  1. Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link to their blog.
  2. They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
  3. They must add seven facts about themselves.
  4. They should nominate fifteen people to do the award!

Seven Facts about Me:

  1. I’m currently in attendance at the University of Exeter, studying towards a degree in English Literature.
  2. My first ever story, written when I was five, was called “Lucy and the 100 cows”.
  3. I’m very passionate about animal welfare and have been a pescatarian for fourteen years now (this means that I eat fish but not meat).
  4. I am the proud owner of two cats, Margo and Mitch, and absolutely adore them! If you check out my Instagram page, you might see an occasional picture of them popping up from time to time.
  5. One of my favourite things to do is simply to go for a long walk in the middle of nowhere; the more lost I get, the better!
  6. I have quite a bad allergy to egg and so can’t eat most of the desserts/bakery products that are out there! If nothing else, this keeps me healthy.
  7. Some people love Marmite and some people hate it, but as for me, I’ve never even tried it!

My Nominees:

If you’re looking for a new blog to follow, whether they’re a beginner or old-timer, these are the blogs that I highly recommend you check out!

  1. Sammi’sScribbles
  2. WillowDot21
  3. TheDarkestFairytale
  4. JaneDoughertyWrites
  5. SueVincent’sDailyEcho
  6. Ladyleemanila
  7. ThisIsAnotherStory
  8. CatchAFallingStar
  9. IainKelly
  10. AReadingWriter
  11. InsideTheMindofDavyD
  12. Journey
  13. MomusNews
  14. Writer’sBlog
  15. VictoriaKGallagher

There is absolutely no obligation for my nominees to complete a post for the “One Lovely Blog Award”; if nothing else, please see my nomination as my recognition of your wonderful posts! 🙂

And the Winner of The Six Word Story Challenge is…

This six word story challenge is easy to enter and great fun to participate in; it enables writers to use their imagination and interact with one another to compare their ideas. This week, I am delighted to announce that I am the winner of this challenge, having completed my six words inspired by the prompt, “mercy”.

My winning six words were: “knees buckle, eyes close tight: please“.

Read more about the competition below! Thanks for reading!