Liebster Award

I was recently tagged for the Liebster Award by Nick Wilford. Thanks, Nick! I’m always up for a good game of blogging tag… particularly as it means I get a “free” day in which I don’t have to come up with idea for what to write about! And, as I’m still furiously working on Minstrel’s Call AND Arda Academy is starting back up today, I thought a nice tag would be a good way to ease us back into the school year!
The rules for this game/award are simple:
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers and ask 11 of your own questions

On to the questions!

1. If you were to write a historical novel, which time period would you pick and why?
I would probably pick the middle ages or the some time  during the age of exploration…. possibly even as late as the late 1800s.
The middle ages, of course, so that I could write about princesses and knights and castles… and possibly throw in a dragon or two… or at least reference someone THINKING there might be a dragon. But then, the age of exploration is just fascinating. I think I would enjoy writing about one of the polar expeditions or telling a story from the perspective of a crew member getting on a ship and sailing off into uncharted waters in search of “whatever might lie beyond.”
2. Have you ever taken a creative writing class and what did you learn? If not, would you consider it?
I have taken several creative writing classes. I learned a lot in them about free-writing, structure, taking into consideration the sounds in words and how they go together to create a mood or emotion in the reader. I learned about story structure and using imagery. I learned about tightening up my writing and keeping it shorter. I learned about how to use narrative to move the story along and paint the setting for the reader. I also learned that there are certain types of writing projects that I do not enjoy.
3. Describe one thing from your everyday life that inspires you.
My children. Their sense of wonder at each new discovery, the way they talk and process things, the funny things they say… they constantly inspire me.
4. What’s your social media outlet of choice and why do you enjoy it?
This blog is my favorite. I enjoy it because it lets me write short things that I can finish in less than an hour. I enjoy interacting with you, dear Reader, in the comments. I enjoy discussing favorite movies and books with people who share similar preferences.
5. What’s the maddest thing you’ve done when researching a story?
Um… I’m pretty boring. I don’t typically DO a lot of things to actively research a story. I think probably the only thing I’ve done for the purposes of research is spent a bunch of time outside during a downpour to see just how wet and miserable it would be. Other experiences that I’ve done have made it into books, but I was just doing them for fun, not to research for any particular story.
6. Pick a favourite book character and give one question you’d like to ask them.
Apparently, I… forgot this question earlier.
But the truth is… I have no idea. Most of the questions I have for characters tend to be in the heat of the reading moment, “WHY?! WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?” But I can’t actually think of any specific ones at the moment.
7. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A teacher or an author. I also spent some time wanting to be a fighter jet test pilot.
8. Describe one ambition you would still like to achieve.
Successfully raise four kids to love the Lord God with all their hearts, souls, and minds.
As an author: See that little “best seller” flag next to my name on amazon. #AuthorGoals
9. What was the last book to make a big impression on you?
The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher. And the Lunar Chronicles….
10. Name one musical artist that inspires you and say why.
Brittany Jean – because she is making a name for herself with steady perseverance. I love that she doesn’t compromise her sound or her lyrics or write “filler songs” just to crank out albums, but puts care and depth into every song she writes.
11. Have you ever been lost and what was the outcome of the situation?
Have I ever been lost?
Ha!
It’s not a true road-trip with me if we DON’T get lost at least once!
How about the time my roommate and I were driving from Indiana to Boston? I don’t think I’ve told that one here before…
It was Thanksgiving break and we were off to visit a friend who had graduated the year before. We were driving through the night, which may not have been the wisest decision ever, but we were poor college students and had no interest in spending money on a hotel. I drove the first half of the way. We stopped for a couple of hours in Pennsylvania to visit a friend of mine. We hung out, ate at Denny’s, tried to find a sled to go sledding… but struck out. By the time we were on the road again it was around 2am. We switched drivers around 4:00 or 5:00am — I don’t remember exactly — and I curled up in the passenger seat to get a little sleep, only to be awakened by my roommate yelling at me frantically:
“Wake up! Jenelle! Wake up!”
(I don’t wake up well… particularly when I haven’t gotten more than an hour or two of sleep)
I blearily looked at the clock: 6:15.
Then I looked outside. Some tall buildings. A few parking lots. Not tons of traffic.
I sort of grumpily asked what was wrong.
My roommate was rapid-fire telling me that the road she had been following had ended and she had to go over a bridge that cost $12 to cross (this was extremely important, you have to understand…. a $12 bridge toll was NOT in our calculations for the trip cost) and that now she was lost and needed me to navigate.
I had no idea what the name of the street we were on was, or any idea where we were in the country… as I pulled out the atlas (we didn’t have smartphones or GPS back then) and tried to reason out how far we could have possibly gotten. I sort of ball-park estimated that we were in New Jersey… and spotted an open parking spot on the road ahead that did not have a meter or any “no parking” signs near it. (That spot was a miracle straight from the Lord, we would soon discover). It also “happened” to be right across the street from a 24-hour McDonalds.
We stumbled into the restaurant, me holding the atlas, both of us looking less than stellar… and the friendly gentleman behind the counter asked, “What can I get for you?”
I tried to smile back and asked, “Where are we?”
He grinned cheerfully (obviously a morning person) and said, “Girl! You’re on the corner of 23rd and Fulton!” (I don’t know if those are the street names he actually said, or if those streets actually exist… but that’s how I remember it)
This was not helpful.
I sort of blinked at him and shook my head. “No… I mean… what STATE are we in?”
I don’t know if he was confused or amused, but he grinned again and said, “Girl! You’re in Manhattan!”
Dazed and a little freaked out that we were so far off course, I said a desperate sort of “thank you” and we turned and walked out of the McDonald’s.
Pretty sure he went home later and entertained his family with a story about the two crazy people who wandered in off the street with no idea what state they were in!
It took us 45 minutes to get out of Manhattan… leaving did NOT cost as much as getting into the city. Once out of the city, we promptly got lost in Newark, NJ and wandered around there for a good hour before finally getting back on track!
We did eventually make it to our hotel in Boston… and it has become one of my favorite stories to tell! It was a little stressful at the time, though!
And that’s the end of the tag/award!
I do not currently have the brainpower to come up with 11 new questions… but I would like to ask you all this: what’s YOUR best after-the-fact story? What is something that has happened to you that may not have been any fun at the time, but turned into a fabulous story to tell later? I’d love to hear about it!

~ jenelle

4 Comments

DJ Edwardson

Loved your story. I could totally picture it. “What state are we in?” Ha ha ha!

We once got lost in Guatemala City for 6 HOURS! This was after like 5 hours driving just to get there. Can you imagine driving around the same city for 6 hours???

I speak Spanish, so that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that there are almost no road signs and the city must have been laid out by Hannibal Lector!. It’s a madhouse. No real traffic lanes, people just drift in and out like they are in some Nascar race or something. Roads merge and split with no rhyme or reason. We just kept going around and around until at one point I was driving and I noticed that no one was going my way, because it was a One Way Street!

Thankfully, it was late and there wasn’t much traffic on that road so we got off before we got in trouble.

The kids started this game that whenever anyone asked where we were, the whole car would shout back, “In the middle of nowhere!”

Finally, weary and exhausted we pulled over a some random hotel and collapsed and guess we must have gotten directions from the hotel staff the next morning. Definitely a night to remember and laugh about, but that day we were all pretty miserable!

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Abbey Stellingwerff

Oh dear!! That is quite the story! Haha, I wonder if that guy in McDonalds still remembers you?

My roommate, two of our friends, and I went out for cookies last year and (stupidly) parked in a spot with a “no parking” sign and got our car towed at 10PM in the middle of the U-District where a bunch of drunk college students were running around. We took refuge in a Starbucks until our other friend could come pick us up. One hefty fine and a life lesson later, we got our car back. It was a traumatizing evening, but it’s funny to look back on and say: “What were we thinking???!!” (we weren’t). And now we have a story about The Most Expensive Cookies Ever to tell.

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Madeline J. Rose

Haha, that is an epic road trip story! XD Ooh, yes, and Lunar Chronicles! They left such a huge impression on me too! They really inspired me to be a better writer. :)

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