#mondayblogs: super double secret liebster awards

Oh man. 4th of July kicked my butt. I hope all the mosquitoes enjoyed the Bacardi 151 they sucked out of my veins.

This was the first weekend in awhile that I didn’t have anything to do but enjoy Independence Day in all its nostalgic Americana glory. But between jetsetting around my old stomping grounds, it wasn’t the most relaxing vacation. The food and drink was merry, don’t get me wrong, and the company was awesome, but I’m going to be in Yawnsville for awhile.

But this shouldn’t drain too much of my creative juices. Hopefully.

As of today I was (double!) nominated for a Liebster Award. Sort of a blog chain letter–but in a good way. The best way, really, because it allows me to talk about myself. So I’ll answer the 11 questions that Kory Shrum asked in her awesome, tear-jerky post, and THEN I’ll answer Angela Roquet’s 11 and THEN I’ll pose some of my own! Hopefully I’ll be able to think of 11 bloggers to tag by then. Anyway, here goes!

Shrum’s Questions

1. What fictional character do you want as your best friend?
My gut reaction was Caine, from Matthew Stover’s Heroes Die series. He’s just an all-around badass that is endlessly loyal to his friends and family. However, he’s more than a little threatening so I might end up screening his phone calls on an occasion or two. If we’re talking casual hangout, then I’d have to go with my all-time favorite literary little brother, Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time.

2. When you are writing/blogging, do you have to have a snack? If yes, what?

If yes? If? Who answered ‘no’ to this, honestly? Hells yes, I have to have a snack. Do I always have access to one? No. But if I have my choice it’s the epic combo of a Fika coffee (Cajamarca, Peru Blend) and a S’mores Bar from the Cook County Co-op. That’s truly heaven. In a pinch I’ll take any old coffee and a scone.

smores bar and fika coffee from cook county whole foods coop, writing snack, mikel andrews3. What is your first memory of writing/blogging?

I don’t know where this actually fits in the chronology of my career, but I remember I had this pet Monarch butterfly that I raised from a caterpillar. I named him(?) Buttercup and I told the story of his life and how he came back to visit me every summer. I realize now that was impossible, but it made me want to write about impossible things.

It’s been robots and wizards ever since.

4. Who has been your biggest fan so far?

Been a lot of supportive writers and readers along the way, but I think as far as sheer enjoyment of my work, that award would have to go to the elusive A.S. Hooghkirk because I know for a fact that he’s the only person that read Coming of Mage twice!

5. If you could have one super power what would it be?

Of all the cool powers I’ve heard of (and thought of) over the years, I think I have to go with healing powers or immunity to all disease. I’m too much of a hypochondriac to pick anything else. Plus, the extra work I could get down without being crippled by fear would be exponential.

6. What “gets you in the mood” to write/blog?

It’s usually a good story, but lately it has been a good movie or TV show. When I see something on film that moves me, I want to be able to do that with literature. Take back the original storytelling medium from that show-off Television!

Writing a blog though? Usually a weekend where I’m not working. My life is so boring that even the slightest upset in routine seems to be worth blogging about.

7. What book has been most influential to you and your writing/blogging?

A Wrinkle in Time definitely kickstarted my writing at a young age. But the writing I strive to emulate is the seemingly effortless, lyrical, soothing styles of Joe Meno‘s Hairstyles of the Damned.

8. What job would you HATE to have?

This answer would have been easier to answer a month ago when I was more gainfully employed. Now I’m less picky. I think probably a civil defender? A lawyer that doesn’t get to choose the cases. Having to defend a clear-cut criminal terrifies me.

9. Do you want to be a rich, famous, or admired? (Only 1 and why?) 

Oh boy. See previous answer. I’m going to have to go with rich at the moment. When I have a steady paycheck, we’ll go with admired. To quote Michael Scott:

Do I want to be feared or loved? Um…easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.

10. How long have you been writing/blogging and how long do you think you’ll write/blog?

Blogging since 2010, writing since I could hold a pen. To the latter part: Ideally foreverish?

11. Tell us about your real or imaginary “happy” place.

My happy place is Grand Marais. I got some of my best writing done there and it’s the most beautiful, relaxing town in the entire world. That feels really weird to say because as of a month ago, it also became my “imaginary” happy place because I moved away. I try to picture it when I write now, but the constant flow of traffic and lack of mufflers outside my window is distracting.

 

Roquet’s Questions

1. Are you a stationary or traveling writer? Do you write in one preferred place or migrate around?

I’m pretty stationary. To ride the coat tails of Kory’s last question, when I was in GM, I frequented lots of spots with my laptop. But do I fly to Portland to to get some solitude? Nope. I do really want to do that Amtrak train residency thing. That would be amazing.

2. If you could be mentored by one writer/blogger who would it be and why?

Oh, boy. I think Karen Traviss is one of the hardest working writers around. She writes in a lot of existing universes and her tales are always top notch. She goes into these worlds with almost no recon on the characters and ends up understanding them better than authors that study them their whole lives. I’m talking mostly about her Star Wars work, but her Halo and Gears of War novels are outstanding too. I think I’d like to be taught her level of dedication and ability to humanize anyone and anything.

3. On a scale of 0 to SQUIRREL! how distracting do you find the internet when you’re writing?

About Squirrel.5

I barely got through these questions without social media-ing.

4. Do you ever enjoy writing with a partner or do you prefer typing solo?

Truthfully, I haven’t collabo’ed on a particular story. I would really like to, but one of the major reasons I haven’t pushed it is because I do like to fly solo on the byline. However, I’ve always wanted to do this Halloween thing….hint hint, wink wink….

5. When it comes to burning the midnight oil, what keeps you going? Tea, coffee, soda, Redbull, jumping jacks, heavy metal?

All of those, simultaneously.

Coffee really gets me going, but I don’t dare drink it in the evening. I do enjoy the taste of the blue Monster energy drink. But if it’s serious business, diet Rockstar is the only way to fly. For emergencies only though.

6. Do you have a comfort read? A book/blog you return to when you’re feeling down or just nostalgic?

I tend not to re-read things (mostly because I’m a wicked slow reader). The only book I’ve ever re-read is James and the Giant Peach. When I need a little inspiration, I thumb through the novelization of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I do keep a copy of Laurence Yep’s Dragon of the Lost Sea on my bookshelf. I haven’t re-read it (yet) but I know what’s inside, and it always unlocks my creative side.

7. Have you ever met someone famous you admired? If so, tell the story of how it happened.

Just a few months ago, I got to meet Jimmy Mac from Rebel Force Radio at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. I’ve been listening to his amazingly professional podcast since 2010. It got me through some dismal days on the North Shore, and taught me a lesson in embracing my geekdom and giving it your all when it comes to podcasting. How it happened? I was totally starstruck (and buzzed from the cash bar) and my friends who hadn’t really listened to the show ended up doing all the talking. Still a great opportunity (and photo op).

8. When you pass on into the unknown, what do you think (or hope) will be the title of your biography?

What a Long Life Full of Pizza: The Mikel Andrews Story or The Father of Dragons

9. If your biography were to be turned into a documentary, who do you think would be cast to play you?

I’d like to think Chris Pratt, but I think it has to be Patton Oswalt. Actually he already played me in Young Adult, so there you go.

10. When it comes to books: physical, digital, or both?

Physical. I won’t pass on a great story because it’s digital, but I much prefer the heft of a good book.

11. Do you keep a writing/blogging schedule, or do you write when the mood hits you?

When the mood hits me. Although I try to make it hit the same time every week. 😉

Here are the rules I need to share:

– Answer the 11 interview questions
– In that post, link back to the person who awarded you.
– Choose 11 other bloggers to award, focusing on those with 200 followers or below.
– Link to those bloggers in your post, then go and leave them comments to share the good news!
– Be sure to ask them 11 original questions.

I Choose You:

Christine M. Butler

Sarvenaz Tash

Kelly Hashway

Matt Forbeck

Elizabeth Burch

D.H. Nevins

April Sopkin

Falen

Christian Schoon

Lizzie Smith Emerson

Eric Luke

To Answer:

1. Using five fictional (any medium) characters, assemble a dream team to go on a quest with:

2. Be honest. What is your level of expertise when it comes to entomology?

3. If you could only have one pizza for the rest of your life, what toppings would you choose?

4. What is the WORST idea for a story/book/movie/whatever you have ever had?

5. It’s time to write. What Artist Radio do you choose on Spotify/Pandora?

6. Ghosts, aliens, or wizards. Which makes a more compelling read? Which makes a more compelling WRITE?

7. What MOVIE gets you in the mood to write?

8. If you were forced to give up writing/blogging, what would you replace it with?

9. Which character of yours were you supposed to kill off but didn’t? (If you’re not a fiction writer: what fictional character death have you never gotten over?)

10. What’s your favorite personal blog post? The one that really didn’t feel like work to write. (Don’t forget a link!)

11. Favorite cartoon. I’m talking the writing/story is sooooo good you can’t even feel guilty about it.

 

Thanks, everybody, it’s been a great week! I’d like to thank the cast…the musical guest…Lorne…and thanks again to Kory and Angela for the tag! Mom, don’t wait up, I’m going to the after party!

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