The Versatile Blogger Award!

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Thanks be to both Patty from I Am Not A Sick Boy and Babus from Ajoobacats for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!

Here are the rules:

1. Show the award on your blog
2. Thank the person(s) that has nominated you.
3. Share 7 different facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

7 Different Facts About Me:

1. I don’t like to wear makeup. I’m not taking a stance or anything, I’m just lazy and I find it difficult to understand why people want to wear makeup. My best friend tried to explain it to me. I’m still confused.

2. My favourite TV shows are Supernatural, Grimm, Orphan Black, and Once Upon A Time (favourite characters are Rumpelstiltskin and Regina – I find Emma boring). 

3. The only movies I like to rewatch are kids movies. These holidays I watched Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 1 & 2 and Paranorman.

4. I grew up eating cheese and crackers (and olives), and watching Wallace and Gromit. 

5. I don’t play as many video games as I used to. I used to love them, so I’m not sure what’s changed. Me? Them? I’m going with them.

6. I have gotten into asian-pop (kpop, some cpop, and jpop with some jrock), so maybe that’s become like a video games replacement? (2ne1, f(x), FLIP, Perfume, Tommy February 6, SPICA are my main favourites).  

7. I never wanted to get my license. Driving a car naturally terrifies me. I can drive because I have to, and I’ve driven in plenty of dangerous conditions (mostly because of my job, including reversing underground, up an incline, around a corner, with a dump truck coming up from the opposite direction) without having an accident, but I DETEST driving. It’s just one of those things.

I Nominate The Following 15 Blogs:

(I know not everyone likes these Blog Award thingies so please don’t feel you have to respond if you don’t want to, or if you’ve been nominated before and don’t feel the need to do it again)

Karen – https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

Desley Jane – http://musingsofafrequentflyingscientist.com/

Battered Wife Seeking Better Life – https://bwseekingbl.wordpress.com/

Norah – http://norahcolvin.com/

Donna – http://alittlebirdtweets.com/

Liza – http://classycatbooks.com/

Angie K – http://notanothertallblog.com/

Ceenoa – http://ceenoa.com/

Caffeine Addict – https://acaffeinatedblog.wordpress.com/

Serins – https://serinssphere.wordpress.com/

Charlotte – http://authorcharlottecyprus.com/

Lady Sighs – https://ladysighs.wordpress.com/

Elizabeth – http://teandpaper.com/

Rowena – https://scribblewoman.wordpress.com/

Sue – http://scvincent.com/

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Liebster Award

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I’ve been meaning to do this post for awhile and since I’ve just passed the 200 followers’ mark I figured I’d better get my act together 🙂

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I’ve been nominated by Liza at Classy Cat Books and Ruth at Mad Meandering Me. Liza operates a book reviewing blog and Ruth does poetry and photography. Thanks you two!

The rules seemed to vary a bit so I decided to go for the easier ones:

1. Link and thank the person who nominated you

2. Answer the questions asked of you

3. Pick a few bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate

4. Ask them a few questions

5. Let them know by commenting on one of their posts

So, here are the questions I’ve been asked!

Classy Cat (Liza)’s Questions

  1. Do you listen to music when you read? What genre?

Not when I read, ‘cause I find it distracting, but when I write I listen to kpop, sometimes Lorde or Lily Allen, sometimes 1920s jazz.

  1. What’s your favourite snack to eat while you read? If any…

I can’t eat while I read. Must keep both hands clean.

  1. Do you like cats? If not, why not?

Not especially: I am a dog person. Cats act an awful lot like people, y’see… but they are cute.

  1. What type of animal do you most identify with?

Dogs. Love ‘em. Also, I can be a real bitch sometimes…

  1. Choose an adjective/adverb that starts with the same letter as your first name and also describes you.

Secretive.

  1. What’s your favourite Disney movie and/or song from a Disney movie?

Let It Go from Frozen. Is everyone sick of it yet? I’m not.

I also like Tangled’s I’ve Got A Dream.

  1. What is your favourite word?

Hope.

  1. What is your favourite book?

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.

  1. Who is your favourite author (other than the one who wrote your favourite book)?

I really like Darren Shan. Goes to show how an author can REALLY improve beyond the first published books. Darren Shan Saga was a dream for me, and Demonata had some wicked ideas, even if the main guy was a douche. The other two protagonists were fantastic though.

  1. If you could pick any character to be your best friend and/or boyfriend, who would it be and why?

I guess… Miss Marple? She’d be a wonderful friend, and useful in case someone gets murdered.

  1. How many words can you make with the letters in ‘Classy Cat’?

Class, talc, cyst, ass, calc, alt.

Hmm… not very pretty words I’ve got… but I got six!

 

Ruth’s Questions

1. Which beverage is your perfect pairing to a book?

I have to agree with Ruth here: tea is my favourite drink. I have had wine in the past but I’ve gone off it recently – ever since I came back from Spain I find Australian wine giving me horrible acid reflux…

Anyway: tea. Black, white, red & green, I love it all.

2. Which is your favourite inspirational quote?

Well, my favourite quote isn’t inspirational, but I want to put it in anyway:

“As to hanging, it is no great hardship. For were it not for that, every cowardly fellow would turn pirate and so unfit the sea, that the men of courage must starve.”

– Mary Read, obviously including herself and Anne Bonny when speaking of ‘men’. After all, women are just men with the ‘wo’ bits 😉

3. If you are not you, who would you want to be?

I’m a writer. I can be whoever I like, and some I don’t, just for kicks.

Having said that, I’d also like to be Shadowcat. I keep having these dreams where I move through walls…

4. What is your favourite song? How did it become your favourite?

How can anyone pick one? Um… Green Day’s Basket Case helps me get through the bad days.

5. Three words which best describe you?

Dreamer, cynic, loner.

liebster-award

Now for the nominees! I am using the wordpress count for blogs under 200 followers.

http://scribblewoman.wordpress.com/

http://purrfectkitties.wordpress.com/

http://navessaallen.com/

http://creatyvebooks.com/

http://subduedflamboyance.wordpress.com/

http://tyobf.wordpress.com/

https://barryaday.wordpress.com/

https://carolyninjoy.wordpress.com/

http://ksfause.com/

http://tessellatedtales.wordpress.com/

And for the questions… (some borrowed, some new)

1. What pets do you have/want?

2. What part of the world do you live, and what’s the weather like outside? (what? I’m curious)

3. What does Christmas mean to you?

4. What food do you prepare for Christmas?

5. If the world ended in a massive flood, what item of civilisation would you hold above the waves?

6. If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?

7. Three words which best describe you?

8. Pixar or Dreamworks? Why?

9. What’s your favourite flower?

10. If you were born as a different gender, but still raised by the same family, do you think you would’ve turned out differently?

You don’t have to answer that last question if you don’t want to. Maybe it wasn’t fair to ask. Let me go first: I don’t identify strongly as female, and I’d like to think that if I were a man I wouldn’t be much different. I’d be not-really-feminine, not-really-masculine-at-all-unless-you-count-my-foul-mouth. Maybe I’d have a higher sex drive. Maybe I’d have a partner (though I doubt it – insecurities aren’t gender-restrictive). I wouldn’t have survived as well in the mines industry as a timid guy, so maybe I would’ve gotten out of it earlier. I also would have moved out of home earlier because I don’t like the idea of being a man living at home with his mum, but that’s just me, only in regards to me. Other than that, I think I’d be mostly the same. My interests wouldn’t be any different, except I would be reading more books with male POVs and fewer books with female POVs, purely for relating to the protagonist. Would I read fewer romance books? I’m not real sure on that…

One Lovely Blog

Rosh from The Rose of Sharon Healing, a wonderful blog about hopeful and beautiful things from her adopted home of South Korea (and history!), had kindly nominated me for The Lovely Blog Award awhile ago. At the time I was already on an upswing – an emotional high full of hope and wishful thinking, and knew that it wouldn’t last. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life. Sometimes we’re in a good mood, sometimes we’re in a bad mood. Anyway, knowing this, I decided to secret this piece of honest kindness away until I needed it. And these past few days, I have been in need of a virtual hug.

Hug me!

Thank you Rosh! I hope you don’t mind that I kept your hug safe until I needed it.

Okay then! Let’s get down to business. The rules of this award are:

Seven things about myself? I’m going to take that to mean stuff I haven’t talked about already, just to make it difficult. Because I get a kick out of gossiping about myself honesty. Well, I’ve told you all about my aesthetic flaws, personality quirks and absence of religious faith, so I have to think about what I haven’t told you already. Ready? Here we go.

One

I can’t stand coffee. It gives me acid reflux – I taste it in my mouth for hours after I drink it, threatening to regurgitate. It also gives me, erm, digestion issues. Not that you needed to know that, it’s just I get lots of people who shout “YOU DON’T LIKE COFFEE?!” at me so I always have to explain why. Just figured I’d get that out the way by preempting the inevitable question. Yes, there are people in the world who don’t like and/or simply cannot enjoy coffee.

I am a tea drinker. Have been since I was ten years old. I cannot start the day without a cup of tea – to do so gives me a headache. I expect smokers experience the same thing if they can’t get that first cigarette, so it must be a withdrawal symptom. But tea doesn’t give a person lung cancer so as addictions go, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got 🙂

Two

My birthday is at the end of this month! I was born on the twenty-ninth of September, nineteen-eighty-nine. So I was able to experience the last three months of the glorious eighties before being raised by the indifferent and apathetic nineties.

I’m just kidding. After all, the nineties gave us the following awesome:

  • Xena
  • Spice Girls
  • Sailor Moon
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Pokemon
  • Power Rangers
  • The birth of the Elder Scrolls

Three

I love travelling. I was lucky enough to have been raised by parents who loved travelling, so I caught the travel bug early. It helped that my dad worked for an airline so we got the staff travel discounts by hopping on planes that had spare seats. I’ve been to England (x3), California, Cambodia, New Zealand (x2, and what Aussie hasn’t visited Middle Zealand?), Tokyo (x2), Singapore, Dubai, Turkey (all over), and I’ve been on a two-week tour of central Europe which included: Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungry, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

And in case I haven’t talked about it enough already, on Thursday I shall embark on another adventure! This time, to Spain and Portugal for a two-week tour with Mum. So, so keen on this holiday. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I come back from it. I’m hoping I’ll have some sort of emotional epiphany and realise exactly how to live my life from now on. Bah, I should just get over myself and enjoy the damn holiday.

Four

I love history and museums. The Hittite Museum in Ankara (Turkey) and the Pergamon Museum in Berlin (Germany) are my favourites so far. Yes, I’ve been to the British Museum. It was horribly organised and cluttered, like a flea market. I thought it was terrible. The one redeeming factor was that they got their grubby paws on the Rossetta Stone. But hey, each to their own, I suppose.

I completely geek out over this so maybe I’ll do some dodgy archaeological posts in the future (the discovery of Troy! Hatshepsut! The destruction of Minos!). Maybe. If I want to repel readers for some reason.

Four

When I’m at work, I become Daria (oh! Add that to nineties awesome list). I think it’s a coping mechanism: if I stop caring, everything will be okay.

La la la, la la.

I wish I could be chirpy and happy and positive (like Unikitty) all the time but… but I’m at work. I get up at five, I’m at work for the pre-shift meeting at quarter to six, then it’s underground running around dodging falling rocks, or in the office running around and thinking too much until six in the evening. Then it’s bath, buffet, blog and bed. Well, it’s actually a shower and camp food for dinner – I just wanted to use alliteration.

Five

… this is difficult. I’ve got four things so far and my mind is now stagnating. Do I have any other hobbies I haven’t mentioned? I don’t think so. I remember my mum signed me up for everything under the sun when I was a kid. I think it was because I wouldn’t leave the house otherwise. I was very much an indoors person. I’m not big on exercise, though I’m making myself do more because things are starting to click in strange places, which can’t be good.

A fact about me… Something about myself… I guess I’m a pretty boring person once you strip away the over-active imagination (which I like to think is pretty good, if I do say so myself). I don’t like ‘going out’, I don’t like to drink to excess (in vino veritas, after all, and no one wants to hear the truth (or so I find out the next morning)). My drink of choice is bloody mary. There we go. That can be number five.

My drink is Bloody Mary.

Six

I’m a natural bitch. I don’t really want to be, but in real life I find it incredibly liberating to speak the scathing remarks that pass through my head (not in the blogosphere though – I think that’s because of the company I keep :o) you guys bring out the best in me). Because I work in the mines, the bitch act kind of works. Everyone is a… well, I’m in polite company now, so I won’t repeat what’s often said on minesites. Basically, if you can think of the worst word to use for a masculine appendage, and the worst word to use for a female, um, deppendage, then you’ve got a pretty good idea what two words are most frequently used out in the middle of this red dust-bowl. The former word can be used on its own, or with the suffix ‘head’. The latter word is just fine on its own, thank you very much.

Seven

Okay, I think I’m going a bit crazy trying to think up tidbits about myself. Oh, that gives me a good idea of what number seven can be:

When I was still at uni and I was trying to stay up really, really late because I was studying, my dreams started impeding my waking reality. I’d start to hear people. Not ‘voices’ as such (I had spoken to someone I knew who’s a psychologist and she swore I’m not carzy), but I could hear people having a conversation. Yet, there was no one there. At the same time I started getting flickers of something in my peripheral vision. I thought it was pretty cool, but recognised I was past the point of no return and had to retire to bed. Sometimes, I just need to do what my body is telling me and get some sleep.

Oh, and another fact about me? I’m an over-sharer. Let me know if I’ve been too much 🙂

My Nominations (in no particular order):

Please know that there is no obligation to follow the rules of this award – I’m nominating these people because I think they’re lovely. Whether they accept or not is entirely up to them.

Eliza Worner is a lovely fellow Australian and wholly sympathetic to the plights of the struggling author. Check out the details of her upcoming book, The Black Road.

Lola from Hit or Miss Books is always up for a friendly chat dissecting books and scarily has a very similar opinion to me. One of my first port of calls for recommendations.

Leiah from So, I read this book today. Leiah defines lovely. She is kind, supportive, and always giving and generous. She has too many qualities so please click the link and check out her blog!

Shelby from Nature Preserve Me –  seriously, seriously nice person who I feel so lucky to have accidentally replied to her comment when I was aiming for some else. I said something completely unrelated, but she replied with tact and grace. Because she’s that kind of person.

Kendi has written a really great fanfic based on The Purge (I loved it!) and she also posts about her random and entertaining thoughts. She is a genuinely nice person.

Utah Rob for Fly fishing the high country. I’ve already got one of Rob’s stories linked on my sidebar (click on the picture of the dog, and you’ll know why I’ve nominated him).

Cheryl for What Cheryl said. Cheryl reminds me to be kind, while addressing the more challenging topics of life.

Auntie Doris is one of my favourite characters on the internet. She is fantastic. Just, fantastic.

Oil Pastels by Mary. I love Mary’s art. Beautiful, unique and simply gorgeous.

Newguy87 from Movie Reviews 101 is a lovely guy who is crazy about movies. Seriously – check out the huge variety he’s reviewed!

TK from Chapter TK raises some great argumentative points and challenges us to really think about the society we live in and the society we want.

Leanne Walker is another Australian author who’s working on her manuscript! Plus she’s got some really funny commentaries on everything that happens to her.

Karen from My train of thoughts on… has some truly wonderful posts that are loved by many people – me included!

Story Medic is a great blog for writers – this Tasmanian has taught me a lot, and I’m paying sharp attention to what happens next with his writing adventures…

Carol Balawyder is a fascinating woman who has done some great posts on femme fatales and Nobel Prize Laureattes. I also love the cover she’s currently showing off for her new book Getting to Mr. Right.

Honourable Mentions!

Nicholas Rossis and Horrorville had recently been nominated for the lovely blog award, so I’m just giving them a special mention here 🙂

Also, to Silver Linings who had deservedly won two Lovely Blog Awards. It’s easy to see why.

Bookshelf Tag!

Oooh this is new for me! The lovely Leiah, editor and reader extraordinaire, from http://soireadthisbooktoday.com/ has tagged me to participate in this Bookshelf Tag. This should be fun. Let’s find out!

book kitty

Let us begin.

Bookshelf Tag:

“Answer the following questions about books on your bookshelf and then tag five other bloggers. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.”

1. Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?

I can’t stand soppy books, or even movies. I don’t like crying, even though I cry really easily because my hormones are all out of whack. I remember getting to the end of one movie called This Is England and I just sat there for a solid fifteen minutes bawling my eyes out. If I see a book described as a tear-jerker (and you can usually tell which ones they are), I avoid it like the plague. So to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that’s made me cry and I never will.

Tears of laughter? That’s entirely another set of stories. Bring ’em on.

2. Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.

Since I’ve reached adulthood (I think) I’ve surprised myself by actually liking the occasional romance. And the book that started this was (draws in sharp breath) none other than Twilight. What? I was curious. And I ‘got’ it. Not enough to read the rest in the series but I got through the whole book and I was like… I get it. Since then I’ve read mostly chick-lit type romances (I always love a self-discovery story) but I did give historical romance a go with Lynsay Sands’ Lady Pirate. Which, again, I was surprised that I enjoyed. I think that was because the book didn’t take itself too seriously. So I like romances with a tongue-in-cheek style.

Wait, I was meant to pick one book? Oh, nevermind.

3. Name a book that you want to reread.

I don’t really reread books (there’s too many new ones to get through!) but I would like to get through the Secret Seven and the Famous Five again. I bought these nice boxsets of the first ten in each series a few years ago at a Christmas sale and started on the Secret Seven (they’re still good ^-^) but I should get through the rest of them when I’m feeling nostalgic and need to reassure myself that I had seriously excellent taste when I was nine years old.

4. Is there a book series you’ve read but wish that you hadn’t?

I have absolutely no qualms about dropping a book that doesn’t interest me. If I’ve read it to the end, then I enjoyed something about it. This ruthless habit started when I was thirteen and read the least entertaining, most gratuitous vampire novel ever (honestly, the librarians at my school clearly didn’t have a clue what was on their shelves). That was back when I was young and naive and decided that I would finish every novel I started. When I finally got to the end (I’m not going to name it because I don’t like to gossip) I realised just how much time had been sucked out of my life. That was time I would never get back.

Once bitten, twice shy, as they say.

5. If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?

My Agatha Christie Collection. And my Enid Blyton collection. And my Darren Shan books. And the Lord of the Rings bookmarks that support them. And the Kiki’s delivery service statuette I bought in Japan. 

Oh who am I kidding? I’m going to die in that fire.

6. Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?

The Last Man by Mary Shelley. I found it in the big second hand bookstore up at Eumundi. I’m still only halfway through the second volume and I’m probably never going to finish the damn thing, but I was just so stoked to have found it and discovered that not only has Mary Shelley written the first BIG horror novel but probably the first post-apocalyptic novel too. It’s a shame it wasn’t any good.

7. Find a book that has inspired you the most.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. What other book could it be? I read that when I was twelve and it turned me into a sponge for creativity. I had always been a dreamer, but I remember after reading that book I had to write a short story for school and I adopted J K Rowling’s third person past tense style, which I had never done before. I got a truly excellent grade for that short story and I was so chuffed I had managed to create something that looked so neat and sensible.

Funny how I’ve worked my way back to first person since.

8. Do you have any autographed books?

Nope. Though I got an autographed CD from Pink. Does that count?

9. Find the book that you have owned the longest.

I’ve just looked at my bookshelf and found my copy of The Naughtiest Girl Again is gone! I’m sure I got that for Christmas when I was eight or nine. It must be in a box somewhere. Well, the oldest book on my shelf is actually one the old Choose Your Own Adventure stories. This one is called Treasure Diver, and I’m pretty sure I spent my pocket money at a library clearance for it. I would’ve been at least ten years old, but it looks the most battered of them all, so I’ll go with that one.

10. Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?

Well, I already mentioned romance stuff. But I should mention a series that I really enjoy but probably shouldn’t – Rogue Angel by Alex Archer. I love these books. Alex Archer isn’t even a real person – it’s a collection of authors that take turns writing the books, which I really should approve of but IT’S LARA CROFT WITH A SWORD! How could I not love that? The books were practically written for me.

Now for my five victims bloggers to tag:

  • Shelby at http://www.naturepreserve.me/ Exerciser, reader, writer, horse rider, student, relentless energy person and notoriously good-natured. Can a person be notoriously good natured? If it’s possible, Shelby is.
  • Nicholas at http://nicholasrossis.me/ ANCIENT GREEK HISTORY AND MYTHOLOGY! What’s not to love?
  • Eliza at http://elizaworner.com/ Entertaining tips and thoughts on the writing process and struggles therein. So many of Eliza’s posts just hit the nail on the head. SO much empathy.
  • Lola at http://hitormissbooks.wordpress.com/ Lots of awesome reviews. Lola’s opinions are uncannily like my own, she’s one of my main references.
  • Vonzex/James at http://storymedic.com/ Has been ghost writing for ages (actually has industry experiences! latches on) and is trying his hand at writing his own book. Also, he lives in Tasmania, which is awesome.

I hope you’ll all check these bloggers out, and I’m keen to see what their responses are 🙂

Why is it midnight now? I’m going to bed. Good night.

Why I like Blog Awards

I know some blogs are ‘award-free’ zones. That’s fair enough, since the awards aren’t what you expect when you hear the word – they’re more like a chain letter and a simple way to boost traffic than anything else. At least, that’s a cynical view on it.

The opposite side of the spectrum? Awards are about giving each other pats on the back. Well done, fellow blogger and friend in cyberspace! I like you and you like me, so let’s award each other. I definitely fall on this side of the argument. An award is like a virtual hug. The first time I received one I was over the moon. It was definitely far more exciting than graduating uni, which took three and half years of slogging through anxiety issues and panic attacks to reach. If you get through a tertiary education course, kudos is definitely due. But by the time I finally got to the graduation ceremony, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t overjoyed. I was just glad the damn (I want to use a harsher swearword, but I’m trying to present the better side of myself through this blog) thing was over and my real life could get started.

Anyway, my point is I’m grateful to whoever invented this pseudo-award system. It makes me feel good, both selfishly (I won!) and unselfishly (and so have you!).

Which way do you swing? Is a comment enough to fill you with joy? Or do you, like me, want that shiny picture on your blog? Maybe it’s a little shallow to think that way. Bah. I want that award anyway!

I wonder if this attitude of mine came from growing up in the ‘everybody gets a ribbon’ era of schooling. I wouldn’t be surprised.

One Very Inspiring Blogger

I’d like to congratulate Eliza Worner for receiving the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

*Cue Applause*

Eliza is a fellow writer and has published a children’s book, writes an online serial novel, contributes to online publications and is also editing her new novel which has been the inspiration for many an interesting post. She’s so dedicated and kinda puts me to shame 😉 so I happily visit her blog to gain inspiration.

 Very Inspiring Blogger Award

And she has kindly nominated me to be the next recipient. And I have coddled it like my childhood teddy humbly accepted. Thank you Eliza! May we continue to be blogger buddies and prosper in the blogosphere!

So what’s the go? Well, this very encouraging award acts like a chain-mail thing. The letter kind, not the smithing upgrade to ringmail. Basically upon accepting the award you need to follow THE RULES:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their very inspiring site.

2. Mention the rules. But it doesn’t say you can’t break them ;).

3. Nominate who you think should receive this lovely award (and let them know on their sites).

4. Tell the blogging world something they don’t know about you.

So, without further ado, here are my NOMINATIONS:

Leiah Cooper for So, I read this book today. Leiah is a serial reader who is amazingly inspiring. Seriously, check out her site if you haven’t already.

Shelby for Nature Preserve Me, who attacks life and nature with a far more optimistic attitude than I have. But I’m learning 😉 I think that’s something like the definition of inspiring? To lead by example?

Lee-Anne for Is it just me? Fellow Aussie-blogger and a teacher who I’ve leant on for some pearls of wisdom, and she kindly obliged. She has a wonderful sense of humour that really comes out in the tales she tells.

Utah Rob for Fly fishing the high country. He writes stories about fishing. And I like them. And I don’t like fishing. Such are the skills of this man.

Cheryl for What Cheryl said. Inspiring is this woman’s middle name. Always has the time to give out much appreciated encouragement to bloggers in need 🙂

Rosh for Rose of Sharon Healing. A truly inspiring blog from a woman living in Korea. Open-minded about culture, natural remedies, compassion, all the good stuff 😉

Auntie Doris How I wish I was related to this woman. Or maybe that she was possessing my home. That would be awesome.

Hessian With Teeth Besides being an awesome blog name, these two uni students have a lot to say. A blog mostly about exploring faith and encouraging open conversation between those with or without faith. I had never heard of interfaith before reading this blog and I’m glad I know about it now. They talk about a lot of things I’m afraid to broach, so for that, they are inspiring.

Congratulations everyone! May you continue to inspire for years ahead!

Facts about me that none of you know about (unless you’re rereading this):

1. I still have my childhood teddy. His neck has been ripped twice, and I’ve just recently had to replace the stuffing. Poor little guy. He long ago lost his bleached whiteness and the sheen on his eyes have dulled, but I wouldn’t have him any other way. He’s not male either: he only uses masculine pronouns because he’s too rugged to be feminine.

2. Physical imperfections: I have needed orthotics since I was about ten years old; I have needed glasses since I was thirteen; I still have acne, including those horrible things that swell up behind the ears; I had a small, marble-sized cyst cut out just above my ankle, but got the stitches taken out too early (lesson learnt: only allow trusted doctors to perform surgery) so the scar (dent) is awful; I have zero muscle mass and as such have become ‘flabby’ (what an awful word); I have loose ligaments which basically means I can dislocate joints easily, but never have because I’ve never done that much sport or physical labour (but I need to do physio exercises to keep the joints from hurting). Apparently the last one is meant to be good for giving birth. I think the doctor was really stretching for a silver lining there. Oh, and I’m molely. My skin is so pale it’s almost translucent, so the most it can muster for pigmentation are blotches.

3. I play video games for the stories. No, really. I got into them because of a classic called Broken Sword but point-and-click adventure isn’t all that popular, unfortunately. I still like killing zombies and stuff, but I love the fantasy stories. Anything made by Bioware is excellent in my book. I’m still waiting from Jade Empire 2.

4. I am single. I think I may have mentioned still living with my mum. Not real fussed on dating as such. I love the idea of romance, but… I just don’t see it happening for me.

5. I cry very easily. No, it’s not because I’m single. It’s because I’m just a big kid. Since becoming an adult (I think) I’ve only cried in movies (and advertisements for movies – those seven seconds really pull at the heartstrings), and when I’m very tired and can’t get to bed in time. This last one usually happens when I’m run down and sick and still trying to keep it together at work and I just break. The other times this happens is because of jetlag, and I’m waiting in some airport for a connecting flight (I do love travelling, but it does NOT love me) and all I want to do is lie down but the seats have all these armrest dividers and I almost want to lie down on the floor but then I’ll just pick some horrible disease and… yeah, I get pretty worked up in these situations.

6. I love sleep. LOVE it. 8 hours is not enough for me, unless I’ve had a truly relaxing day. I think it’s against human nature to have to wake up before dawn. But I do it all, anyway. For money.

7. I am not a person of religious faith, but I have faith in humanity and the good we can achieve together. I am, in fact, an atheist. Okay, I suppose that’s kind of a big thing to reveal about myself. I hope I haven’t misled anyone. I have looked deep inside my heart and became honest with myself when I was twelve. I don’t believe in God – the belief just isn’t there. But I still learn from Jesus’ teachings, as they are good lessons. I respect my friends’ beliefs and the beliefs of everyone, as long as they’re not using it to hurt people. This is a sensitive topic, I know, but I’m taking this opportunity to clear the air. I’m nervous about admitting this. But the friends I’ve found through this blog has been because we have common values. We might not have everything in common, but those fundamental values of compassion and acceptance are there. I know it is because I’ve seen it in all your works. I want to remain friends.

Let’s still be friends.

MdD