Friday, July 15, 2016

Sunshine Blogger Nominations-Who Is In?


The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are inspiring and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and fellow bloggers through their blogspace and/or their social media.
This week I had the honor of being nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by my writing group member and fellow MCC contributor, Solange Hommel.
How does the Sunshine Blogger Award work? It’s pretty simple, really. 

  • Name drop and link to the blog of the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the eleven questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate up to eleven wonderful bloggers and write (or borrow/steal) eleven questions for them to answer.
Here are my answers to Solange's questions:

What do you snack on while you’re writing? I try, I really do, to stay away from the sweets while I am writing. But alas, I am weak. Typically I go for candy-preferably peanut butter M&M's-or crackers. Both are no-nos because they make me gain weight, so I am trying to be smart and not have bad stuff in the house. I'm also making it a goal to work out more and to not sit at the computer for such long stretches of time. My current go-to snacks are nuts, lots of green tea and coffee (minus the creamer) and left overs.  

What’s your favorite location for maximum creativity and productivity? How often are you able to visit this setting? We have a space in the house we call the library because it holds an awesome armoire we found to hold all our books. The room also has a couch, a few chairs and an ottoman, and a coffee table. Plenty of natural light comes in all day which I know it better for our brains. I can take a quick, cheap coffee break and sometimes even get a load of laundry done as I write. Most important though is the room's position at the front of the house. No one passes through and if anyone joins me it is because they have work to do as well. Confession-I can visit this spot as often as I like, yet I tend not to use it as often as I should. (I'm currently on one of the chairs by the window with my laptop on my knees because my son took over the couch and coffee table for his work in his first college course. Snack provided-a fruit smoothy with broccoli stem trims left from dinner and Bulgarian yogurt.)

What is that one weird trick you can do? I can pick up things with my toes. You know how it is when your USB drive drops just behind the couch and it is easier to stick your foot back there than move the whole couch? Yeah, I can handle that. My husband thinks it's gross. 

Tell us about the project you’re most proud of completing. Is this a trick question, Soli? I'm proud of each for different reasons, I guess. Torrent because it was my first and I got my favorite lit agency to take a look at the first 30 pages; The Ragnarok Recurrence because it was my second and I felt like I knew more about what the heck I was doing; and The Children of Muspell because it was my first short story attempt and it placed in a competition on Chanillo.

Which clique did you hang out with in high school? If you could go back, would you hang out with the same crowd or choose different friends? Now I have to decide just how honest I want to be. Jeez, might as well go for it. I had a strong group of friends in high school. I am still friends with many of them today. My besties have been with my since early grade school. Truthfully, we were an eclectic mix. Band nerds, stoners, academics-but none of us were really committed to any of it. We sort of drifted when we were in those separate groups, but flourished when we were together. Now the really honest bit. Looking back at what we did and who we each became, I am not sure I would surround myself with ALL the same people. Could I have picked more driven people? Yes. Could I have picked those who would have been more loyal? Yes. Should I have listened to the advice they gave. Not always. The thing is, these people shaped me. Our shared laughter, tears, frights, and fights made me who I was at the time. Now I recognize who was best for me and who was not.

How have you improved the world during your lifetime? I teach gifted students to know who they are and how to manage their talents. My world improvement plan is long term with the rewards to come in about 20 years when these kids grow up to make the next big innovations and discoveries.

Teleportation. Would you do it? Why or why not? With the tech we have right now (and I know someone is working on it!), definitely no. I am simply not that trusting. Once the method is perfected, then yes, I think I would. I love to travel, but I don't like the actual go-from-here-to-there part of it. If I could skip the middle man and jump from one destination to another, I would teleport. Part of me is thinking of the whole molecular puzzle I would become. That does freak me out. So, whoever out there is working on this, please try something that only bends space and time, not our bodies.

What is your favorite stupid joke? Why did the boy throw the clock out the window?  He wanted to see time fly. (Oh, so corny!)

What charitable organization do you think more people should support? I don't have a specific charity in mind, but I'd like to see more support for the homeless in America; especially homeless veterans. Why is it the populace and the government are more willing to send aid to other countries than to work towards helping our own citizens? My friend's husband recently went through training to become a deacon. Part of his training was to spend the weekend as a homeless man in downtown Austin. The point was to learn empathy and to look at a situation from all sides. I try to do the same when I see a person in need, yet I am not sure how to help.

What is one topic you would never be able to write about? Why? Politics. It is a huge turn off for me. I'm not interested, therefore I do not know enough about it to write from multiple view points or to come up with some interesting angle.

Name three things that are always in your fridge. 1) Milk; we buy the grocery store brand because it is lactose free, and has less sugar and more protein than regular milk. Also, it tastes better than other lactose free milks. We have been experimenting with almond milk and coconut milk. 2) Eggs; I'm not particular on the brand. I look for the best price. They do have to be from cage free hens raised without antibiotics and hormones (same goes for our meat). Ideally, the hens would be farm raised/free range. Sometimes I can get eggs from our friends who keep chickens. 3) Sandwich meat; I try to get the least processed meat I can, but the cost is prohibitive. I've settled on Butterball's natural turkey slices. They make an easy grab-and-go protein snack and for the hungrier of us in the house, the slices are there for a quick sandwich. 

Now I get to nominate others whose blogs and social media spread good vibes:

J. Rae Moore is a friend to me in many ways. She taught me about being a mother of gifted kids, how to maintain a positive attitude and more about writing than I can list. She is a member of my writing group and will be a contributor to this blog.

Amanda Noddings does a great job sharing inspirational messages about obtaining your goals. We met in high school (in band), but thanks to her media I know her much better now than I ever did back then.

I don't know her, but Katy on Gone Paleo... with the Occasional Faileo makes me laugh. I came across her site while looking for Paleo recipes.

Nat Russo is the author of the Mukhtaar Chronicles, a series of fantasy novels. He keeps a blog of writer tips. I've borrowed a lot of his ideas for beta-reading.

Brad P. Christy is another author friend of mine. His current blog combines his love of horror movies and wine. 

I met Nikki Loftkin at my first Writers' League of Texas conference and I kept bumping into her because of commonalities like gifted education, writing for YA and living in the same general area.

This guy, Gary McDaniel III, impressed me with his blog. I guess that's because he is young and taking on so much-and he has unique ideas. And he kinda reminds me of my students.

I like the blog Pub Rants maintained by agent Kristin Nelson because she teaches and tells it like it is. This is my top pick agency.

Ginny Isbelle is funny and one of the high school friends I am so glad to still be in contact with. Catch one of her stand-up comedy appearances in Spokane. I follow her on Facebook and now challenge her to spread her humor to more people.

My questions for these folks are:
  1. What’s your favorite location for maximum creativity and productivity? How often are you able to visit this setting?
  2. If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?
  3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how weird are you?
  4. Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper?
  5. When you were ten, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  6. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
  7. How would you describe the color yellow to somebody who is blind?
  8. Tell us about the project you’re most proud of completing.
  9. Who has impressed you lately?
  10. Which is more believable-dragons or fairies?
  11. What is your best family moment?


  1. Great answers, Katie! I feel like I learned so much about you. So many of your answers made me say, "Yep, THAT'S why I felt comfortable with her right away!" :)

    1. This was fun-thanks for nominating me. I miss you ;)