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.

About a million years ago in Twitter-time (two weeks ago), I had the honor of being nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the charming Josie Jaffrey, whom I recently met at the corner of Twitter (@JosieJaffrey) and Channillo (Solis Invicti series). Although I’ve only just gotten to know her, I can already tell that she’s going to be a friend. She has a gift for describing characters so that you feel you’ve known them your whole life and is great fun to talk to.


How does the Sunshine Blogger Award work? It’s pretty simple, really. The rules are as follows:

  • 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 rambling answers to Josie’s interesting questions:

  1. Who’s your weird celebrity crush and why?

I was going to talk about how my teen crushes were all cute, awkward nerds (Wil Wheaton as Gordie LaChance, Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold, Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly) before nerdy was universally cool, but then I realized that all those guys were pretty popular, so I guess that wouldn’t really count as weird.

Perhaps crushing on Peter Falk as Columbo would be considered a little odd? I have always had an affinity for murder mysteries and socially awkward people (see above list of teenage crushes). That adorable, disheveled, bumbling exterior coupled with his keen observation and unerring ability to deduce the truth right under the noses of arrogant criminals … I just want to hug him! And straighten his tie. Except that he was fiercely loyal to his off-screen wife, so my love remains unrequited.

  1. You can only watch one film, as many times as you like, for the rest of your life. What do you choose?

Easy. The Princess Bride. I’ve watched it dozens of times, I’m sure, and I never grow tired of it. It is endlessly quotable (“I’ll probably kill you in the morning.”) and it has everything a good story needs — romance, humor, action, a six-fingered man, And the aforementioned Peter Falk. ❤

  1. How many of you does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. My darling husband changes lightbulbs for me because he knows I hate going up ladders. He doesn’t like ladders either, but he climbs them so I don’t have to. I adore him.

Unless it’s a lightbulb that I can reach from the ground. Then I’ll change that thing like a boss!

  1. Coffee or tea?

Despite being raised in a household where coffee was held in the highest esteem, I only like coffee when it’s so well disguised with sugar and milk and flavored syrups that it no longer resembles coffee at all. I am a huge fan of tea, however. In the winter, I drink English Breakfast in the morning and fruity or minty herbals in the afternoons. When it gets hot out, I drink unsweetened iced tea. Aside: I never called it “unsweetened iced tea” until I moved to TX and ordered “iced tea” at a restaurant. It was so sweet I thought my teeth would melt right out of my mouth. I carefully enunciate “unsweetened” (while staring straight into the eyes of the server to make sure they’ve heard me) now.

Unfortunately, there’s only a very narrow level of caffeination that’s actually productive for me. Below that level, I’m napping. Above it, I’m flitting uselessly from one task to another without accomplishing anything. I have to manage my tea intake carefully if I’m going to get anything done. I’m not great at managing my tea intake.

  1. What’s the best gig/play you’ve ever seen?

My brother is in a punk band in Duluth, MN. (Nopamine! If punk rock is your thing, you should check them out. NSFW, OBVIOUSLY.) A few years ago, when I was home visiting, he gave me a private acoustic performance of some of his songs. I sat on the end of the bed, a guest in what used to be my own bedroom, and he sat a few feet away on an old chair that used to belong to our grandmother. He played quietly because it was late and my mother and her husband had already gone to sleep. How-it-used-to-be, how-it-is, and how-it-always-will-be got all twisted up together in those moments.

  1. You can go anywhere in the world, in any time period, with any person (living or dead). Where, when and with whom would you go?

Seriously, I have a hard time choosing where to go to dinner with my husband in my own town during my own present. I don’t think I can decide with so many variables in play.

After some thought, I’ve decided that I’d want to go to Moose Lake, MN around 1993 or so. I’d visit with my grandma, Lorraine, who has been gone for many, many years now. She lived just down the street from my high school, and on evenings when play practice ran late or my parents didn’t want to drive into town to pick me up after a dance I’d walk to her house. She would make me a bologna, processed cheese slice and Miracle Whip sandwich on Wonder bread (four things we never had in our own house) and we would watch Columbo, Murder, She Wrote, and Perry Mason together. She was willing to listen to me talk about the drama of high school and I loved listening to her talk about the various experiences she’d had throughout her life. I miss those rambling conversations, and I miss Grandma Lorraine very much.

  1. What are you reading at the moment and how are you finding it?

I’m reading Devoted in Death by J. D. Robb and I usually find it by looking around until I can remember where I last put it down. (groan Sorry. I’m genetically obligated to make stupid, punny jokes whenever the opportunity arises. Blame my grandfather.)

Actually, I’m enjoying it. I’m a long-time fan of the In Death series, despite (or perhaps because) of how predictable they have become. I love bad-ass female MCs and Dallas is definitely a bad-ass. I also love the not-too-distant future New York where Dallas lives and the cast of supporting characters that surround her. Someday, Nora Roberts is going to decide to end the In Death series and I’m going to be quite sad.

  1. Dragons or unicorns?

They both have their place. Sometimes I’m in a frolic-with-unicorns-in-a-rainbow-filled-meadow kind of mood. Other times I’m in a burn-it-all-down-with-a-rain-of-dragon-fire kind of mood. The trick is to keep the dragons from roasting the unicorns.


This answer leads me to think it’s probably best if I’m not trusted with unicorns or dragons.

  1. If you were a chart-topping recording star, what sort of music would you be making?

Ahahahaha! You’ve obviously never heard me sing in front of a crowd. In fact, nobody has. Because, NO. That’s not a thing. I don’t even like the sound of my speaking voice recorded and played back.

IF I had a decent voice and IF I knew how to use it, I’d probably sing old bluesy-jazzy stuff. I am definitely an alto, so the low, slow, sultry stuff is more in my range. Plus, it’s just damn sexy. I’d love to have Meghan Trainor’s voice.

  1. The entire world is shortly to be subjugated by a race of giant mutant ants. You have twelve hours before you are put to work in their colossal sugar factories. How do you spend your final hours of freedom?

If Hollywood is to be believed, I’d spend it racing to save humanity alongside a goth girl who is excellent with computers but terrible with people; a witty black man with an unfortunately short life-span; an overly-muscled, overly-aggressive ex-marine; and a reluctant hero with a ruggedly handsome five o’clock shadow and just enough emotional baggage to make him interesting.

In reality, I’d hunker down at home with my husband and my four-legged babies. There would probably be a lot of crying and macaroni and cheese involved. I’m sure I’d call my parents and my siblings. Maybe I’d marathon the seasons of America’s Next Top Model that I haven’t seen yet? I’m realizing that I don’t really have a giant-mutant-ants-enslave-the-world-in-twelve-hours plan. I’m going to have to work on that.

  1. When you were ten, what did you want to be when you grew up?

By the age of ten, I already knew I wanted to be a teacher. I spent my summers conducting class for my stuffed animals and younger siblings.

Knowing my life purpose from an early age was beneficial for streamlining college and answering questions from distant relatives at awkward family reunions. When the plot of my life took a twist and I found myself no longer doing what I was born to do … well, that kept my thirties from getting boring.

I’ve recently decided that growing up was largely a mistake and I’m putting a lot of effort into un-growing up. Growing down? Whatever it’s called, I’m throwing off the shackles of adulting (my new favorite fake word) and embracing the impulsiveness and unadulterated (ooohh, I see what you did there, Brain!) joy of immaturity.


Now for the questions I’d like my victims, erm,  nominees to answer:

  1. What do you snack on while you’re writing?
  2. What’s your favorite location for maximum creativity and productivity? How often are you able to visit this setting?
  3. What is that one weird trick you can do? You know, the one you’d kind of like to forget, but your friends always bring up at parties after a couple of drinks?
  4. Tell us about the project you’re most proud of completing.
  5. 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?
  6. How have you improved the world during your lifetime?
  7. Teleportation. Would you do it? Why or why not?
  8. What is your favorite stupid joke?
  9. What charitable organization do you think more people should support?
  10. What is one topic you would never be able to write about? Why?
  11. Name three things that are always in your fridge.


I’m suddenly realizing that I don’t know a lot of the writers on my social media very well at all, so  I’m going to nominate some of the people I hope to get to know better. Perhaps some of these fine folks would be willing to play along:

My first nomination  is Katie Drake, my partner in crime at the Missing Comma Club and a very talented YA author.

Second, I nominate Eric Warren. I met Eric at DFWCon. He is working on an enviable three projects at once and he still manages to blog at the Optimal Optimist.

My third nominee is DL Hammon, host of Write Club, which I can say, without exaggeration, changed my life. He has recently finished a YA Mystery manuscript and he blogs, too.

For my fourth nomination, I choose Joy Lucas. In the way that shared traumatic experiences can bring people together, Joy and I bonded over the stress of making it to the final round of Fight Club back in April. She writes amazing and terrifying dark fantasy and she has a blog that lives here.

Fifth, I nominate Katherine Hayton, who always has something interesting or amusing to share on Twitter. She’s recently put a book on Kindle Scout that you should investigate. She also added a small bug animation to her blog. I like that.

My sixth nomination goes to Tristina Wright, a self-proclaimed Twitter mermaid with amazing hair who says important things about inclusivity in YA fiction. I am nominating her even though I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know I exist because I think she’s awesome.

The seventh through tenth nominees are forever solidified in my head as a bad-ass, amazing twitter gang complete with cool matching Pink Ladies style jackets and appropriately intimidating sneers covering up hearts of pure gold. They made me feel included and welcome on Twitter just when I was starting to question whether Twitter was the right kind of place for me. I’d write up more elaborate descriptions of each, except pretty much all I know is that they like Cards Against Humanity (Gallifrey version!!), glitter-bombing gifs, and treating other people with respect. They’re my kind of people.

Summer Heacock – Summer blogs as Fizzygrrl and has recently sold a funny book about a broken vagina. Seriously, y’all. I can’t wait to read it.

Rena Olsen – Rena blogs here. She is being published in an anthology of pizza-themed stories. Best. Theme. Ever.

Kathy Palm – On June 23, Kathy posted a blog entry at her blog, Finding Faeries, about how it feels to share your work for the first time. We’ve all been there.

J Elizabeth Hill – Julie has a blog and she has pointed me toward some of the most amazing people and conversations on Twitter. And I’ve seen photographic evidence that she can bake a beautiful loaf of bread, which is damn sexy.

And last, but definitely not least, for lucky number 11, I nominate Bad Literary Agent who is not a blogger at all (at least not under this name) but who will hopefully reject this request in a brilliant and humorous way.


Whew! That was fun and a tiny bit exhausting. I can’t wait to see how my nominees answer my questions. Time to get this published!


4 thoughts on “Shiny!

  1. WOW! Thank you for thinking of me (I think). 🙂 I actually was passed this award several years ago, with obviously a different set of questions, but that doesn’t mean I don’t really appreciate this. Since I won it before (and passed it along), I won’t be passing it along this time — but I will answer your questions. Look for it later this week.

    Thank you again…and I LOVE your answer to #11. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s