Jessica at jessicabakkers.com has been kind enough to nominate me for the Real Neat Blog Award. If anyone knows what’s neat, it’s her, so please go visit her site. Whether it’s fiction to read, words on writing, inspirational images, or a touch of whimsy, there’s plenty to see and enjoy.
This award is designed for people who have a ‘real neat blog’!
Those participating should:
Put the award logo on your blog
Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs
Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you
Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs
Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc)
Ask your nominees 7 questions
My Answers to Jessica’s Questions
1. What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you?
It’s hard to say that I have a main inspiration. I find inspiration is in everything. The world is full of images, sounds, and fragments of existing stories, which all begin as a simple “what if”, and spiral out into a complex web of possibilities. In my mind inspiration is really just the choice to hold on to these random thoughts, nurturing them, where others might simply let them drift away.
In regards to people, I’m inspired by Neil Gaiman, Sarah McLachlan, Enya, Hayao Miyazaki, Brandon Sanderson, and a host of others.
2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
Within the Mistborn trilogy there are countless wonderful scenes. Some of my favorite fights are in that trilogy, though I think my favorite within the series is in Well of Ascension, when a character confronts Vin about her own femininity, and the idea that she can be a great warrior, and a woman in a beautiful dress.
Another would be in the film Incredibles, when Bob & Helen are arguing, and he finally admits he’s not strong enough.
Third, near the end of Princess Mononoke, when the titular character expresses such intense anger, and is met with only gentle acceptance.
Fourth (cause too many things come in threes), would be a scene from the last chapter of the Pet Shop of Horrors manga. The narrator reflects on who and what Count D is, “When the very last human breaths his very last breath, I’m sure D will be there, watching and smiling.”
And fifth (I planned to stop at 4 but then I remembered this one), a scene from the last episode of Vision of Escaflowne, where two protagonists recognize how their own issues obfuscate the issue, and in a moment of clarity, they both let go, and trust each other.
3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?
I tend to prefer fantasy, but scifi has its charm, and in general I prefer to at least sample all genres, a little bit.
4. What motivates you to write?
There are stories in my mind that I want to see on paper. Writing and storytelling fascinate me. The idea that I might be able to spend my life in such a way is a greater allure than anything else in the world. There are times where I’m working away at my day job, earning the money to pay the bills, and yet I feel like I’m wasting time, precious time, that could be spent writing.
5. What’s the best book you’ve ever read and why was it?
Mistborn is probably my favorite fun read. It’s such a bleak setting paired with the ultimate optimist, who believes in fighting to the end, even if the only way to fight is to not given in to the sadness, to find reasons to smile, and laugh. There’s an absurdity to the character of Keslier, casually declaring plans that leave others questioning his sanity, only for him to demonstrate how it could be done.
Few books have left me with the same sense of awe that God Emperor of Dune instilled in me. From a young age I marveled at how a single person could create so many “real” people, but God Emperor stands apart because one of its characters, Leto II, is the most complex character I have ever encountered. Frank Herbert managed to create a perspective that truly feels like he has the wisdom of more than 3,000 years of experience.
6. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read and why?
TRIO: Getting There. The story has many flaws, ranging from weak sentence structure, to odd details that seem out of place (children consistently getting take out from fast food restaurants while prisoners of the state), but the real crux of it all is the role the characters play in their story. While they make many choices, in the end, nothing they do actually matters. If they spent the entire story in a coma, the ultimate resolution of the narrative would be the same, and that just feels like an insult, to the audience and the characters. I actually plan to write a Discussion post on the subject, but suffice to say that in my mind the key to any good story is choice and consequence. Characters must make choices that actively affect their fate.
7. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
This is a tough one, mostly because there are so many characters to choose from, and while many of them are very good-natured, I feel that I should choose one who would naturally fit well with me, and vice versa.
I think I’ll go with Schmendrick, the magician from Last Unicorn. I’ve always felt a certain kinship with the character, who is “cursed” with immortality until he finally masters magic.
1. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
2. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
3. What makes you feel strong, or strong in who you are?
4. What are some of your favorite foods (excluding deserts/sweets)?
5. If you could give your past-self one message, one sentence, what would that message be?
6. After writing, what is one of your deepest passions?
7. Would you rather have a party with dozens of friends, or an evening with your 2-3 closest?
Keep in mind that this is completely optional. I only ask that if you do participate, please come back and post a link to your award post in the comments.
Also, if anyone else wants to leave their answers to my 7 questions in the comments below, please feel free. I look forward to reading them.
Once again, thank you, to everyone who’s been kind enough to nominate me for an award over the course of this past year. Beginnings are often a difficult time, but such warm welcomes make it much easier.