Various Blogging Challenges and An Award
There are a number of blogging awards and challenges floating around out there, some of which I’ve been tagged in. So, rather than doing separate posts, I decided to bundle them up into one mega post. Woohoo! The first one up is…
The Love Hate Challenge
Celine Jeanjean over at Down the Rabbit Hole tagged me for this one. Thanks, Celine! The idea is to post ten things you love and ten things you hate, and then tag ten people to do the same.
The pedantic part of me feels compelled to point out that I don’t actually hate anything on this list (well, except for shopping, maybe, and ticks…). Hate is such strong, virulent word. Most of my dislikes aren’t worth that kind of energy.
Anyway, here’s my list:
1. The golden hour. That time of day right before the sun sets where the sky turns golden and trees and hills become mottled with a mixture of light and shadows. It makes me feel like I’m in a Maxfield Parrish painting.
2. The sound of wind rustling in the trees.
3. The smell of rain.
4. Pigs. Also, hedgehogs. Oh, and sheep.
5. The chittering sound my cats make when watching birds.
6. Christmas time in Sweden. I also love the fact it’s called Yule (Jul).
7. Old things—books, churches, antique furniture. Things that look like they have a story connected with them.
9. Asian dumplings and carrot cake—not necessarily together, but bonus if they are.
10. Green tea. Even better if it’s jasmine green tea—the bestest of all tea blends.
1. Telephones, and talking on them.
2. Ticks. Why do they exist? Why? I mean, I don’t like spiders, but I at least respect that they have a function in the natural chain of life. Ticks? They just suck blood and spread disease. What’s worse is that once they get attached and…feed, they get all huge and bloated like some creepy alien thing that looks prime to explode and unleash a swarm of baby ticks that will then eat your face.
3. Money, and the need for it.
4. Shopping (the two go hand-in-hand, really).
5. Blood pudding—no, I’ve never eaten it, but I’m not sure why it even exists (kind of like ticks). I mean, who was the guy that thought cooking up coagulated blood was a good idea? It gives me the heebie-jeebies every time I see it in the store.
6. Intolerance. After my above rant, I’m kind of chuckling at this. But the intolerance I dislike is more on a grander scale than food preference. Also, if blood pudding is your thing, then that’s cool. I’d still probably leave the room if you wanted to eat it, though. Because, eew.
7. Public speaking. Having a conference call (see 1) in front of a group of people sounds like a special kind of hell.
8. Speaking of hell—hot weather. Me and the cooler climes of Sweden get along nicely.
Arg, that’s enough icky stuff. I’m going to end this list with two bonus things I love, because liking things is much more fun and pleasant than disliking things:
1. Fat puppies
2. Thunder storms
The Creative Blogger Award
Lori L. MacLaughlin over at Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award! Thanks, Lori! The rules for accepting the award are thus:
- Thank and post the link of the person who nominated you.
- Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers.
- Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify them.
- Pass on the rules.
I don’t think I’ll nominate 15-20 blogs, though, because that’s kind of a lot, and it freaks me out a little bit tagging people in these kinds of things, just in case they’re like, “Ugh, not again!” Anyway…
Five facts about me:
- I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years (hence the blood pudding freak-out, I suppose).
- I’m the only child out of six to have brown eyes (the others are freaks of nature and have blue eyes. Apparently they didn’t get the memo about dominant genes).
- I used to get quite tan as a kid, but now I just burn.
- Despite my love of fat puppies, I’m a cat person.
- Coffee gives me headaches, so it’s only tea for me. Plus, tea just tastes better (yep, I went there).
Freestyle Writing Challenge
OK this is the last one. The lovely and illustrious Melanie Atherton Allen from Atherton’s Magic Vapour tagged me for this challenge. Thank you Melanie!
Here’s how it goes:
- Open a new document.
- Set a stopwatch or your mobile phone timer to 5, 10, or 15 minutes, whichever challenge you think you can beat.
- Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!
- Fill the word doc with as many words as you want. Once you start writing do not stop.
- Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it’s only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules).
- You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.
- At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
- Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers).
The time I set for myself was 15 minutes, because I’m a slow writer and need all the help I can get. And despite my tendency to edit as I write, there are still a few glaring errors that I overlooked. I want to fix them soooo bad. Of course, technically, in the rules it says not to go back and fix errors with spell check, but I don’t need spell check to see these horrible mistakes. Does that mean I can fix them? Someone tell me that means I can fix them…
Anyway, the prompt Melanie gave was: “An old Dictaphone is found in a swamp. The tape inside this Dictaphone has a few moments of recorded material on it. Write that recorded material.”
Here is my resulting story:
Subject proves to be more resilient than I had hoped. The swamp provides for a particularly interesting testing ground. The damp vapors, together with the unwholesome and rugged terrain, really does test the mettle of one’s constitution.
Why, just the other day, I was telling Oswald that if we built a house here, we’d have all that we needed to breed particularly robust humans—ones capable of thriving in foul-smelling muck, living off of insects and water-logged… uh… logs. Yes, humans that are able to live off of rotten wood! My, what the we could accomplish with constitutions such as that!
But what do my colleagues tell me when I proposed such a scheme? Chalatan. Madman. Only Oswald understood the importance of my work. The man is clearly ahead of his time. I see now that my time at the university was time wasted. I should have been out here all along, preparing humanity for what is clearly the next evolutionary step.
*Pause in recording*
Subject has grown listless and irritable. My attempts to wean him off of the usual fare of meat and vegetables has been met with mixed success. He is not taking to the diet of water-soaked wood as quickly as I had hoped, and derives most of his energy from the frogs and snakes I catch for him. When his strength returns, I plan to set him loose to hunt for himself. Then we will truly see what man is capable in such surroundings. Oswald seems nervous at the thought, but science simply cannot progress without such risks. He will see my way of things, in time.
So, I wrote 271 words in 15 minutes. I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to do this challenge, because writing under time constraints is stressful, as is publicly posting the unedited mess. But Melanie’s prompt was so fantastic that I couldn’t resist. Even if I didn’t do it justice. My own prompt for those interested in doing this challenge will be at the end of this post.
And now, my
That’s eight people and pretty much my comfort limit on the number of people I’m tagging. If I’ve tagged you, it’s either because I think you’ll enjoy doing one (or more) of these, or I’m just nosy and am curious what you would write (or both!). There is absolutely no pressure to participate if you don’t want to.
If you are interested, don’t feel like you need to participate in all of them. I’m just an oddball and bundled up these little challenges into one post. If you only want to do one, then do only one. If you’d like to do them all, then that’s cool too. And, of course, if you don’t want to do any of them, that is also fine. Your choice!
**For those interested in doing the Freestyle Writing Challenge, here is my prompt:
On top of a lonely hill is a lonely house. What’s happening there?
How lovely to get to know you a little more through this little challenge. I also love the sound cats make. My favorite is the chirping sound (we call it ‘brrrrrup’ in our home).
And your 271 words of glory are so in your style! So beautifully written and intriguing. Did I say engaging?
And blood pudding. Dearest Sara, I deeply share your revulsion for that. But I went and bravely tasted it once because I like to explore foods wherever I go – sometimes it goes well, like tasting Rommegrot in Norway, aka sour cream pudding – I despise sour cream in normal life so the thought of biting a pudding made of it disgusted me in advance, but then, surprises of surprises, it was heaven on a tongue. But blood pudding? I could write 271 words on it instantaneously to describe the experience, but no one would want to read that… and I say this with all due respect, I know there are people who love it. I think it is an acquired taste perhaps?Reply