Actually you don’t have to decide, for I will tell you. It is a tag post! The lovely Samantha over at Bookshire tagged me for the Sunshine Blogger award, so I’m doing that, and then the lovely Emily over at E. K. Seaver tagged me for the Liebster award, so I’m doing that.
And by “doing,” I mean I’m answering the questions. I have exams to study for and applications to write, so I fear you’ll have to excuse me from writing new questions or tagging people. Steal these people’s questions if you are so inclined, though – we’re all socialists here and I daresay they don’t mind anyway.
Because I’m breaking half of them anyway, I can’t be bothered to list the rules, so let’s get to Sam’s questions without further ado!
What is a genre that you didn’t think you would enjoy when you first started reading (or watching) it, but now really do?
The only semi-answer I can come up with here (because my tastes really don’t change) is Marvel. I always said I’m not a superhero person, but I’ve enjoyed the majority (three out of five!) of the Marvel movies I’ve seen. And not just enjoyed; I really loved Captain Americas 1 & 2.
But it’s still not the best answer, because one of the reasons Civil War didn’t do it for me (there were other reasons too, for sure, but this was probably a fairly big one) was that it was too superhero-y. The First Avenger was character-driven in a way superhero stories often try to be but aren’t – and definitely a cliché, but a cliché done with heart and style. My friend said it had a fairy-tale feel, which…sounds weird, but the more I think about it the more I think he’s right. And Winter Soldier felt, to me, like a Helen MacInnes novel, except modern-day and with a few weird sci-fi trappings. Whereas Civil War was much more generic superheroes-whizzing-around-blowing-things-up fare.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, I once upon a time thought I would never be interested in a superhero story. But I have since discovered that I can enjoy superhero stories if they’re not too…superhero-y.
(Like, Steelheart. I loved that one. Because all the superheroes were bad.)
(Oh, and as of when I’m actually posting this, I’ve also seen The Avengers, and…yeah. The whole time I was watching it, I was like, “This is so stupid,” and my brain was like, “but are you entertained?” and I was like, “no, yeah, I’m a little too entertained.”)
What is the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
Well, I once saw a chalkboard on which was scrawled in white chalk: “What you do today is important, because you just exchanged a day of your life for it.”
I think about that a lot.
I also think a lot about Gandalf’s similar statement: “So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
So yes. I think the best advice I was ever given (well, besides this thing my violin teacher once told me, but that’s, like, super specific to second movements of Baroque violin concertos, so yeah :-P) was given to me by a fictional wizard and a chalkboard.
What is something that you like to eat that your family (or housemates) think is weird?
My roommate thought my deep and abiding love for cream-cheese-and-olive sandwiches was weird, I think. Apparently no one outside my family eats these things???
Y’all are missing out. They’re really good. You take a loaf of fluffy bread (like, Italian or French or whatever that stuff at the grocery store is that’s fluffy—or you can bake it yourself, I guess, which I don’t do because every time I try to bake bread I fail miserably), slice it in half down its length, smear one side thick with cream cheese, pack the cream-cheesed surface with black olives, and put the top half back down on top of it. And voila, a delicious sandwich.
What is your favorite book to reread, and how many times have you reread it?
There are a select few books I’ve reread so many times I’ve literally lost count. But my favorite among all the excellent and well-beloved contenders has to be…a toss-up. A toss-up between The House at Pooh Corner and Assignment in Brittany. As aforementioned, I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve read either. Because they just…don’t get old.
Pooh bothering (or not bothering), Piglet holding carelessly courageous conversations with Heffalumps (but unfortunately, only in his head), Rabbit being officious, Eeyore being…Eeyore. Never gets old.
And HEARNE. Hearne never gets old. Never never never. I love Hearne. I think I need to go reread Assignment in Brittany again, actually…
Oh, wait. I completely forgot about The Home Ranch. That is my dad’s favorite book and quite possibly mine and definitely my favorite book to reread (again, no idea how many times I’ve read it).
I’m long due for a reread there too, actually. I was feeling physically homesick for it the other day.
Who is your favorite artist? What’s your favorite piece of art by them?
Um, I know nothing about art.
Like, really. I’m blanking on famous painters here, besides the impressionists, who aren’t my favorite anyway.
Have you ever travelled out of your home country? Where did you go?
Nope. Only time I ever even saw the edge of my home country (a.k.a. the ocean) was two years ago, and it was for one day. One very beautiful day of lighthouse-stair-climbing, floppy hats, jumping off sandbanks, mosquito attacks, dolphin sightings, body surfing, and Adventures in Not Getting Sucked Away by the Riptide…but anyway. No.
Who are your favorite and least favorite authors?
Some of my less cliché favorites include:
- A. A. Milne (because of course)
- Helen MacInnes
- James Herriot
- Ralph Moody
- E. B. White
- Megan Whalen Turner
- Rudyard Kipling
And I’ll just cut it off there even though it’s painful and get on to some of my least favorites.
- Alexandre Dumas. Maybe that isn’t fair, and I do intend to read The Count of Monte Christo one of these days – I have high hopes for it, in fact – but I feel like I hated The Three Musketeers enough to say this.
- John Green. Okay. He’s smart and talented and all, but I disagree with his worldview so much. And obviously you can love works by authors with whose worldview you disagree, but John Green’s worldview is what makes his books depressing and nihilistic and I personally don’t like depressing and nihilistic books. (I also don’t like contemporary YA romances, but that’s semi-irrelevant.) Also, his male love interests are as terrible as they can get without being abusive – at least in Turtles All the Way Down and The Fault in Our Stars they are. At least I think in The Fault in Our Stars they are. I managed about a page once the male love interest showed up and then shut the book forever.
- Terry Pratchett. This is probably also unfair. He’s a really good writer and very funny, but his nihilistic worldview just poisons his books, for me.
- I’ve never read a story by William Faulkner that I don’t hate, so…?
What is the best book you’ve had to read for a class?
Maybe On Writing Well, by William Zinsser? It really, really helped me, especially with my essay writing. In fiction I’ve always understood the principle that character voice is king, but in my nonfiction I had no such restraints, and I tended to not use one word where twenty would do, or “strong” where “puissant” also appeared in the dictionary. I still don’t usually err on the side of simplicity, but On Writing Well demonstrated the value of simplicity in a way that just really clicked for me and helped my writing a lot.
What is your favorite season (or month)?
Why did you choose your blog name?
Why is this so embarrassing to actually explain?
I didn’t want my blog to be official or grown-up. Just a sort of “enchanted place” – a cozy, companionable spot where we talk a little about Kings and Factors but mostly about stories and Bears of Little Brain. A little serious, but mostly silly. You know?
Who is a blogger that you think everyone should follow? (You’re not allowed to say me, even if you want to, which you probably don’t. XD)
I think all y’all should follow…Samantha over at Bookshire.
I actually don’t want to answer this question for real, because that involves picking someone out of the many bloggers I love and…I hate picking.
So I’m not going to do it.
(Sam writes lovely book reviews, though. So you should follow her. And if you are Sam—since I’m answering this question for your benefit after all—go follow yourself. There.)
And now on to the Liebster award and Emily’s fascinating questions!
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
I don’t get how anybody writes it, keeps the pacing at a realistic level, and manages to make it not sound stupid. I truly don’t.
How much sleep do you get on average?
Hmm. Probably my full eight hours? I like my sleep and make sure I get it. Grades and social life are secondary considerations. But at the same time, I hate sleeping in. It’s like a miserable experience and I never do it. So probably right around eight. Maybe seven if I’m doing anything particularly awesome in my life that I would rather do than sleep.
What is your favorite quote? Why?
For the sincere controversialist is above all things a good listener; he listens to the enemy’s arguments as eagerly as a spy would listen to the enemy’s arrangements. – G. K. Chesterton
That’s one of them, at least.
What’s your MBTI, Ennegram, and Hogwarts House?
ISTJ. One. No idea. I’m going by SortingHatChats’s descriptions of the Hogwarts Houses, which basically sort you by how you “do” morality. And I can’t for the life of me decide which type I am. The only one I don’t think I am is Slytherin, but even then I’m not sure because loyalty is a really, really, really important value to me? To the point that I hate when other people don’t display it, or rate it lower than I think it deserves? (But is that just me being a Ravenclaw who’s put loyalty high in her structure of morality??? Or a Hufflepuff who believes you should never let someone down because people matter most??? Or a Gryffindor who has made humanity her Cause??? You see my problem?)
What is something that can make you laugh every time you read it?
That scene in Frederica where Charles is explaining about the elopement and the part he played in it and…I can’t be more specific without spoilers. But with Frederica being frantic and Alverstoke making sarcastic remarks and Charles maintaining a carefully neutral tone while he narrates these absolutely ridiculous events…I laugh every single time.
Also the Baluchistan hound scene, and also the part in The House at Pooh Corner where Piglet thinks Christopher Robin is a Heffalump and tries to hold a very Brave and Daring conversation with it.
Also Calvin and Hobbes.
What’s the weirdest dream you’ve had?
When I was five, I dreamed that my parents had dropped me off at a friend’s house, but only the friend’s mom was there, and she had gone inside the house for a second. While she was gone, a tiger came out of the woods and started chasing me up and down this stone staircase that was just sitting there on the lawn, leading to nowhere.
Then Deborah (the friend’s mom) came back outside and the tiger ran away.
Then Deborah went back inside, and the tiger came waddling out of the woods in a plastic yellow suit that was supposed to be a disguise that made it look like a bird, but I knew perfectly well it was still the tiger and he still wanted to eat me. So I screamed for Deborah. She appeared, with a grim expression on her face, packing a shotgun.
The tiger knew it was outmatched and scuttled away into the woods.
What is your sense of humor? (Share with us something you find funny)
My sense of humor is very simple. I think all the following memes are hilarious (like the counting rests one? The ACCURACY, you guys).
What is something you do that you get annoyed with yourself about?
Get really literal? To take a rather trivial matter that has caused me an outsized amount of annoyance. Sometimes when somebody says something normal, but slightly idiomatic, to me, my brain decides to interpret it completely literally, which results in me having no idea what they said even though I know I should know what they said (does that make sense??), and it’s really, really awkward.
Fight or flight? Why?
I genuinely don’t know. My instincts are more like, Freeze Until I Decide Whether Fighting Or Fleeing Is A Better Option, But Mostly, Don’t Do Anything Rash.
Would you rather remain locked in a cozy room with good snacks and a computer for the rest of your life or be at a party with tons of people and loud music and good food and a notebook and pencil for the rest of your life?
As much as I would hate being locked in a room and having to write by word processor rather than by hand…being stuck at a party with loud music (it’s not even the people, it’s the loud music) would drive me absolutely insane. And also I’d be completely exhausted. For the rest of my life. So, cozy room. At least I can sing and turn a cramped cartwheel or two and fail spectacularly at tap dancing, for variety. And I imagine I’d get to have my violin, so…yeah.
What is your greatest fear?
Either being stuck or being not myself.
Many thanks to Sam and Emily for the tags! I had fun! I hope you guys did too, heh. Tell me, were you an orchestra kid?? Do you like the music memes?? What was your rationale behind your blog name??