Very Inspiring Blogger Award  “You like me! You really like me!”

If Sally Field had any idea how often she would be quoted, not always flatteringly, when she said that, I wonder if she would have said it.

The thing is, it fits so well. I wrote a few stories and started a blog with high hopes, but very, very low expectations. I’m always surprised when someone new follows my blog. Especially those Someones with myriads of their own followers. I’m even more surprised when one of those Someones takes enough notice of me to tag me in a meme.

This time around, I have the great pleasure of having been tagged for the same award by three people:

Raewyn Hewitt

Laura Hogan

J. M. McDowell

The rules for this meme are:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

Let’s plunge right in, shall we? 🙂

Starry sky

Photo Credit: Brocken Inaglory

1. My noveling journey didn’t actually start with an idea for a novel. It started with star watching. Every August there is a fantastic meteor shower. A few years ago, a couple friends and I dragged our (mostly) homeschooled children out in the middle of the night to watch for shooting stars. To entertain the children in between sightings, I told a story. From time to time someone made a request, so I molded my story to include the desired elements. One of my companions was ML for the local Nanowrimo group that year. She decided I needed to join the group, and I’ve been a regular attendee ever since. I don’t remember much of that dream-launching story, except that the oldest child with us broke all his teeth trying to eat Pluteerios while touring a cereal manufacturing plant on Pluto.

2. My first three novels are a trilogy that will probably never see the light of day. When I first wrote them, I was very attached to the idea of getting them published. I now consider them practice runs, though from time to time I do think about them and changes I want to make.

My "avatar"

Blueberry Woods in Girdwood, Alaska.
Photo credit: My Beloved

3. My “avatar” is a picture of the place we go blueberry picking every August. It’s a forest in Girdwood.  I don’t know its real name, but we call it the Blueberry Woods since it abounds with wild blueberry bushes. From time to time we even find some high bush cranberries and salmon berries. We take all the kids and anyone who want to join us and go traipsing through the woods, rain or shine, with buckets to fill with berries. We use the berries to make muffins or cobbler.

4. I had trouble learning to read. My mother bribed me with a trip to Disneyland (I grew up in southern California) if I could make it to the highest reading level by the end of second grade. I remember being very convinced that I made it to the highest level several times only to be told I had not. I can’t remember if we ever went to Disneyland based on my merits.

5. Speaking of Disneyland, one year Dad bought us passes. We went so often, I memorized the script for Star Tours. Something went wrong with the sound once, so I stood in for the robot. I remember one particular man thinking it was just about the funniest thing ever to hear a teenage girl narrating a dysfunctional ride.

Outstanding in the field.

One of many puns I keep on hand.

6. I love puns. The best one I know goes like this:

Undoubtedly you’ve heard of Ghandi. This great man walked barefoot much of the time, thus developing very tough skin on the soles of his feet. He fasted often, which gradually weakened his body, though it strengthened his mind. As part of the purification process of fasting, the body often produces foul breath. Given all these facts, you could call him a Super-calloused-fragile-mystic-hexed-by-halitosis. Say it out loud. If you got it, type “groan” in the comments. 🙂

7. I enjoy baking and developing my own recipes. Coming up with new treats may be my only hobby-like activity that truly competes with reading and writing. Sometimes I combine them and sit down to read a cookbook. Yup. Just read it. For fun. Weird, huh? Well, anyway,  here’s a yummy recipe I came up with for Christmas one year when I was too stubborn to stand in long lines to get the ingredients for figgy pudding:

The Devil Went Down to Mexico Cake

(Mexican-chocolate Devil’s Food Cake)

Set your oven to 350F (177 C)

Grease a 13” x 9” (33cm x 23cm) pan

Dust your pan with cocoa powder instead of flour. That way, the edges of your cake will have the same rich color as the rest of the cake.

Put these dry ingredients into a large plastic zipper-type bag

  • 2 c. whole wheat flour (Yep. Whole wheat. Trust me.)
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • Up to ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (go easy if this is your first time adding cayenne to chocolate)

Seal the bag with some air inside. Be sure to seal it very well. Now shake the bag like crazy! Keeeep shaking… Okay stop! Ta da! Your dry ingredients are now combined and sifted.

In a small  bowl combine, then set aside

  • 2/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

In your big bowl, cream together

  • 2/3 cup shortening (I use Earth Balance or palm oil)
  • 1 cup honey

Beat, 1 at a time,  into the honey and shortening

  • 4 eggs

Alternately add the cocoa-water and flour mixture to the big bowl a little at a time each, starting and ending with the cocoa-water, until all ingredients are mixed very well. (If you’re using an electric beater, just dump everything in and beat until very smooth.) This makes a batter so runny you’ll think you must have made a huge mistake somewhere. Don’t worry. Just pour that soupy stuff right into the pan.

Bake for a minimum of 35 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR before that 35 minute timer goes off.  The cake should be done in 35 to 45 minutes.

I would now like to nominate the following blogs for this award. No pressure, though.

Lightly Salted

Rose’s Road

Dreampunk Geek

Disregard the Prologue

I before E

Elaine Jeremiah

Kate Frost

The Raven’s Quill

My Random Muse

The Underground Micaela

A Keyboard and an Open Mind

Scallywag

Ink and Papyrus

Uncle Tree’s House

You Are What You Write

And with that, dear Readers, I bid you adieu for today. 🙂

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