Lately, it seems as though people just aren’t happy unless they are making themselves unhappy about something. We are all in a rush to be offended, a race to have our feelings hurt. I’ve written about this before (Of Porcupines and Ducks) and now it seems that the Hurt Feelings Brigade is on the rampage again.
The newest Bad Guy on the radar is Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, who famously announced that his company does not carry plus-size clothes because he wants his clothing to appeal to “thin and attractive” customers. This has created an uproar that has led to boycotts, nasty comments about Jeffries’ lack of physical appeal, a petition on Change.Org, and even an ABC News investigation.
Folks. Please. Deep breaths, everybody.
In a nation where over 60% of the population is considered to be “overweight”, Jeffries is only hurting himself. Yes, it makes his product seem that much more exclusive and special, but it also limits his potential customer base. By eliminating more than half of all Americans as potential customers, he is also eliminating a lot of potential business.
I have to be honest. I have spent most of my life unable to shop in many, many stores because I have always been overweight. Even in high school, when I wore a size 14, I couldn’t find jeans at the “cool” stores. I couldn’t wear Calvin Kleins like the other girls; Gloria Vanderbilts were never meant to be worn by women with butts like mine.
Size discrimination is nothing new. I remember shopping for wedding dresses and being told that I would have to pay a non-refundable 50% deposit in order to get a dress in my size shipped to the store just to try it on. All others in-stock were a size 6 and I was free to hold them up in front of myself and visualize. And Maternity clothes? During my pregnancies, I had to shop specialty catalogs because most clothing stores believed that “Plus-Size Maternity” ranges from size 12 to size 16.
The message: Fat Girls don’t get married and they don’t have babies.
I also remember shopping at the local JCPenneys, where the plus size department was tucked away upstairs, behind the Kitchen Department and Photo Studio. Fitting rooms were downstairs, at the opposite end of the store. I’m not sure if they thought the Big Gals could use the exercise or if they worried that our size was contagious. But God forbid we mingle with the Skinnies.
I have walked into stores and been told “I’m sure we won’t have anything in your size here” or “Perhaps you’d be happier shopping at the Lane Bryant Store at the other end of the mall”.
It happens, people. And it’s been happening for years.
Where’s the rebellion against 5-7-9 stores? They don’t carry plus-sizes. Why is there no petition against them? What about Victoria’s Secret? Don’t they realize that BBW’s (Big Beautiful Women) want to feel sexy too? Hey, the DD-cups could use a little lift, too! Probably more so than the A-cups, but I digress.
I’m not defending Jeffries. I find his behavior and his comments reprehensible. But I want to know why everyone is up in arms over Abercrombie when other retailers have been doing the exact same thing for years. Why has he been singled out?
I think it is partially because he actually voiced his idiotic opinions and policies, while other retailers keep their mouths shut and pretend that it isn’t going on. But I also believe that the problem stems from where he drew the line.
Statistics show that the average American woman wears a size 14, which is where “Plus-size” begins and “normal-size” ends. It has been perfectly acceptable for women at this size and up to face discrimination at most clothing stores. But Jeffries and Abercrombie have lowered that line to a size 10, with their focus primarily on the size zeroes.
Now it’s okay to protest?
What’s next – a protest against Lane Bryant for size discrimination against skinny people? Here’s an idea for all of the people who fall between Abercrombie’s maximum size 10 and Lane Bryant’s minimum size 14: They should band together and bring lawsuits against both manufacturers for size discrimination. Start a revolution for the Mid-Size People of America.
Or we could all just voice our displeasure the old fashioned way: with our wallets. If you don’t like what a company has to offer, don’t shop there. If you don’t agree with a retailer’s philosophy, don’t give them your money.
Pretty simple. Seems more effective to me than continuing to give them free publicity with all of the protests and howls of indignation.
I am tired of hearing about Angelina Jolie’s boobs.
For those of you who live in caves or have had no access to the most important news story on every possible outlet, Angelina Jolie recently announced that she has undergone a “preventive double mastectomy” because she tested positive for the BRCA1 gene, which shows an increased risk for breast cancer. Reporters are singing praises for her bravery, and Brad Pitt has gone public to say, with moist eyes, how much he still loves her. She says she did it so that she can be there for her kids in the future.
Let me see if I’m understanding this correctly. A famous millionaire was able to pay for a very expensive medical test that most of us can’t afford, and which is not covered by most insurance.
She then chose the double mastectomy, followed by expensive reconstructive surgery that made her famous breasts even more beautiful and famous than they were before.
Her loving man still loves her despite the best, most lovely set of tits that money can buy.
She wants to be there for her children.
Aww, let’s nominate her for sainthood.
Unlike the average woman, who can’t afford to be tested for the BRCA1 gene, she was able to make an admittedly difficult decision. And unlike the average woman, that decision wasn’t made more difficult by the prospect of living the remainder of her life with a disfigured body – because, unlike the average woman, she could afford a terrific plastic surgeon afterward.
She is being lauded for raising awareness of the genetic test for BRCA1. I find that amusing because awareness isn’t the problem. Most women are aware of the test.
I know that I have been aware of the test since I had the first lump removed from my breast ten years ago. My doctor told me about the test, told me how much it would cost, and explained that my insurance would not cover it. Then he reminded me of my high-risk status because of my mothers’s diagnosis at age 38, and sent me on my merry way for my biopsy.
Awareness of the test isn’t the problem. Affordability is the problem. It needs to be made affordable to the average person, and it needs to be covered by medical insurance just like any other preventive testing.
Let’s talk about bravery. Lori, who survived and became an outspoken advocate for her Sisters in Pink. Her best friend Dee, who lost the battle before her thirtieth birthday but never, ever stopped fighting. Kay – my Mom – who fought it twice and only survived long enough to hold one of her seven grandchildren. Kristy. Delores. Sherry. Donna. Aunt Noni. Chris. Even Pam, the first Mrs. Big Guy. The list is too damn long.
Every one of those women loved her children and wanted a future with them just as much as Angelina Jolie wants a future with hers.
Every time I hear someone on TV talk about Angelina Jolie’s bravery and difficult decision, I get angry. I can’t help it. I’m sorry, but she’s no braver than the women who fight breast cancer every day. The only difference between them and her is that she has the money to be proactive.
This whole thing strikes me as being a bit Marie Antoinette-ish. If the poor were starving, Marie Antoinette declared, then “let them eat cake!” And now, if you’re worried about breast cancer, Angelina Jolie crows “let them be tested!”
Angelina Jolie is not a role model in this situation. She’s a woman who was rich enough to find out if she was at risk, and rich enough to do something about it. That’s all.
He’s building a chicken coop.
A chicken coop, for God’s sake.
We live on forty acres of woods, and I have learned to deal with marauding raccoons, flying squirrels, and a bat invasion. I have shooed a possum out of my living room, and I can set a perfect mousetrap in seconds flat. I still pee when I see snakes, but at least I don’t pee and scream at the same time any more. That’s what I call progress.
In short, I have become a country girl. A hunter’s wife. Hardy pioneer stock.
But I’ve got to draw the line.
Chickens. We’re getting chickens.
He’s building a chicken coop.
He says we’ll save money by gathering our own eggs. Once we’ve paid for the coop and the fence and the chicken feed –and the chickens themselves – I think it’s going to add up to the fiscal equivalent of a whole lot of eggs.
He said the pullets will be here by the end of the week. I asked him when the push-its will be here. He didn’t realize that I was making a joke, and now he thinks I’m an idiot.
Not the first time he’s thought that. Probably not the last.
My family had chickens when I was a little girl. My parents had bought a farmhouse in Marcellus, Michigan in a last-ditch attempt to save their marriage, not realizing that a lonely house in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by pig farmers on all sides, was not going to be conducive to reconciliation.
Dad brought home a box containing five Bantam chickens and a rooster. We named them Eeeny, Meeny, Miney, And, Mo and Jerry. Yes, there was a chicken named And and a rooster named Jerry.
We had them long enough for my sisters and me to name them. I think I may have been responsible for And. Then Dad drove out to the new farm, where he opened the box and the poultry promptly disappeared into the woods, never to be seen again. To this day, their descendants probably roam the countryside near Marcellus in a wild chickenpack.
My husband says I won’t have to do any of the work. The kids, he says, will take care of everything. I’m left to wonder if he’s ever actually met our children. I can’t even get them to carry their dirty dishes as far as the sink, but he thinks they’re going to clean up chicken poop.
To be fair, my daughter is better at housework than I am. She loves to scrub and organize and vacuum. According to her priorities, not mine. I have visions of her Pine-sol-ing the hell out of the coop and trying to tie pretty ribbons on the chickens themselves, color-coordinated to match their feathers. And my youngest will most likely herd the poor animals around the yard in a perfect imitation of our Blue Heeler.
But when they are on summer vacation and happily sleeping in, I think we all know who’s going to be outside on an early morning egg hunt. Do I really need to spell out who is going to end up with a fine layer of chicken crap under her fingernails?
And let’s not forget Snickers, our shell-shocked Heeler. She is afraid of everything. She runs from squirrels, howls at flies, yips in terror if a dragonfly lands too close to her nose. Our three-pound cat can leave her quivering in fear with one well-timed meow.
I have a pretty good idea how she is going to react to fifteen invaders in our yard. She’ll have a heart attack by the end of the first week, and then I’ll be in charge of housebreaking a new puppy. Farewell, Snickers. We hardly knew ye.
Death by chicken.
But I have to admit, I’m getting a bit excited about the idea of farm-fresh eggs close at hand. I’ll never have to realize I’m out of eggs in the middle of baking a cake. I can make deviled eggs or omelets whenever I want without worrying about having enough eggs. And we don’t have to worry about hormones or pesticides or any kind of chemicals, because the eggs will be completely organic.
It’ll be a nice hobby for the Big Guy. He is so smart that he really does need hobbies to keep him entertained, and this chicken coop that he is building is practically a work of art. Keeping chickens will teach the kids some responsibility, too. Eventually, we’ll be able to eat some of the chickens– although I’m already a little freaked out at the thought of eating an animal I’ve fed and named.
Then again, the Big Guy says I’m not allowed to name them. I think he’s afraid I’ll name one And.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
There are days in my life when the glass is half-full, but there are also days when it is half-empty. Then again, there are days when that glass is nothing but a pile of shattered glass and melting ice on the floor.
Whenever someone mentions the half-full/half-empty analogy, I am reminded of something that happened when I was fourteen years old. Mom sat us down at the kitchen table and told us, in a matter-of-fact tone, that the she had breast cancer. She explained the words chemotherapy, radiation, radical mastectomy.
There was nothing to say. Mom was nothing if not efficient, and she answered all of our questions before we asked them.
I was really young and stupid. I thought I could make it better with a dumb gesture. I went to the sink, half-filled a glass with water, and plunked it on the table in front of her, saying something like, “It’s half-full, Mom.”
There was, of course, much eye-rolling from my older sisters and deafening silence from my mother, and I mentally kicked myself for being such a moron. The incident was never mentioned again until nearly eight years later, when the cancer came back with a vengeance and Mom told me that my gesture had been a source of strength for her the first time around.
Ha. Score one for my inner optimist.
Life sucks sometimes. People get hurt and people die, and most of us suffer unbearable losses at one time or another. But the sun comes up the next day, and we drag our sorry asses out of bed, and we trudge through the next day to face the possibility of more pain, more loss, more heartache. Some nights, we cry ourselves to sleep and pray that tomorrow never comes, but that damn sun comes back again and again and hope keeps rising with it.
I could cry because I lost my mom at 21, or I can be thankful that I had her for eight bonus years. I can rage about losing Dad at 31, or I can thank God I had a chance to reconcile with him before his death. I can whine and wail about everything I lost on June 21, 2011, or I can be grateful for all of the miracles that kept my children and me alive when the tree fell on our van. Seriously, how many people survive something like that?
To be honest, I still struggle with that one. It’s one thing to be grateful; it’s another thing entirely to keep my chin up when I’m in too much pain to remember my own name, or when I have a flashback triggered by something stupid like thunder or a car wash or the color blue.
But overall, the glass has to be half-full.
If it isn’t, why are we here?
About five minutes ago, I got my email confirming that my entry in this year’s Writer’s Digest Competition has been received. And I got it in early enough to qualify for the Early Bird Discount.
Which makes me both brave and frugal.
Or possibly just deluded and cheap.
Either way, it’s done. I’ve decided that I’m only going to enter one or two contests per year now because they are so expensive. And I limit myself to only those contests that will look good on my resume and could possibly open some doors for me.
I’ve entered this particular competition many, many times before; it’s no longer about the prize. No, this contest has become that one big, seemingly unbeatable challenge. Like Ahab and Moby Dick. Earnhardt and the Daytona 500.
I just want to place.
I took a risk this year and entered two stories in categories I’ve never tried before. I entered a Young Adult story and a Genre Short Story (Humor). Kind of pinning my hopes on the funny story because it seems like everyone submits their most heart-rending, tear-jerking, literary stories. So I’m taking a gamble that maybe my funny story will stand out from the crowd and get noticed because it’s different.
Then again, “different” may not be a good thing. It may get terrible scores for being fluff.
Which is why also submitted my most heart-rending, tear-jerking, literary story to cover my butt.
What about the rest of you? How many of you enter writing contests, and how do you decide what stories or poems to submit?
Daily Prompt: Turn to your co-workers, kids, Facebook friends, family — anyone who’s accessible — and ask them to suggest an article, an adjective, and a noun. There’s your post title! Now write.
Since I am home alone most of the day, I had to ask for input for the Daily Prompt from my friends on Facebook, and I realized just how eclectic, smart and delightfully twisted my friends are. Not only did I get words like “craven”, I also got what is perhaps the greatest Facebook comment ever made. Ever:
I asked my staff to help. I said give me an adjective to describe yourself. From them I got “Jittery” (Obviously too much coffee) “Bloated” (Didn’t ask) and “Flatulent”. I have since decided to leave early for court . . .
Bless your heart. I had no idea lawyers were so funny.
Back to business. The word craven immediately made me think of Lord Archibald Craven in “The Secret Garden”. But since it’s used here as an adjective and not a great character in literature, I had to look it up.
It means “cowardly”.
It really does describe Lord Craven. He is a coward, trapped by his own fears in a cold and lonely world of his own creation. He is so afraid of having a crippled son that his fear turns the boy into an invalid; he is so afraid of losing another loved one that he won’t allow himself to love anyone at all. He is distant and terribly alone, all because of his fears.
If you aren’t familiar with the book, it’s the story of Mary, a young orphaned girl who is forced to move from her luxurious home in India to her uncle’s lonely manor in England. Like her uncle, Lord Craven, she is withdrawn and cold, starved for any kind of affection. She “adopts” an old, abandoned garden and as the plants grow and blossom, so does Mary—and so does everyone around her.
It’s a story of growth and healing, of the strength of the human spirit if only it is properly tended.
Every year, when I planted my garden, I thought of Mary asking, “Please, sir, may I have a bit of Earth?” And I’d smile and tell myself that I read too much, and to shut up and water the damn plants.
Two years ago, I didn’t get my garden planted because of my car accident. I was in the hospital when I should have been turning the soil, in a brace when I should have been weeding, feeling sorry for myself when I should have been harvesting. I didn’t get it done last year, either; the physical work was just too hard. Too overwhelming.
I’ve been a craven fool, a coward, so afraid of pain that I’ve given up. I stopped gardening, swimming, walking the KalHaven Trail, playing outside with my kids. I let my fear of getting hurt again stop my healing. I’ve let my spirit die alongside my garden.
My little garden sits there, untended, overgrown, abandoned. Just like Mary’s garden when she first discovered it.
The Big Guy says we don’t need to plant the garden this year. We can buy our tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans without all of the back-breaking work. He knows I’m scared, and he knows the work will be hard, and he wants to keep me safe.
But he never read “The Secret Garden.”
He doesn’t understand that gardening isn’t about the harvest. It’s about the growth.
Daily Prompt: National Poetry Writing Month is nearly at at end. To celebrate it, try your hand at some verse.
For your sake I hope it’s always 6 a.m. in Heaven
so you can walk the marina at dawn when the only sound is the
Of ropes against the masts
while waves tickle the tummies of sailboats
snoozing in their slips.
Maybe it’s always sunset
so you can sit on a porch and catch every glimmer
of the sun on the Lake
as a million fiery diamonds drown just for you.
Heaven should be warm because you loved sunshine
especially in the fall
with leaves crunching underfoot
while you whistled through acorn-caps
like you taught me to do.
I hope angels have a sense of humor
so someone can laugh with you.
What good is eternity if nobody laughs?
I think my kids go to the best school in the world. I am so proud of them, but I am also proud of myself and my husband, for making the choice to keep them in this particular school system.
Early on, I faced a lot of criticism from certain people in my life who felt that the school was just too small to be effective. Then, when a nearby town offered the “Promise” of a free college education to anyone who graduated from their public schools, I faced huge pressure from those same people to transfer my kids. The implication –sometimes not a very subtle one—was that I was a bad mother for not switching schools immediately.
A few years later, our little school ended up on a list of schools that were struggling. Once again, I was hit with pressure to yank my kids out of their school and enroll them in another. I’ll admit I shed a lot of tears over the nasty phone calls and emails from folks who felt that I was clearly not focusing on my children’s best interests.
Now, our school is on a few “best” lists in our state. Their scores are steadily improving every year, and the kids have the added bonus of being part of an educational community that is small enough to focus on more than just standardized test scores.
You know, I never heard my high school principal speak until he stood at the podium at my graduation. I met the Assistant Principal a few times (usually during second hour German class when I got mouthy with Fraulein Johnson), but Mr. Evans was a mystery. And forget about meeting the Superintendant! We had all heard stories about him, but many of us wondered if he really existed at all.
At my kids’ school, the principal and the superintendant have both done crazy things like taking turns in the dunking booth at different fundraisers, or riding donkeys at donkey basketball games. They join the teachers in interacting with the kids in school as well as at community events. Basically, the entire staff strives to make themselves relatable, approachable, human to our kids.
Maybe I’ve got it backward, but that’s every bit as important to me as high scores on standardized tests.
This past year, our school participated in Challenge Day, a program whose mission is “to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.” Challenge Day urges kids to “Be The Change”, to reach out to each other. For more information on Challenge Day, go to challengeday.org.
This past week, the staff and administrators of our little school took this a step farther. They put together a hilarious video in which none of them is afraid to look silly. From the P.E . teacher’s Elvis impersonation to the drama teacher’s willingness to laugh at her own . . .ah, vertical challenges, to the principal himself –who really shows how to rock a bathrobe and black socks, by the way –the video shows the kids that adults aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone.
The caption to the video reads as follows:
Be the change in your school. Our teachers opened themselves up to demonstrate their willingness to “Be the Change” at Bloomingdale Public Schools. Can you make a difference in your school?
Challenge yourself to leave your comfort zone. Improve your school by working harder in class, being nicer to one another, take care of the building–have pride in your school. If you won’t don’t expect others to change first.
I am proud to be the parent of three Cardinals. Here’s hoping the video goes viral:
I learned a new word recently. Ready for it?
Isn’t that great? Say it out loud: Whumpage. I dare you to try to say it without grinning immediately afterward.
It’s a term used by fanfiction writers to describe stories in which physical or emotional pain is heaped on a favorite character, over and over and over again. These stories are usually categorized in the Hurt/Comfort genre and have summaries that promise “Lots of whumpage! Tissue alert!”
And they are hilarious.
It starts with the smallest, youngest, or prettiest male character from any fandom (book, TV show, etc.). In some cases, one character fits all three criteria, and then the authors have a field day. This character is built up to be as vulnerable as possible, often bordering on childlike or effeminate. Some of the more ambitious writers portray him as so vulnerable and childlike that he almost seems to be mentally incompetent.
Then this creative little author will proceed to beat the living crap out of the poor guy.
I need to go off on a quick tangent here about the nature of injuries in fanfiction. The tiniest bump on the noggin results in a concussion, which quickly degenerates into a skull fracture – with or without a coma. While the loved ones suffer through all kinds of angst, the pitiful patient almost always develops pneumonia with a fever that soon soars up into the seizure zone.
Any broken bone in fanfiction automatically becomes a compound fracture with full complications. Everyone, it seems, ends up with broken ribs that puncture and collapse a lung. Which, of course, always becomes pneumonia.
Injured or sick characters in fanfiction also develop every complication known to man. There is almost always a setback of some sort just as things start looking up, sometimes dozens of times in the same story. On occasion the setback is due to incompetent or cruel medical professionals whose poor treatment brings about a relapse or the aforementioned pneumonia; more often it comes in the form of some evildoer bent on the destruction and suffering of the poor fellow.
At some point, breathing stops. Then the heart stops. After much angst, gnashing of teeth, and tearing of hair, our pretty little hero miraculously comes back – either through CPR, defibrillator, or the life-saving teardrops of that one special friend/lover/pal.
Many of the best (translation: worst) whumpage stories are teeming with guy-on-guy rape scenes.
I’ve never been able to understand the appeal of this aspect of these stories. Seriously, if I’m having some heavy-duty fantasies about, say, Johnny Gage, the absolute last thing I want to read is a story in which he is violently gang-raped by some macho bad guy with questionable motivation.
Can anybody explain this to me?
Another fairly creepy trademark of these whumpage stories is the “comfort” part of Hurt/Comfort. The other male characters suddenly become, for no apparent reason, Mommies. They comfort the poor whumped-upon fellow by rubbing his back while he vomits, or by spooning broth into his mouth. They carry their injured friend around like a toddler and exchange soft, gentle words of love while tucking him in and wondering when –or if—help will arrive. And arrive it does, always at the last possible second, just when all hope seems lost.
Honestly, I am a Mommy, and I’m not even that nice to my own kids when they are sick. I’m the kind of Mommy who says, “If you’re gonna hurl, hurl that way” before handing them the Barf Bucket.
One popular variation of the Hurt/Comfort story is the hero who bravely hides his own injuries while taking care of his friends. With superhuman strength and determination, he might drag an unconscious victim out of a burning building despite his own broken pelvis or collapsed lung; he will grit his teeth against the pain of a broken leg or spine while marching up and down a hill to build a shelter for his buddy after an airplane crash. He’ll ignore the throbbing pain of a concussion long enough to get his BFF to safety before passing out.
This then gives all kinds of opportunity for more angst, as the other characters berate themselves for not noticing his injuries.
The funniest part of a whumpage story is the recovery of our poor, frail little whipping boy. After multiple compound fractures, collapsed lungs and dozens of concussions, these fellas always recover fully and bounce right back into their lives with no lingering pain or memory issues. Nobody ever has to file a disability claim.
I want to include links to a few examples of extreme Hurt/Comfort/Whumpage on Fanfiction.net, but I also want to make sure to give a few warnings first. Some of these stories are very explicit and have already been reported for exceeding FFNet’s standards, so please don’t read if you are easily offended.
These fanfic writers have put a lot of effort into their work, and some of them are really quite talented. They aren’t bad writers; they are simply following an established (and unfortunate) trend on the site. Besides, the more a writer beats up on a character, the more reviews he or she will get. It’s addictive. All of those accolades make it really tempting to kick the guy while he’s down. . . for just one more chapter.
In short, please be nice to the writers of the stories I am listing here.
“Missing in Motion” actually started out as a decent story with some promise. The boys of Big Time Rush are involved in a tour bus accident and then kidnapped by a group of really well-written criminals. So far, so good. Then we get the first major surgery on the Pitiful Character, followed by a second car accident, and a random stoner rapes one of the boys while a misguided Army medic rapes another; later, two of the boys are forced to sexually assault each other at gunpoint and the crazed medic goes after his patient again. Later still, two of the boys are sold into sexual slavery in Canada, where one of them is molested by his former hockey coach. Meanwhile, one boy nearly dies from a knife wound while the other has a complete mental breakdown and psychotic break after having a bomb strapped to his chest.
And it keeps going. On and on and on, with no end in sight. The author is trying to write a heartbreaking tale of pain and suffering, but it is so over the top that it actually seems like a parody of Hurt/Comfort/Whumpage stories.
“Death Warmed Over” is one that opens with the life-threatening injury of the prettiest man on the show White Collar. The poor boy suffers chapter after chapter of near-recovery followed by a string of horrific relapses—also with no end in sight.
Then there’s “Faithfully Condemned”, a Criminal Minds story in which Reid is horribly tortured for no reason other than to make him seem increasingly frail and pathetic. I’ll admit I stopped reading this one early on because it was just too . . . icky. The writer really put a lot of thought and planning into this one. Maybe a bit too much, if you get my meaning.
So I’m a bit cruel to laugh at stories of pain and suffering on Fanfiction.Net, but I also understand the fun of writing them. As a matter of fact, I used to have a bunch of Hurt/Comfort stories on my account over there that I have since deleted because they were so awful.
No matter how bad the whumpage stories are, can we all agree that they are still better than “Fifty Shades of Grey”?
I am honored to have been nominated for a Liebster Award! I keep seeing it pop up on other people’s blogs, and I am absolutely tickled to get the chance to be a part of it. I was nominated by Anja, whose blog is full of inspiration, motivation, and a lot of wisdom. And she’s got great hair. You should go check out her blog.
And now, down to business. The Liebster Award is very unique in the fact it brings recognition to the smaller blogs of the ‘verse. With that in mind, all of the nominated blogs will have less than 200 followers.
- Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
- Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
- Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
- Display the Liebster Award logo.
- No tag back thingys.
Now eleven utterly random
- I have been married for seventeen years
- When I was 18, I traveled to England with a teenage theater company.
- I have met a surprising number of celebrities in my life, which is odd considering the fact that I live in a very small town in Michigan.
- I make fantastic peanut butter no-bake cookies.
- Snakes make me pee.
- My favorite flowers are lilacs and daffodils.
- I am either the unluckiest person on Earth, or the luckiest. I’m not sure which, but I wouldn’t recommend standing next to me in a thunderstorm.
- I believe that a good laugh can fix almost everything.
- I used to be fluent in German.
- I can’t sing, but I do it anyway. All the time.
- I believe that any day that involves Lake Michigan is a good day.
Eleven Questions I Have Been Asked
- If you could be any flavor ice cream, what color would you be? I would want to be lemon ice cream, because it’s sweet and tart at the same time. And I’d want to be purple because that would be really unexpected.
- What authors, photographers or artists inspire you? John Keats, Chopin, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain and Douglas Adams.
- Do you have any regrets in life? Of course! But life can’t be lived in reverse, so I try not to dwell on them. Although I really wish I could go back and un-say a few horrible things to my friend Kathy.
- Why do you blog? I blog to to reach out to others, to give them something to think about or make them chuckle. I also do it as a way to improve my writing habits.
- Are you an introvert or extrovert? Combo? I am a recovering extrovert.
- Who is your hero? Nancy Gideon. She is a successful novelist who still has a day job and somehow still found time to raise her children while encouraging and helping aspiring writers. And she is so astonishingly nice.
- Was there ever a food you refused to eat as a child, but now can’t get enough of? Brussels sprouts.
- What do you think the color red tastes like? Like good chili – spicy and tangy, but oh-so-yummy.
- If you could pick your own theme song…what would it be? “I Will Survive” (although there are days when Nugent’s “Kiss My A**” is a close second).
- What hobbies do you have NOT blog related? I love needlework, especially embroidery and hand-quilting. It’s my Prozac.
- What is your favorite number? Six
Eleven Questions for My Nominees
- If you could be a superhero, what power would you want?
- Coke or Pepsi?
- What do you believe in?
- Who inspires you?
- Are you an Old Soul or Young at Heart?
- What was your first job?
- Pick your own question here…..
- What is your dream car?
- If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- Dog person or cat person?
- What one place would you like to visit before you die?
My Eleven Nominees
http://donofalltrades.com/ (added a little bit late because I can’t count!)