Blogging from A to Z and Liebster Award

I decided to participate in this year's Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the first time. I'd never heard of this before until my virtual friend, writer Susan Oloier, posted about it on Facebook. Susan is planning to do it on TWO blogs at once, but I am not brave enough to try that on the first year. (Susan writes a number of blogs, including Moxie Writers about young adult fiction and My Life with Zane, about her journey parenting an adorable son with Trisomy 18.) I've never met Susan in person but I feel like I know her well through her blogs and Facebook!

After signing up for the challenge, I got tagged by a fellow blogger, author K.S. Collier, who gave me the "Liebster Award."

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the Liebster Award, and link back to his or her blog. THANK YOU, K.S.!

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Present the Liebster Award to 11 bloggers, who have blogs with 200 followers or less, whom you feel deserve to be noticed. Leave a comment on the blogs letting the owners know they have been chosen. (No tag backs. Shows my blogging ignorance that I'm not sure what these are!)

4. Upload the Liebster Award image to your blog.

11 Questions from KS (looks like a writing theme!):

1.  What would your perfect world look like?
No poverty or religious intolerance; equality for all, everywhere in the world; no war or strife; clean water, soil, and air; diplomacy instead of violence; education for all.

2.  How many hours a day do you spend writing?
At least 7 or 8, since I'm a writer/editor by trade as well as in my spare time (blogging). I write, edit, and develop communications for an environmental consulting firm. Sometimes I spend a lot of time on conference calls or planning, but otherwise I'm writing, editing, or proofreading.

3. What inspired you to write?
My advanced composition professor in college--read the story here.

4. Who do you have to critique and edit your work?
I'm lucky to have a writer husband--we critique and QC each other's work. (At work, I have a wide variety of people I can call on.)

5.  Do you have a muse? 
I don't know...I'll have to think about that one. I'm called to write by my inner self.

6.  What time do you write (day or night)?
I write during the day at work and blog at night and on the weekends.

Receiving two of my
communications awards in 2012
7. Describe your work area where you write.
My office cubicle faces the window, on the 7th floor, so I have a decent view. At home I usually write in my bedroom, on my bed.

8. Who is/are your favorite author(s)?
Here are 15 writers who have influenced me.

9. What have you written so far? (Published or unpublished, poetry, etc.?)
Too many things to list, at work. Last year I won several awards for my business communications. In my spare time, I have several blogs (this is my most active one) and I've written journals, short stories, essays, songs, and poetry. I recently found a short story I wrote in the 1980s, and I was surprised that I actually liked it!

10. What's your favorite color?
I like jewel tones--purple, blue, and green.

11. What's your favorite kind of pizza?
I like pizza with fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes.

My 11 random facts:

1. I don't care for beets, radishes, or Brussels sprouts. My husband loves all three of these veggies.

2. If we had had a girl, we would have named her Susanna.

3. I used to collect stationery when I was a girl--at one point I owned well over 100 varieties. They were numbered and catalogued. I still have a weakness for paper products.

4. When I was in fifth grade, I sang my first solo--it was "Let It Be" at the school talent show, and I sang and played my guitar.

5. I also wrote my first song around the same age. It was called "God Makes All Things Beautiful," and the last line of the chorus was "He makes all men free." That was before I got enlightened!

6. Back in the days when I was taller than her, my sister's great weapon was her saliva. Once I made a giant cut-out of myself and posted it on my bedroom door. When we got into a fight, Nadine spit all over it. I was not happy.

7. My first boyfriend was named Mike, and he was Catholic. Then I married a Catholic Mike. Otherwise, there is absolutely no comparison!

Visiting family (we'd never met before) in Philadelphia
Look how skinny I was at 16--and check out those knee-highs!
8. My most cherished childhood memory is when I was 16, my family took a six-week trip across the a Buick Regal with no cartop carrier. We each had one small suitcase, and we packed the trunk with everything for camping (in pup tents). We camped and stayed with friends all the way to the east coast and back and had wonderful adventures, including cooking a lobster on a camp stove, eating ice cream for dinner one night, camping during record rainfall in a state park in New Jersey, and going to see "Barnum" at Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

In NYC (historic skyline photo, now)

With my maternal grandma
9. Sadly, all of my grandparents had died by the time I had husband's too, so the kids don't have any great-grandparents. Even though our parents had us when they were fairly young, we took our time to have kids.

10. Some of my favorite actors are George Clooney, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Steve Carrell, Hugh Grant, Rob Lowe, Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Melissa McCarthy, Katharine Hepburn, and Sally Field (showing my age!!). And I actually like Anne Hathaway...guess I'm unusual that way!

11. If I could get paid to do anything, I'd spend my time traveling around the world with my family, reading books, eating good food, and blogging. And that just about sums up the spirit of my blog.

The following are the questions for the next lucky 11 chosen.

1. If you could get paid to do anything, what would you do?
2. Who are your favorite actors?
3. When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
4. What is your guilty pleasure?
5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
6. What made you start blogging?
7. What is your most popular blog post?
8. What do you order at Starbucks (or whatever coffee/tea place you patronize)?
9. What is your favorite memory of a grandparent?
10. If you could change two things in the world, what would you change?
11. What is your favorite song?

And here are the bloggers I'm tagging:

1. My darling husband, at Middle Grade Mafioso
2. My college friend Kristin, who writes about running (mostly) at Running with the Runner Girl
3. My friend and coworker Amy at Idaho Chicken Ranch
4. Susan (mentioned above) at My Life with Zane
5. Colleen (who I met through Goodreads and even though we live in the same town and haven't met, I feel like I know here) at Under a Red Roof
6. Lizzie at Sweet Life with Lizzi 
7. My coworker Jill at Pacific Northwest Seasons
8. Another coworker, Colleen, who's been keeping a blog during her time in Japan: Jersey Joshii, and I think she should keep it up!
9. Another coworker, who lives in the UK and just had an adorable baby named Alice--she blogs at eptivity

10. Amy at The Cleveland Duo, who hasn't blogged for awhile, so I'm hoping I can prompt her to start that she has an adorable little boy to write about!
11. And Katie, another friend who hasn't posted for awhile, at The Medical Miracle, whose little miracle just turned 2!

Have fun, Liebster bloggers!


  1. Thanks the for notice Marie! Have to chew on those questions a bit - and I'm not sure I could come up with 11 other bloggers, I am not quite that active! But some....You continue to amaze and inspire me with your prolific writing.

  2. Thanks Jill...don't worry if you can't come up with 11!

  3. So glad you've decided to do the Challenge with us. It can be a very fun and rewarding experience.

    Gotta agree about your choice of what you'd want to do if you could get paid to do anything. What a dream come true!

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  4. Thanks Marie for stopping by my site and for participating in the Liebster awards. It is fun getting to know others across the world who blog, write, and share in like interests. I love your answers and your childhood memories. I'm sure I have you beat in age. I like a lot of the same actors. Congratulations on the Communication Awards you received last year. That was a great honor. My motto is "Life's a Journey, so make it the best journey you can. Memories are treasures." Looking forward to A to Z-ing it with you.


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