Friday, June 20, 2014

Liebster Award Nominee

What a pleasant surprise to wake up this morning and browse through some of the comments on a few of my latest blog post, while I thought about what I wanted to blog about today, to find that I'd been nominated for a Liebster Award by author D. Wallace Peach of Mythss of the Mirror Blog {}.  
I've heard of the Liebster before, but have never been nominated.  I'm feeling quite honored, mostly because this nomination came from a complete stranger and someone who clearly enjoys reading my blog.  To me, I'm already a winner just for that fact alone.  

Well, being nominated for a Liebster doesn't come without strings... and here are the strings.  I've got some questions to answer and a little bit of homework to do.

11 Random Facts:
  1. I love to cook gourmet foods.  I love the small portions, the way that different textures and flavors come together to create a party in my mouth.  I love the healthy aspect surrounding the foods I cook.
  2. A man in a military uniform is one of my greatest weaknesses.  It doesn't matter how he looks, I find every man in a military uniform quite handsome. I honor and respect them.  I admire them.   
  3. I'm an adrenaline junkie.  I like activities that scare me.  If it doesn't take my breath away, I'm bored.  But if it does take my breath away... I can't get enough. Going skydiving in two days.
  4. I'm a Superhero nerd.  If it wears a costume and has a supernatural or extra special ability... I'm hooked. 
  5. When my world feels like it's caving in on me, I go out to the woods and being in nature helps relax me, helps me regain my center.
  6. I love to sing out loud in my car, even serenading my red light neighbors.  
  7. I've kissed a gorgeous stranger in the grocery store once...when I was 23 and had just earned my degree.  I just walked right up to him and smiled.  When he went to open his mouth to ask me who I was or what I wanted, I put my finger over his lips, shook my head, and then slipped my hand behind his neck, pulling his face down to mine (I'm short he was taller than me) and I kissed him... good.  I'll never forget the look on his face just before I walked away.  I never saw him again, and don't know a single thing about him... but to this day, it is still the best kiss I've ever had. 
  8. I love epic fantasies.  The bigger, the better.  I love tales of heroes and anti-heroes... even reluctant, prophesied, or arrogant ones.  
  9. I love sushi.  My friends tried to get me to try it for years, but it took a fifth failed attempt, an attitude, and a strawberry Mojito to get me to try it... and I fell in love with it.
  10. I've lost nearly 100 lbs purely through exercise and diet, yet NOT on a diet.  I made a change to my eating lifestyle to a more healthy and proportionate menu... and nature has done the rest. I love to work out.   I've worked hard to get where I am... and I've still got a ways to go and I won't allow a destructive influence or lifestyle come into my life that will be detriment to my success. 
  11. I hate 11 questions.  What's wrong with 10? 
11 Questions:

  1. What am I working on right now?  I'm writing a urban fantasy based on the arch angel Michael and features an Army Drill Sergeant at Fort Benning, Georgia and a Peace Corp Teacher in Butha Buthe, Losotho, South Africa. I'm really enjoying the research... and actual Drill Sergeant and Peace Corp Teacher.
  2. Where do I write and why?  At my home office.  When I sit down to my desk, my mind goes into work mode.  It's how I've trained my mind and body to respond.
  3. What was the first creative piece I remember writing?  I grew up telling my five brothers stories.  But the first piece I ever wrote where I realized I could write was in high school and I was feeling frustrated writing a creative term paper.  I could do anything that was structured and involved research.  Facts, details, getting things right... I felt like Nancy Drew and there was a mystery to solve.  But, given a free writing term paper where I had to use my creativity... I felt lost. I don't even remember the teacher's name, but I do remember sitting in her class and she walked over to me and asked me what was wrong.  When I told her I didn't understand, because there were no rules, and I couldn't narrow my focus to a single idea.  I really think my problem was... there were endless possibilities... and I couldn't just pick one.  She asked me to pick a word - one word.  I chose cat.  She then smiled and said, "Okay, tell me about this cat.  Where is it from, what is it doing, why is it doing it, where is it going, who is this cat?"  Voila... my imagination took off and before the end of class I had nearly written eight full pages of story and didn't want to stop because my Cat, who was an alien, had just  decided it has picked the wrong species to mimic upon landing, and was finding it difficult to complete its mission in that particular form.  
  4. Where do I find inspiration?  In the people I meet and interact with in this life.  People are interesting, fascinating, scary, unpredictable, evil, kind and beautiful.
  5. When did I decide to become a writer?  I think I was born a writer... it just took me nearly 35 years before I realized it.
  6. The book that has most influences me as a person?  I'd have to say the Bible, it's helped me pay attention to my motives, my intentions, my character... but then my morals, ideas, and open-mindedness have really been developed over the years through Nancy Drew, Jane Austen, Piers Anthony, J.K. Rowling, Patrick Rothfuss, Mark Lawrence... and all the other writers I've grown or enjoy reading now.  I love a story that has something to learn. 
  7. What book(s) most influence my writing?  All of them.  None of them.  
  8. Why did I choose my genre?  I didn't.  It just happened to be what the story that filled my head happened to be.
  9. Is there a book I'd like to see on film?  All my favorites.  Definitely The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, The Broken Empire Series by Mark Lawrence, Blood Song by Anthony Ryan, or any of the short stories written by David Holton and Jeff Suwak.  Of course.. all of my books. 
  10. What am I currently reading?  The Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence.
  11. Elevator pitch for my WIP?  When there's a war between the General of Angels and the General of Demons on the horizon that threatens the existence of humanity, there's no room for the complexity of human emotion.  But that's exactly what they have to conquer to either save or destroy the world. 
11 Bloggers (with less than 200 followers) Nominees.  I nominate:


Well, I've done my homework.  I appreciate the nomination and I hope those whom I've nominated do the same.  

Good luck, all!

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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