Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Liebster

One of the most fun parts about starting this blog last February has been the other bloggers that I have had the opportunity to meet. There is an entire community of writers sharing bits and pieces of themselves online, and even though I have not met any of them in person, I feel like they are friends. They are smart, thoughtful and savvy women and men, and I love that they have let me be a part of their cyber universe.

Which is why I was thrilled and incredibly honored when Emma gave me the Liebster Award. And what, you might ask, is a Liebster Award? Kind of like a chain letter, it is an award given to a new-ish, up and coming blogger by another blogger, who in turn got in from someone else. Get it?  Just think of those chain letters you used to get as a kid. Although, I almost always broke the chain, and never did receive the promised 10 letters from around the world.

The origins of the award are a little murky, but it has been making its way around the blogosphere for some time now, and seems like fun.

The rules of the game are simple:
  1. The recipient of the award posts 11 facts about themselves
  2. The recipient then answers 11 questions posed by the giver of the award
  3. The recipient nominates other bloggers for the award, links to them, and posts 11 questions for those bloggers to answer
Ok, so maybe it's not quite so simple, but it is pretty fun, and I am psyched to do it. So, here we go:

11 Facts About Me
  1. I was speaking in complete sentences when I was just over a year old. I was like some kind of mutant child. My mom says strangers used to come up to the stroller and speak to me in baby voices, and I used to answer them, talking like I was 12 years old. It totally freaked them out.
  2. If I hear a song once, I can remember all of the words for the rest of my life.
  3. I love romance novels more than anything in the world, and I own every single book that Nora Roberts has ever written.
  4. I have a notebook filled with ideas about a series of romance novels that I plan to write, and I have already started on the first one.
  5. My favorite food is french fries. I need to eat them at least once a week or I get cranky. I sometimes think that I could eat nothing but french fries for every meal until the day I die and I would be completely content.
  6. I love country music.
  7. I didn't understand a single part of any of the following movies: Inception, Minority Report, and The Matrix 
  8. I use Google as a spell checker. I am the worst speller in the world. Ironic considering, you know, this blog.
  9. I can recite all the dialogue from the movie Speed.
  10. I watch, regularly (as in, don't miss a single episode of) twenty-one television shows a week. That doesn't include Football, Gilmore Girls re-runs, The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. I watch all of those too.
  11. I won't read a book that doesn't have a happy ending.
Answers to Emma's Questions For Me
  1. What is your favorite tree and why? - The huge oak tree that sat right outside our house in Pittsburgh where I grew up that was inhabited by a family of squirrels that fascinated my dad. I'm pretty sure that we have pictures somewhere of that squirrel family.
  2. Are you still in touch with anyone from elementary school? How about high school? - Neither, actually. 
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world with no financial or language concerns, where would it be? - I don't really have aspirations for world travel, I'm pretty much a homebody, so I would probably choose to live right where I am. Or in Pittsburgh so I could be closer to my parents. Speaking of which...
  4. Do you like your parents? - I know that for a lot of people this is a complex question. Not so for me. Yes, I like my parents. I also admire them, and am incredibly grateful to them for giving me strength, character, resilience, and a sense of humor, for teaching me to live with purpose, and for encouraging my sisters and me to blaze our own trails. Basically, if we were any closer, we would be one person.
  5. What is a favorite book and/or what are you reading now? - My favorite book is Birthright, by Nora Roberts (see: my aforementioned love of romance novels). I have read it at least 100 times. Right now I am reading The Panther, by Nelson DeMille. If you have never read any of his books featuring retired NYPD cop John Corey, you are seriously missing out.
  6. Do you have any pets? - No, much to my husband's dismay.
  7. Would you like to travel to other planets, if possible? - I don't think so. Space travel kind of freaks me out. But I really love the movie Apollo 13.
  8. Do you think encouraging children to believe in Santa is "lying" to them? - No way. I think it's good for kids to have something magical to believe in. 
  9. Do you have a secret that only one or two other people know about? - I think that anyone who answers no to this question is lying.
  10. What is the one thing that you would like you spouse/partner to stop doing? - Leaving Coke Zero cans all over the house.
  11. What question have I forgotten to ask that you would like to answer? - How about my favorite season? I prefer fall/winter to summer/spring, and actually love when the clocks change and the days get shorter 
11 Questions For My Nominees
  1. If your life is being turned into a movie, who would play you?
  2. What was your favorite childhood book?
  3. What was the last thing that made you laugh until you cried and your sides hurt?
  4. Coffee or tea?
  5. If you weren't doing what you are doing now, what would you want to do instead?
  6. What is your favorite color and why?
  7. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
  8. What is your go-to, never fail recipe for a weekday dinner?
  9. What is the movie that, when you say you have never seen it, people look at you with that confused "I can't believe you never saw it" face?
  10. If you could pick a character from a book or movie to be your best friend, who would it be?
  11. What is your favorite season?
And My Nominees Are These Four Amazing Ladies
  1. Bea, from Living off Script
  2. Larks, from Maybe I Should Blog
  3. Michelle, from The Journey
  4. Ashley, from Ashley, Etc.


  1. Congrats on your award Samantha! I really enjoy Nora Roberts too - I love a good romance novel but the writing is often so terrible I can't get into the story. Nora Roberts is one of the few exceptions.

    You would be an amazing romance novelist and I'm not just saying that (I don't give casual compliments :)). The pieces you've written for yeah write that had a romantic flavour were lovely, and I wanted to read more.

    I'm with you on the happy endings too. Real life has enough misery. The journey may be difficult, but I want my fictional characters to be happy in the end. There are maybe 2 or 3 stories I've ever read that didn't end happily where I was OK with that ending.

    1. Thank you so much! There is nothing like a happy ending, and I hope to write many, many of my own.

  2. Oh, and great picks for your nominees too! I'm already following two of these great writers and will definitely check out the others.

  3. Wonderful post, Samantha. When you hear a song once, you remember the words always. I'm awed by that. I'm not one to pick up a romance novel, but honestly I will get a copy of Birthright. The way you speak of Nora Roberts - I must give her a chance. Oddly (or not?) I prefer books that are dark and stormy and I don't require a happy ending. Same with films. I love it that you're a homebody, I love it that you love your parents. I did too. I love your questions to your nominees. I will get to know them all. I love your post, and everything about you!

    1. You will definitely not be disappointed, Nora Roberts is just the best!

  4. Awwww, thanks for Liebster! That's so nice of you!

    I'm so intrigued by your love of romance novels. My only forays in that field have been old timey romances like "Wuthering Heights" and "Pride and Prejudice" or 'urban fantasy' romances like the Sookie Stackhouse series. Maybe I'll give Nora Roberts a shot one of these days...

    1. It all started back when I was about 16, and picked up a Nora Roberts book that my mom had left on the coffee table (you can read about that here - Ever since then I have been obsessed. Nora is definitely worth a try. I promise you won't be disappointed.

  5. Thank you so much!! I can always count on you for a comment and encouragement and that really means so much to me!! 21 shows - I'm going to need that list please :) my husband and I are TV junkies and we DVR many shows plus Netflix. We used to be worse. I'd love to compare lists!

    Can't wait to respond to this!!

    1. Can't wait to read your responses! If you send me your email address we can compare TV lists. We are total TV junkies too.

  6. I'm not so much into romance novels now, but as a teen, I loved Zebra Historical Romances. However, I love that you love romance novels; I don't often meet people who do.

    Thanks for the Liebster -- I'll post my answers in a few days!

    1. I think there are a lot of closeted romance lovers out there. I just like to be loud and proud about it :)

  7. A definitely well-deserved award. I love country music and Gilmore Girls. also, our blogs are twins. Feb 2012!!!

    1. I can't get enough of Gilmore Girls. ABC Family runs all the seasons on a constant loop, and i just watch them over and over again. YAY for our blogs' almost 1-year anniversary!