Yesterday was my one year blogiversary, which is super excited! I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year since I asked my mum if I could start a writing blog, and since I wrote that super awkward and cringeworthy welcome post! (Please, please, please don’t go looking for it!)
Since then, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, a lot of them super embarrassing, but also a lot of friends and I’ve learnt so, so much that I never would have learnt otherwise. So, today I’m going to share with you some of those things, some stats, and of course, a Q+A!
Before we start, just a thank you to all my followers! Whether you be human, spam, cyborg, android, sponge or feline, I appreciate you so much! Especially thanks to Sarah and Mum, who were my first followers, and to Jess, Grace, Hailey and Cait, who were so welcoming when I first started out!
First, the Q+A!
How has blogging influenced your life and what lessons have you learnt from it? (From Grace)
The number one way I would say blogging has influenced my life is that it has allowed me to interact with people that are different from me. I live in a fairly small country town where everything is fairly uniform. I’ve gotten to used to certain behaviours, beliefs and cultures, but blogging has given me a chance to learn new things about people and to also consider things from different perspectives. For the most part, that has been good (though there’s a few negatives. Such as constantly being exposed to beliefs that are directly opposed to my Christian beliefs).
I’ve definitely learnt to debate and disagree in healthy and non-offensive ways (I think), I’ve learnt to consider other perspectives and to change my mind occasionally (like on the character of Boromir, Tanya :D) or to hold firm to my opinions (like on the subject of Miss Austen :P).
What is something you would want new bloggers to know? (also from Grace)
That blogging looks intimidating, but for the most part, everyone is super helpful and friendly! They really want you to succeed and people will do so much to help you! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 😀
Where’s your favourite place to write and why? (from MyMusicalAndWritingLife)
On my bed, cuddled up with a hot water bottle and lots of blankets, as I am now 😀 Why? For obvious reasons, it’s late autumn and coooold. In summer though, I like to go outside at twilight and write on the swingset or on the trampoline. That’s my favourite part of every NaNoWriMo 😀
Which one of your characters would you bring to life and why? (from Jess)
All of them. Yes, even the villains.
But…okay… I think it would be a toss up between Sapphire, Chessy and Quillon, from The Stars Fill Infinity. I love all three of them so much and if Quillon came to life, I would marry him. And Chessy, Sapphire and I would be such good friends. After all, they came out of my imagination 😀
Why did you decide to blog in the first place? (from Cheshire Catwing. Until further notice, all these questions are hers)
I wanted writing friends! And I wanted a community where I could begin to build a base and pursue publication.
What is your favourite post and why?
How did you decide on what template to use for your blog?
I have no idea. I can’t remember. 😀
Do you have horses, cats, dogs, other pets? If so, what do they look like?
At the moment I have only got pictures of two of my horses, since the weather is really bad. But our family has two Standardbred horses and two Shetland ponies.
This one is my horse:
And this is the cuddly one….the only cuddly equine we own:
Do you know if you will self-publish or traditional publish? Why?
I’m pursuing traditional publishing, because it’s always been my dream and at this point I don’t have the necessary skills to try creating and marketing a self-published book, but I might look into that route in the future.
What was your first book about?
Depends on what you class as my first book. It was probably a Warrior Cats fanfic about two cats that fall in love from different clans. *cringes and flees*. My first proper novel was about a Princess called Celia and it was never finished.
Outdoors or indoors?
Depends…in mild autumn and spring weather, I love being outside! In winter and summer though…indoors, definitely. Indoors with hot water bottles and blankets and tea.
Don’t think of a pink hippo. Did you think of a pink hippo or pink elephant?
Pink rhinoceros. So there 😛
What are your top ten favourite books? (From now on, questions are by The Story Sponge)
- A Tale of Two Cities
- The Lord of the Rings (yes, it’s one book. I’ll fight you on this)
- Les Miserables
- Through Gates of Splendour
- Little Dorrit
- The Lunar Chronicles (haha, yes, I’m also putting a whole series on. I’ll fight you again. I love the Lunar Chronicles)
- Little Women
- The Magician’s Nephew
- The Silver Chair
- A Time to Die
Top ten movies or TV shows?
I don’t think I’ve even watched ten movies/shows, 😛 but here goes:
- The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Return of the King
- The Two Towers
- Les Miserables
- White Collar
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
And I’ve run out.
Who are your favourite authors (living or dead) and why?
Dickens, Tolkien, Hugo, Marissa Meyer, Nadine Brandes…I could think of more, but these people are some of my favourites:
Dickens and Hugo both taught me that you can write a story which carries a message and still make a great story. This is something that a lot of Christian authors need to hear.
Tolkien showed me the importance of knowing your world, whether it’s a real world or a made up one. I believe the reason people are so invested in his writing is because he was so invested in his writing. He went to extreme lengths and because of it, created some amazing stories, themes, cultures and characters.
Marissa Meyer taught me how to write YA books. Due to the, um, condition of the YA market at the moment, I rarely read mainstream (or even Christian) YA, but I took a chance on Cinder, and I loved it! It’s just a rare jewel among YA, well-written, extremely engaging, fun, great characters, and (mostly) clean. Also, no love triangles. I am forever grateful. Currently my mother, brother and sister are all reading them, and loving them!
Nadine Brandes taught me that you do not have to be J.K. Rowling to be a successful author. In fact, Nadine taught me that you do not even have to make money to be successful. I bought her book, A Time to Die, solely based on the way Nadine behaves online. She is sooo encouraging. She always has a kind word to say. She asks her blog and Facebook followers how she can pray for them. I just loved the way she interacted and I wanted to support her in return, so I bought her book. (as I speak, there’s three copies of that book in the house. One’s mine, and the other two are presents for other people). While A Time to Die has not changed my life in the ways other books have, Nadine has changed the way I view everything to do with being an author. I don’t care if I hit the NYT bestseller lists, as long as I encourage people the way Nadine does.
When did you first begin writing and how has your writing evolved since then? (As in, how have your interests/themes/styles changed?)
I first began making up stories I think when I was born. I started writing them down when I was about elevenish. Maybe ten. And I like to think my writing has changed for the better since then. Not only have I learnt style, grammar, punctuation, etc, I’ve learnt about my unique voice and how to make my sentences flow smoothly. I’ve also learnt a lot about theme and message. I’ve learnt how the dark can be used to make the light shine all the more brightly. My interest has changed in the fact that I used to write solely fantasy, but I’ve branched more into historical and dystopian now. In fact, I haven’t worked on a fantasy project for almost a year. I decided that fantasy was for me to enjoy reading and not to write, it’s just not something I enjoy writing. I don’t know why 😀
Do you prefer writing with a pen or a pencil (or a quill)?
Pen all the way. 😀 I love my pens. I protect them with the ferocity of a mother dragon protecting her young. Or more likely, her jewels.
What’s your favourite kind of pie?
Apple pie, if we’re talking dessert pies. Otherwise, bacon and egg or steak and mushroom.
Would you rather live in a submarine or on the top of a mountain?
I don’t like the ocean, so I wouldn’t want to live in it. So a mountain. Unless we’re talking The Nautilus. I would live on The Nautilus.
If you could tame any wild animal and keep it as a pet, which would you choose? (Or would you avoid all animals no matter how tame they are?)
An elephant or an otter! Any kind of elephant, I just love elephants. And otters are the cutest, but I like river otters the best, so I’d love one of those for a friend 😀 (And I would never avoid animals, thank you very much!)
What got you interested in dancing? (From Christine Eyre)
Years and years ago…over a decade ago, I studied Scotland as part of a thing at Girls Brigade. One of my friends at the time did Highland dancing and was asked to show some of her talents for research purposes and I fell in love. Because, you must understand, when I was five I was not into Disney Princesses and ballet and dancing with swords over the dead bodies of my enemies was exactly the kind of thing that appealed to me. Funnily enough, it still does 😀
Do you have a favourite flavour of tea? (also from Christine)
I don’t drink a lot of tea, but green tea is definitely my favourite (I drink a lot of green tea. Ask my mother). I also like chamomile and honey tea every now and then.
How many origami cranes do you have on your roof? (from my brother, Simeon, prompted by myself)
Approximately one hundred and fifty seven, give or take. Obviously, having so many cranes hanging off one’s roof makes it a little hard to count them all.
What is your favourite scene in Stars Fill Infinity and why? (from my sister, Skye)
That is a hard question! In fact, I don’t think I can choose! However, one of my favourite scenes is the one I refer to as “the twilight in the garden scene”, which is a conversation between Quillon and Sapphire. I’ve shared a snippet from it before, but let me share it again. I love it 😀
“Listen,” Quillon breathed. “The world is always changing. Everything is always moving, continually, going on and on. There’s nothing we can do about that. it’s just the way the world is. And can you imagine if just stood still—if we were just stuck. It wouldn’t be any fun. There’d be no adventure. But the thing is that, above the earth, the stars stay still. They fill infinity, for ever and ever. They don’t ever change. And the one who made them, and the earth. Who created and outlasts infinity. He is still the Lord, the Creator. He still loves you. Keeping on can be hard, but…” he suddenly leaned forward and kissed me, very softly, taking my breath away for a moment. “…remember. When the stars are gone, when infinity is empty. When the world has collapsed around us, ruined by fire, He is still there.”
Anyway, that’s the end of my Q+A! I hope you enjoyed it. Now onto a few random stats:
-121 followers (some of you I’m sure aren’t real, but I’ll let it slide 😀 )
-812 comments (you guys are awesomely chatty. I love it!)
-70,363 words (A good-length novel right there, people)
-Most popular post is my Les Miserables comparison post with over 340 views
-My second most popular post is my last Beautiful People post with 106 views
-Finally, my third most popular post is my crazed rant against Jane Austen. Apparently you guys like the controversial posts.
How about you guys? When’s your blogiversary? Did you enjoy my answers? And thanks again, for all you guys have done! For every comment and like. Thanks for being a great community to be a part of!