Thursday, March 07, 2013

Liebster Award 2013

As I mentioned yesterday, I used to try to crawl into a hole when someone was sweet enough to nominate me for a blog award. Who wants to listen to me answer questions? But now I know better, and moreover, even if you think my answers are boring, I have people I want *you* to meet.

So I thank KS Collier for nominating me for the Liebster award, and I’m also going to tag back Tricia Clasen, who tagged me for the same award awhile back and was very gracious about the fact that I crawled into a hole.

Here’s a bit more about Liebster:

Liebster Award Rules:

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

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.)

4. Upload the Liebster Award image to your blog.

So without further adieu, my answers, my facts, and my questions.

My questions from KS Collier:

1. What would your perfect world look like?
It would be one where people have long philosophical discussions grounded in lots of fact. I’m an academic for a reason, and I’m a hardcore “NT” on the Meyers-Briggs. I do everything with my head, and even though I realize this never works, I still expect everyone else to do it also.

2. How many hours a day do you spend writing?
I try to shoot for 750 words a day, which might take me an hour, sometimes more. However, writing every day is a habit I’m still developing.

3. What inspired you to write?
I’ve never not written. When I was 3 or 4 (I went to a Montessori preschool and kindergarten, so it’s hard for me to pinpoint an exact time between ages 3-6) I used to write little books for the other kids in my preschool, and the teacher would staple them together and pass them out after class. It was fun being “published,” and I’ve told stories my whole life.

4. Who do you have to critique and edit your work?
I’m lucky to have some super fantastic CPs in Tricia Clasen, Kayla Griffith, and Tina Y. Hatch. We write somewhat different genres, but we’re good friends with just the right amount of silly. I also have a wonderful writers’ group here in DC, who give amazing and unflinching feedback on everything I pass to them.

And I’m never not on the lookout for another serious contemporary YA or MG writer to connect with! I love helping people shape their stories.

5. Do you have a Muse? (Mine happens to be a wooden model carved in great detail of a Hawaiian native.)
I don’t! Maybe that’s why the writing every day thing is taking time….

6. What time do you write (day or night)?
I write mostly at night, but I took a page out of Roni Loren’s book this year and set a goal of just writing a set number of words a day. It’s too easy, if I say “I write in the morning” to have my morning get screwed up and go, “Oh well, can’t write today because it’s not morning.” So I try not to tie it to any one time.

7. Describe your work area where you write.
My writing desk is VERY utilitarian. I like it that way. I’m big on desktop computers, and I have a fake Das Keyboard (I scraped all the letters off of a $5 USB keyboard). It’s a big l-shaped thing with a printer and a step file sorter and a filing cabinet and the whole shebang. I realize some people would find that stifling; I find it keeps me serious.

8. Who is/are your favorite author(s)?
Oddly, I’m finding lately that I don’t have many “drop everything and read” authors any longer, the way I used to in bygone years. Nowadays, I’m always finding new, interesting things to read. But writers who are very well represented on my bookshelves include Jennifer Weiner, John Green, Ally Carter, John Grisham, John Irving, and Michael Crichton. Maybe I just like writers named John?

This week I’m reading SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller, IN DEFENSE OF FOOD by Michael Pollan, and REQUEIM by Lauren Oliver.

9. What have you written so far? (Published or unpublished, poetry, etc.?
I’ve been freelancing since I was a senior in high school and have written everything from rollercoaster reviews to bible studies to textbooks. My most recent publication was an article for Writers’ Digest in 2012 published under the name I do my freelancing under. So far, I’ve only ever sold two short fiction pieces, although I’ve published a ton of flash fiction in the form of practice test reading passages for kids in grades 4-6. I hope to change my fiction record soon!

10. What's your favorite color?
Blue. No. Yelloooooooooooooow………!

11. What's your favorite kind of pizza?
Dominos pepperoni. Has to be Dominos. I call Ann Arbor, MI home.

11 facts about me:
  • I have a cat named Pacey, who is not named after the character on Dawson’s Creek.
  • I listen to people talk for a living.
  • I’ve appeared on television as a guest of Jerry Springer’s. Yes, the Jerry Springer, but not the Jerry Springer Show. 
  • I own 15 hardcover Harry Potter books. 
  • I am constitutionally incapable of taking care of plants.
  • I play the saxophone. And the harp. And the piano, the clarinet, the flute, the guitar, and carillon, which I bet you’ve never heard of.
  • I bought a nice camera two years ago, and so photography is one of my new hobbies.
  • I actually like handcoding websites. I’m bad at it, though.
  • The Earth circumnavigates the sun in precisely such a way that I got an extra day to be 29.
  • My first characters were named after Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell. One of them is still in my current WIP, but his name has been changed over the decades.
  • I am almost never on time to anything. 

11 questions I have:
1. What’s your favorite part of writing?
2. Who is your favorite character? (Yours, or anyone else’s?)
3. What do you absolutely have to do before writing/to get settled in to write?
4. What books are on your nightstand?
5. Laptop or desktop? Mac or PC?
6. Do you have a playlist for your writing? (I don’t…I feel like I’m the only person!)
7. What’s your favorite genre to read, besides the one you write?
8. Tell us about your WIP/recent release/upcoming release!
9. What book are you reading today?
10. Where do you stand on the Oxford comma?
11. Give one piece of advice to your blog readers—could be writing related, or totally not.

And 11 people I think you should get to know
(and some gratuitous pimping of their good news):

Sheena-Kay at queendsheena
Nazarea at Just Sayin' (check out her upcoming release, EDGE OF THE FALLS)
Jill at Jilly’s Book Blog (Check out her October release, DIVIDED MOON)
Kendall at Blogging for YA (Congratulate her on her new agent)
Jamie at Nerdmaste
XiXi at From Elysium
Valerie at Valerie's Blog (check out her “Writers Like Us” series)
Tina at Spinning Yarns
Sage at Sage Like the Spice (check out her 2012 release, LOVE SUCKS)
Alexis at Alexis Bass Writes (Congratulate her on her book deal with HarperTeen)
Erin at Erin Writes

Thank you again, Kathy, for the nomination! Go forth and meet new people!


  1. Thank you so much and congrats. I want to get a cat so much. After I move I'll be able to.

    1. Yay! Kitties are happiness. And of course! I love reading your blog, and I know others will, too.

  2. Thanks, Jessica! Our bookshelves probably look remarkably similar. Though I don't have much Michael Crichton, my husband's nightstand would have it covered :).

    Also. My favorite colors are Green and White :).

    1. You're welcome, Erin! And yes, now that you mention it, I think we had this conversation on twitter back in September when I went to a game... :) It's okay. It's only 3.5 hours out of every year that we can't be friends.

      (Though actually, I laughed because the color thing is a Monty Python reference...but I guess my favorite colors are, in fact, maize and blue.)

  3. Thanks Jessica!!

    Re: Dominos. I totally get. :)

  4. I love seeing inside your mind, Jessica. Great post.

    1. Thanks, Jill! It's dark and sarcastic and very anal-retentive inside my mind...

  5. Dominos has totally gotten better recently, because I definitely don't remember liking them before that recipe change. Thanks for the nomination; I'll get on writing the post soon!

    1. You're welcome! I can't wait to read your post.

  6. Hi Jessica: It was awesome having this opportunity to get to know you better. I had as many hard copies of the Harry Potter Series. I finally gave them away and kept one complete set. We (my husband and children) were such fans that none of us were willing to wait for the other to read them, thus, the multiple sets. I do believe you are the youngest published writer I now have the pleasure of knowing. Thanks for completing the Liebster Award. Looking forward to checking back in when the campaign begins. I love this campaign because it cleans the cobwebs from my brain after a winter siesta.


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