Hey, it’s a bonus blog! Yes, normally I’ll be posting every other Tuesday, but I was tagged by Pearl of Tyburn, author of “Longbows and Rosary Beads,” for the Liebster Award, so here are the questions she gave that I answered. Thanks for the tag! Feel free to answer them and post them on your own blog or website.
1. What was your favorite childhood toy?
My stuffed panda, Mr. Bear. He still is.
2. What is your favorite domesticated animal?
A tie between cats and horses. Horses are the image of grace, power, and beauty, but cats have such an amusing independent streak (plus they are much easier to care for!)
3. Who is your favorite fictional/legendary character, and why?
I admire a lot of different characters for different reasons. Some I like because they embody qualities that I aspire to and others are just fun to watch, regardless of their allegiance. For example, a character I admire for their good qualities is Kyrtian from Elvenborn. He’s an elven lord who treats his human slaves as people, not animals (which is atypical for his society), he hates and shuns the double-talking politics of his race, he’s a brilliant military commander, and is noble with just enough naiveté to make him rather sweet, but not stupid. A character who I love to watch is Loki, as he is portrayed by Tom Hiddleston. Even though Loki is “the bad guy,” he possesses so many layers and so much depth that, even though he does horrible things and is walking down a dark path, I can’t help but be fascinated and hope for his redemption.
4. Who is your favorite historical character, and why?
George Washington. I read a history of the Revolutionary War called George Washington’s War, and got such a good sense of the people that it felt like reading a novel, not a history book. Washington is one of those people who I think gets passed over a lot these days, but I personally find him interesting and admirable because A) he managed to hold together a rag-tag band of rebels against the best-trained military in the world, not because of his military prowess, but through sheer force of will and personality; and B) when he held the reins of power to a brand new nation, a nation that wanted to set him up as king, he turned it down. How many politicians today would turn down the chance to be a king?
5. Who is your favorite saint/Bibilical character, and why?
I’m not religious and I don’t really remember much about the Bible from my Sunday School days, but I admit that the angels intrigue me the most. The one you almost never hear anything about, and who interests me the most for that reason, is Uriel. You hear about Michael and Gabriel all the time, but very little about any of the others.
6. What is your favorite type of music/musical group?
Phew, that can change from day to day, depending on my mood. I love classical, Celtic, Finnish, German, Japanese, gothic rock, classic rock, techno, electronica, folk, older country, movie/game/TV soundtracks, jazz…right now I’m really into a band called “Florence + the Machine.” But I also love Nightwish, Within Temptation, Loreena McKennitt, Blackmore’s Night, and Mozart among many others.
7. What is your favorite quote?
Heh, that too can change from day to day, but I’ve always liked, “Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality” by Jules de Gaultier
8. What are your favorite meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert)?
Like, what do I like to eat for each of them? Or which is my favorite? I’m a big fan of breakfast and dessert, especially if French toast is involved. By I also like pizza, Chinese food, sushi, eggs, and ice cream.
9. What is your favorite flower/plant?
I love lilacs and maple trees.
10. When was a time you felt particularly inspired by something?
Usually when I think about inspiration, it’s with regards to writing. Different things can inspire me, from a song to a TV show or movie I’m watching, or just having a cup of tea on the porch on a sunny day. But generally I feel most inspired by reading books about writing. Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing or listening to Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” commencement speech or reading The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald are all triggers for creativity.
11. What are some of the causes you feel are worth fighting for?
Liberty. For freedom from tyrants of all sorts, especially our own government. (And against poor spelling and bad grammar. ^_^) I don’t really go in for causes very much. There are some things I believe in and will protest for (or against) or gripe about, but really, liberty is the only thing that I would fight for, not just with words, but with weapons as well if I must. I don’t think the word “fight” should be used to taken lightly.
And, since I love being asked about books and so forth, here are the questions that Pearl herself was asked when she got her award that I felt like answering as well.
1. What are your most treasured books?
Goodness, there are so many…Well, I’m also not sure what is meant by “treasured” in this instance, so I’m going to assume it means books that have very special meaning for you. In that case, East of the Sun & West of the Moon authored and illustrated by Mercer Mayer (perhaps the most influential of the fairytale books I read as a child), Rhapsodyby Elizabeth Haydon (a Christmas gift from my mom when I was twelve and one of the most complex fantasies I’ve read), Dream A Little Dream by Piers Anthony and Julie Brady (very influential in my belief in the reality of fantasy), The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd Edition that I bought for college and contains ALL of Shakespeare’s plays, and 100 Things Every Writer Needs To Know by Scott Edelstein (a compact, optimistic, but honest book about the trials and tribulations of writing).
2. What books have you read more than once?
The Coldfire Trilogy by C.S. Friedman (Black Sun Rising, True Night Falls, Crown of Shadows), The Mage Wars Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey (The Black Gryphon, The White Gryphon, The Silver Gryphon), The Halfbood Chronicles by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey (The Elvenbane, Elvenblood, and especially the third book, Elvenborn), Castle of Deception by Mercedes Lackey and Josepha Sherman, Hawksongby Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Son of Darknessby Josepha Sherman, The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore (Homeland, Exile, Sojourn), Archangel by Sharon Shinn…actually, there are A LOT of books that I reread. Going back to books that I enjoyed and rereading them gives me a great sense of pleasure and familiarity.
3. What’s your favorite bookstore?
Waldenbooks, then Borders, and now Books A Million, or B.A.M. I also like The Book Warehouse at the Outlet Malls, although their selection isn’t always the best. (they tend to have the second and third books in a series, but not the first.) I’ve never been a big fan of Barnes & Noble…the one time I entered one of their stories it felt really stuffy and elitist, at least, that was the impression I got, so I haven’t entered one of their stores since. I also shop from library book sales and occasionally smaller, local bookstores, but not often.
4. Do you buy books online?
Sometimes, and usually through Amazon. I’m actually more likely to buy DVDs off the internet because the prices are cheaper. Books can range from really reasonable to about the same as the in-store price.
5. Do you stop reading books half way through?
I used to be one of those people who never started a new book until I finished the one I was reading. Now I have about a dozen books going at once, and yes, I’ve now become prone to stopping partway through (sometimes almost at the end!)
6. What’s the last movie you watched?
Henry V starring Tom Hiddleston. It’s part of The Hollow Crown, a four-part series of Shakespeare’s most famous history plays, produced by BBC. As for TV shows, I’m rewatching the first season of Lie To Me starring Tim Roth, and I just finished Game of Thrones with Sean Bean.
7. What’s your favorite genre?
Usually fantasy, but I also enjoy anime of all kinds, swashbuckler/adventure stories, and period dramas. I don’t go in for comedies or romances very often, or many modern settings. I see “modern” all the time, so I prefer to escape into other time periods or to other worlds.
8. In which movie/book would you like to live in?
Well, problem is, I probably wouldn’t live very long. And some of the characters I like to watch the most, like Loki from Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers probably wouldn’t be very fun to meet in person! Fantasy is one of those genres that’s fun to escape to, but the practicality of living there is doubtful. But if I had to pick, Star Wars would be the place for me.
9. Which character do you think has a great style?
Hmmm….style as in clothing or style as in how they carry themselves? Well, I’ve always been a fan of Robin Hood, particularly Errol Flynn’s portrayal of him in The Adventures of Robin Hood.
10. Do you go to the movies by yourself?
Most of my friends find that odd, but yes, I do go to the movies by myself sometimes. I don’t attend the movies very often because it’s expensive and usually there’s nothing that I HAVE to see on the big screen. But I went to see Enchanted for a second time by myself and I went to see The Avengers a total of four times, three of which I was alone. Really, actually watching a movie is a very solitary act anyway; the only social part about it is discussing the movie afterwards. I enjoy watching shows with my Pens in Space writing group, and the occasional movie out with friends, but overall I prefer watching by myself.
11. In the movies: popcorn or no popcorn?
Give. Me. POPCORN!!!