Here we are, the infamous WordPress Liebster Award. I was hesitant towards doing this, I really do not wish to fill my blog with tags or other such. However the nature of the Liebster Award is humble and well intentioned. Allowing new bloggers to interview their new found peers that they believe deserve acknowledging. Spreading attention to new comers, and sharing a little about the people behind the blog. For these reasons I am honoured to participate.
My blog is a couple weeks young and I have fallen for the hobby. There is so many unique voices out there and blogging gives them an outlet to be/share who they are, without filter. What makes this such an awesome thing to do with my time is how supportive everyone has been. From newbies like myself to bloggers with years of experience and thousands of followers, everyone shares and pushes each other forward. I appreciate all who have read my posts. I appreciate all who post and put themselves out there. I appreciate how you all share and comment with each other. I appreciate the positive environment, where I have yet to see a negative post or comment. This has become an amazing experience.
I have been nominated for this post by uber-kind Michal J. Miller of My Comic Relief . Michael was one of my first followers and has been so supportive; reading, liking, and commenting on majority, if not all of my posts. If you have not been over to My Comic Relief than forget this post and get over there. Michael is a much radder high school teacher than I ever had. His posts focus on his unique view of the comic book industry as he returns to reading and collecting after an extended hiatus. He shares pure passion for the media with skillful and intelligent writing to back it up. Thank you Michael for sharing this blogging adventure with me and I wish you the best of luck.
How about a quick overview of the rules for those unfamiliar with the Liebster Award.
1) Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2) Answer the eleven questions provided by your nominator.
3) Nominate up to eleven other bloggers yourself. Remembering that the point is to promote new bloggers, so aim for those with 200 followers or less.
4) Let those other bloggers know that you’ve nominated them.
5) Provide those bloggers with eleven questions of your own for them to answer.
6) Lastly, it’s considered good form to post an image of the award.
With all such out of the way I will attempt to answer the questions provided for me. I gave Michael J. Miller a hard time about not giving me easy questions. In reality, I appreciate the depth of the queries as oppose to asking what my favorite colour is, or something.
1) What is one of your earliest/happiest book-related (be it comic or otherwise) memories?
When I was just a wee tot, learning to read and write, my brothers were heavy into the comic book realm. I looked up to my brothers in a big way, them being 5 and 9 years older than I. My eldest brother did not live with us and it was always precious time when he was around, filled with memories of going to local comic shows or hosting our own shows at the community centre. With the assistance of my siblings I had an impressive collection of comics before I was able to cognitively understand them. I learned how to read between the pages of Spider-Man, X-Men or Ninja Turtles.
2) Is there an author you’ve found whose work resonates deeply with you? Why do you connect so?
There are plenty of authors and creators that I connect with for many different reasons. Patrick Rothfuss is a poetic inspiration. Kevin Smith understands modern culture in a relatable way. Brandon Sanderson is a mentor of greatly executed writing. The one that stands apart for me is Jeff Lemire. His works are so emotionally relatable, bringing characters and situations to life. When I read his books I feel connected to the world and story. Lemire entered my world at a very fragile time in my life and its as if he understands whatever might ail you.
3) What is the point of literature (again, comic and/or otherwise) in your life? What do you get from reading?
This really deserves its own blog post regarding my history and importance of reading, but I will try to sum it up. Reading will always be my preference for my main source of entertainment. I have always found books more fulfilling than tv/movies. After my son was born, I went through a nasty separation; single fathered it up for a while; met my current, amazing, partner and her beautiful baby girl; I am now a stay at home father of the two rambunctious children. Through all of that, reading has been my escape. Life can get stressful and hard at times, literature is a safe haven for me. I can go on epic adventures at the end of a hard day, and allow reality to roll off my shoulders. When things get tough there are stories that can give you some perspective and bring you back to balance.
4) Why is your blog focused on the topics you’ve chosen? If you can write about anything, why this?
My blog focuses on modern fiction literature. This is a topic I have a lot of experience and knowledge to share. Specifically when it comes to comic books. There are not many people in my life I can share relevant discussions with, making a blog has been a nice outlet. I have recently made a post about modern fiction breaking the status quo and becoming a higher class of entertainment, over the last couple decades. I believe there is a lot of great content coming out, I have been reading some amazing books, I want to share my experiences and recommendations.
5) Do you hold yourself to any sort of schedule as a writer (for example, you must write a little every day or do a post every week) or do you just write when you feel so moved? Why is this your chosen path?
I want to harness my skills as a writer, and recently looked into returning to school for an English degree. The reality of life and finance burst that bubble for me. I decided not to give up, thus I am currently teaching myself everything I can. So every day I do some reading about technical skills, theory, or basic techniques. And every day I write, whether I compose a couple blog posts for the week or a short story/writing exercise or work on my novel.
6) What role do you think illustrations play (as always, speaking in regard to comic books specifically or other forms of literature as well) in telling a story?
Art is the first attraction for most literature. A well crafted cover can draw in consumers by first glance. In children’s stories it is the appeal of the bright illustrations that captures a child’s attention and brings the story to life. The same is true for teens and adults, as beautiful artwork can play on our own imaginations. In comics the craft of story telling through illustrations has been mastered to the point where the artwork alone can tell the story. I have heard of people teaching themselves new languages by following a comic story line.
7) Name one story (however you’d like to define that term) that’s been important to your life and discuss why.
One book specifically has held tremendous importance to me through difficult times in my life. Essex County a graphic novel written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire. I have actually been piecing together a blog post regarding this series, so I will not reveal to much. However this book is valuable to me as a father and family man. I will reach for my copy as a comfort and the emotions have lost no traction over many readings.
8) Name one character you’ve encountered that’s been particularly important to you and discuss why.
In all seriousness this is a difficult question for me. As I write this post I have skipped over this question over a dozen times. It is hard to pinpoint one character as I am a big fan of dynamics and relationships shared between characters. As a comic fan I prefer the team books or crossovers. In novels I evaluate the characters by how they interact with each other. I suppose if I need to name just one character it would have to be Alice from her famous Adventures in Wonderland. Alice is so naive, impressionable, dare I say daft at times, however she is so gentle and good hearted. Throughout her wild journey she hunts to make it home yet her curiosity gets the better of her, allowing her interest to over throw reality. She shows no fear in trying something new or meeting outrageous creatures. Alice lives in the moment, no matter how mad it may seem. Never allowing her frustrations or stress to get the better of her, composing herself when necessary. Alice is a unique little girl we can all learn something from.
9) I’ve always felt that writing is important. But, given the many, many options for sharing your thoughts and opinions in the Internet age, why do you write as opposed to vlogging or simply tweeting or sharing music or any of the other options out there?
I initially wanted to start my blog as a manner of honing my skills as a writer. The practice of keeping up a blog can be invaluable. As things are progressing though, one of the biggest draws for me is the community. There are so many talented, intelligent and helpful people in this blogosphere. I love having somewhere to go and discuss these topics I am passionate about. In sharing that and seeing people I respect sharing my equal enthusiasm has been great. I am so excited to grow and be a part of this community, watch my peers blogs grow beside mine and see where it all takes us.
10) Has there been anything challenging about blogging since you’ve started writing for an online audience?
There are always fears when sharing my thoughts with a massive audience. Fortunately I have been receiving great feed back and my partner, Jenn, has been an invaluable support. Sometimes when rereading or editing a post over and over I need to stop myself and just upload it.
11) Lastly, what have you found to be the most rewarding part of blogging since you began your writing venture?
I love the compliments and when my recommendations convince a reader to try a new story. The most rewarding has been the learning curve. My sentences are getting tighter, my structure more straight forward, and my personality is slowly coming through. All this has transferred into my other writing practices, which was a goal, but it is nice to see that pay off. Now I do not think I could stop blogging.
Well that was relatively painless, here are my nominations for the Liebster Award Tag.
Christina Dietz @ The Good Fight
– This young girl is an inspiration. She has been through a tremendous amount of turmoil, yet her blog is so postive and encouraging. Christina has a ridiculous amount of drive and passion, when she posts we should all pay attention.
Kris @ Divorced Dad 101
– I remember after my own seperation nothing was more helpful than talking to other fathers that were through what I had been. My family life is stable now, I am glad to say. However it is so good to see Kris out here talking about his challenges and achievements.
Maria @ Once Booked
-Because I love her reviews. Maria is a girl on a literary mission. Trying to rekindle her enthusiasm for reading. She is reading some good material and has great insights into the stories.
Kenyan Library @ …well.. Kenyan Library
– Who does what I do but better.
And of course any other new blogger I absolutely recommend doing this tag. I love the idea of supporting one another.
As for my questions I have decided to mix and match those asked of me and asked of my nominator. Simply, because I can do no better than questions asked by an English teacher and Theology teacher respectively. However as a comic nerd I do know a thing or two about amalgamations. Ergo…
1. What prompted you to start your blog?
2. What inspired you to write your blog on the topics you have chosen?
3. Do you hold yourself to a schedule as a writer? How often do you write your blog?
4. What are some issues or causes that are important to you, and why?
5. Name one fictional protagonist that is important to you and why.
6. Who is your favorite fictional antagonist, and why?
7. Name one story you believe everyone should read, and why.
8. Have you encountered any challenges with your blog since you began writing for an online audience?
9. What has been most rewarding about your blogging experience?
10. Is there a principle or philosophy that guides your writing? If so, what is it?
11. What has been your favorite blog as a reader, and why? And can you share?
Well that’s that, thank you booknerds, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.