Thursday, May 16, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you, The Magic Violinist!

Writer and blogger extraordinaire The Magic Violinist tagged me for the Liebster Blog Award. Here are the rules:

Rules

1. Each nominee must answer 11 questions.
2. Create 11 questions for the next nominees to answer.
3. Link back to who nominated them.
4. Choose 11 people and link them to your post.
5. Go to their page and tell them.
6. No tag backs!

The Magic Violinist's Questions:


1. What is your least favorite book and why?

Recently, I read a book called, They Did It With Love, and I did NOT like it. I found it on a bargain table a while back and it was on a shelf for a while. It was a fluff read. I think I drove my husband crazy with my constant griping about it ("Oh, this book is so awful!" or "Oh, I have so much more to read," or "These characters' dialogue is so unbelievable and so so so cheesy."). He kept encouraging me to stop and not bother with it. I carried on because I had already read a fair amount, was curious about how it would end, and because I read it thinking, "My writing is good. I should do something with it." So, it wasn't all bad. :)


2. Have you ever read anything that made you laugh so hard people stared? What did you read?

I don't know if people stared, but I loved reading Bridget Jones's Diary years ago. I did laugh out loud several times. I love, love, love when a book makes me laugh out loud. I laughed out loud with Wonder, too. I also have laughed out loud at my own books, so that's pretty cool, I think! 



3. Who is your favorite villain and why? (He doesn't have to be likable for him to be your favorite).

A while back I read a book entitled All is Vanity and I loved it. It showed the slow, steady decline of a character driven to break unspoken rules and loyalties in pursuit of her own goals and ambitions. I love character-driven plots and this one did not disappoint. I think what I liked best about it was that the author presented us with an otherwise good character who gave in to her uglier, dark side because of her thirst to achieve her own aspirations. I think, like Sirius says, we all have that in us - light and dark - but the trick is to choose the better part. 


4. What is your favorite movie that was based on a book and why?

This one is easy for me. "Chocolat." It is the only movie I've ever liked more than the book. I thought the presentation and ending were both better than the book's, and that hardly ever happens.   


5. What is your least favorite movie that was based on a book and why?

Hmmm, sometimes I don't even like to see a movie based on a book, because I'm so worried they're going to ruin it or that people will opt to watch the movie instead of reading the book. I know I have strong opinions about this, but I'm blanking at the moment. I will say that years ago I read The Notebook and was very moved by the story. When I heard it was being made into a movie, I was SO upset. I haven't ever watched it, because I didn't want to ruin my experience with the book. I understand people really like the movie, but for me, I want to stick with my personal, emotional experience with the book itself, and not let that get clouded by a movie version.


6. Which of your book characters is most like you?

Definitely Nancy Eyre from my first novel. Since it's a semi-autobiographical novel, I suppose that makes sense.


7. Have you ever based any of your characters after people you know? (Have you ever based any villains after people you know)?

Oh, absolutely! It's very therapeutic. I've gotten out a lot of aggression and frustration this way. I love basing characters on people I know. I usually laugh out loud and get to have some fun liberties with what I write. Plus, some people just write themselves, you know? If they don't like it, maybe they should stop being stupid.

I also give minor side characters actual names of people I like. Like in my first novel - I named the nice children's librarian "Jessica" after my sister-in-law. I think of it as a little shout out to those I love.  

8. Which book has inspired you in your writing the most?

Several. Bridget Jones's Diary, for holding my attention at a time in my life when I could barely get past a single sentence due to my severe emotional struggles; Jane Eyre, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and To Kill a Mockingbird, for all being not just great stories, but beautifully written works of art, and inspiring me and reminding me to not settle for mediocrity in my own writing; and the entire Harry Potter series for being inspiring in and of itself - J.K. Rowling is a genius and her story is so moving and encouraging. 

9. When do you feel most inspired? Morning, night, Saturdays? Why?

Usually when I'm too busy to write. :P Honestly, I can almost always write - what I mean is, I don't struggle to come up with what to write. My struggle is making myself DO it. Sometimes the words flow better than others (usually when I'm in a good place and being inspired by whatever I'm reading myself especially), but I can always come up with content. Time and discipline are my greater challenges.  


10. Do you write more description or dialogue in your stories?

Dialogue, hands down. I love dialogue. That's where you can really have fun, in my opinion.  

11. What annoys you most in books? How about in your books?

I don't like books that have too many characters to keep track of - that drives me nuts. I don't like super long chapters. I don't particularly care for everything being tied up neatly with a bow. I know I'm weird that way, but I love ambiguous endings and even wrote a book once that has an ambiguous ending - I killed off a character and it's not clear which one! I love character-driven plots and I love simple stories, too. I'd rather have those qualities than a grand adventure. I like humor and sarcasm. I also love unique presentations of story (epistolary novels, varying perspectives, visuals, etc.). I love graphic novels and often wish I had that kind of artistic talent (drawing, etc.).

In my books? I guess I don't like how I've now written 3 (kind of 4) books and haven't done anything with them yet - so I suppose my annoyance is with myself on that one. I especially like the book I wrote with Mark a year and a half ago, and am itching to do more with it. I think it would make a great movie, too.

My 11 Questions:

1. Have you ever watched a movie that made you very hungry? Which one?
2. What is the stupidest movie you've ever seen?
3. When do you make time for yourself to write? Is it a regular schedule?
4. What book would you love to see made into a movie?
5. Who would you cast in the main roles?
6. If you could write for any TV show, which would it be?
7. Do you like books/movies that have ambiguous endings? Why or why not?
8. Who is the best weird character you've ever seen in a book? Movie?
9. Is there any character in a book or movie that you wish were in your family?
10.  If you could be best friends with any character, who would it be and why?
11.  What character (book or movie) do you most relate to and why?

11 People I Will Tag:

I tag Mark and Thing 2 (kind of cheating there since I know Thing 1 has already tagged them), my friend at seventy-two fishes (because I know all she needs is more distraction), Jimmy (because I like when he does these in our comments), Emily (because she is one of our most faithful readers and I totally appreciate her for that), Jessica (because maybe it will get her blogging again?), LMW (because I'm thrilled to have a new reader in LMW - by the way, did you see my comment to you earlier with my email address?), Thing 1 (to do in the comments, since technically we're not supposed to do tag backs), Nevillegirl (because I think she's cool and love that she and my daughter are blogging buddies), [surprise] (because maybe you've been reading our blog but haven't shown yourself yet - now's your chance), and Dave (because I bet he won't even see this and then I can say, "See? You totally don't read my blog."). There. That's 11.

6 comments:

seventytwofishes said...

Ha! Thanks. I totally need more distraction. This one may have to wait a week though, but I promise I'll do it. Thanks for the tag!

Dr. Mark said...

For the record, you did not drive me crazy. I just wanted to see you not waste time on things you don't like, but in the end it seems like that awful book was somewhat inspirational when it comes to your own writing.

All is Vanity--that person was an awesome villain. I forgot all about her. She appeals to the part of all of us that has somewhat unethical or vengeful things we would never really do. So instead, we think of people in our lives, base characters on them, and then torture them. Or give them what we think they deserve. Kind of like a voodoo doll in print.

Excellent questions, by the way. I've got to get to answering those now. Do I get a second Liebster award? Is there some sort of hall of fame for that sort of thing?

Jimmy said...

1. Have you ever watched a movie that made you very hungry? Which one? I really can't think of a time where I attributed the movie to the fact that I was hungry. I do remember always being hungry in high school.
2. What is the stupidest movie you've ever seen? Was there ever a more stupid movie than Mamma Mia?
3. When do you make time for yourself to write? Is it a regular schedule? I rarely write, but looking back on journal entries, most of them were written at 2am because I was unable to sleep.
4. What book would you love to see made into a movie? American Pastoral by Philip Roth.
5. Who would you cast in the main roles? Can't come up with a cast for the main role characters, but Dustin Hoffman as the brother to Swede.
6. If you could write for any TV show, which would it be? 60 Minutes or Suburgatory.
7. Do you like books/movies that have ambiguous endings? Why or why not? I do. I like to debate how it really ended and I think it's a more accurate relfection of real life. My wife and I had a good discussion after seeing the movie Doubt. We took completely opposite sides. She thought for sure he was guilty of what he was accused of and I am certain he wasn't. He just didn't want to have to deal with it.
8. Who is the best weird character you've ever seen in a book? Movie? Book--Christian Longo from True Story. Lately I've been fascinated by real people that live life moving from one lie to the next effortlessly (i.e. Jodi Arias, Casey Anthony) and seem to get away with it. Movie--The bad Terminators in the Terminator movies.
9. Is there any character in a book or movie that you wish were in your family? Lassie.
10. If you could be best friends with any character, who would it be and why? Travis from a Jack Weylend book that I won't even name because it proves I live in my own sheltered Mormon world sometimes. I think he and I had a lot in common.
11. What character (book or movie) do you most relate to and why? Charlie Simms in Scent of a Woman. Any character that feels out of place more often than not.

Boquinha said...

seventytwofishes, Yay! I look forward to that.

Mark, I love that you look out for me. Oh, and, free pass. :)

Jimmy! So good to hear from you. These were fun to read. I looooooved the movie "Doubt." One of my favorite aspects of the film is that it ended ambiguously. It DOES generate a lot of discussion that way. I like not knowing for sure. I like being challenged to think about it and figure out what I think might've happened based on what we know so far from the movie/book/etc.

By the way, I'm with you on that one. I don't think he did it either. And I think that was a lot for the Meryl Streep character to think about as well.

I just LOVE how those endings challenge us to delve deep and consider not only others' motives and intentions, but our own. Sort of like a "what would I do or think?" situation. I think that's something I like even about shows like the Amazing Race - would I do that task? Such good food for thought. Such challenging introspection.

I like that we share this in common. Most people I know can't stand ambiguous endings. I think they're delicious! I also think it's got to be far more challenging to create something (book/movie) that leaves you wondering/thinking than it is to neatly tie it up with a bow.

The Magic Violinist said...

Ha ha, now I know why you're excited to read "Cosmo." ;) No "grand adventure" in this one (in my other books, yes, completely, totally).

1. Have you ever watched a movie that made you very hungry? Which one? "Julie and Julia." "Gilmore Girls" makes me hungry, too, but that's a TV show. ;)

2. What is the stupidest movie you've ever seen? I can't think of bad books/movies on the spot. I usually end up forgetting about them. But "The Neighbors" (again, a TV show) was pretty dang stupid.

3. When do you make time for yourself to write? Is it a regular schedule? Nope. I just do it whenever I feel like it. (One of the perks of being a kid). ;)

4. What book would you love to see made into a movie? "Wonder" by R. J. Palacio, though I think that's already happening! :D It would be cool to see my books to be made into movies (especially books like "Fantasya"), but I need to get them published first. ;)

5. Who would you cast in the main roles? For "Wonder" I have no idea. I do have some ideas for "Fantasya" and "The Sorceress," though. Kirsten would be the voice of Cornelia, I would be the voice of Cassandra, and Jennifer Lawrence would be Anya.

6. If you could write for any TV show, which would it be? "Modern Family."

7. Do you like books/movies that have ambiguous endings? Why or why not? I haven't really read any books with ambiguous endings (though I heard that "The Underland Chronicles" by Suzanne Collins has one), so I can't honestly say.

8. Who is the best weird character you've ever seen in a book? Movie? Luna Lovegood and Luna Lovegood.

9. Is there any character in a book or movie that you wish were in your family? Hermione Granger would be awesome (and helpful) to have around. I'd have a sister, too. ;)

10. If you could be best friends with any character, who would it be and why? Luna, Neville, Ginny, Ron, Harry, Dobby, Hermione (because I needed to say her twice ;) ), . . .

11. What character (book or movie) do you most relate to and why? Umm . . . I'd say Hermione Granger (from both), but I'm not a know-it-all (at least, I HOPE I'm not) and I'm a Muggle.

Awesome questions! :D

Boquinha said...

TMV, ooooooh, these are great! I agree about #1. I'd love to see your books turned into movies, especially with you heading up casting and overseeing the scripts and all of that!

Luna - great one!

Since you kind of ARE like Hermione, it would be interesting to have her around and see what that's like! I sense a Hermione theme . . . :)