I’ve used a lot of metaphors in my blog. I’ve written about sea voyages, air travel, driving. All of them into journeys into frightening storms and dense fog. I’ve even written about hope for bluer skies. One thing that I haven’t mentioned much is sunshine. That’s because it can seem hard to come by with a terminal cancer diagnosis.
And so it struck me as no small irony that my fellow blogger, Kristi Konsuer would nominate me for the “Sunshine Blogger Award”. She documents her own experience with late stage cancer in her blog, Finding a Way
I’m honored by the nomination, because the truth is that there are days of sunshine mixed in with the clouds. Days we are with our friends and families. Days of living while alive, seeped in a moment and forgetting- just for an instant-that we are on a quicker path toward that endpoint. So I welcome the opportunity to mix a little bit of sunshine in with the storms and clouds.
So, what is the Sunshine Blogger Award, exactly?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award of recognition given to bloggers from fellow bloggers. It recognizes those who are creative, positive, and inspiring. It celebrates people who spread sunshine.
What are the Rules?
-Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites
-Answer their questions
-Nominate up to 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions
-Notify the nominees about their nomination via their blog or social media
-List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post
My Answers to Kristi’s Questions:
What is your favorite dessert and why?
My favorite dessert is Angel Food Cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It’s just so fresh and light and gives the perfect illusion of being healthy even though in reality it may not be.
Who was your favorite teacher (K-12) and why?
My favorite teacher of all time is my 8th grade English and 9th grade Speech teacher, Mrs. Cook. She called on the quiet girl in class and exclaimed, “She can read!”. After that she took an interest in me by encouraging me to sign up for Speech class as an elective the following year, encouraged me to enter competitions, and gave me the quirky role of a question mark in the end of the year class play. She saw through to my talents and actively encouraged them, waking up to an appreciation for writing, for literature and for theater.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I struggle, honestly with picking a single piece of advice from any one person. Probably the best advice I have seen or read is to always stay true to yourself, even when others reject that self. If they don’t accept you then it is all the more easy to discover who is on your tribe and who isn’t.
When was the last time you laughed really hard? What caused it?
Again, hard to pick a specific instance. My kids crack me up more than anything, and that occurs on almost a daily basis. On a darker note, I reached a point a few months ago where things seemed especially low, and it felt a bit like people were eulogizing me before my time. I felt pretty low, but found a clip on YouTube of the “Not Dead Yet” scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, posted it, and rolled on the floor with belly laughs. I guess that my whole self just needed to slap out of the seriousness and that is what set it off.
What do you enjoy most about the writing process?
Words, words and more words! As an English Literature major in college, my favorite books were always the ones with descriptive passages that pull you in. The one that create a feeling with the power of words that make you feel like you are right there in the character’s shoes. Feeling what they are feeling. I’m an avid music fan as well an I’m fascinated by the the ways an author or songwriter uses words that might not even have a literal meaning, but nonetheless still evoke a feeling that we can step into, and wrap around ourselves.
In my own writing I seek to do this. I want the reader to step into my shoes and to feel what I am feeling.
And here’s another thing. Scott Hutchison, from the band Frightened Rabbit said that his songwriting was a form of therapy for him. That the act of pulling the swirling thoughts and emotions out of his heart and mind and forcing them into the structure of a song made them tangible, defined, real-and therefore also more meaningful and manageable for him.
When I organize my thoughts and emotions into something for you to read I do the same thing. It’s public therapy through blogging.
Where (or when) do you feel happiest?
I feel happiest when I am sharing happiness with my family. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing joy on my children’s faces. I feel great happiness in the act of an embrace or snuggle from my husband or kids. I feel happiest when experiencing the world with them. Going on vacations, dancing, watching the sunset, having deep conversations with my family and friends. That is the stuff of life.
Where in life do you find inspiration?
Through pain. Through joy. Through a quiet moment by myself or out in nature. Through listening to some really good music.
When did you feel like a grown-up?
I’m not sure that I can name a specific time, because for me, it happened so young. I vaguely remember feeling like a kid, but in most of my memories after that I guess that I almost always felt like a grown-up in a child’s body.
If you could fix one problem in the world, what would it be?
Honestly? I believe that the majority of all of the world’s problems can be traced back to children who weren’t given love. Or who were not given love unconditionally. These people then grow up to be adults who continually act and react to the world based upon those holes to what should be the fundamental building block of their sense of self and sense of security. So yeah, making sure that every child gets love. The one and only true way to fix the rest of the world.
Who would you invite to a dinner party if you could choose 5 famous people living today? Short reasons for each would be welcomed.
(The late) Scott Hutchison, Frank Turner, Ben Gibberd, Matt Berninger, and Conor Oberst. All fantastic indie songwriters and lyricists. There would be great food and drinks in an outdoor setting with greenery. And there would be acoustic guitars. We would talk about the songwriting process, play with words, and maybe write a song or two.
What is one word you can use to describe yourself? No need to explain unless you feel it’s needed.
Genuine. Contemplative. I cheated and chose two.
My Nominations For the Sunshine Blogger Award:
My Questions for My Nominees:
-What is your favorite season of the year, and why?
-They say that the two most important days of someone’s life are the day they are born and the day that they find out the reason they were born. Have you discovered why you were born? What, if anything, do you think your special purpose is in this life?
-Describe a favorite vacation. Why do you rank this vacation as among the best?
-What made you finally take the leap and begin blogging?
-What is your Myers-Briggs personality type? Do you feel like it i accurate? Why or why not?
-If you could have any super power, what would it be, and why?
-If you could change any one thing about yourself, what would it be?\
-Name your guilty pleasure. What is it about that one thing that you can’t get enough of?
-What is your favorite restaurant dish? And what is your favorite dish to prepare for others?