Imagine my surprise, delight, and complete confusion, to find I had recently been nominated for the Liebster Award.
This is great news! Now what is it?
Friends, we find out together.
The Liebster (translated to “Loveliest” in German) is a tag which writers use to nominate fellow writers they like. I am honored to have been nominated by quite the lady, Ms. YvoCaro over at A Lady and Gaming (if you are so inclined, please head over and give her site a gander!). She lives in the Netherlands, loves her handheld games, and loves Nintendo! There is, of course, far more to her than that, but those are the most basic of bullet points.
Getting this nomination means I must answer 11 questions YvoCaro presented me with, then I have to share 11 random and fun facts about myself (oh, dear…). Lastly, I get to nominate another site, which I will do in turn.
Friends, keep your hands and arms inside the website, and off we go!
1. Can you tell something typical about the country you live in?
I live in the United States in Southern California. I adore the warm weather, palm trees, and wild parrots (they are bright green, noisy, and delightful!). Living in America most of my life makes me struggle terribly to think of what is typical about this country. Sadly, I think the most common trait is our rampant consumerism, something I try to be aware of.
2. Why did you take up blogging?
This is a tricky answer. I took up video game journalism because I’ve always been passionate about games, gaming, and the surrounding culture. Gamers are curious and wonderful people.
As to why I began writing, that’s a bit of a sob story, I’m afraid. For most of my life, I’ve been talked over, not listened to, or outright dismissed. I’d be a fool not to correlate writing (an uninterrupted thought stream) to those roots. Also, I find I can express myself far more clearly in writing than I can in the spoken word where I tend to resort to nonsense words and various amusing noises.
3. Do you set yourself a goal of number of blogs per week or month?
Yes. I have a very strict schedule I keep of posting new pieces every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I also post most of my pieces in the community blog section of Game Informer, and, as of late, they have been having community writing challenges, which has upped my weekly count from three to four pieces. Occasionally I will post more, but I always post the requisite three. I’m proud to say I’ve kept to that schedule since the day I began my site last August.
4. Where do you get your inspiration to write?
Everywhere! I mean this quite literally. There will be times when I am out and about doing completely non-game related things, and suddenly an idea will come to me. I always text myself the idea so I won’t forget, you know, immediately, then email myself a fleshed out version of that idea once I return home. I find this helps me keep track of floating ideas, and sometimes, on the days when I struggle to come up with one, I can get inspired all over again by reviewing them.
I also spend a lot of time just generally thinking, which seems to breed all kinds of interesting ideas.
5. Do you own more then one gaming device, and which ones?
Indeed! Okay, let’s all take a deep breath, ’cause this list is long.
Current systems I own:
Consoles: PS4, PS3, PS2, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, NES (All connected to the television!)
Handhelds: PS Vita, 3DS, Gameboy Advance SP
To conclude this segment, I’m quite grateful to have the ability to play on all these systems. Truly.
6. What are your favorite kind of games?
Anything atmospheric. Atmosphere goes a long, looonnnggg way with me. This is one of the many reasons BioShock is my favorite game of all time.
In honesty, I will give any game a fair shake to see if I will like it. I try to keep an open mind; some of my favorite games have been “discovered” that way, in my experience.
7. What are your three favorite movies?
This is an oddly difficult question for me. I suppose I’d have to say: Amelie, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Science of Sleep.
But if you want to go with the movie I quote the most often, it’s Groundhog Day. (Is it snowing in space?)
8. What is your go-to music when you feel sad?
Oh no. Can of worms. Music is deeply personal to me. So depending on what type of sad I happen to be, the music will change to fit that. I suppose my default is Brian Tyler’s score to Far Cry 3. Of course, I listen to it in all other states of mind, as well, so…there’s that.
9. Does your work or study match your blogging topics?
I am currently trying to pursue video game journalism, so this is my unpaid gig. My training, experience, passion, and true talent are in musical theatre; I sing, act, dance, and play the piano. I miss performing more than I can say. It hurts.
10. If you have a partner, is he or she into gaming?
Yes! I both have a partner, and yes he is quite into gaming. On our first date, we played Dr. Mario on the NES at a mutual friend’s house. We are rooted in gaming. :)
11. What kind of pet do you have?
We have a lovely friendbeast who we adopted a year ago. His name is Cloud. He is whimsy, silliness, and connection personified in fuzziness. I am grateful he is here and that we continue to grow closer.
Whew! This is already a super long post, so hold on to your hats or barrettes or whatever because I still have 11 “fun facts” (boy won’t that be subjective?) for you!
1. I have a hard time coming up with random things about myself that might be of interest to anyone else.
2. No, seriously. I have a hard time with this.
3. I was taught to sing in German phonetically. At my first real audition rehearsal in Germany I was performing a comedic song from Starlight Express and the three people offering advice in the rehearsal hall were snickering. It kept happening and I finally stopped and asked if I was doing something improperly. They answered that no, I was doing it so properly that the comedy from the song was coming through just right. It was a super weird moment in my musical theatre life. They understood what I was singing when I didn’t.
4. I quite like my singing voice, yet dislike my speaking voice.
5. I am terribly awkward in many situations. Like life.
6. I think the word “fart” in print is just about funnier than anything else. Also, fart humor easily turns me into a 12 year old.
7. I used to have hair to my knees growing up (my dad wouldn’t let me cut it), so when I turned 18 I cut all my hair off. It was the best. I’ve had my hair short for the majority of my adult life. Blow dryers are a nonsense waste of time. I can do my hair in less than a minute.
8. I find most overhead lighting to be horrid. I am quite particular about how I like things lit and with what type of light bulbs. I attribute this to being a former photographer. And hating crappy overhead lighting.
9. I drink between four and seven glasses of unsweetened iced tea a day. I love it.
10. I make delicious Thai curry. I also make delicious Thai soup. Also, good soup is harder to make than it ever should be.
11. I make up silly songs all the time and sing them either to myself, my partner, our friendbeast Cloud, or all three of us. I amuse myself. I seem to amuse my partner. The dog just gives me withering looks like I’m the most gauche person possible.
Douglas and Penny, here are your 11 questions:
1. You are stuck on a desert island with only five games for the rest of time (or until you are rescued). Which do you choose?
2. What is your worst gaming pet peeve?
3. How do you choose your topics?
4. Do you try to hit a certain word count in your blogs? Or do you just wing it?
5. What one weird talent do you have that no one would expect?
6. You are going to Disneyland: what do you do first?
7. You have to be immersed in one game world for a day; which do you choose and why?
8. What is your favorite place you have visited? Why?
9. If you could be the lead singer for a known band at a huge concert for one day, which would it be? Why?
10. Carpet or hardwood?
11. Someone has to do a formal painting of you; what do you wear and how do you pose? Inside or outside?
Friends, thank you for bearing with what is easily one of the longest posts I’ve ever written. And a great big super hug of gratitude to YvoCaro for the Liebster nomination. It meant a great deal to me. Thank you.