Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award (Part II)

Exciting news!  Amanda from Amanda Under Construction was kind enough to nominate me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award!  I met her through Blogging 101 and her site is a real treat–do check it out! sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-014 Since I’ve received this award before (see first post here), I’m going to skip all the hoo-ha and simply answer the questions.  (There’s more to it, but if you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll know that I’m super awkward about the whole nomination business.)

Amanda’s Questions:

1. Favorite social media platform?

Probably Instagram.  It doesn’t suck up a great deal of time and I love all the photos.  (Follow me at ameliab648!)

2. Favorite movie? Most recent movie you’ve seen?

Most recent: Jurassic World

Favorite: Midnight in Paris

3. What’s been the best day of your life so far?

Describe it! I’ve actually written posts about this!  “An Afternoon in Austria” describes the process of getting to five of the best days I’ve ever had.  On my travel blog, “The Austria Post” gives more of a general impression.  In it, I talk a lot about how visiting my friends impacted my Christian faith at the time.

4. Ryan Gosling or Jake Gyllenhaal?

Both are attractive, but if pressed to choose…

5. Name a female that you look up to/you see as a mentor/role model! (Celeb, mom, whatever.)

This woman:

Not only is J.K. Rowling an incredible storyteller, but I’m always blown away at her poise in the public sphere.  Her 2008 Harvard Commencement speech is one of my absolute favorites–I’ve listened to her wise words about the importance of failure and benefits of imagination multiple times and they never fail to give me chills.  Her rags-to-riches story has always inspired me greatly.  I also really admire her empathy to those less-fortunate and her incredible ability to send scalding, but still elegant retorts in 140 characters or less on Twitter.

6. Best compliment you’ve ever received?

Four years ago, I spent the summer before my freshman year of college volunteering at my local library.  There was a librarian there I really liked.  Recently, my mother was at a meeting for prominent local business people and ran into her.  The librarian, recognizing my mom, inquired about my current well-being.  When I heard about the encounter, I was shocked that she actually remembered me.  After all, three months of shelving books once a week isn’t enough to really make a lasting impression… or so I thought.  My mom then said something that has stuck with me: “Amelia, you’ll be surprised at the impact that you make on people just by being true to yourself.”

7. What makes you feel better when you’re feeling sad?

Scented candles, hot baths, romantic movies, cuddling my cat, and curling up with a good book.

8. What’s your favorite word?

Nostalgia.  I’m a deeply nostalgic person and find the word’s etymology fascinating.  The two portions in their Greek form, “nostos” and “algia”, literally translate to “the pain of home”.  Just thinking about this definition makes my heart ache for an idealized time-gone-by that can never be found again.

9. Bookstores or libraries?

Bookstores have my heart, but libraries have my soul.

10. What do you most like writing about?

Most of the posts I’ve been the most proud of tend to be musings about the past or future.  Trying to articulate how a place or event shaped me tends to draw out my best thoughts.  Attempting to use words to give shape to the future usually has the same effect.  That aside, I love writing about books.  My weekly On the Shelf posts have been particular favorites lately.

Thanks again, Amanda, for the nomination!

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I’ve been nominated by Katie from Tick Tock for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  Her blog is absolutely wonderful and worth checking out! I have a tradition of awkwardly not nominating others for awards and such (feels too much like chain mail), so I’m just going to stick to the questions. Katie’s Questions: 1- What is your favorite book? Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.  The first time I read it unabridged, I didn’t know what to do with myself for a week.  I felt like I had lost a very dear friend.  Hugo has crafted a novel that captures the essence of the human existence.  It cuts into places in my heart and mind I didn’t know existed, never failing to deeply move me.  Though the musical is excellent, it doesn’t do the source material justice.  I highly recommend it to any lover of literature (though you may want to go for an abridged version your first time through.) 2-Why did you start blogging? Back in my maniac Potterhead days, I made a friend name Cathy on a forum for a podcast we both listened to.  She was a fellow writer (her poetry was incredible) and had a blog.  I was fifteen at the time and it seemed like a fun/cool thing to do.  I liked the idea of having a corner of the internet of my own.  Cathy and I lost touch, but nearly eight years later, I’m still blogging. 3-What is your favorite part of blogging? On my “About This Blog” page, I state, “I write to know myself. I  write to figure out where I’m going.  And I write to have fun.”  These three elements are what I love most about blogging.  Words help me solidify my identity.  They help me sort through the craziness of being a college graduate with no idea what the future holds. Finally, blogging is fun.  The first blog I ever had was titled “Between the Pages”–I liked to imagine that I was writing my life story, one post at a time.  This idea still appeals to me.  I also love that blogging is a public sphere.  It’s a place where I can share these aspects of my life and growth with others and, in turn, participate in their lives as well. 4-If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Honestly, I’m still figuring this out.  I’d love to live on a lake.  I’d love to live in the mountains.  I’d love to live in a foreign city somewhere in Europe.  Hopefully, I can cover all three before I die! 5-What is your favorite thing to do when you just need some time for yourself? Reading.  Books allow me to retreat within myself while, at the same time, reaching outside of my life.  They allow me to socialize while alone, travel without actually moving, and experience thoughts and emotions I’d never get a taste of on my own.  They are the ultimate form of escapism, pushing me to empathize with people and worldviews that I normally would never encounter.  When I read, I soar.  When I put the book down, I’m left feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Thanks again, Katie, for the nomination!

Versatile/Liebster Awards

It’s always an honor when a fellow blogger nominates you and features your blog.  The thing is… I’m terrible with awards.  On the one hand, I think they’re fabulous and are a wonderful way to connect the WordPress community.  On the other, they feel a bit like chain mail.

Recently, I’ve been nominated for a number of awards.  So, instead of putting them off, I thought I’d respond to them in one big post.  The thing is, though, I’m not going to pass the awards on.  I know that it defeats the purpose, but the part of me that resists anything that feels like chain mail is simply too strong.  (I mean, I even avoided doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last spring, despite numerous nominations.)

Versatile:

A few months ago, Britta of It’s a Britta Bottle! nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Part of the award involves sharing seven facts about yourself.  Here goes:

1. I believe in the Loch Ness Monster.

2. During my junior year of high school, I held a lead role in a production of Disney’s High School Musical.  (In case you were wondering, I played Taylor McKessie.  Second to the left.)

3. I have read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban over fifteen times.  (Yes, I kept track and have since lost count.)

4. This past summer, I was in charge of the children’s programming for an international Ethiopian Church Conference in Minneapolis.

Me withs some of the girls

5. I have seen The Phantom of the Opera on the Broadway and West End stages, as well as a traveling production.

6. In high school, I wrote a novel length Harry Potter fan fic.

7. I spent my 21st birthday in Oxford and had my first drink at the Eagle in Child pub, where my literary heroes J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and friends (also known as the Inklings) used to have their weekly writing group.

OxfordBirthdayEaglenChild

Liebster:

Yesterday, Akanksha of The World Past Me nominated me for the Liebster Award.  Part of this award includes answering a number of given questions.  Here are my answers toAkanksha’s fantastic questions:

1. What do you want from life?

I want a simple life doing something meaningful.  I want to work in full-time ministry serving and building the Kingdom of God.  I want to travel the world.  Someday, I want to settle down with a husband that I love and raise a family.

2. What’s your secret fantasy?

To eat all the Nutella in the world and not gain weight.

3. What is your favorite color and why?

Green.  Because it’s pretty.

4. If you could change  into an animal anytime, what would it be and why?

I would become a beluga whale because every time I see one in real life, I become so full of joy that I nearly start hyperventilating.  (Yes, I’m a weirdo.)  I want my presence to bring joy to the lives of others.  Also, beluga whales are adorable.


5. Do you believe in love at first sight? Why/why not?

There are lots of kinds of love out there, each very complex and distinct.  In a romantic sense, however, I do not believe in love at first sight.  I think you can see someone and be incredibly attracted to them.  But the kind of love that lifelong marriages are built upon takes time and commitment to foster.  It can’t be captured in an instant.

6. What do you believe is humans’ greatest strength?

I think that one of our biggest strengths is our ability to create.  There’s something about art, literature, and music that transcends words.  Crafting beauty that moves and inspires is something that only we human beings are able to do.  It’s absolutely incredible.

7. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind every morning when you wake up?

Usually, I think about Jesus.  He’s my best friend.  (I also do my daily devotions first thing, so He is naturally the first thing on my mind.)

8. A trip with your best friend or a brunch with good friends?

This is a tough one.  I’m going to go with brunch with good friends.  Why?  As much as I love travel and as much as I love my best friend, we’d kill each other if we were in each other’s company for too long.

9. What’s your favorite book?

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.  The first time I read it unabridged, I didn’t know what to do with myself for a week.  I felt like I had lost a very dear friend.  Hugo has crafted a novel that captures the essence of the human existence.  It never fails to move me.

10. If you could date one celebrity, who would it be and why?

Andrew Garfield.  Because LOOK AT THIS MAN.  (Although, in real life, I don’t think I’d ever want to date a celebrity.  Too much publicity.)

So… that concludes my awards acceptance post!  Thanks so much Britta and Akanksha for the nominations!

P.S. I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award in the past, so do check out my previous answers!