Return of the Liebster Award

It was a great honor when I found out that Danica from thelittlegirlaround had nominated me for a Liebster Award!  The greatest thing, by far, I’ve encountered since joining the blogging community is how close a group it is, and how supportive everyone is of each other’s work.  The Liebster Award is a wonderful example of that sentiment.  I didn’t know if I could accept this again, having been nominated before.  But Google assured me it’s fine.  ALSO, it lets me continue to share the love with other new blogs I’ve recently become addicted to.  Yay!

The Liebster Award goes back to 2011 (as far as my Internet research told me) and is a way to recognize new blogs that are just starting out and have yet to amass a huge following.  For me, one of the most special things about the award is those nominated then have to pass it on, to other blogs they consider to be deserving (more on that below!).  It takes the format of a chain letter or the like and turns it into something wildly worthwhile – a way to honor and celebrate talent.  I’m all for paying things forward so I think this is fantastic!

As I said above, one of the most amazing things I’ve encountered since entering the blogging community is how excited, supportive, and accepting everyone is.  The great delight I take in reading other’s work is by far the rule, not the exception.  Everyone loves supporting and encouraging each other!  The world could use a lot more of that in all areas of live.  The fact that this award grows out of that mentality is a beautiful thing.

Also, each nominated blogger must answer questions about themselves (questions posed by the one doing the nominating) so we can all learn a little bit more about each other along the way.

Before we go any further, as always, let’s talk about the rules.  The nominated blog must:

1)  Thanks the blogger who nominated them.

2)  Answer the eleven questions they gave you.

3)  Nominate up to eleven other bloggers yourself (the rules vary online, ranging from saying the nominated blog should have < 200 followers while some say < 1,000.  I stayed under 200 with my all my nomination choices.

4)  Let those other bloggers know in a comment on one of their pieces 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 too.

So, here we go.  Let’s get to Danica’s questions!

Liebster Award 10

Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

What is your one true fandom of all time?

Without question, it always comes back to Spider-Man for me.  I love a lot of things passionately.  I take my geek outs very, very seriously.  I love comic books in general – Marvel’s specifically.  I love Star Wars.  I love the Ghostbusters.  I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I can tell you infinitely more about all of those nerdy loves than I ever could remember about Trigonometry.  But at the end of the day, I’ve loved Spidey the longest and my love for him is the most true.  He’ll always be Number One in my heart.

How is your blog so far?

It’s been so much fun!  I was excited to start.  Having written for The Imperial Talker, Just Dread-Full, and Ministry Matters before, I knew I liked to do this.  But the idea of running my own blog was a little intimidating and a whole lot of exciting.  It’s been far more fun than I ever imagined.  I couldn’t have wished for a warmer reception from the people reading this and everyone in the blogging community.  This has been a wonderful journey so far.  I get so excited when I start working on an idea for a new piece. It’s been an incredible creative outlet too, letting me merge my passion for comic books and superheroes with my work in theology, mythology, and (perhaps most importantly) the areas of social justice.

What are your current interests as of the moment?

Really, this blog.  Since school let out and my teaching/lesson planning/grading responsibilities have laid by the wayside, I’ve been throwing myself into the freedom to write and post as often as I can.  I’m actually now working to make sure I balance this with my other true loves of summer – as much time with my loved ones as I can get, reading as many books as possible, and loving the freedom of the early bird matinees (they’re totally cheaper! only $5!) at the movie theatre.  I had an epiphany the other day where I wanted to make sure, as much fun as this blog is, I don’t look up at the end of the vacation and realize I spent waaay too much time writing.

Who is your favorite singer/artist/band?

Liebster Award 11

Bob Dylan circa 1965 / Photo Credit – Rolling Stone

My favorite songwriter of all time is Bob Dylan.  But, while Bob is always in my heart (and thus deserving of this shout out) I need to go with Billy Joel as my all-time favorite musician.

What do you like about him/her/them the most?

Liebster Award 12

Billy Joel circa 1977 / Photo Credit – ‘The Stranger’ Album

In regard to Bob Dylan, I think Blood On The Tracks is the most emotionally charged, soulful album of all time.  Planet Waves is a close second.  What Blood On The Tracks does for healing a broken heart and moving on, Planet Waves does for embracing happiness and soul mate style love.  There are SO MANY great phases to his career.  No matter what my mood, I can find a Dylan song that can compliment it.  As a college professor of mine once said, “Bob Dylan is good for the soul.”  I wholeheartedly agree!  As to Billy, I’ve loved him for as long as I can remember.  Actually, the “Uptown Girl” video is one of my earliest music video memories!  There’s an honesty and an earnestness to Billy’s lyrics.  I know all the words of all his songs and he is my ultimate mood lifter.  A casual listen to Billy Joel’s body of work reveals a lot of fun, dancy songs.  A closer listen shows there’s been a lot of sadness and heartache in his life.  But that’s what’s great about Billy Joel.  Despite the sadness, he owns it, channels it into beautiful art, but always lifts you up at the end.  Whether joy or sadness, Billy will take you through it and then leave you feeling happier than you were before you put on the album.  (Careful readers will note I’m speaking of albums here.  Yes, we live in the singles/iTunes age.  But I’m still a firm proponent of the fact that an album was made to be listened to in order and in its entirety!)

Liebster Award 13

Photo Credit – HarperCollins

Quote a line from your favorite book.

I can’t put into words just how much Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist means to me.  I read it for the first time years ago, in college.  I read it in an afternoon and was deeply moved, in my heart and soul, with the beauty and the wisdom of his words.  I’ve read the book at least once a year (if not more) since I first got it.  There are so many important lines in the book I’m not sure how to choose.  So I’ll open randomly and copy what Past Michael has highlighted.  And we have, “…before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way.  It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved towards that dream.  That’s the point at which most people give up.  It’s the point at which we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'”

Upload a picture of your today’s outfit.

So this was the AMAZING shirt I had one today.  Last year, for my birthday, Kalie surprised me with this custom made t-shirt.  It’s my all-time favorite Michael Scott quote from The Office.  It’s the tagline to a movie he made up…and he gets chocked up every time he says it.  Aww Michael…I’m with you.  I guess I didn’t take a picture of the whole outfit.  This attention grabbing shirt was paired with shorts and flip flops – my constant summer attire.

Liebster Award 14

Hilarity Credit – Michael Scott / Gift Idea Credit – Kalie

In the mood for ______.

Family.  That’s what came to mind.  My family’s always been very important to me.  Every Friday night my parents, brother, aunt, cousins, Kalie and I do dinner at my Grandma’s.  I see my parents regularly.  Kalie and I go down to watch Big Brother with my mom three times a week during the summer.  I hang out a lot with my brother too.  We make a point of finding somewhere to play skee ball around town every Saturday too.  So that went down today.  (If you’re curious, he won.  He normally does.  But I can hold my own too.)  So I’m blessed with lots of family time.  But I’m often in the mood for more :).

What do you do when you want to escape reality?

I jump inside a good book or I go to the movies.  Either are an absolute favorite way to dissolve into another world for a little while.  I guess it depends on my mood, with the book being a solitary experience and the movies (even if I go alone which I really enjoy doing sometimes) being communal as there are others in the theatre too.

What is the craziest and weirdest thing you have ever done in your life?

This is a difficult question!!  There are a lot of interesting anecdotes that are springing to mind now.  Hmm.  What’s coming to mind right now is a two week road trip I took out to Yellowstone when I was eighteen.  Each day was filled with hiking, camping, and exploring whatever amazing tourist traps we’d find along the way (I’m talking about you Walldrug South Dakota).  Well, one day we were in this kitschy souvenir shop when Mike and I laid our eyes on big bull horns, mounted to a plaque.  It was the sort of thing you’d hang on the wall.  Mike and I looked at those horns, looked at each other, and he said, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”  And I said, “The front of the van!”  We bought them and proudly bungee corded them to the front of the van.  We never expected them to make the whole trip…but we expected to get more than a few hundred miles out of them!  Later that day we were cruising down the road and heard a loud CRACK.  The horns had fallen from the grill of the van, snapped in half, and shot like missiles to either side of the road!  Thank God no car was behind us…or even worse, two motorcycles.  Gah!  It’s so scary to think about in retrospect!  So, the moral of the story is, big steer horns are for kitschy souvenir shops, old westerns, walls in Texas…but NEVER for the front of your car.

Honorable mentions go to that time, back when I was still a Youth Minister, and I dressed up as a Ghostbuster for Halloween.  I knew a science teacher at the time who could actually make the slime from the movies.  What was great was it looked like a slimy liquid but behaved like a solid so you could pour it all over stuff and roll it up later.  We totally got to work early and SLIMED a coworkers office.  Also an honorable mention, my hair always used to be really long.  It hung down almost to my shoulder blades.  A little over a year ago, without telling anyone, I shaved it all off one night and came into  work the next day dressed as a good friend of mine at work who has a buzz cut.  I even accurately predicted the color pants and shirt he’d have on.  It was an epic success!

Now it’s time to share the love!  The blogs that I’d like to nominate for the Liebster Award are…

1)  Bookscape Blog

2)  God Among Geeks

3)  Amy’s Library Rambles

4)  Lucy’s Bookish Ramblings

5)  Bailey from The Life of a Bibliophile

6)  fairlyliterary

7)  4therace

These blogs feature some quirky, intelligent reflections, some detailed, thought-out and captivating pieces, and offer a lot of fun and energy.  If you don’t read them yet, I absolutely think you should click on those above links and give them a read and a follow.  You will not be disappointed!  They’re all great.

Last but not least, here are the questions I’d like my above nominated blogs to answer!  I hope you accept your nomination.  Know that this was a careful process of discernment on my part and I was honored to pass along this honor and share it with all of you.

1)  What is one of your earliest/happiest book-related (be it comic or otherwise) memories?

2)  Is there an author you’ve found whose work resonates deeply with you?  Why do you connect so

3)  What is the point of literature in your life?  What do you get from reading?

4)  Why is your blog focused on the topics you’ve chosen?  If you can write about anything, why this?

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?

6)  What role do you think illustrations play in telling a story?

7)  Name one story (however you’d like to define that term) that’s been important to your life and discuss why.

8)  Name one character you’ve encountered that’s been particularly important to you and discuss why.

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?

10)  Has there been anything challenging about blogging since you’ve started writing for an online audience?

11)  Lastly, what have you found to be the most rewarding part of blogging since you began your writing venture?

Thank you again Danica for the nomination!  I hope my nominees feel as touched by nomination as I did by hers.

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4 thoughts on “Return of the Liebster Award

  1. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for the nomination. I will follow directions and honor someone else. We are on vacation this week, but I will work on the questions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Great stuff. I am going to send you an email before I go and a cell. Want to make a contact and see what we can collaborate down the road with. If you are anywhere near So Cal we are looking at a Pod cast down the road.

    Thank you,
    Gary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the nomination! I have been extremely busy lately, but I will try to get to these questions and follow the Liebster Award directions as soon as I can (I hope to post something this coming weekend). I enjoy reading your blog as well! You have really helped me with developing my own blog. Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The nomination was my pleasure – you work is so very deserving of this. But here’s the thing though, please don’t feel you have to rush. There’s no clock on this! Take your time, do your post whenever. That’s completely fine and totally par for the course. I’m humbled and honored to hear you feel I’ve helped you a little with developing your own blog too. You’re very talented and do such great work. I always get excited when I see you have a new post.

      Liked by 1 person

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