The Liebster Award, or, let me tell you a lot about myself.

I blame my Ass Girl, A.S. Fenichel, for this one. But I just like calling her my Ass Girl. This is another of those little memes going around. This one bestows an award, The Liebster. Since Ass Girl stole the rules from the person who nominated her, I’m going to steal them from the thief and attribute this little paragraph to Cara…

When one receives the award, one posts 11 random facts about oneself and answers the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (while making sure one notifies the blogger that one nominated them!)

One writes up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.

One is not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated one’s own blog!

One pastes the award picture into one’s blog. (You can google the image, there are plenty of them!)

Well, that’s pretty simple, right? I’m going to deviate from these rules. I like doing these memes, but since not everyone does, I will not be tagging people in my post. I’m just telling you about me. Hope that’s okay! Now, here’s Ass Girl’s 11 questions for me:

1. If you had to choose another career (not writing or your day job) what would it be?

I’d do something that let me work with kids and teens doing humanitarian work, preferably in other countries. When I was in college I thought that was what I’d do with the rest of my life. Sadly it never worked out. As a kid I went to Mexico several times to work with the homeless, which sparked this desire in me to do more. I got the opportunity to do one  long trip to Russia as a teen and then two short stints in college back to Russia and to Thailand where I got to work with orphans. Those experiences have changed my life.

2. What is the best gift you ever received?

My laptop. It started me on the path of writing during a dark period in my life. After I graduated I snapped up the first job I could. It took over 300 resumes since the economy had just officially "crashed." When my job seemed secure, I moved closer. I was driving 140 miles round trip every day to work and my parent’s house. At first it was awesome. I joined a roller derby team, my job was pretty great. Then things went downhill with the team and I had some work issues. I retired from derby, got really depressed, gained a lot of weight and didn’t know what to do with myself. Then my PT Cruiser died a brilliant death in the middle of the highway. I got my Jeep and my laptop pretty much back to back. I started writing and eight months later I wrote the novel that would never end, but it got me going, and here I am.

3. What is the best gift you ever gave to someone?

I like giving gifts, so this is kind of hard. When I was in college there was a guy who I was friends with. He was such an upbeat person, and this one semester everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. But he still had a smile on his face. Just so happened his favorite band was coming into town, but the tickets were kind of pricey. But, I thought about how compassionate he was when I was having some roommate issues and needed someone to gripe at. I bought him two tickets and had them sent to him anonymously. Just so happened I was in the mail room when he got the envelope with my letter. I watched the shock, the realization of what he’d been given and the excitement and almost blew my cover by crying. He still has no idea who gave him the tickets. I check in with him every so often just to see if he’s figured it out after all these years.

4. At your ideal dinner party, name three guests that would be present. (living or dead)

Dang… This is a hard one.

Jane Austin. I think she was my real introduction to romance. Everyone loves P&P, but I adore the beginning of Sandition, which was subsequently finished by someone else after her death. Pride and Prejudice will always be one of my favorites though. I think it would be interesting to talk books and life then and now with her.

My Grandpa on my mother’s side. While I didn’t get to spend long with all of my grandparents, in a way I never met my Grandpa Marvin. He had Alzheimer’s either before I was born or shortly after. It was a stretch for him to recall who my mother was, so he lived his entire life without ever knowing my name. I know he wasn’t a perfect person, I might even dislike him after I got to know him, but I never had that chance. I never got to really meet him because by the time I started forming memories, his was gone.

Hmm. I’m not sure who else. Probably someone funny!

5. If tomorrow was the last day of the world, with whom would you spend today?

Zibby. I’ve known her since I was in kindergarten and she still loves me. I think. Least that’s what she lets me think. We’ve been best friends an awful long time to end that now!

6. Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?

Mountains! Never been much for the water, but I really like the snow. I used to go skiing and snowblading when I was a kid several times a year. I really wanted to take a year off between high school and college to teach skiing classes on a mountain just for the hell of it, but my parents were really serious about me going to school ASAP.

7. What is on the very top of your bucket list?

You mean this list here? The first thing on that list is to swim with sharks. I’m pretty serious about making it happen some day. When I was a kid I wanted to be a marine biologist for the sole purpose of working with sharks, but then my mom told me I’d have to spend a lot of time in the water and I wasn’t too crazy about that idea, so it never happened. Still, I think it would be awesome to do a free dive with some small to mid sized sharks, or a cage dive with whites. Someday!!

8. Have you ever lived in another country? If yes, where? If no, where would you like to live?

Yes! I’ve lived in Mexico, Russia and Thailand. The last was the shortest. If I could live anywhere, I’d probably go back to Russia or one of the English speaking Western European countries.

9. What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Which one? Dang, this is a hard one. There’s a lot of semi scary stuff I’ve done that in the seconds before I did it weren’t all that bad. I guess the scariest was being the student speaker for my college. I went to a private Christian university and each semester about 3,000-5,000 high school and prospective students came to the campus. One current student was chosen to speak. I was very blown away when my preaching professor asked me to be that person. Now, I’m no stranger to speaking in front of crowds, winning state speaking competitions funded my college days. What surprised me about this was that among the perfect preacher’s daughters and choir members, I stuck out. I wore converse that were so ripped they were more like sandals, jeans and a black band t-shirt were my uniform, and my hair was so short it stuck up every which way. I’d also had some run in’s with the school staff about things we disagreed on and people acusing me of breaking rules I didn’t actually break. Amazing since I broke a lot of them. Anyways, they asked me and I said yes. I was the last student speaker they’ve ever had. Since they’ve switched to inviting big name preachers to present. I have the esteemed honor of being voted into the most memorable student speakers. I can even remember the title of the talk I did, "Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday." It was a great experience.

10. What is the one object you cannot live without?

My laptop.

As an object, it’s the one thing I would miss, the thing I spend the most time with and which allows me to do something I’ve dreamed about. It’s not abnormal for me to sleep with it in the bed with me. It’s not unusual for me to bring it to events with me in case there’s an opportunity to break it out and do some work or kill some time.

11. Finish this sentence: I wanted to become an author because…

Because that’s what the cool kids were doing. 🙂

Mostly it’s because my parents have always done what they loved. My mom spent over 25 years doing rodeo before she switched to cycling. My dad is still involved in team roping and livestock stuff. I love writing. I love storytelling and crafting that tale to entertain and capture the imagination.

11 Random Facts about Sid:

  1. My pinky fingers are crooked. It’s a "birth defect" but I always tell people a childhood friend broke my fingers. 75% of people believe this story.
  2. I’ve had the same cell phone number since I was sixteen.
  3. I like Doritos and French Onion dip. Together.
  4. I’ve eaten fried crickets when in Thailand.
  5. As a teen, I showed horses, a heifer and goats.
  6. The only sport I watch is hockey. Sometimes rugby.
  7. I have to rescued Maine Coons who came with the names Mario and Yoshi.
  8. Once upon a time I played flat track roller derby.
  9. I have four degrees and I work a day job that uses NONE OF THEM!
  10. I paid for most of my first degree with scholarships from winning speaking contests.
  11. I really want to go shark diving, but hate the water.

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