Liebster Award

i have been nominated for a Liebster Award!

on my birthday of this past year, Lloyd Ann Caston nominated me for a Liebster Award—what a gift! i’m kind of funny when it comes to presents and have been this way ever since i was a child: i keep them around for a long time and build up to loving them. maybe it’s because they are so precious that i savor their existence for a long time before i use them. whatever the underlying neurosis is for it, here i have gone and done it again. the acceptance of this award is way overdue. i hope it is no reflection of my gratitude for being nominated. Lloyd Ann noted in her post that there is no pressure to accept this, so i figure it’s okay to accept it late. i also encourage those nominated to only accept this if it feels like something you would enjoy!

Lloyd Ann and i met because i wrote this crazy short story about Jesus and suicide; Lloyd Ann has a blog called Prayyior’s God Talk: Guide to surviving life’s struggles and she was incredibly open-minded when i asked our Blogging 101 course if the story was too offensive. i really appreciated that she was able to look past religious belief systems and appreciate the writing for its own sake. i believe this indicates a strength of spirit that transcends the fundamentals of religion. do check out her blog sometime, it is filled with stories of hope, humor, and miracles.

shortly after receiving Lloyd Ann’s nomination, i was whisked away on my own spiritual journey of sorts. you can read about that here: Where the Heart Is. or you can continue on and find out what all of this Liebster Award business is all about!

hey there Lobsterbird, what is a Liebster Award?

well, i like that loose rhyme scheme for sure, though it is slightly annoying/amusing that autocorrect keeps changing Liebster to Lobster.

to the point: essentially, a Liebster Award is recognition from other members of the blogging community that a new blog has some merit and is worth reading. if you receive an award, you pay-it-forward and nominate other blogs in return. i have heard it referred to as a kind of blogging chain letter. i have also read that experienced bloggers avoid these kinds of awards like they would avoid the plague. i think that’s a little dramatic and have seen “experienced bloggers” feature these kinds of awards.

because of my complexity of feelings on the issue, i have spent the past seven months contemplating before accepting the award. i have come to think that the Liebster Award is much more than it seemed at first, and that i am not going to be pretentious about it. it is really a way for us to show our appreciation for each other, which is so badly needed in the world today. it helps connect members of the blogging community and inspires us to reach through our little screens to find each other. it provides encouragement to new bloggers that their voices are being heard—the support under the surface of logistics is what energized me to tackle the hard-ball questions poised by Lloyd Ann (haha), cull the bloggers i wish to nominate, and ask more of my own questions.

below you will find: my answers, the protocol as best as i could understand it, more questions, and infinite support for new writers everywhere.

contemplations from a Lobsterbird:

Why do you write a blog?

i first started this blog as a grad school requirement, then i was encouraged to keep writing it. it has since morphed into a whole other being—a chronicle of very personal stories, poetic musings, photographic evidence of worlds within and beyond ours, fictional firings sprung from imagination’s corners, and epic tales of spiritual, philosophical, and universal adventures. i write it now because it helps me stay connected and figure out where my place is in all the chaos. i write it because i am blessed to be able to make art, travel, and go on spiritual journeys that border on the surreal. so the main reason i write it now is because i believe in the power of storytelling and the effect our stories have on the world. i write to share my journeys with kindred spirits they resonate with and to inspire those lost to find their own path. i write out of love for this planet and all the beings that make it up. i hope we can make up the rest of the story together as a community. i write this blog because the internet is amazing, and i hope to reach this extended community through it.

Your Biggest Fan?

my sister, Alicia, has the longest and steadiest track record out of anyone i know. she’s my best friend, my oracle, my editor, and an amazing writer in her own right. being an artist and a writer—neither of those are professions are easy to make a conventional living at—takes a fortitude of spirit, an almost psychotic drive and confidence, to carry on with. i often say that if it were not for Alicia gently encouraging me all the way, i may have given up during some of those darker times of doubt and insecurity. i am so grateful to have found my Biggest Fan so early on, so that we were able to support each other through life’s ups and downs, no matter what they were and what they may be.

Did you like doing this?

i did! though it took me a long time to get to it (in part, because it took me a long time to get it), being motivated by community, encouragement, and curiosity made it fun and worthwhile.

How much time did it take you?

haha, in total, seven months!? since committing to post this, i finished it over the course of three days.

Your favorite sport?

oh, sports. from childhood onward, i played every sport i could get my hand (or foot) on. everything from softball to tennis, track, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, field hockey, “powderpuff” football, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, swim team and surfing (are those last five sports?) to gymnastics, acrobatics and dance (since i was 2 years old, also possibly not a sport). i tried out for the bowling team, but didn’t make it (which i found hysterical). i even tried to convince my parents to let me join the wrestling team (there was a girl smaller than me on the competing school’s team). that’s where they drew the line.

i drew my own line at college when i quit sports completely. i don’t know why—perhaps a balance of overshadowing academics and being weary of old modes of relating—but i stopped pretty much any movement practice until i moved to NYC after college. i have to admit that i haven’t paid much attention to sports ever since.

i do, however, enjoy yoga now and any movement practice that focuses on mind-body integration. a lot of modern dance (in particular Japanese techniques) fall into this category. perhaps the reason i like them is because competing with is one’s own obstacles is the way to win the game.

Do you like to cook?

i love to cook! i especially love to bake.

that said, being nomadic and finding the time/adjusting to new kitchen situations is challenging. so i don’t do it as often as i would like. however, i enjoy practicing consciousness about what i am putting in my body and eating foods that are wholesome and encourage health and energy.

if you had 24 hours to do anything you want, What would you do?

this is a hard one! it’s one i think about a lot and is still hard.

if i only had 24 hours left to live, i would spend it with my loved ones out in nature. if it’s just 24 hours on a normal day, well, i feel like that’s everyday! i would spend it exploring somewhere new and writing, soaking up the sensations around and inside me.

Have you taken a blogging class?

i took Blogging 101 through WordPress back in May 2015, though i had already been blogging for quite awhile. i needed some fresh inspiration during a low time creatively. i didn’t finish the course before getting swept away on travels, but it really helped unlock some places i was stuck. it also introduced me to a new community of writers who i value tremendously.

Did you like it?

yep! it provided a structure to get back into a practice and daily inspiration to think outside the box of my preexisting blog.

Fox or CNN?

ooh, another tough one. here’s a confession: i don’t watch tv. not only that, but i especially don’t watch the news. i went on a media blackout for about seven years. now, i feel like i get enough news curated through reliable personal sources / select internet channels. i don’t mean to sound ignorant or apathetic, but it is really difficult to take in so much information (especially when a lot of it is so negative). so i really filter the news i receive.

i will say, however, that when i visit my parents, FOX tends to be blaring in the background whenever my dad is home. i find this challenging.

Who do you want to win the Pres Election coming up?

i can tell you that i do not want it to be Donald Trump.

my Nominees for the election, i mean, Liebster Award are:

The Travelling Crone

My Life in Japan

Jannah As My Goal



note to Nominees:

Liebster Award Rules

—Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.

– Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.

– Nominate 5 – 11 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.

– Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 – 1000 followers. (i have read various numbers, but i think anything less than 1000 seems about right. that is, if the blog even posts how many followers it has! sometimes it doesn’t, so this part seems especially difficult to me.)

(by the way, i still haven’t been able to figure out if this is for WordPress blogs only…or what. i think it is, but this part confuses me.)

– Answer the ten questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make ten questions of your own for your nominees.

– Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

questions should You accept:

1. why do you blog?

2. what is the main theme or thread that connects your writing / work?

3. what are five things that you love / are grateful for?

4. what is your spirit animal?

5. what was your dream job growing up (and is that your job now)?

6. if you could travel anywhere tomorrow (time, money, and feasibility are not a question), where would you go?

7. do you have a bucket list and if so, what is your top thing on there?

8. what color do you most identify with?

9. what is your superpower?

10. what big dreams do you envision for your blog or your life? (cuz sometimes the two are not separate.)

with love, verbosity, and support,

PS i love meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends via new channels. let’s connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—or all three!

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