I’m honoured and grateful to be nominated for the Liebster Award again, by Sarah, a fellow writer who blogs at …and then there was Sarah. I’ve been nominated before and made up a list of nominees, but I like the questions that Sarah chose so much that I wanted to answer them. Here, first, are eleven random things about me, as per the rules of the award.

  1. I am so very, very left-handed, the only one in my family for several generations. Both my kids are as well, despite the statistical improbability with a right-handed father.
  2. I’m an avid home canner and preserver. Most of my spare time in late summer and early fall is spent canning, pickling, dehydrating and freezing, and our family spends very little on groceries in the winter months.
  3. My front yard is a vegetable garden, and a good portion of my back yard is too. Even though we live on an average city lot, we’re able to grow much of our own produce in the summertime. My favourite thing to grow is either swiss chard or kale, and my biggest failure is squash.
  4. My favourite cocktail is a bellini.
  5. My favourite hot drink is an almond milk chai latte.
  6. My husband and I honeymooned in Ireland, spending a good bit of the trip backpacking and staying in a different village every night. We met a lovely woman who, upon parting with us, gave us a book of traditional Irish names and told us that we would name our children from the book. It turned out that she was right.
  7. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be sushi.
  8. My favourite guilty pleasure show is Storage Wars. Other than that, I really don’t watch much TV at all.
  9. I used to collect shot glasses from all my travels, and before I stopped, I had over two hundred from all over the world.
  10. Ten years after buying our house, we’re finally starting to buy and hang artwork that we love. That’s about the speed we get stuff done around the house.
  11. My favourite tattooes are the starfish on top of my feet. I live in a landlocked city but love the ocean, so every time I look down at them I feel like I’m at the beach.

And Sarah’s questions to her nominees, which will be much easier to answer than thinking up things about myself:

1. Everyone has realistic goals and dream goals. Name one of your dream goals.

I’ve always wanted to make and sell homemade soup at the farmer’s market. I love making soup and giving it away to friends.

2. Name a book you’ve read that is generally considered by critics and the masses to be a good book by most, but that you did not enjoy.

Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. I couldn’t even finish it, it was so overly violent and difficult to read I gave up about two thirds of the way through.

3. Is there any genre of music that you can’t stand, under any circumstance?

I don’t like to say never, but country music and hardcore rap really grate my eardrums.

4. Where is the most interesting place in the world that you’ve been?

Oh, this is a hard one. I hiked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island eight years ago, which was incredible despite the fact that I broke my wrist partway through and had to complete the trip in a splint made of driftwood. So that’s my most interesting travel experience. My favourite place to travel is Abaco Island in the Bahamas, but I don’t know if it’s the most interesting… Joshua Tree National Park in southern California is stark and beautiful, with a landscape that seems almost extraterrestrial. It’s pretty cool… really, I can’t pick one place.

5. Name a current trend or meme (last few years) trend that you can’t stand.

Mommy blogging. Can’t. Stand. It. It’s gone from sharing humorous anecdotes with close friends and family to monetizing children’s lives and oversharing personal details without their kids’ permission.

6. Do you play any MMO games? If so, which?

None, never have. I’m not one for video games, except puzzles and Tiger Woods Golf.

7. Any interesting phobias?

Ha! This is a complicated question. The short answer is yes. Phobias and the anxiety related to them have shaped much of my psyche and how I relate to the world. To varying degrees, and at various points in my life, a phobia of enclosed spaces, open spaces, air travel, medications and other substances. The main character of the book I’m writing right now suffers from a severe phobia of touch, and while there are lots of other things going on in the story, ultimately it’s a story about one person’s journey to overcome a phobia.

8. Has there been a book, song, or movie that has changed your life? How?

Oh, man. I inhaled so many books as a kid. I remember the first book that really blew my mind – that showed me just what storytelling could do – was Watership Down. I still read it every year or two, and I can’t wait until my kids are a bit older so  can share it with them too. And the Nancy Drew books were what got me starting to write mysteries myself.

9. If you had the power to change one law in your country, what would it be and why?

They’ve changed so many laws in the past two years in my country (Canada) I think I’d be more in favour of changing laws back. Reinstating environmental protections would be high up on the list, or maybe a law to ensure that no private/for-pay medical care of any type would be allowed.

10. Do you share your blog with people you know in real life? Why or why not?

Absolutely, although most of them don’t read it since it’s not all that interesting with its narrow focus on writing. It’s certainly not a secret or anything.

11. Is Schrodinger’s cat dead or alive?

Physics actually makes my head pound, so without trying to parse the question, I’m going to say alive. Poor kitty.