Saturdays here at Mindful Banter are usually reserved for singing the praises of storytellers we admire like Judy Blume, Jocelyn Jackson, Pearl Cleage, and Nora Roberts. But this week I get to spotlight storytellers who are striving to make their mark. Starting with me.
Julie Luekenga, who blogs over at A Thought Grows has become a regular visitor and commenter here on Mindful Banter. I’ve enjoyed our virtual conversations over the past few weeks and the insight she shares on her blog about her life and her writing.
I was thrilled and honored to be one of the five bloggers Julie selected for the Liebster Blog Award. Thanks Julie!
Here are the Liebster Blog Award rules:
1. Answer the blogger’s eleven questions
2. Think of eleven questions of your own
3. Choose eleven worthy bloggers (who have fewer than 200 followers) to interview and pay it forward.
I’ll be bestowing this award to five fabulous All Things Girl writers. (One or more of them may be over the 200 follower limit, but then I’ve always been a bit of a rule breaker.)
My answers to Julie’s questions are below:
Who is your favorite author and why?
Do I only get to pick one? I have so many favorite authors, but if I am tied down and forced to pick one, it is definitely Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice opened my eyes to the magic of stories featuring rich, engaging characters and incredibly clever dialogue. More importantly, it was Jane Austen’s impeccable craft as a storyteller made me want to become one, too.
The ideal writing retreat would be….?
I suffer from interminable Monkey Mind, so my ideal writing retreat wouldn’t have internet access. I dream of spending a month writing at a fabulous little secluded beach house in the Caribbean, preferably near a waterfall.
What is(are) your current writing project(s)?
Carina Press recently acquired my novel, Too Good to Be True, in a two-book deal. Too Good to Be True will be published next year. Right now I am outlining Book #2 in the series because I plan to tackle the bulk of it during National Novel Writing Month.
I’m also 100 pages into a romantic suspense I’m writing which examines what happens when a man forced to live under an assumed identity must tell the woman he loves that everything she believes about him is a lie.
What is the philosophy or mission of your blog?
For a long time I wasn’t clear on this and my blog had no real focus. Earlier this year I took Jeff Goins Intentional Blogging e-course. It helped me to bring storytelling, which had always been an underlying theme, clearly into focus here on Mindful Banter.
My philosophy as a writer has always been Explore. Challenge. Write. My mission is to use Mindful Banter to explore the art and craft of storytelling; challenge conventional wisdom; and help fellow writers be the absolute best we can be at the craft of writing.
You get an all-expense paid week to do anything you want– what would that be?
Travel. I’d spend the week touring fabulous art and architecture in Europe. There is something truly fascinating about being in the presence of beautiful art, architecture and furniture that has been around for hundreds, even thousands of years.
If you could sit down and have coffee n’ chat with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
My paternal grandmother. She was such a lively, spirited woman who lived life by her own rules. I wish I’d spent more time learning about her and listening to her stories before Alzheimer’s robbed us of her beautiful mind and spirit.
A maitre-de comes to your table and lifts the silver lid off the plate of the most exquisite meal, what is it?
It would be a lovely pink salmon with a delicious bourbon glaze broiled to mouth-watering perfection; an exquisite mashed potato, rice or couscous dish that would be worth every ounce of starch-filled guilt; Brussels sprouts; and Strawberries Romanoff for dessert.
One item from your bucket list is…?
Attend all four tennis majors: The Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open.
What is your favorite place in your house to read a book?
I once read Old Man and the Sea from cover to cover in my garden bathtub in a single sitting. While a bubble bath is a great place for reading physical books, I don’t recommend it for digital books. So my bedroom has become my new favorite spot for reading.
What song are you most likely to be caught singing in the shower?
On a scale of probability, it would be Kiss by Prince just because, who doesn’t love a good Julia Roberts moment. However, right now I am just as likely to be singing Call Me, Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson or Payphone by Maroon 5. Really just depends on my mood and the current decade.
What talent, besides writing, do you possess?
I’ve got mad editing and critiquing skills and I can plan a bargain vacation like it’s nobody’s business.
My five nominees for the Liebster Blog Award are:
The Bathtub Mermaid, my friend, Melissa Bartell who plays a mean game of Words with Friends.
The gorgeous, funny writer and mommy extraordinaire, Elizabeth Rago.
Jess who blogs about all things crafty over at Sparkles and Crafts.
Fearless, funny explorer of life, Becca Rowan over at Becca’s Byline.
- When did you first fall in love with writing?
- What three authors make you swoon?
- What writing projects are you currently working on?
- Which fictional character do you most identify with and why?
- If you could tell your 21-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
- You get backstage passes to see any singer or musician, living or dead. Who would it be?
- What movie makes you cry, no matter how many times you’ve seen it?
- Which television shows would we catch you watching when you’re supposed to be writing?
- What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten (or cooked)?
- Where do you hope your writing takes you in five years? In ten?
- What are your three favorite books of all time?