Questions from the Shameful Narcissist

So I’ve been a blog-abandonner for a while now, keeping to the craggy mountains of the Internet, only striding into town when I need a sip of whiskey. Then one of my favourite bloggers The Shameful Narcissist referenced a post of mine, and that got me all inspired. I’m not even sure I’m supposed to answer these questions according to the rules of the blogging award, but then TSN broke the rules too, so we are well into renegade territory, anything could happen. If anyone else also feels inspired to flout the rules of convention and answer the questions, then go ahead, make my day.

The Questions:

  1. When you read do you visualize characters and settings?  As in do the words create images in your mind?
  2. What’s your favorite kind of tea?
  3. What’s the best game you’ve played or watched this year so far?
  4. What’s the best book you’ve read this year so far?
  5. Do you prefer to watch a show one episode at a time or binge watch?
  6. Do you prefer “people” names for pets or “non-people” names (I’m genuinely surprised at how many people are annoyed by the former)?
  7. What would you change your eye color to if you could?
  8. Do you tan or burn (FYI don’t tan.  It’s terrible for you – PSA)?
  9. What’s your fictional/fantasy job, as in, what your job be if you lived in a fictional/fantasy world (I’d be a lounge singer assassin)?
  10. What’s your favorite dystopian city (thanks TWRM for putting this idea into my head!)?
  11. How close is your blogger persona to your IRL one?

 

The Answers

1.When you read do you visualize characters and settings?  As in do the words create images in your mind?

I always assumed I was good at visualising things, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I’m not at all, I can imagine details, but whole pictures are beyond me. I think when I read I imagine sensations and emotions, but the actual images are vague.

2. What’s your favorite kind of tea?

I dislike almost all tea, which makes me an outcast in England. I like the idea, and the smell, of herbal teas, but the reality is always way too insipid. I used to live somewhere where we had Anis (it may not have been Anis, but it smelt of liquorice) growing wild, and I’d brew up a few leaves, which created the only nice tea I’ve ever had. I’ve never been able to recreate it. I’m still holding out hope though. There must be another tea out there for me.

3.  What’s the best game you’ve played or watched this year so far?

I’m not a gamer, although games look great, I just don’t have enough spare time at the moment for a new thing. It’s my retirement plan though, I figure when I’m not so mobile, being able to go to some apocalyptic landscape and fight zombies or fly planes will be fantastic.

4. What’s the best book you’ve read this year so far?

I’m reading the Fifteen Lives of Harry August, it’s very entertaining so that could be the best, but the time travel logic is dubious. I’m also listening to the Stand (see below). I don’t think I’d have the patience to read it in book-form (he describes every last detail, he can spend five minutes talking about a character cutting some vegetables) but listening to it when I’m driving makes it feel like I’m living in two parallel worlds: one with traffic, and one with a devil and lots of corpses.

5. Do you prefer to watch a show one episode at a time or binge watch?

Binge, otherwise I forget what I’ve been watching. Although recently I watched the Handmaid’s Tale and found it too disturbing to watch all at once, so I kept delaying. I still need to watch the last episode.

6. Do you prefer “people” names for pets or “non-people” names (I’m genuinely surprised at how many people are annoyed by the former)?

I’m happy with both. I guess if all pets had people-names that would get boring, but variety is good.

6. What would you change your eye color to if you could?

Something very pale or very dark.

7. Do you tan or burn (FYI don’t tan.  It’s terrible for you – PSA)?

I need to live somewhere else in order to tan, in England I reflect the rain and the white skies.

8. What’s your fictional/fantasy job, as in, what your job be if you lived in a fictional/fantasy world (I’d be a lounge singer assassin)?

Great job. I’d live wild in the woods, and drop out of trees when I wanted to impart some wisdom. That’s not really a job, is it? I could probably survive off foraging, wild boar and thievery.

9. What’s your favorite dystopian city (thanks TWRM for putting this idea into my head!)?

The Stand (Stephen King), while I’m not entirely sure I’d want to live in the book, escaping the commute into that intense, seething world is spectacular, and I love it.

10. How close is your blogger persona to your IRL one?

I don’t consciously change, but I’ve noticed most people shift behaviour when they use a different method of communication, so presumably I do. I’m probably more careful online, partly because I’m able to edit and partly because sarcasm tends to go wrong without facial expressions to explain it, IRL I’m more of a loud-faced oaf.

 

My Responses to My Own Questions

There were some excellent answers to these questions in the comments and on various blogs, so thank you to everyone who took part (and to anyone who still wants to, please do!) These are my own answers…

If you are a blogger, how would you describe what you write about? Are there specific themes you stick to or a style you use? (feel free to add a link)

I write a hodge podge of daft stories and pictures, with occasional posts on things I’ve learned about mental illness and brain injury. I don’t really intend a style, but I think my stories tend towards the odd and my health stuff is very focused on sharing solutions.

Do you write driven by inspiration or do you struggle to find things to say?

I try to write three posts a week, and sometimes that involves more thoughts than I have, so I try to keep a backlog of ideas.

Which kinds of posts do you most like writing? Do other people like reading them?

The stories. I like to play with ideas. I think people tend to like them. Although often I write something I love, but nobody else really notices; or I post a story that I think is so-so, but readers love it. I am not good at predicting opinions.

What wouldn’t you ever write about? Why?

I don’t want to slag anyone off (although sometimes the temptation is there). I do write about real situations in stories, but I make sure I play with the characters enough to remove them from reality. I try to avoid complaining posts; although they can be interesting to read, they make me feel miserable when I write them.

What’s your favourite post that you’ve written? (again, add a link if you like) What did you like about it? Did other people ‘get’ it?

Lost Islands of Xogulano these are very much niche fiction and I know they leave most people cold, but they’re probably the thing I’m proudest of. I just love mixing science and imagination, but finding ways of doing so that aren’t typical sci fi. Some of the BI posts are also very important to me, like Overcoming Panic and Phobias, because they were hard won lessons. I suspect much of the stuff I learned recovering from a brain injury is alien to people – close friends didn’t understand what i was talking about most of the time – but I like to know they’re available to anyone who might relate to them and find them useful.

What’s your favourite post that someone else has written? What about it caught your attention?

There’s  there’s this short fiction by wordwitch. I like it because she mixes poetic images with pure oddness; making a funny and beautiful story, with complex ideas contained in a tiny space. And Booky Glover wrote this poem, Booky’s poems always have melancholy elegance and for that reason they stand out.

Do you keep a blog because you want it to lead somewhere? Or do you just like writing?

I do like writing, I feel lost when I don’t write. However, I also have a bit of an end game – I’ve written two books now, one published, one not yet, and I hope by blogging I can find people who like how I write, in the hope they might also like my books.

What sort of blogs do you most like to read? Personal? Stories? Factual? Pictures?

All of those. I think I like a variety. I love reading a good story, but then I get curious about the people who wrote them and I want to find out more.

What kind of posts put you off reading?

Bitchy, bitter ones. Bigoted, hateful ones. Fortunately there don’t seem to be many of either on WordPress (although I might just be missing them).

Is there anything else about a blog that puts you off (eg fonts, popups)?

Anything that makes the writing difficult to see – hefty side bars, odd fonts. And I hate popups, I think they’re rude. On my blog, I want an email sign up button linked to my Mailchimp account, and trying to achieve that without using popups has been seriously complicated.

When do you write and read blogs? From work? On the toilet? Inside a volcano?

At home, in the one chair that doesn’t wreck my back.

How do you find other blogs to read (or do you not)?

I follow many, I go looking under tags to find more. One of the best things about WordPress is how many brilliant blogs are on here.

Tell Me All About You…

 

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Hello fellow Blogsters,

Over the past year, I’ve rattled on quite enough about me, now I want to know about you. Sometimes blogging can feel like I’m throwing posts out to the world, with no real clue what I’m doing. It makes me wonder how other people go about blogging and what it means to them. It doesn’t matter if you are a regular reader or are just in the mood to chat, I want to know about YOU. Please answer in the comments below, or if you feel particularly inspired, you can write on your own blog and put a link in the comments.

Questions, questions, questions…

If you are a blogger, how would you describe what you write about? Are there specific themes you stick to or a style you use? (feel free to add a link)

Do you write driven by inspiration or do you struggle to find things to say?

Which kinds of posts do you most like writing? Do other people like reading them?

What wouldn’t you ever write about? Why?

What’s your favourite post that you’ve written? (again, add a link if you like) What did you like about it? Did other people ‘get’ it?

What’s your favourite post that someone else has written? What about it caught your attention?

Do you keep a blog because you want it to lead somewhere? Or do you just like writing?

What sort of blogs do you most like to read? Personal? Stories? Factual? Pictures?

What kind of posts put you off reading? Is there anything else about a blog that puts you off (eg fonts, popups)?

When do you write and read blogs? From work? On the toilet? Inside a volcano?

If you  want to add any questions, that would also be great. 🙂

I’ll post with my answers on Friday…

 

Almost More Mystery Than You Can Handle

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Siddiebowtie is running a competition way more exciting than all those ‘nominate a hundred blogs and get them all to write an essay about what they did on their holidays’ competitions.

This competition has unknown rules!

– you have to make up your own and whoever gets it right wins.

It has unknown prizes!

possible prizes include a wooden testicle, an egg and an evil book.

You may never know if you’ve actually won it or not…

Although you might win a crafty object of delight!

And the post is really funny in the kind of delightful and ridiculous way that can only brighten your day.

Now I appreciate you’re busy, you have commitments, you just remembered you have to feed the goldfish and cut your toenails and put the Roomba out for the night. However, the significance of those things pale into comparison with this competition.

So, time to play

Siddiebowtie’s Mysterious Competition

I mean seriously, when was the last time you had some proper mystery in your life? Now’s the time folks, now’s the time…

Mystery Blogger Award!

My Monday Good Thing is a self indulgent one today, I’ve been nominated for an award and so I get to talk all about ME.

I was nominated by At Milliways with a pen (I’m guessing that’s a Douglas Adams reference which is always great), so thank you.

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The Mystery Blogger Award…

  • is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get.
  • is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.
  • was created by Okoto Enigma.

List of instructions for nominees:

Note: it seems a bit cheeky to be making demands on people I don’t really know, so just do what you feel like doing

Guidelines:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post.

My Answers

Three things about me (I’m terrible at these kinds of questions, so I’ve just picked three random things I could think of):

  1. I once got dragged down the street by bus. It was one where you jump in through the open door at the back. I jumped, grabbing onto the pole; I missed my footing but held on and got dragged along the road to the next set of lights. I may have been quite stoned at the time.
  2. I’ve lived in about 30 different places; including a derelict building, a squat and a house I helped build that had no walls.
  3. If I had the money, I’d do degrees in marine biology and electrical engineering.

Milleyway’s questions:

What’s the book you always wanted to read (or should have read) when you were younger but couldn’t because you never found it/it didn’t exist? Like, what would you have felt truly represented you?

I don’t know if this makes me sound like an arrogant arse or not, but I don’t think I’ve ever found a book that represented me. One reason I started writing when I was a kid was that all female characters I encountered were weak and whiny and I wanted big dramatic characters who did stuff. (I could identify with big dramatic male characters who did stuff, but it wasn’t quite the same). Now, female characters are more dramatic, but I haven’t read any that I feel are like me. That doesn’t stop me enjoying reading about them though.

Are you good with directions? (I’m not.)

I think my brain is missing an essential part that enables me to know where I am. I’m mostly in a haze of unawareness. I’m fine with that because I like to wander.

Starbucks, yes or no? Explain why.

Rarely, because I’m super careful with money and Starbucks is expensive.

What are you the most hopeful about for 2017?

I’ve decided this is the year I get over my problems with anxiety and I think I have a workable plan to do this. My job is going well (I actually seem to know what I’m doing) and I kind of look forward to going in. I’m working on a new writing project that I’m excited about. I think I’m getting a novel published.

Weird question: Do you have a favorite airport? (Mine’s SeaTac.)

I quite like being at airports, I think it’s the lack of anything to do. I spent a pleasant few hours at Quito airport in Ecuador some years ago, just walking round listening to music, thinking and eating a burger. Then I spent the next twenty four hours in Hell as I got food poisoning on the plane, followed by getting stuck in a freezing Houston airport because the planes were snowed in. I’m more wary in airports now.

My favourite post of mine is one of the Islands of Xogulano posts: Lichen Fish

My nominees, all of whom have great blogs you should check out:

  1. Bookyglover – thoughts and poetry
  2. The Shameful Narcissist – mostly book and game reviews
  3. Among Other Things, J – thoughts and poetry
  4. Sidra Owens Welcome to the Wicked Orchard – thoughts and stories
  5. WAGblog: Dum Spiro Spero – art and thoughts
  6. Perfect Man Designs – comic art about life
  7. Word Shamble -stories
  8. Calmgrove – literary musings
  9. Flash 365 – flash fiction
  10. Living in God’s Pocket with ABI – thoughts and poetry about life with a brain injury

My questions for you ten:

  1. Where did the idea for your blog title come from? What does it mean?
  2. What are your plans/ambitions for 2017?
  3. If you could download any file of knowledge to your brain (Matrix-style ‘I know kung fu!’) what would you choose?
  4. What do you find difficult that other people find easy?
  5. What modern saying or common language error gets your hackles up?

Just a Brief Warning…

Over the next few weeks I’m going to clean up my blog a little and remove a few of the old stories. I’m going to take off Henry the Psychic Goat and a few of the longer, older stories (eg In the Sphere, The Corporation will Always Win, Not Awake) so if you think you’d like to check them out, then now is the time.

This is not the most exciting post ever, so here is a picture of a parrot scratching it head.really-scratching-2