And Now, The Liebster

Liebster Award Logo and RulesI mentioned this the other day, but I got nominated for a Liebster Award – and given that I have an unexpectedly free Sunday afternoon and it’s raining out there, I suppose this is as good a time as any to do something about it!

The Liebster is one of those congenial collegiate mega-like indicators used as a good excuse to highlight people who you think could use a little more attention, and its rules seem to fluctuate generally from time to time. As this seems to be more down to personal preference than the dictates of the Elders Of The Internet, it appeals to the more anarchic elements of my personality – but I’ll aim to satisfy most of the goals on the list.

To be honest, I feel a bit of a newbie, because it’s the first time I’d ever heard of the Liebster (although a quick wander across the search engines of choice soon educated me on the many, many, takes on this award.

In any case, thank you to swtswtsue for the nomination. I’ve been following her blog a relatively short time – but that’s mostly because she’s only been writing for a while. Go have a look and enjoy a very genuine person’s thoughts.

So, the way this works is that there are eleven questions she’s asked – once I’ve answered them, I’ll pick out some people who I enjoy reading and who probably won’t mind the extra attention and post some questions for them too. Who’s ready for a Q&A session?

Q: What is your absolute, without-a-doubt favourite movie of all-time (and what is it about this movie that makes it your favourite?) Yeah, I know.  That was sneaky  😉

A: Oh, starting with the tough ones. It depends on my mood. For the longest time it was the film Aliens, which had a near perfect mix of action, horror, suspense, and dark humour that hit my teenage self between the eyes like a hammer. I still have a soft spot for that film, even if these days I’m more likely to reach for The Nightmare Before Christmas or Guardians of the Galaxy.

Q: How long have you been blogging?

A: I started back around 2001 on a simple journalling site that I honestly can’t remember the name of. At the time, I was recently diagnosed with depression and was battling with self harm, and made the mistake of both writing openly and letting people at work know about it. Yes, I know: when I’m ill, I’m the dumbest smart guy in the room. After that, I shifted to Livejournal which allowed me to set multiple permission levels and be a little more careful with who was reading it. I took a few years break, because Reasons, and then started this blog at the tail end of 2010 when I started writing professionally. Wow, time really has flown…

Q: What kind of impact has blogging had on your life?

A: It’s been both a useful tool and a pain in the arse, frankly. It’s been a great way to blow off steam, to rant and rave, and to be more introspective too. The enclosed echo chamber can be dangerous though for certain moods, which is why I try to vary what I write about, and to use this site for other things such as the gaming and writing. I’ve used my blogs to talk openly about my journey through depression and Bipolar wobbles, as well as my diabetes and weird and wonderful emotional life, and having it as an outlet has helped spread the load away from family, friends and professional counsellor. It must be working, as my ex-wife described me recently to Lady M as the sanest lunatic she knows.

Q: So far, what has been your greatest triumph in life?

A: My daughter, The Charleesi, who has grown to become a talented and formidable young lady. A slightly less fluffy answer has been my recovery from self harm and the rebuilding of my life from the lowest ebb possible.

Q: What is your dream job (and why)?  I know, I know.  I did it again.  😉

A: Being a well-known published novelist; a dream I’ve had since being knee-high to Jimminy Cricket. The paid writing I currently do is a really big step in the right direction. To be honest, my current combination of writer and library work is pretty sweet, despite the pay.

Q: Favorite band?  (I know I’d have trouble with this one so I’ll allow you 3, haha.)

A: Queen, Foo Fighters, Professor Elemental

Q: How would you describe your personality?

A: Quietly laconic

Q: What is your favorite thing (personality trait, talent, physical feature, etc.) about yourself?  Yep, you guessed it – and why?

A: This is a very hard question because I struggle to acknowledge anything positive about myself a lot of the time. My deadpan sarcasm, writing and drawing all generate the odd moments of accomplishment when people say nice things. In general, I’m rather pleased that people tend to listen when I talk, and that I take responsibility for what I say and do.

Q: How do you feel about medication (mental illness-wise)?

A: Oh gods, it depends on the mental illness and the severity of what you’re dealing with. For depression in particular it’s a bloody useful band aid until you can get to the real healing that comes with talking remedies. By and large, work with your doctors and therapists, and if they give you medication, bloody take it. At the same time, educate yourself on its intended and side effects so you can work in partnership with the health professionals.

Q: What’s your favorite personality trait in others (what draws you to certain people?)

A: Humour, definitely humour, followed by geekiness, and a filthy mind in no particular order.

Did you enjoy answering these questions?  I sure hope so!

A: Took me a while, yeah, pleasant enough.

And now, eleven random facts about me:

  • I draw and doodle on pretty much every blank and not so blank piece of paper that comes to rest in front of me.
  • I am usually a lot less confident than I appear.
  • For the first six or seven years of my life, I was 80% deaf.
  • I really like the taste of butterscotch.
  • I judge people by how they treat books.
  • I prefer to cook my own meals because I’m a fussy eater.
  • I’m normally nocturnal, but force myself to keep largely to my partners’ active hours to maximise time with them.
  • My favourite colour is purple.
  • I still flinch at unexpected physical contact, but I’m a lot better at hiding it these days.
  • I get bored very easily.
  • One of the few things that anger me is someone not owning their issues or mistakes.

And now: the nominations:
Well, actually, no – at least not yet. I’m composing this on a tablet, and have been for a few days, so I’ll finish this in the morning with an edit and proper links to go with a further set of questions.

See you soon

Grrr and Arggh Day

The library continues to be a source of wonder. For the most part, it’s the customers who make or break any given day, although the ongoing staffing chaos is definitely colouring my perceptions too. I’ve spent most of the day dealing with whirling chaotic bundles of energy, and also being part of conversations laying bare a dysfunctional and demoralised organisation. It’s all rather draining.

On top of that, both Lady M and Lady P are out of sorts and/or under the weather, and it’s precisely the wrong end of the month so we didn’t even have spare money for our usual trip to the Plough.

All in all then, pretty much every hope or anticipation I had for the evening, that got me through a long day, has been dashed at the last minute. As a result, I’m rather glad I’ve had enough of today. As the great book says: F**k It!