Sunshine Blogger Award logo

Can I just take a moment to say that the Sunshine Blogger Award logo is beautiful? Kudos to whoever designed it!

And then let me take a moment to say I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Cherry Writes (@cronocherry), a fellow blogger and wonderful human being.

I didn’t find much information online about the Sunshine Blogger Award, but I did find a lot of blogs that had been nominated in years prior. The Sunshine Blogger Award is a community-based, peer-rewarded award given to bloggers who help spread and inspire positivity and creativity within the blogging community.

It also seems like a really fun way to get to know other bloggers and build connections within the blogging community! I’m very grateful to be nominated.

Here are the rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award. As you will see, they compel me to, among other things, display the rules. That’s pretty meta!

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. Check!
  2. List the rules. Check!
  3. Display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your blog post. Check!
  4. Answer all 11 questions asked of you by the blogger (who nominated you). I’ll get to that in a moment…
  5. Nominate up to 11 new bloggers to receive the award and notify them. Will do!
  6. Create 11 new questions for your nominees. You’ll see them below…

And that’s it! I’m going to go a little out of order and put my nominations before the questions I have to answer. I’m nominating the blog Today Choose You, run by @brightlights111, and the blog Not-So-Modern Girl, run by @notsomoderngirl AKA Eleanor Jones. I hope that you will check out their blogs and share the love.

So onto those questions…

What drives you everyday?

Oh, boy. Big question. I wrote a bit about this in my second post about failure, which is also paradoxically about success. It stings to admit it, but my fear of failure drives me just as much as my ambition to succeed. I’ve had gigantic ambitions for myself for as long as I can remember. Ambition is a blessing and a curse. It drives you, but it can also make you feel like crap from time to time.

What’s your favorite genre?

Hard question. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you probably know that I read in virtually every genre under the sun. And if there’s one I haven’t read in yet, I want to give it a try!

That being said, I’ll list a few. (I’m a rule-breaker, what can I say?) Fantasy was my first love — J.R.R. Tolkien all the way! My favorite author of all time is Hemingway, who wrote literary fiction. I do enjoy me some dystopian fiction, but only the old stuff. The Handmaid’s Tale is about the limit of what I deem “good dystopian fiction.”

Favorite book?

For a long time, my favorite book was The Hobbit. Then I read The Garden of Eden by Hemingway and connected so deeply with its themes and characters — and marveled at the fact that Hemingway could’ve penned such a novel. He didn’t, not exactly. He penned it, but it was heavily edited before its posthumous publication. That novel and his short stories are a large part of why he’s my favorite author.

Favorite blog post/work of your own?

This is a hard question, too! I’m going to have to nominate my poem “In the Garden.” I just recorded myself reading it yesterday — the video is on the post. Check it out!

Any pets?

Oh, yes! My boyfriend Dylan (@vanhelsquirrel of and I have a beautiful dog named Octavia. Let me show you a few pictures… She’s a corgi and many of these are from when she was smaller than she is now.

You might notice her blue eyes. Most corgis don’t have blue eyes. They actually go against breed standard, so Octavia can never be a show corgi. Not that we want her to be! Her breeder actually intended to keep her, because she has nice conformity, but realized she had blue eyes and that was the end of those plans… She’s a very friendly dog who loves to snuggle and to eat. Her favorite food is probably cheddar cheese, though bacon is definitely in the running. (We don’t feed her those things all the time!)

Surprise! You’re attacked by trolls! What’s the plan?

I’ll grab my longsword, which I like to keep handy, and slice off their heads! Barring that, I’d run. Yeah, definitely run. Or climb the nearest tree. But probably run.

Cake or CUPcakes?

Cake. I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of ICING, and I find that there’s generally more icing on cupcakes than on cake. So I like cake better.

Any advice for the newbies?

Before you begin, make sure writing is your passion. Make sure you love every moment of it. Otherwise, you’ll end up putting yourself through hell.

If writing is your passion, and you love to write, keep up the hard work. Keep it up even when it seems like no one’s supporting you. Eventually, you will find people who will. They might not be your parents, but there will be someone, someday, who will admire and respect what you’re doing.

Believe in yourself. Be brave. Know that you’re destined for greatness.

If things don’t seem to be working, or if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to take a step back and reassess your vision. That’s what I’ve done here. For a while, I was blogging as a sidenote, using my blog as a potential way to catch an agent’s attention. In the process, I realized I really loved to blog — when I was blogging about things that mattered. Which is to say, I didn’t want to blog solely about the writing process. I wanted to blog about all sorts of things! That’s why I rebranded Laura Schmidt Books as Voyage of the Mind.

Favorite quote?

Oh, jeez. Here’s one:

He who increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Ecclesiastes 1:18

No, I’m not some kind of Bible nut! But Ecclesiastes has a really deep message that isn’t actually very God-related. Do I agree with the sentiment in this passage? Sort of. Maybe ask Oppenheimer how he feels.

Here’s another:

The failing limbs

sank cold and helpless; and the vital breath

with moan of wrath to darkness fled away.

The Aeneid, Book 12

That’s the very end of the Aeneid, a book everyone should read. In original Latin, if possible! I’ve taken it from Perseus, which is a great database of translations. A wonderful resource for the student of classics. It’s also run by Tufts, my university.

I like a lot of other quotes, too, but I’ll stop at two!

Is it slime or mucus?

Depends? Mucus if it comes from… Okay, I’m not going to go into detail. Slugs produce slime, humans produce mucus. Aliens might produce either-or.

Could you please, in keen detail, tell me how you would conquer the Earth?

If I had my choice, I’d probably go back in time and conquer it with Alexander the Great, but given that we’re in the modern world the answer in simple. I’m busy conquering the world right now, as we speak. You just haven’t realized it yet! I’m conquering the world with words. They always said the pen was mightier than the sword, and I’m testing out that theory. I hope that my words will make the world a brighter, better, more creative place. And gee, it needs some work right now. So it’s a good thing I’m busy!

Now onto my 11 questions…

Hee, hee, hee. This is the fun part. I get to torment poor souls.

  1. What’s the etymology of your name? Do you like its meaning?
  2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  3. What’s the first thing you ever wrote? How old were you when you wrote it?
  4. What’s your favorite animal? If you could, would you keep it as a pet?
  5. Which is best: bravery, honesty, or compassion?
  6. Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?
  7. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
  8. Do you believe in true love?
  9. What’s your favorite Greek myth and why? If you haven’t read any, it’s time to start!
  10. What’s your favorite season and why?
  11. Which of these questions was your favorite to answer and why?

I want to thank Cherry Writes once more for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

Readers, answer one or two (or all) of my questions in the comments. I’d love to see your answers.

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