The Liebster Award – ft. dancing, poetry, and other happy things

Currently, with exams around the corner, my life is rather stressful. Logically, it behooves me to engage in an activity that is not stressful.

Thus, here I am with an award that has been collecting dust, because awards are fun to do.

(There’s a lot of confusion about what the Liebster Award really means. Being a curious magnet to foreign words, I discovered that Liebster is German for “dear, darling, sweetheart” and other such endearing terms.

Which I suppose is what this Award is?

I don’t really know, but that’s the best explanation I have.)

I was tagged by Evelyn, who has a blog which is as fantastic and intriguing as her questions, so do go check it out!

Les questions:

What is something you are happy/proud that you did this week?

I memorized a speech and declaimed it. This was much more difficult than I imagined it would be, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my excellent coach (my dear Mama.) I’m glad I didn’t give up, because the message in this speech is one that every American should hear. If you’re interested, you can listen to it here.

What was the last poem you read?

the harpist plays strings fashioned by human hands,

and makes heavenly music.

what melodies you must make

strumming the strings you fashioned and strung

so deeply in my soul!

This was from a book I recently read called “Story: Recapture the Mystery” by Steven James, which was beautiful, healing to the soul, and even life-changing. Here’s part of the description:

Story invites readers on a dramatic journey through the greatest story ever told. Using the power of imagery to move readers back to a place where they can encounter God, Steven James makes familiar Bible narratives come alive in provocative and poetic ways. Using thirty short, image-based chapters, Story makes the gospel real for a postmodern world and allows readers to meet Christ again or for the very first time.

So yes, there are dozens of little poetry snippets throughout the pages, verses that are incredibly raw and powerful and moving. I highly, highly recommend this book. ❀

Pin on diana prince

What is your favorite non-fiction book?

My diary. It is easily The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery by Sam Kean. Admittedly I am a brain nerd, but my brother Micah, a lay person, gobbled the whole thing up in a matter of days, so that’s how you know it’s good.

Science books can be awfully dense and confusing and boring.

But this one wasn’t bogged down by technical terminology and complex jargon. It was stuffed with highly intriguing and entertaining stories of people, real people not just scientific cases, who together make up the history of neuroscience. Most of these people suffered a tragedy that destroyed different parts of their brain, leaving them with puzzling and fascinating handicaps: some people couldn’t speak but could still sing, parents couldn’t recognize their own children, viruses that eat memories, blind people who see through their tongue.

Isn’t that super cool?

And what neuroscience concepts there were, he explained in vivid, easily comprehensible words. Splashed with a healthy dosing of wit and hilarity. I can’t think of many science books that made me laugh out loud, but this one sure did.

(There are a few swear words, which is unfortunate, and some of the traumatic stories are…well, traumatic, so use your own discretion, as always.)

(also why do non-fiction books have such long titles? And subtitles?)

What is a character trope that shows up often in your stories and/or that you enjoy reading?

When there’s this really tough, intimidating, manly man that everyone’s afraid of but then he melts into the sweetest, softest and most loving thing around his child – especially a daughter. Extra points if he’s had a dark past, but he gets hope from his daughter and a sense that he can start over and redeem himself for her. But he’s still super tough and skilled with…weapons or whatever…and he’s fiercely protective of his daughter (and wife, of course.)

(but I just adore the father-daughter dynamic more)

(although it would be much more deliciously tragic if the wife died)

(and he’s that much more attached to his daughter because of it)

But for how much I LOVE THIS TROPE….I just realized that it has yet to appear in any of my stories. Huh. I must fix this. πŸ˜‰

What is a song that always makes you want to dance?

Initially I couldn’t think of any, because I’m not really the dancing type of person. And then I remembered that virtually any waltz, particularly Russian waltzes, make me glide around the house with an invisible prince, stepping on said-princes feet.

Russian Waltz by georgie.lewis

After that, a bunch of melodies started popping up, like the How to Train your Dragon theme song.

And a song called Grace Got You by MercyMe, which is literally about dancing. It also has such beautiful lyrics. Here’s the chorus:

Sing, so the back row hears you
Glide, ’cause walking just won’t do
Dance, you don’t have to know how to
Ever since, ever since
Grace got you
Laugh, ’til your whole side’s hurting
Smile, like you just got away with something
‘Cause you just got away with something
Ever since, ever since
Grace got you

And a song called Rise up Lazarus by the band CAIN. This also has beautifully meaningful verses, but the part that makes me dance is the chorus:

Come on and rise up, take a breath, you’re alive now
Can’t you hear the voice of Jesus calling us
Out from the grave like Lazarus
You’re brand new, the power of death couldn’t hold you
Can’t you hear the voice of Jesus calling us
Out from the grave like Lazarus

Suddenly zero songs turned into…four? Neither of which are one, which is what the question asked for.

Oh well.

If you were a pair of shoes, what would you look like and what would the marketing campaign be?

Wow, this is a very thought-provoking question. I would definitely be something pretty and practical, like…elven boots made of a velvet-like material that is waterproof. It would be suitable both for hiking long distance, wading through rivers, and for fancier occasions.

I guess the marketing campaign would be: Pretty and Practical. You don’t have to worry about packing multiple pairs of shoes when you have these boots!

What has been your latest pastime obsession?

Um…well…physics and calculus. I’m obsessed with them in the same way a man stranded in the middle of the desert is obsessed with finding water.

In other words, for pure survival.

However, in a previous, almost long-forgotten age, I was obsessed with a game called GeoGuessr, in which the participant is plopped in a random location on Earth, using street view on Google maps, and they have to figure out where in the world they are with as much precision as possible.

It’s lots of fun, even though I’m terrible at it.

If you could design a t-shirt what would it look like?

It would be navy blue or royal purple, and it would have a compass in either gold or silver, and it would say “Not all those who wander are lost.”

Interested? πŸ˜€

What is (are) your favorite painting(s) you’ve seen?

I have been blessed to visit many art galleries around the world. These are a few that stuck out to me, the first two from Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and the last two from the Louvre.

What is a dish you would love to learn how to make?

I would love to learn how to make virtually any dish, because my cooking skills are sorely lacking, but if I had to choose one I’d choose my favorite meal. It’s a Vietnamese dish called nem, which is basically ground pork, carrots, mushrooms, and a bunch of other good stuff rolled inside rice paper, then fried. It’s basically an edible incarnation of heaven.

NEM - Vietnamese food for Android - APK Download

If you could rewrite a character in a movie, tv show, or book, who would you rewrite and why?

(For what it’s worth, there are minor spoilers ahead, but I would only recommend this movie to my enemy.)

Recently I watched a movie called Jumper, about a young man who has teleportation powers, but he uses it to rob banks and live a life of luxury and travel, bouncing from country to country in mere seconds. This sounds really intriguing, but…he was a really lousy, selfish, annoying, greedy guy. With absolutely no morals whatsoever, except to save his girlfriend, who was just as shallow and irritating as he was.

And who, I might add, he hadn’t seen since they were freshmen in high-school, which was seven years ago. And that was when he disappeared because he discovered his teleportation powers, and she thought she’d indirectly killed him (this makes sense if you watch it – but don’t watch it, it’s not worth it.)

And now they’re teleporting all over the world and acting like two stuck-up jerks and ruining everyone’s lives. Oh yeah, and then there’s this guy who’s an experienced Jumper (a fellow teleporter) and he literally saves the main character’s life and teaches him a bunch of cool insider knowledge. But what does he do? The main character straight up kills him!! And he suffers no consequence for this! And he beats the bad guys (who were tracking him down for obvious reasons) and ends up living his old life, robbing banks and living the high life, with that stupid girlfriend of his!

*tears out hair*

So yeah, if I was writing this, I would make the girlfriend situation more believable. I would especially make her influence the main character for good, show him that this way of living is horrible, inspire him to become a better person and use his powers for the improvement of mankind (like teleporting people out of disaster zones or something.) I would do this primarily by getting her killed through one of his stupid mistakes, causing him to realize what a jerk he is.

(Sorry. Someone’s got to go, and it definitely would not be the really helpful fellow Jumper.)

Wow, that was an essay that I never meant to write. XD

I shall tag The Arbitrary Fairy, Havalah, Caleb, Sarah Seele, and anyone else who wants to do this! You are also more than welcome to answer these questions in the comments if you like, because I’m very curious to know your answers. πŸ˜€

Les questions:

  1. What’s your earliest memory?
  2. If you could visit any country on Earth, what would it be and why?
  3. If you could visit any fictional land, what would it be and why?
  4. What does your name mean?
  5. How would you describe your dream vacation?
  6. What are some of your favorite memes?
  7. What was the last book you read and what did you think of it?
  8. If you could turn into any animal for a day, what would it be and why?
  9. What’s the best advice someone has ever given you?
  10. What are some of your favorite quotes?
  11. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?

And that is all for today! Have a blessed week and, if you’re like me and still have a few more weeks until summer, I wish you all the best in your scholastic endeavors!

Now please excuse me as I return to my physics and calculus.

28 thoughts on “The Liebster Award – ft. dancing, poetry, and other happy things

  1. Thank you for the tag! I will get on that πŸ˜‰ Your answers are awesome!! You’ve got a great sense of humor, it makes your posts really fun to read. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m laughing at your “essay” about Jumper. I recently watched that movie, too, and thought the same thing about those characters and the ending. XD Although I didn’t think the girlfriend was so bad on her own; it just made zero sense for her to stay with the MC who was clearly a jerk. Why couldn’t the entire movie have been about the other Jumper? He seemed like he had interesting stories to tell, and while he was focused on self-preservation… he still didn’t seem as spoiled and arrogant as the MC, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s cool that you’ve watched it! My condolences lol. But the movie did have a lot of potential…which they promptly tossed down the drain. XD

      Now THAT is a great proposition. I agree wholeheartedly – I was really curious to know his backstory and follow him along more and just…he was a much more intriguing, likeable character! And then he was killed! For helping!

      argh yes i am very mad about that still XD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Condolences to you, as well. XD They diddd and it was such a waste!

        Exactly! Why couldn’t we have a movie about *him* discovering his powers, and the people he lost as a result, and how he recovered and come to reach the point he was at when he met Whats-His-Face? That would have been so much cooler.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I just love reading your posts!!! They are always a perfect concoction of intellectual yet humorous musings. And the way you added your own ✨touch✨ to these questions was just stupendous!
    Great job!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Poor baby! Glad you find a way to deal with stress, haa haa haa. Keep on studying, the Lord will reward those who labor, seek and you will find. You never know, maybe one day in your bright future, you will need a knowledge in all three subjects of Cal BC, Physics C Mechanics, and Physics C Electronic & Magnetics to solve a mystery, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This. was amazing. XD
    I love that character trope! I feel like all my books have it too hahahaha.
    Russian Waltz. are. the. best. I wasn’t expecting that answer but also it’s the best answer yet?? I 100% agree. Jazz Suite No. 2: VI. Waltz 2 by Shostakovich is a favorite and always makes me feel like leaving everything and finding a ballroom for the rest of the day XD
    Physics and calculus? Hmmm. Each to their own, I guess. Have fun with that lol. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never knew the name of it but THAT WALTZ. THAT’S THE ONE. *clutches heart* And now I know I have Shostakovich to thank for that beauty. How do the Russians inspire such deep feeeeelllingsss?? *drags you to a ballroom with me*

      *splutters* FUN? How dare you insinuate that physics and calculus can even remotely be FUN. The AUDACITY. *mutters*


  6. *coughs* I promised myself I wouldn’t go off posting on yet another website. But QUESTIONS are here that MUST be answered. *innocent smile*

    1. My fifth birthday party at my grandparent’s house (and the sparkling singing candles that totally freaked me out). This might not be my EARLIEST memory, but it’s the earliest one that I can tag an age to. πŸ™‚

    2. Hrm. Switzerland. Because Hobbiton is there.

    3. Man, I have thought about this SO MUCH. XD I’ve narrowed it down to two: Middle-earth, for obvious reasons, and my own fictional world, for also obvious reasons (mainly so I could make sure I got all the geography right).

    4. Get this: “an offering”. (My parents claim they didn’t know that when they named me… not sure I believe them…) Now you understand why I started going by something that means “noble lady”. XD

    5. A train ride to some cool place with people I really enjoy being around, then not so much sight-seeing as going to amusement parks and swimming pools, then a plane ride back. (And, if I have to cross an ocean, a cruise ship there and a plane back.)

    6. *cackles* For all you LOTR fans out there:

    And this is for the LOTR fans who are also writers:
    And for the just plain writers:

    Ahem, yes. I might have gone just a LITTLE overboard there. Heh heh.

    7. I read “Lodestar” by Shannon Messenger, the fifth book in the yet-to-be-finished Keeper of the Lost Cities series. It was really good (mostly clean teen fiction *GASP*), but she’s kind of wrecking her characters. She has this habit of making me hate someone while still desperately rooting for them to have a redemptive moment because she’s foreshadowing about that. *calms self down* Let’s just say I ordered the next two books.

    8. Either a big predator bird (like falcon) or a fish that won’t get eaten by another fish. The reasons? 1. I SO want to fly and 2. I SO want to see what life is like underwater. πŸ™‚

    9. Do hard things. Enough said.

    10. Thou hast doomed thyself!! “Courage is found in unlikely places.” -Gildor Inglorion “Someone always has to carry on the story.” -Bilbo Baggins “I will not say, ‘Do not weep’, for not all tears are an evil.” -Gandalf “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” -Robert Frost “Don’t just follow your heart. Your heart will betray you.” -Andrew Peterson “Learn and plan with food, if you can.” -the great R.J. Crunk “Whether crushed or sheltered by the Maker’s hand, ’tis beneath it we go, from breath to death.” -Triliban Plubius the Bruised “Love is strong as death.” -God (Warned you!)

    11. Yeesh, this week was pretty terrible. XD Probably… going to youth group last night and actually hitting the volleyball where it was supposed to go. πŸ˜›

    Thanks for this! That was really fun. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES Hobbiton!! I really want to go there some day too, although I think it’s in New Zealand.

      THOSE MEMES. 🀣🀣🀣 The first two especially made me laugh out loud.

      Ooh “Lodestar” sounds fantastic! And it’s always nice when you finally find good clean teen fiction. πŸ˜‰ *climbs up my wobbly TBR tower and places it at the top*

      No way, those two animals are exactly the same ones I’d want to be! πŸ˜„ Maybe we can be dolphins? They don’t get eaten on a regular basis. πŸ˜›

      Aaahh those quotes are so good! Haha I’m a quote-collector so the more the merrier. I literally cannot get enough of them. XD

      Aww, sorry your week wasn’t great! Hopefully this next one will be better. πŸ˜‰ And YAY I can never hit volleyballs so that is indeed a great accomplishment!

      Thanks for doing it! I really enjoyed reading your answers. 😊


  7. All right, I’m back! It feels like I’ve done a lot of tags lately, so I decided to just do this one in the comments. XD

    -What’s your earliest memory?
    I’m not sure, unfortunately. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish what’s a memory and what’s a story a family member told to me about…me. It’s kinda too bad. XD

    -If you could visit any country on Earth, what would it be and why?
    I lean towards Korea right now, because BTS, but ultimately I think my heart wants me to return to England. XD I got to go there in 2019, and I absolutely LOVED it. I’m dying to go back. ;_;

    -If you could visit any fictional land, what would it be and why?
    Narnia for sure! And also maybe Hobbiton in Middle-earth. ❀

    -What does your name mean?
    It's a Bible name meaning "land of gold." But my name is spelled slightly differently than it's spelled in the Bible. πŸ™‚

    -How would you describe your dream vacation?
    Oof… Some time in England, some time at Disney World, quiet moments to ponder and reflect and just enjoy whatever beauty is around me. And lots of swimming in tropical waters and fun new foods to try!

    -What are some of your favorite memes?
    Unfortunately, I don't have my favorite meme saved and I haven't been able to find it since I saw it, but this is what it said: ""My babies!" I scream at a group of men who are actually older than me" It just… *slaps table* Yup.

    -What was the last book you read and what did you think of it?
    I think it was called "Small Acts of Amazing Courage," and I don't remember the author's name. I liked it! It was about a British girl living in British-controlled India and struggling to choose her political side.

    -If you could turn into any animal for a day, what would it be and why?
    Probably a bird of some sort. I wanna fly, man! XD

    -What’s the best advice someone has ever given you?
    Oh gosh. I'm not sure. Of course everything is escaping me right now. XD I think maybe to not dwell on the past? I've struggled with some traumatic stuff in the past, and every once in a while it'll come back to haunt me. But it's so important to let those things go and truly live for the present.

    -What are some of your favorite quotes?
    My current favorite quote is β€œHow monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been; how gloriously different are the saints.” from C. S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity". It's SO GOOD and SO TRUE. ^_^

    -What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
    It's been a pretty good week overall! Some highlights that come to mind: going to a graduation party with some friends, my brother giving me a small bust of BTS' Jungkook that he painted himself, having free time to draw, write, etc., eating out at one of my favorite restaurants.

    Thanks again for the tag! That was fun! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so relatable. XD Sometimes I think I have a memory but it’s just a memory of a video.

      England!!! Eyy we went there in 2019 as well, and it was spectacular. Definitely one of my favorite places I’ve adventured through, and yes, I always feel an itch to go back. What parts did you visit?

      Take me on your dream vacation because it sounds awesome. XD

      Okay at first I was confused by that meme but THEN I suddenly got it and burst into laughter. πŸ˜‚ I guess we’re just motherly creatures to our fictional baby boys. πŸ˜› (that sounds so weird out of context lol)

      Oh my, that quote…thank you for sharing that, because WOW it’s a great one.

      Yay, thanks for participating in the questions! I loved reading your answers and thoughts. πŸ™‚


      1. We went to the Cotswolds, Oxford, Bath, and London. Where did you go in England? πŸ˜€

        Isn’t that meme great?? It sums up my life, basically XD

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooh, Cotswolds! We didn’t get to go there but I would love to someday. The pictures are so gorgeous. ❀ We visited London, York, Manchester, Wells, Bath, and Oxford, plus drove through a bunch of random villages and towns because we basically went on a huge road trip throughout the UK. Wasn't Oxford incredible though? πŸ˜€ I loved seeing a bunch of places where Tolkien lived and walked.


          1. Wow, sounds like an awesome and diverse trip!! What was Manchester like? Ahh yes, random English villages and towns are what I live for 😭😍 #Austen

            Yes, Oxford was AMAZING. πŸ₯° The size and age of those colleges and libraries… *squeals* Did you eat at The Eagle and Child? We did and it was so cool knowing Lewis and Tolkien had been and eaten there…maybe at our same table! 🀩

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It’s basically a big, modern city, but there was a magnificent library that we visited and this old cathedral. The library was definitely the highlight. Soo many books! 😍

              Yes!!! Unfortunately we didn’t get to eat there, because it was across town, we didn’t have much time, and we were walking. XD But I’d definitely love to go back someday and try it. So cool that you experienced that! πŸ˜€

              Liked by 1 person

  8. I am really intrigued by that brain book now. I don’t often read nonfiction, but I might want to look that one up. If nothing else, I will bring it to the attention of one of my sister’s, who has a particular fondness for all things brain-themed. πŸ™‚
    Russian waltzes are wonderful! Sometimes I forget that they exist and then I hear one again and I don’t know HOW I forgot how brilliant they were.
    I love you as a pair of shoes. πŸ˜‰ And what a marketing campaign.
    I have never eaten nem, but it looks/sounds DELICIOUS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Admittedly I don’t read much nonfiction either but YES YOU MUST READ THIS ONE.
      *gasps* HOW. I could never ever forget them. XD Especially since they pair very well with my current WIP. πŸ˜‰
      It IS! You ought to try it sometime, though it might take some searching because it’s a Northern Vietnamese dish, and most restaurants here are Southern-based. But if you can find it, it’ll totally be worth it. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  9. HOW did I not know your blog existed before tonight?? I love it. That nonfiction book about brain scientists (I just butchered the concept, didn’t I) sounds fantastic, actually. And the burly-melting-father/daughter trope is a great one.

    Liked by 1 person

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