Friday, 28 December 2012

The Liebster Award

The very kind and talented lady Cindy Vaskova has nominated me for The Liebster Award.

Cindy, congratulations on your own award, I enjoy your writing very much, and it is very well deserved, and thank you so much for thinking of me when you were composing your own list of favourite writers. It is always heartening to know that I am amongst someone's favourites, thank you.

Now, there are a few rules to accepting the award:
1. You post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions your presenter gave you.
3. You pass the award on to 11 other bloggers.
4. Compose 11 new questions for your recipients.

* * * * * * * * *

Okay, here goes, I'll try to think of 11 random facts that I haven't posted on a previous award page.

Next year I am going to become a great-grandfather for the second time, our first great-grandchild, Freya, was born on January 13th this year, and my granddaughter's second child, which will be a boy, is due in May, I can hardly wait. :-)

When I was about 13 I was in the Air Cadets for a while, and spent a week at RAF Waddington the Vulcan bomber base in Lincolnshire, the first plane ride I ever had was aboard a two-seater Chipmunk training plane, quite an experience, and one I remember vividly to this day.

Although I am almost sixty years old, I am not going grey or bald, my father never went grey, nor have my brothers, but I have been accused many times of using hair dye.

I am just on the wrong side of Five foot six, I would have liked to have been taller, but never mind, as I have been told “Precious things come in little boxes.”

I love the name Django, and quite often use it as an avatar name when playing Xbox games.

When I was in my late twenties/early thirties I took karate training, in the first 18 months I graded three times to get to Green belt level, then I attended my first competition, my first fight was against a brown belt who was twice my size, and I beat him, although I carried on training for several more years, I never bothered grading again after that, the colour of the belt had become unimportant to me.

We went to Kefalonia many times on holiday, and I tried to teach myself to speak Greek, although I achieved a vocabulary of thousands of words, and could string the sentences together after a fashion, ask for things in restaurants etc, as soon as I was spoken back to in Greek my brain just refused to process it. I did have some amusing conversations while we were there though. :-)

I don't know what is “out there” in space, but I find it hard to believe that we are the only planet with sentient life on it, if we are then as someone once said “It would be an awful waste of space.”

My wife and I have been to Bruges twice, that place is so unbelievably pretty, like something out of a fairytale.

Two years ago I rode a camel in Egypt, and a quad bike across the desert, two brilliantly exhilarating things to do.

My most favourite Christmas tune ever is “Fairytale of New York” By The Pogues and Kirsty McColl, I always liked both theirs, and hers music, and was truly saddened to hear of her tragic death.

* * * * * * * * * *

Here are the 11 questions that Cindy composed for her nominees:-

Can you recall the funniest tweet you’ve read?
I'm afraid I don't have an answer to this question, I don't subscribe to Twitter, so I don't actually read any tweets, sorry.

What’s your favorite character in a book or movie?
I am a massive fan of the “Aliens” movies, and although I have many favourite book and film characters, I think Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver has to be either at, or very close to the top of my list.

What characteristics in his/her personality made you like him/her?
I think it might be the strength she portrays, also there is something very attractive about a machine-gun toting female, I like Mila Jovovich in the Resident evil series too, and if the apocalypse ever gets here, I think I would like these two on either side of me.

Do you have any morning rituals?
I work the afternoon shift, so I don't tend to get up too early, I'm definitely not a morning person any way. On weekdays I throw my packed lunch together whilst the kettle is boiling for my first coffee, then I check my computer for emails, blog comments, the weather, local news etc.

Which is the one dish you’ve always wanted to learn how to prepare?
I'm absolutely hopeless at cooking, and if left to my own devices will just throw a sandwich together, or call to the fish shop. Luckily, I married a girl who is a brilliant cook.

Cyberpunk or steampunk?
I think it has to be Cyber, although I can watch films of either genre, I tend to favour futuristic stuff.

Do you remember the first album you bought?
I can't remember the name of the album, but it was a Four Tops album, I bought it as a Christmas present for a girl I went out with for a while back when I was about 15 years old.

You’re in a bar with friends. Its karaoke night and you’ve had a couple. Which song do you pick to sing?
I have a pretty terrible singing voice, but several years ago the local we used to frequent did Karaoke on a weekend, and the song that I used to sing occasionally (And somehow sing it almost in tune) was “Gentle on my mind”.

You’re traveling with public transportation, it’s crowded, noisy and the travel will be long. You have only one book with you. Which book is that?
One of my most favourite books in recent years is World War Z by Max Brooks, my daughter bought it for me, and I have read it three times so far, for me it is an absolutely riveting read.

Have you, at some point, felt like giving up on writing?
Funnily enough, I don't really class myself as a serious writer, I know I write, ergo I am a writer I suppose, but the only thing I write are stories that I post on #fridayflash, I don't have a WIP book in the making, or send anything off with a view to publication.
For me writing is all about the enjoyment it brings me, both the writing, and the commenting, also the banter between the writers, if I find that the enjoyment is no longer there, then I will either take a break from it, or give it up altogether, as there wouldn't be much point to it any more.

Is there a particular moment that has made you proud of yourself this year?
Absolutely! On January 13th, after a very difficult labour, my eldest grandchild Allana gave birth to our first great-grandchild Freya, I couldn't find the words to express just how proud that makes me feel.

I posted a #fridayflash about Freya's birth which you can find here if you would like to read it.

* * * * * * * * * *

Here are 11 writers whose works I enjoy reading, these are not in any particular order. This is the part I don't like, because there is always someone else who I would like to add to the list, several more in fact. Some of these writers are the same as on Cindy's list too, but I don't think they'll mind.

Not everyone likes to participate in these memes, so I won't be offended if any of you guys feel that you don't wish to take part.

Lily Mortis.

Stephen Hewitt.

John Xero.

Marc Nash.

Tim VanSant.

Helen Howell.

Icy Sedgwick.

Katherine Hajer.

Danielle LaPaglia.

Deanna Schrayer.

Richard Bon.

* * * * * * * * * *

And my list of questions:-

If you could come back in another life as an animal, which one would you choose to be?

Have you ever owned one of those cars that whatever “Could” go wrong with it, “Did” go wrong?

Do you believe in other world life forms?

If you had to spend a year on a desert island with just one celebrity for company, who would you choose?

Which band or entertainer would you most like to see in a live performance?

If you could alter just one physical aspect of yourself, what would it be?

I have been told I am a Jack Russell, which breed of dog would you say you share characteristics with?

If you could choose any make or model of car to own for free, which model would you have?

Which do you prefer, the quiet of the countryside, or the hustle-bustle of the city?

Do you have a favourite colour and number? And do you know why?

What is your favourite film and book?

* * * * * * * * * *

Cindy, thank you once again for including me amongst your favourites, it's always good to know that I'm on someone's list. :-)


  1. Thank you very much for thinking of me for this award, this will be the third time - so you'll understand if I don't do it all over again, however if you are interested in my answers to John Wiswell's questions you can read here - http://helen-scribbles.com/2012/12/27/ive-been-given-the-liebster-award/

    I wish you and your family a very Happy and Safe New Year! Oh and congratulations on becoming a granddad again! ^_^

  2. Oh and I did say but the silly comments left it out, I loved reading your random facts.!

    1. No worries Helen, I love reading your stories, and you very much deserve all the awards that come your way.

      I think you may have misread though, I am to become A Great-grandfather for the second time, and I'm absolutely over the moon about it.

      I hope your Christmas has been a really good one, and send you my very best wishes for 2013.

      Take care Helen.


  3. Thank you for the nomination! I'll have to copy the questions and figure out answers. I can definitely see there will be overlap between our nominations lists as well.

    1. You are very welcome Katherine, I enjoy your writing very much.
      These things are far more difficult to complete than one would think, aren't they? I had a real problem trying to come up with 11 random facts that I hadn't already posted on a previous award page.

  4. Congrats, Steve, and thank you for passing the award my way! Lately I am so buried with work and family responsibilities that I've hardly even had time to keep up with my writing, so I hope you don't mind if I don't play the game this time....

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers, though, and thank you again for thinking of me! Congrats on becoming a great-grandfather again as well!

    1. Thank you Richard, and you are very welcome, I enjoy your writing immensely.
      Don't worry about not wishing to take part, not everyone does participate in these awards.

      Thank you also for the congrats on our future great-grandson, he is due to be born in May, I am so looking forward to it. :-)

    2. Thanks, Steve, for understanding, and it means a lot to read your comment here about enjoying my writing, the feeling is mutual!

  5. Congratulations once more Steve!

    I absolutely loved reading your random facts; I think this is the first time I read anything about you, other than the friday flashes. I had my ideas of you being so cool!

    Thank you for the wonderful answers to the questions, I had a big smile on my face while reading them. I can relate on the food thing and the morning rituals hah.

    Take care Steve, and it was my pleasure :)

    1. Thank you Cindy, I have posted other random facts about myself on previous award pages, it can be quite difficult to bring things to mind when you need to, can't it?

      The writer Lily Mortis (Above) is my daughter, if you have the time you may enjoy a visit to her blog, she has a wicked sense of humour, she has posted her Liebster post already, and it makes interesting reading.

      Once again, thank you for including me in your list, it is always heartening, and a real confidence boost to know that I am included in someone's list of favourites. :-)

    2. I gave a quick look to her answers. Love her sense of humour! Will check some more stuff on her blog for sure.

    3. Hi Cindy, Thank you for taking the time to look at my daughters blog, I'm sure you will enjoy her work, some of it is serialised and some of it one/off stories and posts.

      And yes, my girl certainly has a sense of humour. :-)

  6. Congratulations Steve! On the award, yes, but more so on becoming a great-grandad not once but twice (so far). That is so wonderful!
    Thank you so much for thinking of me for this award. Considering I've been absent for a while I feel even more honored (to be remembered). I hope to get back in the swing of things soon. Your questions are such great ones I could probably write a flash (if not a short) for each answer, especially #2. :) But I'll try not to do that to you all.
    Thanks again! I look forward to coming back to the community, I've missed you all!

    1. Hiya Deanna, it's lovely to hear from you, I hope all is good with you and that your Christmas has been a really happy one. :-)

      Thanks very much for the congrats, both for the award and the Great-grandad, our Great-grandson hasn't been born yet, he will be coming into our lives in May 2013, an event that we are very much looking forward to.

      I always enjoyed your writing, and hope you find the time to start posting again.

      Question #2, about the car, yes, I definitely owned one like that, it was an Austin Allegro, and true to their nickname it definitely was All-Aggro, Heheh!!

      Take care Deanna, and best wishes for 2013. :-)

  7. Who are your favorite Cyberpunk writers, Steve?

    1. Hiya John, I'm not sure I can answer your question fully, I just gave a general answer to Cindy's question. I like all kinds of sci-fi, but would prefer the film "Blade runner" to "The wild wild west" for example, George Orwell's 1984 has always intrigued me, and I can get very involved in films and books that are of a dystopian/utopian nature with an underbelly of revolt, I hope this goes part way to answering your question.

  8. Memes come to my place to die, but I've posted a sort of response http://www.timvansant.com/otoh/2013/01/02/ich-liebe-euch-alle/

    Thanks for thinking of me!

    1. No worries Tim, I'll pop over and catch the last rites. :-)