I think even amazed is too tame a word. I’m gobsmacked that Marny Copal over at http://marnycopal.wordpress.com nominated me for the Leibster award. Absolutely floored! Thank you, Marny! Marny’s from Oregon and is the author of Freeblood, which looks and sounds very interesting to my book acquisitive mind. You can follow her on Twitter, as well – @marnycopal
The Leibster Award! This is an award bloggers give to introduce blogs you might not have found already that we think are completely awesome. Here’s how it works. You post the picture of the award to your blog:
You give 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you. Then you think up 11 new questions and nominate 11 new blogs – and you can’t nominate the blogger who nominated you.
Eleven Random Facts about Melissa Robitille
1) I’m a great big girl. Seriously. I was 6′ tall, but shrank a bit. I’m very plus-sized. I have enormous feet (size 12 EEE – send shoes… or whole cow hides, not sure which would be less leather). Great big girl.
2) I have five children. Now you know why I shrank. Two boys still at home ( 19.5 and just turned 12), and three girls not at home.
3) I am a nerd and a geek. I have a BSc in Information Technology with emphasis in Application Development – such a nerd. And… I’m a Whovian, and a Trekkie, and I love anime and I’m hoping to get to a Con sometime or other, where I will probably cosplay and walk around grinning like an idiot. So geeky!
4) I have many hobbies, some of which occasionally pay. For instance, fashion design and couture sewing lets me look good, and occasionally I’ll get a good Bridezilla or She Who Must Be Prom Queen, though honestly I have the most fun with dressing up transgendered Gurlz because they have a lot more fun with imagining the outfit. Jewelry design occasionally pays, as does interior decoration, but fine art never does, probably because my art is really scary stuff… No one wants a painting of shattered glass and blood on bad linoleum on the wall above their sofa.
5) I am a klutz. This also comes with a high pain threshold, which may or may not be a good thing, since I discovered in 2010 that a fall in 2008 crushed one of my vertebrae without my realizing I had anything more than ‘a lingering backache’ – this may also account for some of that shrinking!
6) I am extremely near-sighted. Yes, I have a cute profile picture with no glasses on, but other than for pictures and putting makeup on my coke bottle lenses don’t leave my face while I’m awake.
7) In second grade my teacher thought I was “slow” because I was a complete brat in class, so she insisted that I have my IQ tested in hopes of sending me off to Special Ed classes, which in those days were separate and not mainstreamed as they are today. When my IQ came back as 189, she ‘punished’ me by plunking me down in front of the first computer in the classroom our school had – this was 1982, so it was a pretty early Apple. I’ve been using computers ever since. She actually did manage to torment me by giving me 5th grade math to do for enrichment, which has led to a lifelong math phobia. I’m good at math, mind you, but I’m good at it in self-defense! I would’ve been happier with unfettered access to Shakespeare, to be honest. And… as a public service announcement to those of you with high-IQ kids – high IQ comes in many different packages, not all of which involve math. Let your kid have access to what they really love on as high a level as they can manage and then ‘stretch’ it a little further! I home-schooled my kids for 10 years.
8) I had flesh-eating strep A (necrotizing fasciitis) in 2002. After several near-death experiences, I left the hospital after just 17 days instead of the 6 to 9 months they told me I’d be in there when I woke up on day 14.
9) My first try at a Bachelor’s degree was 1998 to 2000. I was working on a BA in History with secondary teaching certification when my youngest son was born with ‘significant anomalies’ and I had to drop out.
10) I love the color red. Seriously. My wardrobe is black, white, and red. I would wear red every day.
11) I play the guitar, but I can’t read music yet. I play TAB instead, but I’m pretty good at it – Moonlight Sonata‘s one of my favorite pieces to play on acoustic, but I like Love Me Tender on electric. I have two Fender electric guitars, plus a Harmony acoustic.
Answering Marny’s questions:
When did you first realize you liked to write?
*** I always liked corresponding, but I didn’t like writing until High School when we were finally allowed to do some actual Creative Writing. Essays in Elementary and Junior High schools were excruciating for me! I feel fairly guilty for still being a brat in High School, but to this day I thank Linda Novelli, Andrew Pappathan, and Mr. Sokolowski for their encouragement to write. I wrote a few columns and a comic or two for the high school paper, but didn’t enjoy those half so much as… well, lying. What else do you call fiction when you’ve been stuck writing essays for years?
Who is your favorite villain from a book or movie?
*** Hard question! I like a really well-developed villain, and I’m not going to pick any of the villains from my own work (I figure that would be cheating), and I like comedies when I watch a movie… so I would have to say Queen Salmissra from David Eddings’ Belgariad and Malloreon series. She’s evil and she’s crazy, but there’s enough backstory about the position and what the girls chosen to be queen are put through and put on in terms of drugs that she’s understandable.
Can you name one item from your bucket list?
*** I’d like to have a best-selling series, but that’s probably on every author who hasn’t gotten there’s bucket list. Beyond that, I’d like to travel, maybe learn to fly an airplane even!
Do you have a muse? If so, what is it?
*** I do… Punk/techno music and my little boy. The music is fast enough to type to and ‘angry’ enough to give my badass heroines the oomph they need, and my little boy because he’s forever signing to me (he speaks ASL) to ‘Hurry up! More story!’.
What book excited you the most when you were a kid?
*** I started reading when I was two (yes, really). The first book I loved enough to re-read was Little Women. The books that excited me the most and that I still re-read every two or three years are, of course, the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I did mention I’m a geek, right?).
Do you write in a linear fashion, or do you jump around?
*** I write in a linear fashion, but the ideas come in a very lateral sense. I really like Snowflake Pro because it lets me put all the bits and pieces in order so that the story doesn’t writhe under my hands. I’ve at times tried to compare writing linearly without an outline (the way I had written everything up until I latched onto this particular software program) with trying to diaper an Anaconda.
Do you live with animals? If so, can you read their expressions?
*** I do. My son’s assistance dog, Tickle. She’s an enormous black Australian Labradoodle, and when I can see her face (generally after I’ve trimmed down some of her excessive fuzzy-wuzziness ) she’s very expressive. If she hears something on the porch she’ll give me this look that can really only be interpreted as ‘Is that My Boy coming home?!?!’ and then go sit by the door waiting and hoping!
Do you have a personal motto?
*** Hm. Not particularly. I’m a MacPherson (or rather, my father’s mother Georgianna was born a MacPherson), so there’s the clan motto ‘Touch not the cat without the glove’ which is pretty good, and the Ricard family motto (that would be my mother’s father’s family) ‘Sapienta Donum Dei’ – wisdom is the gift of God, which is also pretty good.
Are you dying to know the answer to any mysteries?
*** Sure, but the mysteries that I’d like answers to generally lie within the human heart and mind. Honestly, though, the biggest mystery I’ve run across is how women think. I can understand men just fine, but I’m a woman and I don’t understand most women.
If you could witness any event in history, what would it be?
*** Oh bugger all. You really got me with this one, Marny. There are too many events to count. Here’s a sampling: In the Beginning – who wouldn’t want to have been there, just to know exactly how that all went down and who’s right? A whole bunch of Biblical things. The arrival of the Romans in Britain. The court of Ferdinand and Isabella to tell that Ricard/Ricardo ancestor that he was being a complete idiot for stealing from people who will hang you. The look on Elizabeth I’s face upon receiving Phillip of Spain’s proposal. Cromwell’s rise to power (I would just love to kick that man for Tobacco Island). Culloden, if only to beat the bejezus out of a Campbell, even if I couldn’t swing the battle because Bonny Prince Charlie was a tactical idiot. The signing of the Declaration of Independence. The adoption of the Constitution. Dolly Madison and the flight from Washington D.C. during the war of 1812 – I would so help her carry stuff! The storming of the Bastille.
Do you like dolls? If so, why?
*** Guilty pleasure. I sure do. I actually have made one of a kind Barbie dolls for my daughters, and I still like making them. It’s a way to make the over the top ball gowns and glitzy glamorous things that I love to make when I’m designing that no one around here ever seems to be terribly in need of.
My eleven questions:
1) What motivates you to write when you don’t really feel like writing?
2) Do you prefer being alone, in a group of people you know, or anonymous in a crowd?
3) Do you ‘people watch’, and if so what’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen other people do?
4) How many books (a rough estimate, don’t go count them) do you have in your house, and what kind of books are they (yes, eBooks count as books)?
5) What are your hobbies?
6) What are your three favorite songs?
7) What’s the biggest, best, and shiniest dream you have for your writing career?
8) If you could take someone’s place for a day (modern or in history), who would you be and why?
9) If you could have a re-do of some point in your life, what would it be and what would you do or say differently?
10) Which family member has been most supportive of your writing and in what way?
11) What part of the writing process (writing, editing, querying, submissions, etc.) is the hardest for you?
AND…. My Leibster Award Nominees are…
Lindsey R. Loucks, author of Grave Winner
Wendy S. Russo, author of January Black
Cindy Young-Turner, author of A Journey to Hope
Stacy Verdick Case, author of A Grand Murder
The Dames of Dialogue
Seyi Sandra, author of Tales of Five Lies
Jody A. Kessler, author of Death Lies Between Us
Justin R. Macumber, author of A Minor Magic
Shawna Romkey, author of Speak of the Devil
Rusty Fischer, author of Reanimation Reform School
Andrea Buginsky, author of The Chosen