Current Works in Progress

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Two blog award thingies

Two unexpected things happened over the past week or so. First someone tagged me in the "Lucky 7 meme", and then someone else nominated me for the "Kreativ Blogger Award". Both of them involve me writing things about myself (which I love to do anyway) and both involve me tagging other people to do the same.

For reasons which will become clear momentarily, I decided to write both of them up in one post.

First of all, because it happened first, the Lucky 7 meme.

Part 1 - the Lucky 7 Meme

The Brewed Bohemian tagged me and a few other people who were participating in the Once Upon a Time contest (Contest here, my entry here) with this "Lucky 7 meme". Apparently this means I am required to :

  1. Cut and paste into my blog the seven lines starting on the seventh line of either page 7 or page 77 of my current work in progress.
  2. Tag 7 other people.
This raises an interesting dilemma. My current work in progress is a 4 page short story. It doesn't have a page 7.

What I will do instead is copy in my opening 'scene' from said work in progress. The working title is "Dragon".

A thousand times and more have we hunted together, reveling in the chase, the snap, the feel of flesh on teeth.  A thousand times and more have we frolicked and flew, glorying in the feel of wind on scales and wings. A thousand times and more have we tended our crystal gardens on the rooftops of the world, watching patiently as they grew, layer by painstaking layer.
Always together we rose up, to the highest reaches where the air thins, to throw ourselves ecstatically at the ground; both seed and sower. It was always together that we grew, drinking of the sun and the soil and the water, our roots intertwined and our leaves whispering secrets to each other in the breeze. It was always together that we went still, transmuting cellulose and capillary to crystal, freeing our minds to wander the gardens we'd so carefully tended in the age before. A thousand thousand years we've spent together, and now I am alone and it feels as though half of me is missing.
Imagine you wake up one day and half of your legs are gone, or maybe a wing. But you don't notice at first because there is no pain, no wound, just the absence of something that has always before been there. You have the feeling that something is odd, but you don't dwell overmuch on it because it is a new day and there are exciting things on the breeze. And then you try to walk, and you fall. Or you leap from the side of the mountain into the bright clean air. And you fall.
So it was for me when I awoke. The jeweled shards of my shattered trunk had not yet reached the ground when I realized that something was different. I had yet to open the eyes of my new body, yet to unfurl my wings, when I knew that something was horribly, horribly wrong. When I realized what had happened, I believe it broke my mind.
So there you go. The first four paragraphs of my current WIP. As Chuck Wendig says, "Please to enjoy."

Part 2 - The Kreativ Blogger Thingamajigger

So the other thing that happened was that Eva Rieder nailed me with a Kreativ Blogger award. She is a math teacher by day and a keyboard ninja by night. She writes fantasy and mainstream fiction, and has wavy hair.

This one is a bit more involved. I have to tell you seven (why is it always seven?) surprising things about myself, thank the person who's making me do this (thanks a lot, Eva) (:)), link back to their blog, and nominate 7 other people. I'm detecting a trend here.

So first of all, thank you to Eva. Not so much for tagging me with this, although I actually do feel a bit flattered, but for reading my blog in the first place. I'm always surprised when people come back more  than once, and find it suspicious when they claim to like what I'm writing. I should probably get over that if I want to be a professional author, no?

I don't know if there are 7 surprising things about me. I'm pretty open and like to talk about myself, so anyone who's known me more than an hour (or a pint, whichever comes first) probably knows most of what there is to know. I'll write seven things people who don't know me might be surprised to know, though. That is doable.

Thing number 1: Mandarin Chinese was my fifth language

I speak English natively. I learned French in high school and lived in Quebec for three months on an exchange program, becoming more or less fluent. I studied both German and Japanese in university becoming functional but by no means fluent, and then I moved to China 8 years ago and gradually learned to speak with the locals. 

Thing number 2: By the time I finished high school I had read an estimated 3000 novels.

I averaged about 4-5 novels a week, every week, through most of my schooling. I mostly read fantasy and science fiction, but I also read all the classic young adult series - Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew, The Black Stallion, Judy Blume, et. al. - by the age of 7 or 8. I had epic battles with the school librarian who didn't believe that I could read actual books and wouldn't let me borrow anything with a polysyllabic word in it.

Thing number 3: I am terrified of spiders, needles and, by extension, dentists.

I once left a cavity so long that the nerve died on its own. When the pain suddenly stopped I got so worried I made an appointment.

Thing number 4: When watching a movie or reading a book I cry at the drop of a hat.

More often for the old "underdog comes from behind to win" maneuver than for the obviously sappy or sad, but I'm not kidding about this. I even teared up at the end of "The Incredibles" and any scene with Iñigo Montoya gets me every time.

Thing number 5: I dream lucidly, and have since I was four or five years old.

Lucid dreaming is basically where you are aware you are dreaming. For some people (including me) this usually involves being in more or less total control of my dreams, but not always. This resulted in my sometimes having a fair bit of difficulty differentiating between reality and dreams for much of my childhood.

Thing number 6 (but related to number 5): I am still a smoker when I sleep

I quit smoking a year and a half ago, but I often have dreams where I still smoke. They aren't dreams about smoking, just dreams in which I am a smoker. This means that quite often I spend an entire morning going through withdrawal from an addiction I beat more than a year ago.

Thing number 7: I am the poster boy for INTJ personalities

This probably isn't a surprise to anybody but myself. I was mostly surprised that there was a known personality type that fit me. I was even more surprised that there are a whole bunch of us. I found an INTJ circle on google+ and I have to say, I love those people. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the dry version and the funny (and more useful) version.

As a side note, when I asked my wife what was surprising about me she mentioned that she was surprised by how filthy my mind is and at how loud I can pass gas, so umm... be happy I didn't listen to her and include those.

Now, for the harassment of seven people whose blogs I read. Rather than choosing 14 people in total or forcing 7 people to do both of these I will name seven personal blogs I read and let them decide if they want to do one, the other, both or none. I can't in good conscience name the two ladies who singled me out (although it occurred to me to give the one to the other and the other to the one, if you follow), so 7 new people (in no particular order other than this is the order I put them in):

  1. Nicole Feldringer at
  2. Voss Foster at
  3. Kia at
  4. Gnetch at
  5. Stephen Hayes at (I know you just got one of these recently so I'll understand if you skip it. No really)
  6. Meg McNulty at
  7. Susan Lewis at
None of these people write about the same thing, but they all write with personality, and honesty, and from their hearts, and with fewer clauses than I do. I don't actually follow very many blogs, I'm extremely picky, and these seven are the blogs I get the most excited about when they pop up in my reader - well, these 7 and "Text From Dog", that guy is hilarious. 

To all 7 of you, pick your poison. Would you like to do the lucky 7 meme or the Kreativ Blogger Award, or both? I leave the decision in your hands as I think you're all worthy of both.

For my readers, please take a look at all 7 of them and vote for your favorite in the comments below. The most favoritest blog will get a special prize just as soon as I think of one.


  1. Mike:

    Thanks for thinking about me and including me on your list. It's great to know you enjoy my modest efforts to amuse at Chubby Chatterbox. Take care.

  2. Mike, I just laughed so hard. So very, very hard that I nearly snorted, and deeply regretted reading this post while my students are in the room (and no judging, J man, it's the end of the year, and they're reviewing, and at this point they just come up to ask questions when they need help because they're all pretty motivated to pass). I'm so glad I tagged you because (1) I really do enjoy your blog (but I really don't enjoy that your subscription by email is disabled--please please fix that!!) and (2) I figured you'd have some sassy post in response. I am totally with you on the lucid dreams, by the way (my alternate reality has gotten me in trouble a few times) and I had a sneaking suspicion you were an INTJ by your posts. I am an ESFJ, so I'm basically your worst nightmare. :) Thanks for another entertaining post!

    1. Sorry about the subscribe by email link. Take another look at my sidebar and i think you'll find it has reappeared. The place I had placed it wasn't allowing it to show up for some reason so I moved it.

      My wife is also ESFJ. We've basically come to an understanding that we will probably never agree on much of anything, ever, and that this is okay. It's like the border between North and South Korea, but with more snuggling.

  3. Hilarious! I had a very close friend for many years who was an INTJ, and anytime we debated he'd say, "What is wrong with you? Oh that's right! You're an ESF! That's what's wrong." Oh so much fun...

    As for the link, I've just decided your site hates me. :( I can see the link in the sidebar. I've even entered my email and hit "subscribe." And then the Feedburner says: "The feed does not have subscriptions by email enabled." Technical snafu? I suppose I shall just have to keep coming back for more! :)

  4. This is awesome! I've never heard of INTJ before. I'll probably read it when I have more time. Those are nice things you said! I mean, about the blogs you read...? Yeah. I'm flattered! For real!

    So I'll probably do the 7 surprising facts thing but not today. But I need to remember to do this. I'll probably do this on my Tumblr blog because it's easier there! On my blog, people expect drawings and how to's and sarcasm and all those craziness! Haha! Thanks again!

  5. Hey, I did the seven surprising things thing.


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