Blogging is my outlet. It is the way that I release what is inside me that is not private enough I want it only in my journals but too detailed to be a conversation with someone. I like to explore thoughts and feelings, understand more about myself, and hopefully help others while bringing myself to a better understanding of the things that get me thinking. I enjoy the interaction with others and reading what other bloggers have to write, sometimes taking a thought someone shares in their blog and exploring it more in mine. It is the way that I develop my writing, better express my thoughts, and learn who I am and what I think about this life I am living.
One of the things I enjoy most about blogging in the community aspect. We find one another’s blogs and support each other as we dive deeper into subjects and explore our depths of writing. This morning I awoke to a fun blog post from a friend and fellow blogger I respect much. Jayne.Press shared that she had nominated me for the Liebster Award and that we were keeping the questions going for fun. I am going to go ahead and answer her questions at the very bottom of this post, so I fulfill her nomination requirements, but I am also going to nominate folks for the 2018 Liebster Award Nominations, since those opened today!
Writing is how I release my feelings into the world and blogging gives me the opportunity to do so in a space where you read only if you choose to do so. It doesn’t pollute anyone’s feed or show up when you aren’t looking for it. To see a blog, you have to follow it and unlike on social media, you don’t follow things you aren’t invested in reading (typically). I look forward to going deeper this year with my writing and challenging myself to take on subjects on which I am passionate but aren’t usually discussed.
10 Random Facts About Shell Vera (That’s me…)
- Contrary to popular belief (especially if you follow me on social media), tacos are NOT my favorite food.
- My favorite movies are P.S. I Love You and Serendipity. I am a sucker for a sweet romance story. Probably because of the next fact.
- I am a hopeless romantic who somehow still believes there is someone out there created just for me and when we meet we will build empires and conquer kingdoms together as we do this life side by side.
- I prefer jeans and a hoodie over dresses and skirts, but will rock them with a great pair of heeled boots to at least feel a little dressed up.
- I dream of owning a home in San Diego, on the beach, where I vacation each winter and enjoy when I am writing books. I will consider myself as having “made it” when I get to treat myself to this luxury.
- Once I realize the power within me and release all that I have kept bottled up over the years by playing small, I will be a force to be reckoned with and pretty much unstoppable. I expect that moment to come this year.
- 2017 was one of the hardest years of my life but I still made it through and am smiling, so it didn’t win.
- 2017 was also one of the most growth-producing and freeing years of my life, as I explored things deep within me that I had not touched previously and let go of several toxic relationships, expectations, and unnecessary / false rules that had governed my life.
- I don’t like chocolate, flowers, or dessert. I love board games, a great salad (not house salad but ones like this one and this one), and guacamole & chips.
- I don’t own a microwave, television, or Netflix subscription. I Red Box or buy my movies. I don’t like things that are quick and easy or suck my time so I tend to be very careful about how I cook my food and what I watch.
What is the Liebster Award?
Here are the official rules for 2018. Read them today and then nominate your favorite blogs so we can help others learn about our favorite writers and bloggers.
My 2018 Nominations
The everyday bloggers who have influenced me the most and who I most enjoy reading are as follows (I am staying away from the well known and viral bloggers I read because this award appears to be to help everyday folks get known by others):
- Praise the Lord & Pass the Calgon – https://karmenskrazy.blogspot.com/ – I followed this blog prior to meeting its author “by chance” at church one day. I am still a superfan and we are best friends. She is the kettle to my pot and the strawberries to my salad. She writes with a passion about things that folks don’t like to talk about. She goes in on subjects many Christians don’t want to touch and challenges you to explore your own faith and what it means to walk a Christian walk, but she does so in love and wholeness just by sharing her thoughts.
- Elijah Is Unamused – https://elijahisunamused.wordpress.com/ – BRAND NEW BLOGGER! When you read his words, you are reading a new blogger who needs to be welcomed with big hugs and great feedback because he is up and coming and will definitely become a voice to be heard. He is addressing subjects that make you question your biases and position on issues. He writes from a place of transparency and vulnerability that is beautiful and freeing. He is a must-read and I hope we welcome him in a way that encourages him to keep going as we all have!
- Jayne.Press – https://jayne.press/ – This is one of my favorite poetry blogs. She writes about things that sometimes make you blush and with a passion that inspires you to think about it makes you blush. She pushes you to think in new ways and has a phenomenal community spirit, showcasing others’ writing as well as her own. She inspires me to write more poetry and go deeper with my own thoughts on simple things.
- Purpose Driven Achiever – https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/ – I enjoy reading this blog because she makes you think about your thoughts. She touches on destiny, unforgiveness, living out your purpose. She goes in to depth on subjects that cause you to reflect on your behaviors and how you are living. I have been following her since the beginning of her blog, I believe. She also shares short snippets for those days your calendar is pretty full, as well as community posts from others.
- Inspiration with Attitude – https://dawnlizjones.wordpress.com/ – This blog touches that place within me that loves to study scripture and think more deeply on issues discussed in the Bible. She talks about Bible stories or sayings and explores them in a level that brings you into the text and encourages you to think for yourself as she guides you through her thoughts. Well worth the read if you enjoy exploring the Bible.
- Estampas de Mexico – https://javiergarciamoreno.com/blog/ – This is my favorite photography blog. He shares the most beautiful pictures and I enjoy seeing them each time they pop up on my feed.
My Responses to the 2018 Liebster Award Questions
- Out of all the countries, you have visited, which one did you like the most? Mexico. It is so beautiful and so full of rich tradition and customs – and the architecture is amazing. What struck me most is how one side of a street in some cities would have beautiful houses while there were people living outside on the streets or in huts on the other side. The contradiction of such beauty and poverty existing in the same place fascinated and confused me.
- What is the most extreme thing you have ever done? Bungee jumping. I still am not sure why I did it, but it was fun. Never would do it again though.
- If you can take someone with you in your travels, who would it be? Someone who would enjoy each moment and take in all of the experience not just develop an itinerary and follow it. I haven’t met such a person yet but who knows what will come in the future.
- Bike or Train? Train for sure. I love to just sit and look out the window, wondering about the people and wildlife in the various places I pass through. Plus I can enjoy it more because I am not exerting energy as I take in the view.
- What/Who inspires you to travel this world? I haven’t travelled the world in a long time but I like to travel within the state I live in and surrounding ones. I am inspired by a lack of desire to stay in one place to long and a sheer curiosity of what exists around me.
- What is the best memory that you have while travelling? I have a lot of great memories of Mexico from my 20s. My favorite was a night with my former sister-in-law and some friends in which we enjoyed dancing and having fun at the Blue Room to start. Every drink in the place was blue. We walked the town and ended up at a Mariachi bar and I remember just feeling so at home with the people and culture. I did drink often back then and didn’t watch my level of intoxification so it is possible some of the happiness was from liquor but I still loved the feeling of just being in the moment and enjoying myself.
- If you could give someone $1,000,000 who would you give it to? A single mother I know who has been instrumental in me understanding what friendship, perseverance, and faith looks like when life isn’t good. She gives her time, energy, and money to people despite not having much for herself. I would give it to her so she could get her bills caught up and get a great car, and then I am sure she would be a blessing to others too.
- Apple or Samsung? Is this really a question? (Apple all the way)
- What is the scariest thing you have experienced while travelling? Mexican jail but that is a story I only tell in person so I can include body language and facial expressions.
- Name the top 3 most beautiful beaches you have visited: Ocean Beach (San Diego), New Smyrna Beach (New Smyrna, FL), South Padre Island (South Padre Island, TX; not sure if this counts as a beach but it’s my favorite of all times).
- How did travelling change your life? Travelling helps me open up to new cultures and ways of life. Whether I am going to an area I wouldn’t normally go into so I can attend a church service or visiting family in a beautiful city, I love to explore and see what the local atmosphere is like. I enjoy new experiences and seeing new sights.
My Responses to Jayne.Press’s Questions
What two dead writers/poets would you have tea with? Langston Hughes and Paul (from the Bible).
Favorite thing to write with (type of pen, pencil, etc). Inkjoy pens.
Top three movies you could watch on rotation for days. P.S. I Love You, Serendipity, Blended
Craziest idea you gotten in the shower. Start my own writing business since I love to write. Did this back in 2011.
One sentence that sums up your 2017. Learned a lot about myself, others, and love, while fighting some of the hardest battles I have ever had to fight.
Just one annoyingly bad habit. I bite my nails.
Worst injury ever. I am a domestic violence survivor; I will leave it at that.
The Questions I Would Like My Nominees to Answer
Should you choose to accept the nomination, see the rules and follow them, then answer these 11 questions:
- What is one dream you put aside that you wish you had followed?
- What stops you from following the dream noted in Question 1?
- If you could say six words to your younger self, what would they be?
- If you could say eight words to your future self, what would they be?
- What are the top three qualities you want to develop within yourself this year?
- What are three habits you would like to stop this year?
- If you could spend a year anywhere doing anything, where would you go and what would you do?
- What are two topics you are most passionate about?
- How would you describe the color blue to a blind person?
- If you lost all five senses, which would be the one you miss the most?
- What is the hardest experience you have endured – if you have a blog about it feel free to share the link to it?
If You Have Bloggers You Would Like to Nominate
If you know of bloggers who you would like others to learn about, nominate them for the Liebster Award. Yes, it is all for fun, but there is a prize offered so check out the rules to learn more. Mostly, we create community and start the year off right with sharing the love for others and helping them gain some new readers. Who knows, one of the blogs I shared my become your new favorite blog!
Until next time,