The rules of the award vary but the basic principle is that you are nominated by a kind soul / brutal sadist [delete as applicable] to answer 11 questions and then you take up the torch and ask 11 questions of your own.
You get to learn a little more about each other, discover new blogs and provide a little signal boost or inspiration for some interesting posts.
On to @TigerMothGirl‘s questions!
What is your favourite book and why?
There are so many possible contenders for so many reasons. I haven’t been reading as many novels as I used to as my focus has been more on blogs, articles, research and comics (Squirrel Girl is amazing, read it). I’m fascinated by stories but at the moment I’m mining them for new perspectives, ideas and inspiration rather than the story itself.
I rarely re-read books but there are a few notable exceptions qualifying them for potential favourite book status.
In times of crisis I turn to the good book. One that speaks the truth of the majesty, absurdity, cruelty and foolishness of the human condition.
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.
“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.”
It’s a masterful, playful book chopping around with time and telling the same scene from the perspective of multiple characters. It’s also very, very funny.
The other contender, like Catch 22, is a cult classic and like no other book I have ever read. It spoke straight to the part of me that is fascinated by the dark, the supernatural and how normal people cope with abnormal situations. All that and wrapped in footnotes and tales with tales, mad formatting requiring 360 degree rotation to read (always fun on public transport if you want a spare seat next to you).
The House of Leaves is amazing and haunted my dreams for months after reading it. Hallways and doorways will never be the same.
What’s the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Blink in disbelief. This sort of thing doesn’t happen to us and if it did would probably come with hilarious and tragic Hurley like consequences.
It must be a mistake. An elaborate ruse to trick surely?
Once all the boring but oh so important debts are paid, then what?
Divvy up among family and friends? Chuck some to charity? Pay to fix ALL the poxy little jobs that plague the ever burgeoning to do list? Spend money on the finest tuition in all the things I’ve ever wanted to learn? Jet off to the glorious sunset for the holiday of a lifetime or just stay there? Construct elaborate secret passageways with ludicrously impractical codes and puzzles to access?
So many options.
Tea or coffee?
As a Brit I’m honour bound to say tea but recently it just hasn’t tasted the same. I’m now drinking more coffee, something started by Twin Peaks, continued by Deadly Premonition and aided and abetted by the contagion of coffee shops EVERYWHERE.
I have a comedy sized cat we got from a rescue home. Most people want a cute, fluffy kitten. We asked for a ‘boot faced cat’ (“If it has an ear missing, we’ll take it!”). We got an abandoned 9kg depressed sumo cat that resembled a toddler’s drawing of a cat or a pool of oil with eyes more than your average feline.
He’s been on obesity management food for a while and is more active. He has to be as he is now chased around by the cubs who just want to love him. With their feet. And by roaring at him so he can play dinosaur too.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Probably Hawaii so we can live out a life of Lilo and Stitch on the beach, listening to Slack Key music and learning to play ukelele properly.
It’s either that or live out our Lost fantasies in the jungle minus smoke monsters, polar bears and unsatisfying endings.
What is your earliest memory?
Falling down the stairs and causing panic. I also have very early memories of being butted by a charging goat whilst on holiday.
A night in with Netflix or a cinema date?
We already spend most nights watching one of many great shows (Better Call Saul, Jessica Jones, Daredevil) and occasionally being in the presence of many terrible identikit teen dramas about the woes of rich kids in ludicrously convoluted revenge plots (Pretty Little Liars).
Cinema is better as it comes with the promise of a babysitter and the prospect of being able to eat a meal in a restaurant without having to share any of it. And our own desserts.
Do you sing in the shower?
Shower? Yes. Also while washing up (recently it has been to Faith No More), tidying and at work. Sometimes out loud, sometimes under my breath and in my head. I have a jukebox like memory for songs and lyrics. Anything is a potential spark for a song.
What is your favourite TV show?
My last favourite, absolute must see show was River. It was a brilliant show on every level and a profound exploration of grief and mental health through a detective story.
Other shows like The Walking Dead I used to watch religiously but now if I don’t catch it when it’s on I’m not that worried. I have an entire run of American Horror Story: Hotel languishing on my Youview box. It’s a frustrating show with elements of greatness buried in cheap schlock.
I’ve always been a sucker for the small American town with a dark secret trope so shows like Twin Peaks and the sadly underrated American Gothic have a special place in my heart.
The latter never achieved the cult status of the former. I still believe that it was a show ahead of its time and if you were to show it on Netflix or such now it would be a hit.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I’m going to say no. Something as important as love is built on trust and respect and that takes time to grow. So much so I didn’t admit that I was clearly in love until friends and family pointed out the obvious to me. My wife played the long game with me and was supernaturally patient. She knew she would get me from the first time she saw me. I just didn’t realise it!
If you could have a chat with any person, living or dead, who would it be?
This is a difficult one. I could go for a personal option, a celebrity or a comedy choice or a mish mash of all of none of those.
There’s some truth in the warning that you shouldn’t meet your heroes but I would love to properly meet James Dean Bradfield again. We were meant to meet as part of a ‘meet and greet’ competition win but the band had to leave shortly after soundcheck so it didn’t happen.
It was only months later that I got my chance to drunkenly push my way past security and shake him by the hand and without shame tell him that he was my guitar hero (it’s true, he’s why I started playing and I play a Les Paul model). He was very gracious, apologised for missing the meet and greet and made sure security didn’t throw me back over the barrier.
I would love the opportunity to talk properly about guitars, music, politics and the stories behind it all.
One of my best gigs was attending the BBC Radio 4 Mastertapes sessions where the band talked about the stories behind the The Holy Bible (as well as some stunning acoustic performances). As a die-hard I’ve heard and read most of the stories but at that recording they talked about little stories about their lives at the time that hadn’t been told before and it was spellbinding.
If I were to speak to the dead I would want to confirm whether the afterlife is as dull as mediums make it out to be. More seriously I would like to speak to my late step-mother to find out what she makes of the life she left behind when she was taken from us.
I did try and drum up interest but failed miserably as my nominees have already been nominated and have little appetite to do it again so I will break from Liebster Award tradition and open it to the floor either through the comments section or if you want to write your own blog in response to my questions.
Here they are!
- What is your muse? What inspires you to write and keep writing? What gets you in the semi-mystical and mythical state of flow?
- What is the enemy of that inspiration? What blocks you from writing as you want and how do you tackle it?
- In the movie of your life who would play you and on what main event would your film focus?
- In the straight to TV version of your life who would play you and what aspect of your story be grotesquely exaggerated for comic or tragic effect?
- If you had a superpower what would it be and how would you use it? Would you live openly with your powers in public or would you hide behind a secret identity?
- If you were a superhero who would be your nemesis? What powers would they have?
- What type of music or fiction sparks you the most? What is it about that type that speaks to you?
- What type of music or fiction leaves you cold or incandescent with rage? What is it about that type that inspires such a strong reaction?
- What is your greatest triumph?
- What is your greatest tragedy?
- What skills would you bring in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world (zombie or otherwise)?