I've been given an award!!
Okay, it's kind of more like a blog hop than an award, but it says "award," so it still counts, right??
The rules state that I must share seven things about myself and then pass the award on to seven other bloggers*. The lovely Cassandra Page (who sent the award to me) added a challenge rule: that the seven things I share may not be anything I’ve previously revealed on this blog. (And you know I have trouble with saying no to a challenge, so of course I'm following this rule too!!)
1. This blog award is extra perfect for me, because I'm kind of obsessed with pink roses. - When I was in 8th grade, I was having a horrible birthday. Everyone I knew (including my family) seemed to have forgotten. No one wished me a happy birthday or made a fuss over me or even acted like there was anything special about the day. (I had to eat Cheerios for breakfast, instead of the traditional birthday breakfast of crepes or waffles and fresh fruit that my mom always made for me!) But then, after lunch, I was called to the school office, where a giant bouquet of pink roses was waiting for me with a note: "Happy Birthday, from your Secret Admirer!" - Of course, the "secret admirer" was my parents, but carrying around this giant bouquet of roses for the rest of the school day totally ensured that I got plenty of birthday attention!! Ever since that day, the mere sight of pink roses makes me smile, because it reminds me that even the worst days can turn into something wonderful. (And when I learned, years later, that pink roses symbolize perfect happiness and gratitude, that made it even better!!)
2. I chose to study handwriting analysis as my science fair project in 10th grade, to protest the fact that we had to participate, whether we wanted to or not (it was the least scientific science project I could think of). And I was fascinated to discover that logical, thinking people actually believed that you could get to know a person's inner self through something as silly as handwriting. So then I consciously altered my handwriting to reflect the person I wanted to be, instead of the person I thought I was. (I decided I could fool the world into thinking I was something wonderful, if I developed the kind of handwriting that said I was.) Over the years, the conscious effort to ensure that my handwriting consistently reflects the character traits I want people to see in me (honesty, integrity, caring, fearlessness, etc.) has led to the development and cultivation of those characteristics within myself. (Maybe there's something to this whole handwriting analysis "science" after all...)
3. It's a well-known fact that I'm a chocoholic. When I was in high school, I once went an entire month eating almost nothing but chocolate and fresh fruit. And I could totally do it again, if my metabolism could handle such a diet. But...
4. If given a choice between a grapefruit and chocolate, I'll almost always choose the grapefruit. It's one of my favorite decadent treats and so much more satisfying than even the richest chocolate. And I think grapefruit juice is the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful piece of rich chocolate cake (thanks to my dad, who heard Bill Cosby's story of chocolate cake for breakfast and decided to try it at home)!
5. My obsessive love of baking started in 9th grade, when I brought in cookies for my English Literature class (I don't even remember what the occasion was), and one of the boys in class (Greg Dover) interrupted the teacher's lecture (three times) to ask if he could have more cookies. He said they were the best cookies he'd ever eaten, and even though I realize that it's entirely possible that he was only telling me what I wanted to hear, it made me feel like I was a superstar. Ever since that day, baking has become my stress reliever. Whenever I feel down-in-the-dumps or not-so-spectacular, I bake some kind of rich dessert (often a recipe of my own creation) and give it to someone.
6. I want to go skydiving someday, because I've always wanted to know what it feels like to fall through the air... and I figure it would be safer to experience the thrill of falling with a parachute strapped to my back than simply jumping off the top of a tall building. :)
7. I totally chickened out and decided not to post the #7 that I originally thought of for this list. I like to keep things light and upbeat. I'm a firm believer in the idea that your thoughts determine who you are, and because the reveal I considered posting for item #7 was more of a dark and serious topic, I deleted it. Maybe it will find its way onto the blog another day, when I'm feeling serious and contemplative. But today, I wanted to end on a cheerful note, so I'll just leave you with this reminder from Psalms 146:5 instead - "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:" - Instead of worrying about the things we cannot change, let's look to the Lord for help and guidance through our trials!
... And now, to pass the award on to others. I nominate:
1. Brenda Drake - an amazing writer (I'm totally looking forward to next year, when her debut novel, Library Jumpers, will be published!!), and she has a truly amazing blog, where she dedicates her time to helping aspiring authors as they follow their dreams.
2. The 1988 Project - movie reviews and interviews with actors/actresses/movie people from 1988. Who would have guessed that a website devoted to a single year in movie history could be so fun and entertaining??
3. Sheryl Rose - whose blog, Menu Makeovers, is full of totally delicious tips for creating gourmet meals on a shoestring budget. (The blog has been on hold for a bit, but it will probably be up and running again before too long... and while we wait for new posts, those of you who follow my blog for the weekly recipes will LOVE checking out her archives!)
4. Jamie Corrigan - a talented writer who brightens the lives of everyone she meets with her cheerful encouragements.
5. Laura Shovan - poetry and writing prompts for every occasion (She was in the top 10 for the "Most Fascinating Education Blog" awards for Creative Writing... and she totally deserves it!)
6. Ashley Turcotte - one of the best critique partners ever, whose novel-in-progress, Luminary, is absolutely and totally amazing. (Of the 15 books I've read so far this year, this unpublished manuscript is my favorite - and it's not even fully edited and polished yet!!)
7. Leigh Ann Kopans - who is one of the nicest, sweetest, most encouraging people I've ever met. (And I can't wait to read her upcoming novel: One!)
* Note: If I've tagged you, and you don't want to participate (or you already have, but I somehow missed it), please feel free to disregard this post. :)