Month: June 2014

The Liebster Award

What an honor to be nominated for this award! Thank you, Channyn, for the nomination. Check out her awesome food blog here!

liebster-award1

 

 

The Liebster Award is an award that welcomes “new” bloggers that have less than 1,000 followers. It’s an awesome award that brings recognition to new bloggers and also opens up an opportunity to get to know more about them (which is fun!)

Here are the rules:

1.) Link back to the person who nominated you.

2.) Share 11 facts about yourself.

3.) Answer 11 questions that were asked by the person who nominated you.

4.) Nominate 11 people who you think deserve the Liebster Award.

5.) Ask 11 questions to your nominees to answer. 

 

Facts

“Eleven facts about me” isn’t as easy for a storyteller as you might think. Most of the things I’ll note will need air quotes around the word “facts,” if you know what I mean. If they are real (which, of course, they all are), they are going to come with a story. Which means this post will take a year to write and a week to read. Let’s get started.

1 – Traveling. I’ve been to 23 countries in this fine world of ours. I was naming them the other day with my wife (who has been to 13 countries herself) as a way to pass time on our road trip. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the final country I had been. I resigned myself to the victim of bad math and poor fact checking until the next day when Dana reminded me of the vacation we took a year ago in Jamaica. How does one forget Jamaica? It was an all-inclusive. That’s how.

2 – I’ve been married to the most awesome girl in the world for just about three years. She chose me even though that means her children won’t be half Finnish. Sacrifices, right?

3 – Birthdays are my favorite. Mine comes with an awesome story. One fact about my birthday: I share it with two cousins on my Dad’s side of the family. Different years, though.

4 – I wrote my first story when I was seven years old. It was about escaping a dungeon with a nail filer. The protagonist replaced the window bars by gluing them with Elmer’s Glue-All so when the guards chased him they would be stuck in the cell. He saved the princess, too.

5 – I am a sick, sick man. We don’t really know what’s wrong with me because I still don’t have health insurance. We’re working on that.

6 – I grew up in northern Minnesota where winters are cold and long. I have never gotten used to the cold. When the temperature is less than mid-80’s, I’m unhappy.

7 – I used to walk to the cemetery near my parent’s house in the middle of the night to look at the stars and smoke cigarettes. I had visitors who would tell me stories about the underworld.

8 – I went to seven colleges before finishing my bachelor’s degree. Well, six. I went to one of them twice with two year between both semesters.

9 – I believe in aliens. Not from personal experience, unfortunately. Well, a little personal experience (see fact 7).

10 – I used to pride myself on the fact that I don’t like sports. But then Dana took me to a Wild game and I got completely sucked into hockey. Also, the FIFA World Cup starts tomorrow, and I filled out a bracket. I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately.

11 – I believe I am the only extroverted writer on the face of this planet. One time I sent a message to a writing group I’m apart of asking if anyone else has similar struggles of being an extrovert in an realm that lends itself to introverts. No one replied. I think I got my answer.

 

Channyn asked me some questions:

1.) Why did you start your blog?

I started this blog because I needed an outlet for my stories. One of the biggest regrets I have is not writing down the stories my grandpa used to tell me. He’s the one who taught me how to tell a story, but I can’t really remember many of the amazing stories he told. So I decided to write down my stories.

 

2.) What is your favorite post that you’ve written? (Please provide a link.)

A satire piece on Segways.

 

3.) What’s your favorite dessert?

A family favorite: chocolate cake with mom’s homemade apple sauce and a splash of milk.

 

4.) How do you take your coffee/tea?

Coffee: black

Black tea: with cream

Herbal tea: honey

Iced tea: lemonade and vodka

 

5.) What’s your biggest dream?

I would love to write books for a living. I don’t know what else I’d rather do with my life.

 

6.) If money wasn’t a concern, where would you choose to live?

Southern Europe. Preferably France, but I would settle for Italy, I guess. Honestly I’d be happy anywhere that doesn’t get winter.

 

7.) What’s your favorite thing to cook or bake?

I make a kick-ass stir fry. Dana makes the sauce for it, but I cook the veggies. Tricky business there.

 

8.) Mountains or the ocean?

Mountains. No, ocean. No. Ugh!

Mountains are beautiful, but can be cold. I think I’ve made it clear how I feel about cold. But I don’t really like swimming, either. I love being on a boat, though. Sailboat? Ok. I’ve made my decision. Mountains. Shoot!

 

9.) What’s your favorite book?

Favorite book?! How does an author decide what his favorite book is? I’ll just tell you what I’ve been reading lately.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Harry Potter. Always Harry Potter.

 

10.) What is your go to snack?

Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries. Such a delightful combination.

 

11.) What’s your go-to recipe on a weeknight?

Sweet potatoes, black beans and salsa. Maybe a little quinoa on the side, too.

 

My Nominees: 

1 – Jackie Lea Sommers, who has been a great inspiration during my writing journey: Jackie’s Blog

2 – Anna Palmquist, another inspirational YA author. Her blog gives voice to the struggles of being a writer: Anna’s Blog

3 – Marit has left the barren cold of Minnesota for the warm summer days of California. Visit her culture blog: Marit’s Blog

4 – Becca’s blog lives up to its name: Big Thoughts from a Small Girl

5- John Fournelle is a queer theologian with fascinating writing: John’s Blog

6 – David Ben-Ami writes fiction in hilarious prose: David’s Blog

7 –  Another French Lass In London writes about her experiences in a foreign land. I’m a big fan of France and England. Great combination: Anna’s Blog

8 – Bridie Hall just published her book in January: Bridie’s Blog

9 – An author who has been rightly recognized for her many accomplishments: HD’s Blog

10 – Frederick Anderson is a charming author: Frederick’s Blog

11 – G. Vera Ryder write contagious posts on the subject of writing: Vera’s Blog

 

Eleven questions for my nominees: 

1 – What is your favorite memory?

2 – What is your favorite thing to talk about?

3 – What is your favorite thing to write about (this is very different than the previous question)?

4 – What is your favorite thing about yourself?

5 – If you could live anywhere for three months, where would it be?

6 – Why do you write?

7 – What keeps you motivated?

8 – What type of books do you read?

9 – What’s your second favorite hobby?

10 – Do you believe in aliens?

11 – Tell me a story.

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End of the world

It’s not really the end of the world, but sometimes it feels like it. I’m employed full-time again, and I rarely find time in my busy schedule to write. I have been trying to keep up with all of the inspiration I’ve been experiencing, but by the end of the night I just want to go to bed. Though, I do have an adoring public with which comes a demand for production. It’s been a very long time since I’ve written on my blog and for that I apologize. Please stay interested in the writings of Benjamin Brede, because he hasn’t thrown in the towel yet.

The inspirations include a semi-autobiographical short story about a boy whose sister leaves on her first deployment. Also a story about an actress who was so good at pretending to be other people during high school that she had to decide between becoming a con-artist or becoming an actress. Through the help of good people in her life, she made the decision to become a famous actress and use her gift to inspire others rather than cheat them. Though secretly, conning was her first choice. I’ve already posted about a book I have started about Finding Grandpa’s Asparagus Patch. And finally, an Orwellian-esque story about a hippie commune in the middle of a booming metropolis.

Maybe I shouldn’t give away all of my book ideas in one post, but if I don’t have a community of writers and believers keeping me accountable about all the stories I want to write, I may find myself at age 65 with nothing to show for my dream.

And that’s what this is, isn’t it? I live in America for God’s sake. The land where dreams come true, right? So if this is going to become reality, I’m going to need a kick in the pants. Send some encouragement, dear readers. Mr. Brede needs to hear your voice.

 

Until then, I am ever gratefully yours,

Benjamin