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The lovely Eleanor who blogs at We’ll Always have Casablanca kindly nominated me for a Liebster Award recently. This one is for ‘up and coming’ bloggers, ie with 200 or fewer followers. I like this award, even though I’d pledged to myself not to accept any more awards (not that I’ve been inundated exactly). So why accept? First of all, I admire Eleanor’s blog and respect what she does there. Secondly, I found the questions stimulating. Thirdly, I only have to nominate 3-6 fellow bloggers, so much of the time-consuming work of accepting an award is reduced – yay! Time is of the essence, as ever, so here goes:

Thank you, Eleanor

Thank you, Eleanor

1. What does blogging do for you?
It allows me to express myself, to connect, and it forces me to write something at least every 7-10 days.

2. What blogger(s) feed your soul? Why?
The fantastic photography blogs and the awesome poets I’ve come across on WordPress. I don’t know about ‘soul’ but they certainly fill my heart.

3. What is your favorite subject (category) to blog about?
Irish literature although I enjoy blogging about the UAE too and what it’s like being an ex-pat.

4. What post of yours means the most to you? Why?
This is a toughie – probably a couple of the early blogs which are linked: Build yourself up for Rejection and Am I Unemployable? Why – because they were written in moments of illumination and understanding about where my life was and was not going.

5. Why did you first start your blog?
I left an online peer review site for writers because I felt I’d ‘outgrown’ it. Blogging was a great way to fill the gap and continue the tradition of complete strangers reading my work and (hopefully) commenting on it.

6. What do you hope your blog will someday become?
A place my followers like to go because they know I write interesting stuff.

7. What are you most passionate about?
I think passions tend to change over the years, eg, I was passionate about tennis in my 20s but haven’t played for about 3 years now. I guess the constants would be my family (especially my daughter and her development), the Irish landscape, and anything well-written. More noble passions would be truth, justice, and beauty; all of which I find in Islam.

8. If your writing were discovered a hundred years from now, what would people learn about you, today’s world, and your interests?
I’d like to think they’d see a snapshot of life in the UAE at this time (I’m thinking of my novel ‘Dreams of Yasmeen’) and appreciate my attempts to reconcile what the East/West have in common by challenging stereotypes.

9. Who do you most want to read your blog? Your mom? The president?
I honestly don’t have a target reader in mind, but if I have to give an answer let it be a Literary Agent who decides he/she must represent me at all costs! 😉

10. Describe your writing process.
I usually have an idea and a very sketchy ‘plan’ of where it’s going. For short stories, I think of the structure as consisting of 3 sections – the build-up, the action, the wind down. A novel is different. I’m something of an organic writer who has an overall path mapped out in the head, but allows characters to develop and carry the plot. I’m also quite happy cutting out what doesn’t work and always have an eye on word count. For blogging, I just ‘go with the flow’ – again an idea, a core message, and then I post with minimal editing. That’s probably what I love most about blogging – it’s free-er, easier and great fun to write that way.

My 3 Nominees for the Liebster Award are:
bealitherland.wordpress.com
dwinitaayu.wordpress.com
jennainabudhabi.wordpress.com

And here’s all they need to do to keep the WordPress Liebster Award ball rolling:

•Accept the award by posting the logo on your site, thanking and linking back to your nominator.
•Answer the set of questions asked of you by your nominator.
•Select (nominate) 3-6 blogs (no more than 200 followers), notifying them by commenting on their site.
•Interview your nominees with a set of 10 questions.

I’ll follow Eleanor’s good example and post the 10 questions below for cutting and pasting:

1. What does blogging do for you?

2. What blogger(s) feed your soul? Why?

3. What is your favourite subject (category) to blog about?

4. What post of yours means the most to you? Why?

5. Why did you first start your blog and why?

6. What do you hope your blog will someday become?

7. What are you most passionate about?

8. If your writing were discovered a hundred years from now, what would people learn about you, today’s world, and your interests?

9. Who do you most want to read your blog? Your mom? The president?

10. Describe your writing process.

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