Showing posts with label co-hosts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label co-hosts. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Making friends through Blogging

It's December, in case you hadn't noticed.  All around me people are sorting out gifts for friends and family, and making arrangements for seasonal celebrations, both in our homes and on our blogs.

One of the things that I didn't expect from the A to Z Challenge was that I'd make friends.  It seemed strange, the idea of blogging friends, but of course, once you get people you meet regularly, it's just like any other community.  You may start by passing someone in  the street.  Then you smile, or even just nod.  Then maybe something happens and you speak.  If that goes well, it may develop - you may stop and chat, and perhaps even share a coffee break if you're in the right place at the right time.

It's not until you have to do something together that it changes from an acquaintance to a friendship.  Thinking about the place I used to live, what suddenly bonded a street together was fighting an unwelcome development in the old school playing fields.  In my new home it has been building a new village hall, and setting up new activities.  On my website I made some friends through discovering shared interests during the A to Z Challenge.  Some of those are like people I've known for years and still exchange Christmas cards with - I visit during the A to Z and wonder why I don't visit more often (I could do that with the Road Trip!)  Others I follow more diligently, and love the range of their posts and the experiences they share with me - and with other readers.

BookElves AnthologyI've had two experiences that I really wanted to share - things that I feel have made a real difference to me, and I hope you will find the equivalent in your blogging lives.  The first was when a writer, Sally Harris, invited twelve of us to join her in a Valentines Day project - putting out a chapter of our books in one volume, with a puzzle hidden within it.  Readers who solved it were eligible for a draw for a major prize.  Working with these other authors has led on to other projects - this year we brought out an anthology of short stories for readers aged 8 and over, the BookElves Anthology Volume 1.  One of my 'physical' friends asked about the 'Volume 1' bit.  I just love the optimism of thinking it might be the start of something regular, worth repeating.  I hope so, anyway.  If you write, I hope you find a community you feel you can work with on projects too.

The other experience I wanted to share was the fun and friendship I gained by being one of co-host Damyanti's team for the 2014 A to Z Challenge.  I worked closely with six other blogging enthusiasts (and most of us write), and we still share our activities and support each other's blogs.  You saw last month that the Challenge 2015 co-host team has been announced.  They will all need minions, so if you feel you want to get involved, do.  I assure you it'll be worth it.  You'll make some real friends.  Even if you never meet them face to face!

Thank you all for your interest through this year, and very best wishes for 2015.

Have you made friends through blogging?  Tell all!

Jemima Pett writes fantasy for younger readers in the Princelings of the East series, and is working on an adult scifi series. Read her blog, or find her on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Meet Your Co-Hosts - A Word (or Two) about Nicole #atozchallenge

I am Nicole Ayers and this will be my fourth year doing the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge at The Madlab Post as well as my second year in a Co-Host position. 

In addition to hosting the Monday Movie Meme – a weekly blog event challenging you to pick films you've seen that fit various themes, I pimp out my short film "ABYSS: The Greatest Proposal Ever" in hopes of finding my place in the world. You can connect with me on Twitter, Watch videos on my YouTube channel and Follow my boards on Pinterest – but many of you all knew that already, so let’s get down to business where I tell you what you probably didn't know about me.
  • I favor action and adventure movies among most all other genres. If I’m going to the theater, something has to start exploding within the first half or somebody (preferably Bruce Willis or Matt Damon) better be jumping off of moving vehicles on the highway. Otherwise, I tend to lose interest quickly.
  • Right now, my Top 5 movies (in no particular order) are:
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The Town
Bad Boys II
Schindler’s List
A Beautiful Mind
  • My fascination with movies comes from the invention of video cameras. During childhood, I was always fascinated with recording devices -- being able to capture moments and play them back on television or a boom box stereo system. 
An uncle used to bring his huge VHS camcorder to most of my family’s’ events and I was always excited by how he could get everything on tape for us to watch later for amusement or remembrance. I later developed interest in learning how films were made.
  • If I was forced to choose between spending the rest of my life without books or without films, I would say goodbye to films. Books would be my best friend forever because they can be enjoyed as-is whereas we need so much more resources to watch films such as hardware & utilities. 
Films require high maintenance, even as a pastime. People don’t need DVD players, iTunes, electricity or data plans and other first-world luxuries to read a book. Plus, it would be silly of me to ignore how much more beneficial reading is compared to watching movies.
  • What I like best about co-hosting the A-to-Z Challenge is the chance to give back to Arlee Bird and his event that helped me step my blogging game up, saved me from existential despair and helped me build so many quality friendships.
  • My philosophy on life can be described in the following sentence:
Each day is a blessing, so make it count!
  • The weirdest thing I've researched is vesicovaginal fistulas, for a freelance writing assignment, which made me even more apprehensive about childbirth.
  • The last book I really did not enjoy was The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. I had high hopes for this book but it pissed me off by being so difficult to read that I stopped after only a few pages in.
  • If I could describe my short film “Abyss: The Greatest Proposal Ever” in one word, it would be: Propositions
  • In a classroom full of creative, sporty and geeky children, the artistic group is where I would fit in. I was a creative kid who could usually be found drawing pictures, painting and writing short stories at any given time. I also played “school” while managing a home library. While sports weren't my thing, I was pretty good at soccer but if I could turn back the hands of time, I’d repeat my cheerleading days in a heartbeat.
  • I’m still prepping a theme and am not even at the halfway mark for completing my A-Z posts in advance. Add to that my spontaneous plan to do the challenge with two blogs this year and it’s just one big ol’ pickle of madness that could very well be a recipe for disaster. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking!
  • Telling someone my darkest secret would defeat the whole purpose of it being a secret, would it not? I think so.
  • Sometimes I blog in one of the student lounges at a local University and other times I blog in the (dis)comfort of my kitchen.
That’s all for now, folks! I would like to thank my Mighty Minion Bureau Assets – Dale at Smurfin’ the Web, Andrea MusicFan at Twelve Steps to Cloud Nine, Melody-Ann Jones-Kauffman at MAJK INK, Deniz Bevan at The Girdle of Melian, Sydney Aaliyah and SA Larsen for helping me come up with material for this “About Me” post for this year’s Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge. 

Also, shouts out to Yvonne, Susan Scott and Rob Tobor for obliging in Tina Downey’s (at Life is Good) request to hit us all with your best questions. Stay tuned for additional nuggets of stuff about me, which I’ll be putting up over at The Madlab Post.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quick Note to A-to-Z Participants

Hi there!

In order to insure that everyone gets to come along on equal footing during the A-to-Z Challenge, and to make sure you have someone specific to go to should you have any questions, each co-host is assigned a certain number of blogs to attend to.  Now, we all try to visit everyone, but this way, each person will get visited by at least one co-host and will be able to contact their co-host directly in case of questions.

We want to be sure you know who to go to, so you will receive a single email from your co-host at the beginning of the challenge.  It will just be an introduction and welcome, along with your co-host's contact information.

Your emails will be BCC'd, so your email will not be given out to your fellow participants.  Only your co-host will have that information.  In order to insure it doesn't turn into a spam-fest, be sure to reply only to the co-host if you have a question; don't hit "reply all."  However, do feel free to ask your co-host anything, and don't be afraid that you will be bothering won't! 

Ultimately, we are here to support all of you.  This should be fun.  Yes, we're challenging ourselves, but if you take it too seriously, it just won't be fun at all.  Enjoy yourself, and ask your co-host if you have a question.  Let's make this the best A-to-Z yet!

May you find your Muse.

Shannon L.
The Warrior Muse

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts - Matthew MacNish

I'm Matthew MacNish.
I'm the author of the publishing and query critique blog: The QQQE
I co-author the YA literature blog: YA Confidential
I co-author the MG literature blog: Project MG Mayhem
I'm an aspiring KidLit Novelist, whose published short fiction you can find, here.
I collect vinyl records.
I love Star WarsAnime, and Tolkien (yes I bought and watched The Hobbit on Blu-Ray last night - it was the third time I've seen it).

Here are my answers to some of the crazy questions we, and some of our readers, came up with:

"Where do you go to "Get away from it all"?"

I don't have time for that much anymore, but when I can, I like to hike in the mountains.

"Where do you hail from?"

Originally? Seattle.

"Name an item that you have too much of."

Records, I suppose.

“Your house in on fire; assuming your kids, pets, and other living things are safe, what do you grab as you head out the door?”

I'm really not a materialistic person, and I back-up my writing meticulously, but I suppose I would try to get my parents' ashes.

"Who is your favorite fictional character and why?"

Gandalf. I've wanted a Wizard for a best friend since I was three years old.

"Do you know how to 'Gangnam Style?'"

Yep. I used to be quite a dancer when I was younger. I could even breakdance a little, but I'm way too old and fat for that now.

Is there anything else you'd like to know? Ask away in the comments, and I'll come back to answer!

Monday, March 18, 2013

#atozchallenge Getting to Know the Hosts - Nicole Ayers

Name: Nicole Ayers
Blog: The Madlab Post
Other Online Info: My Twitter, My Pinterest, My IMDB, My Flickr, My Tumblr and My YouTube
Films: ABYSS ; Lighten Up
Publications: The Madlab Post Zine and Bulletin; My Journey to Bare Bones

1. Where do you hail from? (D.G. Hudson) 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or otherwise known as The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection – which is a questionable nickname, depending on who you ask.

2. Would you rather have your own personal sailing ship or spaceship? What would you name your ship? (L.G. Keltner)
I’d rather have my spaceship named Captain Data, as homage to two of the coolest “Star Trek” characters ever!

3. How do you comment? - if someone posts 5,6,7 times a week .. once - or 3 times .. then each time or once or twice .. then each time I can't keep up .. but hate not supporting everyone .. (Hilary Melton-Butcher)
I comment in a manner that directly correlates with the amount of time available to complete all tasks laid out in my day. If my time is limited, I just comment on the most recent blog post. If I have more time to spare (or if I really like the blog), I’ll read through a few of the recent post titles and then comment on the ones that peak my interest.

Just because a blogger posts multiple times a week doesn’t mean that I’m going to comment on them every single time. It also depends on the frequency of my visits to a blog. If I visit more often, then it is more likely that I would comment on most, if not all of the blog posts but if I only visit the blog every now and then, I will usually comment on whatever is present on the page.

4. How do you use those HTML tags? .. and I've yet to learn about the signature line too ..(
Hilary Melton-Butcher)
I searched for the HTML tags and then tested them out by creating a draft post under the HTML tab and not the “Compose” tab, in one of my least active Blogger blogs. When I got to a point when the links worked and appeared to my liking -- after previewing them in “Compose” and also as a live post preview, I created a document file with the proper HTML tags that fit my needs such as text links, bold, photo links, etc. and I keep that file handy so that I don’t have to keep searching or reaching through tutorials every time I need to create a hyperlink quickly.

It’s sorta like my own HTML Template file that also includes a template of code that I made for my signature. So now, all I usually have to do is go to the file, copy the tags that I want to use at the moment and then paste it in the comment box or blog post draft page or online forum or wherever I need to create HTML links.

5. If you were a contestant on the CBS show "Amazon Race" and could pick ANY movie character to be your partner, who would it be and why?
It’s a toss-up between Jason Bourne from “The Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum” and Bryan Mills from “Taken.” Bourne keeps himself in shape, meaning he can run fast, lift heavy things, climb building structures and bounce back quickly if he falls. Mills on other hand is very meticulous about gathering information -- a quality that could be very useful in our team’s ability to complete tasks that involve assembling items that contain several different pieces of a puzzle or gathering activities that involve repetitive routines where I could easily forget a key step.

Bourne and Mills both have a very special set of skills that they’ve acquired over long careers and would each be an asset in helping me advance to the next Pit Stop. I’d be more likely to go with Bourne, however, because he knows how to live off the grid and get himself out of a jam without always needing aid from technology, friends in high places and fancy gadgets.

6. Describe the last Halloween costume you wore.
I dressed as Uhura from Star Trek, complete with the red dress and black boots. Now, I wonder if I should have worn a homemade costume because I have this Star Trek dress sitting around and no reason...or place to wear it.

7. What is the most unusual thing you have ever given as a gift? (Matt Conlon)
A fanny pack; and get this...the recipient gave it back to me!

8. If you could make a recommendation for a book for World Book Night (awesome event on 4/23), what book would it be? (Tracy Bermeo-A2Z Mommy)
How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston. It is a funny, insightful and surprisingly relatable read.

9. "Where do you go to "Get away from it all"?" (Matt Conlon)
To the land of alcohol. It’s cheaper than health insurance, requires less of a commitment than therapy and the bartenders/cashiers never ask for a referral when ordering a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon! When that fails or is not available, I simply rock out to Lenny Kravitz.

10. "When writing, do you prefer to compose your first-draft by hand, on your computer, or using Morse Code?" (Mina Lobo)
My writing methods vary by the nature and purpose of whatever it is I’m working on. I tend to write blog posts on a computer so that they’re ready to be published when necessary. I do jot down random notes for future posts in notebooks as well as on napkins and store receipts. I write the first drafts of my screenplays by hand because distractions like email, Words with Friends and YouTube aren’t a click away. It’s healthier to spend hours in front of a notebook than a bright computer screen. I also write songs on both and would be down to try some Morse Code for a project, just to get the experience.

Writer and Director Nicole Ayers on the Set of "ABYSS" 
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. In the meantime, I’d appreciate your contribution to my film festival campaign for ABYSS and convincing of your friends to do the same!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts - Tina, Life is Good


Name: Tina Downey
Blogs: Lifeis Good
Publications: Until They Have Faces, an anthology of stories of the homeless, a fundraising coffee table book
Other Places to Find Me: Twitter: still can't believe I did it...@TinaLifeisGood. I don't do other social media, it's just too much to keep up with. I'd rather write...


1. "Where do you hail from?"
I'm a first generation immigrant, born in Sweden. In 1974 when I was almost nine, we moved to America for “just a year”. We lived in Silver Spring, MD. However, for my senior year of high school, The Swede got a big promotion and we moved to Colorado. Well, he dragged me kicking and screaming across the country is more like it... I shouldn't have wasted that energy, though. Colorado is my dream home. I love almost everything about this state except the hot summers. The smallish community (formerly farming, now high tech silicon valley stuff everywhere) with the magnificent view of the foothills and Longs Peak/Mt. Meeker is a wonderful place to raise children. They're living my childhood in Sweden – go knock on a door and see who's free. Or what happens more often, there's the knock on OUR door. We're THAT house where everyone gathers and I love that.

2. Would you ever join a team that was headed off to colonize Mars?
Yes, I actually would. I'm a die-hard sci-fi fan, and The Engineer is an inventor, and dreams of doing this. So how could I say no. It's a pretty safe “yes” though...I can sound like the supportive, adventurous wife, but with little risk of ever leaving my beloved Colorado. There are parts of this adventure that DO appeal to ME too though: the whole fresh start thing...and space travel...

3. "Who is your favorite fictional character and why?"
I should probably pick some Jane Austen or Mark Twain or other “classy classic” character, but I like Eve Dallas of JD Robb's futuristic cop series. She's my exact opposite, so that's probably why. When I need a break, I splurge $7.99 and buy the next book in the 35+ book series. I think I'm seven behind...good mind candy, and since I'm hypoglycemic and can't eat REAL candy, it's my justification.

4. "If you were a contestant on the CBS show "Amazing Race" and could pick ANY movie character to be your partner, who would it be and why?"
James Bond. Let's be more clear, Daniel Craig's James Bond. C'mon, who else could do ANYTHING they'd throw at us? I love this race. It is amazing (haha) to see places and cultures I might never, ever see. I don't have much time for TV anymore, and we don't have cable (got data plans for smart phones instead, something had to go...) so I haven't seen it in a while. I'm confident he could “carry” me, and I love martinis, too. We'd both be seeking the same thing at the end of the day.

5. What's your biggest frustration in blogging?
Not enough time. I'm a schedule woman, so I try hard to carve out my time for it, but I'm also a wife, a mom, a volunteer teacher, and there are only so many hours in a day. Setting priorities is hard, but it's life.

6. "Have you ever wanted to be a rock star?"
No, but I wish I could sing on key. What I REALLY want is to be a best-selling author...sigh.

7. You're house in on fire, assuming your kids, pets, and other living things are safe, what do you grab as you head out the door?
My mom has made me some amazing Creative Memories photo albums, and I've made some myself, waaaay before the blogging bug infected me permanently. I'd grab those. Two of them are the boys' baby books. Of course, they're not done. The Transporter is 6 months old, and OYT has ONE picture affixed in it, the rest lying loose on the pages...some day...

8. "Where do you go to "Get away from it all"?
We go camping in our 1968 Forester camping trailer. The Engineer has redone all the systems, so it's still peddling along despite its need of another new paint job. We pull it with our prison van. Not kidding. The van still has the outline of the “Colorado Department of Corrections” logo that adorned both front doors. It seats twelve and then has a huge cargo area behind it. Nothing like having two teenage boys separated in the car by an entire bench seat...We prefer state and national forest parks with bigger sites, no hook-ups, and more privacy. The only thing I don't like about camping is pulling out of the site and heading home...I could seriously be a campground host.  I think. I've got enough bossy in me to do the job...

Thanks for making it this far. We're supposed to do 10 questions, but I'm so far over the word limit you get 8. I promise to be more brief during the challenge, but it's hard to get to know someone in a few words. Especially a wordy, talky person such

I'll be writing about “Adventures in America” - what it was like my first year as a Swedish immigrant. Last year's #atozchallenge I taught a word or two of Swedish a day, included a picture and a childhood memory. I'm thinking this will be similar, but you won't be learning a foreign language...hope to see you then!

~Tina, and yes, Life really is Good

Friday, February 8, 2013

Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts - Shannon, The Warrior Muse


Name: Shannon Lawrence
Blogs: The Warrior Muse, Writing From the Peak (as Managing Editor)
Publications: Sunday Snaps: The Stories, an anthology
Other Places to Find Me: LinkedIn, Facebook (blog), Facebook (personal), Twitter (@thewarriormuse), She Writes, Google+


1. When writing, do you prefer to compose your first-draft by hand, on your computer, or using Morse code?  While I wish I knew Morse code, I usually compose in a mix of pencil and computer (but never the two together...that would be messy!)  For novel writing, I prefer that go directly onto the computer.  A specific computer, in fact.  For short stories and such, I will often write on paper first, though not always.  It really just depends when and where the mood takes me, and if I feel like paper and pencil or computer keys.

2. Who would win a fight: Jiminy Cricket or Tinkerbell?  Tinkerbell, hands down.  That girl is feisty.  She's pretty scary.  J.C. is a bit of a softie, and I feel like he'd run and hide when he saw the pixie dust flying.

3. Cake or pie?  Cake.  Always cake.  While I won't turn down pie (for the most part), a moist delicious slice of cake is impossible to say no to.

4. Describe the last Halloween costume you wore.  I was a rainbow faerie this year.  I'd intended to go with something different, but found a rainbow wig and colorful wings that I couldn't resist.  Below is a pic of hubby and I (he made that Batman costume).  I also had on rainbow striped leggings.  Fun!

5. Where do you hail from?  All over!  I was born in California, and have lived in Oregon, Maryland and Colorado.  Not as many places as some, but good enough for me.  We've had opportunities to move, but have so far passed them up; some of those opportunities were for overseas.  Maybe some day.  I really love it here in Colorado, though.  I AM a Coloradan.

6. Do you know how to Gangnam Style?  Heck yeah, I do!  I like to bust it out to humiliate my children.  That's why we have them, right?  Unfortunately for my son, he's very easy to embarrass.  My daughter, on the other hand, is impossible to humiliate.  I imagine my son will adjust, as both his parents are smart alecks (I can never figure out the proper spelling for that word...).

7. Where do you go to get away from it all?  I like to hike, and I back up to a place called Ute Valley Park, so I can go there if I need a walk or to hide myself.  If I'm okay with being around other people, but want gorgeous views, I'll go to Garden of the Gods.  It relaxes me.  Both places do.

Garden of the Gods in the fall
Can you see why?  That's Pikes Peak in the background.  I know I'm home when I see Pikes Peak.

8. What makes life worth living?  So much.  My kids, my hubby, my family, my writing, nature, my surroundings, my kitty, my friends, movies, books, the simple pleasures.

9. Who inspires you to write?  My fellow writers.  My friends and family.  My writer's groups.  Nature.  I find my inspiration all around me.  I love writing!

10. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Cone or cup?  Sprinkles or hot fudge sauce?  I like anything chocolate, but chocolate and marshmallow make me supremely happy.  I prefer a cup.  I don't like the taste of cones, and I'm always sad when that is the flavor I'm left with.  I prefer whipped cream, hot fudge and a maraschino cherry.  Not the mediciny ones I always manage to get from Baskin Robbins, though.  What's up with that?

I hope you feel like you've gotten to know me a little better!  What are your answers to these questions?  I'd love to see your views in the comments.

May you find your Muse.

Shannon L.
The Warrior Muse

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Help With our 2013 Co-Host Questionnaire!

We're hard at work preparing for the 2013 A-to-Z Challenge, and we need your help!

Last year, each of us co-hosts answered a set of questions in a Getting to Know You post, so participants could learn a little about us and know who it was they'd be talking to or dealing with throughout the challenge.  You'll find last year's list of questions below.

This year, we want to know what YOU want to know about us.  We're asking you to create our questionnaire for us.  What would you like to ask us?  Leave a comment with your question(s).  You can suggest as many as you'd like.  Have fun with it!  No question is too silly.

For ideas, see the list below or click on the names of last year's co-hosts to read our answers to last year's questions.  Maybe you'll get some ideas based on what we said in 2012.

If we get enough questions, we'll each be choosing a set number to answer for ourselves, rather than answering all the same questions.  This way, you get a little variety.

Last year's Getting to Know You posts:

Alex J. Cavanaugh
Arlee Bird
Damyanti Biswas
DL Hammons
Elizabeth Mueller
Jenny Pearson
Jeremy Hawkins (Retro-Zombie)
Konstanz Silverbow
Matthew MacNish
Shannon Lawrence (The Warrior Muse)
Stephen Tremp
Tina Downey

Our 10 Getting to Know You Questions:

What is the most daring thing you've ever done?
What is your favorite article of clothing?
What is your favorite monster?
If you had to dress up as your favorite literary character, who would it be?
What is your favorite fairy tale, urban legend or nursery rhyme?
What is a cause near and dear to your heart?
What's the strangest item you've used as a bookmark?
Do you have any nicknames?  What are they, and how did you earn them?
Name one habit you want to change in yourself.
Tell us something interesting or shocking about yourself.

And our 5 A-to-Z Questions: 

What was your favorite A-to-Z post from 2011?
What brought you to the A-to-Z originally?  Tell us about your first A-to-Z.
Are you doing a theme?
Are you writing and scheduling posts in advance?
What is your favorite letter of the alphabet, and why?  What letter do you like least?

What questions do you want us to answer?  What do you want to know about your 2013 A-to-Z co-hosts? Can you get us to tell our deepest, darkest secrets?

May you find your Muse.

Shannon Lawrence
The Warrior Muse

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Getting to Know the Co-Hosts - Matthew MacNish

Name: Matthew MacNish
Blog[s]: The QQQE, Project Mayhem, Afterglow Book Reviews, and, of course, this one.
Other Online Info: Twitter: "@MatthewMacNish," Facebook: "Matthew MacNish"
Publications: My short fiction has been published in the anthology Literary Foray, from Static Movement Press, and the online magazine: Vine Leaves Literary Journal.


01. What is the most daring thing you've ever done?
Not something I plan admitting to on the internet ... although, one thing I can mention is: back in high school, in Minnesota, I went to winter camp, and one night, we sat in the sauna for hours, and then jumped through a hole cut in the ice down at the lake - naked.

02. What is your favorite article of clothing?
My shell-toed Adidas, any pair.

03. What is your favorite monster?
Gary Gygax's Gelatinous Cube, from Dungeons and Dragons. I even wrote a piece of flash fiction about it, for Underneath the Juniper Tree, which you can read: Cubic.

04. If you had to dress up as your favorite literary character, who would it be?
Hmm. Normally I would say Gandalf, from The Lord of the Rings, but Jeremy went with that the other day, so I'll say Aang, from Avatar: the Last Airbender (the most excellent animated series, not the terrible live-action film), because I want to ride that glider.

05. What is your favorite fairy tale, urban legend or nursery rhyme?
Beren and Luthien.

06. What is a cause near and dear to your heart?
The environment.

07. What's the strangest item you've used as a bookmark?
Another book.

08. Do you have any nicknames? What are they and how did you earn them?
Big Bird. I suppose that's because I'm tall? Or was it because my friend who made that one up is so short?

09. Name one habit you want to change in yourself:
When I drink too much, I sometimes end up hungover. I'm okay with the drinking part, it's the hangovers I'd like to get rid of.

10. Tell us something interesting or shocking about yourself:
Not sure about shocking, but it's probably interesting that I used to own a small, independent record label in Minneapolis. It was called Butterbeat Records, and we produced 12" vinyl singles, mostly hip-hop, trip-hop, and electro. It was so small, and so before the internet got big, that you can't even find much about it on Google.


01. What was your favorite A-to-Z post from 2011?
I'm afraid I have to admit I've never taken part in the A to Z challenge before. The enormity of the commitment always intimidated me. Then Arlee and Alex talked me into it, and now I realize it's not nearly as difficult as it seems. So don't be afraid! Sign up, pick a theme, schedule some posts, and you'll be good to go.

02. What brought you to the A-to-Z originally? Tell us about your first A-to-Z:
See above. I have been following and reading many A to Z bloggers for, what is it now, three years? I've always enjoyed the posts, but this will be my first A to Z!

03. Are you doing a theme?
I am, and it will be revealed in April.

04. Are you writing & scheduling posts in advance?
Absolutely. I can't imagine doing it any other way.

05. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet, and why? What letter do you like least?
I'm not sure. K for Katana? S for Samurai, Sword, Sorcery? M for Magic (and Matt)? I'm not really sure. I love language, and I love letters, but I seem to have an affinity for the crooked ones. My least favorite is probably C. C wishes he could be S or K, and sometimes he tries to be, but he never quite manages it.

Voting for A to Z Video Challenge is now open.  Please click on Voting tab at the top of this page and fill out the ballot.   Links to videos can be found there as well.