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I Win? May 15, 2014

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,

Holy cow.  I was nominated for a Liebster Award.  Or did I win?  I’m not sure, but thank you, Haley, from ilayreading.wordpress.com/ fame, for the nomination and also for nominating Monika, from voirdansmoname.wordpress.com/ who is also one of my favorites.  So either a) in keeping with the tradition, or b) in order not to break a chain letter and  release the 11 wizard’s curses upon myself, or c) to pay tribute to some of my favorite bloggers because they totally rock, I am hereby participating and will present my chosen honorees at the close of this article.  It is my sincerest hope that my nominees will celebrate the fact that I love their writing and share the love by passing it on!  I’m sorry, I am not sure if my nominees all have less than 1000 followers, but these are personal favorites and I’m just sorry i couldn’t nominate everyone, because I like ALL of the blogs I follow for various reasons, so I chose a top 5 list.


The Official Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Display the award somewhere on your blog.
  3. List 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Answer 11 questions chosen by the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
  6. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you think deserve the award and who have less than 1,000 followers.  (You many nominate blogs that have already received the award, but you cannot renominate the blog that nominated you.)
  7. Go to their blog and inform them that they’ve been nominated.


11 Facts About Myself:

1.  I love coffee, but I’m not a coffee snob.  My favorite is black Kenya AA, but I’ll drink it and not complain if it’s not, as long as it has caffeine in it.  On weekends, if there is any in the house, sometimes I’ll splash a bit of cream and sugar in and add some Butter Shots (It’s a butterscotch schnapps).  We’ve been out for months though.  I’ll drink black coffee all day, from 7 AM to 8 PM if there’s any brewed.  If the world were at peace and money weren’t a restriction I would take an ocean cruise and tour all of the coffee plantations in the world, sampling as I went.  But not Kopi Luwak or Black Ivory.  Sorry, even for a non-coffeesnob, there are limits.

2.  I wasn’t ever diagnosed, but I may have a touch of ADD.  The coffee helps my concentration. I think.   A little.  Oh Look!  An elephant… tail!  (It’s just a picture online)

3.  I have a B.S. in Math from Purdue, an undergraduate minor in Philosophy, and went in and came out of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity with Church Music, and an unchanged, pretty conservative, theological leaning.  But school was fascinating and I learned a lot about what other people think.  The most important things I learned were 1) “read what it says, not what you were told that it says,” and 2) “you pays your money and takes your choice,” meaning you don’t have to agree and absorb like a sponge, you can filter and choose what to believe after you read what it says.

4.  My favorite pun was an accident.  In philosophy we were asked if we were being devout in our reading from Saint Augustine, and I responded we were being hypocritical.  My professor thought I said Hippo-critical, because Augustine was also known as The Bishop of Hippo (Hippo Regius is in Algeria), and loved the pun.  I had not read about Augustine, just his writings.  I had absolutely no idea, and had just stumbled into it.  

5. I love all kinds of food and cooking and baking, but I don’t like shellfish (might be allergic), mushrooms or brussel sprouts.  This past weekend I had the best calamari.  But my favorite is just an ordinary medium rib eye steak or fried chicken.  I like to bake yeast bread and I’m told I’m a “bread artist.”

6. I believe the Bible and I object to people who try to rewrite it for their personal convenience, leaving out the parts they don’t like or don’t understand.  People who do this are trying to put God in a box they can understand, or trying to create a god in their own image so they can do whatever they want.  But I think the most important thing in the Bible is that God loves us and made a way for us to spend eternity with Him in spite of ourselves, but we have to believe Him and choose Him and His way, not try to make our own way, because we will fail no matter how good we are.

7. I talk to animals and I believe they understand.  By speaking, I have stopped a charging German shepherd that was barking, snarling, teeth bared, about to attack my son, about 7 at the time, in its’ tracks.  He turned tail and ran back to his owner (whom I had never met).  I love animals and I think they like a backrub or even a massage almost as much as I do.  Petting an animal, even absent mindedly, lowers your pulse and your blood pressure and helps you relax.  

8. I play the viola with a medium level of proficiency.  Some say I’m better than I think.  I also love to sing.  I never read much music in high school although I could, because I could play by ear and had my sister play my part on her violin.  Since then I have learned to read music and sight read pretty well, and I can also play the violin.  I have “perfect pitch,” which is a brain anomaly (what a surprise it is to know my brain is abnormal, right?).  One of my music teachers called it an “acute memory” for pitch because he didn’t believe anyone had perfect pitch.

9. My wife and children are beautiful treasures to me, but they all have self doubts and insecurities about themselves.  Maybe that’s a part of their loveable nature.  

10. I like Broadway musicals.  My favorites are The Sound of Music (Edelweiss), South Pacific (There is Nothin’ Like a Dame, You’ve Got to Be Taught, etc. Have you seen the 1958 movie?  Glorious.), Phantom of the Opera (the 25th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall, FABULOUS) and genius Lin Manuel Miranda’s brilliant In the Heights (the finale still brings me to tears).  In High School I was in the orchestra pit playing viola every time, through all 4 years.  My parents brought me up on the oldies.  Oklahoma.  Carousel.  I still love The Desert Song. Despite all its’ apparent silliness, which was lost to me in my childhood, there were some beautiful lyrics.  Kiss Me, Kate.

11. I own a guitar but I can’t play it yet and haven’t had enough time to take it up and practice.  I know 3 chords.  If money were not a consideration, I would like to travel to Scotland and buy a kilt and bagpipes and learn to play.  

Haley’s Questions:

1. What is your least favorite genre, and why?

I dislike “Nonfiction,” especially “History,” or “War and Strategy.”  It’s usually either boring and/or written by the winner with their spin on how right they were, or written by the loser with their agenda for how wronged they were.

2. What book have you reread the most? How many times?

I read “The Spirit of the Disciplines,” by Dallas Willard twice, and it’s time for a re-read.  I read “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge about 3 times, but have given away each of my 3 copies and never gotten them back.  It’s time for a re-read of that as well, but i have to buy another copy.  I’ve probably been through the Bible more times than these two.  And I keep going back to my Shakespeare anthology

3. Do you have a favorite reading spot?

My dream reading spot would be a rocking chair at a mountain cabin, either on a porch or in front of a fireplace, with no phone.  My reading spot in reality is usually a comfy chair with a cup of tea.  In the evening I usually switch from caffeinated coffee to caffeinated tea, and I frequently mix it up during the day as well.  I love an ordinary Lipton’s or Constant Comment or fruit flavored tea when reading.

4. Who is your favorite hero/heroine?

Fiction:  Zorro.  Hester Prynne.
NonFiction:  Moses, and Jael, both from the Bible

5. What reading challenges are you doing/have done this year?

None.  I love to read but I have to be in a less hectic mode to do it.

6. What do you collect…besides books of course!

Elephants, functional musical instruments, memorabilia from my son and daughter being on the planet.  Stuff they’ve made, drawn, written, photos.  But no old clothes or shoes.

7. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Ooh, I get another choice.  England.  Or France.  Or Ireland.  Or Scotland.

8. Has Tumblr/blogging affected your reading?

It makes me want to read more and suggests a bunch of things I want to read.  

9. Best book you read last year

Believe it or not I didn’t read entirely through a memorable book last year.  I read stuff about job searching and it wasn’t entertaining in the least.

10. What are you reading now?

If I have time sometime soon I’d like to finish two novels given to me by another blogger, and read some of my blogging nominees’ books.  And Shakespeare.  And Dante’s Inferno.

11. Would you rather be by a fireplace, or swimming pool?



My Nominations:

5. TK from chaptertk.com 

4. Robin from WriteOrWrong – riedstrap.wordpress.com

3.”The Scribbler” from thefreescribbler.wordpress.com

2. Shawn from shawnbird.com/

1. Suzanne from suzannepurewal.wordpress.com


My Questions:

1. What wellsprings do you draw from that inspire you to write?

2. What or who makes you happy?

3. What dream do you keep coming back to?  What unfulfilled fantasy would make your heart about burst with joy?

4. Where is your favorite writing spot?  What kind of ambiance is needed to ?

5. Do you have any current writing goals for this year?

6. What do you collect?

7. The library, the theater, the coffee shop, the kitchen, the couch, the bed, or the closet?

8. What are your favorite and least favorite words, and why do you like/dislike them?

9. What are your favorite and least favorite sounds, and why do you like/dislike them?

10. What is your favorite book, from any genre, other than The Bible if you would have chosen that?

11. What is your favorite day of the year and your favorite time of day and why?



1. michaelnjohns - May 15, 2014

OK So Shawn declines all such vanity filled bloggy awards and may the 11 Wizard’s Curses a11 backfire upon any who would dare to utter them toward her or her dominions. Can I nominate my daughter even though she’s not technically a writerblogger but more of a sharer of humor and heartfelt on Tumblr? Yeah I’m not disclosing the website but she’s a winner.

2. larry megazzi - May 16, 2014

Hi Joe: Glad you are nominated for the award.  Hope you get it. As I read your bio I couldn’t but wonder how we get along so well since we are so totally different.  Let me know if I can send someone an email or phone call on your behalf.  If that doesn’t work I have some Italian relatives still involved in criminal activities, give me the appropriate addresses and I can send them over.  They are very large and persuasive men who love garlic. Larry

3. michaelnjohns - May 16, 2014

Garlic is wonderful stuff and I’m certain we would get along famously. Perhaps they can supply a quantity of Pinot Grigio to accompany my famous Garlic and Cream Sauced Fettuccine dinner when they come by.

4. michaelnjohns - May 16, 2014

Speaking of awards, Mr M, do you write a blog I might appreciate? WordPress.com, not that I’d advertise for them, makes a great place to posit perspectives, peculiarities, philosophies and penchants, and I’m certain you have at least one of those.

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