Sunshine is synonymous with warmth. It feels good when it’s carried on a summer breeze. It’s reassuring when it makes a frigid day in winter a few degrees warmer.
And sunshine is pure Vitamin D for the soul when it takes the form of the Sunshine Blogger Award.
It is an honor to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by fellow blogger Abigail Johnston of No Half Measures. We both live with metastatic breast cancer. A nomination coming from her means a lot because I have admired her work, her strength, and her honesty as I’ve gotten to know her through the bits and pieces of her life she shares.
What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award of recognition given to bloggers from fellow bloggers. It recognizes those who are creative, positive, and inspiring. It celebrates people who spread sunshine to the blogging community.
What are the Rules?
These are the rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award:
- Thank the person who nominated you, and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
- Answer their questions.
- Nominate up to 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
- Notify the nominees about their nomination via their blog or social media.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.
My Answers to Abigail’s Questions
What led you to start blogging?
I love many forms of writing. I’ve written poetry, kept personal journals, and worked on picture book manuscripts. I have drafted a book about living with cancer. I brought it to completion and then I took it through more revisions than I could count. The hard part wasn’t writing it. As I began to explore how to publish it and whether to aim for a publisher or go the assisted or self-publishing route, it became clear that I needed to be more visible with whatever choice I chose. Blogging was a good fit for me to do this. It also showed I was serious about my goals and that I saw myself as a writer. What I discovered was it provided me with a way to use my voice very effectively and I enjoyed it. Blogging has made me more confident in other areas not even connected to writing. Blogging has honed my writing skills and I have become a much stronger writer. I have written a wealth of content I didn’t even know was waiting for me. I find the process and result intensely meaningful. I have connected with some amazing people.
Who is/are your childhood hero(s)?
A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. I’m not sure my childhood heroes displayed a lot of courage, noble qualities, or even had outstanding achievements. They were famous because of some quality of being super cool.
Wonder Woman comes to mind because she was independent, strong, fought for good, and was glamorous. She also had the lasso of truth and the invisible jet!
Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz is an unassuming hero. She discovered truth and strength in herself and in friendships. She faced many obstacles and got through all of them.
Wonder Woman and Dorothy are not real. In real life, my grandma was my hero. Every fiber of that woman was good.
Who are the people in your life with the most influence?
Hmmmm . . . this is tough as there are many. I feel my parents still influence me even though they both are deceased. Teachers I have worked with and children I have taught have influenced me in innumerable ways. My dear friends with whom I can confide in and share anything with influence me with their wisdom and support. My fitness coach has changed how I exercise and think about moving and being strong. Undoubtedly, it will sound like I have a very healthy ego, but I would also say I am the person with the most influence in my life. With both of my parents being gone, I’ve grown to understand I am on my own, I am responsible for me, and I have the most invested in my choices and outcomes. No one else should have more power or influence over an individual than the individual.
If you could go back in time to meet one person, who would it be? Why?
My first thought was I’d go back and meet a younger me so I could warn myself that my future held breast cancer and then I could stop it. How? I didn’t do anything to cause it. Science doesn’t have it all figured out. There is no action I could possibly have taken. My second thought was that I’d like to go back in time and meet an ancestor I never knew but who had an impact on influencing the trajectory of my destiny. I believe we are influenced by ancestors we’ve never met because of the effect they had on our parents and grandparents who in turn influenced us.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m happy where I am. When I’ve entertained thoughts of moving, I think about places in or near a medium-sized city where I can get away easily. I love mountain and forest settings. Perhaps I would wind up near Yellowstone National Park surrounded by blue lakes, wildflower meadows, mountains, and wildlife.
What is your favorite book and why?
My most recent favorite is hands down Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It combines a mystery, emotion, an original story, and absolutely beautiful writing. It’s one I want to reread and relish the stellar storytelling again.
What is the most memorable thing about you?
I have no idea. I’ve never had to remember me before. I get a lot of comments about my kind heart. I’ll go with that as my memorable thing.
Look at the most recent picture on your phone and tell us what it is and why you took the picture.
Ugh! It’s a boring photo of a letter from an insurance company. I needed to take it so I could verify payments I made to submit for reimbursements. I wish it could have been more exciting because nature photography is something I enjoy throughout the year.
Dogs or cats? Why?
Dogs. I had always wanted a cat because of all the kittens I played with when up at my grandma’s farm. My sister pushed for a dog. My family got a dog when I was in fourth grade and that was it for me. My heart swelled with love for a sweet little cockapoo who was affectionate, endearing, and a reliable companion.
What was the most difficult conversation you’ve ever had and why?
Health conversations continue to be at the top of my list. The most difficult was not even about me, but with my mom when she was in her final days. There was pain, sadness, and grief.
What one word sums up 2019 so far for you?
HOPE. So many of my thoughts and actions keep coming back to hope I’ve been given, hope I have, and my path not to give up hope.
My nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award
A lot of bloggers I read already have been nominated for this award. Abigail’s blog is one of my favorites that I look forward to reading. I don’t think there is a rule about only receiving it once, after all, people receive more than one Oscar. I see being nominated more than once as another opportunity to highlight that blogger’s work. However, I also hope to spread the sunshine and warmth to others. Some of my nominations are for bloggers whose work simply makes me happy, some are an important voice for those who have cancer, some teach me new things, some inspire. Drumroll please . . . my nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award are . . .
My Questions For My Nominees
- What is your favorite dessert and why?
- Who was your favorite teacher (K-12) and why?
- What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
- When was the last time you laughed really hard? What caused it?
- What do you enjoy most about the writing process?
- Where (or when) do you feel happiest?
- Where in life do you find inspiration?
- When did you feel like a grown-up?
- If you could fix one problem in the world, what would it be?
- Who would you invite to a dinner party if you could choose 5 famous people living today? Short reasons for each would be welcomed.
- What is one word you can use to describe yourself? No need to explain unless you feel it’s needed.
Let the sun shine in summer and in winter.
Let it emanate from our inner being outward.
Let it shine through our words and blogs.
Find a way for it to shine. Always.