Liebster Blog Her AwardAn extra big thank you/grazie to my blog buddy and real-life buddy each year in Matera, the talented author Catherine McNamara, for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Her Award.

If you don’t yet know Catherine’s work, take a look at my earlier author interviews with her for her novel and short stories.

As part of this award, I have to answer six questions, write six random facts about myself, and nominate six wonderful female bloggers for this award.

So, on to it…

1) Do you think blogging helps or hinders your writing/creative efforts?

Okay, I’m clearly a fence-sitter. Both. I love blogging – I love the creativity of writing posts, the interaction with readers, and reading/discovering all of the great blogs out there. But there are only twenty-four hours in a  day, and staying engaged with social media – especially when it’s squeezed between work, family, home, sports, social obligations, etc. – clearly takes time away from writing. I think it is hard to balance everything and still ensure enough writing time.

2) Do you ever regret choosing to write?

No. But I have an outside career that is important to me. Nathan Bransford had a great post on this recently. I do sometimes wonder if I would regret it if I were writing as my career.

3) What had been your biggest creative triumph so far?

Publishing stories is always a personal triumph, but honestly, my biggest creative triumph is much simpler. I feel it whenever a story idea comes to me and I can’t shake it from my mind. That process always feels like a creative triumph to me.

4) Your biggest disappointment?

I’m an optimistic enough person – or perhaps just naive enough? – to honestly believe disappointments serve a purpose. I try not to get hung up on them. I keep plugging on because I want to. Some will like my writing, others won’t, but you can’t get bogged down in disappointments or regrets. Ignore them and move on. And that works in all areas of life, not just writing.

5) Are you working hard enough?

I went to a wonderful lecture by author Joyce Carol Oates here in Rome. She is the author of over seventy books – novels, plays, non-fiction – plus short stories and essays. At that talk, she said she doesn’t work hard enough and feels she ‘wastes quite a bit of time’. If that’s how Ms Oates describes her work, how can I possibly respond in the affirmative? One can always work more – but if that takes away from time with my family, or fully enjoying life, or travelling and learning about the world, then I’m not that interested. So no, I’m probably not working hard enough, but I’m more than okay with that.

6) Who do you share your work with?

My wonderful writing group in Rome.

Six random facts about me:

1. When I’m happiest: Arriving at the airport with tickets in hand to a new destination

2. Favorite cities: Rome, Paris, Vienna, New York, Venice

3. I love going to the beach – great book in hand

4. Life always looks better after a good swim

5. Learning a new language will always keep you humble. Struggling like a three-year-old to make yourself understood in a  foreign country is something everyone should experience. And that moment where you can finally carry on a decent conversation with a native speaker is magical.

6. I once claimed I would never even consider dating an Italian man – and then I went and married one. This is why I teach my children “Never say never.”

Six wonderful bloggers I’d like to nominate for this award:

Grace Tierney at Wordfoolery

Ashlinn Craven

Nicola Layouni at Happily ever after

Claire at Word by Word

Janet Rundquist

Evelyne Holingue

So, talented writers and bloggers, I hope you will take up the challenge to answer these questions, share six random facts about yourself, and nominate six other bloggers for this award.

Happy blogging!