A few days ago, I received this award from a writing friend.  I’m surprised and  honored that he thought of me, and so I’ll play the game.  However, since it seems a bit like the blogger’s version of a chain letter, the blogs that I link in the final two rules will be a comprehensive list of the blogs I know of and enjoy reading.  I will add to the list over time as I find more blogs to read.  I’ll be sure to comment on my favorite blogs to let them know I’m an avid reader, but in all honesty, it still feels like I’m pushing the envelope there.  I’d rather not be one of those bloggers that post a comment just to promote their own blog, so my goal here is to enjoy the game, link to my favorite blogs, and make a commitment to try to be more active in commenting on their blogs.  This way I can use this as a reminder to work on my friendships with my fellow bloggers, and they in turn are free to use this to spread the friendship and joy as they see fit.

Now with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into what I was given:

The rules:

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

First off, thank you greatly Ben, from the Chronosphere!   I am honored that you thought of me and enjoy reading my blog.  I will do my best to live up to this award in my future posts as well.

Now, seven things about myself (be warned, they are a bit random):

1. On the wall behind my computer, situated just a feet feet above my monitor, I have a map of the world.  This map is a colorful political map with Japan at its center and all the names of each country written in either katakana or some mixture of kanji and hiragana – the main scripts of the Japanese language.  Surrounding the map itself, there is a border of flags for each of the countries that still exist as of the 1990s.  There are white areas on this map, where Japan contests the territory with another country that doesn’t appear on any of the American maps I own.  This map was found in a thrift shop down in Texas.  As you can tell, I have a deep love of maps, for they reveal not only where things are located in the world, but give a glimpse into how the culture who made the map views themselves. In fact, when I write a story, I love sitting down and drawing a map of the world. I do this even if the story takes place on earth in a familiar place that I’ve visited in the past. Not only is drawing maps fun, but it also helps me keep track of where my characters are in the novel and what locations they are discussing. I’ve drawn maps all my life, even when I was very young, where I’d draw maps of our house and yard, marking every tree and significantly large rock. When I was in junior high, I made a rough map of the lake in the park near our home. So maps have always been a fun hobby for me.

2. I have an incredibly fluffy cat, possibly a Himalayan breed, named Seargant Quark Amaya McFluffers, or just Quark for short:

He’s a mostly white cat with grey coloring on his tail, face, and paws.  He also has bright blue eyes, which seems to disturb some of my friends since they claim it makes he seem too human-like.  I first sighted him hiding in a bush in the nearby park, but although I couldn’t reach him then, he apparently found me the next day, shivering in the snow near the door of one of my previous apartments.  He was so dirty that it wasn’t until he was washed that we discovered he was actually a white color and not a dark grey. The vet told me he was around three months old and showed signs of past abuse, so I took him in and cared for him the best I could.  It took him a few years before he was willing to even walk around my apartment when people he didn’t recognize were visiting.  In his eyes, anyone that wasn’t me or my best friend were all scary strangers that could eat him.  When it’s just me and my best friend, he happily runs around, chasing strings, basking in windows, and climbing into boxes.

3. Sitting on a box, that I’m using as a bedside table, is a stuffed animal – an Alaskan Husky I believe.  I’ve had him since I was three years old, and no matter where I live, he continues to sit next to (or on) my bed.  His name is simply “Dog.”  I apparently wasn’t in a creative mood when I got him as a gift when I was three.  However, as I child, I decided that he was an actor and would play the role of King Bryant in the stuffed animal games. The stuffed animal games were a series of long, intricate stories based around the stuffed animals given to my younger sister and my older brother.  Quite a famous actor for a stuffed dog.

4. I have five sisters and two brothers.  My mother and father have been married for over thirty years and are the biological parents of all eight of us kids.

5. I love to bike and will often bike to where I need to go rather than drive. The bike I ride is a 2003 Giant Sedona DX hybrid, which I saved up to buy when I was in high school, and have kept in good condition with tune-ups ever since.

6. The first car I ever bought was a 1973 Mercury Comet as seen here:

I sadly had to sell it when I realized that I couldn’t afford its upkeep.  It also really couldn’t handle a long distance drive that exceeded thirty miles, and believe me I tried.  So I sold it to a nice gentleman, who planned on fixing it up for his daughter’s first car.

7. I played the clarinet for over thirteen years and in the last three years I still pick it up to jam on it occasionally. I’ve also taught myself to play the piano – definitely not an expert, but I can do basic to medium-hard pieces. During this time, I would compose songs on my clarinet or the piano and explore my limits in music. Due to this interest, my degree is actually a physics major and a minor in music composition. The only reason I did not double major is because I cannot afford the extra two years required to achieve this. So I settled for a minor.

Now for the fifteen blogs I recently discovered.  This may be a problem since I haven’t discovered fifteen blogs yet.  However, I will list the ones I have discovered and enjoyed:

      1. Cort Lynn 
      2. Deidra Alexander
      3. Maureen Johnson
      4. Soulful Contrarian
      5. Ben of Chronosphere
      6. Slacktivist
      7. Bad Astronomy 
      8. . . . more to be added later.

It always takes me awhile to comment on any blog I like, for I have a tendency to just read through post after post, thinking about what they wrote.  Sometimes I’ll comment directly, but it’s rare for me.  I tend to do this same behavior in forums as well – I suppose the Internet speak for that is lurker?  Anyway, I can at least let each of these bloggers know how much I appreciate their blogs and their thoughts.

My next post will focus once again on writing, and this’ll probably be the last post that directly deals with aspects of who I am.  Unless you all ask me questions – and if the questions are in-depth and interesting – as in deeper than just those surface questions of “what food do you like?” – I may just post an entry about it for your enjoyment.  So feel free to comment if you have an in-depth, deep, and interesting question to ask!

By Aibird

Open the door, step inside. Here you find a forest, teeming with animals and birds, which sweeps up the sides of snow-capped mountains. Here in the small pocket of beauty, one finds the essence of my soul. A writer at heart, I delve deep into the finer details of humanity's spirit, and seek to share with others what gems I uncover. I find life exciting and full of interesting surprises, and despite the great pain that often confronts me, I persevere with the joy in my heart still bubbling, and the light of my soul still aflame. There is a time and a place to introspect one's self, but often enough it is best to not look back in regret, but leap forward in the present toward the achievement of one's deepest dreams. I am a wanderer. An explorer. One place cannot contain me for long, but to my friends and family, I remain loyal, for love is not bound by time nor place. Once cultivated and nourished continuously, it binds people together on a journey through the unknown reaches of life.


    1. Er…. this post was written in 2011. He was still hiding from everyone at that time period. He even hid from you when you visited while I was in Ames, but then that may have been because he didn’t quite remember you, as he is a cat. Over the years, I kinda became his safety net, and my best friend at the time in 2011 just learned to speak his language. There’s only one other person who is able to pick up Quark without him panicking, and that person lives in Davenport.

      He’s a lot more sociable these days. He’ll come out and watch you now! Though it may take him quite a bit to let anyone besides me pet him. I always advise people to not pick him up because he still gets a bit panicky when it’s not me. The sad truth is that all the love in the world cannot always cure the trauma he endured before we rescued him. All I can do is just continue to love him, offer him a safe place to thrive, and attend to all his kitty needs.

      Liked by 1 person

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