The Liebster Award!


liebster2One of the great things about blogging is that you get to meet lots of other lovely bloggers and learn from them! So, I was very surprised and flattered when I was nominated by not one but two bloggers for the Liebster award. This lovely little award is something bloggers can pass on other blogs they particularly enjoy reading and, obviously, points people towards new and interesting blogs.

The two lovely ladies whose blogs I insist you check out and subscribe to right now were akirstymoment, a geeky and crafty blog choc-full of cakes, and Nerd Narration, an up-and-coming ‘all things geek’ blog. I will of course encourage you to follow akirstymoment and ReenPower on Twitter and see what they’re up to! A big thanks to both of you – you made my week!

And so, as Liebster tradition apparently dictates,  I have to answer 11 questions from my nominees and also give you 11 facts about myself… then pass on the mantle to some of my other favourite bloggers (keep reading ’til the end to find out who)! As a rule, I don’t write anything personal on this blog because it’s a Japan blog, so consider this the most you’ll ever find out about me on the internets (despite Facebook’s repeatedly asking what school I went to etcetc).

So, the questions…

1. Why did you take up blogging?

Honestly, it started off as a boredom-buster. I graduated from university without a job, not for lack of trying, and after a month of being back home I realised I missed the ‘work’ bit of university. Blogging seemed like the obvious solution and I’ve always had a particular interest in Japan (starting off with anime and progressing to everything else). Part of me also secretly hoped it would somehow get me a free trip to Japan but that hasn’t happened yet…

2. Do you have a set number of posts per week or month that you aim for?

It varies depending on what else I’m doing. At the moment my goal is two a week as I have a lot of post-Japan holiday stuff to get through, and that will probably go on until August…

3. Where do you get your inspiration to write?

I’ve been writing stories since I was 9 years old. I’ve dabbled with a fantasy trilogy, a reworking of said trilogy, a sci-fi novel and am now working on a new story, which I’m keeping under wraps for now. I suppose my inspiration comes from years of loving to write and Japan.

4. What would your top tip be to anyone thinking about starting up a blog?

Have a look at what other bloggers do as it’ll give you an idea of what works and doesn’t for you. Of course, every blog is different and somebody’s baby. There’s a blog for everything and some of them are wordy, informal, colourful, you name it, but yours should be what you want it to be.

5. Have you ever/would you ever consider having other writers or guest posts on your blog?

I have had a few guest blogs and, providing it’s related to Japan and not offensive, am happy to put them up! I think it’s a good way for new bloggers to test the field and *cough* it also means I get a few days off. Incidentally, drop me a message if you are interested.

6. Does your work or study match your blogging topics?

Not at all. I work in public affairs (otherwise known as campaigning) but it’s got nothing to do with Japan. The blog is purely extra-curricular.

7. What gaming devices do you own?

I don’t really have the time for playing video games these days, but I do have a Nintendo DS. I get it out once in a blue moon.

8. What is your favourite game of all time?

The Ace Attorney series, which sadly never made it into ‘mainstream’ video games in the UK. It’s a Nintendo DS series where you play a defence lawyer investigating murder cases and it’s just glorious. I wrote a big long post about it a while back which you can read here.

9. Do you have a partner and is he/her into gaming?

Yes, his name’s Matt and like me he likes gaming but doesn’t have the time for it these days. I’m slowly trying convert him to all things Japanese though!

10. If you had to cosplay, what character would you pick?

For readers who don’t know – cosplay is where you sew/carve costumes of film, video game etc. characters for scratch. Some of the outfits I see people wearing at events in England are absolutely amazing, especially considering the time and money a lot of them put into it. I prefer taking photos but if I had to pick one character it would probably be Princess Mononoke from the Ghibli film of the same name.

11. What is your all time favourite type of cake? (This could come in handy one day!)

Matcha, pistachio or red velvet. Am I getting cake?!

And now, for (hopefully) 11 interesting facts about myself…

1. I had scoliosis, a spinal condition where the spine curves unusually, and had the surgery to correct it when I was 15. I now have a titanium rod in my spine, which I still find amusing ten years later. If I hadn’t had the surgery, I wouldn’t have met people who in a roundabout way sparked my interest in Japan… so this blog probably wouldn’t have existed if I hadn’t had scoliosis.

2. I’ve been writing stories since I was 9 and hope to eventually become a published author. I’m currently working on a new story, which is on the backburners until I’ve got through all my holiday blog posts, but hope I can have a first draft ready at the end of this year!

3. I claim to be from Manchester but really I’m from Cheshire, which is the posher bit of the north. I still class myself as a proud northerner, though.

4. That said, I’m the only northerner who doesn’t like chips and gravy.

5. I’ve lived in London for 3 years and still haven’t got used to the crowds and prices, but I love how easy it is to find something new to do… and the growing number of great Japanese restaurants.

6. I speak decent (A-level) French and beginners’ Japanese, and am debating taking up Spanish classes in the next few months.

7. I’ve snapped photos with Joanna Lumley, John Simm and Andrew Scott – mostly because I’ve hung around the back of theatres after seeing plays they’ve been in.

8. Part of me would love to open a themed restaurant or bar like those in Japan. Maybe something with a politics or anime theme.

9. I was hugged by the footballer Peter Crouch when I was working as a waitress and spilled his wine, then cried *ahem*

10. I am yet to watch Breaking Bad, which is apparently totally shocking. I swear I’ll get round to it eventually…

11. My guilty pleasure is Youtubing ‘let’s play’ videos and, of course, cat videos.

All that’s left to do now is nominate some more bloggers for the Liebster award, so check out their blogs below. 

Haikugirl

I Lost my Heart in Japan

MIB’s Instant Headache

Sequins and Cherryblossoms

Uncovering Japan

It really was hard narrowing it down to just 5 bloggers! Those of you I nominated, just answer the same 11 questions, come up with your own 11 interesting facts and nominate your own bloggers. And so the cycle continues…

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