Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Just call me Little Miss Sunshine

There's nothing like a wagon load of sunshine as a pick-me-up, especially in winter.  This past week my allowance of Vitamin D came in the form of Sunshine Awards from two blogging friends, Margaret at Reflections on the Teche and Keri at Keri Recommends.  My warmest thanks to both of these fabulous, sun-toting writers!

This is how it works:
  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger(s).
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers who inspire you.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

Eleven Facts:
  1. I am an INFJ and an Aquarius. 
  2. I enjoy snacking on dark chocolate covered edamame.
  3. I was named after the Beatles song.  The intention was to call me Mickey, but thanks to long hair and nails at birth, I narrowly escaped that fate.
  4. A record producer once told me I would be the next Tracy Chapman and suggested I change my name to Cindy Timberwolf.
  5. In my next life, I would like to be a dancer or a bird... or both. (I'll pass on the timber wolf-- Cindy or otherwise.)
  6. I once got my foot stuck in the back wheel of a moving bicycle and my family called me "Gross Foot."  (I would have preferred Mickey.)
  7. I have been fortunate to have lived in some beautiful places.  I especially miss the big sky of New Mexico and the eastern coastline of Australia.
  8. I have a talent for making wonderful friends, both in person and online, wherever I call home. 
  9. Each time I move, I have an irrational fear that I will be forgotten.  This is likely due to a favorite 5th grade teacher who didn't recognize me when I returned to visit the following year.
  10. Prior to creative parenting and creative writing, I worked my way up from Department Secretary to Human Resources Manager at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  11. For many, many years I sang "Lullaby and Goodnight" to my children at bedtime.  Not once did I make it all the way through without yawning.  Still can't, but I hope you made it through my list of random facts without yawning!

Eleven Answers:
          (I've taken some questions from Margaret's list and some from Keri's)

1. What is your favorite movie of all time?  The Secret of Roan Inish

2. When did you first begin to believe you were a writer?  After being discouraged in high school, I only began to believe I was a writer when I got my first greeting card copy acceptance in November of 2004.  Unless songwriting counts... then it was when I was about 20 or so.

3. Who was your favorite author when you were growing up?  Dr. Seuss

4. Do you collect anything?  Suns and unpacked moving boxes

5. What book have you read lately that influenced you and how?  Views from a Window Seat, by Jeannine Atkins.  This is why.

6. What is a poem you know by heart and can recite?  In my childhood bedroom, there was a plaque that hung above my bed.  I read it every night and remember it to this day.

A Child's Prayer
(author unknown)

Dear God, 
I thank You for Your care
You've been right with me everywhere
At school, at play, You're by my side
My special Friend, my loving Guide
And when the sun has said goodbye
And little lights shine in the sky
You're still with me, not far above
Right in my heart, for You are Love.

7.  A popular children's book you feel guilty about NOT reading?  A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle.  I know, I know... I'll be reading it next!

8. Next place you hope to visit?  Prague

9. Unusual skill you possess?  I'm a self-taught cups percussionist for "The Cup Song"... but please don't ask me to sing at the same time.

10. Something you loathe?  Downhill skiing.  The one and only time I went, I left a trail of blue dye from the seat of my new jeans all the way down the mountain.

11. Something you love?  Music, morning walks, and my muse when it comes out to play.

Eleven Bloggers:

Note: I realize that several of you have been nominated over and over, and I don't actually expect you to participate.  Just wanted to thank you for the inspiration, and for leaving the light on.

And the Sunshine Awards go to...

Robyn Hood Black: Life on the Deckle Edge
Mary Lee Hahn: A Year of Reading
Renee LaTulippe: No Water River
Liana Mahoney: Commas Have Wings
Diane Mayr: Random Noodling
Sarah Monsma: Sarah Monsma, Writer and Editer
Jama Rattigan: Jama's Alphabet Soup
Laura Purdie Salas: Writing the World for Kids
Laura Shovan: Author Amok
Liz Steinglass: Elizabeth Steinglass, Poet
Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference

Eleven Questions:
  1. Choose three words to describe yourself.
  2. Choose three words others might use to describe you.
  3. What is your secret snack or guilty pleasure?
  4. Other than your immediate family, who is/was your role model?
  5. Favorite music?
  6. Favorite book or author as a child?
  7. What are you reading now?
  8. Share an embarrassing childhood memory.
  9. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
  10. What is one of your favorite things about where you live?
  11. What was the best advice ever given to you?


  1. Aw, thank you for the ray of sun on this gloomy day, Michelle. Cindy Timberwolf -- HAHAHAHA! You have definitely had some unique experiences I'd love to know more about one of these days. Stop by for a glass of wine, would you? :)

    1. Working on it... but I'll let you pick out the Italian vintage. :)

  2. I read your post and then I stopped to play a game with my son, who is home sick, and while we were playing, I had The Cup Song going through my head. Couldn't figure out why at first until I traced it back to you!
    Thanks for the Sunshine Award! You have a great flair for description -- I loved your explanation for why you dislike downhill skiing :-)

    1. As far as the skiing story went? 100% truth, no extra flair required... but I'll take the compliment and run anyway. ;)

  3. Your 5th grade teacher must have had dementia. I can't imagine anyone forgetting you! Where in NM did you live? I graduated from Las Cruces High School (lived in LC from 4th-12th grade). We have your fav. movie at home -- makes me want to watch it again!

    1. Socorro... we could've been neighbors give or take a few years!

  4. Thanks, Michelle! We are desperate for sun (either that or snow) around here. Cindy Timberwolf?! seriously! I better get to work!

    1. Thanks for stopping by the warm zone for a while! You're welcome anytime. :)

  5. Michelle, Ma Belle!

    Thanks for the much needed dose of extra sunshine (love that sun in a wagon image)!

    Chocolate-covered edamame? Must look for some :). Wonderful learning all these little-known facts about you. The Secret of Roan Inish? Why have I never heard of it? You've got me SO curious about it now.

    Can't resist answering a couple of your questions:

    Favorite childhood book: The Secret Garden
    Reading now: Mary Poppins, latest Paddington book
    Embarrassing childhood memory: Went to a slumber party and when changing into my new pajamas, accidentally dropped the bottoms in the toilet. Wore my pretty pj top and shorts to bed.

    Thanks again, Cindy Timberwolf. No matter where you go, I will not forget you. *howls*

    1. Trader Joes for the edamame, Jama. I recommend you stock up, have a sleepover (where a nightgown) and watch Secret of Roan Inish! Oh, and don't forget to invite me. Ahhwooooooooooooooooo.

  6. Thank you for the sunny pick-me-up, Michelle! Like Renee, it was a gloomy day here as well, but a nice cup of chai and a cheery post like this one can really help lift the spirits. Love the Cindy Timberwolf thing! Too funny!!!! I enjoyed learning so many neat things about you. I admit that I have no idea what edamame is, but chocolate-covered anything works for me! Thanks for the nomination.

    1. Hey Liana, I didn't realize you and me were chai buddies. :) Edamame: ORIGIN Japanese, literally ‘beans on a branch.’ Yup, soybeans. They have a bit of a nutty taste when dried. With the chocolate, it's the perfect salty-sweet combo.

  7. Congrats! You Do have an awesome blog!

  8. What FUN to get to hang out with you behind the curtain and peek at all these "early influences...". And, um, not only am I an INFJ Aquarius, as I mentioned earlier to you today, I also got my foot caught in a bicycle wheel (though it was the front one, not the back) and had to hobble a whole block home. Oh, and I LIKE Timberwolf, of course.... Thanks for spreading all the sunshine!

    1. I actually like Timberwolf too... but somehow it seems more appropriate for a Native American folk singer. (And what was funny was that he said he liked it because it was non-specific in terms of ethnicity?!) Guess we can't all be blessed with stage names at birth, Ms. Robyn Hood Black. ;)

  9. Love hearing all your sunshine! Where did you get the great image? I sing in my church choir. We should get together and sing a lullaby or something. I'm an alto.
    i just recently read A Wrinkle in Time. I'm not a huge fantasy fan, but it's a good one.
    Oh, and I'm an INFP. Could use some of your J sometimes when I get too random and unorganized.
    Thanks for spreading the Sunshine around!

    1. Isn't that a cool image? I found it on Google. I wish I could have attributed the original source, but it's been plastered all over so no such luck.

      BTW, I'm a soprano, so I'm sure we would harmonize well. Hey! Maybe we can be the next Simon and... er... Barnesfunkel! ;)