Thanks for the Liebster!

I am so lucky to have received the Liebster Award from three wonderful bloggers, 
Carol Graham, Debbie Doglady and Shailaja Vishwanath.

All three of these great ladies write terrific blogs, each so different and compelling.
Carol has a real knack for making an emotional connection with the reader. In the A-Z blogging challenge, we were all captivated with her heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking stories about her dogs. You can’t read Carol’s posts without feeling strong emotional reaction. You just can’t.
Debbie Doglady 
Debbie is such a fun lady and a fellow Canadian gal. I just know I’d enjoy hanging out with her!  For the A-Z blogging challenge, she wrote about her world travels with such vivid and fun details that you felt like you were right there with her. Always enjoyable to read her posts.
Shailaja Vishwanath
Shailaja tries to come across as bossy but it's all in good fun and I know that she has a heart of gold that shines through. I enjoy her thoughtful, helpful and informative posts. Lately she has started a fiction blog where we are treated to her imaginative short fiction stories.

This lady can write it all and does it well, too!
I would like to nominate the following blogs for a Liebster: I understand if it’s a bit daunting to do all the requirements listed here, Without Shailaja enforcing a deadline and the threat of her notoriously pointy boots kicking me, I was tempted to give it a miss but I finally took the plunge and just did it.

Please know that I admire you and your great blogs and that you inspire me. That’s the main thing! And if you've been nominated more than once already by someone else, consider yourself well loved!
Kathy writes great little stories and thoughtful posts that we can all relate to. She is a master at writing a story to a short word count. She is also a wonderful artist and does great zentangles.

Laurel Reagan
Laurel Reagan, a fellow Canadian, writes a fun imaginative blog full of insight, poetry and very informative posts. I like her idea of the weekly gratitude list, too! She also is a wonderful photographer and artist, too. I love her zentangles, they're so creative and beautiful! I see she even has a  shop on Zazzle. Go, Lauren! 

I love Suzy’s blog posts, her poetry and photos. I find them very soothing, comforting, thoughtful and inspirational. I can tell Suzy is a lovely spiritual person and has a great outlook on life.
Vidya Sury 
I just love Vidya’s blog posts. Vidya is very generous how she likes to help other writers and share her wisdom.She helps Corinne make Write Tribe a place where bloggers can feel supported and grow their skills and confidence. Vidya’s posts are always so informative, entertaining and helpful. I learn so much from Vidya and she’s a sweet and generous lady, too.
Corinne Rodrigues 
Corinne runs Write Tribe and is like the mom whom we look to for guidance and support in this blogging venture. I always enjoy Corinne’s thoughtful, informative posts, her fiction and her book reviews. She is also so warm, kind and supportive. She not only provides us with great writing prompts, she always includes helpful writing advice as part of the post. Thanks for all you do, Corinne!

It’s a great honour to have other bloggers acknowledge you and I don’t take it lightly. Often, writing can be a lonely venture and you feel like you’re talking to yourself and the crickets. Getting recognition is a lovely thing and I thank you all.
I was a bit scared at where to begin when I saw all the questions to answer. I did what I do best and procrastinated for a while. Finally Shailaja gave me a deadline of a week to get it done. Deadlines are a great motivator for me, so I got going on it. Plus Shailaja has these pointy toed boots that she’s not afraid to use on people if they get slack about getting the writing done. I appreciate the encouragement and support, Shailaja, really I do. OUCH! *Rubs sore butt*
The Liebster Award states:
If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and you choose to accept it, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

3. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award and let them know about it.

5. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

Questions for me
1. What topic do you enjoy writing about?
I enjoy writing about gratitude a lot and that is one of my themes on my blog. I also love making motivational posters combining favourite quotes with my photographs. I find I have to practice gratitude daily as I can slip into a “poor me” mentality if I let myself. I love “The Queen of your own Life” posters and subscribe to their Facebook page. The messages are always so uplifting. They remind me that I’m in charge of my life and happiness and no one else. Getting into a positive mindset daily isn’t always easy but it’s well worth it. Being grateful means appreciating what you have. As I get older, I am content with much less and much more accepting. As the cow said in that wonderful movie, "Babe", "The only way you'll find happiness is to accept that the way things are is the way things are." 

2. Who pushed you to start writing?

No one pushed me. I think I’ve always had that desire to be creative right from childhood when I liked weaving fantasy stories to escape the real world. I adored reading fairy tales and Enid Blyton was also a favourite with her fantasy books of “The Folk of the Faraway Tree” and “The Wishing Chair”. I used to spend endless hours drawing pictures and daydreaming.

As an adult, I got back into writing more after my baby daughter died. Writing about my grief and connecting with other bereaved parents was very healing. I rekindled my love for writing fiction after taking a Landmark course in the early 2000s which made me see I should go for my writing passion now and not some day. I have taken many writing courses since. I love writing young adult and romance stories the best and have tons of short stories and a few unfinished novels on the go. I even got a few published along the way which is nice but it sure isn’t what drives me. I just love the creative process. All the rest is a bonus.

3. Do you remember the first thing that you ever wrote? Before blogging?

Back when I was a kid, I used to enjoy drawing as much as writing. I remember making my own colouring/story books and selling them for five cents each. I used my mother’s bobby pins for the binding. Pretty classy eh?

4. When do you write best? At what time of the day?

Definitely in the morning. I’m a real morning person. Give me my coffee and I’m good to go.

5. Do you ever think about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new?

Not too much. It is exhilarating to try new things but I do need to be pushed to get out of my comfort zone which can often turn into a deep rut if I'm not careful. Playing my flute often pushes me out of my comfort zone, especially if the piece is challenging. I enjoy playing with a group of harpists for competitions. That definitely pushes me out of my comfort zone. I have tried acting over the years and have been in a few plays and took a drama course for adults a few years ago. Acting definitely pushes this introvert out of her comfort zone!

6. Which post of yours is your personal favourite?

That’s a tough one. I think I enjoy my rhymes I write the most. They seem to flow out of me so spontaneously and I don’t have to sweat and toil over them like I do for some heavier more serious posts. I also enjoy writing poems from my Malamute Loup A. Graham’s perspective as he is so funny in real life and gives me lots of material to write about. He even has Facebook and his own blog but he hasn’t blogged for a while, the slacker. Too busy digging holes and rolling in mud, I guess.

7.  What one piece of advice would you give new writers/ bloggers?

I would advise them to enjoy the creative process of writing as it can be lonely and frustrating at times. Often you feel like no one is listening and no one cares, especially in the every day world where everyone is so preoccupied with daily demands. I’ve had a few short stories and a play published but I’ve also been rejected a lot. It is tough and makes you feel like giving up. It’s okay to lick your wounds for a while but try not to succumb to the defeat. Everyone gets rejected. It’s all part of the fun of trying to get published. Get back at the writing and don’t quit.

8. How often do you blog?

I tend to go at it with great vigour when there are challenges such as the April A-Z challenge. I need that deadline. Otherwise I am a sporadic blogger and can go through dry spells where I don’t write much, especially in winter. Those are such difficult months here in Canada with the lack of light making me a bit depressed along with the constant snow and cold being so isolating. I’m trying to become more regular about blogging and belonging to a great group like Write Tribe sure helps keep me motivated.

9. If you were to meet one famous blogger, who would it be? What would you ask him/ her?

I really admire Jeff Goins and his whole approach to blogging. I like how he writes and engages the reader. I would love to take his course but it is out of my price range, especially with the exchange rate on the American dollar. Some day. Sigh.

He has a great platform and brand as they say in the lingo! He says that you should be generous to your reader and he gives away lots of freebies. He seems such a kind soul who does good things for humanity like visiting and sponsoring orphans in Africa with his church group. He also makes his blog a business and makes money from it. I’d love to know his secrets to success. I’m still looking for that elusive combination where I could make money doing something I love. I haven’t found it yet but it’s a worthwhile quest.

11 random facts about me
  1. I am crazy about cats and identify with them so much that my name is even Cat! I’m aloof and independent like a cat but have my loving playful side. Just don't cross me as I can scratch!
  2. I am an introvert who doesn't mind spending lots of time alone to reflect and recharge. Social situations can often be so draining and I don't like big crowds. I do enjoy one on one time with special friends and my family are my true joy in life along with my pets. I find it funny how I'm braver online with strangers than I am with people in person. Go figure.
  3. I play flute with harpists and a community band. I also sing in a woman’s choir. Music is the absolute best therapy around!
  4. I am an avid photographer and take way too many photos of my cute orange tabby, Kobie and my gorgeous Malamute, Loup A. Graham, who is a real ladies’ dog. I love photography and making inspirational posters with my nature photos combined with inspirational quotes. People like Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Audrey Hepburn were such inspiring women and I love their quotes.
  5. I enjoy practicing and speaking French after living in Montreal for seven years. I enjoyed my time in Montreal being immersed in French Canadian culture and having a few French boyfriends was très intéressant, too!
  6. I was an airforce kid who moved around a lot. I’ve been in Ottawa now for the past 27 years, the longest I’ve lived anywhere. My kids might think it's dull growing up in the same house but I think it's great having roots like they do.
  7. I am a chocoholic. If it’s got chocolate in it, I want it! I also love baking and making cookies and muffins. I also love cake decorating and have made cakes for people as a biz over the years. No wonder I’m still going to Weight Watchers to keep that treat tummy from expanding. I'm not always successful but WW likes my business!
  8. I am a multipotentialite. Yeh, I am!  It’s an actual term, take a look. I found a blog yesterday that sums up my tendency to have lots of interests and flit from one to the other. I always thought that was a bad thing as I often lack focus and don’t finish things. Glad to know I’m not alone and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I still need to finish projects as I need that sense of accomplishment. Goals and deadlines are a must for this daydreaming gal!
  9. I have been so lucky to meet many of my email/Facebook friends in person in Canada, the US and England. I hope I get to meet more of them in future. I have found everyone so wonderful as we knew each other so well already that there was no awkwardness.
  10. I love scrapbooking, both hand made and digital photo books. I have taken it upon myself to be the family archivist. Time goes so quickly and seems to be speeding up as I age. Some day we’ll all be gone and I want a record of what we did, where we went and what we thought so people will know about us. The books are a record along with all my writing. My poor sons will have to sort through it all some day. Sorry guys! Often I am surprised at how apathetic people are about my photo books and writing. Oh well. I must lower my expectations and accept that others aren’t as passionate about such things and have other priorities. I can’t expect everyone to understand.
  11. I love making special handmade cards and writing an actual letter by hand with a nice pen. I used to love having penpals when I was a young teen. Email and Facebook are great but there’s something so special about getting an actual letter in the mail written just for you.

My Questions For the Liebster Recipients should you decide to tackle this daunting challenge

1. What are you most proud of in your life?

2. Which book or movie has inspired you?

3. What would you like people to remember most about you?

4. What is your favourite thing to do in your free time?

5. If you could time travel, what year would you travel to?

6. If you could be another person, who would you be?

7. What is your favourite animal?

8. What scares you?

9. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

10. Which do you prefer, the city or the country and why?

11. What do you like most about blogging?

Happy Writing!



  1. Cat,congratulations and, thank you so much. What a pleasure to read your answers to the questions presented to you - and what a wonderful set of questions you've asked! Thanks for the new word "multipotentialite" I am happy to be one too!

    I do hope we'll meet when I visit Canada next. Hugs and thank you so much for nominating me and for the kind words!. I am honored.

    I can answer question 11 right here: I love the human connections blogging brings into my life.

    1. You deserve recognition, Vidya. I love your posts. Glad to have you in the multipotentialite group, too. And I used to think it was a bad thing to have so many interests. Hope we meet, too, if you come to Canada. I agree about blogging being so wonderful for connecting with others. It's the best!

  2. Cat, congratulations. Btw, I too loved fairy tales and Enid Blyton was my favourite too. Maybe it's the fact fact that I have been away from my grandparents and relatives that draws me closer to them. Loved getting to know you.

    1. Thanks, Geeta. Lovely to hear from you. Fun that we both liked fairy tales and Enid Blyton as kids.

  3. Cat, Congratulations on the award. You have been awesome :-)...

  4. Congratulations on the award, Cat, and thank you so much for nominating my blog! I am truly honoured. :)

    I really enjoyed reading your post and getting to know you a little better. I didn't realize you were living in Ottawa! My husband was born and raised there, and I've visited twice and think it's a beautiful city. Perhaps we can meet up next time I find myself there!

    Some personal thoughts on your answer to question 10 - I will be willing to bet that even if what you're doing doesn't seem to be fully appreciated now, it will most definitely be something they will be glad to have in days to come. When I was growing up, and before the days of scrapbooking as it exists today, my dad used to put together a list of "Remembers" throughout the year - things we'd done, stuff that had happened in our family, and so on - and present a personalized copy to each of us at Christmas. The older I get the more I am grateful for his diligence in faithfully carrying out this task, and as so very glad to have those memories to look back on. I'll bet it's the same in your family!

    Sorry for the long reply! And thank you again for the nomination. :)

    1. I didn't find it long. I write longer messages than that! Would be great to meet up if you ever come to Ottawa, for sure. That's fun your hubs was born and raised here. So was my hubs.

      I think that is so special about your dad making those "Remembers" book for you at Christmas. He knew of the importance of preserving the memories even then. I'm sure those books are extra special as the years go by. Yes, my two sons will never be able to complain that I didn't document their childhood!

      And you definitely deserve my nomination! I enjoy your blog!

  5. congratulations on the award :)
    I too love making handmade cards :) One of my favorite hobbies.

    1. Thanks, Rajlakshmi! Fun to hear you also make handmade cards. Maybe we could exchange cards sometime. That would be fun. I always enjoy getting something in the mail. I'm sure you do, too.

  6. Congrats! (Sorry, playing catch-up with the blogs.)

    The multipotentialite part of you is the reason why I nominated you for the versatile blogger award!

    1. Thank you, Loni and a special thanks for that nomination. So kind of you! Awww, you're very kind!


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