Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Inspiration in the Deep Freeze

I'm going to take a short break from griping about the snow, because the lovely, kind, warm, and talented Gina Stoneheart has nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Which is ironic, really, since all I've done in recent weeks is complain about the Everest-sized piles of snow in the city, while Gina has celebrated other writers and shared her personal journey and posted her thoughts on love. Wait a minute, Gina, why are you nominating me???

Well, too late - it's MINE! I won it, fair and square! Or something.

And now I get that cool retro typewriter, as part of my award!!

What's that? Oh, the typewriter is just a two-dimensional promo image?


Well, never mind.

Anyway, the rules for award are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and link to their blog.

Easy-peasy. Thank you, Gina, for this sweet and lovely, if momentarily misplaced due to weather events beyond my control, award. If you don't follow Gina, you should. She's wonderful :)

2. Display the award logo.


3. Nominate at least 15 other blogs (more or less) and provide a link where they may be found.

Ummm.... I just have to be honest, here, and admit that I'm not gonna make it even close to 15. Let's try Ava Quinn, because I've never read anyone who makes me laugh like she does; Quanie Miller, because her blog is always thought-provoking and smart and a great place to have interesting discussions; and Anna Soliveres, because she combines smart, practical tips on self-publishing with a true sweetness and a genuine enthusiasm. Ladies, if you don't have time to accept the award and post about it, do not worry!!! To nominate is enough, I say.

4. Then, go to their blog, leave a comment to let them know they have been nominated, and where to find the information they need to accept (rules).

Yes, I will do that... soon.

5. Mention three things that inspired you the most during the past few weeks.

Three things that inspired me??'s so utterly miserable here!

Ok, ok, ok. I do like to say that positive thinking is important, so I will attempt to be positive.

First, my neighbors. We've all spent so much time outside, shoveling, that we've bonded. Hours of back-breaking labor will do that; it's the theory of shared misery bringing people together. Seriously, though, my neighbors have so impressed me with their laughter and humor, their tenacity in the face of all of this snow, and their generosity. We've all helped each other clear out cars and shift snow piles and park in ever-shrinking spaces, and I am truly grateful.

Second, Ursula Le Guin. When things in my life get really stressful, I tend to retreat to some beloved, favorite books. These past few weeks, I've been rereading her Earthsea series, and remembering why I love it so much. Beyond the wonderful, difficult stories and characters, in the world of Earthsea, magic is performed by knowing and speaking the true name of a thing - and what could be more beautiful, or more perfect, than magic as a metaphor for the piercing accuracy of language?

Third, skiing. Yes, really. When I was in Vermont, I went cross-country skiing, and I loved it. It was such a welcome change to be doing something with the snow other than moving it from one place to another. Plus, I'm a runner, and I start to feel so frustrated and cooped up when I can't run outside (and no, I will not use a treadmill, because I am not a hamster.) It was a huge relief to be able to get outside and exercise in the open air. When I got home, my mother-in-law surprised me by generously and thoughtfully giving me her skis, boots, and poles, because she unfortunately can't use them anymore. I've been out skiing twice in the past four days, and I feel much more human.

What's been inspiring you? What are you reading?


  1. I can't even imagine what the snow is like in Boston. We have a little more than foot on the ground here and that's more than enough for me.
    I've never been skiing and am afraid to try because I'm so clumsy I feel sure I would just be asking for a broken leg, LOL, but it does seem like it's so much fun. Glad you got to have a fun break in the middle of all the mess. Congrats on the award!

  2. I love the bonding over shoveling. When I lived on Lake Ontario, I did more than my fair share of shoveling, but I found it invigorating. Who needed an exercise routine when you knew you'd have to shovel snow at least twice in the day? And it wasn't one of those things you could just back out of. No sirree!

    Congrats on the award!

  3. I've been worried about you. And yes, the shared misery does bring neighbors together and everyone helps each other. I'm also a runner but gave up my cross country skies a few years ago because we never had enough snow. I've been missing them lately. I've been walking in the bitter cold because I don't like doing the hamster thing either.

  4. They say bad weather brings the people out. So glad you got to bond (and then got to do some cross-country skiing).

    And you are inspiring, Liz! You inspire me. :)

  5. I don't know if I'm inspired so much as motivated by the fact three agents are waiting to read my rewrites . . . But I'm still writing "Hamlette" vignettes during breaks!

  6. Congrats on the award! It's funny how shoveling snow always brings people together :)

  7. Yayyyy!!! Thank you SO much, you are so sweet. Giving you the biggest virtual hug right now. :)

    You are so athletic, LOL - cross-country skiing, running, and outdoors adventures - no wonder being snowed in is killing you! Well, I hope to shine some Cali sun your way. <3 Thank you again for the nomination!

  8. It is inspiring how people come together when faced with something huge-like snow:) My hubby does all the snow removal and he has made many friends even though he went on a verbal tirade with the snow plow man. I have been reading a magazine I love called Archeology Today and I have fallen behind with this magazine so i am playing catch up. I am not one for downhill since the thrill of death doesn't excite me but I did like cross country with the little bit i did. I can't do this any more so enjoy every bit of it! Stay warm and soon you might need a canoe:)

  9. Congratulations on the award!!!! I like how your neighbors inspire you. I don't know my neighbors. lol

  10. I like hearing complaints about the snow. It makes me feel right at home.

    Congrats on the award. I agree that you're a very inspirational blogger. Glad you had fun in Vermont. Cross country skiing sounds much more fun than being in this mess.

  11. Congratulations! It's nice to hear good things about snow.

  12. Congratulations! Awesome your neighbors all help each other.

  13. My husband is a skier, and quite good at it. I've been once and the bunny hill was about my speed. =)

  14. Cheesy as it sounds, you do inspire me. ^_^ I think every writer needs someone who loves their work and always wants to see more, and it helps me a ton to hear that you're looking forward to more of mine. So thank you.

  15. So glad you enjoyed your ski-cation! I love downhill skiing but I've never gone cross country. I've heard it's great exercise!
    Congrats on your award!

  16. Hey, you can take a break from griping about the snow when it hits June. Until that time, feel free to gripe as much as you want.
    Congratulations on the award!

  17. Liz, I nominated you because...hmm.. seriously?? Your writing is always inspiring, even when your complaining about the snow!
    And who wouldn't?
    I think we have all had our patience pushed to the absolute limit. I can't take this cold, frigid, weather they refer to as winter. It's more like misery at this point.
    I am so happy you were able to feel human again! I miss running so much. I honestly can't wait for a day where I can be outside running through some trails.
    I loved reading about how you bonded with your neighbors while shoveling. Funny how a shared misery can bring us all closer together, lol.

    1. Thanks, Gina :) I really appreciate it!

  18. I've never been skiing (unless you count the little tiny hill in my backyard and my baby skis when I was a kid!) I've always wanted to try it!

  19. I love skiing too - the bunny slopes. When I got the nerve to attempt the intermediate, it took two tries before I could actually slide off the lift.

  20. Thank you for nominating me, Liz! It's great that you got to get out and do something besides move snow around. I haven't been doing much reading lately--unless you count the books I've been reading to my daughter. And you have a right to gripe about the snow! It's good that you got to bond with your neighbors:)

  21. Congrats on the award! I've never been cross country skiing, but it sounds fun. My family and I went skiing/snowboarding a couple weeks ago, and man, did I feel it the next day! I'd forgotten how hard snowboarding can be on your legs/butt/arms (especially for someone who falls a lot!) Lol.

  22. Congrats on the award! great That you are enjoying!

  23. Those are excellent inpirations. There is a special bonding that occurs during times of diversity. Even if that's the only good thing that comes from the bad times, it's a pretty good thing. :)

    Congrats on your well-deserved award!

  24. Congrats on this award. My first time here in your blog but I must say, well deserved. :)