All About You... And Me... And A to Z - writercize #171 #AtoZChallenge

Good morning, and welcome to writercize and the annual A to Z Challenge, brainchild of Arlee Bird of Tossing It Out. Posts this month will follow take you along the alphabet from A through Z with six posts a week, with the usual writercize twist.

If you are here looking for the #WeekendWritercize, gaze down one more post. Entries accepted until midnight Pacific time. #WeekendWritercizes will be incorporated in the A to Z Challenge, so keep an eye open for g, m, s and y prompts the month of April!

For this inaugural A to Z post, I am touching on a few A words, including accepting and awards and phrases A to Z and all about me. 

I should also throw achy in, unfortunately, as yesterday I went to the doctor with a very swollen throat and got a strep diagnosis. Got some antibiotics to clear it up, so I hope to be back to normal by Monday afternoon. In the meantime, I am doing my best to only speak on paper and not share my illness and my girls are enjoying a rare TV marathon and acting unusually nice to each other while I bunker down.

Now, onto the point of the post. Over the past several months I have been given some really awesome awards from my blogger friends, including the Overlord Award thanks to Nicole of Madlab Post and Beth of Word Nerd Speaks and the Kreatif and Sunshine Award thanks to PB Author Clar Bowman-Jahn. I want to THANK THEM (visit their sites!!) and pass the awards along. I know I received another lovely one in the past month from an A to Z host and I can't find it at the moment, but will update when I do!

The rules for the awards are all pretty similar. Share seven things about yourself, or answer a few questions about yourself, and pass the award along. So, if you have always wanted one of these awards, today is your chance! Follow the writercize, and get an award! I am really excited about this because I love these glimpses into your lives. I loved the 25 Things notes that circulated Facebook a couple of years back and hung on to all the random bits of people's lives they chose to share.

writercize: Share ten interesting facts about yourself in the comment section and provide a link to your blog. I will visit and pick one of the awards to share with you!

This is where I would generally say "click read more for writercizer sample response" but this time only I will include it in the body of the post, since I believe that is the proper awards procedure.

Ten facts about Alana

  • My friends think I am a good cook. I am always surprised to hear it. I was not a good cook until a class in Italy that taught me cooking is an art and allows for creativity. Before that I cooked with boxes or books. Now I use neither, but I can never duplicate a recipe since it is always by taste or intuition!
  • I once camped on several feet of snow to have enough money to ski and go to concerts instead. One of the greatest vacations ever. Whistler, a couple of friends, skiing, pubs. When the blankets were soaked through and I woke up in a hole formed by body heat the last morning, we knew it was time to go!
  • My dream vacation is to take a camera and a couple of years and drive route one from Alaska to the tip of Chile.
  • I have always been a cat person. I love independence. For a while in college I wondered if it was better to be a dog person since dogs are loyal and that is generally regarded as a very positive trait, but couldn't switch. That said, everyone in my family is allergic so we have no animals.
  • I love to drive small cars with manual transmission. My current car is a Golf, which looks awfully tiny in the preschool parking lot next to all the SUVs!
  • I am constantly trying to figure out if it is better to be a stellar writer or storyteller. I am afraid it is the latter, which is much more difficult for me.
  • I want to learn how to sew. I can make curtains and pillows, but that's it.
  • I am addicted to reality shows that showcase talent with a purpose, like Project Runway and The Voice.
  • I wish there were more hours in each day. I would like to spend those hours reading, working in the garden, making mosaics, walking and learning to surf.
  • I am a night owl, which punishes me every morning!

What will your ten facts say about you? And which award will be yours? Leave your ten facts, a link to your blog, and a link to any other blog you'd like to nominate for an award!

PS - Upon further investigation, the Overlord Award requires you to say three things you would change about the world, so I will go ahead and put those in the "Read More" section. Go on and click if you want to see how I would change the world, and if that is the award you most want, tell me the three ways you will change the world instead of ten things about you!

The Overlord Award (says Alana) ---

1 - Say goodbye to cell phone use in public areas. I am ok with blue tooth in the car, but so tired of cell phone conversations in public restrooms and watching people talk on their phones rather than interact with other humans in parks and restaurants. Our attention has become so fragmented and divided, and I think that cell phones are a big part of that.

2 - Give every person in the world the medical care they need to live a healthy life. That means vaccines, check-ups, pregnancy care, education, etc. for a cost that is covered by taxes. Insurance is given too much leeway to make coverage decisions, and medical care should not be linked to a person's job, age or income level.

3 - Since nothing else is really bugging me today, let's go with sunshine for everyone every day. I think sunshine would help people smile more.


  1. I'm impressed! I absolutely cannot drive a stick. The hubs tried to teach me years ago, but I had such a hard time with it I resigned myself to automatics.

    Oh, and thanks for the shout out. :O)

  2. It's nice to learn some new things about you, Alana :)

    Since your family is allergic, you're more than welcome to stop by my place and babysit my soon-to-be cat! Sewing is a useful skill to have, as it can especially help you preserve favorite clothing items that you don't want to throw away just yet. I wish I could sew well. After learning about a man who had to divorce his hospitalized wife in order for their health insurance to cover the expenses for a very important surgery or treatment she needed to have, I am convinced that the medical field...especially insurance companies, need a complete overhaul of how they operate and treat people.

    Since I already have the Overlord Award, that leaves the other two. The thing is, I already listed over 10 things about me in my recent "Getting to Know Me" post, so now I have to come up with ten MORE things? Oh my! LOL

    Well, I've been missing some writercizes, so here is my attempt at getting up to speed :)

    1. I do not know how to cook pancakes and after many years of trying since high school -- either burning them or making them under-cooked, I said "screw this!" and bought a waffle maker.

    2. I used to wear all black in grade school and early high school. Yes, all-black everything! From my nail polish to my lipstick and other makeup to my socks and shoes.

    3. I've never been to a beach.

    4. I love weddings and proms and have a fondness for proms that is so strong that as of today, I have video footage and prom pictures of people that I don't event know. I used to collect the prom pictures of my co-workers when I used to work in retail. It may be strange, but it's my thing! I could probably make an entire documentary about proms, using solely the footage and photos that I've already collected over the years.

    5. Before adopting my kitten, I shopped around for a pet frog.

    6. When I was little, I used to plan on having a pet lion when I grew up and...you know, became fabulously rich enough to have the lion roam around my private compound. Some imagination I had there, I tell ya.

    7. I've never seen any of the Star Wars movies nor Mission Impossible films.

    8. I tried to join the Girl Scouts of America when I was a kid and they rejected my application.

    9. I was falsely accused of something in college and when the real person, a male, by the way, who actually did it was caught, the key administrator who interrogated me never even made an apology. That's surely not my tuition working for me.

    10. I still use Myspace every now and then.

    Blog: The Madlab Post
    @MadlabPost on Twitter

  3. Ah, sheesh, a sore throat? I hope you recover soon! I can think of only one other thing worse than a sore throat, and that is a killer toothache on a Sunday. At least you are considerate enough to separate yourself from others so they don't get Strep. And be sure to finish your antibiotics even if you are better!

  4. I won't share anything since I do plenty of that already on my blogs. But I think the trip from Alaska to Chile would be a neat idea--something I might have really gotten into when I was younger, but maybe not so much now. And I'd kind of like to be able to sew too--I mean more than just buttons and stuff.
    Good start for the Challenge. Hope you feel better soon.

    A Few Words
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  5. Oh I don't need an award, thank you. But this was a really cool way to start the A-Z Challenge.


  6. Hope you are feeling better soon!!


  7. Hello! I hope you feel better soon! Ten interesting things about me:

    - I recently switched to an all raw foods diet (No raw meat! Yuck!)
    - My favorite TV show is The Walking Dead. (Zombies!)
    - I didn't win the Mega Millions. : (
    - I'm having fun with the 1st day of the A to Z Challenge.
    - I didn't like gardening as a child, but as an adult I like to garden.
    - I will listen to Christmas music anytime of the year.
    - Christmas is my favorite holiday.
    - I don't like snow.
    - My most favorite food is now tomatoes.
    - I've been known to stay up all night just to finish reading a book.

    Happy Blogging!


  8. Sorry to hear about the strep diagnosis. That sucks! Here's my top ten
    1. I don't eat blue M&Ms
    2. I played French horn in band
    3. I interned in Vice President Joe Biden's office when he was a senator (about 20 years ago, but still...)
    4. I'm a complete geek
    5. I still have my original Millenium Falson from when I was a kid (see item 4)
    6. I once started crying when an episode of Telletubbies ended because it meant I was going to be late for class.
    7. My family and I were in Japan for the big earthquake last year.
    8. I am the only geek in the world that doesn't like bacon.
    9. I took 12 years of dance lessons.
    10. My family growing up played Trivial Pursuit differently from everyone else. When someone made it to the middle, the remaining two players would look at the questions on the card and decide which one we thought the person wouldn't know. Our Trivial Pursuit sessions would generally last 3-4 hours because we were exceedingly competitive.

    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to more A to Z goodness!

  9. Argh...forgot my blog link:

  10. I've always liked manual transmissions, too...something about shifting gears!

    I don't know why you can't be both a stellar writer and a storyteller. A Stellar Storyteller...why not?

  11. I share your enjoying of driving manual transmissions, but don't do it regularly at my age. It can be murder on knees. Thanks for stoopping by my blog thru A to Z and leaving a sweet comment about my father-in-law Anthony.

  12. I share your enjoying of driving manual transmissions, but don't do it regularly at my age. It can be murder on knees. Thanks for stoopping by my blog thru A to Z and leaving a sweet comment about my father-in-law Anthony.

  13. I love The Voice as well. The coaches are hilarious and the contestants are very talented (with a few exceptions).

  14. Alana you are so funny ("I am a night owl, which punishes me every morning!"), I always enjoy reading your blog!

    10 things about myself...

    1. I believe life should be lived with passion, whether it's passion for cooking, art, dancing, writing, gardening, laying floor tiles, teaching, or playing video games, one should do it with the out-most dedication and love.

    2. I'm not a germaphobe, however, I refuse to open doors in crowded places with my bare hands. I use my forearm, foot, or elbow to push open the door. If there's a large handle for pulling a door, I will grab it with the tips my index finger and thumb and pull it by the most unlikely place on the handle--usually the very top or bottom of the door handle.

    3. Really, I'm not a germaphobe, but I refuse to push elevator buttons with my index finger. I usually do it with my knuckles.

    4. I have a fat tongue. Yes, my tongue is slightly thicker than most people's. Maybe that is why I can't roll my tongue into a "U" shape.

    5. In high school, my favorite subjects were French and math.

    6. My favorite color is green, although, it's my least favorite color to wear.

    7. I love to surround myself with positive, interesting, talented people because I love to learn from them.

    8. I love the ocean and could not imagine living far from it despite frequent reoccurring dreams about being swallowed by tsunami-like waves.

    9. Sometimes I wish I could be a doctor--not for the money or status but simply because I find the human body infinitely amazing and to be able to "fix" what ails it is exhilarating. It's art and a bit of magic.

    10. I believe. I feel. I think. I am thankful. I am grateful.

  15. i'll do the overlord, i'm tired of talking about myself!i love all your responses, esp the last three, i wish on #1, hoorah for #2 and =) for #3!
    at least tougher laws on phone/text while driving
    the seinfeld law, requiring you to help a person in need and be arrested for not helping and or filming it!
    and a law requiring ten situps to buy a big mac, et al =)

    hows that for overlording!

  16. Wow! Didn't know you enjoyed driving manual. Great to get to know you more, Alana!

  17. Hope you feel better soon. i enjoyed your post. :-)


  18. OK, here goes: you asked for it!
    1. Sylvie loves red – she is never seen without something red on her!
    2. Sylvie is bilingual, French and English, and can claim a vast knowledge of frenglish and is quite prolific in engrench. I am known to speak French with an English accent and English with a French accent.
    3. Sylvie is a single mom of five, 3 of which are still at home, the 2 dogs and the cat.
    4. Sylvie’s oldest son will be 57 when she turns 75 because he was born in ’75 whilst she came to life in good ole’57!
    5. Sylvie took her oldest son to see Michael Jackson when he turned 10, and her youngest, the Backstreet Boys for his 10th birthday.
    6. Sylvie’s first concert was at the Forum of MontrĂ©al to watch … The Village People!
    7. Sylvie’s dogs accompany her in singing Happy Birthday wishes every time she asks. Video available on request – when is your b-day, Alana?
    8. There is 15 years’ difference in age between Sylvie and her younger sister and Sylvie’s kids are also 15 years apart.
    9. Sylvie has a bucket list with 3 things listed: Running a marathon, Skydiving and Participating in an all-night-drug-free rave.
    10. Sylvie’s sister and brother have joined her in doing the A to Z Challenge, albeit not officially, in their own blogs: Brother in Flikr where he blogs about A to Z pictures daily and Sister in her Paleo cooking blog with a different A to Z food each day– both are doing theirs in French and we’re loving the fun and pressure of it all!

    i'm a fan! thank you, Alana. Sylvie of #36, littlestoday.blogspot.com

  19. What a fun way to start the challenge!
    Before I begin with my 10 things - I hope you are feeling better! And I apologize for not being a good blogging buddy the last few months. I fell into a funk and couldn't seem to find time or motivation to write or blog much. I spent the extra time hanging out with my little girl who seems to be growing up way too fast! She'll be four in two weeks! Seems like just yesterday I brought her home from the hospital!

    So ten things -
    1. I eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning.
    2. I'm a dog person! My oldest (14) is exhibiting signs of Alzheimer's or some form of dementia. And as you know my grandma has Alzheimer's so...I'm praying over what decision to make for my first baby!
    3. Also allergic to cats.
    4. We also have two ducks and a bunny as pets - all thanks to hubby! Ducks are unique and funny pets.
    5. I like the Fresh Beat Band!
    6. Hubby does the cooking in our family.
    7. I've been a vegetarian for 19 years.
    8. I am planning to have another baby.
    9. I hate ironing.
    10. I vacuum twice a day.


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