The Liebster Award – Discovering New Blogs
By – Sheri de Grom

Early this month, I had the pleasure of being nominated for the Liebster Award by the distinguished Mae Clair. Mae’s debut novel, Weathering Rock, was released in October 2012. Her second novel, Twelfth Sun, will be released in August 2013. Mae doesn’t slow down. Her blog is a continuous flow of activity. Authors can learn a lot by following Mae’s blog. She’s a genius with marketing.

So how does the Liebster Award work? Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you. Thank you Mae, I am honored.
  • Post eleven random facts about yourself.
  • Answer eleven questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Think of a new set of eleven questions and nominate eleven others to answer them.

My eleven random facts as requested:

  • I prefer to write at a coffee house over other locations. I enjoy sharing the table with  my husband as he sketches his one of a kind jewelry designs or reads.
  • My first paid writing gig was writing dialogue for Morris the cat.
  • I once trained flop-eared cashmere rabbits that were abandoned by local residents on veteran hospital grounds. Later the rabbits became companions and residents of the veteran nursing home.
  • Winter is my favorite season.
  • I know how to calculate how much weight one coat of new paint will add to a cargo freighter, a Naval aircraft carrier, a cruise liner and various other ocean vessels.
  • I have experience with the intricacies of legislative bills from the point of concept until a bill makes the President’s desk for signature.
  • I once put our home up for sale while my husband was away. He wasn’t aware we were moving until he returned home and saw the sold sign on our house.
  • I love, love, love Broadway shows.
  • I prefer cardigans and long-sleeved tees to wearing a jacket.
  • I won’t wear flip flops.
  • IMO, breakfast is best served around two-thirty in the afternoon.

Mae’s eleven questions for me to answer:

  • Favorite book as a child? Pollyanna Series
  • What famous person from history do you most admire? Collin Powell
  • If you could have a superpower, which would you choose? The ability to move through space at a fast pace.
  • What is your favorite fairytale character and why? There’s a legendary Cowboy Sam and he could help any animal he came into contact with on a ranch. Once Cowboy Sam arrived he was always able to relieve the animal’s pain or cure whatever was wrong. Cowboy Sam books were probably an early 50s concept of what we now call chapter books.
  • When it comes to movies, what is your favorite genre? Drama
  • Who was your teenage celebrity crush? Ricky Nelson
  • Would you describe yourself as an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between? Somewhere in between.
  • What was your favorite subject in school? Psychology
  • What is your favorite board game? Monopoly
  • What is your favorite form of social media? Blogging
  • Would you rather spend a lazy day at a secluded beach soaking up the sun, or a day in a tourist town that offers numerous attractions? Give me a secluded beach on a cloudy day.

And now, the questions for my eleven nominees:

  • If you have a day job, what is your evening ritual when you arrive home? If you don’t have a day job, what is your morning ritual when you get up?
  • What is your favorite genre to read?
  • How many states have you visited?
  • Are you a morning or night person?
  • Do you have a favorite movie you believe should win the Academy Award for best movie? If so, which one?
  • What is your favorite search engine?
  • Do you believe there should be a mandatory retirement age? Explain.
  • Do you believe our military should remain an all volunteer force or should we bring back the draft? You may explain your answer if you like.
  • What is the best time of day for you to be creative?
  • Where are you when you’re the most creative?
  • What is your favorite time of day?

The purpose of this award is ‘Discovering New Blogs.’ I’m nominating The Liebster Award to blogs I’ve recently discovered and believe you’ll also enjoy:

About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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  1. Deb says:

    Nice to meet you, Sheri!
    Congrats on your award! And thank you for recently following my blog!
    Have a lovely Easter Weekend! 🙂

  2. Congratulations Sheri and thank you so much for the nomination 🙂

  3. After two days of being blocked I finally got in here !! Wonderful questions and answers. My biggest surprise (which would be from anyone) is that winter is your fav season. I must say I go with fall because it’s like Goldielocks … not too hot and not too cold 🙂 Send me Mae Claire’s blog link, please.

  4. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    Congratulations on your award – you are a dear and this award was made with someone like you in mind! Blessings – Patty

  5. Emma – By all means go for it. It’s a wonderful way to meet like minded people and you know how you need to get up and catch a breath of fresh air — well, others need that also. One of the joys of making friends at the various coffee shops is the same as the show Friends, ‘they all know your name and they’re glad you came.’ I probably don’t have the quote right but you get the idea. If Tom and I are on a roll, we’ve been known to start out with a light breakfast and continue on until late in the afternoon and before we know it, the owner wants to kick us out at night. Normally by that time, we’re bleary eyed and ready for dinner with friends. Life is good when you share it with coffee drinking friends (and a lot of those same friends fall into the tea drinking category). Let me know how your experience turns out. We’ve moved so often with my career, sometimes it takes us 3 or 4 times to get the feel of a coffee house before we claim it as ‘our place.’

  6. Emma says:

    I’d love to try writing at a coffee house. I do all my writing at home but the idea of sipping a cappuccino in a cafe sounds lovely.
    Congrats on your award, Sheri.

    • Emma – Writing at a coffee house is of course my all time favorite. I’ve learned to make great lattes, etc. at home but it’s just not the same. I love the atmosphere of a coffee house. You do have to be careful because other customers become used to you being there and a sort of community forms. But, that also has its upside. I’ve made many new writing friends and my husband has made several new ‘artsy friends’. We even go into the city and hang out in a hipster Starbucks (we’ve gone there so often, if someone is at ‘our table’ when we arrive they’ll move and let us have our favorite spot). I always laugh about it. I always tell Tom, my husband, they move because they are being nice to the elderly:)

      • Emma says:

        “Our table”, ha ha, I’m thinking of the TV show, Friends, and how they always have the same couch every time. I like the idea of a community forming there. I’m going to try writing in coffee shop, this weekend I think. Thanks, Sheri.

  7. Mae Clair says:

    Hi, Sheri! Loved these new facts about you. Seriously….how many people would know about the paint of coat thing? The knowledge you’ve gained throughout your experiences and career(s) is mindboggling. I have to go with Kitt and your friend on the flip-flops, however. I have a couple dozen of them (part of my ongoing shoe addiction)!

    • Mae – My Dad always loved that I knew how to calculate the weight of ocean going vessels. After all I’m a Kansas farm girl. One of the wonderful opportunities I had in my particular career field with the government, I never knew what was going to be thrown at me next. The first Russian freighter I investigated was not exactly a cozy feeling – but it was in our harbor and it was loaded with US wheat! BTW – if you ever have a need to know how to investigate an Amtrak bridge for one of your novels, I can help you out there also.

  8. Denise Hisey says:

    Sheri, you just keep getting more and more interesting! I loved reading about you!
    Thanks for some awesome new blogs to check out, too!

  9. Jane Sadek says:

    The first LP I ever bought was Rick Nelson!

  10. tuttacronaca says:

    Congrats!!! I love your answer and to read things about you!!! 🙂 Have a lovely day!

  11. Congratulations on your much deserved award Sheri! I’ve never heard of training lop-eared rabbits but I think that is such a gorgeous idea. I was left intrigued as to why you would need to calculate the weight of a coat of paint on ocean vessels but my guess is that it would add significantly to the overall weight of the vessel. but I’m not sure why that matter? I love your choice of super-power. That sounds wonderful!
    Thank you so much for my nomination. I am accepting with pleasure 🙂

    • Carolyn – I’m so happy you are accepting the award. I bumped into your blog from an award someone had bestowed upon you. As I’ve mentioned, I love going through the list from other bloggers and finding new blogs to follow. You have some treasurers on the list you posted.

      I started with the lop-eared rabbits as somewhat of a joke (I’ll blog about it some day) but once I found a great deal of success and they went on to become therapy pets in a retirement home – I was off and running to teach others how to continue the program. I started the program in 1998 and it’s still in place today. The rabbits were regularly dumped on the grounds of a VA where I was employed. Residents of a community had purchased them as pets and the rabbits were no longer wanted. There’s much that goes into preparing a lop-eared for a therapy pet but the final results are amazing.

  12. Cat in my Bag says:

    Congratulations Sheri! I loved reading your responses! 🙂

  13. Wow! You have led an amazing life! Congratulations on your Liebster!

    • Jodi – Thanks for stopping by. I had a wonderful 20 year career with the federal government and it took me to the 4 corners of the earth. During that time, I was involved in all types of work in order for me to accomplish various missions. It just so happened, along the way I discovered many fun ways to go about my profession. Most of all, thank you for reading with me.

  14. Vikas Yadav says:


  15. Okay, Sheri, you know darn well which of the facts about you would be my favorite. I’ll give you a moment to think about.
    Okay, time’s up.
    “I once trained flop-eared cashmere rabbits.” That is THE coolest thing I’ve heard in a long time and leave it to you, my awesome virtual friend, to be the one to actually train those beautiful animals. I am awed.
    And I hate flip-flops. They are so gooney looking.
    Those questions are really great for getting to know someone. My favorite movie genre is drama, favorite social media is blogging, and I was a Psych major then changed to Spanish and when I got my Master’s my minor was Psych.

  16. Sheri–Now my flip flops and I are going to feel awkward around you. LOL! But seriously… I always find the facts you share about yourself so interesting. I, too, am a sucker for a play, especially musicals. 🙂

  17. Oh, Sheri! You are too, too kind, but I thank you for the recommendation – and I can’t wait to check out the other Liebster Award winners. xo Miss Snarky Pants

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