Sharing the Sunshine Blogger Challenge – A Much Delayed Post

Myra here.

We’ve been tagged by not just one, but two of our blogging friends to join this game called Sharing the Sunshine Blogger Challenge. Here’s how it works:

Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
 Share 11 random facts about yourself.
 Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
 List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
 Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

The blogger-friends who nominated us are: Adrienne of ReadingPowerGear and Michelle of IPushBooks.

This means that I would be answering 22 questions in all. Good grief.

11 Facts you might not know about me

  1. I don’t cook. But I bake. And hopefully in the future, I will have more time to actually cook with my husband (who happens to be a fabulous chef, thank goodness).
  2. I started teaching in the university at age 21.
  3. I also teach the Singapore Army on a consultancy basis. I handle the modules on Creative Thinking and Creative Thinking.
  4. I am an academic but a closet poet and artist at heart.
  5. I consider GatheringBooks as my child. Meaning it needs constant care and nurture. And very demanding of both my time and attention.
  6. I try to run two to three times a week (I just finished a 10 km run last week, huzzah!), and do sivananda yoga at least twice a month (on good months, I do it on a weekly basis).
  7. I don’t like white chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate. I don’t like raisins too in my chocolate, I prefer nuts. Royce Coffee Chocolates are my favorite. And I love cheese. All kinds.
  8. My poetry requires a muse. And Joni Mitchell.
  9. I used to have extremely short hair (almost skin-head, in spikes, and in blazing red) when I was younger. I was channeling my inner Sinead O’Connor then. I am a closet rockstar too. Love Ani DiFranco’s music and poetry.
  10. I had a teaching consultancy in Bahrain in 2009 for two weeks. My students were long-time teachers who were taking our course modules for their professional development. That was a true privilege and one of the most meaningful teaching journeys of my life.
  11. I truly am a fairy in disguise. I don’t fly but I am an empath. That is my special power. And my curse. On rainy days I become a dryad (especially if there are thunderstorms).

Responses to Adrienne’s Questions

1.  What movie have you recently seen that you really enjoyed?

Frozen. Love it. I am looking forward to a Play/Broadway musical version of this movie.

2.  Who is the author you would most like to have coffee with?

Oliver Jeffers.

3,  What was the name of your favorite childhood toy? (or pet?)

I used to have a Medical Doctor’s Kit complete with surgical equipment and stethoscope and all that jazz. My parents were expecting me to become a medical doctor. Well, I did become a Doctor eventually, but not the useful kind.

4.  Best way to spend a Saturday morning?

Buried in a book. With iced lemonade, a good strong cup of coffee, or lemon-ginger mint tea on the side.

5.  What song reminds you of your high school days?

Patience by Guns and Roses. Hah.

6.  What city would you most like to visit?

Munich. This is where the International Youth Library is located. Said to be “the largest library for international children’s and youth literature in the world.” It is housed in the “Blutenburg Castle in the Obermenzing quarter of Munich.” Here’s a screenshot of their website:

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 6.35.37 pm

Someday I hope to do research in this place and just spend months reading through their unique book collection. Imagine a library in a castle. This is one place I must visit in my lifetime.

7.  Last time you laughed out loud was…?

In the car a few moments ago.

8.  Household appliance you could not live without?

Does my Macbookair count?

9.  Colleague you admire the most and why?

My mentor Professor Maureen Neihart. Here is her blog. Then you’d see why. Over and above her academic credentials, she is also a warm, beautiful, and spiritual person. She is truly an inspiration.

10.  Favorite season and why?

Hah. We only have either dry or wet here in tropical countries. I love rainy days when I’m indoors and the glaring sun when I’m outside.

11.  Finish this sentence:  I am most proud of…

… my beautiful daughter who has so much energy and zest for life and whose laughter I long to hear every single day.

Responses to Michelle’s Questions

1. What made you choose your current vocation/position/profession?

Yikes. This is long. I came upon it by accident. There was an opening for a lecturer in the university where I finished my undergraduate degree and where I was taking my straight PhD degree. I was invited to apply by the Principal Investigator of the research project I was working on. If I get accepted to teach, I won’t have to pay anything for my graduate school. It seemed like a win-win situation. And as they say, the rest is history.

2. What was your favorite book as a child?

Are you my Mother by P. D. Eastman.

3. What book have you read in the last year that did not live up to all the hype?

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

4. What is your guilty pleasure song (the one that you are embarrassed to love)?

Hmmm… Strangely, I have none. Haha. I love all types of music. Quite eclectic, really. Special leaning towards female acoustic or jazz singers though.

5. Where is your favorite place in your house/apartment to read?

My living room. We have several beautiful reading corners with a great view of trees outside and the sound of chirping birds and the cool breeze.

6. Are you a cat person or a dog person?

Neither. I would like to have a dog though when I am much older.

7. What’s a great website you have shared with others recently? – I am using most of their images for my powerpoint slides for the new course I am teaching.

8. What movie can you not turn off/stop watching if you stumble upon it accidentally?

The Lord of the Rings (any of the three movies). I did not much like The Hobbit or its sequel.

9. If you could only eat one dessert for the rest of your life what would it be?

Chocolate Molten Cake from Chili’s or Skillet Cookie Sundae from Tony Romas.

10. Share your six-word memoir (What’s that? Find out here)

I am but a word weaver.

11. If you could make dinner for any living author, who would it be and what would you serve?

Is take-out possible? As I said I don’t cook. Poor author if that would be the case. I would gladly have dinner with Paulo Coelho. Or Isabel Allende. For a non-living author, I’d have coffee with Oscar Wilde any time of the day.

My Eleven Questions

  1. Favorite breakfast.
  2. Write the very first sentence in the book you are currently reading.
  3. The mountain or the beach?
  4. If you were to be a rockstar for a day who would you be?
  5. Bestfriend or lover? (You can’t say my bestfriend is my lover or the other way around, you have to choose)
  6. When did poetry find you and what does it mean to you?
  7. When did your passion for children’s literature begin? Who do you identify as the culprit in your love affair with this genre?
  8. Your ONE LITTLE WORD (OLW) for 2014.
  9. What is your dark side?
  10. Christmas Or Halloween?
  11. Complete this sentence: “They paved paradise and put up a….”

I am nominating the following people…

  1. Fats from GatheringBooks
  2. Iphigene from GatheringBooks
  3. Joanna Marple from Miss Marple’s Musings
  4. Erik from This Kid Reviews Books
  5. Vivian Kirkfield of Picture Books Help Kids Soar
  6. Emily Lim of MumMum’s the Word
  7. Katrina from Vamos a Leer
  8. Linda from TeacherDance
  9. Tara from A Teaching Life
  10. Tin of Rabbitin
  11. Chris Donner of 61 Musings

I really enjoyed reading the responses of the bloggers who nominated me and had fun answering their questions too. Great way to know the people in the kidlit community.

*** Video ads other readers may find at the bottom of this post are NOT endorsed by GatheringBooks but are randomly included by WordPress to maintain their site. ***

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

7 comments on “Sharing the Sunshine Blogger Challenge – A Much Delayed Post

  1. Love hearing about your career & all the magic it has brought to you, Myra, & that Munich castle library. What a pleasure that would be! Thank you for my nomination. I’ve been nominated more than once & wrote my post a while ago. Here’s a couple of answers: I live by the Rocky Mountains, but wish the beach were near too! And, my grandfather read all kinds of literature to me, including Shakespeare and the older poems. I guess that’s where my love of poetry began. It has always been a big part of my life. Thanks again, & cheers for a good weekend!


  2. Hi Myra! Thanks for the nomination! I just got off putting up my response post. I really have to watch Frozen now. And The International Youth Library sounds awesome. Dark Chocolate is my preferred type of chocolate too. Nuts over raisins as well, hands down. 😀


  3. Thank you Dr. Bacsal! (if you aren’t a medical doctor, then you must be a Time Lord Doctor, right? 🙂 ) Great questions and answers (do I have to answer #5???)! 😀


    • This made me laugh aloud today. Answer #5 can be purely hypothetical. Then I’d get back to you in ten years time and ask whether you still have the same answer. Consider it a time-capsule of sorts.
      I prefer being the TARDIS with its temperamental, wily, unexpected nature. And it’s been referred to as a ‘she’ right? (We’re only in season 3, so no spoilers). Without the tardis, the TimeLord is pretty much.. homeless.


      • Is the TARDIS the time-machine? I’ve only seen one episode of Doctor Who (I believe with the 5th Doctor – the one with the huge scarf and curly brown hair) The Pyramids of Mars.


  4. Pingback: The Sunshine Blogger Challenge: Fats Edition |

  5. Pingback: [Photo Journal] International Youth Library in Munich | Gathering Books

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