Q&A for A-to-Z. OK?

Arlee Bird, who is the driving force behind the A to Z Challenge that I’m participating in for the month of April (April — coming soon to a calendar near you) posted a Getting to Know Arlee questionnaire, and I thought it would be a great way for me to share a bit more about myself with others who are participating in the Challenge, as well as the rest of my readers, by answering the questions myself.

 Click the magic words…


Name:   Beth Stilborn

Blog:   You’re here. By Word of Beth. (I have a personal blog as well, but this is where I will be participating in A to Z)

Other Online Info:  I have a writer page on FacebookI’m @lizannewriting on Twitter.


1. What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done?   I’m not noted for my daring. I leave that to others.

2. What is your favorite article of clothing?  That’s difficult to pin down. Some of my best loved articles of clothing are things from the past, such as the red velvet dress I had when I was three.

3. What is your favorite monster?   Cookie Monster, without a doubt. (Although Grover is a close second…)  😉
4. If you had to dress up as your favorite literary character, who would it be?   The first literary character that sprang to mind was Fiver from Watership Down, but I think I’d look odd dressed as a rabbit. It would be very interesting to be one for a while, though.

5. What is your favorite fairy tale, urban legend or nursery rhyme?  When I was a child, I had a couple of 78 rpm records of fairy tales, and I can still hear parts of The Selfish Giant. That, and The Steadfast Tin Soldier, would be my favorites, I think.

6. What is a cause near and dear to your heart?   Getting books to children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them. We Give Books is a delightful (and painless) way to do that.

7. What’s the strangest item you’ve used as a bookmark?   Unless corners torn from paper napkins in restaurants counts as strange, I think my bookmarks are fairly non-strange. I used to collect bookmarks, though, and one of my bosses brought me one from England that was made to look like jam on bread, and represented actual “jam butties” — jam sandwiches that had been witnessed as bookmarks.

8. Do you have any nicknames?   What are they and how did you earn them?   I have a few. The people who use them know what they are.

9. Name one habit you want to change in yourself:  Procrastination, particularly for necessary but not particularly enjoyable tasks like decluttering and housework.

10. Tell us something interesting or shocking about yourself:   Since I’m not privy to what goes on in other people’s heads, this may be simply what happens for everyone else, but – I nearly always have a song playing in my mind, usually with the singer and full accompaniment from the source where I first learned the song, in four part harmony if appropriate. If I don’t know the accompaniment, or if I feel like playing about with the music in my mind, I make up my own orchestration as I go along. Sometimes I will wonder why on earth a certain song is going through my head, and I’ll realize that some word or phrase or sight has prompted the little DJ I imagine I have in my brain to search through his vast collection of 33 1/3 rpm records (he’s a little behind the times). Sometimes he apparently gives up and says, “I have nothing that fits those words exactly, but perhaps this is close.” I end up with some weird choices for brain-music that way.


1. What was your favorite A-to-Z post from 2011?    I didn’t even know about A-to-Z in 2011. So far, my favorite of the blog posts I’ve planned for 2012 is O, but V has the potential to be even better.

2. What brought you to the A-to-Z originally? Tell us about your first A-to-Z:  I saw the logo on a friend’s blog (Thanks, Stacy S. Jensen!) and was intrigued enough to click on the logo and find out about the Challenge. I’m glad I did. I’m looking forward to this April very much.

3. Are you doing a theme?  Yes, I am. For the most part, I’m choosing words that are terms from some facet of the arts, and relating them to writing. For my Wednesday Worthy posts, I’m doing that or simply choosing someone to highlight whose name begins with the letter in question.

4. Are you writing & scheduling posts in advance?    Definitely. As of this moment, I have 15 blogposts written and scheduled with another partly written. I have one interview lined up, and another couple of possibilities. I will have all that I can possibly do in advance done before April begins.

5. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet, and why?    What letter do you like least?   I’ve always been partial to E for Elizabeth…  😉  (Yes, Beth is short for Elizabeth.)  X is less favored, although without it, we wouldn’t have a leXicon to draw on for our A to Z posts!

There are currently over 700 people signed up for the A to Z challenge and the organizers have a dream of getting 1000 participants by March 1st. Will you help make their dream come true? You can get more information at the official Challenge Blog.

Please Note: My writer friend Donna Martin is also participating in the challenge (as are others among my friends). Stop by Donna’s today for a nice, warming bowl of alphabet soup!



5 thoughts on “Q&A for A-to-Z. OK?”

  1. Hi Beth! I’m visiting from the A to Z Challenge to get a head start finding some great new blogs to follow. Nice to meet you! That’s so cool that you have written and published hymns! I’ve never known anyone who did that before. I can’t imagine being able to write music, to me that would be more difficult that writing a novel.


    1. Hi, Karen! Thanks for visiting — I hope you’ll come back. I’ll pop over to your blog so that I can meet you, too.

      I generally write lyrics only for my hymns, although I have written some music as well. Getting the melody line is the easy part, doing the harmonies/accompaniment and getting it down on paper correctly is tricky. So I generally stick to lyrics!

  2. Loved this post Beth! So nice to get to know you better. And I can say for certain that the music running through your head, and the way it does, is most definitely unique. Do you feel it’s a gift or a curse? I don’t know how I’d be able to concentrate if I had constant songs playing in my head. I can’t even LISTEN to music when I’m working.

    Good luck with the A-Z challenge. Looking forward to your posts!

  3. Beth, I love this dress when you were three. My mom made my sister and I dresses when we were little. Now I wonder how she ever found the time. Nice to get to know you better. Thanks for the shoutout. Someone introduced me to A to Z, so I’m glad I could return the favor. Bravo on the number of posts ready. I still have my random drafts in a Word document file. I have my post ideas for the entire alphabet, but need to finish writing them. I look forward to April.

    1. Almsot forgot. Thanks for mentioning your Twitter name. I tried to find you the other day, but totally couldn’t as I looked up several variations of your name. I checked and I am following you. 🙂

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