No Way! A Blogger Award Nomination! (#93)


I am postponing my promised post on the 10K Turkey Chase for an important announcement!

NO, I am NOT pregnant. Perish the thought. Also, stop thinking that every time a married woman says she has an important announcement.

I’ve been nominated by Jocelyn Eikenburg of Speaking of China for the Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award! I am so honored that I have goosebumps!

I also have no idea what this means. If anyone reading this does, please tell me. Especially, you know, if there’s some grand prize. And it’s cash. Or chocolate.

Wait. Someone nominated Jocelyn. Then she nominated a bunch of other bloggers. Am I supposed to nominate someone? Is this a cyber chain letter?!

I mean, Jocelyn nominated every internationalish blogger she liked, which is also every blogger I like, and then some. I am not entirely certain if I should a) be flattered or b) be running from a pyramid scheme.

But what the hell. I’m gonna make the most of it. Because, cash or no cash, I’m a storyteller and I love it when my audience tells me I made them feel anything.

Example: “Oh, you wrote the best post about being so stupid that your own cat bit and nearly killed you! That was so funny! I nearly died!”

Me: “And so did I, but it was all worth it if you laughed! Or smiled, even if it was just with the tiniest corner on the right side of your mouth.”

Anyway, once Jocelyn nominates you, you’re supposed to answer her questions. Huh. Sounds like an excuse to pry.

And yet I’m fine with that. Because Jocelyn said my blog, along with twenty others, touched her. (If she’d named thirty, though, I’d might have stormed off in a huff. Even I am not so desperate. Oh, who am I kidding. I am the ultimate middle child. She could’ve named a hundred and I’d still do it.)

So here we go, playing 20 Questions Minus 10:

How did you come up with the name for your blog?

I was raised in a very western, American household. I’m not talking American Wild West, although my great-grandfather was a doctor in Arizona over a century ago. Familial lore has it that Pops performed an appendectomy on a bar in a saloon. By the time I arrived, though, my parents were the epitome of educated, uptight, East Coast, White Anglo-Saxons. This meant that while we NEVER talked about our feelings, we talked politics, religion, science, and literature to death. My parents neglected us all equally, and so my five sisters and I never grew up believing we were in any way inferior to my brothers.

My dance partner, boyfriend, and now husband Andy is Chinese-American. His parents emigrated from Hong Kong. Andy was born in Hawaii. Andy watched a lot of TV while his parents worked their butts off. He seemed very Americanized to me, what with his muscle car, love of crappy movies with explosions, and terpsichorean skills. Then I met Andy’s parents and discovered that they are somewhat more traditionally Chinese in their thinking. Especially when it comes to the woman who marries the #1 Son. (Cue a threatening minor chord of DOOM.)

My posts are mainly memoirs, though I throw in political diatribes whenever the Ridiculously Reactionary Republican Party starts to piss me off. (Look out! It’s almost an election year!) I wrote a lot of emails to family and friends when I first met Andy’s parents as I tried to process and find humor in our culture clashes. This continued when we got married, when his parents first came to visit us, when they harassed me about giving them a grandson EVERY WEEK, etc.

I used to moan to Andy that I would someday write a book and call it When West Marries East: Memoirs of the Persecuted Daughter-in-Law. He laughed and patted my shoulder.

I made it into a blog instead, and started at the beginning: When West Dates East.

Andy is still laughing. I think.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Finding pictures! Since I blog under a pseudonym, I can’t always use my own photos, which are pretty amateur anyway. I spend way too much time staging pictures for my crappy iPhone camera, or asking friends with better cameras to stage them, or hunting for appropriate pictures on the internet.

What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?

When I’m not working or writing or stuck in traffic, I’m walking my rescue dog(s), or cleaning up rescue cat hairballs. I get to eat the husband’s fabulous dinners, and then I clean up the fabulously messy kitchen.

If I can fit in a yoga class, the cross trainer, and some weights at the gym, it’s a good week.

I love books, and so I try to squeeze a few pages of reading in at night before I fall asleep.

Everyone has a favorite post. Name yours and tell us why it is your favorite.

A favorite post that I wrote? Ummmm… Maybe “Dim Sum. Dim White Girl. Aw, Fork!” because my own title cracks me up every time. Or “Dresses,” which has some of my most favorite people in it. I cry every time I read the damned thing. And so does everyone else, so don’t click that link if you are in public.

What do you consider the best part of your day?

Walking the dog(s) at dawn. The sky is pinkish orange, the neighborhood is so quiet I can hear the surf from a mile away, and the golden skyline of Los Angeles seems filled with possibilities.

And then the dog finds a skunk.

Could you share with us a beautiful moment or experience you had recently?

No. It will destroy the specialness.

Just kidding. There was a truly lovely moment last week when our giant, skunk-shredding dog breathed on me and FINALLY didn’t smell repulsive. (It took 6 months for skunk-stink to disappear from his nostrils.)

Tell me about your proudest achievement.

There was this one time when I was able to refrain from stabbing my father-in-law with a screwdriver.

So proud.

What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?

I have less free time to read books, because I’m reading blogs instead. But that’s okay, because I read fantastic posts from these brave, intrepid women who travel all over. They share their adventures and their photographs (which are SO MUCH better than mine), and it’s like I got to travel and learn without getting diarrhea and that is awesome. Hugs to Lani and Becky and Mary and Eileen and Constance and Heather and Jocelyn and Jeralyn and Jessica and I am sure I forgot someone. If I didn’t list your name, assume that I mean you.

Share with us one of your favorite books, and why you like it.

Just one? Seriously? From the woman who just named a dozen favorite bloggers?

You crazy.

Okay, fine. Curse of Chalion because I love fantasy escapism and Lois McMaster Bujold knows how to tell a riveting story.

What do you think would make the world a better place?

The Rapture. Because all the religious crazies would be gone and the rest of us might stand a chance of fixing the place up.


Apparently this nomination has rules and I have to pay it forward or suffer some terrible fate such as daily paper cuts for a year. But in case this is an annoying chain letter thing, I’m gonna shoot for a lot less hate email than Jocelyn. I’ve only got 3 worldly nominees.

They are:

Heather of “2 Summers,” blogging out of Johannesburg. Great photos, unique perspectives, and even posts written by the indomitable Melville Cat.

Becky of “Writer. Traveler. Tea Drinker.” She’s based in Xiamen, China, but travels as often as possible. Her summer “Sunburn Chronicles” have blunt New Englander humor and amazing photos.

Lani of “Life, the Universe, and Lani,” just moved from Thailand to Cambodia. Lani will tell you all about the local table manners, selfies at Angkor Wat, and how not to be an asshole Expat celebrity. (Lani, I know Marissa The Prolific already snuck her nomination in ahead of mine, but please consider answering some of my questions anyway. They are way snarkier than hers. You should like that.)

My questions for my nominees are:

  • You can annihilate three world leaders or celebrities instantly. Who’s going down?
  • What surprised you the most in your travels?
  • If you could swap your U.S. citizenship with a citizen of another country, which country would you pick? Why?
  • What food did you discover overseas that you now cannot live without?
  • Was there a moment abroad when you were proud, mortified, or afraid as a U.S. citizen? Can you tell us about it? No? Tell us anyway.
  • Finish this sentence: “I started blogging because…”
  • What’s the worst comment you ever got on a post and how did you handle it?
  • Did your family ever read your blog? If so, are they still speaking to you?
  • What little-known fact about you would surprise your readers the most?
  • In the last year, what would you consider your greatest personal triumph?

I will, of course, understand if my nominees are too busy to draft a post and answer my questions.

Enjoy your paper cuts.


Published by

Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

40 thoughts on “No Way! A Blogger Award Nomination! (#93)”


    Now I know Autumn–we’re connected, haha. What are the odds!?

    Actually, to be completely honest, I just finished Curse of Chalion and now I’m reading book no.2 Paladin of Souls. Super good!!! The author is an AMAZING writer!

    I love your tag, “why the Rapture would make the world a better place” btw, haha, you make me laugh.

    Your description of Andy loving muscle cars and movies full of explosives also make me laugh. Hell, everything you write makes me laugh.

    1. As soon as I start saying “AI-YAH!” like my mother-in-law, we will be the same person, Mary.

      Aren’t those books the best! I met Lois McMaster Bujold a few years ago. After I finished geeking out, I asked if she was going to write anymore from the Chalion universe. She said, “Well, I should. There are two gods that I’ve just left hanging.”

      But her latest Sci-Fi will be out soon, instead. No idea when she will get back to my favorite fantasy world.

      So glad I made you laugh. Your post made me snort oatmeal this morning, so that’s fair.

      1. Wow, you met her!?!? That’s so awesome!!! I bet she’s a super sweet lady, huh?

        I heard she wrote another short story that takes place in the Chalion world, the Penric Demon (?), my friend read it and said it was excellent.

        I haven’t read her sci-fi stuff, will check out!

        1. Thank you, Kate! You make a good point. I’m really more of a homebody myself, destined for a white pine forest in New England. Which is why I love reading the expat blogs.

          I can relate to your animals, though. Last night we had this raccoon making a racket in the yard and I thought of your bandit!

    1. I think my posts are longer than those on most blogs. It’s that disappearing attention span!

      Probably you want me to write more OFTEN, versus just more. Cuz I could do seriously annoying stream of consciousness drivel.

  2. Awesome!!! You’re my FAVORITE blogger, bar none! I know nothing about these awards, but I hope you win chocolate, tons of money, and lots of blogging exposure!

  3. I’m impressed you looked it up. I throw in a few polysyllabic words now and then to balance out the profanity.

    I had one boyfriend who later confessed to me that while we were dating he kept a thesaurus in his car.

  4. Wow, these are very insightful questions! I don’t normally do the blogger award/chain letter posts but I’m going to try to do this one because I’m impressed and your questions would be a good exercise for me. I am woefully behind in my blogging at the moment but hoping to catch up over Christmas. Thanks for the nomination.

  5. Congratulations, Autumn, on your nomination and also your speedy response. I’m impressed. Jocelyn is a jewel.

    Finding pictures. Yes, a challenge. When I started blogging two years ago I didn’t have a digital camera or a cell phone that took pictures. Like you, I hated searching for images online and trying to figure out whether I had permission to use them. I bought the camera first. Waste of money. It was too much bother. Now I have my iPhone. Now whenever I need something else, I try wikimedia first.

  6. Congrats for your award, Autumn! Well deserved 🙂

    Curse of Chalion, you say? I have a new kindle and lots of space. I will check it out.
    (BTW, if you are curious about Chinese sci-fi, try The Three Body Problem. I just finished it and I will start the second part (it is a trilogy, the third part has not been published in English yet, April next year, fingers crossed) when I finish reading Ready Player One).

  7. It’s nice to be nominated, isn’t it? You feel special and you start thinking about what you want to wear for the BIG day, shoes, makeup, escort, accessories, etc, etc.

    And thank you kindly for your nomination. You’ve posted some *bridges fingers* interesting questions…yessss, interesting.

  8. Congratulations, Autumn, love reading your posts. Thanks for the shout out, too. I run at 5:30 am with a friend of mine…we ran right by a skunk this morning. At first we thought is was a cute cat. Thankfully, it wasn’t threatened or I would have the same stink as your dog right now.

      1. I used to run a lot more but got lazy! I’m building back up, run 3-4 days a week, about 7 – 7 1/2 miles each day. Bill and I walk a lot which I also really enjoy. And my legs thank me. 🙂

            1. Well, I was in my twenties and following a fairly fast runner. Now I’m just impressed with anyone who runs — no matter what their pace.

              No, our competition days are over. We opted for a house and a dog instead.

  9. Thanks for the mention! 🙂

    Autumn, I have the opposite problem when it comes to pictures. I take A LOT of photos and then add my husband’s which are better than mine and I have too many options.

    I do have a question of my own for you though. Is the online ‘blogging version’ of you the same as the real life one? It is a post I am working on, as one of my real life friends [who actually knows I have a blog] and I had a discussion about this recently.

  10. I think you should run a post with your pictures and your hubby’s side by side and let us be the judge of which photos are better. Which is to say, I’m very skeptical of your assertion that his photos are the best.

    Soooo… I think you are asking me if I have a “blogging personae?” Like blogging equates to superheroes and in real life I’m Clark Kent? (Ah, if only!)

    If I interpreted your question correctly, I would say I think I’m definitely the same person on my blog as I am in real life. I’m just me — to borrow from “Dr. Who,” — a little earlier on my personal timeline. Some of my posts come from emails written when I was younger. And stupider. And probably angrier. With less therapy. (I cringe a lot and think, “Damn, I was such an idiot.”)

    But I’m hardly the most objective person to ask.

    Maybe one of my siblings or friends that I know in real life will read this comment and give a more objective opinion 🙂

  11. Your Dim Sum post is my favourite post. When I first read it, I laughed all the way through, and then laughed some more for a while after I finished reading it 😀

    It sounds like there’s a routine to your day, from walking the dogs to reading a book. For me, it depends. If I’m too tired, then my routine will go out of whack – I’ll hit the bed at night as soon as I’m done with blogging stuff.

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