Sunshine Blogger Tag

Today, it’s time for something really unusual from The Elven Padawan.

Recently, Shay and Audrey were invited by our artist, Kitten, to participate in the “Sunshine Blogger Tag.” I had never really expected to take part in one of these things with TEP, but since Kitten so very kindly pulled us in, and because the questions she asked just looked like such fun and were too great to pass up, I decided, why not?!!

So here you go! Even though this is most certainly not the usual fare from this blog, we’re hoping you our readers will have fun reading our answers to Kitten’s great questions, and maybe it will help you get to know us a bit better. 🙂


1. What is the most interesting pet you’ve ever had? (Box turtles you kept for a few hours most certainly do count!)

Audrey: Well, using the word interesting to mean the least common pet I’ve ever had, we do have a fish tank with around 20 tadpoles in our backyard right now. (Update: They all died.) But they really don’t do much but swim around and eat boiled lettuce. So if we’re using the word interesting to mean the funnest pet, I would have to say our chickens. I love chickens, and each of them have such a different personality. My personal chickens are always Barred Rocks, and my current one is named Èowyn. (I realized after naming her that is a very strange name for a chicken since it means “girl who loves horses.”)

Shay: Hmmm, this is rather tough for me, because I’ve only had a handful of true pets, and countless of those “observed few hours then returned to nature” critters. Maybe the time my sisters found a teeny baby snapping turtle and immediately named him Groot? OH WAIT – yes, I know what my answer for this is! I found a tiny (and I mean tiny) baby praying mantis in the field behind our yard years ago, back when we lived in NC. I caught him in a mason jar, and we intended to just look him over and let him free again. But we had never seen a mantis in real-life before, so we ended up keeping him for much longer. In fact, I’m wanting to say that we had him at least a year. It was so fascinating to see him molt time after time, leaving behind an old shell each time he was ready to move up one size more. And we had plenty of eventful late-night “bug hunting” expeditions, hovering around the back porch light to try to catch a few flies and months for him to eat. He even braved the move from NC to WV with us! Sadly, he eventually died while trying to molt in the middle of the night. Which… makes this a rather sad story, come to think of it… I think it’s time for the next question…

2. What object in your preferred surroundings (i.e where you like to be the most.) inspires you the most? 

Audrey: My preferred surrounding is definitely my bedroom, but I have lots of things that inspired me in it. My bookshelves full of stories about heroes, my little area of quotes, and I find that when I open my window blinds to let in tons of light, it inspires me to get more work done. But I think what inspires me the most are the Bible verses I have around, specifically the one with part of Hebrews 12:1 on it. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬)

Shay: I would have to say that mine would be either the woods behind our house, especially fresh after a light summer rain, or possibly the fabric store. 😉 Back to the woods though; there’s a small cleared-out area surrounded by tall, straight trees where we have some chairs and a small fire pit. My dad fixed it up all nice up there and even strung up lights from tree to tree encircling the whole area. When it’s dark out and the lights are on, they light up all the woods around the area with clear white light that manages to not be too harsh, and it reminds me so much of Lothlorien! There’s a wood rack so we always have fuel for the fire handy, and a homemade swing hanging from a high branch that reaches out over the area. Sometimes in the fall, when the nights are chilly but not downright cold yet, my dad with start a fire and throw those packets of color into the firepit, making the flames burn green and blue and magenta. Which is also beautiful on a dark night, and always makes me think of a certain artistic Mando.

3.  How many words in a minute do you think you type? How many do you actually type? 

Audrey: Let’s see… I’m going to guess 150.

*Goes to set a timer and type as fast as she can.*

Wow. I have no clue why I thought I could write more than two words per second, apparently, it feels like I’m writing a lot faster than I actually am. 😆 I typed my name 38 times… sometimes misspelled. I promise my estimating skills are better than this, I really have no clue what an average words per minute count is.

Shay: I’ve never timed myself before, so I’m totally taking a shot in the dark with this… I’m actually gonna say the same as Audrey’s guess, just because it feels about right to me. Now let’s see how close I really am!

*Pulls up random typing program to find out what her true speed is.*

Ok, so the program I found (the first thing that came up on a Google search, actually), was one where it gives you a string of random words to type, and times you while judging your accuracy as well. With that, I came up with about 54 words per minute. And I missed… umm, hang on, I forgot…

*Tries again*

Ok, so this time I pulled off 75 words per minute! And once again, with the same type-the-random-words system (here’s the site I’m using, if you would like to clock your speed!) And I missed 10 letters that round.

4. What was your first fandom? 

Audrey: The first fandom that I really counted as a fandom was Star Wars, and it is still my favorite. However now that I know what a fandom is, and what sorts of things I would consider fangirling, I had at least two other things I now consider to be two of my fandoms before Star Wars. Those two things are Adventures in Odyssey, and my favorite book series, The Epic Order of the Seven. I had listened to Odyssey before I read the first of those books, but I didn’t get really into it until after I was already a huge fan of that series. So I guess the very first thing I became a big fan of was the Amazing Tales of Max and Liz/The Epic Order of the Seven, though I was able to talk about AIO more with others.

Shay: I’ve told my story of getting obsessed with Star Wars at around three years old many times since the birth of TEP, but I wouldn’t really call that a fandom. The first of those was probably The Chronicles of Narnia; I read it once, and as soon as I finished The Last Battle, I started the whole thing over again at the beginning of The Magician’s Nephew. I had been given a set of all the sets compiled into one massive paperback volume (and yes, it was unabridged), so it made it easy to stash under my pillow for easy reading late at night with a flashlight (which I pretty sure contributed to my need for glasses a few years later), and it was super simple to start back over at the beginning of the series each time I finished the last book. I did this quite a few times, over and over and over, and it was pretty much the only thing I could talk about during that time. Eventually, my parents got so desperate for me to get interested in anything else at all that they took the book away from me and forbid me from reading it again for at least a few months. I can’t remember exactly how many times I had read the entire series straight through at that point, but I’m pretty sure it was seven. Which, come to think of it, is a pretty fitting number…

But of course, I didn’t think of that as a fandom at the time either, though I did love to discuss Narnia with anyone else I could find who had even a passing knowledge of it. Honestly, my story is very much similar to Audrey’s when it comes to this question because we both came into the knowledge of fandoms and all the things connected with them about the same time, and both due to the same vice: Adventures in Odyssey. That audio series was the first thing that I really got into and obsessed over long-term, always waiting anxiously for the next episode to release with the newest story developments for my favorite characters, and even connecting with others over online and fangirling along with them over it. And, as odd as this may seem to those who only know of Odyssey from the outside, those “others” I mentioned are actually much of the reason TEP exists today, not to mention the reason why I even know terms like “fangirling” and “shipping,” as well as the reason why I’m such a big Star Wars nerd today. Someone, all the geek girls found each other, and we all somehow helped each other along the path to becoming the biggest nerds we could be.

5.  How does that fandom affect the ones you have today? 

Audrey: Hmmm this is a really good question, and I’m going to have to think a minute. I think that because that book series was the first one I absolutely loved, as in I-am-never-getting-rid-of-these-my-children-and-grandchildren-will-read-them, they made me realize just how inspiring and important books can be. They showed me that God can use things like that to grow my faith, which is something I’ve always tried to look for now in my fandoms.

Shay: ditto Audrey. I know I say that a lot and I don’t want to look like I’m just ripping her off so I don’t have to work to come up with my own answer, but what she says is always so true. Narnia definitely had a similar effect on me, and as much as I credit Star Wars for shaping me into a very nerdy, science/tech-loving geek in my very early years, the Narnia books gave me another layer that I believe is essential for every child to pick up at some point: they made me a deep thinker. Because of Narnia, because of all those long nights destroying my natural eyesight under the covers of my bed with a dying flashlight, searching the pages of Mr. Lewis’s words relentlessly for deeper meanings and bigger thems, I now reflect that same inspection into every new series I read, watch or listen to and every fandom I enter. More recent classes on literary analysis, things like searching for symbolism and metaphors in colors, objects, and descriptions, haven’t helped that part of my personality. But whether other people view me as intelligent or just down-right obsessive for this tendency, I can’t help but love to dig deep, and I mean deep, into the messages and themes of my favorite stories. It’s why I wrote those Future of the Force articles about the reasons for Hera Syndulla having green skin and why Kanan Jarrus has long hair and wears a mask after his blinding.

6. What is your favorite color, and how is it relevant to your personality?

Audrey: My favorite color is turquoise, all shades of it. I think it’s a very happy color (it makes me happy anyway,) and whenever I’m upset or sad, I try to fix that as fast as possible. Even though I’m not the most bubbly person, I’m usually cheerful on the inside. I live in a place with lots of water and I love swimming in it, so that might contribute to it too, although most of the water isn’t what I would consider turquoise.

Shay: Ok, so I literally just read over about five articles on this subject so I could give a good answer to this question. My favorite color is green – I just find it so calming, natural, and, though this seems odd to a lot of people I tell about it, I also find it very warm and comforting. I know green tends to have a popular connotation of envy, sickness, greed, and all those other things that people are repelled by, but I’ve always seen it as far more symbolic of growth and comfort. Think of a deep forest, full of all the different shades of green that come from the various trees and plants, and the shades of the frogs, snakes, and all the other animals that find life and safety in the forest. I mean, I guess a lot of people find frogs and snakes creepy and non-comforting, too, but I think of how the forest gives them life, and how they couldn’t even survive without the things it provides for them – how all the life in a forest is so strongly linked in a chain of survival and mutual providence. And apparently green is the color of people who strive to find a balance between head and heart, and love being part of a community and working with others.

I also love certain shades of blue, though, and the personality traits often associated with that color seem to fit me even better than green in some areas. Disliking dreary days, trying to always stay level-headed and calm – yep, those are things I’m all about. Interestingly enough, though, I actually love to wear grey/silver, especially in the winter, and that color seems to describe me very well. And I also have a love for bright orange, and there’s definitely a splash or two of that goofiness about me.

Basically, my attempts to answer this question should show you pretty quickly that I really am an extremely confused and complicated person who has no idea what she’s doing in life. 😛

7. Your favorite movie, (or TV show or musical.) — What was the biggest pet peeve you had when you first watched it? 

Audrey: Since I cannot think of anything that bugged me when I first watched my favorite movie, I’ll do my favorite TV show, Star Wars Rebels. I guess I felt like the plot at the beginning seemed a little unimportant, and that the show was a little too funny for one that takes place while in the middle of a time where people are ruled by evil. But now that I’ve seen how everything ties in, I can see how all the plot fits together, and the humor I can appreciate because it’s how they keep their cool in extremely stressful and dangerous situations.

Shay: once, again, I must defer back to Audrey. Her answer is pretty much mine as well. Though one thing that bugged me pretty bad about Rebels was some of the tacky, very un-Star Wars-sounding lines in the first couple of episodes. Of course, I guess I shouldn’t judge it too harshly, because one of my favorite “low-key” episodes from the entire show still stands as “Fighter Flight.”

8. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you in the last week?

Audrey: My three younger brothers do plenty of things that make me laugh, although they may not sound as funny when I explain them, but I will try. Last week, we were talking about how we were going to the lake to catch the previously mentioned tadpoles. My two-year-old brother added, “And croc-dials!” (He meant alligators.) He was very disappointed when we told him we weren’t catching any “croc-dials.” My two other brothers and I attempted to play badminton yesterday and watching that would have been funny because we kept going to hit the birdy (?) with a really big swing, and then missing it altogether. We’re great badminton players.

Shay: Mine is kinda related to Audrey’s second one. My mom and I were out on a special shopping trip not long ago, and since Toys R’ Us is closing down, we decided to run in real quick and see what we could find. Mom got very excited when she found a small, collapsible ping-pong table for a great deal. Ya see, my mom loves ping-pong, and used to play it tons in college, but in our current situation, we really don’t get a chance to play it very much. So she grabbed this little set up in a heartbeat, and set it up in our basement as soon as we got back to the house. (I got something far more beneficial: a handful of posters [Rogue OneThe Last Jedi, and Spider-Man: Homecoming, of course], and a couple of Rogue One Funko POP! t-shirts. I absolutely love POP! t-shirts. And I love Rogue One. Big win for me.)

Let it be known now that I am not athletic in the slightest. I used to be pretty good at sports, but that was only because I was going through that stage where I had boundless energy and would’ve run laps around a football field for hours for no other reason than just that there was nothing else to do. Nowadays I’d much rather curl up with a book and coffee than try to engage in organized sports. Because when I do get involved, nobody better get in my way, because this is war, and I don’t back down. Also, I can be pretty spastic, so please don’t get behind me without notice or you may be slapped in the head. Now supposedly you don’t have to have any actual athletic abilities to play ping-pong… but you do have to have basic control over the flailing of your appendages. Mom says that you’re supposed to “play off of your reflexes.” The problem was that I WAS playing off my reflexes: if that ball was coming at me, my brain stopped thinking about where or why or how I was hitting it. All that I knew it that I had to whack that ball with that paddle, so whack I did. And if my ball wasn’t making it to where I intended, my muscles reflexively took over and pinged and ponged that thing every direction and off of whatever surface it could to keep the ball in the air and not let it roll off irretrievable under a bed or media table. One of those surfaces happened to be my littlest sister’s head at some point in the game, which was not at all intentional, but hey, the ball didn’t fall off the table and everyone (including my sis) thought it was hysterical.

I’ve never been very good at paddle-ball either, but apparently, I am… when I’m actually supposed to be playing ping-pong. I was doing my best, but everyone else was laughing their heads off, and Mom finally gave up to find a playing partner who could actually control their limbs.

Alright, so that was a ridiculously long answer, but hopefully, you get the gist of what our everyday life is like around here.

9. Your favorite song suddenly comes on at the store. What song is it, and how do you react? 

Audrey: My favorite song is probably something by Toby Mac, or Rend Collective, but I don’t know how to narrow it down to one favorite. And if I ever heard it in a store, I would first be very surprised, but then would start singing it under my breath. I might start twirling/dancing a tiny, tiny bit, depending on whether or not others could see me.

Shay: I don’t really have an absolute favorite song… often times I find a song that I really love, but by about three days later I don’t care for it all that much anymore because I’ve had it on repeat for about 48 hours. But if a song that I really like, or one that I recognize and enjoy, comes on at the store, my reaction often depends on who I’m with. Often times I’ll discretely sing or hum along if it’s something that I know, but no one else in my family will recognize. But once, in Walmart, “Seagulls (Stop it Now!)” by Bad Lip Reading came on out of nowhere, and all my sisters and I gasped, stared at each other, and then burst out laughing. I think we goofed off and sang along for the rest of it, it was just so random and hilarious that they would put that on in the grocery store!

10. Stars are pretty and all, sure… do you have a favorite one besides our own sun? 

Audrey: I love looking at the stars! But I don’t know the names of very many. My favorite constellation is Orion, (because it’s one of the few I can find 😆) so I will pick Rigel, the brightest in Orion, and the seventh brightest in the sky.

Shay: Hmm, I don’t know the names of really any stars, either… Can I pick the Big Dipper as a whole? Because for some reason, I find it very comforting to stare up into the sky, all those many, many miles of vast, unexplored space, so remote and alien from us, and always be able to locate something as simple and constant as the Big Dipper.

Quick — there’s a giant, angry Wookiee coming your way!!! You have a wooden spoon and an oven mitt, (food isn’t gonna cook itself) — what do you do? 

Audrey: Well I am definitely NOT cooking him a cute little Porg. *Goes to search Wookieepedia to see what else they like to eat.* Ok, it says they’re omnivores, so how about I make a salad. And because salads are boring, I’ll also make him some chicken fettuccine alfredo. Wait, do I have access to a stove? If not, I guess I can make a fire. Also, I would probably join the Wookiee for dinner, and talk to him about his anger issues.

Shay: Huh. Let’s see. I think I would probably make buttered scones. Because I have been in an extremely scone-ish mood lately, and I feel like a nice, warm, flaky, buttery scone would make anyone feel much better, especially an angry Wookiee. He could be upset about any number of things – he could be cold, wet, tired, footsore, muddy, or just frustrated at the ever-encroaching filthy grip of the treacherous Empire. A nice buttered scone could make someone with any of those ailments feel much better, and if it’s the Empire he’s worried about, then it can also help give him some fuel in his belly to get right back out there and rebel! And if it’s rebelling against the Empire that he’s into, then, hey, I’ll be right there alongside him!! Besides, I just really would love the chance to talk to a Wookiee someday, even if I’m not so great at their language. I mean, Kashyyyk is pretty much my dream planet for a vacation someday, and asking an upset person to share about their home planet often helps them open up and feel a little better, just to know someone else cares and is interested in their story.

Of course, I might also try a few fish sticks… I feel like a Wookiee would like some fish sticks, though they may be a bit more like fish-morsels to one of those big furry guys…

***

Audrey: Thank you Kitten for tagging me! It was super fun, and your questions were super awesome and thoughtful!

Shay: Yes, thank you so much, Kitten!! I’ve never been able to participate in one of these tags before, and this was tons of fun! Thanks so much for thinking of us; hopefully this blog will help all our readers to get to know us a bit better! 🙂

I don’t really know of anyone else I could pass this tag along to, except perhaps some of my indie author friends who might like to give it a go? So if you’re reading this blog right now and want to try out the Sunshine Blogger Tag, consider yourself tagged by me! 🙂

Here are Audrey’s questions:

  1. Which fictional character do you think is the closest to your personality?
  2. What would the best day of your life include?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
  4. Which three characters would you want to team up to save the world with?
  5. If you could talk to Anakin in Revenge of the Sith’s timeline, but before he became Darth Vader, what would you tell him?
  6. What is your first memory?

Here are Shay’s questions:

  1. If you could be any fictional race/species (ie: hobbit, elf, Twi’lek, etc.), which would you pick and why? (OR: if you’re a Featherhead like me – if you could pick an animal to be “Fanged” with, which would you pick?)
  2. Which book genre is your favorite? What do you think this says about your personality?
  3. A little creepy, I know, but – If you were having to pick your last supper, what would you want it to be?
  4. What do you find the most beautiful thing in the natural world? Why is it so appealing to you?
  5. How do you tend to act when you’re suuuuper tired? Goofy? Zombiefied? Ready to destroy everyone who looks at you?
  6. If you could an afternoon counseling session with one Star Wars character, who would it be? What are the biggest questions you would ask them?

5 thoughts on “Sunshine Blogger Tag”

  1. Shay, I love your discussion of why you like green! I’ve had a lot of classes that talk about color psychology and that sort of thing, and it’s so fascinating! Also, a baby snapping turtle named Groot??? That’s so awesome!!! 😀

    And Audrey, Rend Collective and TobyMac are two of my absolute favorites, too!

    I may end up stealing this tag. We’ll see… 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this, C. B.!! I had tons of fun writing down my answers, and of course, that was due in no small part to Kitten’s excellent question-asking abilities. 😀

      And yesss, *please* steal this tag!! I’d love to see your answers!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a really fun tag to read! And those are some pretty interesting pets, you guys! (Sorry about the tadpoles, though.)

    Wow, Narnia was one of my first true fandoms too, and it’s great to meet others folks who had that same experience! (Also, Shay, I read your two posts about Kanan and Hera, and I’m amazed by the level of detail you notice and analyze!)

    Those funny stories made me smile, especially the ping-pong escapade! Sounds kinda like life over on my end as well… 🙂

    Also, not to pressure, but will there be another podcast soon? I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the next one–and I love to listen to them while I paint!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this!

      Aw, thank you! I’ve always been captivated by details in stories that can have deeper meanings, and taking my first class in literary analysis a couple of years ago really helped me understand them and hone my abilities in looking for them. Plus, I’m a cosplayer, so I pay attention to appearance details. My fam thinks it’s obsessive, but thankfully there are some people in this world who enjoy it! 😁

      Actually, there is one that I’m planning to release soon!! It’s actually mine and Audrey’s discussion about Solo! And I’m hoping to record a new one about this recent Clone Wars news as well, so you should be seeing that in a couple of weeks. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

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