The Half-Post

Oh, er, hi WordPress? Remember me? Yeah, this is awkward…

So last night I woke in an icy sweat, shaking with the knowledge that I hadn’t blogged about anything for over three weeks. Yes, I’d been a busy, busy bee with University work, but dammit, commitments are commitments and you, my dearly beloved readers, deserve so much more. And sure enough, I went online today to find “Robbie MacNiven” is currently running at 666 views. If I don’t get my writerly productivity back on track I just know bad things are going to happen. So without further ado…

I’ve been griven the Liebster Award, “to new and upcoming blogs with fewer than 200 followers.” What’s funny is that I’ve been awarded it by two separate people. Craig Schmidt and Rhiann Wynn-Nolet both run cracking writerly blogs. The former is helping crit my novel, Covenanted (a daunting task at the best of times) whilst the latter is always around with a much appreciated wry comment or two. Check out their twitters too

The thing about the Leibster Award is that the person who nominates you gives you 11 questions for you to answer on your blog. Thing is I’ve been nominated by two people, so technically I have 22 questions. That’d feel a bit like cheating though, so I’ve picked 11 from the 22 at random and render up the answers to thee below;

What is your favorite flower? Being as I am a good Scot… THE THISTLE!


If you had to live prior to 1900, what century would you choose, and why? As a History student you’d expect a really juicy answer to this one, wouldn’t you? Well you’re in for a disappointment… If I had to live prior to 1900 I’d choose 1899. Seriously, studying history really opens your eyes to how horrific basically every past period was compared with the one we live in today. We’re super, super lucky. Appreciate it! (note, if I could time travel and witness events without actually having to live in the period then of course I would, best of both worlds! 17th century ahoy!)

What is your motto? Vivis Sperandum – where there’s life there’s hope, the Clan MacNiven motto. Alternatively, the ancient battlecry of our wider clan, the Campbells of Argyle – Cruachan!

Tell us three things about a favorite character you’ve created. Lucas Schro was an old sci fi character I created about five years ago, a mutant recruited to do battle with other mutants. Clichéd to hell now I think about it, but I really enjoyed his flawed nature, conflicting objectives and backstory twist. Mayhaps one day he will return…

Which author influences you most as a writer, and in what way? Bernard Cornwell. I devoured his Sharpe books at a tender age, they reinforced my fledgling love of history and opened my eyes to historical fiction for the first time.

What movie scared you (and maybe scarred you)? Haunting in Connecticut. Predictable film, yes. But still goddamn scary. The Woman in Black wasn’t far behind though.

What was the first thing you remember writing? A military sci-fi fanfic for Warhammer 40,000 when I was 11. I think it got to be about 50,000 words in the end.

If you were to recommend one vacation spot, what would it be and why? Strathpeffer, the Highlands of Scotland. Yes, my family totally owns a Guest House there so I’m biased, but it really is amazingly beautiful, the food is good and its supper relaxing. Coming home from Uni is like going on vacation.

What goal are you most focused on right now? Getting that damn novel agented (it should be passing University, I know, but I’m a bad boy)!

What is on your bucket list (things you want to do before you die)? *List just one or two. See a book with my name on it on the shelves in Waterstones. Go to Waterloo for the 200th anniversary re-enactment.

If you were to write a “Thank you” note to someone you’ve never actually met, who would that be and why? The guys on the Black Library forums. My youngling, formulative writing years were spent fanficing there. Much indeed was learned from their kindly advice.

So that’s half the Leibster post done. I have an issue though. To complete it I’m supposed to now pick 11 of my favouritest blogs, write 11 new questions for them, then get them to answer them and continue the happy blogging cycle. Thing is a) I’m still a newbie blogger so I’d struggle to find 11 people to give the award to b) I’m waaaay late with this so chances are those bloggers I would give it to have already done it and c) I desperately need to get on with Uni work. So until I get a bit of quite time this will remain but a humble half-post. Watch this space…



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7 responses to “The Half-Post

  1. And what exactly does “Cruachan” mean? I don’t happen to speak Gaelic. Took a stab at Welsh a long time ago and realized it was a doomed endeavor. You’re so right about how lucky we are to live when we do-I just visited a new tweep’s blog with a Medieval Monday theme (a “new” old torture device profiled to start your week off right). *shudder* talk about malware…

  2. Danielle' Niven Ford

    Hi, so I stumbled upon this blog researching family history and it’s probably a long shot, but I was wondering if by chance you might know where I can find more info on the MacNiven clan? I have been highly successful finding information on my 4th great grandfather Duncan who traveled here to the states and everyone between him and me but have not been so lucky finding info on anyone before him other than a couple of names and where in Scotland they lived. Sorry if this inquiry is from way out in left field but I figured it was worth a shot! Thanks

    • Hi there! I’m afraid my family history knowledge is severely lacking (shocking for a history student!). Thought I’m a MacNiven my parents are McNiven – dad changed the spelling so it was “more Scottish.” As far as I’m aware we’re a sept of Clan Campbell, though apparently McNivens can also be found in the ranks of the Mackintoshes, the MacNaughtons and the Cummings. Where abouts was Duncan from?

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