The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer appreciation award given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

Once upon a time, I used to enjoy participating in blogger awards. It’s a fun way to learn more about our fellow bloggers. But it soon became clear that I couldn’t keep up because of time constraints, and also because I suck at following rules. 🙂

So, I surprised even myself when I agreed to take up the challenge. The truth is, I’m exhausted. I’ve been working hard revising my novel. Even though I love talking to spending time with my characters, I need a little breather…and here we are!

Thank you so much Annika for the nomination. I’m truly humbled and happy to hear that I do spread some sunshine and inspiration around here. Blogging can sometimes feel like one is only talking to themselves.

Annika Perry

Annika is truly one of those bloggers who spreads sunshine. With a large following, she still manages to take time and answer every comment, and engage in a real conversation. I admire that about her. She is not only a writer but also an avid reader, who reviews and highlights works of other writers. To learn more about her, please head over to Annika Perry’s Writing Blog.

And, the rules for the award:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate (at least) 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog

Here are the questions I received and my answers:

What was the driving force behind the creation of your blog? 

To have conversations about writing, and sometimes even share those writings.

What was your vision for your future in blogging/writing when you first started this blog? How has that vision evolved?

One of the things I envisioned besides conversations and sharing my writing, was to review poetry books as poetry is one my passions. But that hasn’t evolved, time constraints again. So, instead last year, I started a Summer Reading challenge, which I hope to maintain, every year.

What age were you when you realized you loved writing?

This is a difficult question to answer. As I’ve mentioned before, somewhere else, as a child ( I still do) I preferred to write than to talk. This means I did a lot of letter writing, that is, long reports about rural life to my cousins and friends living in cities.

I guess I could say quite early in life even though I didn’t pursue writing seriously until I moved continents.

How has your life changed as a result of the electronic age? Is it better/worse/the same?

Ho-ho! Let’s just say, I can’t imagine life without my gadgets. 😀 Though I terribly miss the letter writing practice.

What was the very last website you visited today?

MagicLoveCrow is the last site I visited today. My artist friend, Stacy, is hosting a giveaway there for a chance to win my latest poetry chapbook and one of her artwork tote bags.

If you are interested in that sort of thing, please pop by her blog to enter. It’s as easy as saying “Yes please” to be added to the draw. But make haste, she is drawing the winner at the end of the month!

If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

I believe my past (experiences good and bad) have shaped me to whom I am today, so I wouldn’t change a thing.

How would your life be different today if that one thing from your past were to change?

As pointed above, I believe my life is as it should be. I’m happy with that.

If you have children, tell me…how did your parenting change from the time you had your first child until the time you had your last?

I’m not in a position to answer this question, my husband and I lead a child-free lifestyle.

Tell me about the funniest experience you’ve had in the past month.

Ah! I went for a photo shoot last month with the intention to update my writer portrait. As you might have observed, writers are always serious in these photos, and I wanted the same look.

But my photographer wouldn’t have it. “But why, when you have such a beautiful smile!” she says. And I’m element that I want this contemplative persona because that’s how “real” writers look. 😀

Let me just say, we spent more than the time allocated doing all sorts of funny poses and having fun. But more importantly I won. She didn’t once manage to catch me showing teeth at any stage during the photo shoot!

That’s me in a Xhosa traditional outfit with my writer’s look. Photo credit: Irina Kolomijets

What do you have planned for the upcoming holiday season?

Our god-daughter is planning to visit us from South Africa in summer. It will be her first time in Finland, and we are so looking forward to her visit. My husband and I will use any excuse to hop on the Interrail as we hope to do few stops around Europe with her. Fun times ahead!

Thank you for reading. Hope you had as much fun as I did answering these questions.

About nominations, here is what I mean by sucking at rules, I’m inspired by a whole of blogs. But I’m aware people are busy, and some have made it clear that they don’t participate in blog awards.

So, I pass the baton to anyone who would like to participate, and need some sunshine to brighten their days. Have a go at it! And if you do participate, please give me let me know, I’d love to read your answers.

Lastly, it’s officially the start of spring today. Wishing you all bright days ahead!

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. Khaya, first I’m so glad you found the time to take part … I totally understand about not accepting awards and I’ve also not had time to take part in many! This one ‘spoke’ to me! As I see it has to you! I loved learning more about you! The photo is fantastic, I love the tranditional make-up along with your serious writerly non-smile! Although I’m now keen to see one of those too! My son says the same of his music photos … he has a wonderful open smile but says he has to look serious and contemplative!

    Wishing you, your husband and god-daughter an amazing time interrailing around Europe … it will be a precious and most special time for you all. Make sure to take lots of gadgets along to record, write up, share your trip! Hugs xx

    Ps. Thank you so much for the kind and warm introduction of me and my blog … that means so much to me. X

  2. A lovely post, Khaya. I too take the good and bad of the past. It brought me to this place of contentment, and honestly, I can’t change it even if I wanted to. And I love love your photo. Though I hope someday to see your smile. 🙂

  3. I agree with you, this one spoke to me as well, and the timing was perfect being the start of spring with sunshine flooding at last. 🙂

    Good to hear you enjoyed my answers and a glimpse at my life. About the writerly “non-smile” portraits, I’ve observed for a long time that it’s hard to find portraits of writers with a toothy smile. I don’t know where and when this “trend” started. I once stumbled upon a blog that featured photos of writers laughing, and I realised I’m not the only who is pondering this contemplative look with writers. Anyway, I find it funny. It would nice to hear from your son (and anyone else actually), why he thinks he ‘has to’ look serious. 😀

    Thank you for summer/travel well wishes, certainly looking forward to that break.

    You are welcome Annika, and I really meant what I said. You do support other writers (me included), and I thank you hugely for that. <3

  4. I agree with your great wisdom about the past. We can do so many things with the past such as cherish it, learn from it, accept it for what it was, etc., but one thing we can’t do is to change it. So, why not embrace it, and build from it!

    Thank you my friend, people who see me everyday can attest that I smile and laugh a lot. Perhaps, someday you’ll see that smile. And haven’t you heard, Finland is the “happiest” country in the world! 😀 xx

  5. I love how your author picture turned out! And I’m stoked to jump in on the Summer Reading challenge again too. 🙂

  6. Oh, Rommy! I’m so so happy to hear you are ready to read again this summer. YAY, to writers that read! 😀

    And thanks about the pic, I kinda like it too!

  7. what fun to get to know you better, Khaya — & you are lovely, teeth showing or now <3

  8. Your author picture RULES! Some time ago, I told myself that the only way I would ever had a “professional” author picture is if a publisher tells me that I must have one. Until then, there will be selfies or pictures taken by my Piano Man when we go on our yearly first-date walk, lol.

    And the bit about your blog not evolving exactly like you planned, well… let’s just say that you are not alone. 😀

    I shall now go and lurk around your friend’s blog for a bit…

  9. Thank you, Maga. I quite like it myself. 😀 I was once of the same mind myself, that is, thinking I’ll revamp my site with professional author pics, etc., once a publisher suggested so. But since I chose the independent/hybrid route, I went ahead regardless.

    Lol…I know about selfies right! They are even more fun to take, when you time the camera so you can both fit in. 😀 😀 And you certainly do look gorgeous anytime with your selfies; the Piano Man is a natural. 🙂

    About the blog, I realised I’ll end up with a book reviewing blog; not quite what I wanted. So, the Summer Reading Challenge fills that gap. But I’m curious to hear how you envisioned yours to evolve.

    Thank you always for ‘lurking around’, I appreciate your support!

  10. Hey Khaya, trying to catch up! I’m feeling better! Your picture is AMAZING!!! I love that photo so much! Great answers to the questions! Big Hugs!

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