It’s week 2 of my blogging commitment here on Waxing the Turtle, and today’s prompt is to share 20 facts about myself with all of you. Good grief. Finding 20 semi-interesting facts to share might take me the rest of my natural life. I had planned to post this a couple of days ago, but the week got away from me. We had a property inspection on Tuesday, and that’s all I could think about for a while.
Maybe that should be Fact #1: I have landlord issues. For a little while, my ex-husband and I owned our own home. After our divorce, I lived in the home for a little while, and then he lived in the home for a while. I loved owning my own home and absolutely hate renting. In my career as a renter, I’ve had a couple of really obnoxious landlords and since moving to Florida, my experience with property managers has been a challenge. As a result, I have issues. I would rather poke myself repeatedly in the face with a fork for 24 hours than to invite a landlord or property manager into my home.
Fact #2: And then there’s the obvious: I’m female.
Fact #3: I’m a mom. I have two amazing daughters who make me laugh on a regular basis, but who are also capable and willing to discuss deep things. They’re my best friends in this life and the people I’d most want at my side during any crisis. They’re also the people I most want to share good times with. The only bad thing is that right now the two of them live 900 miles apart. I live with one, which puts me 900 miles from the other one, which is a daily source of consternation and discontentment.
Fact #4: . I’m a grandmom. I have two amazing granddaughters, who are smart and funny and interesting. Not only do I adore them and the ground they walk on, I like them. A lot. They are quickly growing up to be two more best friends in the world. There is nothing that brings me greater joy than time spent with my family, and nothing that hurts my heart more than being separated from them by hundreds or thousands of miles. Being a grandmother is the most fun I’ve ever had in this world. I highly recommend it.
Fact #5. I’m a mother-in-law, and I happen to have the world’s best son-in-law. He’s a good guy who loves my daughter and my granddaughters, and who takes his responsibilities as a husband and father seriously. He’s got a strong work ethic and, to make it even better, he seems to enjoy my company. He doesn’t seem to mind when I come to visit–even for an extended period of time. Plus, he makes my daughter laugh, and that’s extremely important. I think I’ll keep him.
Fact #6. I’m a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend. I could list them all separately, but that’s beginning to feel like a bit of a cheat.
Fact #7. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but Montana feels like home to me. That’s because my parents moved the family to Montana just 3 weeks after I was born, so my earliest memories are there. We moved back to Utah when I was around 11, the summer before I started 6th grade, which was one of the hardest years of my school career. It took me a long, long time to feel like Utah was home-ish. In a related note, I’ve lived in Florida for more than 8 years now, and it hasn’t even begun to feel like home. Maybe the fact here is, I adjust slowly
Fact #8. I make my living as an author. I sold my first book, a mystery, in 1993. It was published in 1995. I sold my second book, a romantic-suspense, to another publisher in early 1994, and it was also released in 1995. I left my day job a few years later to become a full-time writer. I’ve written 30-something works of fiction in the mystery and romance genres, and have also written 10 books on the writing craft. If you want to know more about me professionally, check out my website.
Fact #9. When I was young, I dreamed of being a June Taylor dancer. If you’re too young to remember the June Taylor dancers, who appeared regularly on TV variety shows, here’s a video. It didn’t matter that I never took a single dance class (at least not one I can remember) or that I had no particular aptitude for dancing, I really wanted to be one of them when I grew up. Make sure you watch the whole thing so you don’t miss their magnificent hula-hoop work!
Fact #10. My favorite fairy tale growing up was a story called Tom Tit Tot, a version of Rumpelstiltskin. Oh! how I loved to listen to my mother read that story to me. I can still hear her voice, her inflection, any time I think about it. It always sent delicious shivers down my spine. I love stories of all kinds, but I do believe that Tom Tit Tot is my favorite of all!
Fact #11. Halfway through and running out of even mildly interesting facts to share. Let’s see… what else? My favorite place on the planet is Yellowstone National Park. When I was a kid, we went there every year on our way either to Utah to visit family or on our way back home to Montana. I think I have a memory around every curve in the road.
Fact #12. After I abandoned my dream of being a June Taylor dancer, I entertained the dream of working at Yellowstone National Park as a teenager. I wanted desperately to live there for a summer or two as a teenager, but I was too afraid to ever ask. Since my dad had dreams of being a park ranger when he was younger, I’ll bet my parents would have let me give it a go…but I never even found the courage to ask them. I guess I just didn’t have the bravado to support a dream at that age.
Fact #13. I love cabins. I mean, I really love cabins. As a kid, I loved it when we would rent cabins in Yellowstone, and one of my fondest memories is of the year my parents, my brother and I went to a dude ranch for a few days. I don’t think my sister was there for that trip, because I distinctly remember my brother and me sharing a tiny cabin–which made me feel so grown up. I remember blowing out the oil lamp before we went to bed and burning my hand on the glass chimney because I didn’t realize I shouldn’t touch it, but even the pain of the burn didn’t take the shine off the memory for me. I can’t think of anything more wonderful than to rent a cabin in the mountains and spend a few days there, writing. Ideally, I’d own my own cabin in the mountains, so I could disappear up there regularly to write, and then have my family come and join me for fun.
Fact #14. I wasn’t always a writer. I spent many years working in offices, 15 of which I spent working in the legal field. I worked in a law office for 8 and as the judicial assistant for a federal bankruptcy judge for another 7 before I left to write full-time. For many of those years, I moonlighted as a singer/keyboardist in a band. In the beginning, performing on stage was so far out of my comfort zone, it wasn’t even on the map. I cried all four hours we were on stage the first time I had to get up there. Of course, I became more comfortable with it as the days and weeks went on. A few years ago, when I was serving as president of a large writer’s organization, I had to speak in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 several times in the space of a week. I was nervous, of course, but not terrified, and I’m sure all those years on stage helped prepare me for that.
Fact #15. I can even list “Christmas tree decorator” on my resume if I want to. My ex-husband’s family owned a large floral business in Salt Lake City (Leon Brown Floral, Utah’s leading florist) and one of my jobs for a while was decorating Christmas trees. Occasionally, I’d get to go with the team to decorate office buildings for the holidays. It was always a lot of fun.
Fact #16. My first foray into business on my own was a company I named “Lotsa Knots.” I made macramé plant hangers and distributed them through the family floral business. I had to have been younger than 25 at the time, and the venture was relatively short-lived, but oh, boy, did I feel like something!! I did the whole thing up right: registered with the state, had a business checking account–the whole nine yards.
Fact #17. I consider myself a spiritual person. I do not consider myself a religious person. There’s a lot more I could say here, but I won’t. I also happen to believe that my beliefs are sacred and personal, and I only share them when the moment feels right. A public blog post doesn’t seem like the right forum.
Fact #18. Twice in my life, I’ve had to go into hiding because someone expressed a desire to remove me from the planet. Both times were years ago, and they were different people each time, but…yeah. Twice.
Fact #19. I love road trips. I would much rather drive anywhere than fly. I love the freedom of being behind the wheel, on my own schedule. I love being able to stop when and where I want to and seeing what interests me along the way. I’m one of those people whose vacation begins the minute I get in the car, not after I arrive at my destination. Getting there is half the fun!
Fact #20. I own more books (and have for years) than I will ever be able to read in this lifetime. This does not stop me from purchasing more books when I get the chance, or from loading up on books from the library anytime I’m in the vicinity. I am not one of those people who plans in advance what I’m going to read, unless it’s a book for my book club. Most of the time, I just have to wait and see what mood I’m in when I finish the book I’m reading–which is why I find it necessary to have all kinds of books on hand, just in case. Besides the shelves full of books in my house, my Kindle is also loaded up with hundreds of books. The ones that won’t fit on my Kindle are waiting patiently in the Cloud.
Whew! I made it to 20, and I’ll bet you were riveted to the end, weren’t you?
Until next week…