OK, here’s some answers to your burning, itching questions:
Mindi asked: “What is your favorite or dream vacay?”
My favorite vacation was my first trip to New York City, age 21, newlywed and totally broke. Somehow our lack of funds didn’t take away from my enchantment with the city—someplace totally and completely different from anything I was used to. The energy and memory of that trip never faded. I think it’s always a good idea for a young adult to go visit somewhere totally different and realize that the world is so much bigger than what they have known. At least it was good for me.
My dream vacation is Europe. I really want to go so that I can stop watching all those PBS travel shows.
Mindi also asked: “What is your favorite song ever? Band?”
This question causes me almost as much anxiety as “What’s your favorite color?” because I have never been able to narrow any of these categories down to one defining song/band/color. However, I can tell you some of my favorites and you can decide whether or not I have any excuse owning an iPod.
Songs: Okay, so I just pondered this for ten entire minutes and sprained my left frontal lobe. I don’t think I can do this. I really, really love music and tend to glom onto one song that fits a period of my life and really wear it out. I have a vague memory of deciding at one point that “Falling of the Rain” by Billy Joel was going to be my favorite song, so I will stick with that for now.
Bands: Billy Joel was my first musical love and his music will always be the soundtrack of my childhood. As I grew up, I was influenced by the musical tastes of my forefathers—or, rather, my forebrothers and foresisters. (Technically, my five brothers and two sisters.) I remember one summer vacation to Lake Powell when I first heard the Indigo Girls and fell in love with folky–indie–alternative sounds. I love me some singer/songwriters. I’m going to nurse my previous favorite-song-brain-sprain and randomly name five bands I love right now: Feist, Regina Spektor, Bright Eyes, Wilco, and Kalai (my favorite local).
Mindi followed up by asking, “Thing you love most about your man?”
Continuing with a theme here, I am unable to keep this succinct. Some days my favorite thing about him is the way he makes me laugh. We have always been able to find humor in the midst of some pretty un-funny times. Some days I am most fond of his wisdom. He is always able to look at situations from every position and make good decisions. Some days I am won over with the way that he cares for our kids. Other days I am in love with the way he makes me feel so smokin’ hot. Some days I am overwhelmed with the way he accepts people without judgment. Other days I am smitten most with his devotion to enjoying life. Some days I am most appreciative of the way our family is always more important to him than furthering his career. But I bet if you took an average, most days my favorite thing about him is that he is—and has been for almost two decades—my best friend in the entire world. We talk about everything. We share everything with each other (except for clothes and deoderant). He supports me and believes in me. He’s the Gayle to my Oprah.
Mindi also asked, “What blog post are you most proud of?”
I am probably most proud of this post, in which I explain how blogging became a borderline unhealthy addiction of sorts earlier this year. I am not necessarily proud of the writing, but proud of the way that it seems to have helped a few other people who have struggled with this new and strange medium of self-expression and community. Wait a minute—this blog might have actually helped someone? Now that’s borderline unhealthy.
Tiburon asked “Are you ascared to move across the country?”
Yes. But also excited. Why do excited and scared almost always go together?
Tiburon also asked, “What is something you are ashamed to admit?”
In no particular order: that I never sent out Thank You cards from my wedding; that I cannot properly identify all fifty states on an unmarked map; that I know very, very little about American or World history; that I hate returning phone calls; that I can hold a grudge; that I have a hard time watching an infomercial for anything without feeling extremely compelled to purchase it; that I’m not doing enough to help our planet; that I can say mean things without realizing the impact; that I don’t read near as many books as I would like; and, finally, that I do not weigh what I stated on my drivers license.
Tiburon finished with, “What is your proudest accomplishment?”
Going back to school and finishing my degree while working full-time and raising my kiddos. (Please don’t ask my GPA.)
Angie asked, “What historical/cultural/iconic American spot do you want to see first when you get back east?”
I’m excited to discover all the history-laden treasures of Philadelphia. And I’m equally excited to visit Washington D.C. for the first time and take my kids to the museums. I’m also extremely excited to do some serious Amish-watching.
Suzie asked, “What is your favorite or most current book project/idea that you have in mind?”
I’ve never written anything longer than a short story, but I have a new idea rolling around in my head that is barely more than ten pages long at this point. I would love to be able to turn it into a book. (Oh dear, did I write that out loud?) I would also also love to be able to grow four inches taller and have long, shiny auburn hair grow out of my head, just in case the Universe is listening.
The narrator of my story is a little boy. Here is an excerpt, but please only read it if you intend to be kind:
The only time I ever went to church was for Britt Snyder’s funeral. Britt was in my second-grade class, and one day after school he dropped over dead. OK, that was sort of a lie, but for some reason I like to say “dropped over dead” better than the real story, which is that he ran out in the road, got hit by a car, spent three weeks and four days in the hospital in a coma, went brain dead and got unplugged three days before his eighth birthday. See? “Dropped over dead” sounds better and doesn’t change any important facts.
Britt’s funeral was……weird. First of all, I hated him, and I’m not sure you’re supposed to go to the funerals of your arch enemies. He used to beat me up every day after school. One time he kicked me in the back so hard, I peed red. I didn’t tell my mom because that was during her depressed time, and I couldn’t see how red pee would do anything but make things worse. I didn’t know what to do, even though I thought about it every night before I went to sleep, and every morning about two minutes after I woke up. I finally came up with a plan to get a King Cobra snake and keep it in my backpack until after school. I figured that I could train it to strike my enemies as soon as they began an attack. I checked out a book on King Cobras from the library and found out within the first few pages that they are not very trainable. Before I ever came up with another plan, Britt “dropped over dead.”
OK, there you have it. Maybe mentioning this story here will propel me to get things moving along. It has been set on the back-burner during The Agony of Selling My Home, but hopefully I can get to it in the near future.
Suzie also asked, “What do you contribute Stephenie Meyer’s success to?”
I don’t really know what to say here because I am not qualified to have an opinion on this matter. I think writing a book that is technically geared toward a younger crowd, but is still interesting to an older crowd is a good formula for success. I think they call it crossing categories or something like that, but it’s basically the same reasoning behind the success of Harry Potter. And Dolly Parton. And string cheese.
Suzie also asked, “Would you consider writing a screenplay with a middle aged Happy Valley half crazed mom? (me)”
Yes. It will be an awesome indie cult-classic which will blow that little twerp Juno out of the water. Just kidding, I love Juno.
And finally, Suzie asked, “What is the full/complex meaning of Would-Be Writers Guild?”
The Would-Be Writers Guild is named after a writing group that I started in my neighborhood in summer of 2002. I had been enjoying the writing-and-sharing aspect of my creative writing classes in school and wanted to start something that would continue beyond a semester. I didn’t feel qualified in any way to call myself a writer and lead any such group, so I felt that “would-be writer” was a much more appropriate and forgiving title. I added the “Guild” part to sound really official, and in order to write off the paper plates and cups on my taxes.
Up until June 2008, that group met every month at my house and it was one of the all-time best experiences of my life. In fact, on several occasions, I have started a blog post to express to the members of the WBWG just how much they have meant to me. It’s apparently too emotional of a subject right now, because I just can’t put it all together. But it’s coming.
OK, that’s enough for now. More to come later. If you have a question to ask, leave a comment here and I will answer.