This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side to ourselves. We’ve been challenged by another author/ blogger (somewhat like the ‘ice bucket’ challenge) to list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s/ blogger’s persona we all like to project. But we want to show that behind every story is a story, our story, my story, and like everyone else I have dreams, hobbies, problems and goals. This blog hop is a way to share some of them with you, my readers.
The rules are that I share 7 Lovely Facts about myself, and links to at least 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. If I’ve nominated your blog (see names below) please don’t feel any obligation to join in but, if you do, please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you (That would be me Angela B. Chrysler), share facts about yourself and nominate 15 blogs (or as many as you can).
I was reading some of the other blogs on this tour. There are some remarkable and gifted writers here and I’m happy to be in their company. Many thanks to C.L. Schneider, author of the Crown of Stones series, for adding me to the blog hop!
C.L. Schneider has proven to be a priceless friend during a crucial time in my writing career. Time and again she has offered her assistance and wisdom, not just to me but to other authors as well. You can learn more about C.L. Schneider here and view her books for purchase here.
There are certain events that shape you, certain events that determine who you are and what we will become. Because the purpose of this hop is to show you who I really am, I’ve decided to show you the seven things about me that truly shaped me. Some of these things are funny. Some of things are unpleasant. And some of these things are heart breaking. All of these things are true and are simply what made me, me. Enjoy 🙂
1. I had almost no books growing up.
They simply weren’t something valued in my family. We had the Bible, Pilgrim’s progress, and a collection of children’s Bible stories. When I was eleven, my father brought home the World Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia set and I devoured it. I read about Greek and Roman mythology, music composition, the lives of the composers, history (a lot of history), and Rome. That’s right. I grew up, reading the Encyclopedia for fun. I still have the set, although now, I read Wikipedia. For me, the articles read like a mystery. A year ago, I read about William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. I spent the entire time gnawing my fingers down to the quick with tension over what would happen next. The Normans won.
2. I have arachnophobia.
I don’t just hate spiders. I’m terrified of them. Every summer we drove from New York to North Carolina and stayed at a condominium on a lake. During my eighth summer, I was riding in the back of the family station wagon in a pile of blankets. The blankets held a nest of spiders that hatched while I was sitting in them. Within minutes, I was covered in little baby spiders. They were clear and there were hundreds of them all over my body. We were on the highway and we couldn’t stop or pull over. If you ask me how long I was in the nest, I would say an hour. It felt like an hour. It may have been ten minutes or so. I have psychosomatic symptoms and can feel them on me if I see a spider or an image of a spider. There is no picture included with this post for a reason. *grin* I can laugh about it now. I’m okay…so long as I don’t see spiders.
3. I love cookies!
I love cookies so much that I named my cat Cookie. I grew up with my mother baking homemade cookies every Sunday, all kinds: sugar cookies, chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal. When I moved out on my own, the elevation changed enough that it altered the cook time and the flour/moisture to baking powder ratio. For ten years, I could not bake cookies without them burning. Winter of 2013, I dedicated the season to creating my own recipes and learning the chemistry. I make a mean sugar cookie. They are soft, round, moist, and perfectly sweet with a hint of cinnamon. It’s my favorite food. My cat, Cookie, looks like a big chocolate chip cookie.
4. My nickname is Poopy.
This is embarrassing, and true. I am very close to my sister (she’s the one in the plum dress). When we were children, we started calling each other “Pea Brain” and “Pipsqueak”. I am 4’11’’. I am Pipsqueak. The names eventually evolved to “Pea” and “Pip” until, one day, my uncle who housed a jovial sense of humor, called us “Pee” and “Poop”. The names stuck. For fifteen years, my sister has called me “Poopy” and I have called her “Pea”. It feels weird calling her by her real name. And, because I know she’ll be reading this, “Hi, P.”
5. I grew up in the forest of Central New York where you could walk for days and not reach its end.
It was an old forest. A 100-year-old wagon road cut through our back yard and entered the wood. The wagon tracks are still there. We would follow this trail for two hours to “the Gorge” as we called it. A stream had cut through the ground for so long, it formed these twenty-foot high walls on either side. Waterfalls, small ones that trickled, cascaded down into the gorge and I would climb them bare foot, stand at the edge of a precipice, and watch the falls. I love New York.
Imagine ravines of Watkins Glen without the people, the stone walkway and railings. That was my home. I would walk the trail almost every day bare foot, especially when it rained. I love to dance in the rain. That forest smelled of wet bark, fresh earth, and mountain rain. It was located hours from roads, traffic, and city lights. There, in those woods, you could see what the world was thousands of years ago when it was still untouched by humans. I miss it. As you can see, there is much more to New York than the City 🙂 So believe me when I say, I love New York.
6. I am a nerd.
And not just a little. Okay, you probably picked up on this after spending just five minutes browsing my site. I mean, I had my wedding pictures taken with the Captain America shield. I love anime! I love anime so much that my license plate says “One Piece” and I have Monkey D. Luffy decals all over my windows. I named my van “Merry” after “The Going Merry.” I DM for D&D (4.0) on Wednesday nights.
When I was a teenager, I would sneak downstairs to watch Dragon Ball Z with my little brother. My favorite movie growing up was Star Trek: Insurrection and I love love love Worf! The inscription on my husband’s wedding band says, “Live long…” Mine says, “And prosper.” The inscriptions are written in Nordic runes! And our entrance music at the reception? “The Imperial March” from Star Wars. That’s right! We made our entrance to Darth Vader’s theme song!
I am a zombie loving anime obsessed, Star Trek watching, PS3 playing, Dungeon Master who was in her glory when she watched High school of the Dead! Anime and zombies! How can you go wrong!? I adore The Walking Dead (Who doesn’t?). My favorite zombie killing was when it rained zombies in the department store.
I love video games! PS3 (Would LOVE to get my hands on the PS4, but I have books to write). I live vicariously through my avatars. Half elf, rogue/thief/assassin with a bow, sword, and dagger collection that makes me green with envy. My favorite video game is Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. My avatar is married to Stenvar for his gift of speech. “A cave. Dark. Dangerous.” (heheheee…He’s such a tool).
My mediocre dream is to play all the Elder Scrolls games along with Final Fantasy VII, Thief, and Assassin’s Creed. I am not allowed to play WOW (World of Warcraft) because…Ever see that episode of Big Bang Theory when Penny gets into gaming? Yeah, that’s me with WOW. Only…I don’t have a creepy Wolowitz to wake me up from the zone.
So! Quick review!
One Piece over Naruto, but I love One Piece like…1% more than Naruto. (I haven’t watched Bleach yet and can not wait to start it!). Death Note, Bastard, FMA, and Trigun are more of my favorites. And for those of you who know… “Ma-hogany”
Picard. Not Kirk. Picard had class! He went Borg and back again and he had to deal with crap from Q and Wesley! Kirk can’t handle the Borg. He was just the security guy who knew what would happen to him if he wore the red shirt. Spock used Kirk to hide the fact that he was really the captain!
Marvel over DC, but I love Green Lantern and the Flash and I have a t-shirt collection that would put Sheldon Cooper to shame. Oh, and Iron Man is better than Batman.
I love Big Bang Theory, J.J. Abrams, and Star Wars episodes IV, V, and VI only (I refuse to acknowledge the “other episodes”). My favorite two Star Trek movies are Insurrection and Wrath of Khan. Don’t make me choose.
7. “My love is like a story book story…”
My love is Isaac. We met as children and grew up together arguing, debating, and sharing lunch trays at school while arguing the vast philosophies of life. I waited for him every morning to get off the school bus. We walked each other to every class. We spent every class we had sitting next to each other. I named Tribble in our senior year because of an art piece he designed about tribbles. He was my Isaac and I was his angel. We have been calling each other that since the sixth grade.
When we graduated high school, we went “graduation party hopping” together. And then summer came. Summers were hell. For three months, I waited for September when I could see my Isaac again. But the September after graduation, there was no school. There was no Isaac. I spent the fall and winter of 1998 trying to contact him.
When he finally received the message to call me, we stayed up until the sun rose talking. We spent the next summer planting grapes and roses in my father’s yard. By the end of the year, he moved three hours north and we spent every waking moment talking on the phone. We started writing to each other and wrote twenty page letters debating and talking about everything and nothing. Then we upgraded to cassette tapes. I wrote him a song, recorded it, and sent him the tape. He took it with him to Boston when he left for college. We couldn’t talk as much when his classes started, but we started emailing each other.
The autumn of 1999, I received an email from him that said he didn’t want to talk to me ever again, that he didn’t like me anymore. It didn’t feel right. The usual warmth that felt like Isaac wasn’t there. I asked him if he was sure and he said he was. I loved him and so I acquiesced without question. I deleted my email and “went away” as he had requested. I cried for months until I realized it wasn’t him. I found my wits about me and emailed him, but the email was gone. His phone number was changed. All the letters I mailed, came back “sender not found”.
That began the next ten years of my hell. Losing someone like that feels like a slow suffocation. You can’t breathe. You can’t think. I died inside, got married, had children, got divorced. I lived as a hollowed shell who had finally adapted to not breathing. It was then that I started writing to ease the pain and fill the hole he left. My first piece was Diamond-Gold. My second, Summer Eyes.
Two years later, in 2009, I signed onto Facebook and received a message. Isaac had found me. He asked me why I left him ten years ago. I told him about the emails he sent me, knowing that wasn’t him. He said, “It wasn’t me.” He had his computer on that day and a “friend” of his had stopped in to arrange a homework group. Isaac realized he was late for a class and left her there with the computer. When he returned from class, his “friend” told him that I had sent an email saying I never wanted to speak to him again. He too adhered to my request and when he tried to get a hold of me later, I was gone. He listened to the tape I gave him until it broke and spent the next ten years looking for me.
We were finally married summer of 2013. He is my life, my soul, my Isaac, my love. He is the very air I breathe. I know this because, for ten years, I couldn’t breathe.
Here are 12 people. 12 People who have found a place in their hearts to help me. 12 people who extended a hand of friendship and offered me guidance, advice, support, or simply a hand of friendship that has been invaluable to me.
B.R. Kingsolver for finding me my editor, Mia, and offering your expertise and friendship.
Stan Sudan for your smile, your support, your passionate enthusiasm in which you face life.
Tony Riches for finding it in your schedule to do so much to help me.
Sarah Letourneau for being one of my first fans and writing friends.
Mia Darien for editing my book so that it may shine.
Michael Wisehart for your kindness, your advice, your emails of piratey talk and for Ferrian who I am eager to read!
Ben Starling for your support. For your encouraging emails and just for talking.
Ash Capes for the email about anime that greets me every morning and for sharing your thoughts on this and that.
S.J. Hermann for your friendship, help, and encouragement as I prepare to launch my book.
Elizabeth Spohr for being my “soul” sister and dancing among the sprites with me.
E. Rawls for spinning Twitter tales with me of lost Silmarils and lemon cake at elevenses in the Shire.
Stephanie Collins for touching me so deeply with your story.
Samanthe Beck for the laughs, emails, friendship, and encouragement.