So, long ago when everyone was doing that "25 things about me" on Facebook, I was tagged a billion times. This week I got around to actually responding. Below is my note. 1) I have a "bad hand." It's my right hand, and it has always been just a little...non-functional. When I was twelve years old and my brain tumor was discovered, I learned the reason behind said bad hand. Alas, the tumor was removed and bad hand was still bad. BUT the bad part of my brain (which I hadn't even known was bad!) was gone, so you know, bad hand wasn't such a big deal after that.
2) As a result of bad hand, I type at a speed which I lovingly refer to as "slower than an untrained ape." I was first tagged for this note six weeks ago, and I have been typing ever since...no, just kidding. BUT...
3) I am a writer. I write young adult (teenage) novels. My first book, THE WAY HE LIVED, debuted in November, and if you haven't procured a copy yet, do so post-haste! I mean it! This note o'random things can wait!...Anyway, for the last two months I have been writing the first draft of my next young adult book, BACK WHEN YOU WERE EASIER TO LOVE. Good news: I already have a publisher for this book and it's at a very cool publishing house...Penguin! Bad news: This meant I had an actual deadline! I'm a pretty fast writer, but alas, only when it comes to writing by hand. Long story short, until now all my typing time has been spent on my book. Now that it's finished (at least until I get my revision letter) I am free to frivolously type as I please! Sorry I am a month too late, on-the-ball peeps.
4) Now that I have free time, I can indulge in my hobbies: organizing closets, finding stellar deals for trips I may or may not take, and photographing my favorite chocolate desserts. Yes, I am aware I need help in the hobby department, but...
5) I am too uncoordinated to find better, more "kick-A" hobbies. Bad hand comes with myriad other bad body parts. I have a bad (right) foot that I broke my senior year and it's never been the same. Bad (right) leg drags, causing me to occasionally fall off treadmills. Bad (right) ear has limited hearing...notice any patterns? Sometimes I refer to the right side of my body as my "bad half."
6) I also have a fake tooth on the right side of my mouth. That has nothing to do to my lack of coordination, though--I simply never had a real one. My fake tooth is noticeably smaller than my other teeth (to no one but me, apparently). Its nickname is...wait for it...bad tooth.
7) Other parts of me that are bad: My head (I'm prone to dizziness and headaches, thanks both to the brain tumor and the car accident I was in which led to the tumor's discovery). My nose (I can't smell very well, after a post-car-accident surgery removed my lower sinuses and various smell-receptor things. My sense of smell is getting better, though). I think that's it, although some might argue there's WAY more messed up with my head than just dizziness and general achiness.
8 ) In fact, some might argue I'm neurotic. I'd be one of them. I'm a writer, after all. In fact, is a neurotic writer even random? I'll have to give this some thought. Although, I think at least part of my neuroses stems from the fact that...
9) I have bad luck. I never considered myself unlucky until a few months ago, when a friend, in passing mentioned that since I was unlucky, blah-blah- blah-unlucky-thing would inevitably happen. And she was right! If there's a chance of something going wrong or something going right in my life, it will generally go wrong! For my first twenty-seven years, I simply thought this was Murphy's Law...now I realize it is simply MY Murphy's Law.
10) The lucky part of my life that counteracts all the unlucky parts and then some is my husband, Daniel. Once I heard someone say that he was never truly happy until he met his wife. I thought that was so beautiful, but that it could never happen to me (at the time, my personal Murphy's Law seemed to dictate I would forever be unhappy).
11) I don't remember the first time I met Daniel. My excuse was that I was sick at the time--not like I had the flu, but that I had a long-term, ongoing illness (see My Murphy's Law, above). Needless to say, I was not on the lookout to meet people, for friendship or otherwise. We first met at a party, an excursion I viewed not unlike a field trip a nursing-home resident might take--something designed to get you fresh air and "out into the land of the living." Thank goodness I somehow made an impression on Daniel.
12) I asked him later what it was he noticed about me, and he said he thought I was cute. This is interesting, as generally speaking I am not cute. I'm not great at remembering to put in the effort required, each day, to groom oneself--necessary to being cute. Also, he said he liked my shoes. Don't worry, they were not nursing-home shoes.
13) Daniel and I met again after a few weeks. This time, he asked me out and I thought he was arranging some sort of group event (I was still in the nursing-home state of mind and saw him as Activities Director). I don't know how he got me to realize he was asking me on a date, but I do know I accepted. We were engaged six weeks later, and got married three months after that. We've been married for six years.
14) I graduated from BYU six months after I got married. Next to being engaged, it was the busiest time of my life. In that time, I made my first home with Daniel ( my grandmother's house in Provo while she spent the winter in Phoenix), finished school, wrote a still-unpublished-but-nonetheless-great novel, sent out a bazillion thank-you notes, and bought a house. I get tired thinking about it.
15) Our first house was in Layton, Utah were we lived for three-and-a-half blissful years. It was there I discovered my spiritual gift (thank you, Holly Cupala, for mentioning gifts of the Spirit!).
16) True, my gift isn't one the Bible specifically mentions. In fact, some might question whether or not it is actually a gift. But I think it's important. Kids think they know me. Not the kids who actually do know me, because obviously, that's not much of a gift at all. I mean that kids I've never met will come up to me and talk like we're in the middle of a conversation, like we've been BFFs forever. Let me reiterate that I DO NOT KNOW THEM. I don't do school assemblies, I'm not on the Disney Channel. Not all kids recognize me. But enough do that I'm convinced someday it will be of significance.
17) Despite being BFFs with kids near and far, I have no children of my own.
18) Also, I have no pets. I'm plagued by allergies (this could have gone in the Parts of Me That Are Bad section).
19) I am allergic to grass. Kentucky bluegrass, which is such a misleading name because it's everywhere. Like Kentucky Fried Chicken.
20) I was asked to be the church camp director for the teenage girls in my congregation. While I love these girls, I am oh-too-aware that grass grows at this camp. Yikes.
21) I am fiercely competitive. I always forget this fact about myself because, for obvious reasons, I don't play sports. Last night I was playing a game with "my girls" and again saw this ugly side of myself.
22) As far as other bad traits: I need 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night so I waste a lot of my life in bed. I don't exercise or eat breakfast. I get moody without a steady intake of chocolate. I used to have a violent streak, and hit people regularly. I still have the streak, I suppose, but I've learned to overcome it.
23) It was only a few years ago that I succeeded re: nonviolence. I was almost twenty by the time I realized I was giving my roommate (and best friend) bruises. Thanks for putting up with me, Cammen!
24) To be fair, I'm sure I have good traits, too.
25) I'm drawing a blank as to what they are.
So, I'm sure everybody has already done this, but if you haven't: BOOYAH. You are tagged. I don't even want to think about how long it has taken me to type this. If you've read this far, you deserve a prize of some sort. I'll work on it.
If you are reading this note and you are not on Facebook, but you do want to participate, leave me a comment so I can check out your twenty five things!
#16 is where the amusing anecdote comes in. My friend Bree Despain, who is also an author (watch for her debut young adult novel The Dark Divinesometime next year) reminded me of this story. As a writer, I'm prone to occasionally going crazy and only another writer can truly understand. That's why, a few weeks ago I came to Bree's house a few hours early for our critique group meeting. While we commiserated we ran errands with her two sons. One of her little boys kept interrupting our conversation by saying, "Guess what? Guess what?" Trying not to monopolize Bree's (aka "mom's") time, I asked him "What?" He replied, "Why do you always answer me?" It was then I realized that any attention was not good enough-or at least my attention was not good enough. Why this came as a surprise I don't really know. From then on, I let Bree do the talking.
Imagine my surprise when we pulled into the garage. The little boy was again with the, "Guess what?" His mom was saying, "What?" The kid looked up at her. "No, no Mom." He looked at me. "I was talkin' to THIS guy." Maybe it says something about me that I was just honored he was talking to me again.
More amusing kid anecdotes to come. Although many people blog about funny things their own kids say, I have more than enough stories of things other people's kids say to me.
Meanwhile, on a professional note, I will be speaking this Thursday, March 12th, at Utah Valley State University as part of the Forum on Children's Literature. My session is in the afternoon. If you'll be there, come say hi! I just mentioned to my scribe (aka sister) to end the previous sentence with an exclamation point because I really wanted people to come say hi to me. She then asked if she should mention the part about me wanting people to say hi to me. That hadn't occurred to me until now. Isn't it handy to have a scribe? I bet my sister doesn't think so.
Have a great week!