Wednesday, December 07, 2005

15 Things

Drats! I've been tagged by the evil Laura, so here are 15 things about me.

1. I've never been married, currently not looking, and have never wanted children.

2. I have one cat, Squeaky, who will be 19 come spring. Squeaky is part Russian Blue Persian and fancies herself a scintilating conversationalist. She was named by my sister Heidi and lives up to her name since her meows are usually long, drawn out high-pitched cries. Yeah, she's pathetic but fairly loveable.

3. I don't drive and have never had any desire to learn -- though I admit there are times it might be nice to just throw a bag in the car and just take off somewhere.

4. I don't drink soda. Seriously. One night freshman year in college, I realized I was reaching for the umpteenth soda of the day and couldn't remember when I'd kast had a glass of water. I started regulating how much of it I drank, and then about a year out of college just quit cold turkey. Now the only time I drink any is a 7Up or a Sprite on the rare occasion my stomach is feeling really icky. If I have even a couple sips of caffeinated soda I feel sick.

5. I had my first poem published when I was in the 4th grade. A series of youth writing programs, high school youth writers' conferences, and a HS writing club led by local YA author Jocelyn Riley followed. I was also on the editorial staff of the arts magazine in both HS and college.

6. I was an exchange student to Norway and am still in touch with my wonderful family, the Viks (just had a Christmas prezzie from them yesterday!). In 2000 my host parents finally visited the US, and I hope to someday return to Norway, a beautiful though expensive country.

7. I played violin in 4th through 11th grade, and one of the most memorable Christmases was the year I got my very own instrument. I tried the flute in 7th grade band (mandetory), but never got the hang of it, unlike my niece Elizabeth who now plays flute in HS band.

8. I always wanted to take gymnatics or skating lessons when I was younger, but never had the opportunity to do so.

9. I love to travel, though I've not had the chance to do so in a couple years, and seem to visit a cemetery almost every trip I take. Have I mentioned how much I love cemeteries?

10. I have a BA in French and English (writing emphasis), which is why I work at the crummy job I do. Maybe I should have listened to my HS Spanish teacher and gone into linguisitcs. *shudder* (For the record, senior year in HS I was in French 5, Spanish 1, and had just returned from three months in Norway so had a smattering of Norwegian. Senora C. had far more faith in my abilities than I did.)

11. I am a Stampin' Up! addict and have been crafting my own greeting cards for five or six years now. Earlier this year a friend introduced me to the Splitcoast Stampers website, where it is all too easy to be sucked into the gallery. So many cool designs!

12. I have six much older half siblings (one deceased) and two younger sisters -- which means a plethora of nieces and nephews and even a few greats, ranging from 11 months up to age 33. In fact, my oldest niece is 6 weeks older than my baby sister.

13. Though I've never sung in choir, I love singing, was song chair in my college sorority (I'm an Alpha Xi Delta alumna) and, along with a friend, once held an impromptu "concert" in the Disney Store at the mall. Is it our fault they had the complete Disney Song Book??

14. I am honored to count many published authors as friends, have had a mention in at least two books, and had many more dedicated to me by such greats as Tony Blake and Cathie Linz (who christened me as a Romance Diva in her "Married to a Marine" long before there was Romance Divas and reconfirmed it in "Cinderella's Sweet-Talking Marine"). And yes, I was mentioned in Margie's and Cyn's books, too -- though if Cyn doesn't quit killing me off I may have to hurt her.

and finally....

15. When I was in Norway, a friend of my host father's took us up in a 4-seater plane. We flew along the southwestern coast and over the village where my family lived. How exhillerating! When we returned to the airport I was allowed to experience the helicopter simulator, one of only a few such programs in the world.

Oh, and because that just reminded me of something else....

16. My favorite memories of Norway was the day we went to Stavanger and then visited an Iron Age farm. While we were in one of the buildings listening to our guide explain how some of the tools they found would have been used, I was suddenly transported back to that era. I was standing on the hillside looking down towards the sea where three swords now stand. I could see the buildings and farmstead as they were then, and could hear and understand the ancient tongue of the people working around me, even though I did not yet understand much Norwegian. It was an amazing experience, and it was only a mouse scurrying across the floor that startled me out of the vision. (Did I mention some of my ancestors were Norwegian?)

There. Now to tag someone -- Hey Jana! You're it! (That's what you get for that ribbing on your blog about some people neglecting theirs of late, hehe...) You, too, Cynny!


Laura said...

hehehehe, I am evil and wicked and you know it H!

Norway sounds like a fantastic experience. I wish I'd had the opportunity to be an exchange student, or even to host one. We have them regularly visit our school for six or so months. Like Janine, 17 years old from Germany and giving our kids a kick up the pants when it comes to study. :-) Mabye I should ask to visit our Japanese sister school next year!

Jana said...

ACK! Trix! LOL

Okay, fine! :-p~~~

Interesting little tidbits, btw. Norway sounds awesome. And your family? Sounds a bit like mine. You'll see when you read 15 things about ME! (my favorite subject, btw. ROFL)

Heather said...

Norway was fantastic! I wish I could have been there during the 1994 Olympics, that would have been so cool (although extremely cold as well, lol). My host father was a communications engineer and actually did some work related to the Olympics. He's now retired from that job and works with a youth center. His wife is a teacher.

Jana~ I see you also have a big family. What I didn't mention is that I also have a lot of relatives, though you'd never know it. We aren't close. There were 6 kids in Mom's family, and 5 in Dad's. I have a ton of cousins on Dad's side I've never met.