November 26, 2008

Huckle Cat, marijuana, and Nano--but no Hayden Christensen

Good buddy Gene who has chronicled his personal DIY Insanity through what seems to me a complete home rebuild, has slapped me with a tag. A "seven random or weird book facts" meme. Simple, except for tagging seven other people.

  1. When I was little, I could not get enough Richard Scarry. I must have had every book with Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm. I would sit with them for hours and hours. I think I finally moved on to chapter books when I was about fourteen. (When my older son was born, we discovered there are videos. Sweet.)
  2. I knew I wanted to write way back in elementary school. My fifth grade teacher had a gold star program where we would get a star for each Newberry book we read or for each book we made and wrote. She taught us how to stitch the paper, add cardboard covers and binding tape. I made at least a dozen such books, mostly fiction. Stories included
    A Trip to Las Vegas, books 1 and 2 (autobiographical)
    The Purple and Green Cat and Other Stories (short fiction)
    Forced Journals (eponymous)
    Tom in Disneyland (fiction)
    More Stories About Tom (short fiction)
  3. When I was in elementary school, my brother was in high school. In the mid 70s. He had this really cool book... I think it might have been Vernes' "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," but I can't recall. He had taken an x-acto knife and cut out the middle of most of the pages, making a secret hiding place inside. I liked to open this book and look at the little pipe and smell the cool dried plants he kept in there. I thought maybe he'd get mad if I said anything, so I kept quiet. It was so cool, but I could never bring myself to cut up the pages of any book, even for a secret hiding place. Of course, I never had any need for a secret hiding place. But my brother's book idea, and its contents, made it into a short story I had published in The First Line a couple of years ago.
  4. I don't read very fast. I don't move my lips or anything, but it takes me a long time to read a book. I could scoot through, but I tend instead to be deliberate about the words, sounding them out in my head, hearing the flow of the language as much as absorbing the story. I think that helps with retention, but it makes it hard to finish some books. I think it's also the reason that I don't like some books that other people gush over. If prose seems stilted, arrogant, or self-congratulatory, or if it's just clumsy, I put the book down.
  5. I love to read aloud to my boys. I read all seven Harry Potter volumes as well as five of the Narnia books to them, and countless others. There was a time I could recite half the Berenstein Bears books without looking at the pages.
  6. I have written four novels in the past four years. The most recent, a YA adventure story that takes place during the gold rush, is good enough for publication. I haven't secured representation yet, mostly because I haven't sent out many queries.
  7. My second job out of college, when I was 23 years old, was running a tech pubs group at a software startup. Over three years I ran a team that produced comprehensive documentation for a PC operating system (PC/GEOS for you old tyme Geoworks fans) comprising about 5,000 pages over seven volumes. I think I still have a copy, in the original shrink wrap, but I can't find it now.
And now the people to be tagged:
J@na (if she's still blogging)
Janey (if she's not too sick)
Sarah (if she hasn't moved to Canada... oh wait, they have internet there, don't they)
Robin (because I can't tag anyone without tagging Robin too)
Paca (there's bound to be a cookbook reference there)
Blogless (because we need something funny and new from da Troll)
Maria (my own writing mama)
And I'd have tagged Lily, too, but her blog is invitation only and since it's invitation only it doesn't show up in my feed reader which means it doesn't really exist in my universe. Sorry, Lily!


Unknown said...

The Purple and Green Cat and Other Stories (short fiction)

Fortunately that wasn't:
The Purple and Green Cat and Why I Was Never Allowed to Have Another Pet (autobiographical)

Thanks for playing the meme game!

PJD said...


I am told that when I was three years old, I thought my cat smelled bad so I took a whole bottle of my sister's perfume (she was 10, so you can imagine the scent) and poured it on kitty's head.

Blogless Troll said...

I first read it as "seven random weird book of facts" meme and wondered why they were all about reading, but now I get it.

I may have neglected to tell you I'm protected by an impenetrable meme shield. But if I can think of seven, for you, I'll do it.

Keep working the Hayden.

Unknown said...

An invisible mime shield? How would you know if it's working? :-)

PJD said...

Dang! I forgot about that impenetrable meme shield.

Aren't all mime shields invisible?

McKoala said...

I have a strange aversion to Richard Scarry. I loathed his books from an early age. I still cringe when I see one, and I still don't know why.

lahosken said...

I still show a coupla chapters of the PC/GEOS docs to potential employers as a writing sample. (Hmm, maybe if I switched to something written in this century, I'd get more follow-up, but where's the fun in that?)

Robin B. said...

Hey there-

My Thanksgiving weekend is a weird one - so I may be doing this tonight or tomorrow, and pretending I have some work to do, to get away.

Thanks for the reason!

JaneyV said...

I will get to this today. I'm clueless as to what to write so I might have to make it all up!

JaneyV said...

It's finally up! Sorry for the delay.

Blogless Troll said...

It's done.

Stacy said...

liked to open this book and look at the little pipe and smell the cool dried plants he kept in there.

Hah. This reminds me of the time when I was in college (the first time), my mother quietly took me aside after dinner and told me I needed to get rid of "what was in my room." I didn't know what the hell she was talking about. "Oh, Mom," I said, waving my hand nonchalantly. "They give me a whole bag of those at Planned Parenthood whenever I go in for a pap. I don't even use them. Just throw them away."

Turns out she thought I had a huge bag of pot in my old bedroom. But it was just catnip. Honest.

Lily said...

I might get over my paranoia one of these days, but there are so many dangerous nutjobs out there...You have an invite so you can come by anytime...J@na tagged me in spite of my cyber-agoraphobia and I did, in fact, step up.

bluesugarpoet said...

I dusted off the old keyboard and complied. :) Thanks for that - I needed a little inspiration.

bluesugarpoet said...

Mime shield? Where can I get one?!