Thursday, March 27, 2014

So Tired of Being Anonymous

Yes, it's true.  I feel like I'm missing out on something by having to hide behind my red hat.

Okay, I don't have to.  I've chosen to.  And the plan has always been, and still is, to take off the hat and face the world once my debut novel is announced.

So, yes.  It'll happen.  (You know I believe that, or I wouldn't still be here.)

But may I just say how frustrating it is to see WRITERS I KNOW on various social media, and I can't connect?


Anyway.  It's okay.  This is my persona, my platform, my gift to the writing community.  I'm fine with it, and, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what name I sign here.  Because, truly, I am about as ME as I can possibly be.  The words you read here are from my heart.  The life experiences I share aren't fictional--they're real.  My struggles, my triumphs, my insecurities--you've seen them all.  So it's not like I'm hiding.  Truly, I'm about as "out" and transparent as one can get without actually revealing the rest of my life details.

Like who I am.  And where I live.  And what else I do besides write.

The absence of that personal information doesn't affect what I do here, or how I connect.  It gives me a sense of loss, is all.

In the beginning, it was terrifying.  I was constantly worried that's I'd slip up.  To this day, I keep my "real me" email separate from my authoress accounts (my Me-mail isn't gmail).  I used to stop and think VERY HARD before signing an email, to make sure I was using AUTHORESS.

It worked the other way, too.  Once I left a comment on my sister's blog as Authoress instead of myself.  It wasn't a big deal -- there was no audience crossover.  But it made my heart beat out of my chest when I realized what I'd done.

It's safe to say that I am now a split personality pro.  I'm not sure if that's something to be proud of, but there you have it.

At any rate, will you indulge me today by allowing me to share some THINGS about me that, in some way, will make me feel less faceless?  In return, I only ask that you share ONE THING about yourself in the comment box.  The ONE THING does NOT have to be about writing!  Just something about you that makes you...well, you.  The quirkier, the better!


  1. I am terrified of ants.  This probably dates back to when I was 2 years old.  You know how ants sometimes come out in huge, terrifying clusters, and spread over the sidewalk?  I was sitting on my little "bike" and rolling over a cluster of ants.  My mom warned me to stop--explained that the ants would crawl on me if I didn't stop.  I kept rolling.  And the ants started crawling up my legs.  It totally served me right.  But to this day, I absolutely freak out if I find an ant anywhere on my body.  Or anywhere else, really.
  2. My teen years (and beyond) were devastated by acne.  It's gone now, but the scars remain, both physical and emotional.  As a result, I never feel beautiful.  (And that's about as naked as truth gets.)
  3. My feet are 2 different sizes.  They are also quite small (5 and 5.5).  And I can never remember which foot is which size.  (I wear 5.5 shoes; you'd think I'd be able to tell which shoe is slightly looser.)
  4. Once, I had a pet mouse named Oscar.  He got some sort of skin thing where he kept scratching, spattering blood on the glass walls of his cage.  I got tired of that, and, being a self-absorbed teen, decided to stop giving him food and water so that he would die.  Which he did.  (This experience probably helps me write troubled teen characters.  Maybe.)
  5. My college boyfriend is gay now.  (Well, he was apparently gay then, too.  But he wasn't owning it.)  This is the guy who once checked the time on his watch in the middle of kissing me.  I should have known something was up.
  6. My other college boyfriend is now my husband.
  7. My piano teacher in college gave me the key to his office so that I could practice on his magnificent piano when he wasn't there.  One day, I fell asleep with my face on the keys.  When I woke up, I discovered I had drooled on his Mason and Hamlin.  Thankfully, he didn't catch me.
  8. When I was an administrative assistant, however, my boss did catch me sleeping at my desk.  He assumed I was ill and sent me home.  (I wasn't ill.  I was just...sleeping.)
  9. I love sleeping.
  10. I have tinnitus.  I don't know what true silence sounds like.  It's not debilitating, like it is for some people.  But I hate it, and wish it would go away.  Constant, clashing overtones in my head does not do much for maintaining inner peace!
  11. When I was in first grade, my music teacher was so impressed that I could sing Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful in Latin that she had me come to her fourth grade class and sing it for them.  That was the beginning of my love for audiences.
  12. My big lead role was Lili in Carnival.  I was not-quite-17.  And I can still sing all the words to all the songs.  (You can imagine how much Mr. A loves that...)
  13. Several months after getting my license, I drove my dad's VW Super Beetle into a tree.
  14. He gave me the car a few years later.  It was already old then, and by now it would be vintage. I miss that car dreadfully.  It was the most "me" car I've ever driven.  (Trees notwithstanding.)
  15. I love foot massages.  And I almost never get them.
  16. My favorite flower is the lilac.  We had 2 gorgeous lilac trees in our back yard, and my dad always cut some and put them in vases.  For my 12th birthday, he cut 12, put them in a vase, and wrote me a poem about them, called "The Things They Don't Say".   It's pretty much the most amazing poem a daddy could write for his daughter.  I still have it.
  17. I'm not athletic at all.  But I adore baseball, because my dad used to take me on bus trips to see the Phillies play.  One of my favorite things to do when I visit my parents is to hit some balls with my dad.  I suck at it, but last summer I hit several singles.  (Yeah, that's probably because my dad is older now, so I was able to make it to first.)
  18. I am 25% Ukrainian, on my mom's side.  She called her paternal grandparents "Baba" and "Gigi".
  19. Once, I jumped off a swing with an umbrella and tried to be Mary Poppins.  It didn't work.
  20. I read Alive in seventh grade, and still have visions of human hands hanging on the wall of a make-shift shelter for midnight snacking.  (What seventh-grade teacher puts a book like that on her shelves?!)
  21. I can't stand puke.  I close my eyes when I throw up so I don't have to look at it.
  22. A number of years ago, I passed out on the toilet and my husband thought I was dead.  He called 911, and they carted me away in an ambulance.  Turns out I was seriously dehydrated (the EMT tried 3 times to get an IV line started on our way to the hospital, but he couldn't find my veins at all).  It took 2 bags of fluid to get me right again.
  23. Ambulances are seriously lacking in shock absorbers.  Worst ride of my life.
  24. Mr. A tried to teach me to drive a stick shift.  Once.
  25. In eighth grade, we were learning about prejudice in Civics class.  Our teacher told us to write down, anonymously, any prejudices we had against any people groups/race/whatever, and to pass them in.  She said it was confidential.  I thought and thought (because, really, I didn't have any seething hatred inside me or anything), and finally I wrote, "The Jews, because of what they did to Jesus."

    The next day, this teacher, who had promised confidentiality, railed in front of the whole class about how one of us had written, "The Jews, because of what they did to Jesus", and how she felt SO SORRY for that person, and how it was horrible, and yada yada yada.  And there I sat, WANTING TO DIE A THOUSAND TIMES.  And there, in the class near me, sat A JEWISH BOY.

    No, she didn't say my name.  But I felt the sting of her words, and the shame stayed with me for a long, long time.

    Yes, my comment was made out of ignorance.  I had never even spoken to a Jewish person.  I knew next to nothing about it.  Honestly, I had to think really hard to even come up with that to pass in something on my anonymous sheet of paper.

    What's beautiful is that, today, I have a profound love for Jews.  As a Christian, I share a common faith heritage with them.  I have learned so much about their beliefs and traditions (even attended my first Seder last year!), and I am a fierce supporter of Israel.  And the cream on the cupcake?  God has given me an amazing Jewish man for my agent!  Josh has taught me things without even realizing he has (including obscure Yiddish words that I can't believe I didn't know).

    I love the "full circle" of this story in my life.  I love the way I grew from ignorance to appreciation.  I could have done without the intense shaming, for sure.  But at least this story has a happy ending.
On that note, I hand the pen to you.  Share one thing about YOU, and the time I've spent on this post will be well worth it!

(And thank you for letting be ME in 25 bits.  I feel like I can put the red hat back on now, and still breathe.)


  1. One day, this will be you.

    You know lots about me already, and this won't be any surprise, but to follow the rules: I love Peter Parker and have always wanted to be him.

  2. I didn't learn to drive until I was 23, and by then I had to hire a professional instructor because I scared everyone else away.

  3. I was always fascinated with flying, but never imagined I could actually do it. My dad took my brother and I to air shows, and I always resented it because it never felt like it was for me - it was for boys and I was being dragged along, taunted with something I could never have.

    One day I made the (expensive) mistake of saying out loud to a former pilot, that I would love to learn to fly, and this person said, "well then why don't you just do it?"

    It's weird how just one random person can change everything with a few words. He was a former pilot, so he knew what it took to learn to fly, and he believed that I could. And suddenly it wasn't something being held out in front of my face to tease me, it was something I either wanted badly enough or I didn't, and I decided I did.

  4. What a great way to share who you are without, yanno, sharing who you really are. I know it must be so frustrating, but you've come this far so another mile or two is no big, right? How awesome will it be when you finally do reveal!


  5. I am also terrified of ants. Solidarity!

    Besides that, one of my biggest non-writing, non-career, non-relationship, non-family life goals is to see a platypus in person.

  6. For a second there, I thought this was going to be the big reveal post. Oh well, we can wait.

    My big reveal? I hate beaches and swimming pools. I can't swim. In fact, I'm terrified of water deeper than my chest. I had some really bad experiences with swimming lessons as a child (one 'teacher' would hold us under water in the deep end for as long as she thought we should be able to hold our breath). Now I have to bury my fear, because 2 of my 3 kids love the water. I still manage to avoid most pool trips, but I can't dodge them all.

    Now you know. (And knowing is half the battle - right, 80s kids?)

  7. Aww, hun. What a lovely post. <33
    Well, I have the feeling that you'll stop being anonymous soon!!
    P.S. We need to catch up!!

  8. When I was five my friends and I were sent to talk to our minister about racism because we asked to play at the color house. After hearing about not judging people for the color of their skin, their religion or gender (sexual preference was not discussed back then and especially not with five year olds) we all agreed not to be insensitive and refer to someone as colored. We also asked if we could still go over to their house because they had the first color TV in the neighborhood and we liked playing with the knobs to turn the people green or orange. He was quite surprised that we were calling them the color family because of their TV not their Skin.

  9. I couldn't get past watching a mouse starve.

  10. there someone out there who isn't grossed out by barf? (i mean, i know there are but ewww on that fetish)

    I still have acne in my early 30s. It's awesome /sarcarsm.

    So do any of your online peeps know who you are? Like your CPs? Or do they all just refer to you as authoress? Just curious

  11. I heart this post so much. Can't wait until you don't have to be anonymous anymore.

    Okay, mine ... hmmm. I used to want to be a singer. In high school I sang a duet in a talent contest and we won first place. My duet partner? He became a Grammy winner. He's one of the singers in All 4 One. We're still friends.

  12. One thing?

    I love to sing. I sing in the car, the shower, at work, and pretty much everywhere else.

    I have a perchant when I'm at home for singing songs from bygone eras. I invariably pick songs my wife hates. This is without any prior knowledge of her dislike of the song. I have done this to such an extent that my wife and I have agreed its my super power.

    I'm not in any way, shape, form or manner 'good' at singing. I would never audition for a singing role or any nonsense like that, but I do get a kind of joy from singing that I can't fully explain.

  13. Such a great list!

    My college boyfriend is on his way to becoming my husband. We have a house together, we have a dog together, etc. Just haven't tied the knot yet.

  14. Thanks for sharing these. It must be a frustrating irony to keep your anonymity, while at the same time building community.

    Like you I suffer from tinnitus and wonder what true silence must sound like.

    As for a 'reveal', um, when I was a teen, I had crushes on Mickey from the Monkees and Carl Sagan.

  15. If it makes you feel better, I had a short stint working in a show store in high school and apparently 995 of the population has two different-sized feet. One foot is a half-size larger. Most people don't even realize until properly measured. I can't remember now if it's the opposite one to your dominant hand or the same one, but there's a connection there too.

    Now I'll share too- my most "me" car was a Miata convertible that I was only able to buy because the woman who owned it before me defaulted on her lease and my boyfriend at the time worked for the leasing company. Then, the day before it was to have changed hands, she crashed it into a wall in a suicide attempt. They rebuilt it and I took ownership and to this day I don't know why it didn't bother me more that someone attempted suicide while driving it.

  16. What a lovely post. Even though I don't know your name, I already feel like I know you.

    Something about me? Um... I went to 4 different elementary schools in 4 different countries.

  17. I'm not fond of hippies or children.

  18. I am also a Phillies fan, had terrible acne in my teens, and was attacked by ants (red ones) as a child. Technically, that's three things, but I'm counting it as one :)

  19. I once got stuck in a hollow tree in middle school.
    It was as stupid as it sounds.

  20. Since I don't get to spend as much time commenting as I would like, and you are so gracious to share many helpful things, I will give more than one. I feel it's only fair!

    1) When learning to drive (way back a hundred some-odd years ago-it seems), my mother demanded I pulled into our shared driveway. Pulling her boat-of-a-car beside the slick new neighbor's vehicle terrified me. I accidentally gunned it, swerved away from the other car and into my front yard, side swiping a Dog Tree and stopping just a foot short of my front porch. As we walked into the house my mother yells, "Tell your father what you did!" He responds, "I heard it."

    I was afraid of driveways for many years!

    2)After I was born, my mother struggled to get me to talk. I seemed to refuse to learn. However, one day I kept repeating "Ah-hoe" and my mother thought I was cussing, mocking my father, and shoved soap in my mouth. Turns out, I was trying to say my sister's name, Crystal. But apparently the soap gave me the lasting impression not to speak because I didn't start talking until I was three!

    I haven't shut up says my mother:-)

  21. Until this post, I only considered anonymity as a sort of freedom. But you helped me recognize that denying your single true self could be lonely.

    The thing about me--I'm a planner. I have a Plan A and a Plan B and sometimes even a Plan C, because it helps me move forward and avoid disappointment. (A key skill for a writer, eh?) So, it kinda hurt my husband's feelings when it slipped out that I have a list of things I plan to do when I'm a widow. But see, my father died just a few months before he retired, leaving my mother a relatively young widow, and she was adrift for the longest time. . . . No, a list isn't much protection against a devastating loss. Nevertheless, I have one.

  22. Hi everyone, you all have really neat traits about you!

    When I was 13 years old I packed up my bags and moved to South America. Bolivia, to be exact, and traveled from La Paz along the Yungas Road (the Death Road) to get to Caranavi. I lived there for awhile and worked as a construction worker until I got so homesick for mom and dad and brothers and sisters that I packed up and went home.

    An eye opening experience. I am 22 now and am more of a home-body then I have ever been.

  23. I feel like you need to follow your heart--I think if you want to stop being anonymous now, then maybe this is the right time for you. It seems like what was once a gift is now a burden.

    Hmm. Something about me: I was painfully shy when I was little, and many times would end up in tears walking to my elementary school music lesson. Because I had to stand up in the middle of class and leave for my lesson when no one else had to. I hate being the center of attention, even now. :)

  24. Some facts, hmm.

    1. I love to sing.
    2. I love to sleep. I have a fatigue disorder, and I can sleep 14 hours straight easily, when I have the chance (which isn't often).
    3. I have a very sensitive stomach to smells - puke, dog and cat messes. I retch whenever I have to go near them. As a single mum with 2 cats (who had a dog up til last year) you can imagine, that's fun.
    4. I am a world-class procrastinator - which is what I'm doing now :)
    5. I'm actually very shy, but my "writer pen-name persona" isn't, and so far, it's working well :)

    Very interesting to read your list. Love the blog (this is my first comment though I've been reading a while) :) xx

  25. The night before I registered for my college classes, my best friend at the time was making fun of my school (you could take a class on human sexuality, and a film study class on porn, so there were some less awesome parts of the school to be sure). She flipped open the schedule of classes and crowed, "You can take surfing for credit! Surfing?!" She flipped it open again. "You can take fencing for credit! For College. Credit. Fencing!"

    I tore the schedule of classes out of her hands and said "Fine, I will!"

    I went to nationals twice in fencing.

  26. I've killed two goldfish. One out if spite because it belonged to a mean cousin who bullied me. And the other one in college because it got ick. It sat on my desk and I got so sick of looking at it that I flushed it. So I can relate to the mouse thing. Though I probably would have just tossed it outside for the cat to eat. When I was 16 I had a cat that just LOVED mice. Got super fat one winter. ^_^

  27. I did the Mary Poppins jump too. From the top of the porch. Grass stains all over my dress and tore my leggings. Made my mom furious.

    About me: I HATE spit. Not like, brushing your teeth spit, but people spitting on sidewalks, anyone chewing tobacco, even the nasty hacking sound that preempts spit. All makes me gag. Literally, gag. I paid my neice to wash spit off my car once because I was going to be sick looking at it.

    Yes, I'm a wimp.

  28. I have a black thumb. I cannot keep anything green alive; they all whither a die painfully. Despite this, I still insist on potted plants and gardens. So my yard is a perpetual graveyard of decaying and dying plants. My mom, out of pity and a twisted sense of humor I inherited, gave me a barrel catcus and dared me to kill it. It took years, and I almost killed it when I didn't transplat it to a larger pot soon enough. But there it was, surviving and thriving, when I thought "Hey, you know what the catcus would like? To be out in the sunshine." So he went out in the sunshine, and stayed there during a really bad rainstorm.

    Did you know that when you overwater a barrel catcus, they implode? It blew up twice its size, and then sunk in on itself and shriveled up. There Mom. I hope you're happy. I killed the catcus.

    Now, excus me. I need to go plot out my grand strawberry patch. :-)

  29. Well, Authoress, I have decided after this reveal session that my big secret is: I am YOU! It's frightening how many life experiences we share.

    Seriously, though, the one thing I don't tell many people is that I share my ice cream bowl with my elderly cat.

  30. I love this post! It feels like a real privilege to hear those stories. Thank you!

    You know, even though you're anonymous now, I've always felt you've been genuine and "real". So while it'll be cool to have the face and name instead of the hat, I hope you don't feel like you've been hiding. You've been a very real friend and supporter to so many of us for a long time.

    A little something about me... When I was quite young, a neighbour-friend who was older took me to the playground. I felt quite cool and special to be riding the teeter-totter with this more grown-up girl! But when her friends came along, she jumped off the teeter-totter and abandoned me, leaving me to crash to the ground. I can't remember if it hurt me physically, but it's the first "betrayal" I recall. Seems like a silly little story to remember after all these years, but I suppose it's possible that wound is part of the reason I'm a fiercely loyal person now.

  31. I feel like I know you better than many a person in the writing community whose names I know!

    I am a white Anglo-Saxon female who attended the Universidad National de México one summer, which led to me work in Guatemala for three years, teaching children of missionaries at a boarding school. Long story about how I spent that summer in Mexico City, but it started with my high school senior year spent in Tanzania, East Africa. The only connection is the radical change in my worldview that living in another country brought about, but that is HUGE. Life changing, you might say. ;-)

  32. Love reading about you! My favorite flowers are purple irises which my mom had planted at the house I grew up in. I too love to sleep. I think the idea of an afternoon siesta is way under appreciated in this country. (I use that line in my current MS.) God made the world and everything in it in 6 days and on the seventh day, He rested. The Bible has numerous references to this concept. So in case you couldn't tell, I'm also a Christian (and shame on your teacher for doing that--hope she learned something from that herself.)
    P.S. Your dad and his poem idea rock!

  33. I was once given a hand-me-down telescope as a gift. I now have a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, but have *yet* to even put that thing together, not even now that I have kids...

  34. I'm intrigued as to why you're anonymous. Have you excelled in something we would recognise in a previous life? Whatever the reason it sounds like you would love to unveil yourself right now.
    As for me, I once met John Lennon. I fell over in front of him in Regent Street, London, and he helped me pick up my bags and called me 'kid', which I was then. Not now sadly.

  35. How fun, Authoress! Thanks for sharing. My writers group meets for lunch once a month and we've started going around the table sharing one little known fact about ourselves. Very entertaining.

    I used to skydive while going to college in Hawaii. It started out as a dare and I loved my first jump so much that I kept on doing it. I did freefalls, star formations with other divers, competitions, the whole bit. Not to say I didn't have any accidents because I did. While under canopy I landed on the highway once, on the beach, in a sugar cane field, a cow pasture and in a tree. Fun times. I even broke my back once, but it was a minor injury, a cracked vertebrae. Totally healed now.

    Also while in college I went out on a date with Wilt Chamberlain. We met while I was hostessing at a restaurant in Waikiki he liked to go to. I remember when we danced that night his belt buckle hit me square in the chest. Awkward.

  36. Wow, Authoress, on the Jewish story. You were ignorant, but that teacher was an asshole through and through. Way to teach trust and kindness, there, teacher. 0_o

    My little detail: I'm attracted to women, and I'm a woman. But I married a man because of my belief system, and became attracted to him. No, there was no crazy therapy involved (those stories are all false, btw; there are no documented electroshock crazies out there, not since at least the 70s, and I've got friends who've used and enjoyed modern sexuality therapy). I just fell into a love greater than desire.

    I want to write about flexible sexuality in my YA, but I know my perspective is not one appreciated right now, and sometimes it makes me sad. Because one day I will write about sexuality-changes, because it's me and true and it has to come out, and it's going to get me ripped apart. Even though I don't hate anyone. = / I just want to say, at the end of every story, that when things look impossible and unnecessary and crazy, well...

    There's always love.

    So that's my little transparency.

  37. I hate litterbugs. Every time I see someone toss paper, cans or cigarettes on the ground, I want to pick it up and nail it to their forehead. For people who spit gum on the ground there is a special penance. I'd shove it right back in their mouths and force them to keep chewing.

    I made this the topic of my first speech in my college speech class. From the horror etched on the faces around me, I'm not the only one who abhors litterbugs.

  38. I wish I was a real life princess. I have very distance English relatives and love everything royal!I watched Princess Diana's wedding and knew right then that someday I'd be a princess too. I got my chance to ride in a horse drawn carriage on my wedding day. My husband is a real life prince for agreeing to that one! I now love all things Princess Kate and my teenage daughter does too. :) I definitely believe that life is can be a fairy tale in one way or another!

  39. Thank you for such a sweet post. I look forward to the day you make your big reveal because that means that your dream will have come true...and you deserve that so very much!

  40. I loved the story about your dad's poem and the lilacs - I wish you would share his poem (if it's not too personal). I'm going to do that for my daughter on her 12th birthday -- what an amazing idea.

    My personal secret is that I snore. You can all laugh -- most people do. But growing up it was traumatic for me. At sleepovers I would try to wait until everyone else fell asleep so I didn't wake anyone up -- but I always did. I was that loud. I was ruthlessly ridiculed by friends with tape recorders -- thank goodness there was no Facebook back then. As a girl it just wasn't acceptable to snore. And then in college it got worse. I became known as the "snorer" who kept the whole hall up. And years later when I go to reunions, it STILL comes up. Now, I've just accepted it -- and my husband has too -- but growing up, it was hard, because just like Authoress, I love to sleep.

  41. I once went to culinary school, but left when I realized I liked baking more in my own kitchen than in a bakery.

  42. I share your ambivalence about anonymity. I run a fun (non-author) blog where I'll remain unknown for lots of reasons. But, I'll start an author blog as soon as an agent wants me to. : )

    My first car was also a VW Super bug. I can drive a stick shift. I had my first ambulance ride 2 years ago--think mushrooms.

    I share your opinions on 9, 15,16, 20, and 21.
    And as for your teacher in #25, there could have been no possible 'good' answer, could there?

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the success of your debut novel!

  43. I heart you even more for this, Miss A! Love it all.

    My first car was a completely restored 1969 VW Beetle. LOVED that car. Bought it with my own money! Silly me sold it for modern conveniences like air conditioning and power steering.

    A little-known factoid about me? I took theater in high school in an attempt to overcome my debilitating shyness. It was beyond crippling! Theater helped, a little. I'm still terribly withdrawn when around people I don't know.

  44. I too am terrified of ants, but really only those little tiny "sugar" ants and my reason is a story that I won't share for the sake of anyone who reads this comment and because I don't want to relive it.

    Other than that, my secret alternate ambition in life was to be a Muppeteer. I am very happy to be pursuing my career in academic librarianship, but my family did Muppet style puppets all through my childhood and I love putting a puppet on my hand and making it come alive.

  45. Once a tractor-trailer truck tried to bully me by edging me toward a 3-foot construction drop off on the expressway. I stood my ground and blasted my horn for a full minute. Now, anytime I feel remotely intimidated by a bedraggled driver in a vehicle large enough to crush me to smithereens, I get a major rebellious streak going, knowing full well I'm putting my life in danger. Wish I could be that bold, not so much in the process of writing, but in grabbing those pages in hand and chasing the dream.

    Also, both my college kids still struggle with acne and they are the most beautiful creatures on earth! :)

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  47. I, too, have different sized feet, also somewhere around 5 and 5.5! But it's easy for me to remember which one is smaller, because it has a congenital deformity and I had surgery on it when I was eleven, resulting in life-long scars. I don't have any serious walking issues anymore, but I quite loathe shoe-shopping, because those skinny pointy-toed high-heeled things that most women love are instruments of torture for me. When I find the rare pair of shoes that does fit well, I wear them until they're fully worn out and then some.

    Thanks for sharing so much about yourself. That was fun!

  48. My third grade math teacher told my parents at a parent-teacher conference (at which I was present) that they shouldn't bother saving a college fund for me because I was too lazy to learn how to do math and I'd never get into college.

    She was right about one thing--I didn't need a college fund. I got a full academic scholarship.

    In the college I was diagnosed with dyscalculia, a relatively rare and hard to diagnose mathematical learning disability.

    I have two Masters degrees, both of which I earned with highest honors. I got a 103% average in graduate level Statistics. Now I'm an advocate for students with disabilities.

  49. Your story about the VW and the tree sounded all too familiar. Shortly after I got my driver's license, I sheared the sideview mirror off my mom's car as I pulled out of the garage. If I recall correctly, it was Super Bowl Sunday. The next day she had to drive to the repair shop with the mirror dangling off the side of the car. The next decade was spent reminding me of the mishap. :-)

  50. Love this! I empathize as I write Romance which may include sex scenes (haven't decided how closed door they'll be yet) and as a teacher, my board would NOT be impressed, so Anonymous it is :)

    Quirky Me? Okay - I am allergic to the lilacs you love but once stayed in a lilac bush for ages so I could win at Hide 'n' Seek :)

  51. I want to hug you after reading this!! I feel like I know you, even without knowing who you are exactly. (I'm a Christian, too, by the way!)

    Since you shared your Jewish story, I'll share my similarly humiliating story. I was in 2nd grade or something, living in Hong Kong. For the record, there are very few black people in Hong Kong. A couple African girls started attending our school and one of them was in my grade. I was so eager to befriend her, because I'd never had a black friend, and I was so worried about her being excluded because she was black that I kind of went overboard in the other direction ... following her around, probably bugging her to death. Then one day, in my exuberance, I said, "I want to be your friend even though you're black!" which, of course, was not what I meant to say at all. Well, she never spoke to me again, of course (who could blame her!) and I still think of that exchange with a horrible feeling of shame.... Ugh!


  52. Let's see. Okay.

    All my favorite flowers come out of bulbs--tulips, calla lilies, peonies, ranunculuses, dahlias.

    When I was much younger, I lived in Buenos Aires for sixteen months, serving as a missionary for my church, and I'm still fluent in Spanish. My oldest son also served in Argentina (Cordoba). When we talk to each other in Spanish, my husband assumes we're talking about him.

    I have five children (four boys), and I homeschool or have homeschooled all of them. The oldest two are finished with high school now, but I'm still teaching the youngest three. As a result, I understand all sorts of math things that never made any sense when I was their age (better books, I think).

    I'm both fascinated by and terrified of the ocean. It's so powerful and mysterious and full of strange, inexplicable creatures. I like to watch documentaries about the deep ocean, but I do it with my hands over my eyes like they're horror movies.

  53. Before I get to me, let me say that every time I read about you, I admire you even more. The you in the blogs is so beautiful, so unsparingly honest, it makes me ashamed of my daily protective prevarications. Mild, but I hide behind them nonetheless.
    And I must also say I too am deathly afraid of throw up ( I hate the v-word and the p-word) and only when my kids are sick does that feeling go into remission because the only thing bigger than that fear is my love and concern for them.
    And also, I drove a VW bug, primer and yellow-colored, when I first got my license. I loved it fiercely, even though I had to park it on a hill so could clutch-start it. And take out the battery at night so it could stay in the house and not freeze. (I grew up in MN).
    So that's about me, just a bit.

  54. I loved getting to know you. You are such a fascinating person.
    Ever since middle school I have struggled with chronic hives. And as I got older they only got worse. It wasn't until four years ago that my boyfriend (now husband) suggested I try stop eating gluten. It was so hard. I loved Bread. And I seriously went through withdrawals--headaches, cravings, crankiness. But after a few weeks when all the gluten was out of my system, the hives went away. I was no longer the itchy, scratchy girl. I no longer needed four different types of allergy meds. I stopped going to my allergy doctor and saved a ton of money. It literally was life changing for me.
    So now I love baking and cooking things that are gluten free that don't taste like they are gluten free. My best friend can make a gluten free Italian cream cake to die for!
    Thank you for this post Authoress!

  55. OMG! Round about no. 9 I began to think that you must be my wife. I was thinking: could she have hidden all this from me for so long? Then I read on and I knew you weren't her. What a relief!

    The thing that makes me me just now is knowing that I am becoming more and more like my father with each passing day. Like him but without his charisma!

  56. All these years have passed and I still have a crush on the Fonz!

  57. I am terrified of driving on the freeway. So much that I will go out of my way to avoid it, adding time and miles. That is if I drive at all. Most times I take public transportation instead. I used to dream of having my own driver (and a limo of course) when I was young. I wonder if that was a foreshadowing? Thanks for a great post!

  58. I love self analysis. On that note, when I decided that I wanted to write, I figured that I would only enjoy writing fiction, because it's what I loved most to read. But now that I'm in the middle of writing a fiction novel, I've realized that I enjoy writing short essay creative nonfiction pieces much more. I'm still trying to find my niche, apparently, and am struggling to find the balance of creative nonfiction, and my fiction novel.

  59. Loved this post. The first car I remember riding in was a VW super Beetle. My mom drove that car even after the back floorboard fell out. I used to sit crosslegged on the back seat, terrified that my shoes would fall off. Memories. I guess I should have been terrified that I'd fall through and get rolled over.

    Ant are evil. My twin sister and I got into a fight when we were 5 and ended up rolling around in a red ant pile. I am not scared of them, per se, but if I see an ant I have to kill it. I even taught my kids to smoosh them into the sidewalk.

  60. I have lost the ability to concentrate through noise. When I was a teenager, I could read or write regardless of what was going on around me (and no matter how loudly it was going on). Now? Fifteen years, four kids, and too many failed attempts at multitasking later, I've learned that I need silence to think. Not necessarily to write, but definitely for editing. Not necessarily for reading, but definitely for analyzing.

    And since I have four kids and silence is a precious commodity, I've also learned something else: Star Trek makes everything better. Especially when watched on the couch, curled up with all the kids and the husband. Our couch might now appreciate it, but I sure do. It's my favorite way to unwind after a long day. :)

  61. Well except for your face and name, you're hardly anonymous anymore. That was a very courageous post and I'm glad to know you in such a personal way.

    Your lost poem touched me. My mom just past away last week and the poem she wrote in my sixth grade album has remained with me forever. I'll share it.
    *You've a lifetime ahead of you
    With opportunities galore
    Keep an open mind, an open heart
    and remember forever more
    It's what you say, and what you do
    That life in turn, returns to you.

    Looking forward to the big reveal!

  62. I love what you do for budding authors on this blog, and love this post!

    When I was in the first week of first grade, the teacher came up to my desk and asked if I would mind if I used the name Melissa in her class as there were two other Lisa's in her class. I said okay even though my family had always called me Lisa. (I thought she was just randomly assigning me a new name, and had no clue Melissa was my real name.) So, not only was I clueless as a five year old, I was a pushover!

  63. Ha, ha hilarious reveals, Ms Authoress, although the story about Oscar the mouse was a little disturbing. But I too, adore the scent of lilacs, so it's ok. My not-so-secret is that I stand up for spiders' rights. If somebody wants to squash one, I'll give them the lecture about the good work they do, and rescue it by taking it outside. I'm fascinated by the way they move and how delicate their bodies and webs are. Yet they're reviled by many... Unjustly IMO. So it's no wonder many of my MCs are unjustly reviled, too, with their good sides going unnoticed.