Monday, December 15, 2008

16 Random Things About Me

Write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 16 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. Since I was a kid, my mother claimed, I should've been born in the Victorian era. Little surprise, I became a historical fiction writer.

2. The longest journey I've embarked on was this most recent one: 45 whole, entire hours.

3. I've seen/met the Rabari folk, the original gypsies of the world, whose ways are largely unchanged for centuries.

4. I'd like to visit Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands some day.

5. I've always wanted to be sing, not be a singer (i.e., performer) per se, just sing.

6. I adore BBC's spy series Spooks (aka MI-5). I'm currently on season five (via Netflix DVDs). There are two more seasons to go.

7. Colors for my eyes, music for my ears, fragrances and aromas for my nose: These are a few of my favorite things.

8. I'm partial to a tumbler of mead or a finger of an aged single malt.

9. I cannot survive in a world that has no Nutella.

10. I read my first romance novel at nine. To my everlasting embarrassment, I had to ask my uncle and aunt for some of the meaning to words because they didn't have a dictionary. I sure got some funny looks, but they didn't censor my reading. That Mills & Boon was such an exciting read.

11. I went to a girls' only school from kindergarten to tenth grade. Boys in the class. ZOMG! Eleventh and twelfth grades were major shockers for me.

12. My favorite place in the world is Hawaii. The ocean, the beach, the sun, the mai-tais. Life doesn't ever get better than that.

13. I cannot dance to save my life. I have an instinctive sense of rhythm where music is concerned. Dance—oops! I was the train wreck in the couple aerobics classes I tried. Even the treadmill is hazardous for me.

14. I'm a good listener.

15. I'm a good teacher. Discovered that in graduate school when I was a teaching assistant for two years.

16. Friendships are the wind beneath my wings and the breath in my lungs.

I'm not a taggee, but I sure am a tagger: Diane Gaston, Amanda McCabe, Cara King, Megan Frampton, Liz Maverick, Caren Crane, Jeanne Adams, Louisa Cornell, Joan Kayse, Donna MacMeans, PJ, Tasha Alexander, Anna Sugden, Kirsten Scott, Deb Marlowe, Carolyn Jewel, Kelly Krysten, Santa O'Bryne, Erin Eisenberg, Christina Arbini, Megan Crane, and Anna Campbell. OK, so I can't count. :)


Diane Gaston said...

Okay, I'm the first to be tagged and to respond.
16 Random things about me....
1. I am so-not-a-cook. I can manage to put a dinner together, or even a holiday meal but it is never anything special.
2. I used to paint in oils, starting in 3rd grade up to about 8th grade, but really just copying pictures.
3. I would love to have been a singer in a ritzy piano bar, singing old tunes from the 30s and 40s.
4. When I visited England, I really felt like I belonged there.
5. I drive a Prius and have even before it became politically correct.
6. I was one of five valedictorians of my high school class.
7. I like to play solitaire
8. I have an invalid cat that I carry to the litter box at least twice a day.
9. I once rode up in an elevator with Herb Alpert.
10. Mark Lindsey of Paul Revere and the Raiders kissed me.
11. I once met Loretta Young.
13. I once fell asleep in my graduate psychology class, right in front of the dean of the program.
14. Amanda McCabe was once my mentor through the Beau Monde...but then we became friends.
15. My great great grandfather promised to build a church to the Virgin Mary if she would see his family safely through a storm at sea. She did and he did- near Buffalo, New York.
16. I started out writing contemporary series romance but switched to Regency Historical because I wasn't getting anywhere. I sold the first Regency I wrote (but it took two years to do it)

Keira, I'll tag you back but I fear I can't bring myself to tag 15 others. I never mind these things coming to me, but I always imagine everyone would hate me sending them! But this was fun!!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, this is fun! Actually I've already done my 16 which are nowhere near as interesting as the ones Keira and Diane came up with. They're on Facebook - I'm assuming you can see my home page.

OK, just in case you can't:

1. I was a horse mad kid.

2. I've been through the entire British Museum in detail.

3. I love the bearded dragons that infest my garden.

4. I've always wanted to visit Russia but haven't made it yet - booked to go but then Chernobyl blew up a week before I was due to fly out!

5. I wanted to be a ballet dancer when I was a little girl.

6. I have a crush on Richard Armitage (like that's news!)

7. I'm a classical music nerd.

8. I'm partial to a nice glass of red wine.

9. My greatest food temptation is Smith's barbecue chips - yum but very bad for me!

10. I read my first romance novel at eight and haven't stopped since!

11. I went to boarding school.

12. My favorite place in the world is the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides.

13. An aunt did a family tree for my dad's side of the family and went right back to Jewish coke burners in the Ukraine in the 14th century. Way cool!

14. I'm a klutz.

15. I'm a killer Trivial Pursuit player.

16. Since joining Facebook about two weeks ago, I've become an addict. Help!

I tagged 16 people over there so I think I'm still in the game!

Diane, I LOVE Herb Alpert. I know some people think his stuff is daggy but man, it gets a party jumping! And I too started out trying to write contemporary series romance - oh, what a disaster!

Keira, I'd love to visit Antarctica and the Galapagos too - with a side trip to Easter Island! What a great list you put up!

Joan said...


Gah, Kiera I don't know if I can think of ONLY 16 :-)

1. I love Ireland (stop laughing Banditas)

2. I favor pink nail polish

3.. I've won over 100 ribbons for baking cakes and cookies at our State Fair

4. I am a loyal friend

5. I "heart" NYC

6. I could beat Anna Campbell at Trivial Pursuit :-)

7. I would love to learn how to play the banjo...or the bodhran (Irish drum)

8. I have developed an addiction to Sticky Toffee Pudding.

9. I still believe in Prince Charmings

10. My pet preferences are fish or cats...not both at the same time.

11. I felt an instant a deep, mystical level the moment I set foot in Ireland on my first trip.

12. I could sing the entire score from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

13. I wish desperately that I could ballroom dance and be on "Dancing with the Stars"

14. I make the best chocolate chip the world.

15. I love old movie classics esp. right now the holiday ones.

16. I want to learn how to speak Gaelic.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Joanie T, you and whose army? Dem's fightin' words, bud! I could take you on at TP with both hands tied behind my back (although in that case you'd need to move my piece for me!).

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Bwah-ha-ha! I think a game of Killer Trivial Pursuit is in order...we'll just SEE who wins! Grins.

Thanks for tagging me Keira! I love your list. Of course, I love everyone's list and think its a totally cool way to learn about people.


1. I love the martial arts - from Tai Chi to Ninjitsu, I just love them. (Nearly black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Yellow belt in Karate!)

2. I used to sing in an a cappella group. I want to do it again. :>

3. I desperately want to visit Scotland. (Anna, I'm sure I would feel the same kinship you felt. I do now and I've not even been there yet!)

4. I played violin in the orchestra in school and oboe for one semester in band. (Ugh on double reeded wind instruments.)

5. I showed one of my Dalmatians to a Best in Show.

6. I once "carded" Morgan Fairchild.

7. I sat on a workforce preparedness panel with Dan Quayle.

8. I want a gold or black and green dragon as a pet.

9. I learned to read at age 4.

10. I want to learn how to fence, to ride English hunt seat, and to swing dance properly.

11. I've driven a backhoe, a bulldozer and a forklift.

12. I've renovated four houses.

13. I want to learn how to throw a hatchet like KJ did.

14. I'm a wicked Scrabble player.

15. I covet a scarlet hybrid Escalade.

16. I wish I could have had five kids.

How's that for a kicker, there at the end? *rubs hands* Now, how about that Trivial Pursuit?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW, Diane, that is TOTALLY cool about your grandfather and the church!

Joan said...

First of all Anna and Jeanne...I'm THE most trivial person I know!!!

Yup, I'm gunning for a round. Here is the challenge: Washington, Jeanne's dining room table, deuces wild, no stripping...oops, wrong game. :-)

And I'm no slouch with Scrabble either.

And darn, Jeanne. A dragon? NOW what am I suppose to get your for Christmas??

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well, I said I wanted it, not that I actually expected to GET it...kinda like that Barbie Dream House when I was 8, and the horse when I was 9. :>

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, this is fun!

1. I totally want to know what Sticky Toffee Pudding is. Joanie T?

2. I wish I had the body of one of those dancing with the stars girls!

3. I can barely walk in high heels, let alone dance the cha cha.

4. I collect Nutcrackers. My current favorites are my Shakespeare and my George Washington. I totally lust after a Henry the Eighth, complete with turkey leg

5. I once partied with Bobby McFarin. "Don't worry. Be happy."

6. Because of the latest middle school project, I never want to hear the words DNA Model again.

7. I am horrible at video games, much to my kids' dismay.

8. I cannot sing AT ALL.

9. I love Chai Tea

10. I am a Star Trek fan--Next Generation all the way!

11. I bought myself a kick-a** Christmas present--a gorgeous handpainted jewelry box.

12. I owned ABBA Gold before Mamma Mia came out.

13. I graduated college with honors--defended my thesis and everything

14. I'm waiting for somebody who loves New York to show me why--I've been twice but didn't enjoy it. I need the right tour guide.

15. I've longed to travel to Australia since my Thorn Birds phase in high school.

16. I used to love to cook, but my picky family is killing my joy in it!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooh, Deb, I want to know that about NYC too. Like you, I'm guessing that I just haven't had the right guide, but I always feel on edge when I'm there. Too many people, I think. :> Not that DC's small, but it's more spread out and manageable. Ha!

Had to LOL about the DNA Model too. Snork.

Joan said...

WEll, my goodness Deb and Jeanne....I'LL take you to NYC!!!

I know where there is a killer Irish pub (of course, I do).

Need to go in spring or fall.

And Deb, Sticky Toffee Pudding is a moist, rich cake SMOTHERED in caramel and served with clotted cream.


Now, get on your I Heart NYC baseball caps and get on the bus.

Louisa Cornell said...

This IS fun and sign me up for the Trivial Pursuit Challenge!

16 Random Things About Me ....

1. My late DH and I were such great Trivial Pursuit players we were banned from being on the same team in every bar in Hattiesburg and Biloxi, Mississippi and one fishing camp in Louisiana.

2. I can fence and ride English seat, including side saddle.

3. My favorite place in the world is London, England.

4. My favorite places to watch a sunrise or sunset - Stonehenge and Loch Ness.

5. I've been to three castles where Vlad the Impaler supposedly lived.

6. I cannot swim. Not one stroke. Can't even float.

7. Started reading at 4, read Heyer at 9, Austen at 10 and never looked back.

8. I can play the clarinet, the bassoon and the piano.

9. I owned a thirteen foot, 100 pound python for a number of years.

10. I want to visit Australia!

11. I want to see the pyramids and the Taj Mahal.

12. I've never broken a single bone in my body. (So far!)

13. If I could I would love to live in a little village in Wales. I've been there once for a couple of days and felt instantly connected and at peace.

14. I've sung in every sort of house of worship except a mosque.

15. I love movie soundtracks and have a huge collection of them.

16. Ever since I was bitten by one I am terrified of horse flies!

Donna MacMeans said...

Sorry I'm late - that's the problem with being on digest *g*

Let's see

1. I can rip a phone book in half.
2. I love to sing at the top of my voice - not that I'm a good singer - I just love to sing loud.
3. I love to dance, though my dancing is dated. My claim to fame is that I used to be mistaken for a go-go dancer. Of course, no one has made that mistake for...oh...thirty years now.
4. I paint in acrylics and have won awards - local awards, but awards just the same. I did once win a motorized car that you could sit on in first grade for my drawing of Rocky the squirrel.
5. I met my husband in a bar (on the dancefloor).
6. I worry that my poor 16 year old dog won't make it through the winter. I'm going to miss her when she goes.
7. I've smoked a cigar in public on a bet.
8. I love to do sudoku puzzles.
9. I'm the middle child of five.
10. My son laughs at me when I try to shoot baskets. Just not my thing.
11. I've driven an ambulance, driven a fire engine, worn the turnout gear of a fireman, and crawled through a smoky house looking for a dummy as part of a fire dept. civilian auxilary program.
12. I once turned a bathroom in my house into a darkroom and developed black and white photos. It's magical.
13. I once programmed a computer to print a picture of "Big Ginger with the Big Ginger taste" for Cotton Club bottling. They never used the printout, but paid me $100 and took my husband and I out to a fancy resteraunt for the effort.
14. I've shaken hands backstage with Paul Newman's wife (Is that Joanne Woodward? I stink at trivia). Paul wasn't there though.
15. My favorite Broadway musicals are Wicked and Momma Mia.
16. I used to compete in extraneous public speaking in high school. Never won awards at that - but I've learned to be pretty good at "winging it." *g*

Keira Soleore said...

Thank you, everyone, for playing along. This is fun, isn't it??

Diane, I had no idea you are a painter. Oil painting in the 3rd grade? WOW! That's really young for that medium.

Valedictorian...Hm, why am I not surprised??

Color me clueless, but who's Loretta Young? And Mark the Lindsey kissed you? I'm seeing this racy side of you. Does your husband know?!?!

I love it(!!) that you have this place that your g.g.grandfather built that you can always visit. What a legacy!

Keira Soleore said...

Fo, your family's from Ukraine and Jewish? I know Campbell is a Scottish Celtic name. :)

It must be amazing to be able to look back upon 700 years of ancestors.

There was a historical book I read a couple years ago that was set in Easter Island and talked about the humongous statues that are still there. It's fascinating how a basically fishing community managed to undertake stone masonry of those proportions.

I'd love to travel to England with you, particularly London, with your vast encyclppedic knowledge. (Face it, I'd travel anywhere with you.)

Keira Soleore said...

Joan, I think Trivial Pursuit should be on the agenda for the next Bandita party at RWA.

My last trip to NYC over Christmas 2006 was fabulous. My friend and I walked and walked and walked all over the city. No one does Christmas like NYC. In Feb '02, Hubby and I had visited over a long weekend for three nights of Broadway. We had such a marvelous time then, too. I like being able to walk everywhere--to simply step outdoors and be at the heart of happening things.

A few years ago, I was very interested in learning about the northeastern section of Scotland. I took two classes of Gaelic and tried a tape version, too. It's a toughie that one.

I've also been fascinated by Irish mythology and warrior tales and took a class about the Tain, Cuchalain (sp?), and other heroes.

Keira Soleore said...

Jeanne, is there anything you haven't done? And wherever did you find the time to do it all? I'm in awe of your accomplishments.

Pray tell, why a dragon?? And why those particular colors? Are those komodos? And why five kids? Do you have six bedrooms in your newest house?

Scotland fires the imagination like nothing else. Six years ago, my brother and I landed in Aberdeen and rented the car. We drove all over the north-east, up and down the Grampians, through half-lane byways lined with hedgerows on both sides, visited a distillery, a Highlands Games event, Pictish standing stones, stone circles, libraries, museums, and Ediburgh. We drove down through Bamburg and the Holy Island to Newcastle. I haven't forgotten a single day of that trip, the people we met, the sights we saw...

Keira Soleore said...

Deb, you were in the presence of Bobby McFerrin? Was this at a symphonic party, or a party-party?

Yes, what's a toffee pudding? Doesn't it stick to your teeth like glue? How do you eat it?

How about a picture or two of your beautiful box?

I have seen Thorn Birds many, many times. Richard sigh Chamberlain. And that scene where he tells Meggie, "You're not dying. You're growing up." I totally stole it for one of my medieval manuscripts.

Hey, I'm incredibly grateful if anyone cooks for me. There are extremely few things, I don't eat, otherwise, I'm easy to cook for and highly appreciative. UPS!! :)

Keira Soleore said...

(scraping jaw up off the floor)

Louisa, m'dear, I couldn't live five lives and still be mediocre at what you've excelled. Every time I read a comment from you, I read about something else you've done. I'm privileged to know you.

Ha! I can't swim a lick either. And I sink like a stone. My husband claims that I'm fluffy and a woman, I should naturally float. I say that I must have the wrong kind of fat: saturated! :)

The Taj Mahal is awe-inspiring--the detailed filligree-work, the brilliance of the proportions, the uniformity of the world-class marble.

Keira Soleore said...

Donna, the cigar. Nope, I'm not shocked; I'm not even surprised. :)

I'm sorry to read about your dear pet. Many hugs to you for the difficult months ahead.

Crawl through a smoky house, rip a phone book in half with bare hands, develop photos in the bathroom, and dance like a go-go girl. WOW! I totally want to see the latter at National. A demo!! I bet you still have the moves.

Amanda McCabe said...

LOL! Sorry I'm late to the party--it's early here, and I haven't finished my fortifying morning tea, but I will give this a try. :)

1) Like Diane, I can't cook. I can do simple things, like pasta, but I get impatient and things turn out badly when I try anything complicated.
2) I have four pets, two dogs and two cats. I might have another dog, if my house wasn't so eensy
3) When I was a kid, I thought I might be a ballet dancer, until I hurt my knee
4) Like you, Keira, I LOVE Hawaii! Especially when we have a freezing day like today, I dream of the beaches and sun, and the fact that it is never cold.
5) I also love England, and I like NYC. When I went to Paris last fall, I loved it, too--I always feel kinda weird where I live, like a misfit (blue stater in a red state?), but in Paris I felt I belonged
6) Nutella Rules!! And so does tiramisu, and Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate
7) I don't think I've ever met anyone famous, though maybe I just don't recognize them when they're out of context
8) I also have an insane love of ABBA songs. Listening to "ABBA Gold" helps me get through house cleaning (which I hate, but it goes faster when I sing those songs out loud)
9) My cats run away and hide under the bed when I sing ABBA songs. And my dogs howl when I sing along to the Chipmunk's Christmas song. Does this say something about my singing talent??
10) I love pedicures with funny nail polish colors (turquoise, green, slate gray, fuschia)
11) I also love tights in funny colors (blue, purple, plaid)--they make boring winter clothes more fun!
12) I take yoga twice a week, but ought to go more
13) When I slack off on writing by visiting blogs all morning, I imagine my Jane Austen action figure lectures me about it
14) I also wish I had the figure of one of the Dancing With the Stars women. Edyta, maybe. Then I would wear leotards made of strings and leg warmers, too.
15) My ideal day at home--watching "North and South" while eating Nutella straight from the jar with a spoon. Yum!
16) I am a huge Hello Kitty fan, and have been since I was a kid. And now I've involved Keira's Wee One in this crazy fandom, too.

Amanda McCabe said...

Okay, maybe Number 15 is the reason why Number 14 is a complete impossibility...

Keira Soleore said...

Yea, Hello Kitty.
YEAHOOOO, Nutella.
Yeah, fringe benefits like watching DWTS on TV and not having to dress in fringe lace.

See, I added pedicure to my monthly goals for 2009. You'd be proud. However, I still go pastel. Think you I should try gold next??

Cats and dogs aren't quite the afficionadoes of music that pet psychologists make them out to be. That is what's wrong, not your singing. As if!

R.Armitage and Nutella on a Hawaiian beach under the shade of an umbrella with a mai-tai to wash it down. (swooooooon)

Erin said...

I'm a little late to the party, but hop on over to my blog to check out my answers :)

Keira Soleore said...

Thanks for playing, Erin.

Good on your rabbi to bat mitzvah you despite dropping out of Hebrew school.

You're a wonderful friend, Erin, loyal and true.

I had 150 students in some of my freshman classes. Less than 20?? WOW! Where did you go to school?

I adore curly hair, so I can imagine you as a kid. :) You have share a couple photos. On your site??? In person at the January meeting?

Keira Soleore said...

Erin's blog...

Deb Marlowe said...

Ok, Joan, you bring the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Jeanne and I will meet you in NYC! An Irish pub sounds great--I love me a boxstai with a Guiness!

Keira, I was in the Jazz Club in college and we arranged for Bobby to come and perform. We got to hang and party with him before and after. He was very nice!

You guys have come up with some great stuff! We're such an interesting bunch!

Keira Soleore said...

I'm always amazed at how many different things people accomplish in their lives. And I feel privileged to know them.

Thank you all for playing.

Diane Gaston said...

Keira! You don't know who Loretta Young is...I feel so old.

Keira Soleore said...

Diane dear, thanks so much for that wonderful introduction to Loretta Young. I feel ignorant now, that such a talent was in the movies until fairly recently and I had not an iota of an idea about her.

Cara King said...

Sixteen random things about me:

1. I don't get Nutella. (I don't dislike it, I just don't understand it.)

2. I used to have a talent for liking whatever the most-derided-movie-of-the-moment was. Howard the Duck, Newsies, Hudson Hawk, Last Action Hero -- I loved them all.

3. My cat loves for me to carry him around and kiss him on the face and play with his feet and tail.

4. I suspect that my cat is secretly a dog.

5. I have the autographs of all the main cast of the original Star Trek, & also Next Generation.

6. I missed seeing Alan Rickman in Les Liaisons Dangereuses by a week.

7. I saw Ian McKellen play Captain Hook. And Lear.

8. I've seen every real Shakespeare play on stage. (Unreal ones, like Edward III, don't count.)

9. I'm amazingly lazy.

10. Wine and cheetos give me migraines. Separately or together.

11. I once played Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest, at Caltech.

12. I later married the fellow who played Cecily's true love, Algernon.

13. Even though his then-girlfriend was also in the cast.

14. But she didn't mind -- she even came to our wedding.

15. I'm not sure what about me grabbed his attention. Maybe the fact that during one performance, my skirt fell off on stage?

16. Then again, I was wearing a petticoat under it, so that hardly counts. Though my corset may have had something to do with it...


Todd said...

Dear Cara, it was the brilliant madness of your mind and the passion of your acting style that swept me away. But the corset didn't hurt.


Keira Soleore said...

Cara & Todd, you two are hilarious. Little did I know that corsets can have such, er, deep and lasting impact.

DDL made an impression on me in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Have you watched Spooks (MI-5) by BBC? It's no longer shown on BBC America, but five seasons are available through Netflix (with the sixth coming up soon). The seventh season is currently playing in the UK.

Are you fond of Marmite or Vegemite? I'm insanely fond of Nutella, whether it's with hot butered toast, on a strawberry, or with a spoon.

Ian McKellen on the stage?!?! WOW!

Cara King said...

I've never seen Spooks, I confess! I guess that's another thing for my Netflix list!

I used to eat marmite muffins in England -- they were like English muffins made with a bit of marmite-like flavoring baked in -- but I'm not such a fan that I generally liked to spread it on things. :-) (Vegemite is pretty much the same thing, isn't it? Oh, I should go look it up on Wikipedia, shouldn't I?)

McKellen was definitely neat to see on stage. We've actually seen lots of great actors on stage -- it helps that Todd and I constantly see plays, and that we lived in London for a couple years...because sometimes we saw people before they became famous worldwide, like Jennifer Ehle and John Barrowman and Judi Dench...


Keira Soleore said...

Ah, I now get Todd's fascination with Ehle. :) He "discovered" her first.

Judi Dench, too. Wow! She's one lady I admire so much. Put her and Maggie Smith together and their dynamite, like in Ladies in Lavendar.

I believe, Vegemite is the New Zealand / Ozzie version of Marmite, essentially the same stuff.