Well, I’m back from my overly long Blog holiday. Let’s see if I can post a little more regularly now. That would be spiffy, wouldn’t it?
First off I’m going to say thanks for the awards I’ve received from some fantastic fellow bloggers. Awards make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. However, I’m not always on the ball as far as passing along these awards to other bloggers (as per the terms of the award) as I should be. I will endeavor to do better in the future, starting with the following:
Ailsa (gapyeargirl123) at The Book Bundle nominated me for the 'Honest Scrap' Award, which is for bloggers who write from the heart. Thanks Ailsa!
The rules are to list 10 honest things about yourself, and pass it on to other bloggers (okay, the rules say 10 other bloggers, but I don’t read that many blogs, other than the big hitters like Nathan Bransford who certainly don’t need an award from me).
Well, this is a bit of a departure from my usual posts (which have been shockingly scarce of late), but here are my 10 things--both trivial and significant. And maybe I’ll manage to squeeze in a few choice lexical1 morsels so I can include some footnotes.
1) I like big words - a lot. Well, nowhere does it does it say I can only list new things about myself - it just says honest things.
2) I have many, many hobbies (read obsessions), including writing (this one is currently number one on my list of obsessions), reading, gardening, quilting and scrapbooking. If I had more time, I’d have more hobbies.
3) My favorite color is green, pretty much any shade of green--sage, forest, emerald, celery, avocado, lime…
4) I can say without reservation that my husband really is my best friend. I never tire of his company, even after all the years we’ve spent together. He treats me like a goddess and he is the most honorable man I’ve ever known. That may sound sappy, but this is my blog and I’ll get as much sap on it as I want.
5) And while I’m laying down the sap, I’m going to add that my three children, Z, R, and W, and my little grandson, Z2, are at the top of my list of Amazing People I’m Thrilled to Know. They really keep life interesting, and if sometimes that means weeks pass between blog posts and my poor novel languishes2 on my laptop for days, then so be it. Sometimes reading Harry Potter with your 10-year old, or going to lunch with your 18-year old, or talking about paintball tournaments with your 20-year old, or playing with the stacking buckets on the floor with your 9-month old grandson is all that really matters.
6) I love traveling. Love it! Last year was an exceptionally good year for traveling, too. Over the course of the year I took the following trips: a cruise with my sister, from LA down to Catalina Island and parts of Mexico; an almost two-week trip to Washington, D.C., part of which I spent at a conference for work and part of which I spent touring the sites of the city with a group of friends (before the conference) and my husband (during and after the conference); a trip to Chicago to visit a friend and go to a concert; a trip to Seaside, Oregon, for a family vacation at a friend’s beach house; a trip to Disneyland with my youngest son, one of my sisters, and my sister’s oldest granddaughter; and a trip to Atlantic City and Pennsylvania to visit a friend and go to a concert (which was sadly rescheduled - see my last post). I’d like to say every year was as filled with adventure as this year has been, but the truth is I typically don’t put quite as many miles on my suitcase, though I certainly would if I had the means or, most importantly, an inexhaustible bank of vacation hours from my day job.
7) Speaking of my day job, I guess I’ll mention that I spend most weekdays in front of a computer from 8 to 5 (minus an hour at lunchtime spent at the gym--if I’m being diligent3) performing astounding feats of cartography4 and spatial5 legerdemain6. In other words, I work in GIS7. More precisely, I manage a GIS office, which means I actually have a staff, so at times I can put on my imperious8 dictator hat and direct my minions 9(all two of them) to do my bidding--or to make a map, as the case may be.
8) I live in a small town in Eastern Washington, which is the self-proclaimed “Birthplace of the Washington Wine Industry.” Since I really appreciate a good bottle of wine, I’d consider that serendipitous10. And no, it doesn’t rain all of the time here. That’s Western Washington - think Seattle. I live in a desert. It’s quite arid11, and as our little town’s website proclaims, this area “boasts 300 sunny days annually.” That’s a lot of sunshine, which is fine by me.
9) I grew up in a small (at least it was when I was young), unassuming12 town in Western Washington, about a half hour northeast of Seattle. It rains a lot there (see #8) and there are vast numbers of people and cars and confusing highways, and… Let’s just say it’s a nice place to visit.
10) I am a very slow writer, largely due to the fact that I am overly critical of my own writing. I try to tell myself that I’ll just write a rough draft and smooth it out later, but I agonize over each and every word. And I can’t seem to do short answers, which is why my blog posts end up being ridiculously long and far too infrequent. And which is why this simple list of 10 things has burgeoned13 into a mini autobiography. Brevity14, what’s that?
Bloggers I nominate:
Alisha at *MoVing HoMe*
Aubrey at We’re Going to a Party
Carrie at Heim Binas Fiction
Diana at Writing Roller Coasters
Emily at The Chronicles of Emily Cross
Jenna at As the Plot Thickens
Wendy at Where Ladybugs Roar
I know some of these fine bloggers have already received this award, but them’s the breaks. I only have time to read so many blogs.
1Lexical. A word that’s all about words. Cool.
2Languish. I know some people (I’d hate to say women because that might be stereotyping) who love shoes. They collect shoes like some people collect stamps, or like I tend to collect big words. And really, how many times can you wear that pair of lime green stiletto heels? Really? If you ask me, most of those pretty, expensive shoes will spend the majority of their existence collecting dust on the closet floor, untouched and so very lonely.
3Diligent. I visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery a few months ago. Wow. I must say I was wholly impressed by the men who guard this monument. Their intense focus and dedication to duty is truly awe inspiring. I can’t think of a better example of diligence.
4Cartography. Ooh, look I made a pretty picture of my town. It has some intersecting lines with names like Court St and 6th Ave printed along them. There are some big green shapes, which are supposed to be parks (at least according to a little box titled Legend), some blue squiggles and all kinds of little symbols scattered across the paper with names like City Hall and Library printed over them. It’s like my whole town laid flat on a piece of paper, although in reality the parks aren’t quite so green, the river not as blue, and the library isn’t actually shaped like a book.
5Spatial. Okay, let’s start with pronunciation, because I’ve heard far too many go astray on this one. Spatial does not begin with a ‘Spat’ as in a big loogey. If it makes it easier, just pretend that the ‘t’ in the middle is a ‘c’ as in Spacial, because it sounds just like ‘Special’ but with a long ‘a’ in place of the ‘e.’ Wow, that’s far more time spent on pronunciation than is warranted; can you tell this one is a pet peeve of mine? Oh, you want to know what it means? Well, fine. If you’re looking for a definition, it just means something to do with space. In other words, like Real Estate it’s all about Location, Location, Location. And Spatial’s job is to describe that location: Where is it? What is next to it? What lies underneath it? What’s on top of it?
6Legerdemain. This word is the domain of the magician whose hands can move with such speed and dexterity that they can fool the human eye. Now you see it, now you don’t. Now that’s a spiffy word.
7GIS. My first footnoted acronym, which stands for Geographic Information Systems. The definitions of GIS are many, but perhaps the simplest way to explain it is to break it down into its separate parts. So, you’ve got the Geographic part, which basically means anything that has a physical location; in other words, if you can stand on it or put your finger on it or fly a plane over it, it has geography. Then there’s the Information part, which is pretty straight forward; you take that something that you’ve stood upon or touched or flown over and you gather facts—ownership, color, size, age, height—about it. And when you have those facts and those physical locations, you need something with which to track, organize, analyze and display them. That’s where the System part comes in, which usually involves a lot of data, a computer, some rather expensive software and someone who knows how to make some sense of it all. Now, I’m sure this is all as clear as glass. Right. Maybe I should have my husband read this footnote; he still isn’t quite sure what I do, although he agrees that I sure know how to make a pretty map.
8Imperious. Everyone must do as I say! Any questions?
9Minion. Think of Marty Feldman’s Igor to Gene Wilder’s Dr. Frankenstein. Igor is the classic minion; he comes when he’s called and does what he’s told (even if it’s not always done well). You gotta love those minions. After all who else would collect those body parts and clean up after misunderstood monsters?
10Serendipitous. Sounds like the name of a dinosaur to me: Diplodocus; Carcharodontosaurus; Deinonychus; Serendipitous. Only this wouldn’t be some kind of sharp-toothed, flesh-eating beast. This would be the kind of dinosaur you’d want for a pet; the kind that brings you pleasant little treats or treasures that he drops at your feet when you least expect it (not to be confused with the gruesome little tidbits that cats present to their owners). Aw, isn’t he sweet. Look what he’s bringing this time. Here Serendiptious! Here boy!
11Arid. Picture those desert scenes in the Road Runner cartoons: vast expanses of rock and dirt; sparse vegetation, consisting primarily of scattered cacti; and a single, vacant riverbed that wends its way through the thirsty landscape. Dry, dry, dry. Makes me thirsty just thinking about it.
12Unassuming. This is a perfectly adequate word, although it doesn’t think too highly of itself. It’s not flashy, not an attention-seeker, and not one to toot its own horn; it just does its own thing, at its own pace, whether you notice it or not.
13Burgeon. This is what happens to my waistline when I get to attend those week-long conferences for work where every meal is a buffet offering far too many choices and each evening’s activities involves numerous excursions to the open bar.
14Brevity. The opposite of The Sesquipedalian’s ramblings. Yep, that pretty much says it all.