Versatile and irresistibly sweet?

My email inbox is an abyss. If I don’t respond immediately, I’m likely to either think that I did, or forget I ever received the email. Two months ago Kate Cardon Parish awarded this blog the Versatile Blogger Award. Her email arrived during the comment blitz after WordPress Freshly Pressed one of my posts and was promptly buried in all those email notices.

Recently, Hannah Fergesen awarded this blog the Irresistibly Sweet award. Both rules for these awards state that I must share 7 random facts about myself and pass the award on to 15 other blogs. I’ll combine the rules, meaning I’ll reveal only 7 facts, not 14, and share them with only 15 bloggers, not 30. So, read the enthralling tidbits about me and then go visit Kate and Hannah’s excellent blogs. Then, visit the blogs listed below. Or be rebellious and do none of the above.

  1. I don’t like the taste of coffee … in any form.
  2. I get anxious when I sweat.
  3. The first book I ever checked out of a public library was A Mouse in the House. (Not the book currently in print.)
  4. I have seen a ghost.
  5. By the age of 26, I was the mother of four boys.
  6. I can’t swim.
  7. I’ve worn the same shade of nail polish on my toes for 38 years. It’s by Revlon, and they change the color name from time to time.

Now aren’t you glad you stopped by my blog today? I mean, really, how could you have lived the rest of your life not knowing those facts about me?

Okay, I’m supposed to pass these awards on to 15 blogs, but I know some of you already have these awards or don’t do “fun” posts. If so, ignore the rules and just consider this a shout out to your blog. And I’ll add one extra for luck. New and old friends, in no particular order:

  1. Kayla Olson
  2. Michelle Davidson Argyle
  3. Christa Polkinhorn
  4. T.A. Olivia
  5. Natasha Drew
  6. Jennifer Neri
  7. Laura Best
  8. Amanda Hoving
  9. Cathryn Grant
  10. Christi Craig
  11. Trisha Sutton
  12. Kasie West
  13. Candice Kennington
  14. J.C. Hart
  15. Heather Simone
  16. Judy Croome

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Today is sweet as Candi

Oh, the life of a celebrity! Today, I’m being interviewed by the lovely Candice Kennington, who is every bit as sweet as her nickname. Too bad you can’t hear her beautifully modulated voice, which is the one I hear for my character Meredith.

In my answers to Candice’s probing questions, you’ll learn more about my cover painting, my research for the Middle-Eastern aspect of The Brevity of Roses, why my portrait of Jalal disappeared from my blog, and what a hammock has to do with my writing.

All right, I know you’re swooning with curiosity now, so click on over to Suffering From Writer’s Blog. Not only will you learn life-changing facts about me, but you could win a signed copy of my novel. Now, isn’t that sweet?

For those of you not the least interested in learning more about me or winning a book, here’s something for you. And even if you did read the interview and enter the contest, feel free to participate in the discussion here today.

I assume you’ve read a book—or ten—in the last month … few weeks … a year. I hope you enjoyed the experience. For me, part of the joy of reading is discussing books with someone. Let’s do that today. Tell  me about a book you read and liked. Or tell me about one you read and hated. Either way, let’s talk books today.

I do ask you to be nice. If you read a comment that has the opposite view of a book you’ve read, feel free to disagree, just do it respectfully.


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Seven true things … more or less

I have to admit it was weird not checking in daily on Virtualworld. But with my two “away” sons home, and all the preparations for and celebrating of Christmas, I really had no choice. Today, I almost feel like a stranger on my own blog. So I guess it’s appropriate that I had to think about myself for this post.

When Tricia first presented me this award, she called it Seven Secrets and I thought, No way am I going to reveal any secrets. Then, I saw that another friend, Candice, called it simply Seven Things on her blog. Recipients are supposed to reveal seven things others may not know about them. I realized that only a few of the readers of this blog know me in Realworld, and even they know me only in a “professional” way. So … really … I could say anything and how would you know if I told the truth? Actually, all but one of the following are true. And, like my friend Kasie, I decided to go with eight things … just because I could.

1.  I can’t swim. I learned to swim when I was three, but at eight, I nearly drowned and ever since, I panic in water above my waist.

2.  I have only one lung. Due to illness, when I was thirteen, I had a pneumonectomy.

3.  I’ve seen a ghost. I had smelled the flowery perfume of this entity for some time, but on this particular day I was working on a portrait when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something on the stairs. I turned my head slightly, without raising it, and on the bottom step, I could see the shoes and dress bottom of a woman (c.1910 vintage.) Too afraid to view the ghost directly, I turned my head back to the portrait and, for a moment, sat frozen before I bolted for the front door. I never told my neighbor the reason for my impromptu visit.

4.  I tend to read magazines from back to front. I’ve always done this, but I don’t know why. It’s somewhat confusing. I never do this with books.

5.  I inherited nearly half a million dollars. However, due to a personal vow, I gave it all away … to responsible charities, I assure you.

6.  I’ve come this close to choking to death two times. The first time, I was about six and was sitting at the table with my father and grandfather. I choked on a piece of bacon. I remember being surprised that I couldn’t breathe, then scared, but I didn’t alert either of them. My world started going black around the edges. The next thing I knew, the room was bright again, the bacon was gone, and my father and grandfather were still carrying on their conversation.

The second time, I was in my late twenties and was eating pizza with my husband and another couple. I realized I couldn’t breathe. They all looked at me when I jumped out of my chair, and I remember seeing the moment they realized I was choking, but I also saw their panic and knew they had no idea what to do. I had one clear thought, I’m going to die. Then, acting purely on mother’s instinct, my friend Karen jumped up and jerked my arm straight up. The force ejected the bit of pizza crust and I could breathe again.

7.  I gave my very important final report for sixth grade social studies on Atlantis. I apparently had a tolerant teacher; she gave me an A.

8.  Lukewarm food disgusts me. Hot food should be served hot. I even pre-heat the plates at my house. (Btw, I have no idea who Luke is, or why he’s so wishy-washy.)

Now, the award rules say you’re supposed to nominate other people, but I hate to put anyone on the spot. So, please copy the graphic and blog a list of seven unknown facts about yourself or, at least, share one here in a comment. I’m oh so very curious, but I just hate to pry.

And which of my facts do you suppose is not true?


No lurkers at the party, please!

party-formalWhew! I’ve had a busy week, and I’m not caught up, but It’s Friday so I’m throwing a party. Looks like it’s a Mad Men theme—but no smoking! All you sociable people, please circulate and encourage the wallflowers to join in.

The buffet table is in the corner; help yourselves. It’s a magical thing, whatever you want is there. Same for the bar. Don’t hold me responsible for the after effects.

Let’s talk … comments, comments, people! Don’t be shy. Introduce yourselves—name, rank, serial number. If you’re a writer, what are you working on? If you’re not a writer, but you come here often, I’m curious why you do. And if you just stumbled in here because Google erroneously thought you’d be interested, have a bite to eat, fill your glass, or at least grab a cookie on your way out.

Feel free to open all my closets, cupboards and doors; you never know what you might find here.

Some of the most witty, intelligent, talented and beautiful people stop by here. Hopefully, you’ll meet them at the party, but if you get caught up in Nekkid Charades, or stuck in the line to have your palm read and missed them, go visit them at their places:

(In alphabetical order, because I’m just so darn diplomatic.)
Christine Ashby
Danielle Cross
Cathryn Grant
Joseph Grinton
Lisa Katzenberger
Candice Kennington
Jennifer Neri
Cynthia Newberry Martin
Mireille Noël
Karen Schindler
Tricia Sutton
Cristina Trapani-Scott
Pamela Villars
Judy Clement Wall
Kasie West