1. I am the oldest of four children. I'm also the shortest. This used to bother me a lot.
2. I love babies and babies love me. I like to think this says something about my essential humanness.
3. I was an Army brat. I lived in fifteen towns in five states before my eighteenth birthday. I think that fact of my childhood has had more influence on my life/personality than any other.
4. Much to the amusement of those around me & to my own embarassment, I startle VERY easily. The noise I make when startled is difficult to capture in print--it's more an intake of air, a squeaky gasp, than a scream--otherwise I would surely have blogged about my tendency toward hysteria. I'm pretty sure I startle so easily because I live way too much inside my own head and not enough in the outside world. I'm always kind of surprised to come across other people when I'm not expecting them.
5. Because of my job, I have access to the keys of a variety of churches. Sometimes my life is so loud, I actually fantasize about sneaking into one of the churches just to sit in the silence.
6. I still listen to Andy Gibb and Shaun Cassidy, my first pop music loves--I even have them on CD now. Sometimes, I'll get out the old, scratchy, skippy LP's and play THEM for old time's sake. Secretly, I believe that some of the songs they wrote (as opposed to the ones someone made them record) are actually pretty amazing, especially lyrically.
7. I've read Wuthering Heights at least fifteen times. Lots of people tell me that Jane Eyre is a "better" book, but I've never been able to make it past the first chapter. (And I wonder what it says about me that every couple of years I try again.)
8. I'm afraid this list is going to take too long and I won't know enough people online to "tag."
9. Throughout my life, I have occasionally woken to the sensation of someone sitting on the edge of my bed, only to find no one there. I then spend the entire day reminding myself that there's a perfectly logical, biochemical reason for the feeling, but part of me isn't really interested in being convinced.
10. I'm fairly sure I've been in at least one truly haunted house.
11. I don't have any contact with my extended family on my mother's side--not because of anything they ever did to me, but because of how I saw them treat her.
12. I have a mind like a lint trap, gathering fluffy bits of mostly useless information. Because of this, I am really, really good at Trivial Pursuit. I'm still trying to work up the courage to audition for Jeopardy!
13. In 2004, I read 99 books. That one-short-of-100 has been getting on my nerves for ten months.
14. Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My first writing was published (in a local newspaper) when I was 9. My most recent piece was published this summer (in a literary anthology). I live in fear of never reaching my "potential"--artistically, financially, or otherwise--in my writing.
15. I hate peanut butter passionately. It's vile.
16. When I was 4, I knew the book Johnny Crow's Garden by heart.When Son-One was a baby, my sister sent me a copy of it for him. We still have it, though my kids were never as obsessed with it as I was.
17. When I was 11, I taught myself to ride my bike with no hands--so I could read my books on the way home from the library.
18. I used to live in New England, close enough to the coast to go to the ocean on a regular basis. I went a few weekends a month--all year long. I miss it every day.
19. Before I got married (and changed my last name), my full name was 26 letters long. I tell people all the time that one of the reasons I married Hubby was that his last name was only six letters long and my maiden name was eleven letters long. I'm only partly joking.
20. I think shoes are at best a necessary evil and at worst an abomination.
As for the tagging, I'm serious about not knowing enough people to tag. So the first ten people who read this, who want to, who haven't already been tagged by Steph, have at it & let us all know in comments where to find you.