Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Five Little-Known Facts

Helen Ginger at Straight from Hel tagged me on a writing exercise. So, here goes:

The rules: Each participant shares five little-known facts about themselves. Those tagged are asked to do the same as well as reinterate this guideline. All select five folks to be tagged and list their names. (Leave a comment letting them know that you've tagged them and that they may see your blog as an example.)

1) I have an almost Harmony-esque love of unicorns. When I was a tween, I had cloth prints of a unicorn and Pegasus, respectively, with rainbows in the background, hanging in my bedroom. My favorite picture book is Where Have the Unicorns Gone? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson (Simon & Schuster, 2003)(paper).

2) I was once blonde. During my senior year of college, I stayed in Lawrence--where I was studying journalism at the University of Kansas--for all but the last weekend of spring break. My friends were all out of town, and I was bored. While wandering around a drug store, inspiration struck! I would dye my hair. If it turned out horribly, no one would see it. My natural color is a very dark brown, and maybe it was just a bad chemical mix, but the result was a dramatic orange. Nevertheless, unable to get an appointment with a trusted pro, I kept it that way over the weekend as I represented my college at a PR student conference in Phoenix.

3) I have paid to see "Star Wars: A New Hope" in a movie theater 384 times. The fact that it was showing at the dollar movie during much of my childhood in suburban Kansas, where (with love) there wasn't a whole lot else to do was a factor. That said, I had a tremendous affection for Chewbacca, and I've never quite gotten over the fact that "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" involved the forest moon of Endor instead of Kashyyk, the Wookie homeworld. In any case, my readers will recall that Cassidy Rain Berghoff of my tween novel Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001) is a huge fan of sci fi (past and present) and named her lab "Chewie."

4) During the summers after my senior year of high school and freshmen year of college, I worked in a gas station. I also was taking classes at Johnson County Community College (so I could get into the KU journalism school sooner) and working as a waitress at the same time. My job was to basically to run the register behind the bullet-proof glass. It was wonderful. The owner/manager was a former KC Royal, who'd been injured playing. During the early morning shift, nobody cared if I did my homework or read. I also had a little microphone to talk to the customers at the pumps, which resulted in some funny moments and one summer romance.

5) I have only memorized one poem, and I learned it in first grade. It was more the owl than the sentiment that caught my teacher's, Mrs. Woodside's, attention. She was an avid collector of owl figures and other owl images. She also was one of the kindest people I've ever known.

Tagging Austin YA authors:

Varian Johnson at They Call Me Mr. V

Greg Leitich Smith at GregLSBlog (author interview)

April Lurie at April's Blog (author interview)

Jo Whittemore at Jo's Journal (author interview)

Jennifer Ziegler at Jennifer Ziegler Word Processor (author interview)