Friday, August 21, 2009

seven things about me

I'm feeling self-indulgent! So. A meme!

1. My father named me. My mother had a name picked out--it was Matthew, FYI--but then she was so "surprised" I was a girl she passed out on the delivery table. My dad went and named me something my mother had categorically ruled out earlier because her best friend had named her daughter something similar the year before (but my father believed--correctly, it turned out--my mother secretly still wanted to use that name). So everything worked out, and wrath was not exercised upon my father. No one is sure where my dad came up with my middle name, though. Not even my dad.

2. One of my (living) authors was a character in a movie! As in, another person played MY AUTHOR in a movie! And a movie you might have seen, too!

3. I hate shopping. Trying on pants makes me cry. No exaggeration. A fearless few have put their lives on the line to try to take me clothes shopping, for my own good, when my wardrobe gets really raggedy. Most of them have survived, but few without deep psychological and/or physical scarring. It ain't purdy.

4. I have a dream for my distant future. Others want to be astronauts; this is my pie-in-the-sky fantasy: I own a lovely, spacious, old-fashioned looking cafe with a nice wooden floor. We serve caffinated beverages, sandwiches, and many kinds of pie and brownies. Possibly also wine in the evenings, but I haven't decided. We also host open mic nights and writer workshops a night or two a week. My cafe, of course, sells books. The walls are lined with bookshelves, and all the books on them are books I've already read, so that I can make personal recommendations to anyone (this is why I'm trying to read so many books now!) (well, one reason). AND in the back of my cafe is my independent book publishing company, which I run during normal business hours. It's only me and 2 or 3 other people, because I'm a total control freak and want to run every aspect of publication. But the press is gradually growing in reputation, and we get lots of great review coverage. We have a blog, of course.

5. I have named my kitchen mouse Sylvester Antonio. The Rally Monkey has vowed to kill Sylvester Antonio. It is an epic war, and so far Sylvester Antonio has won every battle. (I'm secretly rooting for him.)

6. I have very, very high hopes for one of my fall books. Please, please, please, buy as many copies as you can and tell all your friends; it's freakin' awesome, and will change the world. (Sigh. So much for blog as marketing tool.)

7. I wake up every morning all excited to go to work. What a dork. A lucky dork.

Ok, now your 7! drop your link in a comment if you decide to play.


beth said...

1. I don't have a middle name. My parents wanted me to use my maiden name as my middle name when I got married, but it was kind of a pain when growing up, especially on the bubble sheets for tests like the SAT. (My official school middle name was NMN--stands for No Middle Name.)

2. I get excited when I talk about grammar. I have very strong opinions about things like semi-colons.

3. I judge people by their font choice and webpage layout.

4. My dog gave himself a concussion last month when he ran into a tree.

5. If I didn't have such a small family (which makes me want to stay close to them because they're all I've got), I would move to a foreign country. Seriously.

6. When I travel abroad, I try to blend in with the locals. I brag about instances where locals mistook me for another local.

7. Although my favorite place to be in the whole world is London, I live and work in an area so rural that the cows outnumber the people. The goats may also outnumber the people...

Natasha Solomons said...

Great post! Ok, I'm a writer, so I can obviously be self-indulgent.

1) My father also named me. He is a massive Tolstoy fan and wanted a daughter like Countess Natasha. He was actually reminded of this while watching the BBC adaptation of 'War and Peace' shortly before I was born. This seems to me quite apt, since I am both a novelist and screenwriter.

2). I have never actually read 'War and Peace'. It is really long and really sad. I confessed this humiliating fact to a well known editor (not moonrat!) at a book even after several glasses of wine. Famous editor, admitted she'd not read it either...

3). I am dyslexic. I only learned to read when I was 9 and struggled with writing all the way through college. My family were very worried when I announced that I wanted to be a writer. It is a mystery to my editor and to my phd supervisor how I manage. Cupcakes and an iron will. And a really good spell checker.

4). I am obsessed with Jane Austen's novels. I could read Jane on a loop. When I can't sleep, I lay awake at night trying to decide which I love the most. Current favourite: 'Persuasion' - an older, sadder love story about second chances and second blooms. Really who could resist?

5). My dream is to sell enough books that I get to keep writing. I love writing, it makes me happy and I want to keep doing it until I keel over into the metaphorical duckpond.

6.) I am really scared of squirrels. They might land on my head.

7). My grandpa believed me when I told him I wanted to be a writer, aged nine, still bad at reading. He left me a writing desk in his will. Of course I wrote my novel at that desk and the book is now dedicated to him...


CT said...

1. I also get excited about grammar, like Beth. The semicolon is my favorite punctuation mark. (Dork.)

2. I like happy endings, which has led to me reading a lot of romance novels lately. (Happy ending guaranteed!)

3. I like it when my husband goes out of town for work because I don't have to do anything but read in the evenings. (To my detriment. I often forget to eat dinner when he's out of town.)

4. Adopting an adult dog (rather than a puppy) was one of the best choices I've ever made in my life. Watching her adjust to a permanent home and become less neurotic over the past year and half has been very rewarding.

5. The shift toward overseas production in publishing makes me uneasy.

CT said...

6 & 7. I don't know why I only did five things...

Maybe I don't read directions? Weird.

Whirlochre said...

What a handy post to encounter when you've dinner in the oven, a spare 20 minutes, and an air of frivolity about you that has already served to embarrass you twice already since breakfast.

So I'll mirror your themes in my insta-meme.

1) I have no middle name and luckily avoided being called Dean Tracy thanks to my miserable Uncle Dag who said I'd be picked on at school. Turns out he was right, regardless.

2) No-one has ever played me in a movie, though at parties I sometimes allow myself to be gently strummed.

3) I, too, hate shopping, but have recently condescended to purchase a slick pair of black chinos in which to gad about the house like Christopher Lee circa the Hammer horror era.

4) For the future? Biceps the size of seal pups would be nice. Either that or an alchemist's charm for turning dire TV shows into pizzas.

5) I used to have a hamster called Melrose who was so unremittingly vicious that it took a whole afternoon to clean his cage out.

6) I have very high hopes for the future of publishing. Things may be very wobbly at the moment, but like a well-tended jelly, they're sure to turn out OK.

7) I was up at 6 this morning checking emails. By 7 I was cooking breakfast, trying not to scramble my drooping eyelids along with a couple of eggs. 1.30pm now and I have the energy for a round with Mike Tyson — but only if it's golf.

OK — that's me memed.

Chris Eldin said...

Awww! I LOVE your book cafe!!!! There's one here in Baltimore *exactly* as you describe. If you're ever in town, cloak yourself and I'll take you.

Helen said...

1. I like Amish baked goods sooo much. Shoo fly pie is my heaven. Pumpkin woopie pies...yuuum. Unfortunately I've developed a wheat sensitivity. And I live in Scotland, so these delights will not be on the menu for a long time.

2. I'm dyslexic and currently doing a phd too! But mostly with numbers and short term memory problems. It's rubbish having an invisible disability, because it varies so much from person to person and those not effected often seem to think of it as an excuse and no slack is cut.

3. I want a (rescue if possible) basset hound. I will call him Mr Gallimaufry and will enjoy the music of his baying as we walk through rabbit country on clear autumn days.

4. I lived on an island without a cinema for 8 years.

5. On Beth's point about being mistaken for a local, my fiance and I went to the Netherlands, and found he was constantly mistaken for white Dutch...then we went to the art gallery and saw lots of faces that eeriely resembled his. (it's the eyes - like van gogh's)

6. I hate mayonnaise. blech.

7. I'm reading this blog rather than finishing my 4th draft of my novel/phd piece. It's just too easy to get distracted by other, interesting people.

CKHB said...

1. I was born in Tokyo.

2. My middle name is Japanese. It means "joy and congratulations".

3. I am also a grammar nerd. It makes me angry that there's a grammatical error in the title of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves," because so much of the book is so funny... (It should be the "zero-tolerance" approach to grammar, but the book is missing the hyphen. Honestly, how did they screw that up?)

4. My past and current pets have included ferrets, a chinchilla, a variety of parrots, and finches.

5. My dad didn't name me, but after I was born, when people asked if I was a boy or a girl, he answered "We're going to wait until it's eighteen and let it decide for itself." Go, Dad!

6. I always wanted to be on an episode of Law & Order. Original franchise only, please!

7. I am two degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

Cherry said...

1.My father named me too. No secret desire on my mom's part, just a random name he selected. They had decided on one name, but he filled out the birth registration papers and picked a different one.

2. I love my name :D.

3. I live in South Africa. Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, I love wild animals. No, they don't roam the streets.

4.Everytime I buy a bigger book shelf, I still run out of space for all my books.

5. I have had a pet rat, 3 hamsters and countless mice. That might not show my preferances though, because I have had 4 cats, 3 bunnies and countless fish.

6. I have never had a book published, but I have had poetry published. This fact keeps me afloat in dark times :).

7. I become devoid of any and all concepts of time when I read, write or paint. I become acutely aware of time whilst doing housework...

Rick Daley said...

Cool, it's nice to get to know you better. Did your dad name you moonrat? And if so, are you all related to the late Frank Zappa?

I received a "Kreativ Blogger" award and posted seven things about me on my blog, as it was a requirement of that award, and apparently I'm a sucker:


I'd list them here but a couple of them need to be in the context of rest of the post...

moonrat said...

hey hey! this turned out to be fun. rats, now i'm going to be reading blog responses all day instead of finishing this editing...!

moonrat said...

CKHB--I love your dad! That's awesome. But wait! TWO DEGREES FROM KEVIN BACON? Explain.

Derek Gentry said...

The movie thing is going to have me guessing all day. Which is to say that, for once, I will have something to explain my lack of productivity.

moonrat said...

Derek--if you get it right, I will send you a copy of the book. Just to make things worse for you.

Natasha Solomons said...


I wrote my novel because I was supposed to be finishing my phd. I find I write best when I really ought be doing something else.

Which uni are you at in Scotland? My phd is from the university of Aberdeen, although I'm supervised in Cambridge and live in Dorset...

Matilda McCloud said...

1. I was named for a really cool children's book illustrator. Too bad my name "Mary Jo" isn't so cool anymore.

2. I had a hermit crab named Paul who lived for 11 years.

3. I was in a level 7 tornado (in NH, not Kansas)

4. I wrote a book about seaweed (and it was published).

5. I hate shopping too.

6. I cry when people talk about e-books and e-readers. I grew up in my mother's bookstore (and work for a small book printer).

7. I'm descended from an 11th century French priest and nun.

SM Blooding said...

1. My parents thought I was going to be a boy, too. They were going to call me Stephen. I don't know what the middle name was going to be. They called me Stephanie Marie. GADS! I hate that name. My grandmother called me Stevie for the first year of my life.

2. I hate reading books that make me cry. I refuse to watch movies that make me cry. No. No. NO!

3. My favorite punctuation mark is the period. I think it's because I so rarely get to use them in verbal conversations.

4. I HATE SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES! Who designs these things? Men? Women who have no concept of a full figure or what the word "hips" really means? How about an average tush? I mean, really. Come on! Although, tip? Shop in the men's department. There, a 32/30 is ALWAYS a 32/30. (I know. I'm short)

5. I don't have too many dreams anymore. They kinda all turned into nightmares. *deer in the headlights look* That's what happens when reality sinks his teeth into your backside. However! My dream that I refuse to let go of is that I sell these freakin' fine books of mine. The world discovers that I'm a freakin' master of the written world. I get a house. I get a car that works...EVERY day...and I get my kids back. *claps hands excitedly* Yes, yes, yes.

6. I love to travel, but I'm a spontaneous traveler. I have no idea where I'm going to go. I only know that me and my car are going to have an adventure. And we do. I have met some of the NICEST people! I love meeting people when I travle. Oh, the stories I could tell! Oh, wait. I do.

7. I have a pet rock. I got it for my birthday from my daughters, sister, mother and father. They even made fake dog doodoo and dog food. I get strange looks, though, when I take Rockie out to the dog park. *clicks tongue* He's the only dog I've got, and I've been told you can meet men when you take your dog for a walk. Most of the men there think I'm mental. A little. I don't know why.

DMBeucler said...

1. I'm a part owner of a LARP franchise. Which means I spend quite a few weekends wearing a costume and chasing down people in the woods with plumbing supplies. I call it research for my fantasy novel in progress.

2. I have a very bad habit of trying to make the people around me laugh no matter the circumstances. For example, While being wheeled in for emergency surgery.

3. I'm terrified of bugs. We named our house cricket house because it sounded cute but in the fall when the crickets try to come in I shriek and sic my cats on them.

4. My husband made his own outfit for our wedding and I made my dress. It was a Renaissance faire theme so I got to wear dark blue and he got to wear a green velvet pirate coat.

5. I learned to spin on my honeymoon and we are considering building a full sized spinning wheel and loom for our living room.

6. I met my husband at a larp game when we were both in college. I don't remember him. We were introduced again by mutual friends when I was engaged to someone else. When that ended we ran across each other at a sci fi convention. I tried to scare him off, he stuck with it, and a year later he proposed at the same convention.

7. The house we live in was built in 1924 and has been modified a few times. This has left a few odd joins and secret bits and one secret door that I can not weight for my children to discover.

MeganRebekah said...

1. I'm the second oldest of five kids, and my dad recently felt the need to discuss my conception, and how I was the only one not planned. Really gross to process at first (threw up in my mouth a little) but I actually thinks it's kind of cool. Makes me special.

2. After choosing to leave the colorful world of teaching, I needed a job quick, so I signed on as a child abuse investigator because it's the first thing I found. Wow. For a random choice it has profoundly affected every aspect of my life, including providing the inspiration for my WIP.

3. I would love to move to NYC. But only if I won the lottery or was guaranteed a good paying job because I don't relish the thought of sharing a studio with three other people.

4. One of the greatest compliments I've received was from my brother-in-law who said that he was impressed with the way I was extremely unbiased and fair when it comes to forming opinions or sorting out arguments. I see both sides of the story. It has made me the official peace keeper in the family.

5. I lived in Belize (Central America) when I was ten years old. My parents drove the family down there so we could do mission work. It's another one of those decisions that has profoundly changed my life. I would love to get married on the Belizean Cayes one day.

6. I am the only reader in the family. It's hard because nobody shares my excitement when I get a new book in the mail, and everyone groans when I beg to stop at the bookstore (they put time limits on the trips when they concede to go). But, they are all supportive of my writing, and ask questions, and express interested in reading the finished product.

7. I came *this close* (squeezes figners together) to being a super secret international spy. Not kidding.

And that's me in a nutshell. Or seven nutshells.

Imogen said...

1. I work in a shared office which is the former bedroom of a Duchess and is rumoured to be haunted. Computers, printers and other complex electronic goods pack up more frequently in this office than any other in the organisation. Make of this what you will...

2. Unlike Beth I have two middle names, because my parents worried that I'd grow up and hate my Christian name. I didn't, but I have had to face the equivalent problem re forms, only in the opposite way, all my life. Either there is not enough room to write "Elizabeth Claire" or the person who takes the form says "You can have one or the other but you can't have them both" as if I am a greedy little girl trying to sneak some extra cake.

3. Twins, red hair and big noses all run in my family. To my regret, I got none of them.

4. I have a dream for my long-term future, too, and completely bizarrely it is almost identical to Moonrat's Dream, only with the following additions; my Café des Arts also houses an independent art gallery and artists' studios (upstairs), it is on the Greek island of Thassos, and it is surrounded by a small botanic garden.

5. I get excited not by grammar but by proofreading. I blame my parents. My mother is a retired proofreader and my late father was known (behind his back) to his students as "Professor Higgins".

6. I proofread the "Vegetation Atlas of Madagascar". Yes, there is such a thing; moreover, it's fascinating.

7. I have been writing since I was seven and will probably stop when I die - but if I can manage it by fair means or foul I'll carry on after that, too.

Brian F. said...

Mine's posted:

SM Blooding said...

CKHB, I love your dad too.

I'm not good with guessing movies. I don't watch enough of them. My roomie says I live under a rock, though she's trying to pry me out from underneath it.

Oh, good grief! This is fun!

I didn't realize hermit crabs lived that long!

JES said...

1. The dog I wish most that I owned, but almost certainly never will, is an Irish wolfhound. (Aside from the size and space issue, I've also learned that apparently they live only 6-8 years. Which sounds to me like a prescription to have your heart repeatedly broken.)

2. DVDs published anytime in the last 5 years or so without closed captioning utterly enrage me. Outrage me, for that matter.

3. I eat a cinnamon-raisin bagel (with tea) for breakfast almost every morning; I acquired this habit almost 30 years ago.

4. Once, when cutting into a block of cheddar, the knife slipped and trimmed off a tiny sliver of the pad of my right index finger. That patch no longer experiences pain; I use it to squeeze out my teabag against the side of my mug.

5. Speaking again of tea, the mug I use at work is an insulated travel mug I got from Amazon way back in their early days, when they sent you stuff, unbidden, just for being a good customer.

6. When I still belonged to the Quality Paperback Book Club (are they still around?), I never sent in the card which let you check off what selection (including NO selection) you wanted that month. I just took whatever book they were pushing. During that period of my life I read some of the most interesting things I've ever read -- things I'd never have selected on my own.

7. On my desk I've got several pictures of The Missus (one with me)... and one black-and-white photo of myself and three siblings, when I (the oldest) was about 7 years old. I love that picture.


P.S. Moonie, for some reason I have a very difficult time imagining you as a control freak.

P.P.S. You do realize, don't you, that because of your blasted anonymity, we're now going to have to buy lots of copies of every freaking single potentially world-changing book this fall?

Dreamstate said...

This is so great!

1. My name was so uninteresting I changed it in high school. AND I gave both my children two middle names so they could say 'Hey, I have two middle names!'

2. I have moved 12 times in 20 years. And I'm not in the military. I really must stop doing that. It is getting expensive.

3. Guinea pigs really creep me out -- the noise they make and the way their fur is all tufty...*shudder*

4. I love libraries. I love the way they smell, the hush, and of course, shelf after shelf of best friends to choose from.

5. I used to be an editor (textbooks), then a research chef and food stylist, now I'm a writer. I LOVE MY JOB!

6. My grammar pet peeve is when people use 'less' rather than 'fewer'.

7. For a while, I was buying books based on weight -- the thicker the better -- because I read so fast. I have since taught myself to SLOW DOWN and savor books.

Thanks, Moonrat, for starting such a fun post (although, like you, I will spend a big chunk of my day reading the comments!)

Derek Gentry said...

Thanks, moonrat. I think I feel a brain tumor coming on...I may have to go home early...

Becky said...

I just started following you about a month ago - I had been picturing you as a man :-O. I also love the bookstore/cafe! So I did 25 things a while back but you can stop reading at #6 if you like:

Laurel said...

1. The most interesting things about me are not things I will post on the internet. Ever. Even under "anonymous."

2. My maiden name is the same as the city where I was born. I was six before I knew that your last name was not the same as your city.

3. My maiden name is now my middle name and also my son's, which I like.

4. I have always liked my parents, even when I was a teenager.

5. The only thing I miss about owning a business is taking my dog to work every day.

6. My sister is the pretty one. I am the smart one. People are startled to find that neither one of us relish this "compliment."

7. I don't know how many degrees I am from Kevin Bacon but I once met someone in the airport in Santiago, Chile who was good friends with someone from my tiny college (< 1000 enrollment). Since I had been robbed by a taxi cab driver I spent the night at her house instead of the airport and she gave me $35 USD the next day so I could pay the airport tax and go home which is why I always pay for someone's groceries if their check won't go through.

Hannah said...

I started reading your dream for the future and suddenly said 'No way! You're kidding!' because that's my dream too! I have *always* wanted to run a cafe-cum-bookshop with a lovely, community atmosphere where I know all my regulars names and chat to them about their families. I would go out of business in a year but oh what a year it would be!

Now for my seven:

1. Only-children make me cry. I grew up in a huge family with lots of siblings and tonnes of aunts and cousins where you had to shout to be heard and everything was broken and most of my clothes were second or third-hand from relatives and friends, and it was wonderful. I'm confident and happy and have a giant support network because of it. I can't imagine not having such a bustling family life so when I hear someone's an only child, I automatically want to cuddle them. Generally I can restrain myself.

2. My dad also named me - whilst my mum was recovering from childbirth he went and filled out the birth certificate and my mum signed it too drugged up to pay attention. Later in the day she suddenly said 'hang on - what did I sign?' Had she been more awake I'd probably be called Lucy.

3. I grew up all over the world because my dad was in the services and as a consequence cannot stay still in my adult life. After a couple of years I get itchy feet and have to move or go mad. It's a nightmare.

4. I am almost directly descended from Robert of Locksley, the man whom historians have decided is most likely to have been Robin Hood.

5. I'm a fidgeter so whenever I'm watching TV which isn't utterly riveting or listening to the radio or whatever, I knit. Badly, but I love it.

6. I once had a dream that I built a time machine and went back a dozen years with a copy of Harry Potter six months before Rowling started it. It got published and I made millions and when I woke up I had to be talked out of writing to her to apologise for stealing it.

7. Because I lived abroad so much I have a very strange accent. Mostly I sound RP English, but quite often a Flemish or Italian or American or Swedish accent will creep in and people will look at me askance.

sylvia said...

Re: #6

Do we at least get a hint?

iamfrightenedtoo said...

1: my first name is spelled with a C and a K when normally it’s one or the other. My mother named me with a K and my father told the doctor with a C, so the doctor took it upon himself to make it both, and I love it.
2: I wouldn’t normally have put this in a top seven, (which could be a fact in itself) but I feel it holds merit here, I hate grammar. I try to be as proper as I can but fear I put to many commas in my writing, or not enough.
3: I believed in Vampires till I was about fourteen years old. I still hold a small reservation for them. I cannot put pen to paper or fingers to my keyboard with the intention of writing fiction and not throw at least a little vampire influence in my writing. (It’s a complex)
4: I am not a fan of seven things about me, because eight it my favorite number. Why not eight? What did eight ever do to you? (An actual fact so I don’t cheap out on this = whenever I get sick or hurt I have the same reoccurring nightmare and in the nightmare I can feel physical pain. It all started when I was twelve and hit by a drunk driver on my bike. The anesthetics of surgery started the nightmare.)
5: other than pop, I am a straight edge, and pop has made me approach the heavy side but I love it so much. It makes me happy, and I can eat any food for breakfast, but cereal is my favorite food in general, breakfast, snack, dinner, lunch, midnight snack. I love cereal.
6: when I sleep, I feet have to be completely covered and wrapped in my blanket. My back also has to be completely covered. It all stems from me believing in vampires, when I was a kid I used to think if those two things were done they wouldn’t be able to kill me, or find me.
8: (formally known as number seven) I have an original ‘Tender Heart Care Bear’ stuffed animal. It still sits on my shelf above my desk at the new age of twenty six. A cousin of mine bought it for me the day I was born. Oh and number seven, you can suck it.

Melanie Avila said...

I love this! Now (like everyone, I'm sure) I'm DYING to know your name!

Your cafe sounds heavenly.

I did this yesterday. I can't remember how to do links in a comment, so it's here:

If you tell us the name of the book I promise we'll all read it. :)

Travis Erwin said...

Three cheers for lucky dorks.

storyqueen said...

Hurray for Sylvester Antonio!
(I can just picture him as a little swashbuckler, perhaps brandishing an old cheeto for a sword.)

Here's my 7:

1. I fear ghosts.

2. One of my books started as a spelling error in my journal.

3. I'm a sucker for a good love story and get mad every time I get to the end of Romeo and Juliet...nooooh!

4. I would love to live in a cottage in Ireland, surrounded by sheep as long as they don't smell too bad.

5. People who don't know me well think I am very organized....HA!

6. I go to Disneyland at least twice a month. Favorite ride is Space Mountain.

7. I never got to have pets when I was little except for a fish named Clarence that eventually jumped out of his bowl.

Rick Daley said...

My guess at the author / book / movie:

THE ORCHID THIEF by Susan Orlean, and the film Adaptation, where Meryl Streep portrayed Susan Orlean.

WendyCinNYC said...

Oh, fun!

1) My parents nearly named me Harmony. They were on the peace-love-hippie side, so I'm lucky I didn't get a name like Freedom or Morningstar. Although, then again, any one of those would be more interesting than Wendy.

2) I'm adopted and an only child.

3) I once got so sick while traveling in Peru that I thought I was going to die.

4) My eyes are ridiculously sensitive to light.

5) I hate chickens. My grandparents had a farm and I saw one getting butchered. I steered clear of the henhouse after that.

6) I get almost nauseated when I hear the song "We Built this City on Rock and Roll." I have no clue why I have such a strong hatred for it.

7) I once had purple hair.

These are interesting to read!

Linda said...

Quick drive through but back later with my 7.

Moonie, if your high-high-high hopes is debut, please let me know once pub date and I will review ;^)

ChrisEldin - WHAT Baltimore cafe are you thinking about? I NEED to know?! (From your fellow greater B'more/DC friend).

Peace, Linda

Charles Gramlich said...

That last one is the best. Cool.

Michael Reynolds said...

1) I saw my wife through a window. Immediately went and knocked on her door. We moved in together the next day and we've been together for 30 years.

2) I couldn't diagram a sentence if you put a gun to my head. I'm not sure I even know what it means.

3) The number of homes I've lived in is equal to the number of years I've been alive.

4) I'm much nicer after a drink. Or two.

5) I've spent my whole life convinced I'd be dead in a couple of years. This may explain why I have few savings but great life insurance.

6) At a couple of points in my life I was so broke I slept behind bushes and under overpasses.

7) Before I became a writer I was a great waiter. I have carried eight table stations. My back is still messed up from hoisting trays over my head and I have a scar on my chest from a fall into oyster shells.

Kiersten said...

Ah. You're freaking adorable, you know that? I will totally come hang out at your cafe. I'll make trips to wherever it is JUST to hang out in it.

And we can go shopping and cry together. Pants = my worst enemies.

Rebecca Knight said...

Moonie: I would frequent that cafe every day--you have to make this dream come, true!

Storyqueen: that is adorable! I hope Sylvester Antonio is victorious, too :3.

I did this yesterday because of an award, too, but here we go:

7. I realized the other day that all the movies and TV I own/watch are dude movies. It's all things like First Blood, Season 1 of MacGyver, Preditor, and Equilibrium. This translates into my reading life, too. I'm emotional and love some romance in my novels, but if they don't have someone's arm getting chopped off or a werewolf eating someone's face, I'm not truly happy.

6. I am a closet trekkie. I LOVE The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and all of the movies except for Nemesis, which didn't exist. If I could walk around wearing one of those sweet Bajoran earrings, I totally would. Also, Data's hot.

5. I value Badassery very highly. Even though I wear skirts and makeup and heels (once in awhile, I'm tall), I want to be able to defend myself from ninja attacks at a moment's notice. This makes me want to one day become some kind of Muay Thai master. You know. Just in case.

4. I own most of the Lord of the Rings action figures. And play with them. When I was in college, I almost shot my mom's eye out with Aragorn's tiny (yet deadly) bow and arrows. Well, I had to try it out! It was CHRISTMAS, for Pete's sake!

3. You know when you hear the recordings that say "This call may be recorded for quality purposes?" That's my job. I'm the lady who sits in a cube all day listening to people's calls and judging them on call quality and compliance to consumer protection laws. When I tell people this, they look at me like I just announced I'm Hitler's personal secretary. :(

2. The X-Men animated series has made me cry, as has Futurama. That stuff is well written, dammit!

1. I'm a total sucker for babies and kittens, despite my insistance that I am a badass. So if you are a zombie coming to attack me in my home, bring a kitten to distract me. It will work every time.

Yaaay! These are too much fun to read :). I love getting to know everyone.

Stephen Duncan said...

1. Lately, I find myself facinated by the weather. Which proves useful when boring conversation dries up. " 'bout this weather?" "I KNOW!!!"

2. Deep down, I may want to be on one of these reality chef shows. I love cookbooks. Continental, Cajun, Itallian, French, whatever. As long as it's good.

3. I come from Alabama. Sans banjo.

4. Married into a Korean family. Love it. Love the food. A bit overwhelmed by the use of the word 'Kim.' Don't tell my agent.

5. Lived abroad, and have discovered this to be a defining part of my character. Everyone should, at some point in their life, try it.

6. I accidentally wrote a YA novel and then accidentally became represented by WME.

7. When I write, I have to have my guitar nearby. You'd think I was trying to be flippin' Bono.

Rick Daley said...

2nd guess at author / movie:

Anne Perry, who was portrayed by Kate Winslett in Heavenly Creatures. Anne Perry's birth name was Juliet Marion Hulme, that was the name of the character in the movie.

Kirstin Cronn-Mills said...

1. Even though I'm good at using grammar, I SUCK at explaining it to others, and I'm supposed to do that--I teach English composition! Not good.

2. I am a college football fan. Blame it on growing up in Nebraska.

3. Social networking makes me feel shy.

4. I was named after an alcoholic in a movie--DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES. I can't say that feels auspicious.

5. I really should be working (duh!).

6. I had a student named Zappa--his dad was an enormous F.Zappa fan.

7. I'm a descendant of Rebecca Nurse, a woman hanged in Salem as a witch and a character in Arthur Miller's THE CRUCIBLE.

Horserider said...

1. I have what is probably the most common middle name in America (Marie).

2. I haven't ridden a horse in almost a year. Which depresses me deeply.

3. My mom's always trying to get me to read her stories despite my general policy to not critique anything written by friends or family.

4. My three favorite places in the world are the bookstore, the library, and my riding stable.

5. I just realized that my headphone cords are more severely damaged that I thought.

6. I have a general dislike of classics because all of them seem to have unhappy endings. Sure that's more realistic, but isn't life depressing enough already?

7. My wildest dream is to own racehorses and be a published author.

Jemi Fraser said...

1. My dad chose my middle name - it’s my mom’s first name, which she hates.

2. I can’t read or watch anything without a happy ending. My teenagers screen movies for me because I become quite an embarrassing mess if it’s a sad ending :(

3. I love working with troubled kids - although I think that explains my penchant for romance, fantasy and happy endings.

4. Never owned a pet growing up.

5. Had three very vivid imaginary friends - probably in response to #4.

6. I’m a Trekkie - oops, did I say that out loud? No costumes or toys though, so it’s okay. Right?

7. I love the smell of coffee, but can’t stand the taste. Earl Grey tea for me!

Terri said...

1. My father named me after the current reigning Miss America.

2. I was born at home, in the back seat of the car, not by choice, they couldn't make it to the hospital in time.

3. I have three teeny little Chihuahuas. They are fluffy, fuzzy, and black and don't look or act a thing like the Taco Bell dog.

4. Ultimate fantasy. To make enough off my writing that I can sell everything, pile the dogs into a small motorhome and go on the road for months/years at a time. I want a blog called "Travels With (my dogs' names)" Wireless internet and cell phone would make business possible.

5. I hate shopping. Most of my wardrobe comes from garage sales.

6. Because of Stephen King, I have a pathological fear of the state of Maine.

7. I have a coffee mug from every state except Alaska. I confess, Hawaii was a gift from a friend.

Thanks Moonie for the great post!

Sarah Laurenson said...

1. I was named after my Dad’s mother and stepmother. Since he had serious issues related to his mother’s death, he couldn’t call me by her name. I went by a different name until I started school. I still have relatives who call me by that name.

2. I produced a one hour musical. Never again.

3. I love to shop and try things on in only one type of store – a bookstore. I LOATHE clothes shopping. If I find a shirt I like, I buy several in different colors. My wife thinks it’s funny. My clothes fit in half a closet.

4. My wife and I want a bed & breakfast or retreat center with a yarn and book shop. Have to have alpacas or cashmere goats or something, too.

5. No self-respecting mouse would venture near this place. Too many willing hunters, none of which are human.

6. I started a blog because I will need it when I get published. In the meantime, I’ve made friends all over the world.

7. I love what I do outside of work. I like my job – most days.

carolinestarr said...

1. My middle name is Starr, prompting all my middle-school classmates to ask if I had siblings named Moonbeam and Sunshine (no Moonrat questions, though).

2. I've always thought if Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn were real, we'd have been good friends.

3. I once caught the giggles while teaching sixth grade language arts. It lasted the whole period. The kids thought it was a riot and hung on my every word.

4. I complained to a local magazine about the lack of recycling in town and got my students on board. We've got it now!

5. I've experienced two agent rejections in the last 24 hours. Both had fulls. Boo.

6. I absolutely love getting older.

7. Watching my sons read is my greatest joy.

Heidi C. Vlach said...

I'd like to live in your hypothetical cafe. Or, heck, work in it.

Keith Popely said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith Popely said...

1. My mother wanted to name me "Ashley", after the guy in GONE WITH THE WIND. My father refused to allow it. Because I'm a dude. Thanks, Dad.

2. I've been in a movie. Several. I used to be a production assistant in Hollywood and whenever my boss needed to block a light or pole in the background behind the actors, he'd make me stand in front of it.

3. I believe "purdy" is spelled "purty." And I believe anyone who uses the word "normalcy" or spells "night" as "nite" should be shot.

4. I went to the sleep clinic last night and discovered that I have sleep apnea. So I haven't had dreams in years because I don't get REM sleep. It has driven me quite insane.

5. My girlfriend's cat caught a mouse once. It was the most horrible thing I've ever seen. A dog will kill things, sure, but a cat will torture it to death.

6. I would like you to publish my book. I don't even want an advance. Just put it on bookshelves in an English-speaking country. Hell, I'll pay you an advance.

7. I hate going to work because I have a regular job because you haven't published my book yet. But at least I have an inside job. Some people have jobs where they get shot at. Excuse me, I have to go. I think my green tea is ready.

Cassandra said...

I just wanted to mention that there is a cafe nearly exactly like the one you described in the northeast of England in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne. The walls are full of bookshelves, customers can buy/trade/read them over a cuppa. The floors are a nice wood with comfy couches and tables with stacks of board games. They sell homemade sandwiches, desserts, and the most amazing irn-bru float you've ever tasted. The only difference is that instead of a small publishing house in the back, there's a garden with tables so customers can sit outside during the summer months and listen to music.

For more info (and pictures!): (which I co-run) (not me) (also not me)

Natasha Fondren said...

LOL! That's great. My father changed my middle name at the hospital, and my mother was not happy. Marie instead of Maria.

I dream of owning a cafe too! Except no publishing. No caffeinated beverages. No workshops. AND it's ALL chocolate! Drinking chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate-flavored coffees, even non-sweet stuff with a touch of chocolate. And there's a big piano in the center of the room that I play all afternoon while drinking chocolate, and a nice little nook in the corner where I write all morning. Because it's doing so well, someone ELSE does all the hard work. I just hang out amongst people.

Steph Damore said...

Kristin - Hahaha, I teach English Comp too and hate explaining grammar. I'm like, "just put a comma there, okay?"

Anne said...

oh my god i've had the same cafe dream since high school! but instead of having a pub house in the back i want a display table where i can sell really cute non-thong undies.

Baaaa said...

LOL Beth! I have the same font issues!
1. I have OCD when it comes to collecting books, I spend too much money and am going broke!
2. I tend to theme read: when I read Tim Winton books I also have done Australian history and travel journals and photo books at the same time, submersing in the whole theme. I've done this with historical periods and locations as well.
3. I've been to two Super Bowls, even though I hate football.
4. I crave solitude more than is probably healthy.
5. I read movie reviews and watch the trailers but never see actual movies.
6. I adore Law & Order, and have never seen Mad Men.
7. My 3 kids like me. Really. They're not faking it, and I'm not delusional.

Shreds said...

1. My (still unrepresented, sigh) book is a memoir of the four and a half years I spent in a small town living Moonrat's #4 (sans employees and publishing house.) I lived in the basement and taught GED part-time to support the business. Sold more soup than sandwiches, more salted nut rolls than books.
2. On really hot quiet days and really snowy quiet days, I miss my old bookcafe and the slumbering town. A lot.
3. My middle name is my grandmother's maiden name. We were always told she was an orphan, but learned from some cousins that her elderly parents actually gave her up, took her to a convent at the age of 12.
4. My first dog's name is Alice. I got her a buddy whose name is Gertrude. Pure coincidence.
5. I have an office supply fetish, though the thought of working in an office fills me with despair.
6. I teach 9th grade English and am filled with despair about that, too, until the kids come back and it's fun again.
7. I feel guilty that I have never taken a facebook quiz, but now I feel like I have.

Karla Doyle said...

Fun post - you've painted a great picture of the cafe, too.

I managed retail for years. Now I'd rather give blood than go to a mall. Pant shopping is traumatic, but I'd have to put bra shopping up there as well. Maybe that's why I'll wear a comfortable one until it can't be held together by safety pins anymore.

I'm all for high hopes - tell us the name of the book, so we can rush out and buy a copy.

I wish my father had named me. For the first couple of decades everybody spelled it wrong (with a 'C'), then I was identified with Carla from Cheers, then Karla with a K, just like Karla Homolka.

You can call me "hey you", I'm good with that.

Jade said...

What an awesome way to procrastinate!

1. My mum named me after Mick Jagger's eldest daughter

2. I became a published illustrator at the age of eight!

3. When I was 15 I researched the medieval British royal family tree. I had friends- I swear.

4. I didn't finish 1984. I hated it.

5. I once wrote an epic love letter/fanmail to Jonathan Taylor Thomas (one of the kids off Home Improvement). I was 11 and was devastated when he didn't write back.

6. The first CD I ever bought was Salt n Peppa "Very Necesscary".

7. I once ate a jelly-fish salad without knowing what it was.

I did a similar post the other day on my blog "10 things you might know about Australia".

That was fun!

moonrat said...


Matilda--PRIEST AND NUN?!?!?!?!

moonrat said...

Becky--apparently lots of people think I'm a man! I got an email addressed to "Mr. Moonrat" this morning.

I am very boyishly dressed today, though, so I could understand.

joelle said...

I want you to open your cafe here in beautiful British Columbia on the tiny island that I live on. We have plenty of writers here (including Iain Lawrence and Susan Juby close by). Our library has over 100,000 checkouts per year and only 4500 people, so we would definitely support you. And we LOVE coffee. Come here.

Dawn VanderMeer said...

1. My brothers' names (first and/or middle) were inspired by the names of racehorses. Thus, I'm thankful to be Dawn and not Seabiscuit.

2. I'm red-green color-blind even though my dad was taught in med school that girls can't be.

3. My mom said I was born at dawn, but my name was chosen in advance. Yeah, I have a thing about punctuality.

4. I can't watch THE LITTLE MERMAID, LION KING, or BEAUTY AND THE BEAST without crying.

5. I ran before I walked.

6. My grandpa used to play stickball with George and Ira Gershwin. Unless he was just messing with me. (I think he really did!)

7. My dream is to become an author teens love and to make enough money writing to be able to cover my own writing expenses.

Thanks for the fun, Moonie! Long live Sylvester Antonio!

Richard Lewis said...

1. I was born in Bali many years ago and my mother is convinced the elderly brusque German doctor in Denpasar who assisted was a Nazi hiding out at the distant end of the telegraph trail.

2. My middle name is in honor of one of my father's missionary friends killed by a hail of arrows on a remote river bank in in a South American jungle.

3. I have been trying to read ULYSSES for four years.

4. I met Walter Cronkite on a beach in Bali before Bali got overrun with tourists. I also spotted Mick Jagger in a Sanur music store. He was not with Jerry Hall.

5. I once intercepted Michael Ondaatje as he was purposefully heading to the men's room and babbled on and on and he was gracious even as his leg began to twitch and he said, "Excuse me, but I really do have to..."

6. Richard Russo is not a misogynist.

7. Have I said I've been trying for ten years to read ULYSSES? I know I said four, but it feels like ten.

moonrat said...

Shreds, you provide me with some very helpful data here re: my future goal.

MeganRebekah said...

Mr. Moonrat-
I'm guessing if people think you're a man, they also presume you're gay, since Rally Monkey is mentioned frequently and called a he.
Not sure what that says about you or your followers, but I'm sure it must say something.

moonrat said...

joelle--i am VERY interested in BC lately. what's the name of your island? how does one get there?

Kim Kasch said...

I want to come to your cafe and sit and eat pie and brownies and . . . and... and...chocolate-anything.

Crystal Posey said...

#5 LOL

Tara said...

If number four ever works out, let me know. It sounds delightful.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I love BC!

(word ver: unded - are there zombies afoot or footless as the case may be?)

gringo said...

1. I first came to Mexico twenty years ago on business, and after three years moved here never to live anywhere else.

2. There is absolutely no way to count how many jobs I've had over the years. Maybe one hundred. Maybe more.

3. I decided to become a writer after many people read what I wrote on the internet, and told me that I should be a writer. I figured it was time I listened to them.

4. I shattered my heel bone playing baseball on a team in Baja. I was forty years old when that happened.

5. When I visited my specialist with said broken foot in San Diego, the receptionist looked at my data and remarked that we were both born on the same day and the same year. Upon further examination, we found that we were also born in the same hospital. Two minutes apart. We've never seen each other since.

6. I made enough money betting thoroughbred racehorces in six months to purchase three lots of land near a Baja beach.

7. The United States of America refuses to issue me a passport, so when I cross into the U.S. I use the application as proof of citizenship.

Emily said...

Oh, my. Sign me up for your cafe/bookstore/indie pub. Baking and editing and enlightening the masses?? Amazing!

For the fun of it, since I have little else to do (or rather, little else I want to do while stuck at work on a Saturday night):

1. I was named after the poet. If I'd been a boy, I would've been named Samuel. My younger brother, however, was not named Samuel, because close family friends took the name instead. Nor was he named Babar, as five-year-old me insisted.

2. At my parents' house upstate, we have two pet lambs: Desmond Tutu and Chico. (This is in addition to a dog and three - formerly six - cats.) There is always a dramatic "lambino" story to be told when I call home.

3. While we're on the topic of childhood homes - I grew up on top of a hydro-electric plant, with a lake and creek and a waterfall in my backyard... not to mention a public radio station up the driveway.

4. I am a plant-murderer. I deliberately let my tomatoes die. They weren't producing, and my roommates had blocked my easy-watering-entrance, and it was just too hard to water them, and so now I am a tomato-killer. I feel endlessly guilty about this, but take solace in the fact that probably BQE-flavored tomatoes wouldn't have been very good anyway.
4a. The death of the thyme was not my fault, though.

5. My go-to comfort food is chips and sour cream. It's a little gross how much sour cream I can eat when paired with something starchy and salty.

6. For someone who loves to read and loves books, I am weirdly stingy about book-buying, and feel like a lesser bibliophile because of it. I hope this will be rectified in the future by a) a bigger apartment and b) a bigger paycheck.

7. I studied linguistics at college, but have very little intention of doing anything with it in the near future. Instead, I hope to apply my love of language to the written word. (Before anyone asks - I speak one language only.)

Merry Monteleone said...


I just have to tell you, I spent at least an hour here reading everyone's things, and loved every second of the procrastination.

I would totally hang out at your cafe - hell, I'd work there if you'd hire me... and I have a very similiar dream.

Mine is a cafe on one side, with cute little tables that are all handpainted with various literary themes and (of course) both new and used books to buy, as well as author readings and a stock of the latest releases from authors I know and who would like a spot. The cafe end would also have salads, a few lunch dishes a day, and desserts. Oh, and we'd have a few chess and checker sets you could borrow to pass your time at the tables.

The other side is an art supply store - because I'm weird that way and because art supplies are my other vice. There would be two back studio rooms, one for art classes and one for writing classes and for writing groups/lecturers to rent out.

I know, I'm nuts. It probably wouldn't make enough money to float... actually, I'm sure it wouldn't, I crunched the numbers once. But I would love every single solitary second of being there.

moonrat said...

Rick--oh, if only. I'd be a much richer woman.

moonrat said...

Wendy--the RM would like you to know that he, too, used to have purple hair.

Natalie said...

1. My mom wanted to name me Lauren. But my dad couldn't pronounce it (he has a very cool, very southern accent so he says "Lorn" :)

2. I'm only 4'11" but I write 5'0" when I go to the doctor, renew my license, etc. I don't mind being short so I don't know why I fudge the extra inch. I guess I feel entitled.

3. When I was little, I used to crawl into my closet and fall asleep thinking I would wake up in Narnia.

4. I have fair skin and a lot of freckles. When I was in elementary school, someone told me my freckles looked like bird poo. I went home, and bawled, and told my dad. He told me a face without freckles was like a sky without stars. I've loved my freckles ever since.

5. Rainy days up my mood considerably.

6. Bo Duke, of Dukes of Hazzard fame, was my first crush. I still think he's a doll. My friends always tell me I'm a freak when I mention this.

7. Today at a restaurant, I accidentally launched half of a lemon across a crowded room.

I don't know if I've commented before, but I love your blog. It is both hilarious and informative. Thanks for writing! :)

Kim said...

Okay, I cyber-stalked this page long enough. Now I have to post ;)

1. I dream in color most of the time, and rarely have dreams that I don't remember. It just reinforces the concept that my head is one giant carnival of weird.

2. I am currently learning how to fence as a competitive sport. It is kicking my ass, which is both humbling and infuriating. I keep doing it, though, because I get to play with a sword.

3. I am insanely into football, and watch it on Sundays from 11:00 AM (when the pregame shows come on) until the late game is over on Sunday night. I'm a massive Redskins fan, no matter how bad they are. My husband loves the Patriots in the same way. Occasionally, we have to fight over that.

4. I have lots of guilty pleasures. They include, but are not limited to: watching COPS when the spirit moves me, changing my hair color like most people change pants (why yes! My hair is currently a little bit purple, too!) and Girl Scout cookies. Lots of 'em.

5. I am horribly obnoxious with gum. Sometimes, I chew it anyway.

6. I teach yoga, and find standing on my head to be wildly therapeutic. Before I learned how to successfully do it, though...not so much.

7. I get dorkishly excited in used bookstores, to the point that my husband and most of our friends make fun of me over it. I don't care. Something about the smell of all that print and the people who have read the books before me is terribly exciting to me. If I didn't have a family and a job, I'd try my best to live in one. I swear it.

Kelly Maher said...

1. I, too, was to be named Matthew if I was a boy. I have three younger brothers, none of whom are named Matthew. I once asked my mom why none of them are named Matthew, and her reply was that I was the only one who looked like a Matthew.

2. I love Indiana Jones and my undergrad degree is in Anthropology. Also like Indy, I named myself after the dog for my writing pseudonym. This is also partially because my mom would call me by the dog's name, and vice versa, so I got used to answering to it. (Sense a theme with my mom and names at this point?)

3. In my day job, I'm a librarian. I'm the third generation in my family to be a librarian.

4. I went to the same high school that Jenny McCarthy did, but she's older than me. She posed for Playboy, and I write erotica. That Catholic school education's really working for us :D

5. I can tell which side of the body a human femur is from, blindfolded.

6. I won $250 in a raffle when I was two years old. I haven't been able to win more than $100 in cash since.

7. The majority of my friends live more than 3 hours away from me and I hate it.

Malanie said...

1. I taught myself how to read and write.

2. My mother chose to name me
Muh-Lanie and spelled it Melanie. (Thanks Mom! Introductions are always interesting.)

3. I was born to free-loving, drug addicted, hippies who could careless about my academic career. I even went to sixteen schools before my junior year. Oddly enough, I turned out a book worm and rejected their crazy ideologies. My twenties were spent reading etiquette books and pretending I had a normal upbringing.

4. Everyone says I am the most kind hearted person they know.

5. Like you Moon, I have a great love affair with food. I also hate clothes shopping - reminds me how imperfect I am. But I do love thrift shopping - I picked up a 1950 Jane Eyre for $1! Woo-hoo!

6. I want to be a published author, but I LONG to be a great writer. I am really excited watching myself grow. I am looking for a mentor.

7. I live for Mom Night Out! I get two a month and they (my girls friends) keep me sane!