It’s awards time!
As part of my acceptance speech, here are seven random things about me that you might or might not know:
1. My name. “Belle” is my full, legal first name, not a nickname. I spent my first 20 years of life wishing my mother had chosen a two-syllable first name for me, because I really disliked having a one-syllable first name and a one-syllable last name. Not that I have a poet’s ear or anything, but it never sounded quite “right”.
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate my name more and more (especially after changing my last name during my first marriage – I felt so utterly foreign to myself! It was quite a relief to change back to my real name).
2. Making changes. By the time I was 16, I had moved 13 times. I think this is the main reason why I’m rather fond of change and big moves. If I don’t get the chance to move residences every now and then, I end up moving furniture or (to my husband’s chagrin) shifting entire rooms in the house.
We’ve been in our current house for over ten years now – way too long, from my point of view. So, as an example of my fondness for changing things around, our current dining room used to be the kitchen, after which time it spent a year as a storage room. It then became a dining room, was changed to the “train” room (as in a model train layout), and now, in its present incarnation, is a dining room again. It drives my husband nuts but makes me very happy.
3. Not quite a lethal weapon. I have a brown belt in Aikido and a black belt in Jodo. (Jodo is not Judo – at quick glance, it’s an easy mistake to make, but in reality the two arts are very different. Jodo is a traditional weapons martial art.)
People ask me all the time – so, when are you going to start training again? To which I must reply: Never. I’m quite content to rest on my laurels and glory in my past achievements without ever stepping onto the mats again. (And now you know why I’m failing miserably in the Fitness Challenge – please don’t look at my progress in the sidebar.)
4. My first book. When I was seven, I wrote and illustrated my first book, Adventures in Candyland. The main character was an enterprising round candy by the highly original name of Mint. I’ll give you three guesses what my favorite candy was back then …
I then went on to write and illustrate a whole series of Mint’s adventures in Candyland. Unfortunately, each one is long lost, but I can still remember the many hours of enjoyment I had creating each of them.
5. A detour in life that lasted a bit too long. On my first day of law school, when the Dean addressed the first years and told us we were “the cream of the crop”, I had to fight down a massive attack of the giggles. In retrospect, I should have known this didn’t bode well for a future career in law.
To make things even worse, he was actually stating a fact. Does anyone remember that scene in Legally Blonde where Reese Witherspoon is sitting outside with a few of her new classmates, and they’re introducing themselves? And everyone has a long, long list of impressive credentials and degrees? That would have been about 75% of my classmates. The other 25% came from families who dined regularly with the Prime Minister. (There was, of course, some overlap between the two groups.)
I’m not sure how I snuck into this highly refined and academically excellent environment, but I somehow did. Can we say square peg in a round hole? Or maybe a bull in a china shop?
6. My ghosting experiences. I once ghostwrote a book on customer service that was published by Wiley Canada. I knew nothing about customer service, but of course that didn’t stop me. I even came up with a great survival of the fittest theme to organize all the points in the book.
I was also a freelance medical writer for two years, during which time I ghosted doctors’ speeches, medical articles, patient pamphlets, letters to the editor, and the occasional monograph. As for how much I knew about medicine, see paragraph above.
7. Blather, blather, blather. I have a tendency to be very long-winded when I put my hands to the keyboard. (Probably not such a great trait when it comes to novel writing, but there you have it.) Oh wait, you already knew this …?
There you have it – seven random things about me!
I’d like to pass this award onto all of you, so if you’d like to play, blog about it and let me know your link in the comments here, or tell me a random thing or two about yourself in the comments!