Ages and ages ago, I got tagged with the “five things people don’t know about you” meme by the Velveteen Rabbi, and now that I have my brain back, it’s time to make an attempt. However, there’s a slight difficulty in that I’m writing this blog for two different audiences: a few people who know me very well (hi, Auntie Lou!), and readers of the internet at large, who don’t know me at all. So I’ve decided to make this a two-tiered set of answers — the first is something basic about me that my close friends already know, the second fleshes that out a little.
1. I’m an identical twin. My sister’s an academic, working towards her doctoral degree, and we’re close enough that we can see each other often. (My younger sister, also an academic, lives farther away, but we try to stay in touch, partly because she’s much cooler than either of us.)
1a. I can’t stand most portrayals of twins in fiction. Either they’re polarized, good/evil, jock/nerd, etc., or they’re treated as essentially the same person. And let’s not even get into the whole weird sexual issues around them; that just gives me the creeps. Any recommendations for books that have non-polarized, non-interchangeable twins who are not screwing each other would be welcome.
2. I’ve been writing since second grade. (A copy of my first work, The Cases of Detective Snoopy, got brought out at my wedding reception. All I can say is that I’ve gotten better since then.)
2a. For all of seventh through ninth grade, I carried around a couple of notebooks in which I wrote two separate novels. One was a clunky fairy-tale pastiche with big battle scenes that didn’t quite grasp the underlying concept of warfare; the other was a sprawling epic fantasy in three volumes. I started typing up a revised draft of the latter, but didn’t get very far. The notebooks served their purpose, though: they were a shield against the junior high and high school worlds. I might not have lived in the real world for much of that time, but I liked the world where I did live.
3. I love to bake, even though I don’t have much time for it. Specifically, I love to bake muffins. They’re easy quickbreads, and done well they’re a lot of payoff for very little work.
3a. I’d really like to take a few weeks to experiment with muffin recipes to see if there are some that can be made more easily and quickly, say for large gatherings. I can make batter ahead and freeze it (depending on the recipe), but what I’d really like to do is run a few test batches. Of course, this would require not only time that I don’t have, but also a team of willing testers. And jam. We’d need jam.
4. I love hiking, even though I’m slow and out of shape. (Knees! Why do you torment me so!)
4a. I’ve made some bad decisions while hiking — taking a certain path up Monadnock on a damp day was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done, and I think it was just luck that we came back down the mountain unscathed — and so am a little skittish of some trails or of hiking without preparation. However, I always seem to bring the wrong thing: extra water that never gets drunk, extra layers that never get used, etc. And I always forget the sunscreen.
5. I’ve never pierced my ears, but I do have a tattoo.
5a. The reason I’ve never pierced my ears is solely due to the remnants of a childish desire to distinguish myself from my twin, who got hers pierced in her teens. However, this backfired, because I ended up jealous of her for being able to wear more of the fun jewelry. This is why I often wear ear cuffs instead, which can be twinkly without needing any holes punched in anything.