Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hello, Sunshine!

I broke my rule--I posted that last one without sleeping on it first.  Sometimes it takes a night to realize that I shouldn't say something that I'm going to look back on later in red-faced horror.  But I've also noticed that whatever I write after sunset comes out with gothic misery.  So...I think we're overdue for some daylight writing here.

A few weeks ago, the lovely and sweet Attorney At Large nominated me for a Sunshine award!  The rules of the game are that you have to give yourself a 10 question interview.  A whole post just to talk about myself?  Well, if you insist!  Wait, you don't .... sorry, I can't hear you over there.  Let's do this! 

1. Why did you go to law school?  
I wanted to go for a masters in British Literature, but I didn't want to have to move all around the country for professorships once I got out.  Law school seemed like a default choice--my dad and older sister were lawyers at the time, so it was the family trade in a way.*  What finally swayed me was an article I found when researching my undergraduate thesis.  It said most novelists in the Victorian era were 1) sea captains, 2) lawyers, and 3) patent clerks.**  Since there are no seas requiring captaining in the desert, I thought law school would set me on my way to either lawyering or patent clerking, either of which would fund my novel-writing career. 

2. How'd that work out?  
Not great!  In 11 years since I went to law school, I had quite a few incomplete manuscripts but no finished pieces.  Now that I'm a part-timer, I'm working to finish a complete draft by the end of 2012.  I plan to write three loosely-related historical romance novels, one standalone novel, and then switch to fantasy.  I like both genres, but since romance novels have stricter conventions, I wanted to use them to learn by doing before I switch to a looser format with more world-building. 

3. Probably should have just become a sea captain, huh?
No, hubby's the sailor.  He never was a sea captain, but back in the day, he did a lot of crewing for amateur yacht racing.  In addition to sailing on the local lakes, he's done a lot of sailing on San Francisco Bay, and once even beat Dennis Connor in a 1D35 race.  I'm somewhat convinced that hubby was bitten by a radioactive albatross at some point--he can see wind.  It's freaky. 

4. So, what are your favorite books?  
#1 for certain is Master and Commander, by Patrick O'Brian
#2 rotates depending on the day and mood: Jane Eyre, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure, Great Expectations, Jurassic Park, Howard's End, Bleak House, The Rake's Guide to Pleasure, Lord of Scoundrels, Dreaming of You, the Hobbit, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot. 

5. What do you do for fun?  
You mean, other than the 500 hours a week I spend fooling around on the internet?  For the last few years, I've been doing a lot of fancy baking--I got certified as a Wilton professional cake-decorator years ago.  I like to do mostly cupcakes and cookies, because those are the easiest canvases to prepare that I can use to play with frosting.  Before that I was into quilting, but I stopped because H was scared of the sewing machine when she was little.  I recently got some jewelry-making supplies, and I've been very seriously considering taking up canning/food preserving.

6. Do you have any special skills?  
I'm a really awesome gift giver.  I stay on alert for potential presents for people all year round, and then I stockpile them until the right holiday comes along. At one point, I considered starting a side business selling gifts.  I make these really cool baby-shower cakes out of diapers and stuff--way cuter than what you can find online--with hand-pieced baby quilts (I like cute but not fussy, a little bit of a modern feel.)  But because I'm a stickler for legality, the CSPIA killed that idea.  For a few years I did it as a hobby and just gave them away for free, but it got to be too much.  Same thing with the baking--I always had to turn down money for cakes I baked for people because selling them legally would have cost me thousands.  After awhile, the whole thing becomes really disillusioning. 

7. That sucks.  Would you like some easier questions?
Yes, please!

8. Alright ... what's your favorite color?  
Green.  I live in a desert.  My soul longs for green things, and the only ones I can grow are basil and mold.   

9.  Weak, dude.  I can't believe you answered the color question.  
Believe it--and I'm counting this one too.   People like shorter blog posts, so let's wrap this up.

10.  Um, I can't think of any other questions.  So, how about: How are you?  
That's not a bad question.  I'm doing fine.  Adjusting to the reality of staying at home/working at home has been tougher than I anticipated.  But we're all trying to make this work, and it's working. 

11. Bonus question:  
Oh crap.  Aren't you done yet?

12.  Just let me ask--you're going to like this one.
Fine.  Spit it out.  <grumble grumble>

13. You know, we'd be done already if you could stay on task.
Story of my life, dude.

14. Can it.  Okay?  Here's your last question: What's your favorite punctuation mark?
Ooh, I do like that question.  Em-dash!  I love me some em-dashes.  Oh, and I thought of another one--ask me about serial commas!

15.  I thought you wanted to be done already?  
Come on, I've indulged you long enough.

16.  Oh, you're indulging something here all right.  Fine.  Serial commas.  What say you? 

Phew.  Just had to get that off my chest.


Thanks to Attorney At Large for this.  I had fun, and it was really nice to be thought of during a few otherwise crappy days.  I'm not going to pass it on because I don't know 10 other bloggers, but check out her blog to see her self-interview. 

*The suit in Bleak House, Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, is based on a real case called Day v. Croft.  I'm sure it's coincidence, but I think it would be really neat if it turned out I was descended from Days so litigious they inspired an epic novel.  It would explain a lot, too.  As of today, 3/4 siblings are lawyers, 2/3 of our spouses are lawyers, and Mom just got admitted, so she's a lawyer now too. 

**I don't even remember if the article was serious or satire, let alone whether it was accurate, but it seemed reasonable, and therefore, good enough to base major life decisions on!


  1. I love this -- thanks for playing! (And I envy your husband: my dream is to learn to sail, and given where I live, I have zero excuse -- save money -- for not doing it.)

  2. > I'm somewhat convinced that hubby was bitten by a radioactive albatross at some point--he can see wind.

    Awesome. Sounds like he'd be useful in a sniper team (because as fast as a bullet flies, it STILL hangs in the air long enough that small cross winds have a noticeable effect on their ballistics - crazy, no?)

    > Em-dash! I love me some em-dashes.

    Weak. Interrobang for the win!


    Agreed, but if you're going to be snooty, do it RIGHT and call it the Oxford Comma. Judgement: partial credit.