Thank you, Adam Dreece, for tagging me in this "Ten Things You Don't Know About Me" blog tour (he totally made it up, but whatever). Yes, I was supposed to have this up yesterday for #MondayBlogs. But I'm a writer, which translates to Procrastinator.
I try explaining to my "in real life" friends and family the reason I love twitter so much, but it's hard to put into words the feeling you get from a large community of like-minded people and writers. I consider my twitter community a second family, really--people who are "in real life." It's where I can be myself and these people understand me. And they're awesome. Adam is one of those people. One of those awesome-yet-quirky-and-oh-so-hilarious-and-witty pals. He's also the author of the YA steampunk series, The Yellow Hoods. Check him out on twitter, too. He's the one wearing a steampunk monocle. Can't miss it. Monocle.
So...Ten things you don't know about me? Okay, so you might already know these, but...
- I used to dislike kids. Like, a lot. When Dave and I got married and he told me how many kids he wanted, I panicked inside because I didn't want ANY. The thought scared the Hell out of me. Kids hated me and the feeling was mutual. It's why I was a crappy babysitter as a teen, and why I actually turned down most jobs until people just stopped asking all together. I did not like little people. Didn't know how to treat them or talk to them. But of course I hid that from my fiancé. It's kinda funny how three years later things turned around for me and it was me pressuring him. I'm still not a fan of watching other people's kids (But I will!), but I do love them. Children, all of them, are so very special, and hold a special place in my heart. My children have turned me into the person I am today and helped me discover the things that make me me. And my favorite position to hold in my church? A primary teacher, go figure (teacher for the little kids).
- Even at age ten I was a hopeless romantic, and a writer. In my box of old stuff at my mom and dad's house last year, I found a children's book I wrote and illustrated at age ten, about two fish that fell in love. Ever since I was young I had daydreams about love stories and romance. Cue the shameful admittance: While playing Mario Brothers, I would let my mind drift into romantic tales of the two brothers rescuing Princess Peach from danger and the love triangle that might ensue. But it wasn't until after my first child was born that I got brave enough to write down these stories. In my teenage years and young twenties, the only writing I did was poetry. Lots of it. Thus, my first novel wasn't created until 2007 (And no, it does not involve plumber brothers or lizard men).
- I have saved every single rejection letter from literary agents that I have ever accumulated during the past seven years, whether snail mail or email.
- I can see boundaries very clearly and logically for other people, but when it comes to myself, every line is blurred...
- And that is because I am an Empath (is that even a real word)? I absorb other people's problems, take them on as my own. Even if I haven't personally experienced what someone else is going through, I can feel it, feel what they're feeling. I take it all on and then feel responsible for them, for their problems. And because I'm this way, I have an excruciatingly difficult time saying no to people. Rejecting people, or hurting people's feelings--even if they've wronged or defiled me--is worse to me than almost anything. It's torture. So what do I usually do instead? I allow myself to get used and abused. I place myself in uncomfortable situations and then don't know how to get out of them. I feel that other people's feelings are more important than my own. This is wrong, I know. It's a strength turned into a weakness. It's been a struggle to break free of this, and I have recently been tried more times than in the past. I'm getting better, though. I am. But I will always struggle with it. And I suppose it's what makes me a good writer.
- On that note, regardless of throwing my own self-worth to the wayside sometimes, I do value myself (does that even compute?). I am proud of who I am and the heritage I've come from. I am extremely self-conscious about my exterior, but I'm content with my interior. I know I have talents and gifts, and though it may have taken my whole life to get to know myself, I'm happy with the result.
- Despite the way my own lines blur, I do see others' very clearly, as I mentioned. Meaning if a loved one of mine is getting treated unjustly or getting bullied, I have NO problem stepping in to protect. Funny, how I'll defend others to the core, but usually stay quiet when it's myself.
- I'm not shy, though. I mean, I was. As a child, I was so shy that my teachers worried about me and counselled with my parents because I never said a single word. Not one. I didn't come out of my shell until after high school, until I started finding out who I was. Now when I don't talk it's not because I'm shy. It's because I don't have anything important to say. I'm quiet sometimes, introspective. I'm an introvert and process things internally. I need alone time to recharge my battery. But that does not mean I'm shy (any of my close friends will attest to this).
- I have an innate ability not just to read people but to read social situations. I can always sense when someone is feeling off, and especially when someone is feeling off about me, for any reason--even if it's someone on social media whom I've never met or talked to in person. I always know. Even if it's as simple as someone being annoyed with me, I pick up on it, and this allows me to back off. Which is why it's hard for me to grasp when other people lack those certain social skills (stay out of my bubble, for crying out loud! I'm giving you all the social cues!). Anyway, like I always tell my husband, there's no point in lying to me or hiding your feelings. Because I know. I always know. Muahahah!
- Last but not least, because of the shyness and introvertedness (I'm making that a word, so be quiet) I mentioned above, I had a ROUGH, extremely EXCRUCIATING time in middle and high school. If I died and went to Hell, it would be there. Right back there in those halls with tan lockers and wannabe gang members, and then later in those halls with blue carpeting and spoiled rich kids. Middle school is for kids to get through their awkward stage. Well, I was beyond awkward from age 11 to 18. And high school is a time for the extroverts, party-lovers, and optimistic, outgoing people. Not for the quiet teen who struggles with self-image, self-worth, and confidence, who has no sense of style and whose hair had to be chopped off like a boy's due to a bad dye job. Not for the depressed, imbalanced, and empathetic teen. To ones like those, high school is cruel and harsh. And people like me would laugh when people said high school is the time of your life. Even then I knew it wasn't. I could wait to get out of there and move into the real world. Where I could put the years of bullying (yes, hardcore physical and emotional bullying that even involved a restraining order) and mean, cruel, and hurtful boys behind me. Where I could come into my own and finally feel what it felt like to be loved, and later, even desired.
Next, I tag Kele Lampe and Sonya Craig, challenging them to dig deep and tell us 10 things we don't know! Kele (Katherine) isn't just one of the most amazing writers I have ever read, but she is my soul sister. Immediately we clicked when meeting on twitter, an almost cosmic bond forming between us. She is one of my BFFs, a most trusted confidante whom I can divulge anything to, and the author of the Caitlin Ross paranormal series, which have two of the most real, lovable, and amazing main characters I've ever met. She's brilliant, guys. Brilliant. Sonya and I often joke that we are nothing more than Kele's minions.
Sonya is another soul sister, who I have come to know and love on twitter. We get a little out of control sometimes, the three of us (and Adam), and even inappropriate. I honestly do feel sorry about that to all my other followers. But...SONYA STARTED IT! My favorite beautiful friend to tease, with a most beautiful and understanding soul, Sonya is always there to cheer me up or offer a shoulder. Either way, we're all either laughing or crying or cringing. Or all three. Sonya writes amazing sci-fi, is a MASTER artist, and blogs about all things wonderful, including her biggest fan, Fat Cat. Check out both these wonderful women on twitter: Kele, and Sonya.