Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My New Biography

It's raining in Bristol today. Feels like April outside. The dog has gas, and is lying in her spot on my windowseat, wheezing from both ends. My husband is upstairs in the guest room, virulently ill from the flu, bless him. It's a Wednesday so he should be operating, and I can only remember one other Wednesday, in twenty years, when he stayed home sick. Bart slept last night in the guest room because I'm not quite over my cold, and he didn't want to catch it, an irony I'm quite grateful for this morning.

The flu--which I can not quit spelling flue, then going back and removing the e--is fierce around here these days. Last week a bunch of the school systems shut down over it. I'm now going to be washing my hands 300 times today, while avoiding gently tending my husband. I've got a school visit Friday, my first post-concussion appearance. Hooray!

In completely epic news, The War I Finally Won is now in the hands of the copyeditor. This means, it is mostly out of mine. I have never had to work so hard on a book in my life and I'm delighted with the result, and not only because I'm finally finished. (Alternate title: The War Is Finally Done.)

Meanwhile I've been wanting to re-write my official bio, that shows up on my website and on Goodreads and a couple of other places. The one I have now is so earnest and boring. Who cares where I went to college? Kids at schools never ask that. (Ok, once they did--at very expensive very private school in NYC where kids are taught early to think such things matter. But only once. I've been asked if I've ever been to prison an equal number of times.)

So I asked on Facebook the other day, what would people actually want to know about me? And lo and behold, I got answers.

What was your favorite book growing up?--Hands down, the Little House on the Prairie series, which I read until the covers fell off. But that's a hard one to admit to now, as the casual virulent racism towards Native Americans rightly shocks most modern readers.

What was your inspiration for TWTSML? I get asked this question all the time. I have no idea. I never felt inspired to write TWTSML. Reluctantly compelled, perhaps. The real answer to this question is as long as the novel itself, and there is no short answer. Next.

What's your shoe size? 8 1/2 in European sizes, 39.

How many puppies would it take crawling all over you for you to laugh out loud? Mmm. I imagine this is an over/under, the maximum puppies before you'd start laughing, the minimum that would make you laugh out loud. The problem is I can't remember the last time I was around more than two puppies. But I laugh pretty easily, so it's probably less than that.

From my sister: who's your favorite sister? You are, my dear.

Did I write TWTSML because I knew someone with a disability? I know a lot of people with disabilities, but I didn't write TWTSML for them. I wrote it for me.

How many horses do you have and how long have you been riding? I started riding as a freshman in college. My first two horses, Maddie and Trapper, are dead, as is my daughter's first pony, Shakespeare, but we've still got my third and fourth horses, Gully and Sarah, my daughter's next two horses, Pal and Mickey, my son's retired pony, Hot Wheels, and we have two friends' horses living with us, Syd and Silver. Gully, Sarah, Mickey and Syd are still rideable. Horses live a long time on our farm.

From a college friend, When did you decide to become a writer? The same time I decided I wasn't going to be a doctor, which was, in total honesty, about a year before I actually quit medical school. But there you have it. I do not regret the decision.