Thursday, May 27, 2010


Thanks so much for all of your responses to Tuesday's post! I can't tell you how fun it is getting to know you... Though I get glimpses of your personalities, your interests, and passions through your comments and emails, it's nice to have the opportunity to flesh you out in my mind. Exciting stuff! I just really do wish I could see you and talk to you face to face.

Anyway, I'm having so much fun that I want to continue in the "getting to know you" vein today. One of the issues that has come up in the author's group I belong to (see Tuesday's post for more info) is the fact that I'm a bit of an enigma. I don't quite fit any stereotypes, and therefore my books are kind of hard to market. Who would like them? Not romance readers, mystery-lovers, or fantasy buffs. But maybe those people would like them... Young people? Old? Somewhere in between? Perhaps people who are passionate about adoption (like I am) will like my books. But I don't handle adoption in my books the way that I approached it in real life. Argh. It's like trying to nail Jell-o to a tree. Slippery and impossible!

Oh well, I've decided that I'm going to embrace my inconsistencies! I like the unexpected and I like being surprised. So, I'm going to share a few of my quirks with you... And I'd love to hear a bit about yours!

  • I am a small town girl at heart, but I LOVE the city. In fact, while I long for wide open spaces and huge expanses of blue sky, I could easily envision moving back to Vancouver (or Chicago, New York, wherever) at some point in my life. I'm just as comfortable working with large animals on a farm as I am walking the streets of downtown in a pair of heels and a killer suit. Even though I have no use for my beautiful city clothes these days, they still hang in the back of my closet. Someday...
  • I am both painfully shy and incredibly extroverted. When I was a kindergartner, I was so silent my teacher wondered if I was a selective mute. There are still times that I am nearly paralyzed with fear in social situations. But I can also work a room with the best of them. I'm comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people, and I'm fairly confident about my ability to communicate and express myself clearly. Sometimes it feels like a switch that I can turn on and off. If I flick on the "outgoing" switch, I'm fine in nearly any circumstance. If I forget, all my insecurities rise to the surface and I'm numb with terror.
  • I am a homebody and an adventurer. Have you seen the cartoon Toot & Puddle (or read the books)? Toot and his brother Puddle are pigs who live together in a beautiful, fantasy house in the middle of a lovely wood. Toot likes to travel and see the world. Puddle likes to stay home. I am half Toot and half Puddle. I would backpack Europe with abandon, but be mildly homesick the entire time.
  • I take mothering very seriously, but I would be lost without my career. I wish I could be the kind of mom to abandon myself to my children during their formative years. But I need to be working outside of the home in some capacity. It's true, my kids get the bulk of my time and attention, but my career keeps me grounded and sane. Even if I wasn't writing for publication, I would have to be plugged into the professional world in some way. Teaching, developing curriculum, writing for a newspaper or freelance... Anything that would keep my mind engaged and my creativity fresh.

Okay, I've shared four idiosyncrasies with you. It's your turn! Please take a moment to tell me at least one thing about yourself that other people might find enigmatic. I'd love to know I'm not the only one who doesn't fit every stereotype! Oh, and don't forget to leave a short introduction on Tuesday's post. I'll be drawing for a winner on Saturday.

PS - I included photos throughout this post of several of my different sides. The top one was a promo shot my good friend took. She wanted to try and glam me up. ;) The middle one is me "mothering" (or is it smothering?). And the last one was taken when I taught high school. Yup, those are my pajamas. It was pajama day and I took my job very seriously. ;)


  1. This is a fun question! I find it so exhillerating and freeing to recognize that I am, in some ways, comically paradoxical. I used to think it was because I wanted so badly to avoid becoming a cliche. But in actuality, I found that sometimes I just naturally contradict myself. In what ways?

    - I'm a Southern girl, born and raised. Sometimes, I love the simplicity of an afternoon marked with fluffy conversations about soap operas and supermarket sales. We own a farm that has been in my husband's family for more than 120 years, and I can drive a tractor with the best of 'em. I like bluegrass music and want to teach my daughter how to quilt. But at the same time, I would love to live in Boston where I could attend academic forums about the history of globalization, attend high tea or study 17th-century colonial architecture. And like you, Nicole, I'd love to have more frequent occasions to wear the tailored suits hanging in my closet.

    - When I am in the right mind zone, I love being a leader and taking charge of situations. But sometimes, I just prefer to be a follower and help out behind the scenes. I appreciate that others seem to place so much confidence in me as a leader, but I find the most fulfillment in throwing my support and encouragement behind others.

    - My grandmother was one of my closest friends and I have always wanted to be just like her. In many social situations, with my children, and with my husband, I tend to mirror my grandmother's soft-spoken, gentle, patient nature. However, I also often tend to be very spontaneous and spunky with an opionion I am always willing to share about almost anything. The latter reflects my more natural side, and sometimes I feel like I am rebelling against that Southern belle I really want to be.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Sherry! I would love to hang out with you... :) And I totally understand your final paradox. I adore my grandmothers (both of them!) too, and though I want to be just like them, we have many differences. My grandmas are very traditional in practice and belief, and I have to admit that I tend to be a bit more out of the box. My paternal grandma once told me that the highest calling I could hope for would be to live as a loving and supportive wife and mother. I was sixteen and filled with my own hopes and dreams... Her wishes for me sounded like a death sentence. But I understand her better now with the wisdom of a few more years under my belt. If you're a rebellious Southern belle, I'm a rebellious "good girl." Someone once told me God loves "dirty girls"... I think I'm the child in the white frock that's hemmed with dirt and grass. :)

  3. By the way, I LOVE that your books don't quite fit any blatant stereotypes. I think that's the beauty of well-written literature. I, as a reader, find that I draw the most meaning from a book that doesn't advertise its message up front in blinking lights. I like knowing the tone and feel of the book, and I love a good teaser, but would rather the book allow me to arrive someplace unexpected. I find that when I read a book that belongs in an overtly defined category, I go into it with pre-existing ideas of how the author might write the story. Then the book either turns out to be really anticlimactic or disappointing.

    Your books present some incredibly beautiful themes. They are smart, literary and when I read them they tend to grasp emotional realizations in the nooks of my mind that I didn't know were there.

  4. Well much as you listed for your second "quirk", I am an outgoing introvert.

    I love people...I thrive on them. I need the laughter, the hugs, the looks, the talking...just the energy that is created by being near people that I know and love. If you came to a party at our house, you would find me being loud and funny as I moved from person to person, trying my best to make all feel welcome and at ease. I am always on the go and LOVE to meet my best gal-pals at a local eatery to guzzle down chocolate and laughter...

    But...on other will find a very different girl in my skin. One who would rather curl up under a blanket with a book than answer the who cries in a locked bathroom rather than in front of my trusted inner who just doesn't want to have to smile and would rather snuggle with my dog.

    It isn't depression, altho reading it back it sounds like is just the fact that I learned very early in life that being loud and funny made you less of a target for deep, probbing questions...ones I wouldn't ever want to answer to most people as I carry my heart deep within and the thought of laying out when I am not "ready" scares the snot out of me!! :)

    Great question...I will go back and answer the other one too. Had a situation of volcanic proportions that day, altho I did read it.


  5. I know I'm too late for the book giveaway, but I thought I would share my conflicting personality traits anyway!
    I'm a black female, committed Christian who also happens to be vegan and pro-life. I have friends in all of the above "camps" that would probably be pretty ticked off if I shared all of my thoughts on all of those topics. lol
    It's wonderful to have a personality that can't be pigeon-holed, but it can also be at times frustrating when I feel like I can't be completely who I am with everyone in my life.

  6. I'm so glad you took a moment to share, Valerie. I have friends who would be ticked off if I shared all of my thoughts, too... When I was younger I was more prone to speak my mind, but now I try to be more diplomatic. I'm not sure which is "right:" Honesty or diplomacy? All I know is that I want the opportunity to be unapologetically who I am. I know what you mean when you say it's frustrating that you can't be completely who you are with everyone...

    I think you sound amazing. :) I'd love to hear more.

  7. Thanks so much for the validation Nicole! :-)

    I think I was more diplomatic when I was younger. I speak up more than I used to, but still a big guarded. I was convinced when I hit my 40's I would turn into this woman that had no fear of saying all those important things that were always on my mind without fear of rejection or ridicule. Fortunately we're in leadership in a faith community where I'm free to share more of who I am. If you "friend" me on facebook, you can start to get a pretty good idea of where I'm coming from as well. :-)
    Btw, when is your little one due? You look great!