December 6, 2010
Usually and fitly, the presence of an introduction is held to imply that there is something of consequence and importance to be introduced.
— Arthur Machen, 1863-1947
Welsh author and mystic
When I started this online journal back in 1999, it was fashionable to post a list of twenty-five random facts or statements about yourself and let them stand as your “About” page. I never did that, and even now, my “About Margaret DeAngelis” page lists only three things: my name, my location, and the fact that my occupation is “feelin’ groovy.”
I am feelin’ groovy today, this first day of Holidailies. I’m also a little pressed for time. I’m going out in about an hour to travel forty miles south, have dinner with my daughter, attend a reading of a friend’s play, and get back in time to see the Season Two premiere of Men of A Certain Age while I enjoy a glass of Holiday White and a piece (or two, or three) of Ron’s first batch of sfratti. There will be no posting or serious writing after that! So, by way of introduction, here are 25 random things about me:
1. I was born under the Hunger Moon, and I have been hungry all my life.
2. I have never seen an episode of Jersey Shore.
3. I have been a member of the online journaling community since 1999, before “blog” became the blanket term for all personal sites.
4. I love Holidailies, look forward to it, take more care with my writing during it, and miss it when it ends.
5. I was a public school teacher for a long time. I left the classroom (I do not use the “R” word) in 1998. Just this morning I had to indicate my occupation on a patient intake form. I put “writer.”
6. I write literary fiction and personal essays and memoir. I do not write poetry, genre fiction, children’s fiction, or plays, and I no longer feel inclined to do any academic work.
7. I do not know what I would be doing all day if I were not endeavoring to write fiction.
8. I am at this moment very hungry. So far today I have had two cups of coffee with half-and-half, some vanilla pudding with fresh pomegranate on top, and a Pepperidge Farm thin bagel with peanut butter and spreadable fruit, for a total of 10 Weight Watchers Points Plus.
9. This is the Year When I’m Sixty-four. Will you still need me, will you still feed me?
10. My husband, Ron, does use the “R” word to describe himself. He is spending today making his version of his grandmother’s sfratti, which consists of a paste of walnuts boiled in honey and wrapped in pastry.
11. Our daughter, Lynn, is 25 and lives in Lancaster. She is a graduate of the same university I graduate from. She once said that she chose Millersville because “If it was good enough for the best mother in the whole world, it’s good enough for me.” She denies that this happened. She is wrong.
12. Lynn is a scientist. She works for a company that manufactures prepurified secondary antibodies and conjugated immunoglobulins. She is not a writer nor a great reader of fiction. I never again spoke to the woman who, upon learning this, said, “Oh, you must be so disappointed!”
13. I love Facebook.
14. I have had so many surgeries that I have to provide a list and write “see attached” whenever I fill out a form for a new doctor. Nevertheless, I was told this morning that I am healthier than I was this time last year. For the first time since 2008, I have not been referred for some kind of “hmm, let’s have a better look” kind of invasive procedure.
15. I was brought up Catholic in the pre-Vatican II Latin-saturated church, fled Him down the nights and down the days until a conversion experience in 1980, and now describe myself as a Christian who professes membership in a Lutheran congregation.
16. This is my second marriage.
17. All I really want for Christmas or for my birthday is a love letter.
18. I am a registered Democrat.
19. I am a feminist.
20. My Big Writing Goal for 2011 is to be unable to describe myself as “unpublished in fiction.”
21. I am right-handed.
22. The things I write about most are loss and change and being a stranger in a strange land. I have one stalled historical novel, one novel begun in 2002 that is nearing the completion of its first draft, a dozen short stories in various stages of revision, and a crate of fragments and ideas.
23. Around this date in 1966 I spent the last dollar I had on a paperback copy of The Possessed because a man I wanted to impress, a man who was 26 to my 19 and thus the most sophisticated person I knew, said he thought it was the best book he’d ever read.
24. Most kids steal something in their childhoods, like candy or makeup or adult magazines. I stole books, one when I was in second grade and one when I was in eleventh, both of them from my school library.
25. When I find myself in times of trouble, I pray the only prayer worth praying: “Let it be, let it be, let it be, oh let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.”
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