Posts tagged ‘memes’

Writing Meme

Libby tagged me with this weeks ago, and while I’ve been mulling it over, I’ve been tagged with two other memes, so I’d better catch up! But I’ve got to say (and this is not because I’m feeling behind, or being lazy), my responses truly don’t differ much from Libby’s. Big surprise there; on paper–and in real life–we are probably more alike than different.

To recap what Libby wrote: I like to write; I don’t have a great memory, which leads to lots of re-reading, which leads to new ideas; I had teachers in high school and college who required lots of in-class writing; I come from a family of writers, and living within a family that values the written word provides support that I do not take for granted. I spent those same years in Japan that she did, though since I was five when we left, that time was formative for me in different ways; I was bilingual from birth, and although I’m not any longer, I like to think that turning on that language button in my brain so early has given me an ear for language that I might not otherwise have.

The one thing Libby didn’t mention that I think of as a strength is that I truly like revising. I might even prefer it to drafting the original. I was struggling with an essay recently, truly having the hardest time sitting still at my desk and pushing the words out, and the only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that as soon as the draft had a passable beginning, middle, and end, I could pass it on to my writing group for their feedback. I was watching the holes develop in the essay as I wrote, but knew that my fellow writers would suggest ways to patch them, knew they would point out places to expand and develop. I’m generally not so attached to my own words that I can’t trim or recast them, and I like to fuss and tinker and try to find just the right word.

In fact, this post could use a little revising itself, but I will let it go–another writing strength! being able to identify when something is good enough for the purpose–and move on to another writing project for now.

Oh, and I should tag some people: Kathy, Violeta, and Elrena — you’re it!

8 Things Meme

I was tagged for this meme once already, but it’s always fun to play. And since tonight Eli took an extra-long time to go to sleep (see list 4), I have written an extra-long response. I posted the rules previously, so I’m skipping that step now; I’m also all out of bloggers to tag. But I will say that Jean Kazez tagged me, a contributor to Mama, PhD and a terrific writer, so go check her out!

List One: 8 small ways to improve the world
join MomsRising
subscribe to a CSA
call the organizations who send you junk mail and get off their lists (or sign up for Green Dimes to do it for you)
walk, carpool, take public transit
buy refillable water bottles

List Two: 8 things Ben has made from his new cookbook
heart in hand cookies
extra e-z fudge
papa’s pesto
berry dip and roll
boss banana bread
blueberry pie
chocolate covered bananas
bunny salad

List Three: 8 things I carry in my bag
rosebud lip salve
eye drops

List Four: 8 things I’d rather be doing now than keeping Eli company while he falls asleep
drinking a glass of water
doing research for an essay
packing for our trip
eating the last piece of blueberry pie
putting 3 years of family pictures into an album (or two or three)
reading the newspaper
watching a movie with Tony

List Five: 8 best movies I’ve seen so far this year
Away from Her
Whale Rider

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek

The Lives of Others

The Namesake

51 Birch Street

List Six: 8 things I worry about sometimes
light pollution
global warming
the safety of our food supply
the war
my kids’ nutrition
global malnutrition

List Seven: Eli’s current 8 favorite books
The Bunnies Are Not In Their Beds
I Went Walking
Everywhere Babies
Why Do Babies Do That
The New Baby Train
A Fish Out of Water
The Baby Goes Beep

List Eight: Recent(ish) reading that’s stayed with me
The New Yorker article on light pollution
Irene Nemirovsky’s Suite Francaise
Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma
Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love
Andrea Barrett’s Secret Harmonies
Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle
Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife
Susan O’Doherty’s Getting Unstuck without Coming Unglued

Eight Things

First Libby and then Vicki tagged me for this meme, so I guess it’s about time I played!

First, I am to publish the rules:
1. Let others know who tagged you. (check)
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Here goes:

a) I was born in Tokyo. My two best friends from graduate school were also born in Asia (Moscow and Calcutta). We all married California natives, and all gave birth to boys in California within 9 months of each other.

b) My name rhymes with Valentine. It bugs me when it’s (frequently) mispronounced, but I don’t correct people as often as I should.

c) I didn’t learn to ride a bicycle until my junior year abroad, at Oxford, when I was 20. When I was little and my family would go on post-dinner summer bike rides through a neighborhood we called The Ways (the streets were called North Way, Northeast Way, South Way, etc), I just rode on the seat in front of my dad; later, my friends and I just walked everywhere, since the town was small and hilly.

d) My favorite lip balm is Smith’s Rosebud Salve, which I keep on my nightstand and in all my bags. A friend — and fellow lip balm connoisseur — and I exchange new brands for our birthdays every year. This year she gave me Fresh Sugar lip balm, which I also highly recommend. Her birthday’s tomorrow, so I’m not telling what I got her!

e) I always thought I’d have a daughter named Charlotte or Josephine. I miss not using the pretty names, though I don’t really miss having a daughter. I was briefly unsettled last year when a teacher at Ben’s preschool told me I have a daughter “in me.” Someone in my writing group suggested that I can think of my book as my daughter, and that’s actually perfectly satisfying.

f) Like Vicki, at one point in my life I knew ancient Greek, Latin, and French. Also Japanese (in which I was briefly fluent), Spanish, and even picked up a bit of Hebrew when my dad was studying it. I used to help my college roommate with her Russian homework, and somehow I could figure it out despite never having been taught the alphabet. I’m down to restaurant French and Spanish now.

g) I hate being late, and rarely am.

h) I had LASIK three years ago (after wearing glasses, and then contacts, since 8th grade) and it worked beautifully, but I still sometimes reach for my glasses in the middle of the night. Old habits die hard.

i) extra bonus fact: I worked in a hardware store one summer when I was in high school, mostly selling bags of concrete mix to contractors and such. It was lonely and dull, but it didn’t dampen my pleasure in hardware stores. Renovating my house did that, a project we “completed” almost a year and a half ago, although there are still some unfinished details (missing door plates, etc). I still shiver with pleasure when I pass a hardware store because I don’t have to go in.

Now on to the tagging!
Feed Your Loves
Lovebug and RolleyPolley
Fertile Ground
Marmee’s Corner
A Wrung Sponge

Personal Policies Meme

A Wrung Sponge tagged me for this ages ago (she got it from Literary Teacher, who got it from HipWriterMama,
who got it from The Simple and the Ordinary; go read them, too!) and and I’ve been letting my post simmer on the back burner while other writing deadlines insisted on my attention.

So here are my personal policies, a mix (as my mom would say) of the sublime and the ridiculous:

We don’t wear shoes in the house. I don’t like to clean (more on that next) and this helps keep the dirt level down.

I try to clean while I’m doing something else. I’ll sweep or mop while I’m talking on the phone, I’ll clean the bathroom mirror while I’m brushing my teeth, I fold laundry while the boys are playing trains. This is partly the necessary multi-tasking of a part-time working-from-home mom, but it also lets me get things done while I’m focused on something more pleasant. The house stays relatively clean, and I don’t feel like I’ve spent lots of time on it.

I tell my guys I love them, a lot.

I get up before the kids to write every day, and I write again after they are sleeping.

I compost, recycle, turn off lights when I leave the room, carry canvas bags to the grocery store, shop locally, and do whatever else I can to keep this world clean (and cool) for my children’s children’s children.

I read to the kids every day, and eat dinner with the family every night.

I try to pass on the good that’s come to me, whether that’s financial (making charitable donations) or professional (connecting writers with editors; reading friends’ drafts) or personal (taking good care of my friends with babysitting, meals, other favors).

I pray.

I tag anyone else who wants to ponder their personal policies!