Friday, May 6, 2011

Day of Merriment and Joy

(Or, Shout Outs for Blogging Buds)

This is a week of Merriment and Joy because my friend, Anita Howard (from A Still and Quiet Madness, Twitter: @aghowardwrites) ran her first bloggy fest and awarded me with a Food for Thought blog award. In her stellar blog, she interviews newly agented writers every week. Go check her out.

And then my extraordinary writer/critiquer friend, Mary Frame (from It’s All Fun and Games until Somebody Gets an Agent, Twitter @marewulf), awarded me with a The Versatile Blogger award. And then the stupendous Krista Van Dolzer (from Mother. Write. (Repeat.) Twitter: @KristaVanDolzer) also nominated me for this same award. As you can guess, my head is spinning.

I’m speechless. *dabs eyes* Thank you, ladies. If I didn’t already have a first-born child, I’d promise to name him after you guys. I’d call him Mad Mother Wolf.

I’m not keen on following rules (right, Anita?), though I will list and comply with The Verstile Blogger’s stipulations in order to keep my shiny badge. The rules¹:

Rule the First: Thank and link to the person who nominated me and link back to them.
Rule the Second: Share seven random facts about myself.
Rule the Third: Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
Rule the Fourth: Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Now, Anita had already prompted me to divulge seven things about myself last week as a fun game of blog tag, but I rebelled and twitted my confession-like facts (feel free to look them up, each their own separate tweet, from first crushes to first punches). These seven fall a bit above the 140 character max to share on Twitter. If you’d like to skip this part and find out who I’ve nominated, you’re welcome (and highly encouraged!) to scroll down.

1.    I took my first regular job at 9 years of age, a neighborhood paper route I shared with my older brother. The paper printed on Thursdays and Sundays. On these mornings, a truck would zoom by our house and some guy would throw several stacks of plastic-banded papers before 6 a.m. I’d wake up to the sound of the papers hitting our driveway. My brother and I would then fold and rubber-band each one (turning our hands filthy black from the ink), stuff our paper bags, and deliver the rolled papers to our assigned houses. I took my skateboard out to deliver the papers as long as the weather was okay. The perfect throw, by the way, is not on the top stoop of the porch: it’s too easy to accidentally dent a screen door if you aim for the top. No, the perfect throw is the first step down from the porch. It’s like hitting a 3-point air shot in basketball. Swish. My brother decided one day he no longer wanted to get up so early, and the route was too big for me alone. Thus ended my paper carrier career.

2.    I worked as a caddy for one day as a teen. I must have looked too scrawny, because none of the golfers chose me to haul bag that day. I was quite the tomboy, though, I assure you, and any golfer would have found me more than able to haul their clubs for several hours. After getting up at the crack of dawn and losing an entire Saturday morning and part of the afternoon with no benefit, I never went back. Thus ended my caddy career.

3.    When I was 14, I had a summer job with the park district two towns over. Teens like me (though all the rest of them older; Mom convinced the supervisor I was capable of keeping up) rode in the back of a pick up to various parks in town, where we picked up trash, weeded flower beds, and did whatever other maintenance chores the supervisor deemed necessary. A 25-minute bike ride every morning brought me to the main building where I reported for work. One day, I must have been especially tired on the ride to work because I didn’t watch where I was going, and crashed my ten-speed into a parked car. The impact sent me flying, and my bicycle frame was irrevocably bent. I had to walk home, holding one wheel off the ground because it wouldn’t turn. Mom drove me to work afterwards (and yes, I made it to work on the day of the accident, albeit a few minutes late). One week later, we received an official letter from social security saying that I wasn’t allowed to hold such a position due to child labor laws. Thus ended my park maintenance career.

4.    I flipped burgers in high school. Well, not really. I worked for Burger King, and they flame broil on a conveyor-type grill. Plus, I mostly worked in the drive-through window. We had to meet a lot of key performance measures at the restaurant, including a length-of-time standard at the window. Once a car pulls up to the drive through window, their car hits a sensor and a clock starts ticking until the driver pulls away. So remember to pull directly away from a fast food restaurant’s drive-through window as soon as you get your order. DON’T put your money away. DON’T unwrap your straw or chomp on some fries. Pull up first, and then take care of business. Anyway, I worked there for a year until our manager was fired (cash deficit scandal) and they hired a new guy. He thought he had to make an example of one of my friends, and fired her for calling in sick (she really was sick!). To show my support for her, I quit. Thus ended my restaurant server career.

5.    I never went to parties in college, mostly due to my weekend job as a secretary on the surgical floor of a hospital. I needed the money for rent. My shift ran from 6:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, so, yeah. No late-nighters for me. I believe I missed out on an essential stage of development because of this job, which may explain a lot. Doctors really did flirt with nurses. And they yelled a lot, too. I kept this job until I graduated, but my degree was in psychology, so thus ended my hospital secretary career.

6.    I minored in music, and my other college job was teaching piano and clarinet two nights a week. I had to drive 40 minutes to the studio. The kids loved me, but I did make one girl cry when I asked her if she’d practiced (she hadn’t). I didn’t yell at her or anything, I simply encouraged her to practice a little each day. Her mother, however, became so angry at me for upsetting her girl that she switched teachers. I’ve always wanted to tell the girl that I was sorry. I hope she kept practicing because she showed a lot of promise. Again, once I graduated with my psychology degree, my music teaching career came to an end.

7.    Though I wanted to go on for my advanced degree in psychology, I took a break from college after my undergrad. During this time, I took a job as a house counselor at a campus for troubled teens (yes, I was only 21). During the summer, the counselors in our house (of 8 girls) decided to take a road trip from Park Ridge, Illinois (famous stomping grounds of Hillary) to Yellowstone National Park. In order to raise money, we held car washes, and those Park Ridge folk? Very generous. However, the day I worked the car wash, I wore flip-flops. Add in pasty-white skin, no sun-screen, and amplified UV rays from hose water, and you get burnt feet. So burnt that I couldn’t wear shoes because of the swelling. I finally went to the doctor a week later, who gave me steroid shots to get the swelling under control. I know. Not smart. I decided it was time to go back for my M.A., thus ending my car washing career. I mean, you know—my house counselor career.

Without further Pomp and Circumstance (*cue the ceremonial music*), my nominees are listed below.

1.    Kat Brauer from That Flighty Temptress who may or may not have time to divulge 7 things about herself because she is busy saving the world with her Crits for Water campaign. She’s a YA writer repped by Sara Megibow who lives in Japan and teaches English. Twitter: @katbrauer
2.    Jessica Lei (who blogs here) who saved my first chapter from certain ruin after she critiqued it as part of the Crits for Water campaign. She’s a writer and a lit agent intern for Elana Roth. Twitter: @leijessica
3.    Jodi Meadows from (W)ords and (W)ardances, who helps the masses perfect their query letters on her blog, and shows everyone why they, too, should adore wool. Twitter: @jodimeadows
4.    Karen DeLabar who I found on twitter and whose blog is going through some growth and change, in a good way. Twitter: @karendelabar
5.    Al Boudreau because he’s a lovely #pubwrite host, and his blog posts feature a wonderful pairing of short fiction based on a prompt (how fun is that?) – read each and vote on one. Twitter: @threecifer
6.    Allie Brosch of Hyperbole and a Half because her blog of cartoons and such is hilarious. I dare you to head over there and read a few without laughing.

Please check out each of these writers’ blogs and follow them on twitter, as well as Mary’s, Anita’s, and Krista’s. They’re a fantastic bunch. Tell them I said hello.

¹On rules and such: Bloggers nominated by me should in no way feel obligated to follow any rules, whatsoever. This is the one rule at Not an Editor that is true and constant.


Jodi Meadows said...

Thank you so much! :)

Marybk said...

Muah, Jodi!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Mary!! This is a great blog - you deserve the awards! I'm going to have me a looksie around and read your stuff!! Looking forward to getting to know you and thanks for stopping by mine! :)

Marybk said...

Hey, sycamoremeadows! Thanks, and welcome to NAE.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Congrats to all the new recipients. And to you, also, Mary, for getting the awards in the first place.

Kat said...

Ho-hum and thank you! Interesting information about yourself; you've had quite a few crazy happenstances at your jobs. ;)

Marybk said...

Thank you, Kayeleen!

La la la, oh. Hi, Kat. *waves* Yes, I'm a professional job happenstancer.

Anita said...

Wow, just look at all of those jobs you had!! The most exciting one I ever had was working at the local amusement park, Wonderland. Now, isn't that fitting, considering what my first YA ended up being about? Heehee.

Congrats on your well-deserved awards!

Marybk said...

Anita! I'm laughing so hard at your Wonderland job. No. Way. :}

Krisz said...

This was a great post, it was fun to get to know you better. Lots of "fun" jobs for you, Mary.

Congrats for your awards, too. You deserve them, becasue I think this is one excellent blog!

Post a Comment