Monday, March 5, 2012

I've Been Tagged!

MOCK! has tagged me, which means I get to answer 10 questions. Here goes:

1.      What is your dream vacation?

Well, that's both a tough and an easy question. For a long time, my family and I didn't take vacations. That's because we had two REALLY bad vacations in a row. We used to love to travel, but then we had a close encounter with two Coke trucks on Interstate 89 in New Hampshire at night. The trucks decided to pass us at the same time, doing over 90 mph. We were towing a 24 foot RV trailer. Their wind wake hit us so hard that our trailer rolled and pulled us over with it, and suffice it to say that we shut down the interstate for forty-five minutes, racked up a $500 towing bill, totaled our rig, and I ended up with a broken collar bone. My husband, two daughters, and golden retriever were all right, save for bruises and cuts, but that ended our towing days and stopped that vacation before it even started. (The Coke trucks? They didn't stop, the police couldn't find them, and our lawyer gave up trying to nail them. We have boycotted Coke products ever since.)

The next summer, we drove up into Canada for a biking vacation in a national park on the coast of New Brunswick. The day we got there, we either got food poisoning or picked up the worst stomach virus in history, and we spend two days locked in a motel room throwing up. Then we dragged our sorry selves home, only to find out that our area had been hit by terrible flooding. Our driveway had washed out, and our culvert had completely split into two pieces, one ending up across the road and the other down in our neighbor's garden. It took us two weeks and much arguing with our town and with FEMA before we could drive to our house again.

It was years before we even said the V word aloud.

So, having gotten to my answer to the question by the long way around, I would say that my favorite vacation would be to anywhere safe.

2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?

Oh, I'm a planner. Just a few days ago, I spent a "spontaneous" day with a friend, and she kept replying to my emails, saying, "No, no! Spontaneous means nothing planned! No time frames, no meals planned out, no commitments as to when to be home!" It just about killed me, and I could not face the day without a few planned stops in my head at least. I was proud that I kept the lunch places open to three possibilities, depending on where we ended up. That worked fine, since we managed to hit two of them! That's as spontaneous as I can get.

Though if a rare bird showed on the Vermont rare bird alert website right now, I would be out of here faster than I could log off.

3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don't dare do it.

I always wanted to be in a musical, but I'm terrified to sing in public. That might be because I really can't sing a note on key, and I know it. I mean, I'm so bad I'd be embarrassed to take voice lessons. So my Broadway career is never going to happen. But I would love to stand in a spotlight and sing. Even though I'm pretty shy. I guess public readings are as close as I'll ever get. Sigh.

4. What's your biggest phobia?

Now you're all going to totally think I've lost my mind. I'm desperately afraid of anchors. As in anchors on the bottom of the lake, with rusty chains leading up from them to the bottom of a boat -- shudder. I just can't bear the thought of them. I love the water and I'm a strong swimmer, so I'm not afraid of being trapped and drowning. The only logic I can find in my phobia is that anchors are not natural items and don't belong under water. I'm not big on shipwrecks, either, and I've been known to freak out when my canoe went over a sneaker on the bottom once.

The anchor thing has been a big problem for me a few times, since I grew up on Lake Champlain and used to spend a lot of time boating. Once it was my turn to swim out to a small sailboat, unclip it from its mooring, and pull it into shore. I told my friends that I would get into the boat from the stern, unclip it from the mooring from inside the boat, and paddle it to shore. They told me there was no way I could climb into the boat from the water. Well, believe me, when I got out there, staying well away from the anchor chain, I swarmed aboard like I was an octopus. I knew there was an anchor down there under me, somewhere in the dark depths. Shiver.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island-what three things would you want with you? (Not including your laptop or family)

My binoculars, of course. Never pass up a chance to find a new bird for my life list.

My camera -- I never go anywhere without one.

A notebook, because I'd go insane in very short order without being able to write. And if a pen doesn't come with it, I would use a gull feather and mush up some seaweed to make ink.

Hey, a desert island sounds kind of good, actually, compared to Vermont in March. Warm and sunny. And why would I want my family, anyway? They'd just want me to feed them and stuff. And I don't have a laptop, so that would be okay. Where do you go to sign up to be stranded?

6. Name three blessings in your life.

Well, having just threatened to ditch them, I'd better say my family. Honestly, they're the best -- I'm married to an amazing guy who doesn't know the meaning of the word disability even though he has one, and two daughters who make me proud all the time. (Okay, most of the time.)

Definitely the fact that we're all healthy.

And I've got to say writing. Nothing else is so much fun, and it's wonderful to know that my novel has touched people I don't even know.

7. What was your nickname in High School?

Kari Jo (really -- few people actually know my real name)

8. If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?

Thank you for doing what you do. (I have a policy of never talking religion or politics with people. Since people rarely change their minds on either one, such conversations can go bad in a hurry.)

9. If you could be any literary character, who would you be?

That's a hard one for any writer, because we ususally read a lot. Probably Tolkien's Aragorn. He's cool, he's a king in disguise... Yeah?

10. What is your favorite quote?

I'll stick with Tolkien. "All that is gold does not glitter." I think that's pretty apt. People don't have to be glittery to be made of solid gold, in my opinion.

Okay, that was fun! I hope I haven't bored people too much. And I can't think of anybody to tag, because most of the people I know aren't bloggers, though they should be! ;)

Thanks for reading!


  1. Cool answers all around! Nan is on her way here to follow your blog, too!

    1. Thanks for including me! It was fun. Hi Nan! Thanks!

  2. Loved your responses, Kari Jo! :)

  3. Thanks! I had a lot of fun coming up with them.