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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No Death, No Disease, No Destruction: A Lighthearted Blog Post

Who I'd interview.
(I know it should really be "whom," but this is supposed to be a more lighthearted blog post.)

What I'd eat.
No word that it causes cancer. YET!
Cynthia Hill, author of Idol Hands, has invited me to participate in the Liebster Blog Award activities, and I do so with pleasure.

Here are the Liebster Award requirements:

1.) The person who's nominated must post eleven facts about themselves.
2.) Answer the eleven questions the tagger has given you.
3.) Choose eleven people and link them on your blog post.
4.) Create eleven questions for the people you tagged.
5.) Tell them you've tagged them on their blog.
6.) No tag backs!

Here are Cynthia's eleven questions for me:

1. What is your "comfort" book?

My comfort reading is not a book, but, rather, the New York Times. If I have a fresh, fragrant copy of the day's New York Times in my hands, at least one thing is going right in the universe, no matter what else is going on.

2. Which author would you most like to interview?

Luke, the Greek physician who penned 28% of the New Testament. When you read Luke, you immediately get it that he loved women, and I mean "love" in the sense of cared about, was close to, and respected. The insights he offers into the inner reaches of women's hearts, and women's work in the world, are extraordinary.

Luke's knowledge of the wide world is also awesome. Luke "names thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine islands without error." Luke "names key historical figures in the correct time sequence as well as correct titles to government officials in various areas: Thessalonica, politarchs; Ephesus, temple wardens; Cyprus, proconsul; and Malta, the first man of the island."

Luke had a mind and a heart, and he had a huge impact on world history. Would love to meet him. I'm picturing a very suave, urbane, first century version of, say, Patrick Stewart.

3. Celery with peanut butter or Cheez Whiz?

ShopRite all natural super chunky peanut butter.

4. What's your writing fuel?

Used to be Diet Coke but I was just diagnosed with cancer and people are warning me that Diet Coke causes cancer. So I guess I'll have to switch to cocaine.

5. What was the worst book you ever read?

The worst book I've ever read is probably Harold Robbins' "79 Park Avenue," which I tear apart in this Amazon review.

6. Whose story do you think would make a good novel?

Witold Pilecki. You can't ever, ever surrender to cynicism in a world with men like Witold Pilecki in it. He volunteered to be imprisoned in Auschwitz in order to aid anti-Nazi resistance. He later fought the Soviets and was tortured and murdered by them. It's only recently that his story has come to light. There's a review of a new non-fiction book about him at this link.

7. If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?

Alas, I wish I could say it were a graceful willow, but I'm afraid it would be a battered old oak.

8. You're going on a double date with a famous couple: who would they be?

Jane and Rochester. If you don't know who Jane and Rochester are, you are missing so much! More about Jane Eyre here.

9. Have you travelled to a place, just because of the book?

No, but that's a cool question.

10. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Morning lark. If I haven't written by noon, the day is shot.

11. When you were a kid, was the first day of school a celebration or a trauma?

Hated school. We used to call the day before the start of the school year our "last night awake." Pretty grim!

Here are the blogs I'm nominating:

L-8 The Ghost Blimp

Otto Gross is trying to piece together the fate of a mysterious World War II vessel. Otto has an interesting personal story, as well. His dad was a Nazi soldier. That story is here. World War II buffs will enjoy Otto's blog.

Lightning and Ashes

John Guzlowski, a prize-winning poet, blogs about his parents' experiences as Nazi slave laborers.

Where Earth Meets Sky

Kimberly Wachtel, a talented artist, shares her joyous, colorful creations.

Anna in Technicolor

Anna Grzankowski is a skilled seamstress. She lives out my needlework fantasies.

Sue Knight's Blog

Sue Knight is fascinating to read. She is a Jehovah's Witness, and also a very talented writer. Her observations of the British coast, where she lives, are often poignant and crystal clear. They make you want to live there, and make you feel as if you do.


Oriana Ivy is a smart, intense, talented poet. She writes about religion, but is an atheist. She writes about suicidal despair, and the embrace of life. She can be addictive!

Looking Around

Karen Wyle is smart. I like that in a woman.

Off Kilter

Linda Wisniewski's blog. From Small Press Reviews, "Off Kilter is a fine testament to the resilience of the human spirit and to the healing power of the written word."

From Wilno to Worcester

Barbara "Basia" Proko is a genealogical detective. She uncovers the key clues that turn the mystery of ancestry into a clear history. 

Here are my questions for these folks:

1.) If you could not be a writer, and you had to be some other artist – a singer, a painter, a mime, a puppeteer – what kind of artist would you be and why? (For Kim and anyone else who is primarily a visual artist who also writes: reverse the question. If you could not be a visual artist, what other art would you choose?)

2.) Who would be the dream interviewer to quiz you about your work? Sixty Minutes' Mike Wallace? Fresh Air's Terry Gross? Johnny Carson? Larry King? Entertainment Tonight?

3.) Your favorite childhood fictional hero or heroine.

4.) Have you lived up to what you dreamed when you read about your favorite childhood fictional hero or heroine?

5.) Your happiest moment as a writer.

6.) Are you a tuxedo / evening gown writer, a broken-in jeans writer, a nude writer, a flowing caftan writer … ?

7.) Your personal writing deity?

8.) Hard copy, screen, handwritten in ink, typewriter & whiteout?

9.) If you had to choose between your writing moving people deeply, or your writing educating people factually, which would it be?

10.) Has being a writer helped or hurt your romantic life?

11.) How do you reward yourself?

Last but not least. Cynthia asks for eleven facts about me:

1.) My book, "Save Send Delete," is the true story of my debate and love affair with a celebrity atheist.

2.) One of the first to support the book was Francis S. Collins, who decoded the human genome.

3.) I was just diagnosed with cancer, which has put a crimp in my attempts to promote the book.

4.) I'm actually a very boring person and coming up with eleven interesting facts about me is more than I can manage!

5.) As a little ritual, I always check to see that all the days and dates are there, in order, before I buy a new calendar. I consciously didn't do that this past year. My daily desk calendar pages stop the day I first went to the doc for the biopsy, and they start up again the day I got the final results after surgery.

6.) I've lived on four continents and spoken ten languages.

7.) The week I spent in Burma all I spent was money I gained by trading in black market whisky and cigarettes.

8.) My mother was born in a river. Her mother was taking a break from summer harvest.

9.) My mother was later rescued from drowning in that very river by her next door neighbor, a Jewish boy. He perished during the Nazi occupation.

10.) If I learned that the world would end in hours (and no one else knew) I would spend my last hour on earth buying puppies at a pet store, and playing with them in a park.

11.) I love produce – fruits and vegetables – passionately and regard any visit to a good produce store as a mini vacation of colors, shapes, textures, smells, tastes, and bargains.


  1. OK, I'll go along! Look for my answers soon on my blog.

  2. Very interesting questions and answers. Like your blogs.

  3. Again, thanks for the blog link! Here are my responses:

  4. One of my happiest moments as a writer Danusha was reading your appraisal of my blog. I am so thrilled that I have managed to convey some of the loveliness of living by the English Channel.


    1. Sue, will you be responding to the questions on your blog?

    2. Great. please be sure to post a link here to your replies.