In the world of blogs, memes fly around like measles, and lo but I’ve been bitten! Not that I mind, really. And so this Wednesday morning, we bring you, courtesy of Sarah Mitchell Jackson, the Sunshine Thingy!
…with one caveat: I refuse to call it an award. It isn’t. It’s a meme. And the rules are that you answer questions and then make up your own and then tag some other poor souls to do the same or the chain will be broken and we will ALL DIE DIE DIE
It’s fun. Let’s go with it.
- If there was ever a teacher who inspired you, which subject did they teach?
Honestly, I sort of hate questions like this, because I don’t enjoy being “grateful” in public. I always feel very fake, and I like if that person ever saw it, they would feel super awkward, because I sure as heck would.
I will just say that I had five English teachers between middle and high school. Three out of five were interesting and encouraging. Two can go straight back where they came from (it’s warm there). Three I learned from, and what I learned was mostly about my abilities. They gave guidelines and I took off from there.
- Would you rather write alone in a garden or on a half-full train?
Is “on my sofa” an option?
Honestly alone is always my preference. I’m pretty easily distracted, and I like to listen to ultra-repetitive music while I write, which annoys most people.
Of course, you haven’t said what garden I get to be in. If it’s an American garden with an inexplicably loud fountain, I’d rather crawl under a sofa. If it’s a nice Japanese garden, very calm…I’d probably get in big trouble for blasting music.
I sense I’m not a garden person.
- What is your greatest achievement to date?
Oh, man, so when I was a preschool teacher (I know, right?) my coworker and I were really bored one evening. Most kids would be picked up by 5:30, but it was 5:50 and we still had a handful left. She was so bored that she had lined them up on the wall and gotten them to sing the “Apple Song” together (“Apples, apples, 1, 2, 3, apples apples 1, 2, 3. One for you, one for me, one for the teacher, 1, 2, 3”) and was laughing about it because it was adorable. And taking pictures, because why not.
(This was in Japan, and the coworker was Japanese, and the daycare sold the photos to super-busy parents. …Go with it.)
But one of the older kids, one of the six-year-olds got tired of singing and asked if ghosts were real.
My coworker nodded to me and went, “Oh yes. Stephanie’s seen one.”
See, Japan and the US are very different. The US isolates small children from things like ghosts. Japan says “Okay, into the funhouse you go! Have fun sweetie.” Then after the kid has screamed themselves hoarse, the adults get the kid to join in scaring their friends.
So I said, “I saw it in my classroom.”
“What?” the kids shouted.
My coworker joined in with, “So it’s in the next room.”
Of course, the kids were nervously intrigued. In the next room? My room?
“Oh yes,” we said, “it’s bright green. Want to see it?”
I opened the door, and poked my head into my classroom, which was dark. Then I slammed it closed. My face creased in worry. “Wait. I don’t know if this is a good idea.”
“I want to see it! Let us see it!”
“Are you sure?” said my coworker. “Maybe this is too scary. It might be too much.”
“No! It’s not too scary! We can do it!”
I opened the door, slowly, slowly. Then with a bang I whipped it open and slammed it shut.
“I SAW IT! I SAW THE GHOST!” they screamed, and spent the time until their parents arrived describing the bright green lady ghost that lived in my classroom.
Yes. My proudest achievement is convincing a room full of under-sixes that ghosts, indeed, are real.
- Do you have pockets? (My entire current outfit – trousers, t-shirt, jumper – does not have a single, real pocket and I suspect this is unusual.)
I do. These pants actually have useful pockets. Weird.
- E-reader or real books?
This implies books on an e-reader are fake. They are not. So I will rephrase the question as: ebooks or paperbacks?
If I could read every book in paper for as cheap as I could read ebooks, and with as much convenience, I’d say paperbacks every time. But seeing as I can’t, ebooks are just fine by me. So convenient!
- Have you ever written a letter of complaint? If so, why was it necessary?
No, but I did once write to a random city council to alert them as to giant hogweed growing by their bike path. Does that count?
This is a lie. This morning, I had to write to Kobo asking why their book uploader was being dumb. So there you have it.
- What is the most notable thing about the place where you grew up?
The riots. No, really. In my childhood, when my hometown got on the news, it was because the students would riot twice a year like clockwork. In fall, they rioted because it was Halloween and they were drunk and had the run of the main street. In spring, they rioted because it was time change and the bars closed an hour early.
My home town, ladies and gentlemen. What a place.
Also, we have a super creepy partially-abandoned insane asylum on the ridge. It now has an art museum which I point blank refuse to visit ever again, because I don’t believe in ghosts, but one too many weird things has happened to me there. It’s pretty famous.
- Box files or piles of papers?
Files, files, files. Not that I enjoy filing things, but I do like to be able to find my stuff. Call me quirky.
- Have you ever written about a person you didn’t like but changed the name so no one knows it was them?
Once, in middle school. It made me realize how stupid that was, and convinced me to never do it again. It’s one thing to grab traits, another to grab a person wholesale. Whoever you are grabbing does not live in your story, and so you will be reluctant to change them as your story calls for, good or bad.
- If you had to choose between always being too hot and always being too cold, which would you pick?
I am always too cold anyway. This world was made for people bigger than me who are comfortable at 68F. But that’s not much of a choice, is it?
- What is your favourite fairytale and why?
Confession time! I’ve never read fairytales in their original form, and I never intend to. While I love adaptations, in general I hate old books, old stories, and old writing, so I avoid original anything like the plague. Plus, old fairytales are creepy and weird, and often don’t make a whole lot of sense. Why did that dude just have bodies in his closet? Why didn’t he bury them? Who the frik just has red hot iron shoes sitting around? Why would you just chop someone’s feet off? Gross.
I’ve always had a soft place in my heart for the Bremen Town Musicians, but I can’t remember how the story actually goes. Something about a donkey and some musicians and my childhood version involved Mickey Mouse and a tuba. Is that a fable, though, rather than a fairytale? Um.
Okay, I’d say my favorite is Beauty and the Beast, because the heroine duz stuf. I’m rather into Baba Yaga as well. Old ladies kicking butt! And eating people. Okay, not so cool. Also like Hansel and Gretel. I’m sensing a theme here…
So! That’s me, that’s my questions. Were they interesting answers? No, don’t speak, just smile.
I suppose I’m supposed to make up questions now. Fine.
- Dost thou speaketh any other languages? If so, what is thine go-to phrase when people say “Ooh, say something in that language!”
- Hast thine car ever run out of gas? What did you do?
- Didst thou go to university, and what was thy major or focus?
- What is thine starter Pokemon?
- Black thumb, or digit of greenest emerald?
- In a world where thy eyebrows were, in fact, long enough to reach the brim of thine hat, dost thou trim them or let them be ala Gandalf?
- What was the first chapter book thou ever read, and why?
- How many poems can thou recite at will?
- If I say we must do something for the good of the many, not the few, thy answer will be:
- What is knee high by the fourth of July?
(Boy, look at all those initials…)
Go forth! Do battle!
So, want to answer any of these questions yourself? Do so below! I shall be greatly amused, and so will everyone else. Also, if you want to pick at how I used “thou,” go for it, I was just going by feel and the various times I have been forced to read Shakespeare and King James. Avast, slay me in the comments below!
You know what I mean.
Thanks for reading!