I’ve Been Meme’d — Finally!


Meme: Seven Degrees of Separation

Secretly, I’ve always wanted to get meme’d — or em-em’d, if you read it backwards. Like an underprivileged blogger watching everyone else make meme, Can I play, too? wishes were sailed out into the blogosphere, but no one heard.

Until now.

Recently, a talented writer named Uppington, who is also a faithful traveler of Query Road, heard my wish and tagged me for a Meme.

I also get to pick five people, who are listed at the end of this post.

Seven things about myself:

1) I could’ve died in a plane crash. Seriously.

In 1997, I was a passenger in a jet that, ten to fifteen minutes into the flight, had engine trouble — specifically, an engine blew up and set the plane on fire. As it so happened, I was sitting in a seat right above that engine. My feet were numb from the vibration, and my ears were ringing from the volume of the explosion.

I knew I was going to die. I wasn’t screaming or panicked, and neither were the other passengers, who, going by their faces, felt the same way. Surprisingly collected, I said a silent prayer asking for forgiveness in any way I had failed to make the most of my life, while the plane plummeted at an alarming speed.

We had already reached maximum altitude when the engine exploded. At one point, as the plane fell from the sky, (I was in a window seat), I remember being close enough to the ground to see the individual spanish tiles on the roofs of a neighborhood the plane was diving toward, while falling plane parts rained down on the neighborhood’s houses, yards and vehicles.

In the newspaper, one witness said: “I saw a vapor trail from the back of the engine … The vapor then stopped and the plane quickly began to lose altitude.”

Another said: “The airplane noise is pretty frequent, but there was something unusual about this one.”

And how.

At the last moment, literally, the pilot regained control of the plane, leveling it off and turning it away from the neighborhood. We landed in the middle of the desert, and quite miraculously, with no one hurt.

Whatever else happens in life, you never forget the silver slide.

2)  As my blog title proclaims, I’m a lefty, a southpaw, the woman who writes like a crab.

My husband called me into the room the other day to show me President Obama signing the Stimulus Bill with his hand curled around like a crab — like mine.

It was interesting to see it from the onlooker’s perspective.

Some scientists say less than three percent of the population are left-handed. However, it’s never seemed that exclusive to me, as I had a left-handed best friend growing up, and strangely enough, my husband is also left-handed — the only difference being that his teachers taught him how to write properly, a.k.a., the un-crab way.

My teachers, on the other hand, hadn’t known what to do with my lefthandedness.

I’ve bumped lots of elbows eating at the table over the years, that’s for sure.

3)  When I was little, I wanted a monkey — very badly. A spider monkey, or even better, the organ grinder’s monkey in the Shirley Temple movies, such as Poor Little Rich Girl, and Heidi.

Now, not so much. It looks like it would hurt pretty badly, to be bitten by a monkey.

4) If I had bread and cheese, I could exist anywhere in the world. Anywhere.

5)  I love my husband, our horses and our dogs more than anything in the world, and even more than novels and writing. I think that very fact keeps me sane during the query process, because I already have what I’ve always wanted.

We live on a little horse ranch in the rural desert, and having horse facilities and my geldings right outside is already one of my dreams come true. My husband and I did all the work ourselves, including building the facilities and even clearing the land.

The geldings love to hear the most recent versions of my query letters. They want to eat the paper they’re  printed on, also, but a few carrots always fixes the problem.

6)  I’ve written five novels in my lifetime. I’ve finished all of them, but only the first, fourth and fifth are in polished/edited form.

The first was a MG novel I wrote at eleven-years-old, 265 pages long. It was my most shining accomplishment at the time, and definitely foreshadowed my future.

Titled The Sun Will Rise Again, it was rejected by three major publishing houses of the day. I was devastated; although, looking back on it, it was the beginning of the seasoning that transforms a writer into a published writer: the collection of rejections gathered during the query process.

(Thank you, Mrs. Mills, sweet librarian in grade school, for typing up my manuscript and submitting it for me, but most of all, for believing in me, making such a fuss over it, and making me feel special.)

That manuscript remains one of my all-time favorite accomplishments.

7)  I love the events of the night sky, whether meteor showers, constellations, comets or the movement of planets. Living rurally, where ambient light is low, I try to catch all the significant events during the year.

In the future, I’d like to learn how to photograph the night sky.

I’ve found it interesting as I grow older, how I see more and more evidence of something greater than myself in nature. The desert is my church, really, where God can be found in a dragonfly’s wing or a surprise double rainbow or a breathtakingly close comet.

Below are the five blogs I’ve tagged for Meme: Seven Degrees of Separation. They are amongst the blogs I couldn’t imagine starting my morning without reading.

Jan at Writer’s Flow:  http://janflora.wordpress.com/

Crista at Tripping Along the Stumbling Blocks of Writing:  http://clwhite.wordpress.com/

Dara at Tales From the Writing Front:  http://inthewritemind.wordpress.com/

Michelle McLean at Michelle McLean’s Writer Ramblings: http://michellemclean.blogspot.com

Elana J at Mindless Musings: http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com


Photos by Emily Murdoch

22 Responses

  1. Em!

    What an amazing story. So frightening, yet really makes you value time. And I’m going to be totally selfish here and say it would’ve been terrible for *me* if you’d died and I never got a chance to be buds with ya. Or read your great stories…

    Really, the whole post is beautiful.

    And I wanted a monkey, too.

    oh, and btw. I should mention that this past month *three* of the lightbulbs have burst in the ceiling light. Only two remain. I’m writing this in faint light. Now I know the culprit!

  2. Hey, I’ve been waiting for this post to pop up! What an interesting life you live, and I am so thankful that your plane didn’t actually crash. You should be very, very proud of that first novel, indeed. I was incapable of finishing anything at that age.

  3. Oh no! I got tagged for this meme by the Digital Dame too and was going to send it to you! Now I have to think of someone else :)….I really better get started!…I am also so impressed by your first novelling experience at such an early age. I still have old stories written in notebooks, but I could never have finished a book!

  4. Thanks for tagging me! I’ll fill it out soon 🙂

    If I’d gone through what you did on a plane, I’d never ride one again. I have a hard enough time dealing with the motion sickness I got when it lands.

    Also, I wrote a novel at eleven too! I’ll post about it in my meme 🙂

  5. […] 1) I could’ve died in a plane crash . Seriously. In 1997, I was a passenger in a jet that, ten to fifteen minutes into the flight, had engine trouble — specifically, an engine blew up, setting the plane on fire. As it so happened, …Continue […]

  6. […] I’ve found it interesting as I grow older, how I see more and more evidence of something greater than myself in nature. The desert is my church, really, where God can be found in a dragonfly or a double rainbow or even a comet . …Next Page […]

  7. I can’t believe I missed this! I’m so into tagging. I mean, come on. 😉 I’ll totally put it up on my blog…if it’s not too late!!

  8. I plan to answer these comments tonight — I’ve been running the ranch on my own the last few days while battling a cold, so I’m kinda slow on the uptake! : )

    Digital Dame — if you don’t want to do it twice, it’s okay. But if you do, I can’t wait to read it! I’d do it twice, too, especially for you : ) but I am swamped irl at the moment, as my husband is working over time.

    Elana — Hooray! I meant to tell you earlier about the Meme, but things have been crazy, here. Sorry about that!

    In Lefty-land life, things are slow and easy-breezy, so of course it’s not too late! I can’t wait to read yours, too!

    Em : )

  9. Oooo, sorry I didn’t see this sooner!! I’m kind of in panic mode doing some revisions for a submission. I’ll get something up tonight, though nothing nearly as interesting has happened to me! Thanks for the tag!!!

  10. Hey Michelle!

    Wait — it’s no fun, if you have to do it under the gun. And if it’s not fun, it’s not fun!

    It took me almost a month to post mine up after I was tagged, for example.

    So please, do it when the mood hits you. No rushes allowed! : )

    Luck luck luck on your submission! Sending Submission Angels flapping in your direction!


  11. I don’t know what happened with that contest on The Swivet. I check her blog every day and there’s no mention of it. It’s even been posted about over on the Absolute Write forums–no one seems to know what happened.

    I kinda wonder if she forgot about it or became so busy that she hasn’t been able to look at them.

    Part of me wants to ask but she’s got more important things to do than respond to my silly question about a contest. Though I may ask if a month passes (which I’m guessing is not that far off).

  12. Wonderful post. 🙂

  13. Tasha —

    Awwww, thank you. And likewise. I couldn’t imagine missing out on the opportunity to be buds, : ) nor missing out on all the other great writers I’ve met through this blog. THAT would be a tragedy.

    Lol on both the monkey, and the lightbulbs. I was just thinking yesterday how, now, I’m probably scared of monkeys, lol.

    Em — (whose nervous query energy is making the lap top wonky, : ) while the lightbulbs shine on.)

  14. Thank you, Uppington. : )

    The whole time leading up to posting the Meme, it was marinating in my head. I’d be outside mucking manure or feeding flakes and number one came to me, then number two, and so on. : ) It made the work fun.

    Thank you so much for tagging me. I was psyched!

    As for the novel at 11, I have to say that, especially as a kid, if I put my mind to something, watch out! : ) It’s a trait that has proven to be both a blessing and a curse, at times, but it sure does get a novel finished, lol.

    Also wanted to tell you that I never applied the word “interesting” to the plane fiasco, before. I found *that* interesting.


  15. Hey Dara!

    I loved your Meme. You are a born storyteller, for sure. : )

    I’ve actually flown once since the incident happened. I was slightly nervous, but statistically, it should be hard to be in a plane situation twice, so, I look at it scientifically, and it helps, lol.

    But, right after that emergency landing, I just couldn’t board the next flight. I ended up on Amtrak across America for four days. It was an amazing trip. I shared a cabin with a young pregnant woman who’d also been on the plane and wasn’t ready to fly again.

    I loved eating and sleeping on a moving train, and the scenery, stopping here and there, seeing America like that. It was fantastic.


  16. Thanks, Dara, for the heads up. I’ve been extra-busy here, and I thought I may have missed something.

    My guess is that she’s very, very busy.

    Please let me know if you hear anything, and ditto me, for you.


  17. Thank you, Tara. : ) And thanks for stopping by and for commenting.


  18. I loved this post. Just found your blog through a link. I just wanted to say that writing 287 pages at 11 years of age is an accomplishment in itself. I am a writer or I would like to be so your story was inspiring. You write beautifully.


  19. I wanted a monkey too when I was a kid. My dad knew this store owner who had one and he’d take me to see it.The guy had a cage there and would bring the monkey to work with him, but the Board of Health came in and told him he couldn’t bring/keep it in the store.

  20. Hi, I just found your blog and I was so happy to find it. You write beautifully. I am a writer, or a struggling writer if you will – like you I started writing at a very young age. Started dreaming even earlier. But then I started working in corporate America out of financial necessity for my family and stopped writing. Recently, in my mid-30s, I have started to pick up the pen again. I just started blogging – http://venusreinvented.blogspot.com – it’s a personal blog I started partly to help me get through current situations and partly to have a place to practice writing again. Although I don’t write stories on there (yet) instead of throwing a lot of jumbled emotions on the pages I try to make a story out of it which I think is what writers simply do. Anyway, I have been reading this blog and that in the last few weeks and found yours through a link and several others through your page. It was exciting because I finally found some writers – why are so many blogs about dating and only dating? Sorry this is so long but just wanted to say hello and congratulate you on your meme.

  21. Awwww, thank you, Venus, you are very, very kind. : )

    Welcome to my blog, and thank you so much for visiting, and for commenting!

    My best advice to any writer at any stage, is to keep writing. Practice, practice, practice. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I began to write with the goal of eventual publication.

    Even then, it took years for me to find and perfect my voice. But, if you put in the work, the sky isn’t even the limit — at least, that’s what I believe.

    I’m going to add you to my blogroll, so you can drum up extra hits, and I’m so happy you’ve found other writers through my links — it’s a little blogging writer’s community we have going all between us, and there’s always room for more writers. : )

    I, too, feel the same — I don’t know what I’d do without the company and the support of other writers.

    As for the novel at age 11, I was one stubborn kid, lol!


  22. Ahhhh, Courtney Vail, who I recognize from my morning blog rounds — welcome to my blog! Thank you for both visiting and commenting! Hooray!

    I love both your photo and your name, by the way.

    What were we thinking, wanting monkeys, lol? Did you watch the Shirley Temple movies, too?

    What a sad story, about the monkey from when you were little. They really shouldn’t be pets, they’re just not made for that, really. It’s like turning them into something they aren’t. : (


    People out of childhood who STILL want monkeys, (or chimps), how about a wonderful, loyal dog, instead? The shelters are packed!

    I say, get a dog, and name it Monkey. : )


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