Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bet you wish you didn't ask...

Claire was sweet enough to honor me with the Me Me award today! Thank you so much, Claire. It couldn't have come at a better time as I was feeling a bit cranky as I sat down to decide what the heck to blog about today. And really, who can be cranky when someone sweet thinks of you in such a nice way? It was Claire's way of saying welcome to the blogging world, but the award also asks me to mention seven things you may or may not know about me and pass it along. Since I already gave out a bunch of awards last week, (And I don't know that many of you yet!) I'm only gonna pass it on to one. I hope that's okay.

So here goes:

1.) I used to be a ballerina! I danced for fifteen years as a kid, and into college. I loved to dance! I would do arabesques while setting the table and choreograph dances in my living room. My weird, dancer's arches will attest to starting on point at 11. Though peer pressure in junior high school tried to punch a hole in my balloon of happiness over dancing, I persevered! I even danced with a dance company for a while and did musical theater productions in the Syracuse University Theater. Oh, Carousel! Alas, water skiing put an end to my dreams of wearing a feathered costume one day in Swan Lake.

2.) I made my living for a while in LA as a commercial actress. I did probably 30 commercials over the years, including one particularly embarrassing,and long-running Head and Shoulders commercial where I'm best known for scratching my head! Someday, I'll post a link to it, so you can be embarrassed for me, too. I did a Hertz commercial with OJ Simpson and Jimmy Conners (for those of you too young to remember, he was a tennis player) when I was just pregnant with my daughter. All I remember of that nightmare is that it was 107* that July day and I had a three piece yellow polyester suit on in a closed, baking studio. Under hot lights. And I was nauseous. Somehow, I ended up on the floor with Jimmy hovering over me. (His wife was due right about then, so apparently he was empathetic.) The rest is a little fuzzy. But they miraculously let me finish with a fan and a glass of ice water nearby. Yes, Hollywood is glamorous.

3.)I met my husband in a bar. But before you get all judgemental, let me say in my own defense that I was employed as a waitress at that establishment, one of three jobs I was juggling in my quest for an Oscar. (Which, as you're no doubt aware, never happened.) He was the bar patron. I was so busy working I had no time for TV in those days. If I had, I might have known this guy I had a crush on was starring in a TV series at the time and worked all the time as an actor. I just thought he was cute. Anyway, it all worked out. Somehow, we've been married for 30 years and produced two wonderful--now grown--children. We just became grandparents!

4. I've published 10 books, all romance novels for houses like Kensington, Harper Collins and Harlequin/Silhouette.

5. I write screenplays, too. Part of the reason for the problematic slowness of my book productivity was my quest to learn this new skill. I took a few years off to re feather my empty nest, go back to grad school and enter into the Hollywood fray of screenwriting, like everyone and his brother here in La-La land. I finally optioned one a year and a half ago. It's still wallowing in development hell. But we're hopeful it will get made. Hopefully some time before Vampires are out of style....

6. Speaking of bats...I rappelled down a 180' cave once. Seriously. Down a shaft two feet wide and twenty-five twisty feet long of slippery, scary limestone (Did I mention I'm claustrophobic? What was I thinking?) and down into a cavern where I free-rappelled another 150' straight down. Toward a pile of ancient bones of critters and curiosity seekers who did not have a rope as they probed the opening I squeezed through. They didn't call it Moaning Caverns for nothing. And there were a few bats. *Shudder.* It was fun.

7. I conquered the subways of Paris. Well, my husband did it with me. They're beautiful subways. Clean and friendly. We found our way all over that beautiful city that way and I even left my reading glasses on a table at Montmartre just so I could take the subway all the way across Paris again the next day and race the little lift (that we missed) up the three hundred cute steps from the stop to retrieve them. I would have left them again, just to stay in Paris because I fell so madly in love with it. And even though we didn't speak French, the maitre d' at the restaurant saved them for me and was very kind. I long to go back there again. And someday, I will.

So that's me in a nutshell. Aptly. I shall forward this Me Me award on to someone I don't know well, yet, but would like to. Someone who's kindly been following my newbie blog and been very sweet in her comments to me: Snap.


Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Wow Barbara - such talent among us!! All your accomplishments are impressive and must bring you a lot of satisfaction. So nice to know a little more about you. Thank you!

Sarah said...

Wow that was fun! I didn't know about the cave thing yikes Barb!!! You gave me the creeps!!!
I loved hearing about Paris..want to hear more about that!Sounds heavenly!The dancing..I remember you performing for the Syracuse Troup ..I really do.
LOL loved that commercial..ya know Barb I have the YouTube address..hee hee.
Your little sister is very very proud of you - all the amazing things that are you!!!
Huge Hugs, Sarah

Snap said...

Oh, my! I was reading all the new things about you enjoying every word and got to the end and there I was! Wow! Thank you! I'll have to think about seven things about me I haven't told yet!

Kathryn Magendie said...

WOW! You are one interesting woman, Barbara!

I used to want to know how to dance - when I was a kid, I imagined myself a dancer, but alas, I was always too short, too clumsy.

I didn't know 10 was considered low for romance writers! huhn...that's new to me!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh, now we MUST see that Head & Shoulders ad, LOL!

clairedulalune said...

Fantastic! I loved your list, Paris, caves,............. head and shoulders commerial! We have got to see that! My goodness, all your novels! Wow! I am so glad i passed this award on to you just to read it! You have proven you certainly deserve it!

Holly said...

I am so not sorry I asked...

I have nothing even close to that to share. Except, I did blog about the time I told Bruce Springsteen off. But, that's not even close to all of this. SIGH.

Barbara said...

Aw. You guys are so sweet! But seriously,you're all so interesting to me! Bonnie, Debra, Claire, Snap it's fun to get to know you. And all your artistry!

LOL, Sarah, re the video---I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE! :p)But seriously, I will post it eventually so we can all snort and giggle at my flea-like condition.

Holly, telling Springsteen off?? OMG! That's way better. I would've loved to have seen that!

Kathryn, so many of my friends are romance writers from way back and have cumulative totals like...oh, 45 books, 80 books... ARGH! So Relative is...well, relative I guess. I frequently feel like a slacker.

Thanks so much for all your comments. I love hearing from you all.

Hybrid J said...

Well done Barbara and you know what ... you are awarded twice of the MeME award. 2nd time from me, hahaha! Here it is:

Barbara said...

Oh, Hybrid! That is so sweet of you! I left you a note on your post! Thank you so much. I'm really touched you would think of me. Best, Barbara

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

Such a fabulous list of unknowns. It appears that you've had some wonderful times and travels in your life, how exciting!

I'll have to pick up a book or two of yours, I need something new to read and while I am at it, anything vampires is a must. I hope your screenplay makes it big!

Paris and caves, you go girl!