Today’s prompt is a fun one! Fun facts about yourself, bookish or otherwise. So here goes – some fun things about Amanda:
1. I have synesthesia, a cross-sensory neurological condition. I see letters and numbers in color, and occasionally music or people as well. I often picture characters from books based on their names. If their name is yellow, they have blond hair no matter what the description of them is. Emma will always be blond, for instance, whereas Nina will always have bright red hair, and Chloe will always have black hair. My color-associations are always the same, and have existed my entire life. Two of my siblings also have the same kind of syn, and we used to argue about which was the “right” color for each letter/number. I also once tried to teach a guy I was dating how to see people in color, because I just thought everyone saw numbers/letters that way. Ha!
2. I also have a super-taster gene, meaning that my sense of taste is overly developed. I can, for example, taste if my food has ever even touched lettuce, and I can tell how many days before milk will expire, and if a food is too strong, I go into sensory overload and cannot taste it at all. Once, my grandmother found pickles that she’d accidentally left pickling for 15 years. She called them “He-Man pickles” and gave them to me and my cousins. All my cousins exclaimed about how sour they were, wincing the whole time. Mine tasted like I was eating water. I couldn’t taste a thing.
3. I only started drinking coffee three years ago, because before then, it was too strong for me to taste, like the pickles. Imagine trying to drink hot water. That’s what drinking coffee was like. If I added cream and sugar, it tasted like I was drinking watered down cream and sugar. Bleagh. My super-tastebuds must be growing dimmer over time, though, because I can eat things now that I didn’t used to be able to, like coffee, and whole milk (which used to be impossible because the milk-fat is always slightly rancid, long before expiration, and that taste drowned everything else out).
4. I didn’t read for pleasure in my teen years. I’d outgrown children’s books, and no one was able to point me to decent teen/adult books. Genre books (Sweet Valley High, Babysitter’s Club, anything by Stephen King) grew tiresome very fast. I wanted non-genre books and couldn’t find any. Only after I started reading classics for pleasure after Morrigan was born did I return to my childhood bookworm state.
5. I’ve been passionate about writing since I was old enough to learn the alphabet. I wrote my first story at age five (yes, it was terrible), my first novel at age twelve (even worse), and tons of poetry in my teen years (egads that was the worst!). What I’d really love is to be a published author one day, but honestly I’m not real good with the submissions part of the deal…
6. As a junior in high school, I decided to learn everything I could about modern music. This was back in the “alternative” era of the 90s, and it didn’t take long to memorize every band, song, and album, then dive into more underground stuff. Ironically, as an adult, I very rarely listen to music, and what I do listen to is extremely eclectic (everything from classical to Arabic pop). In that time of music-obsession, though, I discovered my favorite band (Stiffs Inc). Though they broke up in the late 90s, I’ve been able to talk with band members off and on all my adult life, and I got to meet many of them in 2007.
7. My family has a certain psychic strain. My grandmother has predicted future events right down to precise details, and she told everyone I was pregnant with Ambrose before I even knew. She hadn’t seen me in a year when she suddenly knew about the pregnancy. When I called to tell people, I got a lot of, “Oh, I know already, Grandma told me.” My cousins and I have all inherited a tiny bit of this “gift,” but mostly in tiny, inconsequential ways. Most people don’t believe us until they experience it themselves.
8. I never finished college. A couple months before I would have graduated, my family was under severe financial strain and I had to drop out to go to work. The drop-out caused problems with my financial aid package, and I spent years arguing with my college that I did NOT owe them anything. In that time, though, I had several more kids and two cross-country moves, so have never been in a position to go back. And honestly, I’m not sure that I want to.
9. I type over 100 wpm. I’m sure this is a result of all my novel-writing and blogging. It also means that I don’t need to see the keyboard as I type. In fact, my keyboard is so worn that most of the letters no longer show. My kids can’t use it, because they don’t know where all the letters are by touch. When I lived in France, the keyboard was arranged differently, and I had to retrain my brain how to type on the new system. The only thing I never figured out was where the comma was. There was a semi-colon where the comma is on an English keyboard, so I just used that instead. Ha! I had to retrain my brain once I returned to the US as well. That probably also helped my proficiency!
10. My family had tons of pets growing up – at one point, in high school, there were thirteen animals in our house – so when I moved out on my own, I refused to have a pet for the longest time. I finally got two cats in November 2009, mostly as a thank you to Jason for all the help he’d given me on a few projects. He’d always wanted a cat, and we ended up with two of them (–>), until the older one died six months later of lymphoma. After that, we just had the one cat, Ash, until a year ago, when Gavroche the street-rat made his appearance into our lives.
Man, I’m longwinded today…
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.