I’m joining Katie of Sluiter Nation today for #AskAwayFriday! Below are the questions Katie gave me, and I’m answering them for all of you today. Be sure to head over to her place to read her answers to MY (burning) questions! If you’re new to #AskAwayFriday, check out the hostesses’ blogs: The Bold Fab Mom & The Real Housewife of Caroline County. And read more about #AskAwayFriday here.
1. Your “About Me” section on your blog says you’re writing a book. Fiction or non and what’s it about? Okay, so here’s the thing: there is no book. Yet. But there will be one someday. Our miracle baby sorta threw a wrench in the writing gears. And the blogging gears. The now miracle toddler also has some delays that can make life a little more, erm, difficult sometimes. The book will likely be memoir/non-fiction, which means no one will bother reading it.
2. You are very open about your religious beliefs. Do you have any traditions with your family that were passed down and that you hope your children will continue when they are grown? I didn’t grow up with much religion at all, really. I’m Jewish by birth, but I’ve sought out my own Jewish life and heritage by choice. The traditions we have are pretty loose now, especially with the girls still being so young; I hope that as they get older we can plant more seeds and create special memories. I love lighting the menorah with them at Hanukkah and saying the prayers. We haven’t been great about Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath, which starts every Friday at sundown and ends on Saturday at sundown), but I’d like to get back to baking my own challah on Fridays. And then using it for French toast on Saturday mornings! Now that’s a tradition I can get behind!
3. You write fiction that feels SO real…how do you find inspiration for your characters? It’s funny that you say that since I dabble in fiction so rarely. I’ve only ever written flash fiction, and it’s usually inspired by a prompt. My characters typically have bits and pieces of all sorts of people I’ve encountered, and some I haven’t yet. The idea of trying to write a longer piece of fiction scares the crap out of me. I just…don’t know what the characters would do. But I suppose they can’t DO anything if I don’t…write that far.
4. As a mom of all daughters, what do you hope to teach them about becoming women someday? I am still learning as I go, but for right now, my goal is to teach them to love themselves and their bodies. I don’t want them to grow up with self loathing. I don’t want them to pick and choose parts of themselves to hate or obsess over. I want them to feel and know that they’re beautiful and smart and funny and kind and creative. I make sure that, as their mother, they don’t hear or see me putting myself down. They learn from watching me, so I keep negative things to myself. It’s my hope that they’ll never know about my self esteem issues; or perhaps I’ll conquer my demons before they’re old enough to handle a frank conversation about all of it.
5. Which of your personality traits do you see the most in each daughter? My oldest is instinctively a good speller, it just comes very naturally to her as it did and does to me. My middle girl is on the shy side, quiet, introspective. That’s also me. And the jury’s still out on my youngest, but… she’s averse to loud noises, she loves anything crunchy, and she appreciates a good long afternoon nap. Those are all pretty much me (I never nap, but I often wish I could!).
6. Which of your husband’s traits do you see the most in each girl? I’m so grateful that my husband has instilled in our girls an appreciation of and a love for athletics (I’m not a sports fan and I haven’t got a clue about the rules). He teaches them spontaneity when I’m one who prefers (and thrives upon) a routine. They are more laid back and relaxed because they’re his daughters, and I’m so happy about that.
7. Your work with The Gay Dad Project has given you opportunities to meet lots of people. What has been your favorite experience so far? It’s so hard to choose just one! I really enjoyed our time at the inaugural Salon LGBTQ conference Deb Rox put on in Atlanta last fall. And then we spent a week in San Francisco during Pride. We interviewed and talked with other “kids” who have had a parent come out of the closet. It was eye opening and amazing and overwhelming all at once.
8. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be your own best advocate. Do your homework. Sleep on it. Drink your milk. Write.
9. What books have impacted your life? Too many to name, but I’ll try: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb; The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak; The Awakening by Kate Chopin; The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume; Deenie by Judy Blume; Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; and most recently, Heidi Cave’s Fancy Feet and A Lady in France by Jennie Goutet.
10. What do you like best about yourself? I like my hair. I love experimenting with length and styles and color (pink and red of late). And I have pretty good nails.