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Your Questions Answered, Part One

Last week, I said I’d answer your questions, and here I am — doing it (by “doing it,” I mean answering your questions.  I don’t mean “having sex.”  Though I am having sex.  Though not right now).

Kymberli asks: “With your new book on the brink of release, are you ‘cooking up’ any ideas for new books yet?

So funny you ask this.  When you asked it, the answer was sort of yes.  I mean, there is a sequel to the first fiction book that I’ve been picking at and a non-fiction book proposal I’m finishing up at the same time.  Then, on Wednesday, I had lunch with Calliope, Lindsay, and Jen, and as I drove home, this story idea I’ve been trying to figure out for over 10 years suddenly … well, got solved?  Is that the right way to put it?  I could clearly see how the book needed to unfold and that idea of how it had to happen started buzzing around inside my head while I was with them.  So I sat down and started writing it on Wednesday night and I’m already fairly deep into it.  So … that’s what I’m working on.  A sequel, a non-fiction book, and this super-cool project that I’m not ready to talk about yet, but is over 10 years in the making.

A asks: “Will you color your hair or let it gray naturally?

Right now, I’m letting it go grey.  And I’ve always said that I wouldn’t touch it and that I thought grey was hot.  I may have to eat my words … but grey isn’t fitting my look right now.  I think grey will look good when it’s all grey, but right now, it just ages me a lot.  So I’m considering covering up the grey.

Mrs. Gamgee asks: “We all know you are a  very talented cook/baker.  What was your most memorable flop?   Have you been able to master the recipe since it flopped?

Beyond the fact that most of the things you eat from me have been perfected over many recipes (my hamantaschen, for instance, took something like 20+ batches to get the recipe right), the biggest flop — without a doubt — was the time I forgot to add salt to a loaf of pain de campagne.  You start with a poolish, which takes hours to ferment.  And then the bread itself took 8 hours to make.  When we cut into it, a few hours before a dinner party, I tore off a piece and tasted it, and it was completely wrong.  That’s when I realized that I forgot the salt and I was so pissed at myself that I stormed out of the kitchen and slammed the baby gate so hard that I knocked it out of the wall.  I don’t remember what else was happening at that time, and I’m sure the overreaction to fucking up the bread was tied to something else.  But damn, every time I make bread and Josh is in the kitchen, he cringes and says, “did you remember the salt?”

Oh — and literally, as I wrote this, I burned a batch of cookies.

Annie asks: “My question is – how do you manage to do soooo much so well?  You sound like a really great mom and wife, you manage a bloggy empire and help lots of people that way, you write books, you cook . . .

I don’t sleep a lot, I multitask fairly well, and I barely watch any television.  Though I probably do a lot less than you think.

Angie asks: “as someone who is told that you are shorter than imagined in person, which blogger, that you have met in person, was much different, i.e. shorter, taller, stranger, kinder, deeper-voiced, etc, than you imagined in real life and how so?

Such a great question!  There have been a few, but the one that has thrown me off the most was Serenity.  For a while, I couldn’t picture the real Serenity when I read her blog; I had to keep the mental image I had of her before we met.  Over time, those two images merged and now my mental Serenity looks mostly like the real Serenity.  But she was so different than how I pictured her.  I’d love to hear how other people answer this question.

There were more questions, so another installment will be along soon.  In the meantime, answer the final question yourself and submit any others you have.


1 PaleMother { 09.19.10 at 9:26 am }

Hmmmm. You are the only blogger I have met, although I have met message board friends … and they were online vs. “IRL” … so it’s similar.

Strangely, so many of my best blogger friends happen to be very open about posting pics, so I never had much chance to picture something different.

One of the things that I love about blogging … is that is forces you to see everything that is unseen about a person FIRST. The things that sometimes get harder to discern once your eyes are involved, if that makes any sense. You can see the person’s spirit more easily by getting to know the inside before you ever see the outside.

My very best friend online died two years ago unexpectedly. For a long, long time he was very, very coy about sharing photos of himself and it drove the whole message board nuts. Except for me. I got to know him very well, we were fast friends, a real meeting of the minds … he was a very old soul … complicated and unusual and entirely lovely. Like a lost older brother that I met late in life. And after a while, I distinctly did not want to see a picture of him. His personality, his voice transcended appearance. I really liked knowing someone this way. Maybe I was afraid his appearance would contradict what I knew … that it would somehow be disconcerting.

Shortly before he died, he finally decided to send me a pic. It wasn’t a very clear pic, as he was only a small part of it. So it didn’t blow up very well. I was sort of right. His physical appearance didn’t do him justice …a very ordinary appearance for an extraordinary person. You would have looked right passed him if you saw him on the street. An what a shame. But as I say it wasn’t a great photo. He was about 9 years older than me and middle age has a way of … I dont’ know … it’s like reverse adolescence, isn’t it? So it is hard to judge from just one pic. and some people aren’t photogenic. That’s a peeve of mine as a photographer … crappy pics/snapshots that don’t do people justice.

I wrote his obit on the message board and I finally shared it with everyone. Not sure if he would have approved of that, but so many people loved him. And they were all glad to finally ‘see’ him.

Now that I have actually met a handful of online friends and spent time with them IRL, I regret more that my friend never got a chance to visit with his family from the UK before he died. Because although sometimes people don’t look the way you expect them to and although it’s a bit weird at first when your physical impressions come second to knowing someone very well and then suddenly you are face to face … it’s never a bad thing. Quite the opposite.

2 a { 09.19.10 at 9:44 am }

Thanks for answering! I’m having the same dilemma. I don’t care about gray hair, but it’s making me feel older than I am, but I don’t want to get into a lifelong cycle of hair maintenance…sigh. It’s just hair.

I am not one to have preconceived notions of what people look like, because I have always been wrong. For some reason, I always imagine that people are tall and skinny.

3 Kristin { 09.19.10 at 12:56 pm }

Such fun questions/answers. Hehe, maybe the gray should be covered with a few Manic Panic streaks?

4 dana { 09.19.10 at 1:23 pm }

On the gray hair front: I’ve always loved women with gray hair and like you, think it can be insanely attractive. I’ve always looked forward to gray. Then, a few months ago, my hair stylist told me you have to have a certain skin tone to carry it well. A rather rosy look in the face. Some pink. Which, as someone of Italian heritage, I don’t have at all. My face favors green olives. And so, while I’m not gray yet, she let me know it will probably make me look older and washed out. Total buzz kill.

5 HereWeGoAJen { 09.19.10 at 1:33 pm }

I should make some cookies.

It’s weird, some people I’ve met from blogs have been exactly like I pictured them. Then I’ve met some more anonymous ones and that is always harder.

6 LJ { 09.19.10 at 3:57 pm }

Ooh, I wanna know what this super cool book is!

7 Angie { 09.19.10 at 6:19 pm }

Thanks for answering my question. I love reading your answers and the questions people came up with for you. I actually have met quite a few bloggers in the babylost realm. I think I was most surprised by Niobe and Julia–surprised in the best way possible.

8 Geochick { 09.19.10 at 9:54 pm }

hmmm…I haven’t met any bloggers who don’t have their pics on their blogs so I can’t answer that one. One thing I do think is really interesting is seeing how different someone is IRL vs. on paper so to speak. While the basic personality comes through on the blogs, sometimes mannerisms and things like that are much different than I picture in my head.

On the gray front…I started going gray in college and by my mid twenties was coloring regularly even though I had started out someone who swore I’d never color my hair. At this point I’d be a salt and pepper 36 year old if I let it go. So not ready for that!

9 Calliope { 09.19.10 at 10:39 pm }

I wanna know about the book too!!

I love these questions!

I’ve met a good handful of bloggers and only one or two have totally thrown me in real life with real life personalities that didn’t quite mesh with their blogging ones.

My question: if you could give yourself a new first name what would it be and why?

10 Foxy Popcorn { 09.19.10 at 11:15 pm }

I like your answer to the question about dying your hair. I’ve always been adamant about my mom NOT dying her hair, about embracing age and celebrating the changes that come. But then, last year, my sister found a grey hair on my head. She pulled it of course. And then shortly after that my Dh found a grey hair on my head. He also pulled it right out. But I must say I’ve changed my mind and will most certainly dye my hair as soon as more grey ones appear.

The grey that has come in on my husband’s head of dark curls is SO SEXY. haha

11 Tara { 09.20.10 at 9:24 am }

Great answers! I love that you’re sharing so much of yourself.

I actually read this post yesterday afternoon but didn’t have a chance to comment…well didn’t I end up dreaming about you! It was funny…we were at this women’s retreat thing that was set up to be like a slumber party for women to gather & just relax & enjoy each other’s company yet all these women kept hounding you to teach them things & to give lectures…in my dream I felt really bad that you weren’t able to just relax like the rest of us…it’s obvious how your post penetrated my subconscience! I always find it funny when I dream about someone I’ve never met!

12 Bea { 09.22.10 at 7:39 am }

Ooh… a project ten years in the making. That sounds enticing.

Great questions, great answers. Wish I could think of something to ask… let me sleep on it…


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