catalenamara (catalenamara) wrote,

I got tagged! Six things you didn't know about me.

Six things you didn't know about me

I was tagged by moonchildetoo

THE RULES: Once you've been tagged, you have to write a blog with 6 weird facts/things/habits about yourself, saying who tagged you. Then, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names.

1. My first job was cleaning motel rooms at a “Best Western” (on Route 66 in Arizona).

2. I used to be fairly good at target shooting. We’d take a bunch of coffee cans out into the Arizona desert and blast the hell out of them. I haven't touched a gun in 30 years; I don't think I'd remember how.

3. I am probably one of three people who has ever deliberately purchased – and enjoyed – and still own - a CD by Yoko Ono. (“Walking on Thin Ice”.)

4. I’m part Alsatian! That just makes me smile to say that. (One of my grandmothers was from Alsace-Lorraine.)

It’s interesting how some languages disappear in the US, and some persist. My grandfather never lost his Austrian accent, but I can’t speak a word of German. OTOH, several years my brother went to a family reunion with all the cousins in Minnesota (the other side of my family) and won a door prize – a calendar entirely in Norwegian. He was one of the few people there who couldn’t read it.

5. Speaking of languages, I was bilingual in Spanish up to the age of 9, the consequence of living directly on the Mexican border. I’ve unfortunately gotten so rusty in Spanish I can’t even carry on a conversation. But I still can trot out the occasional phrase. And I still pronounce Spanish names in Spanish, not English until the local pronunciation finally sinks into my head. Or not.

I’m quite fond of the grandeur of the original name for Los Angeles. There are several versions, depending on which old document is referenced. Here’s one. (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora, La Reina de Los Angeles de la Porciúncula). And I think it’s funny that everyone thinks LA is named for angels, which it’s actually named for The Queen of the Angels – quite a difference, actually.

6. I wrote my first story when I was eight years old. It was all about these twin girls, and their summer vacation to a mysterious house. I had some bad guys hiding out in a cave. I remember my bad guys were counterfeiters. I don't think I actually knew what a "counterfeiter" was; I just knew they were bad guys, and I was impressed with the word and wanted to use it.

I wrote one of my first fanfics when I was 14. It was for the TV show “Dark Shadows” and was about the vampire Barnabas Collins and his Victorian-era victim Charity Trask. I ran across that story several years after that and was just aghast at how bad it was. (It didn’t occur to me to remember that I was only 14 when I first wrote it, so of course it sounded like a 14 year old wrote it. LOL!)

I was so appalled by the badness of that story when I read it again that I sat down, “filed the serial numbers off” and rewrote it as a pro vampire story. I switched the setting from Maine to New Orleans (this was before Anne Rice wrote “Interview with the Vampire”, otherwise I would never have dared to use that setting), changed the names and not much else, and sold it to the pro anthology “Ramsey Campbell’s New Terrors” Volume 2. That book came out in the late 70s.

I was so jazzed to be published! I was particularly jazzed because there was a story in that collection by someone who was already a favorite author of mine. He’d only written two or three books by then, but he was already quite famous - Stephen King.

I’ve never gone back and reread that story. I’d probably want to rewrite it again.

Who I’m tagging? Anyone who might have fun with this.
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