Tanaquil2 at Tanaquil2 at
Sat Dec 11 22:09:06 EST 1999

Can't find that original newbie introduction post on my hard drive, so I 
guess I'll have to do some work after all.... Here goes.

I'm 35, married to a social worker/psychotherapist/cutie/writer, named Mark, 
and mother of a 9 year old absolute sweetie/writer, called Emma.

Born in London in 1964.  Grew up in London, Athens, Lagos, and London again.  
Went to boarding school in Buckinghamshire (High Wycombe)  from age 12-18, 
which is probably why I am now such a staunch homeschooler and don't travel 
much.  Live in Western Massachusetts, home of Fall Foliage, snow (what a 
shock), and the Five Colleges.  Met my husband here, back in 1986, but after 
school (armed with lucrative English degrees) we moved: first to Boston, then 
Cape Cod where Emma was born, then Manhattan (talk about a change of scene), 
then made the mistake of visiting Western Mass one Fall, and asking 'Geez, 
Why'd we ever leave?'  So here we are (since 1993-ish). In the words of Bill 
Nye the Science Guy, it's Not That Bad.

The First DWJ I read was "The Ogre Downstairs."  My favorites are "Fire and 
Hemlock," "Howl's Moving Castle,"  "Charmed Life," "Archer's Goon," "Witch 
"Hexwood," and "The Magicians of Caprona."

Also love "The Silver Metal Lover" by Tanith Lee, "Cold Comfort Farm by 
Stella Gibbons, "Dreamhouse" by Alison Habens, "Tam Lin" by Pamela Dean, 
"Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip, Emma Bull and Will Shetterly, 
Angela Carter, Sheri S Tepper, Steven Brust, Gene Wolfe, Terry Pratchett, Tad 
Williams, Robert Westall, Leon Garfield and Joan Aiken, Russell Hoban, Jane 
Gardam, Jane Austen, Dorothy L Sayers, Georgette Heyer, some Mary Stewart, 
"Celine" by Brock Cole.

Like old movies, cult tv like Doctor Who, The Prisoner, The Man From Uncle, 
and The Avengers. Captain Scarlet used to be my favorite show when I was 
small (wonder what I would think of it now though). Wish I could sing like 
Ella Fitzgerald. Write compulsively to make up for the fact that I am 
extremely shy and don't actually like talking.  Love dancing though.  Like 
all sorts of music; everything from Marc Bolan and David Bowie, to the 
Specials and Ian Dury, to Cabaret Voltaire and Shriekback, to Frank Sinatra, 
Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and Ella, to Mozart and Puccini.  Was a DJ on the 
college radio station, and had a show called 'Plan 9!' after the movie 'Plan 
9 From Outer Space.'  Chose the name chiefly because the movie won the Golden 
Turkey Award for all-time worst film.  It is (indirectly) the source of my 
favorite quote--Clive James reviewed it and said: "To make movies like this 
takes more than just lack of money and lack of time; it takes the lack of 
that special something extra."
Think the drive-thru is Right Up There when it comes to significant US 
contributions to humanity  (I'm not kidding!  I LOVE them. Drive-thru banking 
has got to be the best.) Don't eat chocolate, get occasional migraines, am 
passionate about cats, favorite animal is the cheetah.  Prefer to wear 
sunglasses.  Love tinkering with machines to find out how they work, love 
computers and the internet.  Dislike people who take pleasure in making 
others feel bad, am thrilled when people take the plunge and pursue a dream.
Like sideways humor, eg, this from Miles Kington who used to do a teeny tiny 
ponderings column, about a billion years ago, in the Times, called 
"Moreover."(the only part of the paper I would read I'm sorry to say):


Is that scruffy figure at the motorway entrance a fascinating companion for a 
or a threat to your life?  Some points from your letters...

-From the Bishop of Outer Manchester
   -Sir, I have only twice in my life picked up a hitch-hiker.  The first 
time -was as a theological student thirty-five years ago, when I gave a lift 
to a young man on the A1. I was rather nervous as I had some valuable church 
silver on the back seat.  On the other hand, I felt it was my duty as a 
   -I am afraid to say that on a lonely stretch of road the youth pulled a 
knife on me and forced me to get out.  He took my vintage Austin car, leaving 
only the silver which he thought was my luggage.  Since then I have never 
picked up another hitch-hiker until last Thursday when I decided that my fear 
had gone on long enough and I gave a lift to a very respectable-looking 
middle-aged man travelling to Leeds.
   -Imagine my amazement when, during our conversation, he suddenly said: 
"That Austin of yours had a really clapped-out gearbox."  It was the same man 
again! Before we got to Leeds he pulled a gun on me and took my new Audi. 
Luckily, he let me keep my suitcase, which contained several million pounds 
in aid for the Third World.

About to start my third (or critical thesis) semester in the MFA in Writing 
for Children program at Vermont College.  It's low-residency, which means I 
work at home, and that's how I am able to also homeschool Emma.   She started 
4th Grade in September.  We may keep on through 6th Grade, if my math holds 
out.   :o

On my reading list now is a book by Lemony Snicket called "The Bad 
Beginning."  I don't know how it's going to be, but it starts out very 

"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off 
reading some other book.  In this book, not only is there no happy ending, 
there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle. This is 
because not very many happy things happened in the lives of the three 
Baudelaire youngsters Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent 
children, and they were charming, and resourceful, and had pleasant facial 
features, but they were extremely unlucky, and most everything that happened 
to them was rife with misfortune, misery, and despair.  I'm sorry to tell you 
this, but that is how the story goes."

Emma is chuckling through it as I type; something about a pet weasel 
inheriting a fortune, I think.

And there you have it.  My life, in brief, so far.
Less exciting than Gandhi's, but better than a kick in the head.

I'm pooped so 
Good Night.

Max. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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