Kindred Spirits and the Bad Dancer

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I want you and me to be friends.

I'm NOT talking about Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Klout or any of the other social spaces. You don't need to subscribe to my blog, you don't need to leave me comments, you don't need to bestow an award on me. I just want you and me to become (better) friends.

Of course, that means we really need to get to know each other. So each week I candidly share stuff about myself. And if you'd like for me to get to know you better, I invite you to share along with me. You don't have to be a blogger to participate and even if we're already good friends, I hope you'll still share with me.

The Boy with a Drum Book

When I was a kid,
I loved stories and books - but only if someone read them to me. I could sit listen for hours to my mom or dad as they read stories aloud, and for a few years my family even had an after-dinner routine where my dad would read a couple chapters from a classic piece of literature (I particularly remember Little Women and Uncle Tom's Cabin, but there were many others). To this day, I still love listening to audiobooks - mostly because I'm such a slow reader and I can multitask with a audiobook. Although, if you volunteered to read a book to me, I'll never object.

When I grow up,
I want to learn to dance. Not ballroom dancing or the box-step or square dancing (although I used to know how to square dance, but that's another story for another post!) - I just want to have enough rhythm to move naturally to music. Have you ever seen that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine attempts to dance? Yeah, I'm that bad. Nothing flows, I'm all elbows and legs and everyone backs away. But unlike Elaine, I actually know that I stink, so I mostly refuse to dance unless physically dragged onto the floor. My siblings and Boyfriend Javelin can attest to this...

I used to love
  • Pringles
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Calphalon cookware
  • Buffet restaurants
Calphalon Pan

I still love
  • Etsy
  • 3rd Rock From the Sun
  • Scallops
  • Fall (season)
3rd Rock from the Sun

There's one thing you should know about me,
I penned an amature Star Wars novel when I was 15. No joke - it was over 300 pages long with an ambitious plot and complex character relationships (all kinds of duplicity and plotting and scheming). I had lofty ambitions of turning the story it into a trilogy of novels, but mostly it was just a 15-year-old's adoring tribute to Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy. See how many times I've read the books, all with tattered covers? Yeah. And truthfully, they're good enough that I still re-read them from time to time. Of course, it helps that I was once a Star Wars fan-boy.
Heir to the Empire Trilogy

So tell me...
Do you prefer physically turning pages or listening to an audiobook? And are you a fast or slow reader? How's your rhythm on the dance floor? And have you ever been inspired to write the sequel to a novel you loved?

If you do not feel comfortable posting your answers in a comment but would still like to share something about yourself, feel free to email me or direct message me on Twitter. And if there's a specific question you'd like me to answer next time, just let me know.


  1. I can read pretty fast if the book I'm reading is Japanese but in English.. I take forever to finish or I pass out in 3-5 mins (according to my husband). He's really amazed my blog reading skills because he doesn't see me passed at in front of PC. ;-) I love physical pages and I even love highlighting and writing the book (depends on kinds of books - like photography book - I need a high lighter). Thanks for sharing about your! I enjoy learning about you.

  2. Hey Marc, I love reading the words on a page of a book. Don't know what it is, but it is like I'm holding something very precious in my hand as I read them. Audio books I've not quite warmed up to. However, if someone wants to read to me, I'll gladly sit there for hours. I remember in grade school after we would come in from the lunch recess and many of my teachers would read from some fictional book. I loved listening as I created the entire scene in my mind as if it were a movie. In fact, a fictional book to me is much more fun than a movie because I get to create the scenes. Movies bore me for the most part because someone else has already done the creative part.

    One of the things that I love to do when I am home alone is crank the music up and just move (Dance?) in whatever way I want. I might run through the house or do whatever but as long as no one is watching, I just let loose. My cats don't seem to mind. Sometimes I act as though I'm directing an orchestra when the music plays. I'm too self conscious to get out and dance in a group of people unless I've had a few beverages and my sense of self is dulled.

  3. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)August 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    I'm a purist-I love turning the pages of a real book-and I am definitely an INSANELY fast reader. Seriously....people always freak out about it.

    And I am a simply wonderful dancer :D

    Everytime I read an ending I don't like...I want to re-write it. Lol.

  4. I can't imagine trying to read novels or even blogs in a new language - I had to take a couple years of Spanish in high school and I STILL can't read much Spanish ;) It tough to keep up with all the blogs I follow because of my slow reading skills, but all the pictures help :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the post and thanks so much for sharing!

  5. You and me are alike when it comes to dancing, Don! I will ::occasionally:: "dance" to music at home when NO ONE is around (including Boyfriend Javelin), but I really hate dancing in front of others unless I've thrown back a few (well, quite a few). And since that doesn't happen often...

    I used to create whole scenes in my head as well when I'd listen to a book. Audiobooks I guess are the next best thing for me, but what I don't like is that they try to mimic voices for men and women - rather than just READING the text...

  6. I am a much more visual than auditory learner, personally, and so I just can't like ... absorb audiobooks. It's all hand-held for me.

    And in high school, I wrote several Star Trek novels, including one cowritten with two friends. One of us would be the notebook, write a chapter, and pass it to the next. We had no plan for the storyline (though we pledged to respect the clear intentions of our fellow writers), so it just kind of wound its way along. It was fun, actually. I think fanfic is actually a good starting place for young writers: a lot of the world is already established, so writing seems less daunting.

  7. Elaine is a great dancer compared to me. Seriously - I'm dance-challenged. I've really grown to enjoy reading on my Kindle. It's the easiest way to read, ever (and I'm speaking as someone who has a good 3000 books, and over the years have bought and gotten rid of at least that number again - probably twice that). Audio books? Don't think that would work for me.

  8. Dancing at home is the same as when I create music - no one can be around! Well, I've done some creating music in groups of people that I trust, but not often.

    Interesting that they try to mimic the voices instead of just reading them. I so love my kindle though... feel like I'm holding gold in my hands when I read a good book. I'm sure the sounds of voices would probably not be as easy for me because I'm so sensitive to people speech. I always "hear" between the lines. Sometimes like in something like this, it is a problem. Just glad we have all this new technology (audio books, kindle).

  9. Jody_thehobbyroomdiariesAugust 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Growing up, my family also read a couple chapters of something after dinner and I have really wonderful memories of this. I spent one snowed-in winter reading the Hobbit/LOTR series aloud to roommates who put together puzzles and that's something I want to do again when the boys get older. I started doing Zumba classes a couple years ago and my dancing skills have improved from there, but pretty much in just a Latin and hip-shaking capacity--I'm glad to be decent at Latin steps, but I don't have a lot of need for club-dancing skills in my day-to-day life. I am a huge Seinfeld fan and Elaine dancing is one of my favorites!

  10. I've thought about getting a tablet of some kind - I'll probably end up with an iPad at some point for every reason EXCEPT books ;) But I wonder if I'd feel differently about reading a book on a device vs a hard-copy. I've read a couple ebooks on my iPhone, but that's not really a very fun experience due to the screen size ;)

  11. I'm actually a purist when it comes to cookbooks - which is so funny because I'm not so much that way about fiction. I don't exactly love the feel of a novel in my hands, but I'm also not quite inlove with the electronic experience of Kindle or iPad...

    So that means you could teach me to dance right? :) My sister (who was a dancer for a number of years), tried in high school to teach me, but was unsuccessful ;)

    And I'm the same way about wanting to re-write endings. Especially if I really loved the rest of the book but hated the ending...

  12. I ::think:: I'm more of a auditory learner than visual - although hands-on is best for things that require hands like cooking or swimming :) And I love the idea of a joint novel or story with a group of friends. Except I'm surprised there were no bent feelings etc when people started moving a plot in a new direction... I'd feel compelled to point out why the plot SHOULD have gone in the other direction ;)

  13. I was just telling another friend, Don, that I still haven't really tried the Kindle experience - and that I'll probably end up with an iPad at some point, but not necessarily for books. I'd imagine if I was a prolific reading like yourself, having a Kindle with remote access to all those books at the touch of a finger would be far superior to a massive library that can't travel with you. This really means, I need to read more so I can justify an e-reader :)

  14. I'm a huge Seinfeld fan too - I try to catch reruns at night (like there's one on right now) and Elaine is actually my favorite character of the show. Except maybe for Newman because he's so nuts :) And I guess I should start taking Zumba :)

  15. I like real books but audio books are great when I'm doing chores at the same time or something. :) And don't feel bad, I can't dance at all either. I took dance lessons for 8 years and never got any sense of rhythm... Some people just have it and others don't, I guess!

  16. I used to listen to audiobooks all the time while doing yard work (back when we had a house and not an apartment) and it really did help pass the time. And I think you're right - rhythm is at least somewhat innate to each person. I don't have rhythm and all the training in the world will probably look like just that - training :)

  17. mjskit @ mjskitchen.comAugust 30, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    I must prefer reading over listening. Audiobooks put me to sleep. I use to could dance, but I lost my rhythm years ago. Bobby and I made great dance partners! I actually did start writing a book once, but found that after so many years of being a technical writer/editor, my "creative" writing read like a journal or an instruction manual; so I gave it up and started a blog! ;) I still love Calphalon!

  18. I do know what you mean about "years of being a technical writer" because after several years in a business field and little time spent writing, I found myself really struggling to form characters and plots and stories. Everything just seemed stuck in molasses... I've never head a problem staying away with audiobooks if the content interested me. But I guess the same goes for a hard copy because if it's interesting, I won't put it down :) Thanks so much for sharing, MJ!

  19. I am so glad I found your wonderful blog. I love to read and usually read on my i-pad or phone or even my computer some days but I am also a tactile person and still buy books from my favorite authors. There's just something about books I love. My all time favorite is cookbooks and I can barely make it out of the store without a new cookbook or cooking magazine. I couldn't dance to save my life! I can sway with the best of them but no real rhythm. I used to love to write when I was a teenager. I would make up stories but never wrote a sequel to a book I'd read. I have a few Calphalon pans, but my favorite are my Le Crueset. And I love Fall too :)

  20. Thank you so much for sharing, Michelle - I love learning about other bloggers! I'm the same way about cookbooks - once I touch one, I just want to own it. And I'm especially bad if it's on sale because then I feel like I SHOULD own it ;) I don't own any Le Crueset just yet - I have a Chasseur enameled cast iron dutch oven that I used to love - until the enamel started chipping off in pieces! maybe Le Crueset next?

  21. Jody_thehobbyroomdiariesSeptember 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    I bet we watch a Seinfeld rerun before bedtime about four or five nights a week and it never gets old. And Elaine is by far the best and I like the episodes when she's with Puddy because that just makes her even better.


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