This Versatile Blogger Welcomes You to the Planet Baltuck

Hey!  It’s official!  I’m a Versatile Blogger!  First, thanks to these  folks for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.   

Mike Reverb is a writer with a great sense of humor, plenty of encouragement and useful tips for his colleagues.

Samir, a citizen of the world, is a creative writer who asks thoughtful questions about the art and craft of writing.

Maggie Myklebust, an American living in Norway,  just published her memoir, Fly Away Home, and her blog is great.

And Now….Welcome to the Planet Baltuck.

Eli–a typical inhabitant.

 Part of accepting the Versatile Blogger Award is that I share my world with you–or at least seven surprising and/or little known facts about myself.  So here they are…

1.  There really is a Planet Baltuck up there in the night sky.  It’s named after my big sister Miriam, the white sheep of the family, for her contributions to science.   Learn more about it in my post, After All.

Bea says, “Don’t go away.  There’s much more.  For instance…”

2.    I am a twin.  My brother Lewis is older by three minutes, but I’m bossier.  He must have been hogging all the room in there, because he weighed much more than I did at birth, but I made up for it by stealing his baby bottle.  We are best buddies now; I need to stay on his good side because he’s a great cook, and desserts are his specialty.

3.   I gave birth to my own critique group.  I’m so dang proud of my kids Eli and Bea.   We share a passion for history, art, travel, storytelling.  Best of all, they are great writers, and I can count on them for an honest insightful critique.  To learn more, check out Bea’s blog for writers, Adventures for the Faint of Heart.

 

4.  I was a guest on Romper Room.  I was on the program as part of a West Coast storytelling tour sponsored by General Mills.  It was October, so I told a spooky story, and BOO!  I made Miss Nancy jump!  Does that make me a Don’t’ Bee?

5.  I saw the filming of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  We were on the Yale campus tour four years ago looking at colleges for my son.  It was all very hush-hush, and we didn’t know until we got there what was going on.  Traffic was diverted, curbs were lined with trailers, dressing rooms, antique cars, and camera equipment.  We saw two scenes filmed, including a car scene with old boats from the late forties.  But we couldn’t get close enough to identify the actors.  To learn about my real life encounter with Indiana Jones a.k.a. Harrison Ford, click here.

6.  We came over on the Mayflower.  On my mother’s side, I am descended from four of the original passengers on the Mayflower.  Elizabeth Tilley came over with her parents, John and Joan Tilley, and married John Howland.  He was the only passenger to survive a fall overboard on the journey across the icy Atlantic.  If he hadn’t grabbed a rope trailing behind the ship, I wouldn’t be here today.   Neither would most of America, because almost everyone and his cousin is descended from someone who came over on the Mayflower, whether they know it or not.  To see the ornament we hang on the tree each year to commemorate this event, check out my post, The Christmas Gang.

7.  My favorite candy is Good ‘n’ Plenties.  A sweet burst and a long chew!  When I sent my son Good ‘n’ Plenties in a CARE package, his college roommates teased him for eating ‘old people’s candy.’  But my husband Thom says he read that Good ‘n’ Plenties are a mild aphrodisiac—and then he gave me a box.   I really don’t know about that, but they were very good—both of them.

Now for the best part!    I get to tell you all about these talented and fascinating bloggers as I pass this award on to them.

Island Traveler  is one man’s inspiring journey through life.

Stuff I tell my sister— Good insight into life–and she tells you while telling her best friend, her sister.

I May fly– Lovely photos, humorous and witty.

Susan Wingate—  Award-winning novelist who knows how to herd cats, well, sorta kinda.  But can she write!

Sabrina Garie— A lovely writer who happens to be well-versed in sci-fi.

Saraflower’s Blog— The author of By the Sword, with plenty of  insight and support for writers.

Walking Papers BlogInteresting, insightful, and always intriguing.

Daily Sweet PeasSweet indeed!  Lovely photographs and poetry.

Let’s Cut the Crap--An irreverant view of life after sixty-five.

Sarahpotterwrites— Sarah is a talented musician, artist, and poet.

The ObamaCratMr. J.B. is indeed versatile–he shares recipes, music, poetry, but most of all heartfelt convictions.

Four Blue Hills— A very professional presentation of everything from fun facts to world events.

It’s a Whole New WorldThis is one mom’s everyday life, and what she does to keep smiling.

The Wanderlust Gene— An intelligent and well traveled sixtysomething’s photographs, stories, and insight about life and its adventures.

A Map of Time, a Trip Into the Past-– Fascinating, well told, and often obscure fun facts from history.

After All!


‘The Poet’ by Constance Baltuck

I am not exaggerating when I tell you my sister Constance is a famous Alaska artist.  After all, she has a show hanging in the Alaska State Museum at this very moment, with several of her paintings in its permanent collection.  She was also just invited to show at the prestigious Artforte Gallery in Pioneer Square in Seattle.  (BTW, my walls are decked with early Baltucks, and Con has promised me their value will skyrocket after she dies.)

She felt these opportunities had dropped into her lap out of the blue.  But how many paintbrushes did she wear out preparing for this ‘sudden’ success?  For thirty years she has steadily produced beautiful art, selling out show after show.  The key phrase here is “After all…”  Yes, after all the hard work and promotion and never never never giving up, she has ‘suddenly’ hit the big time.

On the other side of the brain, my sister Miriam, heretofore the uncontested White Sheep of the Family, is a scientist.  She has worked for NASA, and at the White House for the Clinton Administration, and as the first female director of one of NASA’S three Deep Space Tracking Stations on the planet.  Her contributions to science were recently recognized when they named a planet after her.  Okay, so it was only a minor planet, but even so, it’s official…and if you don’t believe me, just Google ‘Planet Baltuck’.   So another sister busted her butt for thirty years working very long hours in very high heels to succeed in a tough field dominated by men.  That’s what you have to do if you want a planet named after you.

And if you want a book that bears your name on its spine and houses a novel that would make your mother proud, you must never never never give up on your writing.  It is a long hard journey that requires grit, discipline, and a hefty supply of bum glue.  But one day you will find that ‘suddenly’ you are a published author.  In the meantime, don’t be too hard on yourself, and always remember that success is relative.  I remember my mother declaring proudly, “Seven children, and not one of them in jail!”

Do you ever get discouraged?  Can you tell us what you do to maintain your courage and determination?  

If you would like to see more of my sister’s paintings, check out her website at: http://www.constancebaltuck.com/