Broken Mirrors, Dark Secrets, and the 7×7 Link Award

My daughter Beatrice has nominated me for a 7×7 Award.  Her blog, Adventures for the Faint of Heart, is funny, fresh, an inspiration to writers, and especially young writers, as you will see when you read her tagline.  I’m a big fan of hers, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her mother.  Thank you, Bea, for the nomination, kind words, and especially for the  original illustration.

To accept the nomination, after thanking the person who gave it to you, you must tell something about yourself no one else knows.  So here you go…

Since 7×7 is the theme, I’ll tell you I’m one of seven children, that it took seven years to write and sell my first novel, The Keeper of the Crystal Spring, and seven more to complete my newest novel, Real Troopers.  Bea says I must have broken a couple of mirrors in my wild and wicked youth.

Next, you have to choose seven of your posts that fit the criteria below. When the doctor asks me how much it hurts on a scale of one to ten, I say, “How should I know?”   This decision was so subjective, and once again I ask, “How should I know?”   Please feel free to decide which is which for yourselves.

Most Beautiful Piece: Editing Monet’s GardenIt’s Monet’s Garden, what else can I say?

Most Helpful: The Secret Object I Keep Hidden in My Underwear DrawerBecause.

Most Popular Piece: Befriend the Ides of MarchParty time!

Most Controversial Piece: The ‘S’ WordYou know what I’m talking about.

Most Surprisingly Successful Piece: The Real ThingAnd the moral is, see for yourself.

Most Underrated Piece: Remembering Fort Detroit–Social studies.

Most Pride-worthy Piece: Survival StoriesProud of my sister the artist, proud of the people of Ptigliano, and proud of some pretty good storytelling.

Now, it is my privilege to nominate seven other worthy blogs…

The Urge to Wander–An exceptionally classy travel blog with great photos, history, and stories.

She Kept a Parrot–Lovely photos, and thoughtful personal stories.

Annika Ruohonen Photography–Stunning photos of Finland, and gentle observations of life.

The Obamacrat–A passionate blogger with a strong sense of justice and a good heart.

Talinorfali–Musings every day of the year from my  first follower.  Thanks for the warm welcome!

Musing by Moonlight–Intelligent and varied, and because I like it.

Crossroads-Cathryn Wellner–Two sixtysomethings’ journey, and also funny animal videos!

Befriend the Ides of March

Last year for Valentine’s Day, guests came to our house dressed as as history’s greatest lovers.  My husband and I were Harold Godwinson and his handfast wife, Edith SwanNeck.  Our daughter Bea came as Petrarch, Father of Humanism and victim of unrequited love.  The guest list also included Sonny and Cher, Marge and Homer Simpson, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, The Little Red-headed Girl, and Narcissa, to name a few.

This year, the day of our Valentine’s Day party fell upon February 12th, so we decided–what the heck!  We would celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, our favorite president.  In the costume room we found top hats, stovepipe hats and a couple of wigs, which we cut into strips for beards.  Decorating was easy; everything with a face, like the bust of Diana the moon goddess and our storyteller dolls, sported a beard and top hat.  Lincoln Logs were the centerpiece, and we put 203 candles on the birthday cake (just kidding! We used numerals 2-0-3).   We had rolls of Lincoln pennies for pitching or playing poker, a big portrait of Abe to play Pin the Wart on the President, and all the fixings to build pretzel log cabins.  We never got to half that stuff, but we did get to hear a seven-year-old guest (Go, Sylvia!) read a moving excerpt from the Gettysburg Address.

This month, I’m booked for St. Patrick’s Day, but am planning ahead to next year, for my Ides of March party.  If you’ve read Shakespeare, you know a soothsayer forewarned Julius Caesar about his assassination on March 15th, telling him to “Beware the Ides of March.”  So we will have to commemorate the event, of course, with a toga party, B.Y.O.B. (bring your own bed sheet).  We’ll eat Roman fare, and I am fortunate enough to have musician and storytelling friends who will tell stories (Roman myths) and sing for their supper.  I might even rent a temple for the day.  (It’s been known to happen.)

The calendar is full of odd and interesting holidays. International Talk Like A Pirate Day, Fruitcake Toss Day, Pi Day (on 3/14, of course).  And one of these years I will celebrate National Barbie Day–come as you aren’t.  Guests could dress each other up as Zombie Barbie, Office Slut Barbie, Star Trek Nerd Ken or maybe Trailer Trash Ken.

I try to do in my writing what I do with my parties—people them with quirky characters, and create an interesting backdrop.  In The Keeper of the Crystal Spring, a historical novel co-written with my sister, the village of Enmore Green is populated with affable eccentrics like Edwin MoonCatcher, Agilbert PigWife, and Thurgood GiantKiller.

For deliciously quirky characters, read Jonathan Safran Foer.  He deftly uses humor to tell serious stories, as in Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I also highly recommend the movies based on those novels.

And next October, go to someone else’s Halloween party, but the following week try hosting your own All Saint’s Day Bash.  In your writing and in your life, if you have a choice, try taking the road less traveled.  Befriend, rather than beware The Ides of March.

All words and images copyright Naomi Baltuck.

Click here for more interpretations of Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge.