I was born on the 5th night of Hanukah in 1979, two weeks after my estimated due date. I was scheduled to be born the next day in a C-section, but I decided to be born naturally and on the most special night of the holiday. There’s no specific reason why the 5th night is said to be the holiest and most special, but two of the reasons often given are that it’s the beginning of the majority of the lights and that the 5th night can never fall out on Shabbos. And perhaps even as a neonate, I knew I was going to grow up to become an advocate of natural childbirth and deeply interested in the history of birth.
I write 20th century historical fiction, and have some soft sci-fi on hiatus. My books also contain interstitial elements of women’s fiction, romance, and Bildungsroman. Once upon a time my main interest was 19th century historical fiction, but my passion switched to the 20th century sometime during junior high. There’s nothing so fulfilling and enjoyable as writing a long, complex, sweeping saga with many characters and storylines, bringing them all together, and building the storyline till the dramatic payout finally happens.
I blog about writing, classic books, classic films, and classic rock. I love silent and early sound film, have never read any of the Harry Potter or Twilight books and don’t intend to, and prefer vinyl over CDs. I honestly don’t know who most modern singers and actors are. My favorite actors include Rudolph Valentino, Lon Chaney, Sr., Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Ramón Novarro, John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford, Nita Naldi, and all the great silent and early sound clowns. Laurel and Hardy have been my favoritest comedians since July ’96. I prefer to discover a writer, band, or actor for myself. If it’s good enough, it’ll still be there for me to discover after its heyday.
Sometimes I blog about other issues that interest me, such as natural childbirth and handedness. I’m crunchy within reason (e.g., I support natural childbirth and attachment parenting, am one million percent pro-vaccination, and am staunchly against alt-med woo). From time to time I post essays I was able to save from my old Angelfire site. Most of my hobbies and interests are connected to my love of history (e.g., antique cars, vinyl records, old coins, silent film, old books).
In 2011, I finally came out of the closet about the true extent of my left-handedness, after years of identifying as ambidextrous, primarily writing right-handed, doing most other things left-handed, and being told I was being oppositional or lying when I tried to say I was ambidextrous or not right-handed. Handedness is a lot more complex than merely the predominant writing hand, contrary to popular belief. I’m glad I made the switch from right to left after so many years. I’ve always had a ton of lefties in my books, and was always very drawn to lefties, left-handed history, and the study of handedness. It’s like I knew, even before I knew.
If I had my way, I’d be typing on a vintage computer and using MacWriteII or ClarisWorks, or even AppleWorks. I hate Word and long for the perhaps technologically inferior but design-wise superior older word processing programs, where all the major stuff was laid out in front of you or in a few drop-down menus. You didn’t have to go searching all over the place to figure out how to do something basic, or have 10 different formatting bars. I type in Palatino, after having initially typed in Bookman when I realized I wasn’t bound to the default Helvetica. You couldn’t pay me enough money to get me to type in Courier, Arial, or Times New Roman!