Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


by Stephanie Black

Author Elodia Strain tagged me in the latest blogger get-to-know-you game making the rounds. I'm supposed to add my blog to the bottom of the list and remove the top one, so here goes:

Sundial in the Shade

Not Entirely British

Marcia Mickelson

Elodia Strain

Six LDS Writers and a Frog

And now the questions:

What were you doing ten years ago?

Living in upstate New York, raising three young children. My husband was a grad student at MIT in a business/engineering program and his program included a half-year internship at Kodak. Living in New York was a wonderful experience because we lived only a mile or so away from my husband’s parents—the only time in our entire married life that we have had grandparents close by. It was awesome.

What were you doing one year ago?

Staring a new book (restarting really--I'd started it a couple of years earlier, then set it aside with about seventy pages written), learning that sailing completely freaks me out, teaching Sunbeams.

Five snacks you enjoy:

1. Ghiradelli chocolate squares
2. Cheesecake
3. Brownie sundaes
4. Chocolate chip cookies
5. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Holy yikes, I really need to exercise. Notice how there’s not one healthy snack on this list.

Five songs you know all the lyrics to:

1. Primary songs. Lots of Primary songs. And here is a pointer: in the second verse of Book of Mormon stories, it's "given this land if we live righteously", not "if they lived righteously". "They" is in verse one, and if you repeat it in the second verse, it messes up the message of the verse. Thank you for allowing me to vent.
2-5: See above.

Things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1. Seeing as how I live in the Bay Area, being a millionaire would mean I could actually afford a house. A million bucks in my town will buy you the following: a 2200 square-foot, four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath house built thirty years ago. My husband likes to go to open houses to keep his finger on the pulse of the market, but open houses drive me crazy. I dislike walking through a not-too-big, nothing-special sort of house and knowing it’s priced like a mansion. Sure the granite countertops are nice, but for a million dollars, whoop-tee-doo. For that amount, I expect solid gold toilet seats.

2. There is no number 2. I just spent all my money on number 1.

3. Okay, let’s say I got a mortgage for part of the cost of the house instead of spending my whole million dollars up front, so I do have some money left. I want to buy some furniture for my house. And some curtains. And some paintings for the walls.

4. I want to pay a landscaper to create and maintain a beautiful yard for my house, which reminds me--last night I was at an Enrichment Meeting held in the backyard of a sister who has the most gorgeous garden filled with flowers and herbs. I have the black thumb of death when it comes to plants (because I neglect them), but as I sat there in the beauty of her yard, listening to gardening tips, I thought how it would be neat to grow a beautiful garden and for a few moments I was inspired. Then, in the course of her presentation, she remarked that she spent pretty much all day every day working on her garden. She then qualified that—well, not ALL day straight, but she spends tons of time working on that garden every summer. At that point, my dreams of a beautiful garden went to Never-Mind-Land. I’d love to have a gorgeous yard, but I’d rather write another novel or five than spend hours a day tending that gorgeous yard. Oh well.

4. Take the family to Hawaii.

5. Hey, wait a minute. I just re-read this category name and it says I’m a millionaire, which could mean more than one million bucks, right? I’m going to now assume I’m a lot richer. In addition to the Hawaii trip, we’ll go back to Ireland for a visit. We’ll go to Boston. We’ll go to Europe. We’ll go to the Bahamas. We’ll go to Disneyland. We’ll buy a croquet set and play croquet on our large, manicured green lawn.

Five bad habits:

1. Procrastinating.
2. Being disorganized.
3. Not getting the laundry folded in a timely manner.
4. Not getting library books returned on time.
5. Getting freaked out over things I shouldn’t worry about.

Five things you like to do:

1. Go on dates with my husband or even just on walks around the neighborhood.
2. Go on family outings, be they day trips to the beach or vacations.
3. Talk on the phone to my sisters and mother.
4. Write novels
5. Check e-mail.

Things you will never wear again:

1. The blue polyester shirt and yellow and red flowered pants that looked so lovely when I was eight.
2. V-necked sweater vests
3. My wedding dress
4. That pink lacy homecoming dance dress.
5. Sadly, the super-cool black symphony dress my mother made for me when I was a teenager. It was very pretty, particularly the sleeves, but I outgrew it. It’s now in the dress-up box for service as a witch costume.

Five favorite toys:

1. Mac PowerBook
2. My special cooking thermometer. This is the coolest kitchen thermometer in existence. It cost an arm and a leg, but man, it’s worth every penny.
3. Kitchen Aid mixer
4. Weber grill. We use it year-round. My husband has even used it a couple of times to cook the Thanksgiving turkey.
5. My minivan.

Where will I be in ten years?

Looking under the couch for lost library books.

People to Tag:

I’ll make it a Frog Blog clean sweep:

Julie Bellon
Kerry Blair
Sariah Wilson
Jeffrey Savage
Robison Wells


Evil HR Lady


At 7/11/2007 6:27 PM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

I used to have the same thermometer as you but I accidentally left it on the deck overnight. And it rained.


At 7/11/2007 7:47 PM, Anonymous meanaunt said...

EvilHRLady I think you should be tagged with this, too

At 7/11/2007 8:29 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

We lost one of those thermometers too, in a dish-doing accident. Sigh.

You're right, Mean Aunt. How could I have let her off the hook? Evil, you are hereby tagged.

At 7/11/2007 10:17 PM, Blogger ChillyGator said...

Were you in Rochester? That's where Kodak is, right? I spent a happy day there before being shipped off to Orchard Park (which I loved but it did NOT have that awesome waterfall). That had to be a great place to live.

And I had another valid comment, but my mission president's wife (oh, the ones that just got home from Rochester!) just came I go, but thanks for the fun game. I can't wait to see everyone elses' answers.

At 7/12/2007 7:44 AM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

Fine, make me an afterthought. See if I get you a present for Christmas this year.

At 7/12/2007 11:17 AM, Blogger Rebecca Talley said...

I grew up in Santa Barbara, CA where a million bucks might get you a 1400 sq ft., 3 bed 2 bath, 50 year old home. A million bucks ain't what it used to be--at least not in CA.

I came to the same conclusion as you when it comes to lush, green gardens. (Of course, we live on well water so it limits us for water). But, I think you find time to do what's important to you, whether it's writing, reading, gardening, sewing, etc. We can't do everything and after taking care of the family and magnifying callings, there's not much time left over.

I enjoyed getting to know you better.

At 7/12/2007 11:27 AM, Blogger Rebecca Talley said...


Did you happen to know Stewart Blake? He's been serving in the Rochester mission for almost 2 years.

At 7/12/2007 11:37 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

ChillyGator, yes, we were in a suburb of Rochester. It's a gorgeous area.

Evil, if you don't get me a Christmas present, I won't send you a copy of The Friberg Code.

Rebecca, thank you for your thoughts. It's so true that we find time to do what's important to us and can't do everything. I need to remind myself, when I start envying someone's garden or always-spotless house, that I don't have those things because I choose to spend my time doing other things.


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