Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tagged #5

HANK: Okay, I'm "it" now. SO here are my seven things. And, then, to complete our assigned task--we get to tag seven more people to tell all. I have a lot more things I could tell. But I only get seven. Lucky you.

1. I'm probably a workaholic. I never take all the vacation days I'm allotted. I think about work--TV reporter and writing my books--much more than I think about anything else. Sometimes I'll realize I've just stopped talking in the middle of a conversation, because something gave me a good idea, and I'm suddenly in another world.

2. I'm ridiculously competitive and I like to win. Charades, Monopoly, Celebrity, Trivial Pursuit. I won't play Scrabble with my husband any more, because he beats me. I almost got all the badges in Girl Scouts, but I couldn't figure out a way to get "Beekeeper"without being around bees. It was all I could do to let my 4 and a half year old grandson beat me at Fish. And even then I thought Eli should learn about losing. I even like to take standardized tests.

3. I stink at sports. You name it, I stink at it. Tennis. Skiing. Softball. Swimming. Whatever other stuff people all do. I'm terrible. (This is where my competitive streak disappears.) Okay, I'm a pretty good softball pitcher, but I can't bat or catch. Not much call for such specialized playing.

4. I kind of do have, um, ESP. From time to time. Or whatever you call it. I saved someone's life when they tried to kill themselves. I was home. I sat up and thought, oh no. He's in trouble. I called. No answer. I beeped. No answer. I called a neighbor. They called the ambulance. He had taken an overdose of sleeping pills. Another time I had a boyfriend. I was home. He was at his house. I thought: oh no. I called him. No answer. I called his sister. He had been taken to the hospital with a ruptured appendix.
Less dramatic stuff happens all the time. But not always.

5. I can wake myself up at any time with some sort of internal alarm clock. I don't totally rely on it because you never know when this kind of thing is going to stop working. But if I tell myself: I'm going to sleep now, I want to wake up at 7:35 in the morning, I will. On the dot.

6. I'm kind of superstitious about some things. Walking under a ladder, why do it? Throwing spilled salt, why not? Rabbit rabbit, yup. Hat on bed? nope. I kind of like Friday the 13th though. Plus, I believe in life on other planets. And possibly time travel.

7. I don't go to sad movies. I haven't seen Steel Magnolias, or Beaches, or Terms of Endearment. I start crying instantly, within ten minutes, because it's so clear to me what the ending is destined to be. The first movie my husband and I saw together was Sling Blade. Which I hadn't known was touching and emotional.
Few minutes in, I started sniffling. It was obvious this movie was on the path to be devastating. My husband-to-be leaned over and said--"do you have a cold?"
I whispered, "No, I'm crying."
He was baffled. "It's not sad," he said.
"I know," I replied. "But it's going to be sad."

NOW! Nancy Pickard tagged us. So that means we can do it, too. Jungle Red writers tag:

The Femmes Fatales
The Plot Monkeys
Poe's Deadly Daughters
Cathy Cairns
Robin Agnew

You guys are it. And lest you forget, here are the "rules."

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

(Okay, I'll admit it. I was actually kind of fun.)

Did any of us surprise you?


  1. all i can say is I'm on your Charades sister and I used to cheat on the team make-up so we could be together and WIN! On the other hand, I will never play Risk again because she beat me too many times...

    Lucky for us, Hank, you've got a generous streak as wide as the competitive side:)

  2. I'm a boob with the sad movies too. I start crying at the beginning of any movie I know is sad. Anyways, Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from AuthorIsland.

  3. I cry at Hallmark commercials. And those old AT&T long distance ads. It's pathetic. Even when I know I'm being manipulated, I cry. Hank, I laughed out loud over your go-fish struggles with Eli. I had to let my kids win at tennis and poker. It killed me.

  4. I stink at sports too but I love to watch hockey. Here is wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me and authorisland.

  5. I like #3 I stink at sports! - me too. I watch but do not play. Happy holidays from me and author Island

  6. I have to say I am a bit jealous of your internal clock. When I set my real alarm to go off earlier than normal I wake up 10 times afraid that I will sleep through my alarm.

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from Authorisland.

  7. I have to say I am a bit jealous of your internal clock. When I set my real alarm to go off earlier than normal I wake up 10 times afraid that I will sleep through my alarm.

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from Authorisland.

  8. I can't watch sad movies either (or scary). If I'm going to pay good money for a movie then I want to laugh. I went to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and my friend neglected to tell me to bring a box or two of tissue. Great movie, but I cried through most of it.

    Happy Holidays from me and Author Island!

  9. Everyone surprised me!

    ESP and semi-superstitious? Extremely cool, but I wouldn't have pegged it as one of your "little-knowns".

    300 cookie cutters? (my mind immediately wonders about storage -- where stored and how sorted, and does this imply frosting and piping talents, etc.) I also wanted to see that garden, as my own is such a fledgling.

    An award for horseback riding? I have to wonder if Hallie still rides, and what type of riding earned the award (dressage/gaits? hunt seat? bareback?) I also would NOT have made the Trekkie connection.

    Obviously, I guessed incorrectly about Pushing Up Daisies being a first publication effort, which deserves quite the kudo -- as does Mt. Kilimanjaro.

    Jan's conquered fear of flying was particularly intriguing, as was Roberta's palm-reading and agility work with Tonka.

    Rich lives and so differently lived. I could ask a hundred questions off this little chain activity.

    I'd also like to ask Felicia Donovan about some of hers, lost earlier. I can pretty well remember most of the things she listed, but would like to read more on a trio of them.

  10. Yes Susannah, but none of us can say we've been in a coffin!

    Or run into a former boyfriend while in a coffin.

    Now that's an awesome fact!

  11. Hi ya Hank - interesting stuff there - Feel free to use that ESP thing you have anytime you think I might be in trouble! LOL - you're a good person to have in ones corner. As far as the internal clock, HA - I have no concept of time whatsoever, seriously, 5 minutes can seem the very same as two hours to me. It drives my husband nuts and hopefully the evil researchers won't ever get a hold of me because I'm sure there is something funky going on in my brain. :-)

    Anyway, the reason for my visit is to let you know PRIME TIME is today's Book of the Day on AuthorIsland and we're giving a copy away today! Our book a day giveaway has been so fun!

    Have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year,

  12. I am terrible at sports...and for that I am grateful for being a non-competitive person. LOL

  13. Oh, and Happy Holidays from Author Island!

  14. Scrabble--I stopped playing with my grandmother years ago, because if she thought my word wasn't good enough, she'd pick the tiles up off the board (!!!), hand them back to me, turn my tile holder around, and say, "You can do better. Let me see."

    Have you noticed that the dads never "let" the kids win? :)

  15. Also, I'm guessing Hank and Jack Reacher would hit it off well, since Reacher also has that internal-clock action going.

  16. By the way, someone made me bread pudding for my birthday -- a whole big pan of it (with ginger brandy/Triple Sec drizzling sauce, hubba!). Anyway, I cut it up into squares to fridge and to freeze, and even now the baking dish is sitting in my sink, full of soapy water, and I'm trying to nerve myself up enough to wash it.

    There are little floating bits of mucousy bread in there, poxed with raisins-- fuzzy like salted slugs! Staring at me, I swear!


    I keep thinking I should suck it up and be a grown-up (nobly exemplified in this thread), but that just doesn't look like happening.

  17. I'm terrible at sports too. Happy Holidays from Author Island.

  18. Hank,
    You're not the only one who stinks at sports! lol

    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from AuthorIsland.

  19. I think I've found my twin! Except it was my 4.5 year old granddaughter that I had to lose to. She's now 6 and extremely competitive at Disney Princess Monopoly ;-)

    Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year from me and Happy Holidays from AuthorIsland.

  20. You're all going to be in my book now, at least pieces of you are.

    Susannah - Have you tried a combination of gloves and a long-handled scrubby thing? I hate any kind of food floating in the sink, but get a kick out of watching it sucked down into the garbage disposal.

    One of the hardest things about writing mysteries, I realized, is making bad things happen to nice people. But somebody has to suffer. (I cry every time I read the chapter in Anne of Green Gables when Matthew dies.)

    OK, so we've got to log onto all those tagged blogs now and learn more interesting little secrets. So what are you all doing Christmas Eve? I promise to put something new up on my blog by then.


  21. I don't watch scary movies
    Happy Holidays from AuthorIsland

  22. Hi Hank,
    Must say I love your book whatever your fears and foibles :). You've got a winner in that. I'm teasing...not about loving the book...because I cry in situations where I should be happy, hate sad endings or any movies with weird music or creepy things or snakes. Any way, best of the holidays to you. Glad you hang out at Author Island or I may not have found your book.

  23. No wonder I adore you, we're just alike! Except for sports, I'm super competitive at sports -- especially baseball. Also, I would have to play Scrabble with your husband until I beat him. It was the first game my husband & I played and it killed me that he won. We should have you over for a friendly game, especially since no one will play with us anymore.


  24. I am a competitive person when it comes to games too. I was never into sports..I was the one who always found a reason to get out of gym class and still pass :) I do love sad movies though....but I watch them by myself so no one can see my sob fest. Oh and Happy Holidays from AuthorIsland and me too!!

  25. Greatings from Author Island. what an interesting set of tidbits. Good Reading

  26. Happy Holidays also from me and from Author Island

  27. My name is Laura and I cry at sad movies, tv shows and commercials. I cry when I see Penny Serenade with Cary Grant, Imitation of Life with Lana Turner, Charlie Brown Christmas, and one of the last things that made me cry was the season finale of Lost when Charlie "supposedly" died. I cried buckets. Happy Holidays from me and AuthorIsland.

  28. Frighteningly enough, a lot of this sounds like me too. No one will play Scrabble with me anymore, because I play as if it's life or death.
    ..and those AT&T ads..."Mom? I just wanted to hear your voice." Used to get me all choked up. Know what else? The last five minutes of West Side Story...when Tony is dying and Maria has the gun? "How many bullets, Chino?" gets me every time.
    Re cookie cutters...the Halloween ones are all together, as are the flowers and the 50 states, and yes, I decorate the red states and blue states differently.
    Jealous of Jan's tennis and Hallie's horsewomanship...

  29. Happy Holidays from me and AuthorIsland!

  30. Great column Hank!
    I so identify with being terrible at sports and crying with sad movies. I avoid them now, because I cry so much that I end looking horrible and breathing unevenly.

    Happy Holidays from AuthorIsland!
    Julia B.

  31. Hello, Hank,
    Very interesting discussion!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New
    Year from Author Island and from

    Pat Cochran

  32. Happy Holidays from AuthorIsland and from me too!

    I was a workaholic. I'm terrible at sports. And I also have an internal alarm clock. And I cry alot and easily wayching sad movies.

  33. Hank,
    First, let me tell you that, as a Massachusetts girl (cough, cough), I have been watching your spots on the news for some time now, so I was pleasantly surprised to read that you'd written a book (two, as of this posting). I am eager to read it. In fact, it's on my Christmas wish list.
    I found your post to be touching and hilarious - I'm with you on the sports thing as I was always the inevitable target of every ball in gym class; I could be walking into the locker room and still manage to get hit by a ball from the other side of the gym. And dodge ball! Forget it. I never had time to actually dodge. Although I must admit I was pretty good at flag football. No one ever got by me - great reflexes.
    Oh, I cry at all those sappy Folgers commercials, whenever families see their new houses on Extreme Makeover, and a Hallmark ad or two. Unlike you, however, I like to watch sad movies - they're like a cleansing ritual for me.
    Well, happy holidays from me and Author's Island. Hope all of your dreams come true for 2008. Margay

  34. Becky--Your Grandma sounds wonderful. Although I bet it didn't seem so at the time. Can you ever play Scrabble now without thinking of her? When I go to Writers Group Amy's house to play--I'll think of her too.

    Susannah--me and Jack Reacher? I swoon. And you can handle some stupid fuzzy raisins. (Maybe. That actually does sound yucky. MAybe if you just leave them, they'll just go away. My theory, at least. The old "soak-and-zap with the sprayer" method)

    dee d and Margay1122--you made my day. What fun to hear such kind words.
    Contact me offline at !I want to make sure you know about the new Charlie books!

    DeNita--thanks for an amazing year at! Love you all.

  35. SO--Laura? Rosemary? Anyone? what's the saddest movie you've ever seen?

    Rosemary, I'm with you on West Side Story as a contender. It's doubly sad when people are trying to do the right thing and it all goes bad. Like Camelot, another one I cried over for days, trying to to figure out whose fault it was. Guenevere? For falling in love with Lancelot when she had perfectly wonderful King A? Lancelot, for letting it happen? Arthur, for not being stronger? Or letting G and L go? But then, he was the one who set up the rules, which meant that he had to follow them or the whole kingdom was ruined. Ah, so sad.

    Mo--really? We're going to be in your book? Can't wait.

  36. I have real trouble with any film where an animal is wounded and/or dies. So I avoid them completely. The one a year or so ago about the huskies left behind in Alaska or somewhere really frozen, and one or more die (forget the title) -- noooooooooo, thank you.

    And I have REAL trouble with films where men cry. I remember the movie Going in Style where Lee Strasburg's character dies of a heart attack on a park bench, if I remember correctly, and the scene (in a comedy, which makes it even harder) had such fear and anguish in it that I cried for days afterward.

    Of course, this was Lee Strasburg, who could probably move me reading fare regulations in the back of a taxi.

    One of my favorite relatives was an actor (he died in 1990), and I remember a scene in a film where he wept while holding his toddler son, who had been killed -- I cried after seeing THAT one, too.

    In Titanic, I didn't cry at the big scene where Rose has to let go of frozen Jack -- I'm afraid I laughed when she said, "I'll never let go, Jack", and then LET GO -- but I did get teary-eyed at high-angle shot of an elderly man holding his wife on a bed as the water came up around them, tears in his eyes as he cradled her.

    See what I mean about men crying? Gets me every time. If there had been a DOG on the foot of that bed, I would have lost it entirely.


    (I washed the bread pudding dish. Gah.)

    Still twitching,

  37. Susannah--oh, so right. I haven't even seen Lion King. No way.
    The real Titanic movie, though, A Night to Remember? That's unbearable. When-is it the Astors?--decide to die together? And then the band plays as the ship goes down? Ah.

    Yay for you on the bread dish! You rock.

    Bluecat--or anyone who knows--what's Penny Serenade? I haven't see it..

  38. Ah, well, I watched Bridges of Madison County several (5?) times while I was (unhappily) married just so I could cry through most of it, and now that I am happily recoupled, I don't feel the same urge to watch it over and over again. I'm still famous, in the extended family, anyway, for weeping in movies at the drop of a hat. I maintain it's a good thing.

    As a general blog comment, I have just (since Crime Bake) finished a novel each by Hank, Roberta, Jan, and Lynne. I would like to thank each of you (as well, of course, as Hallie, whose books I have read previously, and Rosemary, whose new book I am looking forward to) for providing me with stimulating, creative, well-written stories with which to spend my evenings! And now I have the rest of each of your lists to enjoy and can't wait to get to them. It's very special to be able to attach faces to names and to have met several of you, at least in passing, at the meetings and conferences. Thanks!


  39. Maxwriter--What a wonderful email. And how lovely of you to take the time to read our books so thoughtfully. Do we--know you? Did I meet you at Crime Bake? Thank you so much...

    And yes, I agree. Crying at movies (or books) means you're connected to something. It's about good writing, isn't it? And that's how it's supposed to work.

  40. Susannah C said: "I'd also like to ask Felicia Donovan about some of hers, lost earlier. I can pretty well remember most of the things she listed, but would like to read more on a trio of them."

    Susannah, darn if I can remember them all but I do remember saying "I see bodies all the time" and "I never want to be autopsied."

    That's just the remnants of many years in law enforcement. I'll even "tag" that I am a bit paranoid about leaving my house when it's untidy because somewhere deep in the back of my now-corrupted mind, I envision what my house would look like in crime scene photos. I would want whoever was handling the investigation (and everyone in court) to say, "Gee, she was a tidy person, wasn't she?" That probably speaks volumes to a trained therapist like Roberta...

    But on a more important note, I've learned so much about you gals through this. What fun!

    Felicia Donovan

  41. I've been to the last two Crime Bake's, and yes, Hank, we chatted as I worked at the registration table on the first day (you were searching through a well-packed bag for something at the time). I've had two stories published (one in Riptide) but I struggle with finding time and discipline to write regularly amid the calls of full-time work, family, exercise, and house, even though some of my happiest times are when I'm immersed in creating a story.

    Edith Maxwell

  42. Edith--I just burst out laughing. I'm always looking through that bag for something. In fact, that's going to be my next blog when My turn comes around again. Thanks for the great idea!

    Felicia--great. Now I have something else that I'll worry about. Leaving the house okay for crime scene photos. That's so funny. And I think in your list you said "I see dead people," didn't you?

  43. Hi Edith,
    Thanks for the kind words, and best of luck with your writing.
    It's not easy with all those other obligations. I still can't figure out how Hank gets everything done with her schedule (I'm actually envying her her lack of athletic interest, it must save some time -- plus,I don't think she sleeps)
    all best holiday wishes!

  44. Hank, sorry it took me a couple of days to respond, its been a trifle busy...LOL. Penny Serenade stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne as a couple who have been trying to have a baby but are medically unable, so they (Irene) try to adopt. They manage to adopt a child but have to fight to keep her. Here is a link to the movie description at IMDB, Internet Movie Database. If you like the description of the movie it will air this Friday morning the 28th at 3AM on Turner Classic Movies. (check local listings for time) It's worth it to program your VCR or to Tivo it. This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Let me know what you think.

  45. I've been tagged? Oh, goodness, and I haven't a thing to wear!

    I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your deep dark, and not so dark, secrets.

    Last night we were at a dinner party with friends and I told them about being tagged online. They all thought it was a neat idea and we went around the room and everyone talked about some little-known fact about themselves. It was great fun and very interesting to learn things I didn't know about friends, some I've known for decades.

    Happy Holidays to you all. Now I'll get to work on my list!

  46. Bluecat--setting Tivo now! Thanks..what a nice present.

    Cathy...okay! Let us know when your list is up. Can't wait.

  47. I love your story about Sling Blade and sad movies. It says so much about you...your perceptiveness and sensitivity. xox

  48. Patry!
    SO wonderful to get your comment--especially because that means you're on the computer and maybe...feeling better? I think of you so often..

    Will you put an update on your blog?

    take care...and much love