I was tagged by Lunaea and asked to share eight random things about me. Here they are.
1. My ancestress was a Welsh princess (or rather she was the daughter of the last king of South Wales, Rhys ap Tudor, but princess sounds so much better). Her name was Nesta and she married Gerald, a baron who was in charge of the castle the Normans had planted on her ancestral estate, Pembroke Their children were called the Fitzgeralds and later invaded Ireland but that’s another story. Nesta was sometimes called the "Helen of Wales." She was kidnapped by her cousin who was in love with her; she was also the mistress of Henry I who fought to get her back. I spent over 10 years researching Welsh history and made three trips to Wales because I wanted to write a historical novel based on her life and then found out someone else had already done so. The picture on the left represents my rather romantic picture of her and was created when I was participating in the Ancestor Deck.
2. The summer after I graduated from high school was the first summer the Hollywood Bowl hired female ushers. My sister and I were among the handful of girls working with about one hundred guys. Summer nights. Under the stars. Classical music playing. And lots of cute boys. It was a heavenly job, although I never enjoyed classical music (and still don't). My favorite concert featured the Jackson Five in 1970. Our supervisors were worried about crowd control and hired extra security but it was the best behaved audiencecrowd we ever had at the Bowl that summer and the show was fantastic. Michael was 12.
3. My most famous college professor was Angela Davis. I signed up for her class in Existentialism at UCLA during spring quarter 1970. The student strike began after the second class and so we never saw her again (we didn’t go to class and neither did she). I got an A in that class.
4. The worst grades I ever got in my life: a C in Handwriting in third grade. And a C in Balkan Dance at UCLA. I'm still miffed about both of them. Although the C in Handwriting was well deserved. I can't read my own writing.
5. I wrote my first novel when I was thirteen. It featured my best friend, my cousin, and me as orphans who escaped from a cruel orphanage. My second novel written the following year was called Pioneer Polly: it was a historical novel which focused on the life of a young girl with her parents and siblings in a mining town in the Sierra Nevada at the turn of the century. I sold my third novel, a Victorian historical romance called St. John’s Wood, as part of a three-book contract to Doubleday when I was 25. It was followed by Mayfair, Chelsea and Grover Square (published by Jove) under the name Nancy Fitzgerald. I now write female PI novels (three so far) but none have been published.
6. I’ve worked for two museums. I was a Membership Clerk for the Los Angeles County Art Museum and. And an Accounts Payable clerk for the Seattle Art Museum. Neither one of the jobs was very exciting (although my co-workers were great) but I loved wandering through the galleries when the museum was closed.
7. I’ve been a member of two collectives: The Brideswell Collective publishing the women’s spirituality The Beltane Papers in the early 1990s and the Red and Black Collective, running a feminist bookstore, Red & Black Books in Seattle, in the late 1990s. I've also lived in a collective house. Between 1985 and 1987, I lived at Prag House, along with 11 adults and five kids. Prag House just celebrated its 35th anniversary.
8. My not-so-secret ambitions include: taking a perfume class, writing a book about the origins of early Italian martyrs, living in a cottage in Wales, and creating collages that use pictures from travel magazines and brochuresto create new imaginary landscapes.
And now I tag Cate.