Confessions of a Museum Junkie

Any fellow museum addicts here?

I have a confession to make. I am a museum junkie.

A proud and unrepentant one.

And it all started after being scared witless. But let me go back a few years. Ahem, a lot of years now.

Once upon a time, when I was six, my family took a vacation to Salem, MA. And I never forgot it. Even though I was young, I retain vivid memories of Salem: Our view out the window of the Hawthorne Hotel, quizzing the tour guide at the House of Seven Gables, and seeing mustard seeds for the first time at the Lighthouse.

But, alas, the trip also had a dark side. The Salem Witch Museum made an extreme impression on me. Maybe it was the fact that we were ushered into a dark room and told to stand in an illuminated circle in the center. Or it could have been the first display: two red eyes gleaming in the dark accompanied by a loud voice declaring the devil exists. And possibly it was the tableau of Giles Cory being pressed to death.

Yeah, that definitely left a mental mark.

In hindsight, I’m positive that my life as a museum junkie traces straight to that vacation. I experienced a Great Awakening on that trip. One that cemented my love of old houses and left me jonesing for more historical experiences.

I was the kid on school field trips who loved visiting the state capital, Plymouth Plantation, and this place called Old Sturbridge Village (more on that in a moment).

During my college years in Washington, DC, I was in museum junkie heaven. I became an intern at not one, but two Smithsonian museums. The Museum of American History and the National Zoological Park. Yes. The experience was cool and amazing. When I graduated with bachelors’ degrees in Anthropology and Psychology, I had a lofty dream that I could work at one of my beloved museums.

I was so clueless!

The first job I applied for when I returned home laden with financial debt was at Old Sturbridge Village. After I was soundly rejected, I didn’t become too bitter even when I settled for a “real” job working for an insurance company (27 years and counting). I still have my rejection letter from OSV too. Over the years, I applied for other museum jobs and was also turned down.

Fine. I don’t have a Masters or a PHD. I get it.

So if I couldn’t get a job in an actual museum, I did the next best thing and dragged my husband, henceforth known as Scar, to OSV.

This was my special place. One that I’d been visiting since a field trip in the fourth grade.

On that first trip together, Scar strolled onto the lush town green and looked around at the lovingly preserved historic buildings. The scent of wood smoke hung in the air while the blacksmith’s hammer clanged. The water-powered mills crushed grain into flour and sawed wood into boards. Upon entering a building, costumed historians would politely greet us and provide the historical background of whatever it was they were doing.

This was my happy place and I couldn’t wait for him to love it as much as I did.

His next words remain forever etched in family lore.

“This is nice. But where’s ye olde whore house?” he joked.

My joy shriveled a bit after that. Clearly, history was lost on him. Though I do continue to tease him so I’ve gotten some mileage out of that comment.

<sigh>

Okay, so as it turned out, he didn’t love museums.

But there was hope. I had children. If I started young maybe one of them would fall in love too. As it turned out, one of my kids caught the museum bug! Witness my fellow museum junkie in those early years.

Over time, I purchased memberships at several museums including Old Sturbridge Village, Mystic Seaport and The Springfield Museums. I joined the last one in 2016 as a “happy birthday to me” present. Younger Son and I jointly hold these memberships which often baffles the staff who incorrectly assume we are married when sending out mailings. Um, no!

Lucky for me, Younger Son still enjoys museums as much as I do. It’s our thing. We schedule our vacation time around which museum we want to visit next. Scar and my Older Son (who hates anything with the word museum in it), grunt, go back to their respective computer screens, then wave us on our way.

See, we know the secret. We have all the fun.

Your turn to share – what places have made a lasting impression on you? Any fellow museum junkies here?

museum-junkies

You are My Sunshine

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today for Join the Tribe (where I talk about Triberr).

Just when I was desperate, thinking I would never come up with a blog topic this week,  my favorite pirate wench and honey badger lover, Meggan Connors, came to my rescue.  Meggan has nominated me for the Sunshine Blog Award. And double bonus, the fabulous, beard loving Jamie Brazil also nominated me.  Thank you, sistas!

Of course, nothing in life is free. And I have homework. And so do you, if I picked your name!

Here are da’ Rules:

1. Include the award logos in your post or in your blog

2. Answer 10 questions about yourself. I’m taking a page out of Meggan’s book and doing what I want. I recently shared 7 facts for an earlier blog award so I won’t repeat myself here.

3. Nominate 10-12 other wonderful bloggers

4. Let the other nominees know they are nominated and include links to their blog

5. Link the person who nominated you

So let’s get started with my questions.

What is your weapon of choice during a zombie apocalypse?

My running shoes. I have no plans to stick around and fight the undead.  I put the question to my younger son, and household weapons master. His choice – magnum 357. “Do you feel lucky, undead punk. Well do ya?” I think he was messing with me. Everyone knows that the gun only hold six shots. And it’s noisy. Maybe he wants me to get eaten?

Wait. He’s given me another weapon. A Scar-H. No relation to my hubby, Scar.

 

Forget it. I’d shoot my own foot off. Then where would I be? In a zombie’s stomach. That’s where!

Do you have a favorite comic strip? And what is it?

I love Lio by Mark Tatulli. I think he may have a spy camera installed in my house because Lio seems to have a similar fetish for creepy off the wall stuff. For you zombie/giant squid/ninja kitty lovers, this is the comic strip for you. Seriously, check it out. Demand your local newspaper carry it.

 

What is this obsession with zombies?

It all started when my Sci-Fi book club read World War Z by Max Brooks. After that, we started discussing and studying all things zombie. Plus, I’ve logged many hours watching younger son kill zombies in Call of Duty and Left for Dead.

Most interesting Chocolate-related quote you’ve ever read?

This is from my chocolate-a-day calendar – “I think chocolate tastes great in any form that you put it in, but a bunny rabbit is not a bad way to go.” Tom Ward, co-owner of Russell Stover Candies 

 

What food would you never say no to?

Any form of chocolate cake or cupcake. Basically anything chocolate.

Who is your favorite skeleton?

Duh! Jack Skellington, of course.

What is your new guilty pleasure television show?

Right now, I’m enjoying Lost Girl on Syfy. I love Kenzie. She could have her own show. And I’m really looking forward to the new season of Sherlock Holmes (May 6th on PBS!) and the final season of Eureka (not happy that Syfy is cancelling it though).

Who has the most divine abs in existence?

Joe Manganiello. No contest. The man must never have his shirt on. Heather Peters posts a zillion pictures a week of the man on Facebook. Not that I’m complaining. No siree.

If you had to choose between receiving a gift or going somewhere fun, what would you chose?

I’m all for going places and sharing experiences with my family and friends. I’d much rather take a day trip for my birthday then receive a bunch of gifts. My favorite places to visit include, Old Sturbridge Village, Yankee Candle Company Store (Deerfield, MA), and Mystic CT (of course!).

What is your favorite zombie movie?

Hands down – Shaun of the Dead. I can watch the movie without running from the room. I also enjoyed Hot Fuzz and Paul, but Shaun is still my favorite.

Enough about me already. Here are my nominees for the Sunshine Blog Award:

1. Julia Rachel Barrett – ’cause she is awesome and unafraid of zombies! I heart Julia!

2. Food and Tools – awesome recipes, great photos, and a joy to read. I’m sending you directly to her rocky road chocolate cakes. I dare you not to drool. Thank you Moya!

3. Leia Shaw – kick-ass writer, generous, and a great motivator.

4. A.C. Cockerill – a never ending wealth of information and fun facts.

5. Lisa Kessler – the busiest woman on the planet and a super sweetie!

6. Sharon Buchbinder – kindred spirit.

7. Mare’s Place – wonderful friend to all writers.

8.  Penelope’s Romance Review – sorry honey, but you got picked twice (by Jamie Brazil and me.) That’s the price you have to pay for awesomeness.

9.  Tam Linsey – my friend in all things Sci-Fi. I know for a fact she’d survive the zombie apacolypse.

10. Rose Vanden Eynden – my twin sister separated at birth.

My fellow nominees, go forth and torment, I mean honor your friends too!

One Lucky Evening

Happy Friday! Don’t forget to stop by the Scribes. My guest today is USA Today bestselling author – Terry Spear!

A few announcements:

  • The winner of the Paranormal Freebies Giveaway is: Renee BennettThe winner of the The Romance Review’s Week 2 Q&A is crazycatlady. Congratulations you both won an e-book copy of Mystic Ink. I have e-mailed you the details.
  • Also, on March 20th, I’ll be having my first ever author chat over at The Romance Reviews. I hope you can stop by. But don’t worry, I’ll remind you again!
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This week, my fellow Scribe PJ Sharon released her third book – Savage Cinderella. I highly recommend it to all of you. I know, because this is the story that brought PJ, me and the Scribes together.

See, it happened like this.

J Monkeys, Susannah Hardy, and I were all part of a writer’s group at our local library. One June evening, PJ arrived looking for critique partners. After the meeting, Suze and I stayed behind to talk with PJ. After that we all became critique partners. PJ’s book was Savage Cinderella, mine was Ascension and Suze’s was Bonaparte Bay (click here for a short story from this wonderful universe).

PJ also enlightened us with the words RWA (Romance Writers of America). She is personally responsible for recruiting me, Suze, and J to CTRWA.  J met Jamie Pope (since they joined the same month) and PJ introduced us to Katy Lee.

Last year, J birthed the idea for a group blog and the 7 Scribes were born.  And, personally, I crossed the line between wannabe writer over to professional.

It has almost been a year since the Scribes started and two years since I met PJ, Suze, and J. I am so happy to have made such great friends and to know such wonderful writers.

So to PJ – Congratulations on your new release! I’m sure glad you decided to come to our writer’s meeting that June! I can’t imagine life without knowing you, Suze, J, Katy, and Jamie.

Spill it – tell me about your friends and the people who are traveling with you along the journey of life!

Blog Awards and 7 Fun Facts!

Happy Friday everyone! Please remember to visit me over at the Scribes today where Susan Muller discusses her new book – Secrets on Forest Bend!

This past week I was graced with two blog awards: “The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award” and the “Inspiring Blogger Award”.

Thank you so much: Marilyn Wigglesworth (Sweet) and Carrie Daws (Inspiring).

Both awards only ask that I share seven interesting or random facts about me and that I pass this award to other deserving bloggers.

So here are my seven things, in no particular order:

1. I gave birth to my youngest son on the bathroom floor. And before you ask, I went into labor and gave birth in the space of about twenty minutes.  The kid couldn’t wait!

2. I went to college in Washington DC. While there, I earned bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Psychology. I figured, I should earn two BAs for the price of one.

3. While in DC, I was also an intern for two Smithsonian Museums (on separate occasions): The National Museum of American History and at The National Zoo. And yes, both places are as cool at they sound!

4. I’m a life long sci-fi/fantasy geek. I love Star Trek and Star Wars. Since I’ve attended two Trek conventions, if pressed to choose, I’d say I love Star Trek more.

5. I met my husband while working at a movie theater. I worked concessions and he was head projectionist. Yup, that was a cool job too.

6. I’m a proud member of Phi Mu Fraternity, Gamma Delta chapter. I even served as chapter president my senior year in college.

7. I taught myself to knit and crochet, during the dark time, while I avoided being a writer. I love to make socks, gloves, scarves and amigarumi. In between books, I fall back to my yarn stash for a bit.

In the spirit of the awards, I must bestow one of these prestigious honors on other worthy bloggers (10 for the Irresistibly Sweet Awards and 14 for the Inspiring Blogger Award).

To the recipients, please take a moment, thank the person who gave you the award, list seven fun/interesting things and pass this on to other deserving blogs.

My choices are as follows (please check them out!):

Irresistibly Sweet Award:

1. Julia Rachel Barrett

2. Joy Shaw

3. A. C. Cockerill

4. Gail Ingis

5. Tam Linsey

6.  Frankie Robertson

7.  Carrie Daws

8. Kinley Baker

9. Kerri Nelson

10. Lisa Kessler

Inspiring Blogger Award:

1. Jennifer Fusco -MOD Blog

2. Tim Greaton Forum

3. Mare’s Place

4. I’m in the Kitchen

5.  Jessica Aspen

6. Jimmie Chew

7. The Passive Voice

8.  John Sealander

9.  Mia Marlowe

10. Glenise Clelland

11. Savannah Foxx

12. Avery Flynn

13. Soul Mate Authors Group (a shout out to all my fabulous Soul Mate sisters!)

14. Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes (seriously – I couldn’t leave out my fantastic fellow Scribes)

What blogs have you read that have inspired you lately? What are your favorite sweet (or cute) blogs? And how about you? Share a fun fact or two!