Yes, I’m Obsessed with More Than Books (or these are my favorite things)

What do you mean not everyone keeps tons of makeup in a Caboodle from the 1980s?

What do you mean not everyone keeps tons of makeup in a Caboodle from the 1980s?

I get rather caught up in the research blogging and book stuff around here, so in an attempt to show you the more personal side of me, I’m going to try to complete Marketing for Romance Writers’ 52-Week blogging challenge. Every Friday, I’ll use their prompt for the week to tell you something about me.

This week’s theme is “A Few of my Favorite Things.” I’m limiting myself to five for the sake of brevity.

  1. Crystals – I know we’ve talked about this before, but I collect crystals. I love just to look at them – pretty, shiny – but I also meditate with them and believe in their healing powers.  I have a bunch of jewelry with various stones. My favorites? Selenite, moonstone and citrine.
  2. Makeup – Did you know that if I wasn’t a writer (or a history professor), I’d want to be a makeup artist? I’m not an artistic person – I can’t draw or paint or sculpt – but the things you can do with makeup amaze me. When I was 12, I took modeling classes at Barbizon (yep, child of the ’80s here) and one of the things we learned, besides that I am way too short to be a model, is how to properly apply makeup for everyday wear, as well as color and black and white photo shoots. I was hooked. Then when I was a sophomore in high school, I was on the makeup crew for a play. (Greasepaint is disgusting, but it was still fun to do special effects makeup.) I’ve played around with my own makeup ever since, but never actually pursued formal training. At the moment, I have around 50 eye shadows, 20 eyeliners and 15 lipsticks, plus all the other stuff: brushes, bronzer, foundation, etc.  Favorite brand: MAC, but I’m also getting into MBA Cosmetics and hoping to try out Storybook Cosmetics when their first line comes out.
  3. Cabins, Cottages and Tiny Houses – This started when I stayed at Hedgebrook, a writer’s retreat on Whidbey Island, about two hours outside of Seattle for two weeks. There is something about the small space that I find comforting. Living in one also taught me that I don’t need much to survive and I became somewhat of a minimalist. (But I do require indoor plumbing and internet access.) I also loved the wood-burning stove and despite my irrational fear of fire, I hope to have one someday. I’d rather spend my money on experiences than a large house, so a tiny house or a nice cabin would be fine by me. (Says the girl who wants to live in Chicago. Maybe I should amend that to a small apartment downtown?)
  4. Castles – On the other end of the architectural scale, I’m obsessed with castles. I have been since I was very young. When I was 11, I was fortunate enough to spend 3 weeks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with my mom and grandmother. I tried to count the number of castles we saw, but there were so many (literally around every turn) that I lost count somewhere around 120. My favorite ones I’ve visited are Neuschwanstein Castle and Heidelberg Castle, both in Germany.
  5. Miniatures –  Collecting miniatures and building huge doll house versions of my books is going to be my eccentric old, rich lady hobby someday. I think I like them because I can visualize worlds and stories in them, just like I do with my books. My grandmother actually made several miniature shadowboxes when I was young. But the best display I’ve ever seen is Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I could stare into that thing all day long. If you get a chance to buy/read the book about the castle, you’ll learn just how rare and valuable some of the pieces are. It’s amazing.

What are some of your favorite things? Do we have any in common?

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