1. When I was little, I was afraid of the fish on the shower curtain in the bathroom.
2. I like to rollerblade. I live near Lake Michigan, where there’s a beautiful path. Once I went into the skateboard park—but that was terrifying, and I don’t plan to do it again. Here’s a picture of me wearing my first roller skates:
3. My brother and sister and I all have brown eyes, and we each have two children, one with brown eyes and one with blue eyes. (Quiz: What can you deduce from that?)
4. When I was twelve, my parents got divorced. Later, they both got married to other people who had children. That meant that in addition to my brother and sister, I suddenly had some step-siblings. To be exact, I had seven new step-brothers and three new step-sisters. It was kind of wild.
5. One summer when I was in college, I had a job as a letter carrier. The rolling cart hadn’t been invented yet, so I had to carry a heavy leather bag. On the first day, I fainted on someone’s front porch.
6. I was in San Francisco during the last big earthquake, in 1989. (Technically I was in Berkeley, which is across the bay.) I could see the damaged Bay Bridge from the house where I was living.
7. Once I went to China and ate a scorpion. (That’s not why I went, though.)
8. My brother Tom races motorcycles. Here’s a picture of him in a race (he came in second). After that is a photo I snapped from the back of his bike. (Not during a race! We were just going to the grocery store. You can see me in the mirror.)
9. I love television. (Don’t put that in your paper—teachers might stop assigning my book.) When people tell me they never watch TV, I don’t believe them.
10. I have been saved from drowning. Twice.
11. I am also the author of a book for adults, The Subversive Copy Editor.