You’ve won!

Everyone loves to win something, so I’m excited today to be able to announce that I’ve been nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award by my blogosphere friend Fransi at 365 And Counting. I always enjoy reading this blog with its positive outlook and wide ranging topics such as media and the quirks of everyday life. So thanks so much, Fransi, for nominating me.

So, one of the requirements of winning the award is to tell you seven interesting things about myself that you might not know. This is hard, and I know that lots of my friends will say, “I knew that”! But maybe my newer WordPress friends will be surprised.

So, here goes:

1) When I was a child and lived in Los Angeles for two years, I did small roles in films and TV shows. I appeared in The Waltons and Bonanza, among others. I loved getting a day off from school every so often to work at Warner Brothers studios or to go out on location. I attended the Lois Auer Workshop on Saturdays for screen acting lessons, where one of my three classmates was Mary Beth McDonough, who played Erin in The Waltons.

In the 1970s, these were called "flyers" and, as you can see, were displayed to casting agents in ringbinders. There's a full-page photo on the other side.

In the 1970s, these were called “flyers” and, as you can see, were displayed to casting agents in ringbinders. There’s a full-page photo on the other side.

2) I briefly studied tap dancing when I was 11—I still have my shiny black tap shoes!

3) I see numbers, days, months and people’s names as distinct colours in my mind. I also see the days of the week and year as a kind-of signposted road, with physical distances between the days/months/years. I discovered only a few years ago that this is not normal, and is called synesthesia.

4) I studied speech and drama all through my school years and my early adult years, and have Associate of Trinity College London and Associate of New Zealand Speech Board letters in teaching. I wish I’d completed my licentiate teaching qualifications, and perhaps I will one day. Do kids today even learn speech and drama though?

5) I feel drawn to the sea, and coming from an island nation (New Zealand), I am happiest when I’m near the ocean. However, I’m a poor swimmer and have been terrified of—but strangely attracted to—sharks all my life (blame Jaws).

6) I would like to stay up until 1am or 2am every night—unfortunately, work commitments get in the way of this!

7) One of my favourite shows is Gardening Australia. I look forward to this show every Saturday at 6.30pm on the ABC. Why is this unexpected? Because I don’t garden. Not at all.

The other requirement of the award is that I in turn nominate some blogs I admire for the award. Officially, it’s 15, but as they say on the VBA site, “rules are made to be broken”. So, I’m nominating three:

Rejection Love Letters, or A Thousand Ways to Say ‘No’! John Tompkins is a writer trying to get his first book published. All writers know that sinking feeling when you receive a rejection letter from a publisher or agent, and John’s decided to document his rejections on the way to publication. Hilarious, novel (no pun intended) and bitter-sweet.

Consider the Sauce  Kenny Weir is my friend and former journalism colleague whose blog focusing on food in Melbourne’s west is always interesting, entertaining and well informed. He also occasionally visits restaurants outside his area, and comments on wider issues, including media and observations on life. What I like about this blog is its infinite variety, such as its coverage of food experiences that others rarely do—maybe a sausage sizzle at a school fair, or stories about charity food groups, or reviews of mobile van-type restaurants. His son, Bennie, often accompanies him on his travels and adds so much to the experience. Warning: don’t read this blog if you are hungry, because it always has pictures of lots of delicious-looking food.

Bryan Patterson’s Faithworks Bryan is another real-life friend and former journalism colleague who has a knack of writing intriguingly about so many issues that concern us. Bryan wrote a very popular newspaper column about life and faith for many years, and when he moved on, he decided to continue writing via a blog. Although ostensibly, Bryan focuses on religion, his blog is about lots of other stuff that affects us, too. He’s prolific, witty and wise.