MaryCrockett LookawayFlipWhy should writing a little bitty bio for a little bitty website fill me with such dread? It’s not like I have a particularly checkered past. I need not admit, for example, to biting a chunk off of anyone’s ear or stabbing a nun. I have not been carted off in a paddywagon anytime recently and I never (that I remember) entered a wet T-shirt contest.

Heck, I don’t even smoke. So why am I fretting?

Then again, there’s a reason I write fiction, not memoir.

Trying to tell anonymous you who anonymous me really is in 500 words strikes me as… unlikely. But you’re reading (assuming someone out there is still reading), so I will do my best.

In the spirit of over-sharing–here are four firsts about me:

1. My first poem (at least the first poem I can remember really working on) was an epic about impending nuclear holocaust being diverted by a plucky little eight-year-old girl and her legion of insect friends. Surprisingly enough, I was a plucky little eight-year-old girl when I wrote it! “Amy and the Ants” was written in rhyming couplets and went on for several pages. Sadly, it was never finished. I don’t think I even got to the part where Amy saved the world before I abandoned the poem for my next project, which had something to do with lots of sugar, food coloring, and a ruined pot that I hid (genius!) in our washing machine.

2. My first job was as a toilet-seat hand model. I didn’t have particularly nice hands and I chewed my fingernails (gross, I know)–but these people were desperate and I was… there. I got paid $150 to put my finger over a nail that had been hammered into a squishy toilet seat while someone took pictures. Sounds almost naughty when I put it like that.

3. My first kiss was with a guy named Jimmy Otis Shepherd whom I had never seen before and have never seen since. It was outside the cabin where we’d gone on a church retreat and it was seriously uncomfortable (though I tried to pretend otherwise). He went straight for the tongue and I sort of felt like a slug was invading my mouth. {I have not thought about this guy in years and I just made the connection that one of my children has Shepherd somewhere in his name. But I SWEAR SWEAR SWEAR SWEAR SWEAR to you that the name is in honor of the university where my little guy’s grandparents’ met, NOT Slug-tongue Jimmy.}

4. My first love was, and still is, my husband. I am so lucky here. I remember the moment I fell for him (not so long after Jimmy’s slug-sploration). I was in my buddy Tim Delano’s puke-green junk-mobile as we rode past the duck pond in Salem, Virginia. Tim of course was driving and Stewart was riding shotgun while my brother and I sat in the back. Stewart was older and smarter and that geeky sort of cute. He and Tim were friends of my brothers and I’d know them for what seems like ever. We were talking about whatever and I said something stupid and dramatic and full of my own sense of self, and it would have just passed and been like any other moment in my teenage life… but then Stewart half-turned in passenger seat and looked back at me. And that look, people, that look sparked a something in me that smoulders to this day. One minute he was Stewart-Chicken-Legs, the next he was Romeo. And here we are, many years, three houses and 4 kids later… pretty dang happy! Take that, William Shakespeare!


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