Monday, January 25, 2010

Shades of Gray

The Colors of Gray

I follow the awe inspiring Wendy Morrell's blog from down under (Twitter: quillfeather). She is a delightful breath of warm summer air (when it is winter here) and lends a view of what it is like to be a writer in New Zealand. I've always wanted to travel to Australia and New Zealand and through Wendy's blog, I'm able to catch a glimpse without having to check luggage.

A few days ago Wendy honored me with the above award, which thrilled me. But then I read there are strings attached. The rules are simple at first glance. The receiver of this award must list 10 honest things about themselves and then pass on the award to seven worthy recipients who must also list ten honest things about themselves, and so on.

This is much harder than it appears. I could easily think of ten things to list, but they all seem to be flaws. The harder I tried to think of positive things, the more negative things popped into my head. So then I tried for neutral items. I could say I like the color blue. But I also like the color gray, like in the fog or the color of the sky before the thunderous downpour. And I green also. But how can one shade of green be singled out? I like the color of grass. But I like that no better than the color of the moss clinging to the Alder trees. And what about the color of the Douglas fir and the heather? And is there anything more beautiful than the color of new leaves in spring?

So if I said I liked green, I'd have to list all the various shades of green. Listing negatives would be shorter.

  1. I am not a morning person. It is wise not to stand between me and the coffee pot.
  2. It is sometimes difficult for me to trust strangers. For instance, when I’m on hold and the recording says, “Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly,” I have trouble believing it.
  3. When they were handing out "Patience" I was at the coffee machine. As an example, after I’ve heard the recording (see #2) every fifteen seconds for three minutes, I become impatient and might say, “I don’t think so! I think if you really thought my call was important, you would have answered already.”
  4. Much as I hate to admit this, I get cranky. After listening to the recording listed in #2 for six minutes, I am apt to say, “You are annoying in the extreme, you blithering sack of wharf rats.”
  5. I can be argumentative and accusatory. After ten minutes of listening to the recording in #2 it is not uncommon for me to raise my voice and shout, “LIAR. You will NOT be with me shortly. Shortly would have been nine minutes ago. And you don’t find my call important at ALL. Admit it, you seething pile of maggot infested cow pies.”
  6. I can be vindictive. After fifteen minutes of listening to the above recording I start planning the demise of the anonymous voice taunting me with lies.
  7. I’ve been known to hurl threats. After listening to the recording for twenty minutes, I might, for instance, hiss out, “Listen, buddy, you get someone on the phone right now or I’m going to slam the receiver back in the cradle as loud as I can, you hear me? Get a human on the phone and do it now or else.
  8. I’m a pantywaist. When a human finally comes on the line, I retract my aggressive behavior and, instead, ask my question as if nothing had occurred during the half hour wait.
“Can I claim all my classes, writer’s conferences and all the books I have purchased for research as a deduction if I haven’t sold my book yet?"
"Okay, thank you."

At this point I decided to try very hard to think of something that wasn't negative, just to be different. This is all I could come up with after a great deal of deliberation.
9. I've successfully avoided being mauled or murdered by the wildlife around my house.

Here is where I stopped and asked a co-worker if she could think of anything positive I might say about myself. She said, "You could tell them you are rich and successful and everyone admires you."

I sighed. "No, it has to be something truthful."

"Oh." She thought for a while. "You could tell them you've never burned down this building."

My jaw dropped. "That is the only positive thing you can say?"

"I'm still thinking," she defended.

I rolled my eyes and went back to my closet.

10. I've never burned down the company building.

And now I'd like to bestow this award to the following bloggers.

TheFirstCarol's blog--Carol is witty and charming and posts about all sorts of different subjects, including celebrities who have met her. She is an excellent writer and has completed one and three-quarters books.

Karen Maxwell's blog--Karen is a writer who has vowed to give up television for one year. Her blog is hilarious and will keep you from watching television too.

Dale Blodget Paintings--Dale is a fabulous painter. Check out the beautiful work she does on her blog.

Single Dating Mommy's blog--A fresh new look at the dating life of a single mom with attitude.

Sharon Axline blog--Sharon is writing a terrific action/adventure book. She also has two precious dogs she writes about.

Ginger's blog--Ginger has written several books during NaNoWriMo. In her blog, you'll see she has many other talents as well.

PLAnneAnderson's blog--She is a young adult author on her exciting journey toward publication.


  1. That was simply brilliant! Can't tell you how much I laughed :)

    I promise you two things: I will never keep you on hold if ever we are to speak on the phone.

    2. I am going to bestow upon your good self another award (someday) just so I can revel in your exceptional writing ability.

    PS. Thanks so much for those most kind words :)

  2. Thanks, Wendy. You are terrific and so is your blog. Thanks for the honor.

  3. Melanie, how can any of us measure up to that list? hahaha. Thank you for the honor of the award, though. I'll have to put on my thinking cap and stop wiping off every painting I do (my new M.O.) Saves on supports, but makes no grist for the blog. :) I suppose it's equal to your (writer's)delete button.

  4. Carol,

    This is going to be difficult. I'm still thinking. :)

  5. Dale,

    I've never considered the artist as having a "delete" key. So, what is it? A can of turpentine and a clean cloth?

    I'll be interested in seeing your ten truths on your blog. I wonder if you should be allowed to paint them instead of type them?

  6. NWFoodie, I read your post. Ten very interesting things, indeed. And thanks for going along with it! Hee hee hee.

  7. Hahahahaha!! That was great. I laughed all the way through your post. Very good. Congrats on your award, too. LOVING the honesty in your self-descriptions. So glad you have not burned down the company building. In some companies, I bet that's a major accomplishment.

  8. Carolina

    Thanks so much for commenting. I believe I have YOU to thank for giving Wendy the award in the first place. I'm still trying to think of something a little more positive about myself (since Wendy has threatened me--see above).

    I like your blog, by the way. :)

  9. I'm watching you... very carefully...

    I have five more awards to bestow. Just saying :)

  10. Wendy,

    Oh brother. (Wiping sweat from brow)

  11. I am so doomed. I don't want to list 10 honest things about myself. AND I don't know 7 bloggers well enough to pass on the award. drat. This means I HAVE to list 10 hones things about myself anyway or I will feel that ol' Catholic guilt...NO NOT THAT!...or I'll be nagged to death by a loving family member...sigh....I am so doomed....

  12. Karen

    You could say you have a wonderful sense of humor, you are witty, charming, smart, cheerful, you spell well, did well in English class, are a loyal friend, have never burned down your company building and are my cousin. Does that help?

  13. That picture is so beautiful...I want to go! And, congrats on your awards! : )

  14. Thanks Kimberly. I'm crossing my fingers I don't win anymore. This "ten truths" thing is tough.


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