When Sandra Leigh sent us a Friendship Bouquet and asked us to write seven things about ourselves we were thrilled by the kindness of this gesture! But it took some time and the calling of an Animal council to decide how to approach this request. As you will probably pick up on if you haven’t already, things that might seem straightforward to Monsters can take some time to navigate as Big Bed Land Animals. In Big Bed Land, for instance, identity is somewhat fluid. So, when Animals address the phrase “Seven Things About You,” inevitably the question arises: Who Are You? (Pocketnote from Bink: please see Alice in Wonderland for an interesting discussion of this question.)
So, the Animals talked about who should speak for us. Should it be Platypuss, as our scribe? We are all rather curious about Platypuss, as a matter of fact and would like to know more about this mysterious creature. Or should it be Piggles, perhaps, who would give a beautiful but not entirely accurate picture of Animal nature? How about Boo Boo? Many Animals have learned to ask the question “What Would Boo Boo Do?” before making a decision they feel not totally good about if they happen to pay attention to that feeling and not ignore it for instance like Goat did when Goat had seven veggieburgers in a row during one of the first Big Bed Land picnics…
In the end, however, I, Monster E., was elected. So here goes.
1. Most life-changing events besides marriage to the exquisite Monster John Hayes: learning to build fence and cut down trees with a Marxist cowboy; spending four years in rural Brazil. (photo: trelissing cucumbers in my Brazilian garden.)
2. I wore an amber organdy dress for a piano recital as a young girl who endured the awful mortification of having to perform the detested Happy Farmer (perhaps a receptiveness to Marxism started that day with my deep suspicion of whether any farmer could be as mindlessly happy as this piece suggested?)
3. I stopped playing music almost entirely for 10 years – playing with John for a local production of Alice in Wonderland started me up again; I doubt I would ever have ended up playing music and starting to compose without John’s inspiration. I’ve always thought of myself as a writer rather than a musician. My favorite genre to write in: unpublished novels.
4. I did not play very much with Animals as a girl – it took a friend in my twenties to introduce me to the world of Animals (this was Margot, Beloved Queen and Pioneer Woman) and she had her work cut out for her – my first Animal, Chinabeary, spent several years in a closet (as she never tires of reminding me…)
5. For over 20 years I had only books by women authors in my library (I somewhat guiltily kept my collections of Dickens and Victor Hugo in my bedroom.)
6. My favorite musician is the jazz composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams.
7. I met my dear friend and writing collaborator Audrey when we were both waitressing at a college restaurant in Charlottesville, VA, and our first conversation was about nineteenth century women writers.
8. I often seem to have difficulty in following even the simplest rules...