Archive for the ‘Footnote’ Category
So two days ago I finished my first novel. This morning, it just started sinking in. Without being too navel-gazey, just want to reflect.
The idea for the project was spawned by a nightmare I had in Berlin 4 years ago, so it’s taken awhile to manifest into a novel.
The whole experience was a learning process. With each chapter, I watched my voice mature. I learned how to notice my signs of procrastination and how to resist them. During editing, I learned how to remove myself and slice, dice and polish without taking it personal.
Anyway, today it feels like there’s a weight lifted off my shoulders. I’m ready to start the next venture!
Thanks to my friends and family for the support!
For those of you not on Facebook, here are 25 random things about me.
1. Because I was born on the 1st day of Christmas, I was sent home in a baby-size Christmas stocking.
2. A couple weeks after I came home from the hospital, a friend of my mom’s accidentally dropped me down a flight of stairs. I hit my head on a brick. Since I was a newborn, the bones hadn’t hardened, so everything was ok, although some may say otherwise ;)
3. When I was 8, I decided to taste some leaves from a bush next to our back porch. I passed out and fell down the porch steps. When I woke up, I was on a table in the doctor’s office. They had pumped my stomach and stitched up my chin. I had a metal beard for several months.
4. In 2nd grade, we had to take an aptitude test. For the three testing days, we were trapped in the cafeteria. On the second day I had a bit of a stomach problem. I raised my hand to ask if I could go to the bathroom. The teacher came over and I puked on her. I then puked on the school nurse and the principal.
5. Although I modeled from age 19 until I was 28, I had a low self image. I’m so glad I’ve finally grown into the arrogant bastard I always wanted to be :)
6. My mom never understood me or my brother. She thought he was the actor/musician/artist and I was the engineer/math/science dude. We grew up to be the opposite.
7. I want kids. Like most guys, I want two boys.
8. I got married in Berlin. My family found out through Facebook and MySpace.
9. My BFF in Jr High and High School committed suicide in 1999 after his mother was unable to accept his homosexuality. When I found out, I drove around Austin, making a continuous loop and draining a full tank of gas. The entire time, I felt like he was sitting in the passenger’s seat next to me, so I yelled at him. It sent me into a year long depression. In high school I used to spend the nights at his house on the evenings after my mom had attempted suicide. He was one of three gay guys from my high school who committed suicide after graduation. They all shot themselves in the head.
10. My favorite outfit as a kid was a superman cape and superman underroos. I wore them to the store, restaurants, everywhere. I was certain I could fly.
11. When I was 11, I had to have dental surgery to cut out two extra teeth that, had they not been removed, would have grown from the roof of my mouth.
12. I used to get in so much trouble for crawling through sewers, painting my body with wild blackberries, playing in rainstorms and digging holes in the backyard. I think those experiences led to my love of gardening.
13. The scariest moment in my life was waking up hungover in Brooklyn on September 11th, 2001. I just barely saw the second tower fall. The first person I called was my Aunt. Neither one of us said anything, we just cried. My mom couldn’t reach me until 5 PM. I’m so thankful to Amy for being there for me.
14. One of the happiest moments of my life was two weeks later in Paris on the Eiffel Tower with my grandparents. It was something I’d always dreamt about as a kid.
15. Goals: I want to be a media mogul. I want to change the way we tell stories and share experiences. I want my next book to be published.
16. While living in Cologne, Germany, I ran into Jasmine, a good friend from college. It was completely unexpected. Neither of us were having a good time, so we decided to just backpack around for a while. I was living above a Chinese restaurant at the time. I went downstairs and told the owner that I had a family emergency and had to leave immediately. It was the biggest lie I’ve ever told and it worked. I still have a hard time walking by that restaurant when I’m in Cologne.
17. I slept with a stuffed Pooh Bear until I was 26.
18. I have slept overnight on benches in parks in Austin, New York, Paris, Barcelona and Rome.
19. When I was living in Berlin, my roommate stole everything I owned. Since I didn’t have any clothes, I had to get them out of a dumpster. I also collected bottles and cans for money. You learn how to budget real quickly in that situation!
20. As a 16 year old, I gave CPR to a drunk driver who had flipped his jeep. Almost a third of his face had been ripped off. He died in the hospital.
21. When it comes to memories, I have no concept of time. 10 years feels the same as a month or a week. I also forget what city I’m in at least once a day.
22. The first time I lived by myself, there was a wasp’s nest in the bathroom window. Being the hippie that I am, I chose to live in harmony with the family of wasps. They loved to crawl around on the bathtub walls while I showered. They never attacked me, but they were leery of strangers.
23. I accidently shot my younger brother in the back with a BB gun when I was 12. Luckily, I was so far away from him that the BB just got stuck in his skin and didn’t go in to his spine. We never told our parents.
24. I found my first dog, Sarah, while riding on my paper route. I’d always catch her and then return her to her owners. Finally they just let me keep her. She used to ride in the bags that I carried my papers in.
25. For a short while in 2004, I had the most friends on *ahem* Friendster. A news article, “The case against The Facebook,” questioned whether I really could have 288 friends. (http://www.chicagomaroon.com/2005/1/13/log-off-the-case-against-the-facebook) Oddly enough: Two years after that article, I was quoted in the New York Times. It was about Facebook :) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/technology/06facebook.html
Bonus: I am blessed with such an amazing group of friends, family members and former co-workers from all over the world. I love all of you and thank you for being a part of my life.
Today I got over 200 responses to my enquiry through Help a Reporter Out. Thanks to HARO, I’ve seen unique blogs from every industry imaginable. Simple, heart-felt blogs by self-employed contractors. Eclectic team blogs written by distinct personalities at big corporations. My heart wants to explode with joy seeing so many people using these tools to spread their messages globally in ways previously reserved to big-budgeted companies or the mass media. All of you are flowers, sadly I can only choose a few. Thank you!
I tried to attend the Girls in Tech event last night to share with socialTNT, but alas, it’s girls only. To no avail, I even promised to dress like a woman. Good thing Marie took the trusty Flip cam and got a couple of great interviews. Look for them to be posted on STNT soon.
Until then, content yourself with this post from fellow SHIFTer, Jany Xu, discussing the various panel topics.
Photo above, from Jany Xu