Ten things about me

  1. I survived a hemorrhagic stroke almost five years ago. It affected my right side, and I do nearly everything with my left hand. Thus the name of this blog.
  2. I’ve been married to my best friend and the love of my life, Mary, for 34 years. Marrying her was the best thing that ever happened to me.
  3. We have no kids, but a clowder of cats. How many, I won’t say.
  4. I’ve been working for my brother for several years after having worked in Information Technology since the days when it was called Data Processing and everything was punched on eighty-column cards. In fact, one of my first jobs was for a company that produced eighty-column cards.
  5. I’ve been writing on and off for most of the last forty years. More “off” than “on.” Most of my writing was for the Ghostletters mailing list. In fact, I was the listowner for Ghostletters for a number of years. It still managed to survive, so I must have done something right.
  6. I’m a member of a writers’ group. Most of the rest of the group meets in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I join them through the magic of the Internet. As I like to tell Mary, that Internet thingy is going to catch on one of these days.
  7. I am a baseball fan. Despite the fact that I was born and raised on the North Side of Chicago and in the northern suburbs, I’m a White Sox fan. I’ve also been a fan of the Atlanta Braves, my current hometown team, since I moved here in 1987.
  8. Some of my favorite writers are Robert Crais, Jonathan Kellerman, Janet Evanovich, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, Sheldon Siegel (who’s overdue for a new book), Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Christopher Reich, Tim Dorsey, Morris L. West, Arthur Hailey, J. A. Konrath, Mark Billingham, and Stieg Larsson, to name a few. You can probably tell that my reading tends toward thrillers and mysteries.
  9. Although I read thrillers and mysteries, I haven’t gotten the hang of writing them. That probably puts everything I’ve written so far into the “literary fiction” category, if in fact a category can be assigned to what I write. (Actually, “crap” would probably be the best description of the category. But, one must write a lot of crap. At least that’s what I’ve heard.) I’ve been focused mostly on writing short stories (even though, as one friend has told me, there’s no market for them). As NaNoWriMo has taught me, I’m great with beginnings and endings, but I really suck at filling up the middle. At least with a short story there’s not too much middle.
  10. I probably watch too much TV and read too little at home. I can explain: remember that clowder of cats that I was talking about a while ago? They see me open a book or my Kindle and take it as a sign that I want to give them attention. (Interestingly, they take Mary opening a book or her Kindle as a sign that they had better leave her alone. Go figure.) I primarily watch the dramas on TNT, USA and CBS, and, naturally, “The Big Bang Theory”, which I’ve been watching in reruns on TBS and Peachtree TV, who have played them so often that I’m learning the dialogue by heart. (“Bazinga!”)

There’s plenty of time for further exposition, but that should get you started.

45 thoughts on “Ten things about me”

  1. Hi John, I thought I’d stop by to thank you for following my blog. This list is impressive. I am sorry to hear about your stroke. I can’t imagine what that must have been like–but to keep on keeping on the way you are is amazing.

    I am a Red Sox fan. Except for this year. They’re such a disappointment. But as a born and bred New Englander, being a Red Sox fan is branded on me. So, I’ll just shut my eyes and pray for a better season next year.

    Sounds like you have a full, busy, happy life. πŸ™‚ Must be because of all those cats. πŸ˜‰

    Keep writing.

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  2. hello John! My dad had a stroke a few years ago that left his left side weak, so I can understand your limitations. It’s great that you are writing! I’m popping in from the A-Z challenge, and you are the first male whose blog I’ve commented on. I like your humor and honesty. And you don’t have dragons or gaming images everywhere. πŸ™‚ Hope you are enjoying the A-Z. Visit me, if you’d like: from The Dugout

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  3. Glad to meet you, John, via Linda http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/wordpresss-own-welcoming-committee-harsh-reality/ . Baseball? You bet! Dbacks fan here sine moving to AZ 10 years ago. I grew up on football back east but my sons play and now I love the game. I just watched my oldest pitch/close his first college game this past Sunday. Win πŸ™‚ Oh, my cat’s name is Leon. He found us one Christmas and my daughter named him Noel, assuming he was a girl. When she realized her error, the little wordsmith spelled Noel backwards to get Leon. She’s a journalist now πŸ™‚ Until we meet again…

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    1. The D-Backs had a bad year this year. For the Braves, it just started after the All-Star Break. There are plenty of folks that would send Justin Upton back (and throw in his brother) if we could get Martin Prado back. He is sorely missed here in Atlanta.

      You could have left Leon’s name the same, a la Noel Harrison… πŸ˜‰

      Nice to meet you, and thanks for stopping by. I’ll add you to my RSS feed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This was one sorry year for the Dbacks. Sorry! The Upton boys? That was a pretty ugly parting. A shame, really, but Justin just quit here. If my son ever acted like that, he would have me to deal with πŸ˜‰ And Prado was a great guy, did well for us, and I’m still not clear about why he’s with the Yankees. Like I said, it’s been a sorry sorry season.

        Thanks for stopping by, John, and I hope you will again. It’s been fun!

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        1. Prado is a really valuable guy. He can play anywhere in the infield or outfield (and an excellent fielder regardless of where you put him), hits for average, has some power, and knows how to play baseball. The Uptons, not so much. BJ in particular has terrible discipline at the plate and plays like he has an attitude problem.

          Don’t worry, I’ll be around…

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          1. You are right on, John. I was a big fan of Justin and his talent when he first came up. He was having fun and wanted to make in impression. Well, that didn’t last very long. I still enjoyed watching his talent which really is phenomenal, but his attitude shifted from frustrated with himself when he didn’t perform to disgusted with everyone around him, including me, his fan. Then he got plain old mean. He figured if he made himself a pain to be around then he would be shipped off. And he was. I remember feeling badly for Braves fan. I knew we got the better deal, by far.

            Who will you be rooting for come October? Angels are looking good. I would really like to see Bob Melvin’s A’s get the wild card.

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  4. I’m sorry to say that I hadn’t really thought much about the name of your blog–for someone who likes to write, I’m not very observant! Then something in one of your comments made me wonder what that meant, so I finally read your “About” page. My sports allegiances tend to result from family geography, so I’m a Red Sox fan and a Braves fan. Despite yet another academic scandal, I still love the Carolina Heels, when it comes to college sports. (Unless the Heels make it to the Final Four, you’re unlikely to hear much about my sports on my blog.)

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    1. I miss stuff like that all the time. I’ll be reading a blog and have to read back several posts to find out what they’re talking about.

      I used to travel to Cary for work a lot, so I have driven into Chapel Hill a couple of times, but never on purpose. Interesting how so many of the big North Carolina universities (UNC, NC State, Duke, and Wake Forest) are so close to each other. When I moved to Atlanta 27 years ago (today, as it turns out), it surprised me how popular college sports (especially football) were. All the colleges in Chicago had sports teams (primarily basketball), but they weren’t as big a draw as professional ones.

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  5. Hi John πŸ˜€ I was searching for an image of a 45 record as i’m about to turn 45 in a couple of days & thought of using it as my profile pic for the day & the 1st image I clicked on had the name of your site underneath. This actually made me smile & I clicked it to see your site, not just the record. The reason I smiled is because I too type with one hand but reading your story was almost reading my own. I had a stroke almost 6yrs ago, I lost my right side & even though it improved a little, I will never have full use & my hand & foot as thay are the worst affected. I am a crazy cat lady who loves big bang, my favourite show, I even have Sheldon as my cover pic, he is so like my brother. My partner is a wonderful man who quit his job to become my carer & is with me 24/7 as my brain has been operated on twice, last time was 5mths ago. Anyway I’m just sharing what googling for a 45 record image can end up finding & hope you smile too.

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    1. Hi Stacey, thanks for stopping by! I’m lucky I haven’t had any brain surgery, although I have an uncle who’s a neurosurgeon (I asked him once if it was as difficult as they say, and he told me “it’s not rocket science”). My stroke was eight years ago this coming February; I was trying to get something done for work late one Sunday night, felt a “pop” in the back of my head, and woke up three days late.

      Happy birthday (my brother’s is tomorrow), thanks again for stopping by, and don’t be a stranger.

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      1. Thankyou John, my birthday was great. I didn’t know till my stroke that there are two drs who are needed for the brain, neurologist who works out what’s wrong & the neurosurgeon who does the cutting, too much to learn for one human so I really bow my head to them, please pat you uncle on the back for me for choosing that skill to master, not just saving lives, but to save our memories, emotions, basically save who we are, losing my ability is nothing compared to losing memories. That would be so much worse. Enjoy Christmas & have laughter & joy with loved family & friends πŸ˜€

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    1. I added you to Feedly as well.

      I actually came back pretty well from my stroke, but my right leg is slow and I have very little use of my right hand. So I’m on a cane when I walk outside (inside I’m pretty much okay), type with one hand, don’t write with a pen anymore, and get assistance from my wife when I need to tie my shoes (she was the one who insisted I get shoes with laces instead of Velcro, she can help πŸ˜€ ). It’s a pain, but given the alternative, I’d say I was doing pretty well.

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  6. Nice to meet you, John. πŸ™‚ We have a few things in common. I’m married to my best friend too, going on 42 years now, and we are also childfree, but surrounded by a pack of dogs. Like you, I’m a writer from way back, but more off (over 30 years) than on (since I started a blog). Thanks for dropping by my Den.

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  7. Found your blog and have been enjoying the AtoZ posts, although not participating myself this year. Maybe next. It looks like fun, but a lot of work.
    πŸ™‚
    Love the name of your blog here and enjoyed reading your 10 Things.
    Following your blog now and will see what the rest of April’s letters produce from you here.

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  8. Hello John: Didn’t we meet once before? Well, I am now following all your social networks and I noticed I was already following a few. Do you remember a movie called “Since you went away” with Claudette Cloburr (dang, can’t spell it), and Shirley Temple played the youngest daughter and Agnes Moorehead was the big mouthed friend.. and many more great actors & actresses… well do you happen to remember the soldier boy’s grandfather who rented a room in their house? Can’t remember his name either, but boy do you look like him! For a minute there I thought you were him. Sorry to hear about your stroke, but I sure do admire you that you run a blog and still write your books. You go big daddy!!! Oh wow, haven’t type that word since my own father died in 1980. Sure do miss him. Oh, and love hearing you have such a wonder marriage & so much love. Congrats & it sure does warm my heart. I would love to be friends with you if you’ll have me. Please stop by and you can read about me too and decide if you like. I’m disabled too & I stay home all day long alone except for “Baby” my black lab. I have Spinal Stenosis and I don’t walk much 😦 . Hope your reply is favorable, and that you had a wonderful holiday weekend. HUGS (Oh yes, love hugs.. guess I could be the original hug monster hehehe) Marie aka XmasDolly

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    1. I think you’re thinking of Monty Woolley, one of my favorite old actors. Ever see “The Man Who Came To Dinner” with Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Jimmy Durante and a whole slew of other old actors and actresses? He was outstanding in that, as well as “The Bishop’s Wife” with David Niven, Cary Grant, and Loretta Young. You see both of those movies around Christmas.

      Our paths probably have crossed, though I’m not sure where. No matter, I’m glad to know you. Thanks for finding me!

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  9. LOL I have never seen this! I am glad you survived your stroke. You are very helpful and smart on this internet thingy….Please tell Mary I said that too because I still call it that….Thank you for letting us know more about you. Always a fan, Annette

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