And now for something completely ME

Hello all, and glad to meet'cha.

My alias is ShadowlandsWriter and I work as a mercury and trace metals analyst for an environmental testing firm. (Sounds impressive, but it's pretty much cookbook chemistry...add a couple milliliters of this, a couple of that, bake in an autoclave for an hour, & pop it in the analysis instrument, and PRESTO...instant results) Anyway, the job leaves me lots of free time to putter and day only takes half a mind, if that (don't tell my boss that though!).

All my educational training was geared towards ecology (I wanted to work in a zoo SOOOOOOOO badly when I was growing up), but by a very wierd and complicated twist of fate, I ended up in Chemistry instead. I never liked the subject much when I was growing up, and always vowed I'd "never use the bloody stuff again." My father, who is a metalurgical engineer and chemist rolled into one, still thinks this is a great joke.

Anyhooo...I'm a big fan of Monty Python in all his creative manifestations, H2G2, Peanuts, Muppets, and anything that gets me outside a set of walls and doesn't involve a serious risk of killing myself (ie., no class 5 rapids in a leaky rowboat or rock climbing with one hand tied behind my back and banana skins tied to my shoes). I do enjoy a good hike through the Smoky Mountains or Zion National Park though, and love camping and paddling. I prefer being outdoors to being indoors by a wide margin...I'm not claustrophobic, but square walls irritate me like chigger bites and there's only so much time I can stand being cooped up in them.

I'm a cat person (notice I did NOT say owner!), and for those of you who keep company with a feline or two, you'll know what that means. Arwen comes with me on most of my adventures, though she draws the line at water sports or anything involving climbing things not covered in claw-fiendly substrates. Cats may always land on thier feet, but there's no sense in getting them wet or tempting fate, in her opinion. After all, what's wrong with a good after-lunch snooze in the sun? She and I both enjoy bird watching together, although I admit her interest is purely predatory.

Scribbling is also a hobby of mine, but I try to keep it to myself and the same is true for my attempts at watercolor, acryllic painting, and sketching. I keep a sort of mish-mash journal with everything from grocery and to-do lists to collages, poems, bits of story ideas, lots of stream-of-consciouness monologues about what I'm thinking. If anything ever comes of it, then it does, but I'm not pushing it. I write and paint for myself, and I enjoy it, and that's what counts to me. I'd hate for it to become WORK...and my spelling has never been that great either.

I'm a voracious reader too...I'll dip into any book you can give me...geography primers, biographies, science fiction, poetry, history, magazines, you name it. I'll read anything once, and more if it's good writing or of interest. I'm one of those annoying kids who actually LIKED going to school (not the test bits or the stupid mimeographed worksheets we always had to do, but the rest was OK). My favorites tend to be historically-based novels, poetry, and science fiction though.

I'm not horribly musical. I thouroughly enjoy all kinds of music, but can't carry a tune in a bucket or play anything worth mentioning. (I did make a series of rather pathetic attempts to learn to play the flute, saxaphone, guitar, and clarinet in my younger days, but wisely dropped them when my family moved the practice room out to the toolshed.) My favorite styles are (currently) midieval plainsong, celtic, 80's metal, industrial, and flute & violin classical pieces. I love dancing too, and am considerably better at this, though still nowhere near Ginger Rogers caliber ( DOES she manage all that in heels?!?!?).

I enjoy the company of others ocassionaly, but have pretty much always been a loner. I like to "wave my wild, lone tail where I will." I've never really been into the Party scence, but a nice dinner and conversation among friends is right up my alley.. . especially if someone else does the dishes.

So by now you should have a pretty good idea of the person behind the pseudonym! Drop me a line if you [email protected] I always enjoy meeting new people!

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Welcome ShadowlandsWriter Mar 15, 2005


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