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Happy holidays, Dear Readers!

The lovely Samantha Dunway Bryant asked me to share five secrets about myself in a blog post. Some of these will be more secret than others, but here goes….

1) In honour of the holiday season, let’s start here. I hate Christmas parties. I’m talking about those boring, awkward affairs where you’re expected to play silly games with co-workers you haven’t talked to all year. Or make small talk, trying to avoid the subject of work, even though that’s the only thing you have in common. One of the best things about working for myself is I’m not obligated to go to a dreadful holiday party any more. Bah humbug! (There have been some I’ve enjoyed, but they were few and far between.)

2) I used to be a dog person. True story. I talk about my three cats on this blog, but my first pet was a Shetland Sheepdog named Casey. I thought cats were cute, but I didn’t have much use for them. We had an outdoor cat when I was growing up, and the only time I saw him was when he was hungry. The first guy I lived with loved cats, so I adopted a kitten to surprise him. And then I adopted another one…I was not prepared for the intense bond that would develop between me and my first cat, Dusty. I still love dogs, but cats are much more my speed. I can’t imagine not having a cat in my life now.

3) I don’t have cable or a cell phone. By choice. When I was a kid, the television was always on, and you weren’t allowed to say a word that would outshine the Almighty TV. Even commercials were worthy of rapt attention in my house. So I pretty much hate TV. I’ll watch the odd season of this or that on DVD or Netflix (the original 90210 and American Horror Story are my favourites) but I mostly avoid it because I don’t want to get sucked in. I have too much I want to accomplish!

As for cell phones, smart or otherwise, I just hate how they’ve taken over our lives. I don’t think they’ve improved communication at all, and although they’re handy in emergencies, I would rather talk to the person I’m with than look things up on Google. When I’m away from the computer, I want a break from social media. (This won’t be a secret to my friends, so to them I’ll say–sometimes I consider getting a smart phone. Gasp! It would be handy when I travel.)

4) I wanted to be a forensic psychologist. I always wanted to be a novelist, don’t get me wrong, but I thought forensic psychology would be a great day job. I’ve always been fascinated by the dark side of human nature, and I’m driven to understand what makes people tick. This interest definitely informs my books. Unfortunately, I was young and easily influenced, and I let an English teacher/mentor talk me out of pursuing psychology as a career. He thought it would be too hard on me. I ended up being a journalist instead. (Yep, never see anything disturbing or upsetting in that career.)

5) If I could have any talent in the world, I’d be a musician. I love music, and people who can play an instrument impress the hell out of me. When I go to the symphony, I never take my eyes off the musicians. I’d love to be able to play the piano, guitar, violin, or the drums. I had serious plans to take guitar lessons in 2015, but have no idea where I’d fit it in.

Hope you found this interesting! Tomorrow I’m going to be talking about how to set goals for 2015…and actually keep them.

I tag Stephanie Faris and Steven Symes to share their five secrets. I’m sure they both have some interesting skeletons in their closets.

What’s your secret? Please share in the comments. How do you feel about the office Christmas party? Does everyone love it but me?

Thanks for reading!
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  1. Stephanie Faris

    I love #3. That’s awesome! I wish I could toss the TV out. I’m still addicted. I actually am not comfortable unless the TV’s on in the background, even when I’m writing. I feel restless.

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      Thanks, Stephanie! I’m looking forward to reading about your secrets.

      I can’t have the TV on in the background. It would drive me mad. I need silence to write.

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      I can relate, Karen! Makes you want to gather them all up and throw them in a BFI bin, doesn’t it? (The TVs, not your in-laws.)

  2. Samantha Dunaway Bryant

    I don’t have cable either . . .though I do have my cell phone. I spend a fair amount of time sitting in my car waiting for one of my children and that’s when I do all my social media 🙂

    I enjoyed learning your “secrets.”

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      Thanks for tagging me, Samantha. I’m definitely an anomaly.

  3. Lisa

    I used to hate the office Christmas party but I work with some pretty cool people now so I really don’t mind it. Gives us a chance to really talk.
    I wanted to be an archeologist when I was younger. And recently I’ve thought it would be really cool to be a forensic archeologist…Kind of the same idea that you have – wanting to know what makes/made people tick.
    I would also LOVE to brush up on my piano…but that would mean owning a piano/keyboard. I took lessons as a kid and I really miss playing.

    • J.H. Moncrieff

      Thanks for commenting, Lisa! That was the weird thing about the office party–I used to work with amazing people who were so interesting, but put us in a forced social situation and…meh. I could never understand it.

      Archaeology would be amazing too! We could work together.

  4. Steven

    I have always had a fascination with music, and almost learned to play the drums. The guy who was going to teach me moved and my parents didn’t want me to sign up anywhere else for reasons I still don’t understand. I’ve thought about just taking it up anyway, so you never know…


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