Thanks to everyone who participated in my Blogaversary Contest, by asking me questions.
The first two questions I’ll be answering come from Marcia and Tricia. Both have previously won something from me and withdrew their names from the contest.
Marcia Hoehne asked: “Um -- are you willing to tell us what your birth-certificate name is?”
Um – no. But I will tell you my initials which I use for signing things like checks. Ready? They are, M. E. When I’ve gotten a book published and I’m famous you will no doubt be able to go to Wikipedia and discover what they stand for, a name I’ve NEVER used. There were only two people in my entire life who called me by “that” name. And, as I like to say, “They are both dead.” You can take that to mean whatever you like....
Tricia at Talespinning asked: “Did you ever have a memorable encounter with some creature of the sea?”
Aside from all the fish stories of the ones that didn’t get away, here are two.
When I was seven or eight my sister and I were snorkeling and she found a baby octopus. With tentacles fully stretched out it couldn’t have been any more than 3 inches across. Erva scooped it up with the end of her snorkel so she could show it to me, Mom and Dad. The four of us watched it slither down the end of the snorkel and crawl onto Erva’s hand. It was so tiny it barely covered the top of her left hand below her thumb. Now she was only eleven or twelve so her hands weren’t all that big. As we were admiring this lovely little creature it reared up its tiny head and whap! it bit Erva right there in the fleshy part of her hand between thumb and first finger. Of course her reaction was to shake it off, returned to the sea hopefully live out its short and happy life. (Octopuses don’t live much more than three or four years.) It was a painful bite that left a hard lump which eventually went away. Many years later we learned all octopuses are venomous, though apparently only the blue-ringed octopus of Australia is deadly to humans. (Erva has been bitten or stung by just about every creature in the islands that can bite or sting.)
I once hung onto the back of a small sea turtle (its carapace was only foot or so in width) and got taken for a ride. It surprised me how strong it was. I soon had to let go as it was taking me down, down, down into the deep where I could not go.
More questions and answers tomorrow.