1) Science fiction/fantasy/horror ~ my favorite genres in movies, TV, art and literature
2) Mythology and legends and folklore ~ Oh my! (Sorry! I couldn't resist. It's all a part of my TWOO Theory.) I especially love Greek and Roman mythology, with an emphasis on the former. I took a course in mythology in my final year of college, and the professor was so happy that she had someone who was as absorbed by the subject matter as she was; I told her that I would be so happy to teach it someday. Of course, that didn't happen. She loved my pet project: creating family trees, especially one that showed how often Zeus showed up to continue family lines. Surprisingly, names of actual people are included!
3) Writing: fiction, non-fiction/research, poetry, roleplaying, Alter Egoing (rather like RPing through letters though much more complex), penpalling // When my parents taught me to read, they also taught me how to print. I immediately started writing stories and poetry! Unfortunately, most of these early efforts were lost when we moved when I was 10 years old (middle of fifth grade). I used to make cards for all occasions, including ones with paper springs so that figures would pop up when the card was opened. A few of those survived. Mom showed me one that really impressed her because it had a rather good poem that included the word "chauffeur", which was the only word not spelled perfectly~not bad for a 10-year-old. *giggle*
4) Sketching: My drawings and illustrations have been published in many fanzines, including fan novels. They have been featured on front and back covers, from here in the States to New Zealand. The only instruction I received was from my father; he would point at an object and say, "Draw EXACTLY what you see." He especially encouraged me to use what I learned is called negative space, basically not drawing the object but the space around it. He had a natural talent for drawing and photography, and he encouraged me and my younger sister though she did not have as much interest in these things. When I took art in high school, the teacher told me that she couldn't teach me anything, and she would have me sit at a table in the back of the class and do my own projects. In my senior year, I was joined by a boy with exceptional artistic talent. We had so much fun experimenting with media and styles.
5) Reading: I enjoy a wide variety of literature but am drawn most often to science fiction, fantasy and horror. I read fiction, non-fiction and poetry. I love to do research, whether through books or on the Internet, which has helped keep my skills sharpened. Among my favorite authors and poets are Ray Bradbury (a fellow Illinoisan), Thomas Burnett Swann, H.P. Lovecraft and other Mythos writers, Zenna Henderson, Robert Heinlein, Taylor Caldwell, Mary Renault, Edgar Allan Poe, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Graham Masterton (early works), Eric Temple Bell, Anne McCaffrey, Frank Yerby, and Piers Anthony. I'm sure that I've left far too many favorites off the list.
My parents taught me how to read when I was 4 years old by using a Little Golden Book titled "Then and Now", which was about dinosaurs and reptiles. Ever since, I've been crazy about dinosaurs. My first ambition in life (at 4) was to become a paleontologist (yes, I knew the word) and go to the Gobi Desert to work with Roy Chapman Andrews, who became my first hero; I didn't understand then that he wouldn't be there, and my parents did not disillusion me. Imagine my astonishment to learn that Indiana Jones' creation was mainly based on RCA! BTW: In the early Fifties, little girls didn't usually have such unusual career goals. My parents were wonderful about encouraging their daughters not to limit dreams and ambitions.
6) Reenactment events: I am a 15-year veteran of Renaissance and medieval faires and fur trade era Rendezvous and encampments. I attend in garb (costumes), most of which I've hand-sewn. Through my involvement in these events and because I couldn't afford many items, I learned to do beadwork of various types, including glass-bead belts that brought me a great deal of attention; wreath-making with silk flowers instead of dried ones; parasol decoration; all sorts of jewelry; pouches and satchels (especially for carrying my bowed psaltery); and many other crafty things.
7) Music: I love many types/styles, especially everything from the Sixties, folk songs/traditional, ethnic, Heavy Metal/hard rock (mainly up to the early '90s), classical, some opera, Big Band, and old-style bluegrass. I DO NOT like C&W with extremely few exceptions, rap, hiphop, and most contemporary performers (I won't call them singers). Yes, I'm very opinionated about music and practically everything else.
8) Music, too: I play the bowed psaltery, a somewhat rare instrument descended from the biblical instrument played by David to accompany his Psalms. I not only had to teach myself but also had to relearn to read music because I'd forgotten how to do that. At one time, I had a repertoire of 500 songs, but flareups of illnesses reduced my ability to play for a very long time. When I tried recently, I found that I still recalled many songs, so there's hope for me yet! I've had two "gigs" and have offers for more when I get well enough to do so. You see, harpists tend to ask for too much money, while psaltery players are just so grateful to get to play that we'd practically pay THEM! *giggle*
Prior to the psaltery, from the time I was about 8 to age 23, I played the organ, first one of those little ones one could buy at G.C. Murphy's then a Magnus chord organ and finally a Hammond double-keyboard organ, one of those with lots of pedals. I was considered an exceptional musician. Sadly, having to work in a factory to save money to go back to college, I ended up with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands/wrists. If I played even an hour or so, the pain was crippling for hours afterward. So, I had to sell my beloved Hammond and was unable to find another instrument I could play without pain. Then, I started going to Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin, Unicorn Strings had a shop of instruments such as the hammered dulcimer and the bowed psaltery. Bless them! The psaltery gave music back to me! The sound of this instrument seems to enchant people; it has many "voices", varying with the time of year and the weather. One little girl likened it to "a glass piano". If I can hum/sing a song or hear it in my mind, I can play it on the bowed psaltery. Sadly, my younger sister died several years ago, and I've been so disheartened that my psaltery has been set aside, along with many of my interests. Perhaps this site will revive me.
9) Conventions: Starting in the early Eighties, I began attending SF/genre cons, beginning with the first Space Trek in St. Louis, Missouri, a Trek-oriented event held for four years. Until health problems interfered to a very serious degree in the mid-Nineties, I would attend several conventions each year, where I met so many wonderful actors, actresses, writers, artists and others, people from "Star Trek" (a number of the original cast members), "Doctor Who" (Tom Baker = favorite Doctor), "Robin of Sherwood" (Michael Praed!), "Beauty and the Beast" (Ron Perlman!), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and more. Of course, it's great to meet fellow fans. I miss conventions so much that I'm determined to track down one close enough that even I, puny person that I've become, can go. Oh, to go wallcrawling again, to join in filksinging, to visit in looooooong autograph lines, to sit in lobbies and chat! *sigh**bliss*
Last but certainly not least...
10) Films/movies: I'm a third-generation film buff taught by my father who was taught by his mother who died before I was born. In my 60-plus years, I have viewed innumerable movies, new and old, loving the majority. How many have I seen? I've considered starting a list, but the length would be mindboggling. I love solving movie mysteries at various Q&A sites, which means dredging through my memories for answers. I also enjoy trivia and am addicted to collecting movie quotations. At HubPages, I have two movie/TV-oriented sites: "Rhyme Time ~ Poetry & Lyrics from Film & Television" and "A Quantity of Quotes from Film & Television".
At Yahoo!Answers Movies, I am No. 1 answerer in the United States, having twice the number of Best Answers as the person in second place. I also am one of the top answerers at "Name That Movie" and frequently contribute in the movie/TV section of Whirlpool, Ask Me Help Desk, IMDb's I Need to Know, and several other sites. To my surprise, I've been contacted by several celebrities in connection with my answers and contributions to IMDb's forums. One person confessed that he "Googled" me because he was curious about this MystMoonstruck he kept seeing and hearing about. Gosh! I've been Googled?!
I doubt that anyone will want to read all of this, but I did enjoy babbling on, which I have a tendency to do much of the time.