Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Holidays!

We spent a wonderful Christmas day with my parents, and a few other family members. Good food, good conversation, and I am looking forward to 2014 to bring  wonderful new opportunities and challenges.  Please enjoy our holiday home. These photographs were taken by my husband. I believe they capture some of the magic of the season for us. I particularly love the ones where the lights and fire shine through.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Decorating Disaster and Hope

Ahhhhh, Christmas.  So many beautiful decorations, uplifting music, a great message of hope for the future. If you look at the picture above you'd never know that fully decorated tree actually fell over about 2am two days after it was completed. Ever tried yelling up the stairs to a completely asleep man for help?  I now know he can't hear a thing. If I ever get hurt and he's already in bed I'm on my own. I'm definitely keeping the cell phone with me at all times.

I'm not sure if the Christmas tree debacle was a little reminder that nothing is easy, or if it is simply that my husband and I forgot how to center a tree in the stand. After all, it's been three years since we've brought out the holiday decorations. We hauled the tree into the house, somewhat in a hurry so as not to drop more needles than necessary. Placed it into the stand, screwed in all the screws that go into the trunk and made sure it was perfectly balanced.  Then, of course, we filled the bucket with water and waited until the next day to begin decorating.

We have a LOT of ornaments. Between things the boys made when they were little, things my sisters, brothers, and friends have made us, and all the things we've collected in traveling, we have enough ornaments to bedazzle four trees. We are never capable of deciding that some of them will not go on the tree. Each one reminds us of a time, a place, a person, an event.

After three days of decorating it was done. Jim vacuumed the needles from the carpet and we relaxed, snuggled, and marveled at the beautiful lights, the fireplace, and all the holiday touches we'd added around the house. It was perfect...until two days later when it crashed.

Fortunately, nothing broke (comes from having primarily wooden or knitted/crocheted ornaments).  I reached into the stand, my hand soaked with piny water and needles far past my wrist and stretched my fingers to find if the base of the tree was centered on the metal cleats in the base of the stand. To my surprise there was a full two inches of water and air between the bottom of the stand and the base of the tree.  The entire tree was being supported by the four screws. Yikes!

Now what? Undecorate the entire tree? Siphon out the water and start over? Neither of us could bear to even think of it. But there was no way to make sure the tree was stuck on those little metal pins in the bottom now.  It's not easy to pick up a fully decorated tree and slam it through water onto the metal cleats with any accuracy or force. This is where being a fiction writer really helps. I'm always putting my characters into corners that are impossible and having to figure how to get them out. I had to develop a plan, one that wouldn't require removing all the decorations and starting over.

We carefully unscrewed the supports and lifted the fully decorated tree out of the bucket and onto towels. I found a sturdy class bowl the width of the tree trunk and turned it upside down in the bottom of the bucket to provide a flat and even surface. It displaced only a small amount of water. Then we carefully lifted the tree back into the bucket making sure it was flat to the bowl and could still get water. We tightened those screws again. Steady and firm, it stood with the lights and decorations intact.

Writing a story often follows a similar path. I dress my characters, but them in beautiful venues, have a great idea for how they will take a journey to find themselves, find love, and maybe even save a world or two. I'm an idea person. I start with an idea I think is interesting and go searching for characters and story.  I think of the idea as the foundation of the story, but in the beginning it is often set in quicksand or floating in a watery bucket with promise but little substance. I then work hard to find the characters, the places, the themes that tie it all together. I struggle to choose which decorations to include and which to leave out, often changing my mind in each revision as I pare it down to the essence of the story.

When I think I'm completely finished--have been through editing and revising at least five times--I send it to my editor and to my beta readers. They ALWAYS come back with questions and ideas and usually confusion about something.  Unlike the immediate need of the fallen tree, I have time to think about how to resolve the problem. In fact, it takes me a few days to recover from the fact my book isn't perfect just the way it is.  Then I have to go through that process of deciding how to make the foundation stronger and yet keep the most important decorations or themes. Usually I can save both with some cuts, some new pages, and some additional guide wires. I haven't had to try the inverted bowl trick yet, but now I have it in my bag of tricks for the future. Finally, the story is firm and the foundation is solid. Then I send it out to the world in hopes it is accessible to most readers.

Have you ever had a decoration disaster? How did you recover?

I hope that the remembrances you are celebrating at this time of year, provide a great foundation for the present and bring you hope for the future.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Power of Thanksgiving

Did you know that the first official declaration of Thanksgiving day as a national holiday was done by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War? It must have been hard for families to conceive of a day of thanks when so much tragedy was ranging around them.  Later, Franklin Roosevelt tried to move the holiday up a week--primarily to allow more time for holiday shopping. However, a number of states ignored him.  Then during WWII, only a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress finalized the date as the fourth Thursday in November.  Interesting again that a day of Thanks was finalized in the midst of war.

Thanksgiving has power.  Even during war, economic downturns, and personal tragedy people seem to always find a way to give thanks. It is easy to give thanks during times of prosperity. But I think the power of thanksgiving is to be able to give thanks in times of difficulty.  It is then that giving thanks shows hope and belief that better times will come and that we understand what is truly important in our lives.

As a child, our Thanksgiving day tradition was to converge at grandma's house. Each family brought food to share. Of course there were specialties. My Aunt Donna was the pie maker. My Aunt Vickie was the green bean casserole maker. My grandmother spent the week before baking bread. My family usually brought the turkey. Others brought sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a variety of snacks. I come from a large family (9 children) and in addition to my 11 cousins, both my grandmother and an aunt also took in foster children. Add to that the additional friends or other stragglers kids would bring and it was quite the crowd and more food than all of us could consume in a single day.

Before the meal was served we each had to say what we were thankful for that year. Each person had a turn, including the smallest of children who could understand and speak. Sometimes there were 50+ of us present so it took awhile. Once every person had given thanks a blessing for the food was given. Blessing the food was another tradition that also passed from adults to teens.

I still think of that tradition every year as Thanksgiving approaches and I am grateful to have it as my tradition. I still use this time of year to reflect on the many blessings I've had in my life. I think about the  friends and family I've loved throughout my life and how much they have influenced who I am and what I do. I give thanks for those who have died and for those present. I give thanks for those, like my friend Michele, who have given an important part of their lives to helping others. She is in the Peace Corp in Africa. She lives in a one room hut and is never sure if the village will have water that day or not. That reminds me to give thanks for the water I take for granted.

Giving thanks at this time of year may seem a small thing to do, or to some a silly thing to do. However, I find it keeps me grounded for the rest of the year. As I enter into the world of holiday food, shopping, and events to attend, I often feel overwhelmed by the expectations for my time and attention. When that happens I return to my simple thanksgiving and it puts it all into perspective. I am truly fortunate to be surrounded by people I love, to do a job I love, and even to have the opportunity to share these words with you.

What are some of the traditions you value for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Finally Just One Me (kind of)

About three months ago I shut down my Maggie Faire blog and asked people to follow me here.  That was the beginning of a journey to combine all of my writer personas into one place.  I'm now doing that with my social media as well: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and with a new Website.  It is surprisingly not easy to do this when people know you as one particular author name. And I've only been publishing novels since 2011. I can't imagine how hard it must be for people who've been doing it for a decade or more.

Websites are the easiest. You create a new one and then point the other ones to the new one. It doesn't matter if someone goes to or or They now all end up at my combined site.  Of course websites are completely under your own control. Other than dealing with your Internet service provider, or the needs of the software you use to build the website, you don't have to ask anyone's permission to change everything.

Social media? Not so easy!

For those who may considering undertaking this let me share what I've learned so far.

Facebook - The good news is that FB allows you to have ONE page name change and an associated username to go with that.  Of course it comes with a couple of caveats: it has to still match "essentially" what you were doing before, and you have to request it through your SETTINGS on the page. It worked for me because my page was about my writing before and it is still about my writing. Before I made my request, I changed my profile to show all three names I write under, and asked for my FB username to be maggiewrites (fortunately it wasn't taken yet). FB support approved my request and made the change within 3 hours! I was suitably amazed.

FB also allows you to make a ONE time request to combine pages into one. Same caveats as the name change apply PLUS you must have less than 200 likes. If they approve it, they will automatically move your LIKES to the new page and inform all the people they move.  My request is still in for that (that can take up to 14 days).  I already put  post on my Maggie Faire site letting them know what I was doing and requesting people to move themselves.  But I know only a very few will do that.

The advice FB gives is to move from the page with the least likes to the one with the most. The downside is, once they do the merge, the page with the least is deleted along with photos, posts, and other things like that.  Again for me, not a big deal. Maggie Faire was still building and not yet at 100 so it is the obvious choice to delete. Maggie Jaimeson is well over 400 so that is the one I kept and changed to represent all three personas.

Twitter - Twitter does allow you to make a change to your account name. Again you can do it through settings. So, I went from Maggie Jaimeson to Maggie Author and changed my background picture and profile to talk about all my writing under different names.  Twitter DOES NOT have a way to combine accounts. Again, I'm not too worried. Maggie Faire was still building, so I've tweeted and posted and asked people to come over to the combined twitter account. I'll just close it down at the end of the month.

Goodreads - I really didn't think I could combine names at Goodreads because you claim your books by them being associated with the author name on the book, hence I had three accounts there too.  However, I contacted them and they did combine it for me.  I'm going to quote the exact wording so I don't get it wrong. "Since you write under three different pen names, it might help to note that when adding information for a book written by an author with multiple names, we'll have to enter the name as on the front cover as the primary author. This has caused your books to display two pen names."

I can live with that, as long as I remember. It also sets me up for when/if I decide to simply write everything under Maggie Lynch. That is when I have the status of Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling and people will follow me no matter what I write (smile). Of course when I achieve that status I can pay someone else to do all this technical stuff.

I'm already feeling lighter now that there is technologically only one me to worry about.The only social media outstanding for me is Pinterest. Pinterest does not have any functionality to merge accounts; but you can point to the pics in another account and take them into yours. That may be the best I can do for that one. It's lowest on my to-do list.

It's great to be represented as one me, instead of three different people. I can still write in different genres. I hope I haven't confused my readers. It will be wonderful not to have to worry about updating in nine different places. Whew!

Let me know what you think about all my new digs. I'm still futzing with the gallery on the website. It's not acting in quite the way I expect.  But I'll get there.  Feedback is always appreciated!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Let the Party Continue

I had an awesome time at the Jan's Paperbacks Kobo Reader party. Special thanks goes out to Jan's Paperbacks and Kobo Writing Life for hosting us and being such a blast to hang with.  With eighteen authors, 25 free book downloads, food and wine galore, extra giveaways, and readers by the hundreds how could I not have a good time?

I've already received a couple of "whines" from fans who don't live in the Portland area, or even in Oregon or the United States. Of course I care about you too!!! So, let's continue the party virtually and everyone can get in on meeting new authors and getting good books.

Here's the deal. The author's below have agreed to continue the party. That means the books listed are FREE when you download at Kobo Books. Don't have a Kobo e-reader? No problem. You can download the free Kobo app to your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone and read the books that way.  At the Kobo page scroll to the bottom and select which app you want for the device. Have a Kindle as your primary reader and you still want these books? No problem, download the Kindlegen app to do the conversion for you.

Here are the amazing books offered for free if you put in the PROMO CODE when you check out.

Jessa Slade
Erin Kellison, KC Klein
& Jessa Slade
Jamie Brazil
Meljean Brook
Darcy Burke

Darcy Burke

Maggie Faire
Caroline Fyffe

Bryan Gregory

Bryan Gregory
William Hertling
Paty Jager
Paty Jager
Maggie Jaimeson
C. Morgan Kennedy and Therese Patrick
Delilah Marvelle
Delilah Marvelle
Lucy Monroe
Elisabeth Naughton
Elisabeth Naughton
Jean Sheldon
Jean Sheldon

Jack Whitsel

Christina F. York
J. Steven York
J. Steven York

The download codes for these free Kobo books are good only until November 30th.  After then they will disappear, so get your books downloaded before then. Click on the linked title above and it will take you to the book's page. Then follow these instructions.

1.  Click the Buy Now button. (Don't worry you won't pay anything because you have the download code.)

2.  Sign in with your Kobo UserID and Password. If you don't have one, you will need to set up one.

3.  Once you are signed in and selected the book with the BUY NOW button, it will take you to the "Confirm  Your Purchase" page.

4.  Click on pinkish link for "Have a gift card or promo code?"  It is just below your address on the purchase screen.

5.  A field will pop up for you to enter the PROMO code: jansbooks

6.  Click the APPLY link.

7.  A box will pop up saying that you've covered your cost so they won't have to bill your credit card.

8.  Now you will see at the BUY NOW button that $0.00 will be charged. Click the BUY NOW button.

9.  Then you get the DOWNLOAD EPUB button.  Click it to download to your computer.


Download as many as you want. It's a party. Celebrate with reading!

Please feel free to share these links with your reader friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, heck -- everywhere! The more downloads, the merrier :) Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's the Time of Year for Giveaways and Signings

Fall is always my favorite time of year. In Oregon the weather becomes more crisp, and the sunny days mix with rain as we move toward Winter. The past two weeks have been gorgeous! The trees are adorned in reds and golds, and we are having a bit of early summer weather with highs in the mid 60's and lows in the 40's. Absolutely perfect as far as I'm concerned.

This is also the time of year that publishing companies release the most books. Perhaps they think people will stock up for the cold and rainy days to come. Or, it may be they release books in anticipation of the winter holidays.  There is definitely a lot of new book options over the next few months. Along with new books also come the most opportunities for reader giveaways, book signings, and plenty of chances to meet and greet at local bazaars, library events, and art walks.  My calendar is filling up, and more opportunities are presented daily. 

I LOVE getting to meet readers both online and face-to-face and find out which books are exciting them this year. I also love introducing my fans to other authors they may like which is why I tend to participate in group events instead of solo events. Even if you already have my books, I may know someone else with books you will like too. I am very fortunate to have a diversity of authors and genres in both fiction and non-fiction in my networks. I also love meeting aspiring authors and published authors, so we can share our knowledge.

Take a look at the schedule below, and take as many opportunities as you can fit to meet new authors, sign up for prizes, and let me know what books you have on your wishlist this year. I hope to see you at one or more of these.

Now through  November 30, 2013 Fall Extravaganza at Beyond Words Book Tours.
This is a virtual event with many entry opportunities, and targeted at romance readers. Over 55 book giveaways, a Kindle Fire HD giveaway, and numerous gift cards.  How can you possibly turn this down? Easy to enter and win. Be sure to check out all the wonderful authors!

October 30, 2013
Speed Date An Author - Ever wanted to just sit and chat with an author? Find out where all those ideas come from and learn how to bring your own stories to life. I'll be at the Hillsboro Main Library, along with other Pacific Northwest authors, answering your questions. Of course we will also have books available to buy in all genres. Hope to see you there.

Nov. 2, 2013
Huge Party at Jan's Paperbacks
I'll be joining 18 authors for a huge party. We will all be signing books and giving away free ebooks on Kobo from 6-9pm. And Kobo representatives will be giving away a free Kobo ereader. Here is a list of all the freebies. Be sure to stop by, say Hi, get some free downloads and put your free raffle ticket in for the drawings! How can you possibly pass up visiting with so many authors at once?

Feb. 1-2, 2014
Northwest Independent Author's Association Symposium in Forest Grove, Oregon
This event is for aspiring and published authors. The focus is on getting the skills authors need for success in the new publishing environment. The location is at the beautiful McMenamin’s Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Oregon. I'll be attending the symposium and giving a presentation on Channel Surfing: Indie Distribution Platforms Analyzed. Discounts apply for early registrations.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

City Girl in the Country

I visited with author Paty Jager on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  We are doing a presentation together at the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association annual trade show in October. Paty and her husband have a cattle ranch and also grow alfalfa. There is a three to four hour drive between us, and a world of difference in topography, culture, and daily life.  Paty often drives over the mountains to come to the Portland area for events, but this was my first time to go the other direction.

For those who don't know, I live in a townhouse on the west side of Portland in Hillsboro.  My complex has approximately 100 units in it that cover a single square block. I am surrounded by roads and bridges, constant noises of new buildings being constructed, and shopping of all kinds within a mile. It is about as suburban a lifestyle as one can imagine.  Paty lives on a great deal of acreage in eastern Oregon surrounded by grass and alfalfa, cows and horses, and three dogs. The road to her home is a dirt road and the nearest large shopping area is 10 miles away.

The work went well, of course.  Paty is an amazing author with lots of creativity and ideas. She is a great partner for this presentation.  We had loads of fun coming up with a PowerPoint that was visually interesting while providing important information.

I also had the opportunity to walk with her on her property as she fed animals, checked for newborn calves, and shared with me what her daily life on the ranch is like. The dogs followed us throughout our walk, herding us just like they would herd cattle. I'm sorry I didn't take pics of the dogs. The race about so fast that they were gone before I thought of it.

I was struck by the vistas from her ranch and the differences in our lives. My visit with her was at the same time relaxing and exhilarating. I consider myself quite educated, but there were all kinds of interesting things I didn't know about ranching. For example, certain breeds of cows have horns like those pictured here.  I thought only bulls had horns.  I also thought that all calves were born in or near the spring.  No, it is the rancher's choice as to win to put the bull in with the cows. (Duh! It seems obvious once you are told.) Paty and her husband choose to have calves born in the late summer and early fall because their schedule slows down. They aren't doing as much irrigating and the hay and alfalfa are already in, so they have the time to doctor calves, tag them, and watch them to make sure they are growing well.

Oh! And bulls are often shared between ranches to make sure there isn't inbreeding.  But they are careful which ranches they share the bulls with because cows can get sexually transmitted diseases just like people. So, one has to be careful and know the breeding history for the ranch where you are sharing your bull. Hmmm...I think there is a lesson in there somewhere. :)

I loved seeing the animals and walking with her to check on newborns.  Avoiding the cowpies as we walked the property was something that definitely took concentration. I loved learning about irrigating and how one small engine turns a very long line of pipe and wheels. I was surprised at the feeding schedule and how much hay one provided the horses twice a day. 

The combination of working dogs, cows, calves, horses, a burro, and the amazing vistas gave me a sense of why people choose this lifestyle.  It was a wonderful visit, but I knew it is a lifestyle that wouldn't work for me.  On the one hand it is rather romantic--the isolation, the hard work, the
scenario of being snowed in together or simply working side-by-side every day with someone you love. On the other hand, not being close (in distance) to all the things that are a part of my daily life--grocery store, church, medical facilities, a variety of parks and recreation, brewing supplies for my husband, and many other things that we've become accustomed to having within a mile or two would likely be missed.

As I was on the last walk with Paty before I returned home, she mentioned that their ranch is on the market. She and her husband have a second property, 150 miles away, where they grow alfalfa. They want to "retire" to the alfalfa ranch and slow down a little.  Evidently, that life would be less work than the cattle ranching.  She also said: "It's getting too crowded here."  All I could do was smile. Paty was born and raised in the countryside of eastern Oregon where farming, ranching, and true cowboys live. I was born and raised in the city (Los Angeles, California).  Though each of us like to visit the "other side" neither of us would ever be happy living there.

There were so many more pictures I could have taken, but didn't. There is something to be said for simply enjoying the moment and carrying it in your heart.  I know I will visit Paty again some time. Perhaps I'll visit when she moves even further away and is more isolated. I would like to know what that is like too. If you haven't already, you should definitely pick up some of Paty's books. They are distributed by all the major vendors and I have to admit I've loved every one of them.  Some are simple and others are complex.  All of them are love stories, and definitely worth your time. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Early Morning Rainbow

This morning I awoke at 6:30 to rain and a dark sky that I anticipated would be indicative of the entire day.  However, as I sat at the dining table and slowly read the paper while savoring my coffee, I noticed a little sunshine peeking in the kitchen to the east. I walked out onto my west-facing deck and saw this wonderful rainbow.  It only lasted 20 minutes, but I enjoyed every second of it.

Ever since learning the story of Noah and the Ark as a child, I've always seen rainbows as filled with hope and promise.  Certainly, this morning the rainbow did that for me.  Though the rest of the day remained cloudy and rainy, I have that early morning promise still inside my head and it has carried me through the day.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Combining Blogs -- Coming Out

In the "old days" of publishing--three our four years ago--it was common and often expected to have a different pseudonym for each genre.  Then you were expected to maintain two different personas and all the social media surrounding that.  As most everyone who follows my books and posts knows, I write my romances under the name Maggie Jaimeson and my Young Adult Fantasy under the name Maggie Faire.  Then for those who have known me in my academic career, you also know I have written non-fiction under my given name, Maggie McVay Lynch.  My first non-fiction title since leaving academia will be coming out in September.  DIY Publishing: A guide to ebook and print formatting and distribution.

For years I have been maintaining the non-fiction and Jaimeson name separately.  Since publishing the fantasy titles, I was also maintaining the Maggie Faire name separately.  Each of these had separate Facebook pages, separate Twitter accounts, and separate Blogs.

In the new world, where 1/2 a million books are being put out each year and book titles stay around forever because of digital availability, having separate names and separate identities everywhere is difficult to keep up.  So, I have decided to combine my social media places into one account and to come out of the closet, so to speak, with all three of my names.

The first step in that combing social media process is combining my Maggie Faire and Maggie Jaimeson blogs.So, you will see I have merged my Maggie Faire blog postings into Maggie's Meanderings.  Now you will be seeing both postings here. Moving forward, I will only be posting to this blog and my guest posts at the Windtree Press blog.

I hope this will also makes it easier for my readers.  I will not be combining the names and redoing all my books with one name. I still think there are some YA readers who don't want to accidentally pick up a romance and some romance readers who don't want to accidentally pick up a YA Fantasy series.  So, you can still count on the name for the genre you like. However, I will be including all three names in information about the books so people can find me in whatever way is easiest.

Over the next couple of months you will see a new website for all three names and I'll be cutting my twitter and Facebook accounts back to single accounts as well. I hope you will all follow me.  Let me know how you feel about this so I can make the transition as easy as possible for all my readers and fans.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Introverts Unite!

Hanna over at Excelsior Lady—an introvert herself — created this badge. I thought it would make a great meme badge.

I've known all my life that I was an introvert and, thank goodness, I've never thought it was a bad thing. In fact, I think my introverted qualities have done well for me in my careers.

Anyway, I found a really nice article in the Huffington Post. It's the only popular news article I've ever read to describe the qualities of an introvert in a more positive light. I was disturbed to learn that there was a time psychiatry considered labeling introverts as mentally ill.  Really? A lot of psychologists and psychiatrists are introverts. Self flaggelation anyone?

As a lot of readers and writers are introverts, I thought it might be great to discuss this or to do an Introvert Meme on various blogs. If you want to declare you are an introvert and proud of it, feel free to participate. Pick Up the pic in this blog, read the article, and give a brief description of how you fit or don't fit within the 23 points.  Here is mine below.

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.  
I do. I know it's necessary to break the ice, particularly with people I don't know, but I never focus on that stuff because it's rarely authentic.  Really, when someone says "How are you doing?" How often do you say, "Actually, I'm having a rough day. It started with..."  Almost no one does that! Why? Because they know in social situations that "How are you doing?" Isn't really an authentic question. The expectations is "Fine." Then you talk about your job, your kids, your house, car.  Surprisingly, everything there is "fine" or "better than fine" there too.

I'm combining a bunch into the next bit. 2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people.  3. You Feel alone in a crowd. 5. You are often called "too intense." 6. You're easily distracted.
19. You don't feel "high" from your surrounding.
I'm taking these together because they all have the same foundation for me. Beause of #1, you can see I'm already at a disadvantage at a party. I really dislike parties in general because they are far too over stimulating (distracting)--the noise, the colors, the movements, the inability to go in depth on any conversations.

At parties, the way I cope is by finding groups of only one or two people, where I can follow a single conversation and engage for awhile. In college, I was known as the girl in the corner talking with two or three people all night. I didn't have to know them in advance, I just needed to concentrate on a smaller group and I needed to engage in a deeper level. I can move from one group to another, but I tend to stay longer and talk longer in each small group. Then I move to the next group.

For the same reason, I hate sitting at a great big table with 14 other people who are all talking at once, because I don't know where to focus.  Even if I decide to focus on the two or three near me, the other conversations sneak in and distract me to the point of being exhausting. All of these reasons lead to me feeling alone in a crowd because I don't feel I'm connecting sufficiently, really getting to know people, and it is literally energy draining for me.  My perfect party is up to six people (eight on the outside) with a common interest, working toward common goals, and equally committed. Yeah, I know "too intense." :)

4. Networking makes you feel like a phony.
Yup. The whole concept of getting to know someone just so you can get something out of them is horrific to me. Also why a sales career has never been a choice. Instead, I work on the Karma principle. I do things for people that I think they may need/want, but with no expectations of getting anything back. It seems that other people do that too, because I've been the fortunate recipient of lots of help throughout my life--some from people I did help, but often from people I didn't do things for. I'm not sure how the universal Karma jar works, but it seems to work great for me.

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.
Absolutely right. I crave downtime, and when I don't get it I become rather difficult to live with. Fortunately, my husband completely understands this. 

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards. (This also goes with 10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.
When I worked in the software industry, I used to go to user conferences where I would give a talk to 2,000+ people in a room. It never bothered me. I thought about it in advance, I prepared for it, and I felt good about what I was saying because it was like teaching. Same with my teaching career and my management career.  However, ask me to then to meet and greets in a big hall with all those people. Not fun. (see #1-6 above).  Of course, I was required to do this at these conferences. So, I had a deal with my boss. I'd do it for 2 hours, then I was done. No drinking and dancing with customers afterward. No, schmoozing in the lounge. I would do the small talk, meet and greet for two hours only. That was my limit. (I think it still is my limit) Then I would go back to my room and crash.

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle.  
This one doesn't apply. Most of the time I don't have a choice where to sit. But I cope with this by always having a book to read. I can zone out everyone around me with a good book.

11. You're in a relationship with an extrovert. Nope. My husband is an introvert and an iconoclast. Always interesting and he understand me perfectly.  I've dated extroverts in the past. They were fun for awhile, but ultimately exhausting.

12-15, 17, and 21  didn't really apply to me.

16. You have a constantly running inner monologue.  Yes. I'm always evaluating the past, present, and future in terms of what I'm hearing, learning, and doing. I've tried to shut it off, but I can't. It's just who I am. Fortunately, some people think that's cool. I've also fooled them into thinking I'm wise. (see # 18. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s.)

20. You look at the big picture. Yes, this is me in every aspect of my life AND in my writing. I think in abstracts, rather than details.  I can do details. I've trained myself to do it, but I don't enjoy it. To me the whole world is one big system, and every part of it effects every other part. I can't stop and analyze one part/section out of context with the whole system. Of course, thinking this way also means you never have a 100% right answer to anything which can be frustrating to many people.

Also, I DON'T think this is a quality of all introverts. I personally doubt it is related to introversion or extroversion. I think it is a separate part of personality that can work with both.

22. You’re a writer.  Duh! :)  However, again I don't think this career choice is only for introverts. I know a number of writers who are extroverts and I love their books.

I think most authors' writing fits the Karma principle because you are writing in the hopes that what you write helps people, moves people, entertains people. In other words, it gives them something they need. That is certainly why I write. My non-fiction books are teaching books. They teach the reader how to do something, to accomplish something. My fiction books are similar in that they are sharing how my characters overcome difficult circumstances/issues on their own initiative and--because they are good people--find their happily-ever-after or happy-for-now in life.  And the Karma coming back is the sales of the book. If the book offers enough of what people need, it sells well.

23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity. 
Yes, and, for me, each phase is "intense" and probably over the top (except the social activity part). When I'm working it is all encompassing, and when I'm in recovery (solitude) it is all encompassing. My social activity is more around sharing things we learn. Because I don't have to do small talk social stuff anymore, I don't socialize just for socializing sake.

So that's me. How about you? Want to join the meme? Let me know where you blog your responses and I'll come visit, tweet, FB (yeah, I know that's kind of social isn't it).  Don't want to do your own blog post? Fine, leave a comment or not.  I know you understand anyway.