One Lovely Blog Hop: 7 Interesting Facts About Me

Blog hop, blogging, travel

#DailyWings: “Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.” -Kenneth Grahame

For those of you who are finally getting warmer weather, welcome to spring! I live in North Carolina and it’s been absolutely lovely the past couple days. At one point, the temperature dared to reach 71 degrees, with the sun’s rays peeking out from in between the clouds as if to ask permission. I took a walk.

If the area where you’re located is still trapped in cold winter, hang in there! I read that even the snow in Boston is starting to melt (finally). The good news is that Daylight Savings set our clocks forward on Sunday morning, which means many of us get to come home from work while it’s still bright outside.The time change has also seemed to (hopefully) kick me back into regular blog scheduling mode; the loss of a single hour’s worth of sleep this morning has reminded me of all the time that’s passed by since my last blog post.

What with the snow days, UNC’s spring break and the NC Fellows Final Interview Day, I’ve had to put my site updates on hold. I’m hoping to become more consistent with my blogging in the future, even if that means fewer blog posts per week (as opposed to week-long hiatuses). Thank you all for sticking with me during this weird transition between seasons!

I’ve got a fun blog hop for you all today. My good friend Sara Letourneau, who blogs regularly and writes fantasy, tagged me for the One Lovely Blog Hop. Here are the details for this hop:

This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side to ourselves. We’ve been challenged by another author/ blogger to list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s/ blogger’s persona we all like to project. But we want to show that behind every story is a story, our story, my story; and like everyone else, I have dreams, hobbies, problems, and goals. This blog hop is a way to share some of them with you, my readers.

The rules are that I share 7 Lovely, Interesting Facts about myself, and links to a maximum of 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. If I’ve nominated your blog (see names below) please don’t feel any obligation to join in but, if you do, please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you (that would be me, Wendy Lu Writes), share facts about yourself, and nominate 15 blogs (or as many as you can).

I’ve seen other bloggers participate in “fun fact” blog hops before, and they’re always so fun to read. Even if you’ve been following a blogger for months, you can never know everything about them and these blog hops are a great way to learn more about each other – they may even surprise you!

Without further ado, here are seven interesting facts about me:

1) I’ve never seen Peter Pan.

Nope, not a joke. I know you must be thinking, “But Wendy, you’re IN ‘Peter Pan!’ How could you have possibly missed this during your childhood?” Don’t get me wrong – my family was big on Disney movies. My sister perpetually sang songs from “Cinderella” and “The Little Mermaid,” and my bedroom was covered in “The Lion King” stickers. We just never happened to own “Peter Pan,” and so I consequentially never saw it. Same thing with “Snow White” and “The Great Mouse Detective.”

It’s funny. I’ve seen “Hook” starring Robin Williams (also known as the movie version of the book sequel, Peter and Wendy), ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and even the 1960s “Peter Pan” musical with Mary Martin, but I never watched the original Disney movie. To be honest, I’m not even sure I know the original Disney story behind “Peter Pan,” since most of what I know is from sequels or adapted versions.

Peter Pan with the real Wendy

I couldn’t find another “Wendy Darling” photo that my face could actually fit into. Also, yes, this took up more time than I care to admit.

2) I used to not care about makeup, skincare and beauty products.

That’s probably hard to believe since I include a lot of makeup in my blog posts, particularly my monthly favorites. I won’t go into too much detail because I will be delving into my makeup experience more deeply in a blog post that’s coming up very soon, but the truth is, I didn’t know the difference between primer and bronzer a year ago.

As a teenager, I was proud of the fact that I didn’t “waste” money on things like makeup and cigarettes. I thought makeup was fake, took too long and stripped a person of his or her “natural beauty.” I still think these beliefs have some merit to a certain extent, but you’ll have to come back later to find out more :)

Mini makeup collection in acrylic case

3) My first language was technically sign language.

Since this is my go-to answer for most “random fact” icebreakers, some of you who are reading this may already know that I first started using sign language before English. I didn’t start speaking until I was almost four years old due to vocal cord paralysis (hence, the tracheotomy tube in my pictures), and my caretakers even suspected that I may not ever learn to talk at all. (Ironically, these days I can’t seem to stop!)

After taking years of speech therapy from pre-school through elementary and middle school, talking and shouting and singing are all vocal activities I regularly take part in now. Reading aloud or talking for prolonged periods of time is still a struggle, but I’m working on it. :)

4) I was named after the restaurant.

Who misses the old Wendy's logo and mascot?

Wendy got a makeover back in 2012 – did you notice? Who misses this old logo and mascot (above)? Photo Credit: Mike Mozart.

Again, I’m not pulling your leg! When my parents immigrated to the United States back in the ’80s for graduate school, they were introduced to American cuisine – specifically fast food. My mom said she always liked the Wendy’s mascot, the little girl with red pigtails and freckles. She looked cheery, bright. My mom decided to name me “Wendy” because she had a soft spot for both the name and the restaurant, and hoped her daughter would grow up to be “bright and cheery” like her. Now I may not have red pigtails or freckles, but I sure do love to smile!

Wendy Lu Writes

In another decade, I was an expert apple picker. Come to think of it, I’m not really sure if I’m smiling or grimacing at the sun in my eyes…

5) I played piano for almost 12 years before I went to college.

Wurlitzer piano

My beautiful Wurlitzer piano back home inspired a short story I wrote in college in which inanimate instruments were brought to life.

I never talked about this much in college and I still don’t, mainly because piano was a hobby that got tucked away with all of my high school memories, along with my life back in Greenville, N.C. I haven’t touched a keyboard in more than a year.

Even though I played piano for so long, I was never very good (no, really). My teacher would give out little plastic trophies with tie-dyed ribbons wrapped around them, with award descriptions such as “Outstanding Progress” or “Exceeding All Expectations.” I did well at the occasional local contest and recital, but I never won any major state or national-level competitions.

In some ways, I wish I’d worked harder on my lessons. The methodical music exercises like counting the beats and keeping the right tempo never came naturally to my wild mind, which made piano practice frustrating. For me, procrastination didn’t apply to schoolwork alone.

In other ways, however, I’m glad I never took piano too seriously or pursued it as a professional career. One, I wouldn’t have made it among the little Bachs and Beethovens that seemed to grab every award there was in the state. Two, since I focused on the pieces that were most enjoyable, piano was more fun to me without all of the discipline and sweat and tears attached to the experience. Three, I might not have decided to pursue what I really love to do, which is writing.

6) I’ve been hovering between being an “INFJ” and an “ENFJ” for the past three years.

For those of you who have taken the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, you know what I’m talking about. Four years ago, I was a turtle who never came out of her shell. I didn’t talk much and balked at the idea of raising my hand to answer a question in class. Part of this was due to my own self-consciousness, and part of it was because my sister Hope is a natural extrovert and, growing up, filled up all and any silences faster than you could say, “My favorite food is macaroni and cheese.” When I took the Myers Briggs personality test for the NC Fellows program at UNC at the end of my first year in college, my result confirmed my introversion. I was an INFJ.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin and even began sharing with close friends my personal story as a tracheosaurus (my original term for a person who wears a tracheotomy tube; I don’t really consider myself a “victim” or “patient”). Fast forward to senior year, when I took the Myers Briggs test again and found that the needle had moved. I’m an ENFJ!

In the end, these personality labels aren’t set in stone. I find that the introvert in me still lurks in certain situations, such as when I’m in a room full of strangers or feeling particularly contemplative about life. With my best friends, I’m comfortable and loud and playfully sarcastic. Who you are and how you act can depend on your environment.

7) My former blog alias was “The Red Angel.”

The Red Angel

Longtime readers will most likely remember this. Before I came out as myself, Wendy Lu, my first unofficial blog back in 2009 was called “The Red Angel,” and that’s what I went by. “The Red Angel” was originally the name of a make-believe band that I created in my mind. I was never in a real band, but during my “darker” stage (during what some teens like to call their “emo” stage, though that name doesn’t appeal to me anymore) I would pretend to be the star singer of a metal or rock band — not unlike Amy Lee from Evanescence — donned in a red gown and silver wings, with guitarists and a drummer following my lead. In my mind, I was “the red angel.”

If you’re interested in learning more about my, er, “red angel” days, here’s my explanation of how I chose that name for my first blog.

~ ~ ~

Whew! That was a lot of fun. Big thanks to Sara for nominating me for this blog hop. I nominate the following lovely literary bloggers:

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4 responses to “One Lovely Blog Hop: 7 Interesting Facts About Me”

  1. Sara L. says:

    This was fun to read, Wendy! I’m glad you decided to join the hop. :)

    Oh, you MUST watch the animated Peter Pan someday! I haven’t seen it in ages, but it’s a fun movie about holding onto your inner child.

    That’s really interesting about how you originally communicated through sign language. (Though the vocal cord paralysis bit must have been frightening for your parents, and frustrating for you as a little girl.) I took courses in ASL in high school and college because I liked learning about it. Do you remember much sign language now?

    I read somewhere recently that INFJs are often called “quiet extraverts.” I was looking up MBTIs for some of my WIP’s characters recently, and I read quite a bit about INFJs because I determined that was the most likely personality type for my protagonist’s love interest, Aurek. ;) And based what you described about yourself, it makes sense to me!

    BOO HISS to winter. Let’s hope we’ve both seen the last of it (or, rather, the last of the worst of it).

    • Wendy Lu says:

      I’m glad I joined, too :) Thanks again for the nomination, Sara!
      It’s cool that you took ASL both in high school and college! I actually remember very few signs, mainly since I stopped using ASL once I was able to start talking. I only remember random ones that apparently I used a lot, like “juice” and “tummy hurts.”
      Haha I could see myself as a “quiet extrovert.” I’m sure introversion and extroversion lie on a spectrum, like many concepts in psychology, rather than being two extremes, you know? It wouldn’t surprise me to know there are also “loud introverts” out there. ;) By the way, I’d just like to say that I love the name “Aurek.” How unique!

  2. Mia Hayson says:

    imo HOOK was the pinnacle of the Peter Pan genre so I think you’ve seen what matters ;-)

    I feel awful for not noticing that you have a tracheotomy tube DESPITE having been (imho) a follower internet friend for YEARS and having seen many many pictures of you! What is wrong with me?? I am so inobservant. I am so sorry for not being attentive HOWEVER I think it is incredibly awesome your first language was sign language, and I also think all of these points make you more fabulous to me!!

    As an aside, your monthly favourites are kind of a highlight for me because a) I love it when you talk font I have a weird thing about fonts okay and b) I’m vastly confused by makeup most of the time but I totally take all my cues from my blogging friends who are not and are in fact EXPERTS and fabulous enough to offer casual advice and favourites when I need them (and I need them A LOT).

    I’m sure my post won’t be half as interesting and fabulous as your’s but I’ll try to write one just the same!

    <3 <3 <3

    • Wendy Lu says:

      Hahaha oh yes, “Hook” is SUCH a good movie and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching it!
      No need to feel bad at all, Mia! A lot of people don’t recognize that I have a tracheotomy tube, even when they see me IRL. Back in college, I actually befriended someone at a club fair who didn’t notice what was around my neck the entire time we were together. The next time we saw each other, which was a couple months down the road, she finally saw the trach tube and was like, “OMG. I didn’t know!” So I totally don’t blame you at all for not noticing when all you have to go off of are photos from my blog and Twitter ;)
      Aw, I’m glad you enjoy my Monthly Favorites! I don’t talk about makeup much since I’m really just a beginner, but when I do it’s usually my Monthly Favorites posts lol.
      Thanks for joining in, Mia! <3 Off to visit your bliggity blog :3

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