20 Random Things About Me

(photo courtesy Utopian Library on Flickr)


The following list was one of those Facebook questionnaires that was circling around a couple years ago.  I wrote this list shortly after I first started Facebooking, in that honeymoon period when my friends were all people I really knew and liked and before I realized that people think it’s obnoxious to post long, detailed lists about yourself.  I’m posting it here at the risk of being obnoxious again because when your kid is home sick, there’s no time for writing. 

P.S. Before you leave, would you mind please filling out the poll below?  Thanks!


  1. I love oily, salty things—cheese, olives, nuts.  I’d rather skip dessert and eat more dinner.
  2. Due to childhood trauma, I have a phobia of motivational speakers and personal transformation movements.   When people start telling me about visualization or some self-help book they read, I have to force myself not to get all smirky inside. 
  3. I don’t have a cell phone.  I know, I know, you all think this is annoying and insane.  But if I don’t like talking on the phone, if I cringe when it rings, why the hell would I want one in my pocket?
  4. I know everyone says this, but I wish I could sing.  Like an opera singer, like K.D. Lang or Nina Simone. 
  5. I am embarassingly uninterested in politics. 
  6. Teaching high school English was the hardest thing I ever did.  It was harder than childbirth, more challenging than grad school, far tougher than writing a novel.
  7. Speaking of writing a novel, I am currently writing my third.  Nobody wanted to represent or publish the first two, but I plod on nevertheless.  I just can’t help myself. 
  8. I am writing this list instead of writing for “real.” I tell myself that it is “part of my writing process” or that I am “doing research.”
  9. I know it is weird, but some of the best friends I have are the books on my bookshelf.  I mean, I’m not going to kiss them or anything, but we have had some indelible conversations that changed me forever.
  10. I am addicted to graphic novels.  Yes, I love my comic books.  I have a huge collection. 
  11. Sometimes I think that I am a man trapped in a woman’s body; an ugly, nerdish, cranky little man.  Sometimes we catch sight of each other in the mirror. We pretend not to notice. 
  12. I am scientifically fascinated by my own aging process.  Watching the wrinkles and the grey hairs emerge is sort of like watching a spider spin a web.  Or maybe it’s more like watching a spider eat a fly.  Or watching a spider spin a web on my face and use my awe-stricken mouth to catch its dinner.  Really, really fascinating stuff.
  13. I am becoming an obsessive recycler which means I spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing about and fiddling with bits of paper and food scraps.  Like a bag lady. 
  14. Speaking of bag ladies, I shop at thrift stores, exclusively. And I’m not talking about some fancy consignment store, either—I mean I go to places that smell funny where you get your hands dirty digging in a bin.  But that doesn’t mean I dress like a bag lady… the other day my stylish little sister informed me that the boots I was wearing were worth $300; I have not taken them off since.
  15. I have a strong interest in and affinity for everything that happened during the 1960’s.  That was my era, man.
  16. I don’t play the lottery but my husband John does.  The joy that we take from our long conversations about what we’ll do with the money when we win is definitely worth $50 a year.  
  17. I have a nervous habit of writing things in the air with my finger–like air guitar, only geekier.  I do it especially during arguments and it drives John crazy. 
  18. I miss my husband, even though we sleep in the same bed.  Did I mention we have two daughters?
  19. I had no interest in children until I met my own. 
  20. I’ve done some really crazy, stupid, harmful, dangerous, dirty, boring, and silly things in my life, but I regret very little. 


 Please help me by doing this very quick poll!  Thanks!


About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.


  1. Jess

    Love this! I like hearing about the inner anna…ees sumtink i leek …8-)

  2. found this fascinating. loved 11, pretending not to notice.

  3. gail

    that’s me above, somehow logging in as gith. the ugly man within fan.

  4. You’re a funny, complex woman, Anna. And a former Playmate–I’m starstruck that I “know” one and that she can read and write and “all that junk”, and has read my stuff sometimes. I’ve been too lazy to write lately and massively uninterested in the ideas coming from my own head. I will try to get back on the bicycle one of these days.

    • Thanks! And if you couldn’t tell from the piece I wrote, I don’t feel particularly proud of that bit. It was like getting rewarded for being dumb. Is that a good thing? Depends on your point of view, I guess. So I hope the starstruckness wears off so we can continue in conversation. Hope you start writing again soon!

  5. It is comforting to hear someone else say they hate talking on the phone. I actually hate the ringing more than the talking, depending on who is calling me. The ringing signals potential agony. Don’t beat yourself up about not being published after two or three books. I didn’t get an agent until my fifth, and they couldn’t sell it. I self published as a 50th birthday gift to myself. It took some of the sting out of menopause. From what I’ve read of your work, I’d day you’re a talented, intelligent, skillful, naturally creative writer. Right now, I think a lot of people are happy reading careless prose about vampires who love werewolves who despise faeries who descended from witches. I think a lot of people are bored with the perceived limitations of being human and the deep thinking their humanity inspires. But there must be people out there who still appreciate those who can turn the mundane into art. There just gotta be!

  6. Your comment fills me with hope! There just gotta be people out there, for sure, espeically if you and I are still out there, right? (Although I have to admit, I do indulge in an occasional vampire story–for which I suddenly feel a blush coming on.) And I will start saving my money to do the same thing when I turn fifty– that seems like a perfectly wonderful way to celebrate!!! Donna– what do you write and where might I find your writing?

    • Oh, I love a good vampire story myself, and I’ve been a Stephen King fan since Carrie. But I also love to savor the prose of writers like John Irving and Toni Morrison. My books are ebooks, so I did it for free! I was awake into the wee hours many a night, dragging to work the next day after a night spent formatting for Kindle and making book covers and so on. But it was a blast. I’m at http://www.donnabutler.com The first novel I published- last September- was about depression, reincarnation and gardening. I was trying to show the parallels in the way people and plants die- literally and figuratively then push through the darkness and emerge into the light again. I think it’s too dark for some people, although there is much of my humor in it. The second one is a novella. I wanted to write about loss and hoarding and people who value superficial things. I ended up creating the girl who has it all and pitting her against her trampy cousin. When the perfect girl suffers a loss, she starts hoarding and becomes dependent on the bad girl, then comes to resent her freedom. One reader seemed to hate it, based on their review at Smashwords. LOL. I don’t think conservative people would appreciate my work. You have to do your own marketing when you self publish, but from what I hear, that is becoming more and more the case for those who land traditional deals as well. If you want to read more than anything else, you should try it.

      • Toni Morrison is my touchstone/font/inspiration. She totally does it for me, in all the ways, hands down. And I have read all of Charliane Harris’s True Blood series, too, for completely different reasons, of course. I don’t have a kindle, but I just entered a writing contest for one— yours will be the first books I buy if I win. The whole thing that just happened in Japan was too upsetting to look at but nothing fictional–nothing in words on a page– could ever be too dark for me, I don’t think. I look forward to reading you more. I like a good swig of humor with my reality! And hoarders! Well, that is my favorite show, a subject that completely ensnares my imagination. Isn’t that what writers do– ferret away every tidbit, every shred, because it tells a story?

  7. The only reason I didn’t check off serious writing was because of the “less fluff” part. I happen to think that a well crafted fluffy story/article is serious writing! I mean, it’s still work, isn’t it?

    I liked reading your list. Love #11, too! And I’m finding out that a lot of other people hate talking on the phone! With me, it’s weird that sometimes I fall into a phone conversation, and it’s okay. But other times just the ringing makes my heart beat too fast, and I tense up and refuse to answer unless I can identify my daughter as the caller. (I have an awful fear of there being an emergency and she NEEDS me and I don’t pick up the phone. I hope that’s just being a mom, and not being neurotic.)

    I remember the sixties well, and often fondly. I still have a few Beatle bubblegum cards and Kennedy bubblegum cards, and a pair of bell bottom, hip hugger Coca Cola pants that I sent away to the company for during one of their promotions in ’68. I think they cost about $7.00 and a couple of labels or something. I had to ask my mom for the money. She thought I was nuts.

    I guess you can tell I really liked reading your list.

    • Yeah, what did I mean by serious writing? I guess that’s just some puritanical/elitist notion that one style of writing is more important than others. Hm…. I guess I meant that sometimes when I blog I feel that I take on a chipper, wry tone that feels a little awkward. Of course, it feels equally strange to write seriously or academically or whatever. I guess I was trying to find out which tone of voice was most appealing. And when I write that, I feel simultaneously machiavellian and pitiful. Why should I care?
      I do care what people think, though. It might not change what I say, but I’m very interested.
      I want to see those bell bottoms! I got a job at an ice cream shop just so I could buy fancy skintight French jeans, but that was just after Saturday Night Fever. I missed all the real, important fun. Wah.

  8. I loved reading your list, too. Maybe it’s self-indulgent to create such lists but I always enjoy the process, and when the answers are interesting, I take voyeuristic, empathetic pleasure in reading others’ lists.

    On #3: I’ve gone to all kinds of ridiculous lengths to avoid phone conversations.

    #4: Last year I finally started taking singing lessons — which I had wanted to do since I was a teenager and learned such things existed — and I LOVED them. I’ve had to stop taking them, but I’m still glad, constantly, that I did it.

    #13: I don’t know if I’d call myself an obsessive recycler, but I bet other people would. ;b I carry a mini-arsenal of items around with me at almost all times, so I can use a few disposable things as possible: water bottle, plastic food container, chopsticks and utensils, cloth napkin, and reusable bags of course!

    • I want to take lessons! Some day I will. It’s on my bucket list, for sure.
      Reminds me a little of the book Dune– did you ever read it?–where the warriors have these little machines that translate thier voices into weapons? Not that I want to kill anyone. I just want a powerful voice like that. Maybe killiing them softly a la Roberta Flack/Fugees would be okay, though. 🙂
      Thank you for indulging me in my self-indulgence!

      • Should you need a teacher recommendation in the Berkeley area… 🙂

        I never did read Dune, which is odd because I think it was recommended to me several times when I was a teenager!

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