Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Welcome Guest: Michelle Houston

Clearly a glutton for punishment, Michelle Houston has returned to my blog again this year!! She took part in my What, When, Where, Why and How interview last year -- and claims it was a lot of fun. *G*

Welcome, Michelle!

Marianne, I’d really like to thank you for having me on your blog again. :-)

Tell me five things I probably don’t know about you and that most folks wouldn’t guess.

I am a geek. A massive geek, to boot. I am one of those people, that in high school, I loved science. Still do. In fact, I am currently a nontraditional student, majoring in biology. Which leads me to interesting fact number one: I hate jelly fish. Now you would think that with a love of nature, and an understanding that the things are not likely to kill me (with certain exceptions of course) and that in the ocean there are things that would do a heck of a lot worse damage than a jelly fish would. Yet, the fact remains, I hate them. Can’t even look at them in an aquarium without turning a bit green, which is rather amusing for the rest of the family; not so much for me though. Having swam in the ocean in Belize recently, and having come across one, I can safely say, I do freak out a bit when they just suddenly appear out of nowhere.

I am addicted to TV shows like Numb3rs, West Wing, Stargate, Babylon 5, etc. (But not to the point that I can quote dialog and know episode names by heart) Half the time, I don’t understand what they are talking about in West Wing, or follow the math in Numb3rs, or really grasp the science in Stargate (too much physics for my biology brain), but I love watching them. I also own the DVD’s of West Wing, Stargate: SG1, the Stargate movies, Stargate: Atlantis, Babylon 5 and Crusade, Firefly and Serenity, and now Farscape. What’s more, my addictions have begun to lead to interesting title and plotline choices. One of my recent acceptances, All Alone in the Night, the title comes from the intro of Babylon 5. An older release, Enslaving Heaven, has what some have called a Firefly feel to it. I have been trying to figure out how to get a story out of the title Geometry of Shadows, but that one is still escaping me. I will manage it one day though. Just wait and see.

My wardrobe is mostly T-shirts, and most of them are from zoos and festivals. Although, seeing me, you might be able to clue in to that fact. As a college student, I do have the college wardrobe of jeans and T-shirts, with a few nice pairs of pants and shirts thrown in. But only a handful of my T-shirts are plain. In fact, it’s interesting on lab days, trying to find something to wear that I am willing to sacrifice should it come to that. I have shirts from the Miami, Knoxville, New Orleans, Belize, and St Louis zoos. From the KC renaissance festival, and from the Japan festivals in KC and in Springfield. As well as assorted other places.

Hum. This is starting to get hard. LOL Trying to come up with interesting things about myself.

I am a speed reader. I can devour a book, sometimes two, in an evening. I am hell on the local library’s budget, as well as my own budget. I pick up books from the library weekly, and often more frequently than that. They have gotten used to me picking up a book one day and bringing it back the next, although I try to hold on to it for at least a few days, so they won’t think that I didn’t like it. Most of the ladies at the library even are starting to know me by name, and have known me on sight for months now.

And finally . . . I the very model of a modern major general. That’s right, I LOVE that song. One of these days, I want to actually go see the Pirates of Penzance. For now though, I settle for torturing hubby occasionally by listening to that song, and teaching our daughter the lyrics. My favorite scene from Babylon 5 would have to be one of the characters trapped on a ship with another of the characters, who decides to just start belting out “I am the very model of a modern Major-General, I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral, I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical”. I about died laughing when I first watched that episode.

Ooh.... I love Gilbert & Sullivan, especially "Pirates of Penzance".

Finish this sentence: My favorite saying is ______________ because ________________

My favorite saying is "In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught." (Baba Dioum) because it’s so very true, and touches upon the heart of the human condition. So many people I talk to questions why I care if the Amur Leopard goes extinct, or if the coral reefs off of the coast of Belize are bleached, and so on. They don’t understand the leopards and the reefs, and the many incredible natural wonders all around us, and they were probably never taught to care.

As a teacher (I may have a couple semesters left, but pre-service or not, I am a teacher), I know that my role will be to try and make my students care, to teach them about the wonders of the natural world in such a way that they will not only understand them, but understand what the lose of them will mean.

It also calls to me because it’s the motto I try to live by when I explain things to my daughter. I want her to care about conservation, and I want her to know why it matters. Thankfully, she is starting to get it. What’s more, she is starting to educate others about conservation.

Write me a paragraph using the following three words: Camera, Wishbone, Hamburger

Wow. What a list. I have to say, this posed a challenge, and I am not quite sure what to make of my resulting paragraph. It certainly is different, but I wanted to get the whole “story” in, but being limited to a paragraph, I had to imply a lot.

Karen leaned back in her booth at the local truck-stop, her weary eyes threatening to close. Forcing the lids up, she glanced at her watch to find that only twenty minutes of her lunch break remained. With a soft sigh of exhaustion, she returned her attention to the hamburger that sat half eaten on her plate, the grease mingling with the ketchup and mustard, until it formed a congealed mess that was slowly, hypnotically dripping onto the tabletop. Pushing the plate away, she looked out the window in time to see one of the local professionals, if they could be called that in her tiny Podunk town, climbing out of a trucker’s rig. The woman’s skirt flared up, for a brief moment showing more of her skin that probably the trucker had even see. Karen wished that she had her camera with her, that she could capture the haunting pain and defiance on the woman’s face as she fought to keep her skirt down. At three am, she was one of the few people braving the cold outside the Wishbone diner, and Karen found herself imaging what would make her so willing to sell herself, to risk her health to make a few bucks. As the woman turned, for just a brief moment, they made eye contact, and Karen could feel herself drowning in the bright depths of her eyes. She was just about to get up, to go outside, when the woman turned away. Unsteady steps brought the woman to a fairly new model car, and moments later, she was pealing out of the parking lot. Glancing at her watch again, Karen gave another soft sigh and slid out of her booth. She had less than ten minutes to get back to work, where she would spend the rest of the night more than earning her minimum wage at the factory. As she stepped out into the cold, her tired and aching muscles protested, but she forced herself to ignore the constant pain as she crossed the icy lot to her own clunker.

Born to ride on the back of dragons, to journey among the stars in a ship traveling faster than light, or to dance the night away in the arms of a mysterious vampire, Michelle Houston willingly shares the worlds in her mind in an effort to bring them to life.

Writing everything from short and sweet stories, to hot and spicy tales of kink, from contemporary tales of romance to erotic romances featuring Greek Gods, vampires and were-creatures, she has crossed sexualities and has gone wherever her mental muse has guided her. A journey she has never regretted.

With dozens of stories either out with a variety of publishers, both print and electronic, she has many more stories just waiting for their chance to be told.

Beyond that, she has a love of the natural world around us (except for insects, spiders, snakes, scorpions, and she reserves the right to add more at any time) and hopes to share the enjoyment of the Earth with her students once she finally earns her degree in secondary Biology/Earth Science Education. Currently she's attending college full time, and is expecting to graduate in May of 2010.

She's married to a wonderful man who supports all her writing endeavors (even when her characters scare him just a wee bit), and is the reason she is even published at all. Her daughter is too young to know just what mommy writes, but she knows she wants to write too when she grows up, and already has a good start on it.

In other words, she is an ordinary woman, with an imagination that is only held in bounds by how fast she can type.

You can visit Michelle website and find out more about her: If you want a more intimate look, check out her blog where she posts whatever comes to mind at the time.

Also, make sure to swing by Oh Get A Grip for her weekly posting on a variety of different topics. Six sexy authors telling it like it is …

She also has a fairly regular newsletter, where you can stay up to date with releases, publications news, and more.


Keri Mikulski said...

Great interview, Michelle and Marianne!! :) Love the paragraph. :)

Dru said...

That was fun.

Michelle Houston said...

Thanks Keri! I had a lot of fun filling this interview out, and the paragraph was certainly a challenge. : ) There were so many naughty things I could do, but I wanted to do something a bit different.

Dru - thanks so much!

Jude Mason said...

Hey JM!

Cute paragraph. And, I knew you were a geek already. hehehe!!

Very cool interview!


Michelle Houston said...

Thanks Jude. : )

It's always nice to know my geekiness shines true. : )