- Although both of my parents were born in Germany, and I speak the language fluently, I learned the language in school, not from my parents. When my parents became naturalized American citizens, they insisted that we speak English at home. The exceptions were when they wanted to keep secrets from the children, and of course that's all the incentive we kids needed to learn German! Long before my parents realized it, we understood what they were saying.
- My interest in foreign languages, in general, is what led me to meet my husband. My long-term plan was to become a United Nations translater by using the U.S. Army's excellent language schools as a stepping stone. As a result, I enrolled in the Army R.O.T.C. program at the University of Wisconsin my freshman year. Subsequently, I got involved in the tri-military exhibition rifle drill team, which is where I met John, who was in the Navy R.O.T.C. program. I left the Army program after a semester (not really a good match for me), while John was eventually commissioned as a Naval weapons officer. We married 5-1/2 years after we met. And that original desire to become a translater? Well, for many years I taught German in my community to elementary talented and gifted students. Today one of those students is a homeschooled high school student who meets with me weekly for continuing German instruction.
- I'm a late-blooming poet. I published my first poem at the age of 45, after swearing that I could not write verse. Never say never!
- Sitting on my bookshelves is an English-Norwegian dictionary. If I could choose anywhere in the world to travel, I'd love to visit Norway. The history, the geography, the diverse cultures (the Saami in the north, for example), the art and music, history and mythology--everything fascinates me.
- I never had time during any of my formal schooling to take art classes. Perhaps that is why I make up for it as an adult, continually seeking ways to express myself with my hands. On my list of "things to learn" is the art of making the lucet cord. The lucet is a horn-shaped braiding tool that is believed to date back to the Viking and medieval periods of history. The cord that is produced with this tool is flat, flexible and very strong. Once upon a time it was used for lacing, making drawstrings for bags, hanging things from belts, and also for making decorative edging. Sailors used lucet cord for ropes at one time. Around the end of the 19th century, lucet cord was replaced by commercially-produced cording.
- I wrote my first book when I was 12 years old. The book, Divided Planet, was well into its 20th chapter when I stopped writing it. I don't remember why I stopped, or even where all those handwritten pages are, but I do remember the passion that inspired it. How wonderful to not be inhibited by the Hidden Critic that accompanies any writing I do today!
© 2008 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.