"Keep working on a plan. Make no little plans. Make the biggest you can think of, and spend the rest of your life carrying it out." Harry S. Truman

Friday, July 13, 2007

Enneagram Test

I'm taking an online class (writers.com) on building characters using the Enneagram, an ancient personality study that originated with the Sufis, hundreds of years ago. We've only had one lecture so far and I haven't even started working on my first assignment, but in order to do so, I've done a little research, and just completed a test.

I'm always a little wary of personality tests. In high school, I remember I tended to give the answers according to what I wanted to be, or rather what I thought I should be in order to be "good enough" - whatever that meant on any given day at the time. Thank goodness, my delusion was not as strong as my innate curiosity, and I always ended up doing the whole test again, this time replying as truthfully as I possibly could. I'm glad to report that life, and a few years on the couch, have helped me gain some confidence. Mostly, I want to learn so I can evolve, so when I do one of these tests, nowadays, I really try to be totally honest. I say that I try because I find it often difficult to know the answers. To a lot of the questions asked, I'll find myself thinking : well, it depends...

Anyway, here are the results on that particular test, and I'd say they do feel pretty accurate. I can't wait to learn more about the Enneagram.

Main Type
Overall Self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||| 47%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||| 28%
Type 3 Image Focus |||||||||||| 42%
Type 4 Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||| 60%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||| 48%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||| 43%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||| 32%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||||||| 58%
Type 9 Calmness |||||| 29%
Your main type is 4
Your variant is self pres
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Summer break

Another school year has ended. My husband always finds it funny that the year in my personal calendar starts with the first day of school, and basically ends on the last, or rather, when I leave our host country to go back to Europe, the US, or Haiti, depending on where we are spending our summer holidays. But that's how things make sense for me. So, it's holiday time! Whenever I think that, I hear the voice of Sheila singing - a bit cheesy, retrospectively, but when I was growing up, boy, was she popular ! : "give me your hand, do take mine, yes and yes, school is over." This is a litteral translation, so very, very bad. Anyway, you have to be French, born in the Sixties, to understand.

No matter. It's that time of the year when most expats pack their bags and go back to their home country (countries in the case of our family), catch up with friends and family, and just enjoy summery activities. It's also a time for our children to get as large and varied a sample as possible of their parents' home countries and cultures !

This year, it's going to be France. We used to try to visit everyone, with the consequence that we spent our entire holidays plane and continent hopping and we came back more exhausted than when we'd left. No more.

So I'm flying to France for 6 weeks, and I'm really looking forward to it. I intend to eat as many types of cheese as I can, all the seasonal fruits that we don't find here, lots of fresh baguettes and croissants, lots of charcuterie, saucisson, etc, etc. I've already brainwashed my kids about that, painting - with words, of course - tantalizing images of velvety peaches and apricots, prunes with lovely names like Mirabelle or Reine-Claude, ripe, juicy berries in all shades of red, purple, and blue... Yum, yum, yum.

I doubt I'll be posting very much. I'll be participating in an online workshop on characters using the Enneagram. Dad, friends and family being around, chances are I'll have more time for myself than during the last two months! And the rest (of the time) I shall dedicate to:
a) writing - maybe
b) reading - definitely
c) playing lizzard in the sun, jumping in the pool with the kids, cycling in the countryside - absolutely definitely
d) gorging on French food, drinking lots of good wine - absolutely positively definitely
... not necessarily in that order, but you get the picture.

But before I leave India for these few weeks, I wanted to post some photos shot around Hyderabad. To inspire anyone who sees them to come and visit - just wait until we come back. And also to take with me, the way expats always seem to take away a little bit of all the countries they've lived in.

Have a great summer, everyone !

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The mystery of the illustrator's name, and ranting about the difficulty of waiting, waiting, waiting...

I don't like it. To wait. I'm not a patient person. At all. Which is probably why life, destiny, the Universe, call It however you like, seems to be testing me at the moment - BIG TIME. So I can grow, you know... Boy, sometimes, I wonder how much growing one has to do before they can consider themselves all grown-up. In my case, the process is taking its sweet time, for sure. Anyway, I was saying that life is testing me. Not only has IT decided that I was to be, for an undetermined amount of time, a full-time-at-home-mother-with-two-kids-on-summer-break-during-the-Indian-Monsoon (as if that weren't already taxing my energy - not to mention how it has reduced my writing time to almost nothing), but it also decided to play tricks on my computer and I now have LOST the little that I had been able to produce in the past few weeks! Am I entitled to throw a tantrum or what ? But that is not all. I must also wait some more before I can tell the name of the illustrator of my book. I'd like to shout out the news to the whole world - the one that's interested, anyway, and, well everyone else, too, actually. But I can't.

For weeks and weeks, I've been a good girl and kept my mouth shut. Well, I must continue to keep it shut, and wait some more. Did I mention I don't like to wait? Well, bear with me, because I'm going to repeat it: I don't like to wait. I understand, of course. Still, it's difficult.

I also would love to get in touch with said illustrator. Not to give pointers, or control the work, no, I swear. Come on, I'm not like that. Or am I? No, I'm not, or at least, I can control my controlling tendencies. Sure, I can! In the end, what matters is the book, right? I'm not unreasonable, you know.

It's just that I love meeting interesting people involved in interesting activities. Also, this particular person presently spends a lot of quality time with my baby, and that naughty baby hasn't called, hasn't written, hasn't even sent an email to his mommy to let her know how things are going. Maybe he received the same marching order : Keep mum! Or maybe he's turning into a precocious teenager, sprouting wings and very happy to be away from old writerly me. Living with an illustrator is bound to be much more colorful - I just couldn't resist that one :) There will be different smells, too. Paint. Turpentine. I only hope he's not watching too much TV. Two daughters doing just that under this roof is quite enough.

Anyway, that's that. It's a good preparation for the day my kids leave for college. I know, I'm complaining that I can't write because they are around, and I'm already worrying about the day they'll go to college. What can I say? I'm full of contradictions. Aren't we all?

Where was I? Ah, yes, what makes it all worse is that I actually understand my editor's reason for not wanting me to get in touch with said illustrator right now (provided that said illustrator whose name I cannot yet disclose shows an interest in responding, of course. ) It had not occurred to me, and yet, it makes total sense. She wants to give the illustrator the space and time to immerse herself in the story, to wrap herself in it so she can make it hers. Because, Katia, don't you forget that you've written a picture book, and in picture book, there is the word "picture," and you have no talent whatsoever to draw pictures, remember? TWO names will appear on the cover. Not that I mind sharing the cover with another person. If I did, I wouldn't have written a picture book, come on ! And sharing the cover with someone with such an interesting background and interests is really exciting. I totally look forward to it. That is precisely the reason I'm dying to share all this information.

But I can't. Not yet. Did I mention how... DIFFICULT that is?

Anyway, in order to ease some of my frustration and avoid a messy implosion, I just disclosed 3 tiny pieces of information about the illustrator. Who's been paying attention here ? Yes, The illustrator is a SHE. She has an interesting background, even more so considering where the book takes place. Ha ha, hint, hint... And finally, she's involved in interesting things. You want to know more ? Well, you have to be patient. Yes, I know, it's DIFFICULT. But you can do it. If I can, anyone can. Soon... Soon... Soon...