In honor of my 40th birthday, here are 40 random things about me. This is stream of consciousness.
1-I’m actually really excited for my 40’s (minus perimenopause–that sounds like a bitch) because with each year I’ve stopped caring about what other people think so much. I’ve become a more authentic version of myself, and I’m happy to see where that goes in my 40’s.
2-If my thirties were about raising young children, my forties will be about parenting tweens and teens. When I turn 50, Elanor will be a few days away from turning 20 and Rhi will have just turned 17. Some people find the idea of this terrifying, but I’m actually excited because I’m more comfortable around older children.
3-I’m also hoping to see my writing pick up in my 40’s. I became a professionally published author in my 30’s. I was in fifteen anthologies (one of which I also edited) and my first solo work, Capturing the Moment, was published. I wrote my first novel, and it’s in right now. I’ll be shopping it as well as continuing to write new books. I’d like to get my writing speed up a bit, though. Not having young children will help with that, I think.
4-Right now I’m sitting at my kitchen table and I have a nice candle going–Strawberry Lemon Ice from Yankee Candle
5-I don’t mind that today is very low key. We went to New Orleans for my birthday, and I feel very loved.
6-In fact today is so low key that I’m waiting on a fridge repair person and am taking the kids to gymnastics kind of day.
7-I have my playlist for my next book playing on my Google Home and the song that’s currently playing is “I touch myself” by the Divinyls because there is masturbation (I write romance).
8-I always have a playlist for my books. Or at very least a song that captures the essence of the book.
9–For Capturing the Moment, it was Teardrops on my Guitar by Taylor Swift because of the line “He’s the reason for the tear drops on my guitar/ the only one who’s got enough of me to break my heart”–Meg and RJ have only really loved each other. Because it is contemporary, my playlist was mostly contemporary music.
10-For Plunder, the song that captures the essence of the book is in Jolly Sailor Bold because of the line “My heart is pierced by Cupid/I disdain all glittering gold/there is nothing can console me/but my jolly sailor bold.” My playlist was this song and the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.
11-My new book, which I’m only 20k words into, is about love and corporate espionage at a video game company. My playlist is a mix of Indian music I love (one of my mains is Indian British), geek rockers like Jonathan Coulton, and some contemporary music that is meaningful to me with regards to the story.
12-I got approved to get an ARC (advanced readers copy) of a new Mira Grant novel from Netgalley. I’m so excited to read it in advance.
13-My cat died nine years ago. I just saw updates from Facebook from her last few days. It’s kind of breaking my heart.
14-Lady was a black cat, and ironically Rhi has decided that she and I will be black cats for Halloween
15-Halloween here is very different than in Singapore. It’s quieter, but it’s also sweeter. And less overwhelming for the kiddos (with better candy).
16-I’m carving my pumpkin to say “vote” because we have an election the first Tuesday
17-I’m currently watching Xena: Warrior Princess along with a podcast called Xena: Warrior Business.
18-I also like watching The West Wing along with a podcast called West Wing Weekly
19-I like Alright, Mary‘s podcast to discuss RuPaul’s Drag Race
20-My favorite podcast about American politics is Hellbent
21-Another tv show podcast I listen to is Podland Drunkcast, which with the new Season of Outlander starting Nov 4, you may want to subscribe to immediately
22-Red All Over makes watching Hulu’s brutal The Handmaid’s Tale bearable. They also covered the Alias Grace Netflix adaptation.
23-Thinking of Margaret Atwood, I’m taking her Masterclass in writing from Masterclass.com. It’s been really interesting to get her perspective. Nothing she’s said thus far is earth shattering, but there have been many instances where the way she phrases something makes me rethink it in a whole new light.
24-Tonight I get to pick dinner. Which will cause drama because I like (American Southern) BBQ food and my kids hate it. But it’s my birthday and I won’t go to McDonald’s just because Rhi would be happier there.
25-Thinking of McDonald’s, the rest of my family misses fried apple pies (they’re baked here) and I miss Prosperity Fries from SG McDonald’s.
26-Some of my closest friends from Singapore have remained my closest friends. I will always love the ties that Singapore gave me–in fact, I took a break from this listicle to talk to someone I met in Singapore who now lives in the US.
27-Elanor and I were talking about Diwali last night, and I asked her why she never wears Indian clothes anymore. She told me it was about fitting in. I gently encouraged her to let her friends see every side of her, which includes the part that loved Indian dance and clothes.
28-I was really worried about the girls losing their culture by coming back to the US. In Singapore, we spent a lot of time in Little India. We celebrated the holidays. The girls had Indian friends. But now we’re fairly isolated, and I need to be putting in the leg work to find resources to give them community again.
29-We went to New Orleans as an early celebration. I’m thinking I might need to make beignets tonight to celebrate my real 40th.
30-My baseball team, the Boston Red Sox won game 1 of the World Series. They’re playing the Los Angeles Dodgers, and whoever wins four games first wins the World Series.
31-I just saw The Hate U Give. You should go. It’s fucking amazing. Bring tissues.
32–Thinking of movies, I’m doing the ten movies meme on Facebook. I decided to focus on movies that I think are underrated. So far, I’ve talked about Bride and Prejudice, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and today’s pick is Dangerous Beauty.
33-Right now I’m reading Nate the Great, which is the third in a series of YA novels by Tim Federle. If you like Broadway, you’ll love these novels.
34-I recently read this complex slow burn romance called Big Fat Bitch by Ginger Voight which was great, and stayed with me. There’s no sex, but there are two really well-done love stories in the book. CW that there is a sexual assault scene that is part of a subplot on #metoo and how Hollywood looks the other way when the man is famous enough.
35-I spent a lot of my life not celebrating my birthday. I was lonely growing up, and didn’t have many friends. I actually had the experience of having a party that no one came to, and I cried for days. After that I didn’t want to give people the chance to disappoint me, so I pushed away the opportunity to celebrate. I started to relax around my 30th, and then I gave birth to Elanor ten days later. Then Rhi was born the day after Ravi’s birthday. Ours have tended to get lost in the shuffle. Recently there have been a lot of birthdays in my 30’s where I was too sick or whatever to celebrate. So I’m really glad that I spoke up and ensured that my 40th would be celebrated.
36-I’m so relieved to see that my kids fit in a lot easier than I did. I was socially awkward (still am), talk too much (same), a bookworm (yup), and an introvert (hey, that’s me!) and that was a problem in school growing up when fitting in is so important. The older I’ve gotten the more I’ve found community that loves me just as I am, quirks and all.
37-That said, having multiple birthday parties in close proximity can be overwhelming. All of us have birthdays in a 22 day period.
38-In the spirit of just loving what I love without worrying what other people will think, I put a picture of a mermaid in my bathroom, and some dragon artwork around the house.
39-I’m a little sad that while both of my kids like reading, they’re not bookworms in the same way that Ravi and I are were/are
40-I’ve read 114 books this year per Goodreads. It’s a roughly correct number. I couldn’t completely remove a book I started and abandoned, and there was a book that wasn’t on Goodreads, and I’m sure there’s a few books I’ve forgotten to add. I predict I’ll be somewhere between 125 and 150 books by the end of the year. If you want to be my friend on Goodreads, I’m Delilah Night, and the email it’s under should be email@example.com