I received an inquiry from Cheya from Bloggin Around the States, to share a little more about myself for her readers. After I finished her questionnaire, I thought I would post it here too!
1. Start by telling us a little bit about yourself. (family, job, likes, dislikes, favorites, idiosyncrasies, pet peeves, or anything else you'd like to share that will help us know you better)
Melissa Mc (aka Daisy Mom): I am a 42 yr old mother of 3; wife of 1; daughter, sister, friend, aunt; lover of football, politics, food, travel, walking, theatre and all things literary. I currently work part-time at our local library branch – I’m in charge of JUV fiction and Mysteries. I’m also President-elect of my kids elementary school PTA. I am without talent in most normal Mormon activities – I don’t paint, sew, craft, scrapbook or quilt. I can be found in front of the TV during every March Madness college basketball tournament and on every Saturday during college football season. My youngest was born with a congenital heart defect and had open heart surgery at 5 weeks. I know more about Children’s Hospitals than I ever wanted too. And when I grow up, I want to be the first female commissioner of the NFL.
2. What do you love about your state? (please include the name of your state)
I’m not a native of Arkansas. We moved here 8 years ago from NYC when my husband changed jobs. There are LOTS of things to love about Arkansas: First, it is absolutely gorgeous. Most of the state is located on the edge of the Ozark Mountains – not the Rockies, but spectacular terrain, nonetheless. It is a great recreational state – hunting, camping, rafting, hunting for diamonds– of course, my husband and I are city-folk, so we don’t partake in those activities like we should. It also is incredibly affordable!! And during this national recession, that has been a huge blessing!
3. Is there anything you don't like about where you live?
The HEAT! It is oppressive here in the summer. The heat and humidity can knock you flat. But other than that, we’ve loved our years in Arkansas.
4. If job, money, family did not enter the equation, would you prefer to live in another state? Which one? And why?
I’ve lived a lot of places – and if I had my choice I would move back to Washington DC in a heartbeat (and not suburb – like Arlington VA -- the heart of Washington DC, preferably the Capitol Hill neighborhood). It’s where my husband and I met – and I had my first job. It’s a magical place for me. And if money wasn’t an object – I’d transport myself there immediately.
5. If I visited your state what cities, sights, and/or activities would you recommend I check out, see and/or do?
In Little Rock they have a fabulous "River Market District” that positions itself on the banks of the Arkansas River. Lots of fun shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Just a few blocks from the River Market District is the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center – a must see for any visitor. For historical significance, a stop at Little Rock Central High School's museum. More than 50 years ago, 9 African American students were used as pawns as they attempted to desegregate Central High during the Civil Rights movement. Little Rock is also home to the only professional theatre in our state – The Arkansas Repertory Theatre. They self-produce and design 6-7 shows a season. Little Rock is also home to the Arkansas Symphony and the Arkansas Arts Center.
NW Arkansas – you must got to Fayetteville and visit the campus of the U of Arkansas – and go “call the Hogs” at an Arkansas Razorback game. In Bentonville – you would visit the Walton/WalMart Museum and see where Sam Walton started it all!
For an Ozark get-a-way – you would visit Mount Magazine state park and rent one of their wonderful cabins! We did that as a family, and it was one of the best vacations we’ve had.
6. Who are some authors that currently live in your state? Any famous authors from the past?
National Book Award winner, Ellen Gilchrist, lives in NW Arkansas.
Charlaine Harris – author of the Sookie Stackhouse series lives in Magnolia AR.
Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead, lives in Little Rock.
John Grisham, is originally from AR – but lives in Memphis
Charles Portis, author of True Grit, Norwood and The Dog of the South, is originally from El Dorado AR, and lives in Little Rock.
Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heat at Wounded Knee, after retiring from the U of Illinois, retired and died in Little Rock.
7. Do you have a favorite book set in your state?
Now you are testing my knowledge of Arkansas literature! Two that I highly recommend: The Painted House by John Grisham. It’s a fictional account of his childhood in NE Arkansas on a cotton farm. It’s a wonderful book. So different from his legal thrillers. And, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou – her autobiography of her childhood in southern Arkansas. It is a must read.