You've been tagged. I will take my revenge on Gabriele at a time and place of my choosing, but tribal custom requires participating in the ritual, so eight facts about me - if they're pretty boring, that's because I am.
Since I'm still a noob I'll refrain from tagging five other people - so count your small blessings, Bernita and Carla.
1 - I'm a major traction fan, traction being the somewhat archaic term for urban electric rail transit. When I visit a city with a rail transit system, I always make time to ride it, and I've invented the city of Santa Teresa, California, as a sort of virtual trainset.*
2 - In spite of the above, I haven't lived in a city with rail transit since I was eight. I was born in Cleveland, which has both heavy and light rail (don't ask, or I'll explain at length) - even though we left when I was six, I immediately recognized the system when I saw pictures of it. I mostly grew up in San Diego, but left before the San Diego Trolley was put in.
3 - I was named, in part, for Rick Blaine of "Casablanca." No great distinction - Rick became the usual shortening of Richard at just about that time - but here's looking at you, kid.
4 - My mother bought me A Child's History of the World when I was about seven, and I've been a history junkie ever since.
5 - I am also a political junkie. I was a paid county coordinator for Dukakis in '88 and - with far more gratifying results - for Clinton in '92. However, I intend to keep my politics (mostly) out of this blog, because it annoys me when other blogs get taken over by politics, even when I agree with the blogger's opinions.
6 - As a kid in the early 60s I wanted to be an astronaut. (Big surprise!) I knew I wouldn't be in time for the Moon, but intended to lead the first Mars expedition, which I decided would be in 1989.
7 - I've been fascinated by Henry VIII's ship Mary Rose since I first read about her loss, years before the wreck was found and recovered. Alas, I haven't had a chance to cross the pond to pay her a visit.
8 - My novel-being-hustled, Catherine of Lyonesse, originated as background for a naval wargame - a pseudo 16th c. England just had to have a redheaded Queen. The novel ended up being about a teenaged princess in exile, and both sea battles in the original draft ended up on the cutting-room floor.
(I guess that's cheating: more about my book than me. But the book is more interesting.)
* At least two mystery writers have used a Santa Teresa; Ross Macdonald has frequent references to it, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone lives there. Their version is a near-exact doppelganger of Santa Barbara. Mine is another hundred miles up the coast, and considerably larger, in order to plausibly justify its having surviving rail transit lines.