Thursday, March 4, 2010

9 facts and a lie contest

Because of the great fun this game was at Tabatha's blog, I've decided to do it too. It's very simple -- I type out 9 facts and one lie about myself. Pick out the lie and in the comments tell what you think the lie is. On Friday, March 11 at 8PM I will randomly pick a winner from everyone who guessed correctly. If nobody gets it right, I'll draw a winner from everyone.

Now, as for the prize: It will be a choice of a book of your choice from a list to be posted say Monday (I promise some good choices).

Anyhow, the facts and lie:

1) I wrote the original computer program that shut off the lights at the IBM Building in Chicago It was written in Fortran and ran on an 1800 computer. (Think punch cards and removable disks the size of a large stuffed pizza.)

2) The first children's writing I did was a short chapter book titled "Kelly and the Mystery of the Ring". Well, I think the girl's name was Kelly. The "and the Mystery of the Ring" part is right. I wrote it for my daughter Kelly, who was an avid reader. She read it in about 20 minutes and said I should write more. It was never submitted anywhere and never will be.

3) Last June I was the victim of a sports injury. I ripped my Achilles tendon playing hopscotch with my niece. It required surgery and I spent a good part of the summer recovering enough to go back to work.

4) I have been to every presentation of the Chicago Tribune Young Adult Book Prize/Award. I thought the streak was ending this past year when tickets for Neil Gaiman "sold" out, but HB had 2 tickets and came to the rescue.

5) I am not a member of MENSA in spite of the fact that my wife has told me I'm brilliant. I seriously doubt I'd be eligible.

6) During the filming of the last Batman movie I had multiple conversations with someone who was nominated for an Academy Award for the film. I'd say the conversation helped him win, except he didn't.

7) After college, my senior year roommate apparently told his wife that she should cook things more like I cooked them. (Isn't it usually the guy's mom???) I heard this from a reliable source-- my ex-roommate's wife herself.

8) I almost didn't make it to my first SCBWI Southlands coffee shop meeting due to the worst snow fog I've ever seen. My wife had seen a blurb in the local paper about children's writers meeting that night. Since there was no indication it was a monthly thing, I may have never gotten involve had I not made it. I swear visibility on I-80 was about 10 feet! (If it was really 20 feet that doesn't make this a lie.)

9) On the subject of local papers: I received honorable mention in a Christmas story writing contest. Everyone was given the beginning of the story and then had to finish it. This was pre-SCBWI, but two of the people who entered eventually became SCBWI friends through coffee shop meetings. Neither of them won even honorable mention, but both are now published (and I am not). I think the reality is that they did win!

10) When my daughter was in high school, I embarrassed her on multiple occasions by singing a verse of a Santa rap song I made up. Jim the rapper -- hmmm -- pretty scary!

Now, if by chance you happen to know any of these are true, please don't pass that along in comments. Speculate, however, to your heart's content.


Anonymous said...

Oh Jim, I'm not even going to guess. The problem with writers and lies is, even when you think you are telling the truth, you are embellishing it (you can't help yourself), and every lie takes on so much creative detail as to sound totally plausible.

Lisa said...

I have no idea either, but these are all amazing/amusing anecdotes. I do seem to remember something about a certain athletic injury, though... ;-)

PJ Hoover said...

Let's see. I know 1 has to be right. And 3. I think 6 is true.
I'll go with 10 as the lie.

Jim Danielson said...

Lisa and Jenn: Come on. Take a stab at it!

Tricia: So you don't think I'm a rapper. We'll have to wait and see!

ladem05 said...

Jim, I'll go with 7. Just remembering the peeps.

MelissaM said...

Let's see, I've heard some of these stories before. It's got to be 1 or 10, unless 9 was not a christmas contest.

I'll go with 9

Jim Danielson said...

Linda, did you know my college roommate???

MellisaM, so you think you figured it out....

Oh, duh, Linda: You were refering to my microwaving Peeps!

Trina said...

I think 5. You are totally a member of MENSA. At least I think you are. And although it's soooo tempting to google it, I will refrain for the sake of this contest. Fun! Fun! Thanks, Jim!

Kelly said...

Hmmm, pretty interesting things here. My guess is that the #4.

Jim Danielson said...


Five guesses and all different!

Lisa said...

I still don't know, but I'll say 8 since no one's said it yet. Don't say I never did anything for you, Jim. :-)

Suzanne Casamento said...

I agree with Trina. I totally think you are a member of MENSA.

Jim Danielson said...

Game Over!!!

Jim Danielson said...

Tricia: I'm thinking for now I won't raise my blog from a PG to a PG13 rating, but yes there is a Santa Rap song. Sorry, you did not win.

Linda: It is possible to use a microwave to "nuke" peeps and still have good cooking skills (at least according to my ex-roommate from college). Sorry, you did not win.

Melissa: We'll get back to you.

Trina and Suzanne: They say flattery will get you everywhere, but they never promised it would win books. MENSA / Jim . Nope.

Kelly: We'll get back to you.

Lisa: Check the weather history for I-80 on the second Thursday of Feb. 2001. SNOW FOG thicker than peanut butter!!! Sorry you did not win.

Melissa: Sometimes knowledge about things can actually be a disadvantage. Richard Peck was awarded the Trib's first YA book award. We saw him in June -- that was at Printer's Row (I verified the date in my signed copy of FAIR WEATHER). He came back in Oct. to receive the award. I was not there. I actually thought I was at every award up until recently. Not so. (I have been at everyone but the first.)

Having said that, the correct answer is #4 and the winner is KELLY!

Congrats Kelly and e-mail me with contact info to send your prize.

jdwrites4kids at gmail (dot) com

Thanks everyone for playing!