1. My given name is Christy, meaning, “little follower”, but from the first flicker of consciousness I was a doubter, a non-believer.
2. My maternal great-grandmother was born on the Tahlequah, OK Cherokee reservation. Her ancestors settled there in 1838 during the Trail of Tears relocation “event”.
3. On my mother’s side I am related to the outlaw Belle Starr.
4. My father gave me up for adoption by a stepfather when I was three.
5. I fear steep drop-offs, spinning fans, obtuse criticism, and crowded events without adequate bathroom facilities.
6. I am the oldest of eleven siblings, all half. Eight on my mother’s side and two on my father’s.
7. I have never been good at math, but can change a diaper quickly and fill a baby bottle in the dark back seat of a speeding car without spilling a drop.
8. I attended 17 schools between kindergarten and High School graduation; still, one day eight years later I graduated with a BA in Art and went on to earn an MFA and a Masters in Library Science.
9. I can twirl a mean baton.
10. At sixteen I became a ward of the state of Missouri. (That’s me in the Polaroid above, on the porch of my foster parent’s ranch house). Transitioned out at 18 and was told the most likely outcome for girls like me. Pregnant, dead or in jail.
11. I got pregnant the first time I had sex.
12. My first job, was hoeing peonies in a Missouri plant nursery. From there I moved on to Oklahoma, then Los Angeles—sickling corn, pruning trees, cooking food, washing dishes, assisting the elderly, corralling toddlers, concierging businessmen, shelving books, researching photos, analyzing trends, and cataloging web links—before accepting the brutal hilarity of life and becoming a writer.
Copyright 2012 Chris J. Rice