Friday, November 11, 2016

Six Things You Don't Know About Me by Gina Conkle

Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend? Got any good books lined up to read? Or will you spend your Saturday and Sunday with friends and family?

I ask these questions because at first I planned a nerdy history post, but that obviously changed. Why? A recent conversation with my one of my sisters (I have two) made me realize how dear, how valuable people are. Writing is and has always been my biggest way to connect with others. As a kid, if I had a hard time expressing myself, my mom would tell me to go write it down. She knew then I was better at putting thoughts and feelings into the written word.

So, I thought I'd share a few things about the hopes that you will share something unique about your life in the comment section.

1. I grow organic tulips.

I order my bulbs from an Long Island grower (he's Dutch too!). I don't know why "organic" was so important, but I felt this powerful draw to plant organic tulips. I'm not a super healthy person --I guzzle diet coke on a daily basis. Yet, organic tulips spoke to me, and they're kind to bees.

The tulip is considered a classic "love" flower. To Victorians, the flower epitomized charity, but to the Turks it was a symbol of paradise. Nowadays, you decide. :-)

My Ile de France varietals from spring 2015. 

2. I think the Kensington Runestone is authentic

Many historians poo-pah the Kensington Runestone (found in Minnesota by a farmer in 1898). They deny the stone's authenticity and the larger possibility of Vikings having traveled so far inland across North America. 

I could write several posts defending my reasons, but I'll spare you! 

Here is my picture of the Kensington Runestone. It was unearthed by farmer Olaf Ohman in 1898 when he was uprooting a tree. A Swedish immigrant, Olaf spoke almost no English and his Swedish learning never went beyond a 3rd grade education. What you see above is fluent Old Norse text...not even the alphabet he learned in school.

3. My most embarrassing moment happened when I was 14...think singing, opera, and no voice

I had been working with a singing coach (he was trained in opera and that heavily influenced our work together). I LOVED singing. Even the opera stuff. Singing was a pleasure, but I was painfully shy. My mom arranged the weekly lessons for me and the time flew by. But -UGH!- I was expected to perform in public.

When I was 13 I had no problem belting songs out before a crowd. I'd get nervous, but I could do it. That changed when I turned 14. I sweated profusely (mostly my arm pits - pretty gross). My heart pounded so powerfully, it swayed my body. At one performance (a Christmas concert) it felt like my heart lodged in my throat. I stood up to sing a solo. My mouth opened and no sound came out! I went flame red. The pianist kept playing. Murmurs rippled through the crowd...and I still couldn't manage a squeak.

The music ended and so did my "singing career."

4. My guilty pleasure TV shows...

I love History Channel's Vikings, The Walking Dead (I blame my teenage sons for getting me hooked), Homeland, and.... Hoarders

For the longest time, I avoided watching television. As my boys were growing up, we had a rule: No TV mid-week. That meant Monday thru Friday (until after school) we didn't turn on the TV. The exception was Monday Night Football. Even then, Brian (my hubs) gamely went along and turned on very few Monday Night Football games. 

Something happened when my boys hit high school. Maybe it was the "You're old enough to make decisions for yourself" but I let that rule go. And who do  you think became the TV glut watcher? Me. I'd binge watch Hoarders. It was like staring at a train wreck. I often cried when the hoarder had a breakthrough. I don't watch it much anymore, but it was the weirdest TV habit. 

Now I've added Fixer-Upper, Rehab Addict, and Flip or Flop to my list.

5. I read to my boys when they were infants (as newborns in the hospital!)

Call me a fanatic, but I worked with functionally illiterate 5th and 6th grade students (ie they tested at kindergarten/1st grade reading level). It was one of my most fulfilling jobs, but you saw first hand the power of reading and the devastation of not being a reader. 

During my first pregnancy, I told my husband, "We're reading to our kids even when they're babies." I put toddler friendly baskets and tubs full of books in every room (even the bathrooms...little plastic books they'd play with in the bathtub along with other toys).

I love that my boys enjoy reading today.

6. I want to hike Hadrian's Wall

My husband and sons tease me about this one, but I'd love to spend a few weeks one summer, hiking a few miles each day along Hadrian's Wall and visiting the Vindolanda (a Roman Fort along the wall currently part of a major archaeological excavation). 

One day I will do this!

Now it's your turn. What is quirky, funny, unique about you? Any hidden talent you want to share? A bucket list dream? Or strong belief? Please tell me in the comments below. I'd love to read it.


Hi, I’m Gina Conkle, writer of Viking and Georgian romance, and now I'm adding contemporary romance to the list. I grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, I love books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now I live in Michigan with my favorite alpha male, Brian, and our two sons where I’m known to occasionally garden and cook.

I have a new book coming out in December, Waiting for a Girl Like You. I had a blast with this book (it's 2 stories in 1). It's much steamier than my usual fare. You're invited to read the first two chapters on my blog. It's password protected: Kissables1 is the password.


  1. Those are some cool facts, Gina. My favorite flower is the tulip!

  2. Hi Shana! This is great. We both love historical romance and the tulip is our favorite flower.

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