I was the first person in my family to go to college. I was on my own at 14 and it took me a long time to get it figured out after dropping out of high school. The life I have now makes it easy to overlook, but I'm beamingly proud of my BA from Berkeley.

Meg Elison

Meg Elison

I'm a lifelong diarist. I've got the last twenty years down on paper, and it's one of the best things I've ever done for myself. Sometimes it makes me cringe and sometimes it makes me cry, but it's a priceless possession. All my former selves are in it. If my house burns down, it's the only non-living thing I'll try to save.

I studied American Sign Language for almost five years. I find it fascinating and figurative as a language, particularly its linguistics. I've been able to use it ever since, both to help out where I can and to tell dirty jokes. I also studied Klingon. Same reasons.

I am a chronic re-watcher. I've watched all the episodes of every Star Trek show ever made, and I'll do it again. See also: Roseanne, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Battlestar Galactica. I see something new every time, while also finding it very comforting.

My favorite movie of all time is the original Wicker Man from 1973. It's a horror film and a musical, a combination one finds almost nowhere else. I root for the bad guys and I always have.

I got married in a red dress, and I walked down the aisle to a Metallica song. It was a gorgeous perfect day about which I would change nothing. I am pretty ambivalent about the institution of marriage and the way it has historically been used to oppress women, but I fell in love with an equal and I wanted to make it legal. I also perform weddings, on occasion.

Practical jokes are one of my favorite things in life. I've positioned fully-clothed skeletons on the toilet for my husband to discover at night. I once suspended a coworker's coffee mug in ten pounds of blue jello. I've mailed a lot of glitter and jumped out of a lot of closets. It never gets old and I hope it never will.

I seek out and attend the weirdest parties that I can. I've been to an all-night Fleetwood Mac rave, pirate karaoke, competitive erotic fanfiction, and a choose your own apocalypse party. I threw that last one myself. I also throw a sing-along party at my place about once a month, typically of a beloved screen musical.

The best date I've ever been on with a man was spent reading the seventh Harry Potter book in a library closet, aloud to one another from dusk til dawn. All was well. And reader, I married him.

I write letters. I have special stationery and a fountain pen. I seal my envelopes with sealing wax and I have my own personal seal. It's a pleasure in every way, and love hearing how people felt getting them in the mail.

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife is out now.

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