March AW Blog Chain –> “Growing Up”

My esteemed predecessor, Aimeelaine, suggested the awesome March topic of “growing up”.  David Zahir will follow me in the chain.  The rest of the chain participants are listed at the end of the post.  Give ’em all a read–after mine, of course.


I grew up a military brat.

Like many great icons of business in the US, I was incorporated in Delaware.  Over the next sixteen years I moved every two to four years.   I went to four grammar schools and two high schools in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii (eat your heart out), Georgia, New Jersey then North Carolina when my father retired from the Air Force.

After college (Go Heels!), I kept moving, wanted to get out of Dodge.  I spent a summer living and working in London, UK, then headed west to Texas for the career job I’d landed before leaving for London.  Four years later I moved to New Mexico then to Washington state.  I like the west and think this feels the most like home of any place I’ve ever lived.  And maybe, at nearly 50 years of age, I finally have roots, roots that were never trained to grow fast or deep for me.

When you’re a military brat, you learn at an early age how to ease your way into new organizations and social groups while always holding a part of yourself back.  Always being the new kid is not that much fun so the faster you can shed the title, and slip into the flow, the sooner you can relax.  You don’t put down those roots, however, because you know you’re going to be yanked up soon.  You learn to live like a potted plant.

When my husband first met me in NM, he teased me about the cardboard dresser drawers scattered throughout my bedroom.  I had a good job that paid well, why didn’t I have a dresser?  Why was my television so small?  Why was all my furniture second-hand?  Why did I live in a rented house?  The answer was that I needed to remain mobile, needed to be able to easily get rid of stuff or pack it in my car.  Bear in mind that when I drove cross-country to TX, my first move without my family, everything I owned fit in my Ford Escort.

After living in WA for 17 years, I think I’ve finally done it…finally put down roots…I think…though there’s a yet to be built luxury condo near the golf course in Myrtle Beach, SC that is calling my name.  Oh yeah, I could totally see uprooting and heading east for that.  A retirement spent kicking back on my balcony with my sweet tea (because it’s the law in the deep south) with my laptop typing away at my latest blockbuster.  I could do that…then maybe relocate to Santa Fe to enjoy the Indian arts and crafts and visit my old client, the Santa Fe Opera…then maybe NYC for the theatre…then…

aimeelaine – (DONE)
AuburnAssassin – (ME!!)
DavidZahir – <<–UP NEXT!
FreshHell –
Simran –
Proach –
*RomanceWriter* –
Breddings –
laffarsmith –
Sneaky Devil –
leahzero –
razibahmed –
RavenCorinnCarluk –
Collectonian –

10 thoughts on “March AW Blog Chain –> “Growing Up”

  1. I forever disavow you as my friend for this line …

    “(Go Heels!)”

    But if you mistyped and it should have said …

    “(Go Pack!)”

    then I will take you back.


    Even if you never move again … you can set your characters anywhere you want and “move” vicariously through them!

  2. Aimee, Aimee, Aimee…so young, so naive. I do not mistype where my beloved UNC is concerned.

    I’ve revisited past residences in my books’ settings, because you can’t go back in real life; it’s never the same. Future settings are going to be London (rom-sus) and Albuquerque (MG) and I’ve not yet decided where to put Dori and Jude…maybe Atlanta or Hawaii, ha! Can you imagine a giant Samoan vampire…”let’s go hit some gnarly waves after we play da beach blanket bingo…aloha!”…being warded off with lei’s laced with garlic. LOL

  3. “Can you imagine a giant Samoan vampire…”let’s go hit some gnarly waves after we play da beach blanket bingo…aloha!”…being warded off with lei’s laced with garlic. LOL”

    Nope … guess I’ll have to READ about it! 😉

    And the Wolfpack still rules. 🙂

  4. I’m fascinated by wanderers such as yourself. I was born and lived – for nearly 40 years – in the same place. My mother still lives in the house I grew up in. I’ve managed to move 45 minutes away but I seem to be a tap root. A very long one.

  5. I’m definitely a put-down-roots kinda girl, so I don’t envy you the moving around. I keep ending up back in my home town.

    But I think you’ve got the wider experiences for fleshing out your books.

  6. Well aren’t you just a globetrotter! Looking forward to visiting London myself and visiting friends in Texas as they are in the process of moving from here to there (interestingly, he was originally from London).

    Very interesting blog post on growing up Claire!

  7. Great blog post Claire. Sounds like you’ve had a very interesting life and have got to see and live in lots of different places.

    I totally know what its like to be the new kid on the block, because when I was really young I changed schools frequently.

  8. I am just the opposite of you. I have been in the same city all my life. I have traveled rarely. The only time, I was out of my city was when I went to get married to another country (I met my wife through Internet and she is from another country).

  9. When it comes to “the grass is greener” I’m watching with envy from my side of the fence because I’ve lived in one place, never more than 30 minutes drive for anywhere else I’ve lived, all my life. In fact, until two years ago I’d never left the state and my trip across the ocean (I’m from Western Australia) to L.A. USA was a great adventure.

    It’s difficult to picture life in more nomad-like ways. I can imagine the adventures, the opportunity to explore new cities, new ways of life, and to learn who you were in each new place. But there is a sense of grounding, of belonging, that you would have to root within yourself rather to any one place. I imagine is shapes you a great deal, it is part of what makes you remarkable.

    And, even if you eventually settle in one place, your mind will always have to freedom to roam. 🙂

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