Since we have grand plans to let the whole universe know a whole lot more about SMG in 2008, it’s probably pretty appropriate to start the New Year by responding to the meme begun by my friend Luis Suarez and continued by my other excellent friend Susan Scrupski. Susan tagged me, and I’ll take up her challenge. So here, without ado, are eight things you (probably) didn’t know about me:

1. I quit my first job to write a book. The book never got written, and my burning passion to become a famous fiction writer eventually faded. Of course I realized a while ago that if I compiled all the blog entries I’d ever written (both personal and professional) I’d have the makings for several books. Whether or not anyone would read them is another matter, however.

2. I love Canada. I love this wild country from tip to toe, and while spending time in other places is nice, I will always call Canada home. I am particularly in love with the northern bits. I often dream about swimming in the cool, clean water of Lake Huron (where we have a cottage), and I am anxious for summer to roll around so we can get back. My ideal life would be our place in Tobermory for the summer and an apartment in New York City in the winter. Best of both worlds.

3. I am an avid birdwatcher. This drives my husband absolutely insane, since it slows hikes in the woods to a stumble. I’m not sure what it is I love so much about orinthology, probably the total quiet and concentration that’s required, and the act of “collecting” sightings and verifying them (I make notes). This past year, one of my highlights was watching a nest of merlins noisily fledge down the road from our place in Tobermory.

4. I am afraid of dogs. I see them, I get stiff, they see me get stiff, they get stiff, and before you know it, we’re both on guard. It’s something I’m actively working to get over. We have friends with a dog that I know quite well, but the fear is always there, and I know the dog knows it, no matter how casual I try to make my body language. I should really get my own dog to get over it, but that seems like a lot of work.

5. I have always believed that if you can imagine it, you can do it, and I have never, ever, been proven wrong. I credit my most excellent and intelligent mother for this perspective. She raised me to believe that nothing was out of reach. Consequently, the notion of gender stereotypes hit me as something of a surprise when I entered the workforce. On the upside, this has made them easy to ignore.

6. My paternal grandfather discovered a star in the 50’s (the celestial kind, not the Hollywood kind). He was an astronomer, chemist and inventor. Uh, I guess that’s not really about me, is it? Well… I’m related to a guy who discovered a star, how about that? My Dad’s family are all mechanically gifted, and through them I am related to the man who invented the modern steel-ribbed umbrella. My three-greats grandfather came to Canada from York in the late 1890’s, and I have a box full of letters from that side of the family that are fascinating (lots about inheritances and family quarrels). I am slowly typing them up and posting them on this blog. I haven’t gotten very far yet.

7. I love fast cars. A lot. Whenever I’m on the west coast, I rent a Ford Mustang and drive at excessive speeds (amazingly, I have never received a speeding ticket – this is nothing short of miraculous). I’m not pimping for a client, either – I come by my love of the American muscle car honestly. My mom had a ’65 Mustang and my Dad bought a brand new one in 1987. I blame my father for my need for speed – he’s always had sports cars and driven them too fast.

8. I am the mother of a brilliant and challenging five-year old. My own mother tells me that this is payback, but I don’t know what she’s talking about – I was a perfect child. My son’s name is Jules (Julien) and he is deeply awesome. He’s super cute and sweet, and his favourite food is sushi (ikura sashimi, to be specific). We often say that he’ll either end up in prison or as a Fortune 500 CEO.

But, enough about me. I’m tagging Collin Douma, Laura Fitton, Shel Israel, Craig Cmehil, Thomas Otter, Kate Trgovac, Leila Boujnane, Jeremiah Owyang and Phil Gomes (yes, yes, I know that’s nine!) to tell us eight things we didn’t know about them.

Happy New Year!


  1. Magster… my first car was a ’66 (yes, hotrod) Mustang convertible; dual carburetor, baby. Three on the floor. I think the street drug, Speed, got its name from that car. It similulated the same adrenaline high over 80mph. Ooooh, don’t tell the client that piece of folklore trivia.

    And, btw, I tagged, Mr. DFOF too. Now he’s really under pressure…

  2. I was tagged by Shel, and was amazed at how many things we shared. I too hate dogs, My uncle discovered a mountain, actually several, in antarctica. I LOVE fast cars — just sold my Audi TT covnertible — best car I ever owned. Your mother is right. I wish she’d talked to my mother.
    Anyway, thanks for a great meme and a great way to start the New Year.

  3. I just drafted my 8 things and then read yours and am totally humbled. I LOVE what you did with this, and really enjoyed reading it. Mine are, well, all stunts, kinda.

    The best bit: “Consequently, the notion of gender stereotypes hit me as something of a surprise when I entered the workforce. On the upside, this has made them easy to ignore.”

    Great to be getting to know a little more about you! 🙂

  4. Whooooaaaahhhhh! What a lovely blog post, Maggie! I really enjoyed it and can certainly state that if you ever come all the way to where I live, Gran Canaria, you would enjoy birdwatching quite a bit!! There are plenty of hiking routes where you would be in the middle of nowhere and the only thing you’d be able to listen would be birds singing. Fantastic!

    Then I’d introduce you to my dog, she is quite adorable and doesn’t understand the word “unfriendly”. No matter what!

    And w.r.t. Canada … what can I say? In 2002 I spent a few days over there, in Toronto, and loved it! Yes, I know that Toronto may not be representative, but I thought that if most Canadians would be like the Torontonians then Canada would be a place I wouldn’t mind living in 😉

    Thanks for sharing this awesome blog post and for allowing us to get to know you a bit more… And I hope one day I may be working for your son when he is the president of a Fortune 500. That would be quite some good fun!

  5. Ummmmm I am learning new things about you all the time. This list is fantastic. Today I will start my top 8 and share it with friends, family and and colleagues. A great way to start the new year, full of inner reflection and humility. Imagine publishing your fears! What a great way to begin getting over them. Hint: try holding a 6 week old puppy for a long time.

    Have a wonderful year everyone. Cheers, Brenda

  6. As one of Maggie’s employees, all I can say is she must be one heck of a good poker player! – I have, on occasion, brought my dog into work and Maggie has never shown anything but calm acceptance and kindness to Penny the mutt. Apparently, “office mascots” are an acceptance to her anti-dog tendency!

  7. I just posted my eight things on, and proposed folks on gather to just tag their posts with 8things to “play along.”

    Big fun!

  8. What an awesome list! Just be careful out on the roads and let me know when you’re driving in the same town as me. 😉

    I know you didn’t tag me, Maggie, but one of your taggees did. So in the interest of sharing, here are mine:

  9. Just noticed this post now. Wicked post! Yes, *some of those things I did not know.

    I had no idea you started that blog from those old letters. That is so awesome. Could this potentially be the oldest blog ever to be written?

  10. Bird watching? Charlie and I stayed in an eco-resort in Belize that claimed to have over 200 species of bird. While amazing to see from our deck, it was the loudest friggin’ place I have ever been. And no, I have no idea what type of birds they were.

  11. I know I was here a year ago, but I just had a thought: what if I showed up in a Mustang with a dog in the back seat and an offer to go birdwatching?

    I’m guessing there’d be a conflict of interests…

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