Trish Ryan closed her debut memoir, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Love, and Happily Ever After, after exchanging wedding vows with “Mr. Right.” But rather than that being the end of her journey of self-discovery through the help of faith/beliefs, it was only the beginning as the authors recounts in A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances to be released June 22, 2010.
The popular Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, shares her praise for this second memoir:
“Trish Ryan is the rare writer who can range from the deepest questions of the soul to hilarious moments of everyday life. Most striking is her honesty about her struggles – with her faith and her penchant for Ann Taylor clothes, with her marriage and her weight. This engaging account of a spiritual journey will resonate with readers of all backgrounds.”
The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of A Maze of Grace for Monday, June 21, 2010 but today let’s meet Trish through her “official” bio:
TRISH RYAN lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband, Steve, and their genetically improbable mixed-breed dog.
And now, in what she described as “fun,” Trish reveals her true self:
Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Unexpected, hopeful, ridiculous, hilarious, sparkly, fun, adventurous, candid.
Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: “Things tend to get done.” (From my law school friend Jon, who napped while the rest of us studied, came to exams in his bathrobe, and—to my eternal consternation—ended up with the same GPA as me.)
Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: When life exceeds my expectations.
Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Heights. My career as a high school gymnast was a sad and funny thing to behold.
Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Cambridge in early summer is rather beautiful, so right here. Maybe outside under a tree, instead of in my office.
Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: This sounds preposterous, but ever since I was a little girl I’ve been fascinated by Harriet Tubman. She was so brave, and did impossible things with some regularity. At the end of my life if I’ve done something even a little bit along those lines, that would be great.
Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: My husband, Steve. Nothing phases him, and he’s incredibly awesome and consistent. The three favorite personal qualities I describe below? All him.
Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: I have a love/hate relationship with adverbs. Whenever I need to cut my word count in a manuscript, I do a search for “ly.”
Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: I would love to be hospitable—to know instinctually how to welcome people and take good care of them, to enjoy food and cooking. I’m so focused on people and conversations that you can sit in my living room for four days before I even think to offer you a beverage.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: I was a state champion baton twirler when I was 12. That combined all the words I listed above to describe my life (Unexpected, hopeful, ridiculous, hilarious, sparkly, fun, adventurous, candid) much more than anything I might say about passing the bar exam or writing 2 books.
Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Discouragement. If I’m not careful, I can see all the things that could go wrong with every dream or plan.
Q: What’s your best quality?
A: Being encouraging (Oh, the irony!) When I’m on my game, I have a lot of faith for impossible things, despite seeing what could go wrong.
Q: What do you regret most?
A: Not staying in touch with certain friends from different phases of my life.
Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: For a day, I’d be the President of the United States. I like to know how things work—people, organizations, systems—so as a former poli sci major, it would be incredibly cool to understand the Presidency from the inside.
Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: I laugh a lot. Everyone in my family has a great sense of humor, and finding a way to laugh is our default response to almost everything.
Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: When I was little, I loved this collection of books about a girl named Trixie Belden who solved mysteries with her friend Honey. I’m not sure why they had porn star names, but those girls were awesome.
Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Cat Woman.
Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: This was the toughest question! I love sports, so presenting me with a pretend opportunity to meet a favorite athlete sent me into a tizzy ☺ In the end, though, I realized that I’d LOVE to have a conversation with Billy Jean King. She did so many amazing things in her years as a player, but what I really love is that she has ongoing vision for how to move her sport forward. Her life is only partly defined by her years as an athlete. So I’d ask her how she maintains vision and energy to keep pushing forward.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Being late.
Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: I do a lot of speaking about spirituality & relationships. That’s really fun because my romantic past was such a complete disaster that EVERYONE feels more hopeful once they’ve heard that things worked out okay for me.
Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: Choreographer/judge on So You Think You Can Dance.
Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Consistency, Honesty, Humor
Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Baloney sandwiches…with mayo, mustard, American cheese, and cucumber. So delicious.
Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Around the Sun by Ryanhood
Happy Ending by Sugarland
Rock & Roll Heaven’s Gate by The Indigo Girls
The Long Way Around by The Dixie Chicks
Help Me Believe by Nichole Nordeman
Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: I’ll stick with non-fiction here, because that’s what I write:
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
Redeemed by Heather King
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The Woman at the Washington Zoo by Marjorie Williams
Trish Ryan is an example of grace by being warm, funny, wise and incredibly human. To become even better acquainted, follow her on Twitter and visit her blog, Trish’s Dishes.* * * * *
Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away a copy of Allie Larkin’s Stay in a random drawing to anyone who comments only on this specific post, Allie Larkin and Stay. Comments left on other posts during the week are not entered into the contest. The deadline is tonight, June 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to possibly claim your book.
Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Tish Cohen’s The Truth About Delilah Blue in a random drawing to anyone who comments only on this specific post, Tish Cohen and The Truth About Delilah Blue. Comments left on other posts during the week are not entered into the contest. The deadline is tonight, June 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to possibly claim your book.