The big question
The first thing you probably want to know is, is Polly Matthews your real name? I wish! My real name isn’t even half as cool, and there isn’t a single pun in it, which makes me kind of sad.*
But aside from the name, everything is as real as it gets. Sometimes a little too real, because I don’t have much of a filter for those kinds of things.
My various obsessions
With that big question aside, I think the best way to get to know me is through my interests. Here’s a sample of what I’ve done so far:
Writing and storytelling
I knew I wanted to be a writer the minute I sat down at the typewriter in my father’s office and started pressing those keys… even though I was five and couldn’t read or write.
In high school I set up my own little office with two desks and a swiveling chair, and every summer I wrote a novel. I spent most of my time swiveling back and forth between desks, and I felt like the biggest badass ever.
As an adult I once wrote 700,000 words in a year, and my stories received rejection letters from Weird Tales and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. I think I still have them somewhere.
For the past four years in a row, my writing group and I have gotten together at Halloween to tell scary stories and generally scare the crap out of each other. I made at least half of mine up on the spot, and I’m seriously kicking myself for not recording them!
I also may or may not have had a horror story of mine narrated on a friend’s Youtube channel. He may or may not have narrated it in an old lady voice.
I’ve always been attracted to shiny, sparkly objects, and I’ve been making jewelry since I was eight years old.
Over the years I’ve done everything from bead embroidery to silver soldering, and my work has appeared in two books and one magazine. I’ve sold my work privately, on consignment, and at craft shows.
For two years I kept a fairly popular beading blog, which I’ve neglected for almost as long, and for awhile I taught basic wire jewelry making at my local bead store, which was a pretty fantastic job.
And once… I made a necklace out of tiny rubber chickens.
I was cutting and dyeing Barbie hair, doing hair transplants, and drawing tattoos on their arms in ballpoint pen before I even knew what a fashion doll makeover was… or how to do one the right way. Eventually I found a book to set me straight, and dolls everywhere sighed in relief.
Over the past two years I’ve customized dozens of dolls and made at least a hundred poofy Barbie dresses. I’ve recently added photography to the mix, and it’s the perfect way to share my collection with other doll fanatics. It’s also the funnest thing ever.
Last year I collaborated on a diorama that was displayed in a local art gallery, and it featured dolls in their own craft room. I even made tiny skeins of embroidery floss and a three-ring binder for dolly scrapbooking. I keep adding things to it, and the next thing it needs? Is an itsy bitsy knitting project for my Ken doll.
(Preferably with pink yarn.)
I love to eat, and I love creating my own recipes. I write everything down in a notebook, with titles like Best Cheese Sauce Ever! and Can You Believe This Freaking Ravioli??? My crowning achievements are my spinach artichoke dip, chickpea curry, and beef chili, and I’ve been known to share.
I’ve tried baking bread, but the only thing I get out of the oven is floury bricks. Sometimes I think about saving them, in case I ever take up masonry.
Psychology and mental health
My mother went to school for her Masters in counseling when I was ten years old, and a lot of her books found their way into my little hands. A few years later this came in handy because it helped me realize I was suffering from both depression and anxiety.
(Remember what I said about not having a filter for these kinds of things?)
In my twenties, a gut feeling and a lot of research taught me that my mother has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which put my weird childhood (and depression) into perspective. A little more research showed me that I have Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result.
Now my focus is on healing from childhood trauma, doing the things I love in spite of my moods, and finding alternatives to talk therapy that aren’t New Age. I’ve had to come up with a lot of these alternatives on my own, which is a challenging but incredibly rewarding project.
Everything but the kitchen sink**
I’ve also studied opera, sold a painting, learned foreign languages, fallen in love with math and science, written songs, and become obsessed with tennis, hula hooping, and yoga, in spite of being mildly uncoordinated. I’ve been thrown off a horse twice and gotten knocked on my butt during Tae Kwon Do class as many times.
I’m a dog sitter for a living, and I wouldn’t trade my job for all the money in the world. I’m passionate about up-cycling and have volunteered on and off at a creative reuse center for the past few years, which fuels my fabric addiction.
I’m also an ambivert, a skeptic, a night owl, and a fan of all things horror. And I love pie.
Now I want to know about you, Pollywog. Get in touch, and let’s start a conversation!
*I love puns. I was this close to calling myself Punnelope.
**But I’m open to the idea of someday, somehow, being obsessed with kitchen sinks. Hey, you never know!