MadMartha, where on earth did you come up with your FunTrivia username?
My first name is Martha, though I have always been called a shortened version of my middle name. Anytime I want to go incognito I use this name. It's a little strange to me, however, because growing up I was told that my first name was Lola. Lola is on all my early school records. When my fiance and I applied for a marriage license, I needed a birth certificate. Lola was not on that certificate but Martha was. Confronted, my Mother said, "Oh no, no! Your name is Lola for my sister. I just forgot to go back and change it." Well, I loved my dad's sister Martha, such a sweet little woman, and was happy to be named in her honor. My Aunt Lola was not a favorite. Sorry Mom, Martha it is!
When choosing a FunTrivia name I decided to go with Martha. The thought came to me that I must be Mad to even be joining this site, but then I found the MadMartha picture and that clinched the name.
I know that your husband passed away several years ago. Would you tell us something about him?
Thanks LBaggins for this question. I'm from Georgia and my husband was from Kentucky. We met halfway in between at a college in Nashville, Tennessee. He was a junior star athlete in basketball and baseball. I was a naive freshman from the North Georgia mountains with a secret crush on this BMOC (big man on campus). I could hardly believe it when he asked me for a date. After we married he got a degree in medicine and was a small town general practitioner for many years, particularly focusing on sports medicine. We've all heard of special gifts from God, his was the ability to look at someone and just "know" what was wrong with them. Renowned as a diagnostician, he loved taking care of families from the cradle to the grave. His untimely death ten years ago from a devastating illness is still mourned by patients far and wide.
Somewhere along the way we bought land outside of town and started a cattle farm. Taking care of cows, cutting hay, and riding on a tractor were activities physically relaxing for him - a true workaholic. His hobby was woodworking. Much of the furniture in our home was built by him. He taught Bible classes and at one time was treasurer for the congregation we helped establish. Yes, he was a very intelligent, talented person and I am happy to be given the opportunity to include him in this interview.
Do you have children or pets?
Yes, I have four children and twelve grandchildren. Coming from a family of eight, that doesn't seem all that large to me. As for pets, we had dogs when the children were growing up, but now I only have cows - lots of cows! I do occasionally dog sit small house dogs for the kids and grandkids.
What is your occupation?
I am a free-lance writer, which has been more like an avocation than occupation. I love what I do and have donated most of the money made from published books to the local historical society for preservation of our history. Although my BA degree is in Business Administration, early on I gravitated toward writing and for several years did a column for the local newspaper entitled "A Look Back with ___." Pictorial history books are my favorite, but I have also written histories for several different organizations. A special interest in medical history inspired a book on this subject. Family and friends tell me I have a loose screw somewhere because I enjoy getting lost in research. At one time I did a lot of public speaking, but not so much anymore.
I know that you're from Georgia, USA. What do you like best about living in Georgia?
In answer to what I like best about living in Georgia, it's certainly NOT the heat and humidity. Will never get used to it and I thank God every day for air conditioning! Other than that, I love Georgia. I grew up in the mountains and still have a cabin there on the Toccoa River. The town where I live now, though small, has much to offer and has been an excellent place for rearing children and grandchildren. I have lived for short periods of time in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky, but fate or divine intervention brought us back to Georgia. That's another story in itself...
I know you're very active in the Forums, especially the Chains, but what originally brought you to FunTrivia? What keeps you coming back each day?
I originally stumbled into FunTrivia looking for places online to learn information, facts and trivia that would help me be an asset on a family trivia team. We play two nights each week in local restaurants, usually competing against ten or twelve other teams. We are part of an organization known as TheTriviaFactory. Sometimes we go to tournaments in Atlanta and compete with many teams from across Georgia. Though we often win locally, we have never won a tournament - yet! I keep coming back, especially to forums, because I enjoy the challenge and the many friends I have met here. I'm hoping very soon to once again have time to earn badges, write quizzes, and interact more with other players.
FT is different things to different people. What aspects of the site do you currently find most enjoyable?
I haven't had a lot of time to spend on FT lately. I generally check in on forums, especially the chains, as I can participate quickly. The team I'm currently on has fallen by the wayside (sigh!). I enjoy team interaction, so as soon as I finish some projects I plan to join another. I like chatting with team members and playing daily team quizzes. I don't especially enjoy timed quizzes as I tend to read the questions, making timing terrible. If anyone has suggestions here please let me know.
Martha, I first met you in the chain games forums; what is your favorite chain game? Is there any game you'd like to make? Bring back?
Yes salami, we met quite a while back. Currently my favorite chains are the ones that require a little more originality (Limericks). There was a team game that I once enjoyed very much. A member would start a story, write a sentence or two and leave the thought dangling for the next person to pick up and take wherever his/her imagination was inclined to take the story. It was fun and challenging. I would enjoy seeing something like that on the chains. Do you remember the never-ending cruise that was written in rhyme? I loved it! Also the never-ending plane ride that was a hoot? I would enjoy seeing these brought back.
As a fellow Chain Game-r, I'm curious to know which, if any, of the Chain Games you like the least.
Well, yes, there are some chains that I don't particularly care for and never play. There are also others that I seldom or never play simply for lack of time but not because I dislike them. As said before, I tend to play the ones that require the most originality and the least amount of research. Now that I say that, it's rather ironic because the type of historical writing I do requires a tremendous amount of research and not much originality. Guess I actually do have a loose screw somewhere! So as not to offend anyone, I think I should refrain from commenting on specific chains.
I've noticed that a hobby of yours is reading. In a classic "if you were stranded on a deserted island" question: If you could only take five books with you, which books would you bring, and why?
That's a tough question kaddarsgirl! In the first place I hope I'm never stranded on a deserted island as I am a people person. But if ever I am, before I go completely mad perhaps there will be time to continue reading my BIBLE. I never tire of the inspiration it gives to my life. The 23rd chapter of the book of Psalms helped me get through my husbands illness. Hopefully, I will also have time to re-read ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand. It includes science, mystery, and romance as it "expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, capitalism, and the failure of governmental coercion". (Wikipedia)
Next would be PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austin. Who could ever get tired of reading about the charming Mr. Darcy. Or, for that matter Rhett Butler in GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell. How can you be from Georgia and not love Scarlett O'Hara. For the last selection I would pick a newer book that I am planning to read. Friends are giving high praise to THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown. This is a non-fiction book about the 1936 University of Washington rowing crew that won the Berlin Olympics. It will be the next thing I read whether stranded or not. As a note of interest, I once attended a seminar on nutrition with my husband. The question was asked, "If you were stranded on a deserted island forever and could only have four foods, which foods would you choose?" The four foods recommended for a balanced diet were bananas, kale, dried beans, and either milk or peanut butter. I can't remember which.
I have a passion for historic preservation that stems from a class I took in architecture school, but it's not a commonly seen hobby listed here at FunTrivia. I was excited to learn that it is one of yours! What started your interest in historic preservation and what do you enjoy most about the subject?
Researching southern history made me aware of the loss of so many beautiful antebellum homes in Georgia during the Civil War. Every time a 100+ year old building is razed, part of our history and heritage goes with it. That's just heartbreaking! For several years I have been working to help preserve this heritage through pictorial histories, newspaper columns, and speaking publicly on the subject. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to help much but we keep trying.
Of your many hobbies, which is your favorite? What's a hobby you'd like to try?
One of my favorite hobbies is arranging flowers. For many years I kept a fresh flower arrangement or a display of lovely camellias on the reception desk in the lobby of the clinic where my husband practiced. Camellias are very nice to have in the back yard as they bloom most all winter here in Georgia. I have won many ribbons at flower shows in both the artistic division and horticulture. Certainly not because of what I do. The beautiful flowers speak for themselves. As far as hobbies I would like to try, I have already tried most things that remotely interest me. Some were good, some okay, and some just weren't for me(mainly because I wasn't good at them).
When you post quizzes, how do you come up with the interesting titles that you choose?
Logcrawler, you surely must know that thus far I have only posted two quizzes. Shame on me! I intend to do better! Being the historian on my family's trivia team led to a study of the USA which included learning state nicknames. Some are unique and that just naturally led to a quiz. The title was easy. As for the other one, I grew up singing Fanny Crosby hymns, so here again it was an easy subject. Salami, maybe writing quizzes will be my new hobby.
Who is your favorite author on the site? Favorite single quiz?
I have several favorite authors but I'll have to admit that I don't always check to see who wrote the quiz I've just taken. Guess I get too caught up in the subject matter. Any quiz on the Bible, geography, or history is a favorite. Anytime I can score 100 percent on a quiz, that's my favorite author! grin
If you had a word of advice to give to up-and-coming budding quiz authors, what would you tell them?
I am definitely not the one to give advice to anyone wanting to write quizzes. I would have to tell them to check in with logcrawler because you are much more knowledgeable than I on the process involved. I would, however, tell them not to be discouraged if their first quiz wasn't accepted, but to keep on trying.
You've mentioned that you had a chance to be on "Family Feud". Can you tell us more about that? Did you win, do you remember any questions you were asked, etc.?
"Family Feud" was being filmed in Atlanta. One of my daughters-in-law had always wanted to be on the show, so her daughter contacted the Feud and got an appointment for tryouts. My daughter-in-law and her four children made up a team. I went along as a possible substitute in case someone couldn't make the actual taping. Guess what, my grandson couldn't get away that day so I went on the show. It was so much fun. They had a great staff of folks who made us feel relaxed. Steve Harvey was very funny. I didn't even mind when he made fun of something I said because he was so hilarious. We won the first game but lost the next one. It was quite an experience! One question was, "What do you think about when you hear someone say Santa Clause?" My daughter-in-law said a white beard. When my granddaughter was asked the same question, she said chimney. If either one had said Christmas we would have won the second game. The pressure was tough!
Borrowing from others' interviews: Would you share three interesting/unusual facts about yourself?
1. I taught myself to play the piano and in turn have given music lessons to my grandchildren.
2. I had never been on a tennis court until I was in my 30s. It's a great sport that I enjoy very much - and I have a trophy (just one) to prove it.
3. On my mother's side I am a descendent of the French Huguenots. I have a copy of my direct linage dating back to when my ancestors arrived in America in the 1690s.
Thanks everyone for great questions. I hope they have been answered to everyone's satisfaction!