Squarespace, the site that hosts my web address and this blog, gives me access to my stats. I check them frequently to see how many people are reading along and which posts are resonating. It can also show data of what internet searches pulled up my author site. So I was a little taken aback last night when
"Where does CHANDRA HOFFMAN live" and "Chandra Hoffman's address" showed up in that list.
I'm going to give the searcher the benefit of the doubt--maybe you wanted to write me a fan letter? I love to receive those, and you can do that either by contacting my publisher if you want to go the ol' fashioned paper-and-ink route. Or if you prefer faster results and a reply, use email. Go to the menu bar above and hit CONTACT ME. I get several of these every week and they really keep me going as I am in the trenches of revision right now.
Or perhaps, as my sister-in-law pointed out, you might have been following along on my recent Homeschool vs. Traditional School blog, and you wanted to know what my district is so you could present some options? Thanks for taking this topic so seriously. I think we're all set.
But given that some things I have written, like the NYTimes op-ed piece on homeschooling or the adoption backdrop of my recent novel have struck a nerve with some readers, to the point where I have received some hate mail from members of angry adult adoptee groups who felt that my history as a caseworker make me 'opportunistic' and 'without a soul,' I thought I had just better be crystal clear:
-- If you think you have found me on the internet, you are probably wrong. I have lived in 11 international cities--all those are still listed as places where you might find me. Spain? That's me, sipping sangria. Portland? There I am again, beating the rain on a run in Portland Heights. And in various addresses and PO boxes in Tennessee, New York, Colorado and Pennsylvania? Yep. Check check check.
-- If you think you have narrowed down my location, I should warn you, I am also frequently in disguise--call it the Where's Waldo of suburban moms. You see a woman overdue for highlight touch-ups, wearing jeans and a grey zip-up hoodie, and (depending on the weather) rain boots, clogs or flips. Me? Or is it one of my thousand stunt-doubles in dark Target sunglasses shuttling their kids to piano in an SUV?
-- I live in a town where everyone knows each other, where neighbors call to say 'So sorry to bother you, but I noticed the dome light is on in your car, and I didn't want you to run the battery down.'
-- The chief of police is a close personal friend. He taught me to drive when I was sixteen. He helped me wrangle my escaped horse from one of our busiest streets during rush hour. He plays basketball with my husband. He drives by my house regularly, a slow patrol to make sure all is well. We wave to each other.
-- We have a security system. And a fence. And a gate. And firearms. And Max and Hayden have ninja moves that could render you paralyzed in a matter of moments.
-- My father is a veteran and card-carrying member of the NRA. At eighteen, he took me to an empty field and taught me, as every good father should, how to prevent kick back and turn a tin can into a sprinkler. When he comes for dinner, he brings gun and knife catalogs for us to select Christmas presents.
-- My husband makes his wish list off these catalogs. He gets what he wants. And as with all sports, he is ridiculously accurate when aiming for any target.
-- Finally, we have a 185 lb guard dog named Killer. He not only barks whenever he senses stranger-danger, he will rip your throat out.
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Okay, the last part is a lie. Our puppy will be 185 lbs, but at 5 weeks he only tips the scales at 9 lbs. And chances are slim that we'll call him Killer. If you follow this blog, you know we're leaning towards something more Biblical. But I wrote the above description based on our next door neighbor's German Shepherd, who won't exactly rip your throat out. He prefers to start with the testicles.