J O Jeppson Asimov
Monday July 23rd 2007, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Life

Janet Jeppson Asimov’s autobiographyNow, I knew she was related somewhere, but…

When my “Wrapped in Comfort” book did so very well right out of the gate–Amazon, Knitpicks, and all the bookstore chains all sold out for awhile the first week, Walmart two days later, and someone was scalping it for $67 Canadian, how cool is that?–my dad used it as an excuse to go call his cousin and chat.

Whom sci-fi readers may have heard of: Janet, aka J O Jeppson, aka Isaac Asimov’s widow.

So I recently ordered her autobiography, it came Saturday while I was off at Jasmin’s, and yesterday afternoon I sat down with it and didn’t put it down till I was done; Harry Potter could wait, this was family.

And when she wrote of her Aunt Hazel, I started to think, “My dad has a relative named Ha–” Oh, wait… And there was a picture near the back of Janet from the 80’s with Asimov, with her hair long, bangs, and big clunky glasses on her face. Now, at my in-laws’ 50th anniversary celebration a few years ago, the grandkids all guffawed during the slide show at the photos of their parents young and in love and wearing 70’s and 80’s clothes and hair, and glasses, those big clunky glasses. And me with my bangs, always.

So here I am, book in hand, staring at what looks like essentially a picture of ME way back when, standing next to Isaac Asimov. Wow.

One of the things I loved was reading about the compulsion to write: her husband’s, which was intense, but her own as well. Goodness: 17 years ago, I had a brain MRI and EEG done, and at the end, one doctor said to me, “Mrs. Hyde: do you like to write?”

I was stunned–who had told him? How did he know? I stammered out something to the effect that, yes, thank you, yes, I did. Why?

He then told me I had a hyperactive (okay, I think I remember the part of the brain he said, but if I get it wrong, there are readers who know who will just guffaw, so let’s skip that particular) and he’d seen that in patients who were writers. Matter of fact, mine was so hyperactive that he was considering putting me on anti-seizure meds.

While I sat there and thought, don’t you dare touch that. Sir.

In the end, he did not.

Janet Jeppson Asimov is a psychiatrist. I wonder if she’s had a brain MRI. I wonder if she, too, has a hyperactive (okay, she could fill in the blank there.) I’ll bet it runs in the family. The best things do.

10 Comments so far
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Family history is always cool. And when you find out that you have a skilk like writing that others shared, that’s neat!

Comment by Carol 07.23.07 @ 5:53 pm

My goodness. I’ve been thinking to myself all along, ever since first finding your blog, that you reminded me of Janet Jeppson.

I met her exactly once, in the early 80’s. She was the guest of honor at a science fiction convention in Syracuse, NY. I was convention staff.

Freaky small world sometimes, isn’t it!

Comment by Crafting Jen 07.23.07 @ 7:22 pm

How cool. My husband is related to Pearl S. Buck… I love literary connection like that.

Comment by Amanda 07.23.07 @ 7:50 pm

Wow. I’m a sci-fi junkie. Talk about degrees of separation!

Comment by CJ 07.24.07 @ 8:24 am

Ok, you get cooler and cooler all the time.

Comment by Sonya 07.24.07 @ 9:37 pm

Thanks, but nah, it’s just reflected glory from someone who doesn’t even know me. Still, finding out connections IS fun.

Comment by AlisonH 07.25.07 @ 12:17 am

That set chills on me….WOW…how cool is that!!
Interesting too about the “hyperactive…brain thing…” running in families….learn something new each day!
I just love your writing Alison…thanks for sharing it!!

Comment by Sheila E 07.28.07 @ 8:02 am

Wow, Alison, that’s cool. and I always joke that you’re related to everyone.

Comment by Johnna 08.01.07 @ 11:04 am

[…] there you go.  I do have a full name.  One connected to a few other writers (hi Dad!); remember this post?  After I wrote it, my niece got married in New York City.  I wasn’t able to go, but […]

Pingback by SpinDyeKnit 11.24.08 @ 1:05 am

Interesting! It must be in the “genes”….lucky you!

Comment by Joansie 11.24.08 @ 5:50 am

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