“Look what I can do!” — Our Secret Skills

Last week we talked about what we’d change about ourselves, so this week we thought we’d go the opposite direction and talk about some of our hidden talents. Read on to learn about our random skills — and then share yours in the comments!

Vickie Fee

vickieNot to brag… actually I guess I am bragging. I’m remarkably good at spelling. I even know all those odd “i before e, except after c” exceptions. Probably because I started reading my way through an unabridged dictionary when I was in the third grade. I was deadly serious about the spelling bee. (I did pretty well on that front, by the way. I won grade-wide at my school four times and school-wide twice, advancing to the county competition.) Of course, my mad spelling skills were more impressive back before Spell Check came on the scene. Other reporters in the newsroom would call out, “Hey, Vickie, how do you spell…?” Obviously, they could have just checked the dictionary in the newsroom, but that might have required getting out of their chair.

 Ellen Byron


If any of you watched JUST SHOOT ME, you’ll remember the magazine covers that were used as interstitials  between scenes. Those covers needed catchy, punny article titles. Since I was the only one on that particular staff who had experience writing for magazines, I became the go-to for those titles. I wish I remembered more of them, but two stand out in my memories, one of which didn’t see the light of day because they cut back the order in the last season. “Emotional Baggage” – which of course would have been an article about great luggage – did make it. “Whose Sari Now?” didn’t. (The subtitle was about how Indian style was the hot new trend.) So if you need a punny title for an upcoming cozy, I’m your gal. Then again, pretty much all of us Chicks are.

Lisa Q. Mathews

CotC Word balloons

Most of my so-called “skills” have sadly melted away, like all that ice I used to skate on.  I once played first clarinet (I wanted to play flute but inherited my sister’s instrument), was almost fluent in French, and raced a mean backstroke (my Australian Crawl was just that). Weirdly, though, I seemed to have a talent for archery. I thought my Wilhelmina Tell days were over but I may be hitting the range again. Last Christmas my Millennial son put a target on his wish list, to go with his new crossbow (he lives in NYC). And I just learned that my 7-year-old granddaughter fell in love with the sport during spring break at Harry Potter camp. Maybe there’s an archery gene. Step aside, Katniss and Geena Davis!

Marla Cooper

CotC Marla Cooper

First of all, I would have been an amazing contestant on Name That Tune because I can identify obscure songs with breathtaking speed. Unfortunately, the show was before my time, rendering my number-one secret skill completely useless. I also have a Ninja-like knack for scoring rock-star parking. But I’m the most proud of my talent for rescuing lost dogs while on vacation. Apparently, being on vacation is the secret ingredient, because it’s happened four times now, versus just once in my everyday life. I’m particularly proud of the scared, muddy dog that I lured into my rental car in the middle of a national forest in Washington State. I even reunited him with his owners, who were beside themselves because he was deaf and couldn’t hear them calling him!

Cynthia Kuhn

cynthiaThis is a proven scientific fact because my husband and I once measured it at some sort of machine at a museum in Canada: I have cat-like reflexes. I just thought I was pretty lucky about catching things I’d dropped before they hit the ground. But no. It’s ACTUALLY cat-like. Science says so. (At least according to the chart posted above the museum exhibit.) And it happens on the regular: I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve dropped (and caught) the wand while applying mascara. Or small grocery items. But I think the real question is: why do I drop stuff so much?

Okay, readers, you’re up! Share your secret skills and hidden talents in the comments below.

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33 thoughts on ““Look what I can do!” — Our Secret Skills

  1. Not sure if I have a special skill! I could always tell if my girls were fibbing and now that carries down to the grandkids! I guess my one weird skill would be accents. I can do any accent there is! You can tell what TV programs I have been watching, especially British programs, as I talk like that! Drives my girls crazy! I am from Texas, so that accent is natural!
    Ellen, I love ‘Whose Sari Now’! I just try to find Just Shoot Me so I can see the magazines!
    Thanks, all of you, for sharing your talent!
    You guys are the best!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think having a built-in lie detector is an excellent special skill! And I love that you pick up accents. (Can you do Scottish? That one has always eluded me!)

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I’m impressed with all my fellow Chicks skills! And Deb, love that you can do accents. I’m pretty good with them too. In fact, I used to do voiceovers and did a bunch for a dealership in NJ called MIddlesex Auto. I did Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, and Dr. Ruth. The ad agency got a Cease and Desist from Dr. Ruth’s lawyers because people were complimenting her on her clever car commercial. Pretty proud of myself for that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Debbie, I’m super impressed with anyone who can do accents! I just do the one — Southern! Ellen, now I’m dying to hear your Dr. Ruth impression!

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I have a friend who had a glamorous job at Tiffany’s one summer, which was mostly detangling necklaces. I always run to her when I need help, although she showed me how to do it (entails two straight pins and a flat surface and a lot of patience). Oh, and good eyesight.


  3. I, too, am a pretty good speller. And yes, friends at the newspaper staff in college used to ask, “Hey, how do you spell…” all the time. This despite there being a perfectly good dictionary *right there.* Of course, I guess my other skill was that I could spell for other people all the while working on my own story…with near-perfect spelling, of course.

    I also play piano, violin, and when my high school string quartet needed a viola, I taught myself that, too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A fellow stellar speller — YAY! Liz, I have the opposite of an affinity for learning a musical instrument. Six years of pianos lessons and I can’t play Chopsticks.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I am a #1 appreciator. You do something well and I will tell you so. Anything that anyone does well I will appreciate!
    Great skills Chicks!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Here’s my secret. As much as I love puns, I am rarely good at coming up with them.

    However, I am fairly good at identifying songs quickly. And I can remember lyrics to many songs. My youth group didn’t want to play a game where we tried to come up with songs with various words in them because I could come up with so many songs that fit.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love it! I wish I could trade in some of my brain cells that are currently allocated for song lyrics and use them for something like, say, remembering where my keys are. But it’s a fun skill to have when a singalong breaks out!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Back in junior high I could sing the entire second side of Abbey Road, with instrumental bits included. (Not sure I could still do it, though, and you probably don’t want to hear me try.)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You are all so talented! I’m very impressed.

    Now I know whom to call for spelling, puns, song identification, and archery assistance.

    (And Ellen, I TOTALLY remember those covers. Loved that show, never missed an episode, btw.)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My talent is not a talent. My brain is full of random facts that I can spew at a party to stop all conversations. They ask me how I know that! My answer? I don’t know! I just do! When I played my first game of trivial pursuit it was guys against the girls. Final round. They picked the question we would never guess because it was a bunch of old biddies and me, a 20 year old. Wet behind the ears newlywed. “ Whose silhouette is on the Purple Heart?” What’s the Purple Heart, I wondered. But I spit out George Washington without thinking or consulting my teammates. I was right.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hestia, I’ve been known to come up with some bizarre-o trivial gems. But I had no idea about the Purple Heart. Very cool!!


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