The Interview meme – a day late and a dollar short

This meme began circling, for the second time, I think, a couple of months ago. Basically, it’s a blogger-interviewing-blogger meme, so one blogger interviews you, you post your answers, and then volunteer to interview other bloggers. The lovely Zoesmom agreed to interview me MONTHS ago when I posted the request to her blog, and then I promptly took a blogging break. Now I’m back and finally getting around to this meme – I think this will leave me only one meme behind! Hazaah! If you are heinously behind on your memes, and not just one behind, like yours truly, leave a comment here and I’ll be happy to interview you!

1.  In what ways does blogging affect your writing and vice versa?

I started blogging for two reasons : 1. To have a place to start sorting out all the ideas running through my head, a place where they could be filed by category and 2. To connect with other writers and readers. I believe writing begets writing begets writing, so blogging helps me think through all sorts of things that I would probably normally try and write essays or short stories about but instead, I blog about them, the ideas are saved, and I am not distracting myself away from the novel with other writing  projects. Do not underestimate the power of distraction when working on a writing project – it’s immense. I do all sorts of writing beyond this blog but I really think blogging has helped me stay focused on my goals and given me some form of writing to do even when I don’t work on the novel every day. The more I write, the more I WANT to write, and blogging is one very informal, fun way to release the million ideas running through my head at all times.

2.  Of the places you have lived, where is your favorite place and why?

This is a really tough question! I’ve loved different things about almost all the places I’ve lived! I guess I have to answer Durham, North Carolina. S. and I moved there when we were twenty-two, and it was a bit of a dream come true for me, since I’d always been fascinated with the south and considered myself a southerner at heart. Living in Durham, North Carolina under the Clinton administration was incredible…opportunity blossomed every where. I loved the weather – long golden subtle autumns and riotous, loud springtimes, I loved the theater company I belonged to, I loved my friends, this crazy collection of actors and ballet dancers and artists, I loved the food – and it’s where I turned my attention much more fully to my writing, since I was out of college and didn’t have so much of it to do for school all of the time. I was devastated when S. wanted to leave – I really could have lived there forever. He practically had to wrench me out of the state. S. sometimes talks about moving back there but I’m pretty hesitant, now – I know it wouldn’t be the same and, also, I don’t think I could leave it, twice.

3. What is the strangest Facebook encounter (message, friend request, etc.) you have had?
I’ve actually been really lucky with facebook! I know a lot of people, my husband and several friends included, who are all angsty about it, like, “why is this person friending me?” and “I feel stupid updating my status update, who cares?” and “I feel like such a fool belonging to facebook” to which I answer, nobody is forcing you to have a facebook page, or spend time there. If it’s not fun for you, you shouldn’t do it. I have the same limited patience for the existential blogging and twitter talk that crops up – if you have to think about whether you should be engaging in the medium or not, then you probably shouldn’t. I guess I’m oddly lucky – I just feel pretty joyful about the whole thing and how it has allowed me to connect with these fabulous people from all parts of my life, and how I can carry them with me with more than memory. Most of the people I’ve come across I honestly have good relationships with or great memories of. Also, I’m pretty ruthless with the ignore and delete options…so I’m generally not bothered by the few crazy people I’ve come across.
4.  It is Oscar night as I am writing this and I know you are a fellow movie fan — what movie going traditions do you have?  How about Oscar night? The one moving-going tradition I have includes my friend, A. – every year after the Oscars are announced we spend a weekend going to the movies, trying to see as many nominated movies as possible. We eat junk food (popcorn and m&m lunches!) and then end the day with cocktails. I don’t catch a ton of movies in the theater anymore since S. doesn’t really like movies, so I don’t have too many other traditions. I do like going to the movies in Squirrel Hill after I’ve been to the Carnegie Library, and on the few evenings a year I manage that I always go to this fabulous Thai restaurant – the Silk Elephant, for sustenance. On Oscar night A. and I email and/or text and/or call each other to talk about the clothes, the hair, the fabulousness of it all. Sometimes these are short notes…(Penelope Cruz? REALLY?) and other times they are treatises against the fashion choices, like, for instance, Amy Andrew’s necklace this year. A. has Oscar food she eats…maybe she’ll leave a comment regarding her dining choices on Oscar night :-).

5.  What do you do when you can’t sleep?
Ah. Well. Insomniac that I am, I have lots of experience with this. I have tried all sorts of remedies, from reading, to warm baths, to surfing the internet, to moving to the couch and watching endless episodes of “Roseanne” on Nick at Night. Anymore, though, I just lay in bed and let my mind drift, since my dad once pointed out some rest is better than no rest at all. I also practice my yoga breathing. And I’ve found that I generally sleep well if I maintain a schedule…if I manage to write, work and exercise all in the same day I don’t tend to have trouble sleeping. The worst thing you can do is stress out about not sleeping…your body WILL sleep when it’s ready to. It really will. I don’t take any medication when I can’t sleep, either – I work under the assumption that my body will right itself eventually.

Leave me a comment if you’d like to be interviewed!

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6 Responses to The Interview meme – a day late and a dollar short

  1. kimhaasdesign says:

    Me! Do you see my hand waving frantically in the air? I’d love to be interviewed by you. No rush at all. Leaving for vacation today.

    Love what your dad says about some rest is better than none. I deal with it once in a while, so I’ll keep that in mind.

  2. Emily Barton says:

    Great answers! I, like you, find that the more I write, the more I want to write, and blogging has been fabulous for getting me to write not only here but in lots of other venues. And I’ve taken to paying attention to that “some rest, even if it isn’t sleep is better than nothing” advice of your father’s when I find I can’t sleep (however, I tend to think that lying on a couch with a book or magazine is “rest”). However, are you sure you only have one more meme? (Not that I doubt your organizational skills combined with guilt that would probably flawlessly keep track of such things.) Haven’t I tagged you for, like, 100?

  3. Cam says:

    When this meme started circulating, I felt guilty because you had asked me to give you questions on this meme back in 2007. Read the last comment I wrote (on your New York post). That week I wrote about in Times Sq — I tried one evening to write questions for you while eating a disgusting salad and something that I remember as being almost indefinable but I can’t seem to forget the nauseating concept of ‘Mexican Spanakopita’. I’m glad that someone else gave you a second chance to do this meme. Zoesmom asked some great questions. If you’re interested in sending me some questions, I’ll answer them — and follow through with asking someone else 5 questions.

  4. ZoesMom says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you found the time to do the interview. I love this post because I feel like I know a lot more about you.

    I have a similar Oscar tradition — when the nominations are announced I make a list of all the movies I “need” to see before the awards. It is lots of fun squeezing in movies on a weeknight or the random matinee. Maybe we can catch a movie together one day — popcorn & M&Ms is one of my favorite meals!

  5. Courtney says:

    Kim – hmm. I have HEARD,via facebook, about your vacation. I wish I was there with y’all! In all seriousness, I will send you some interview questions in the next few weeks – stay tuned!
    Cam – same goes for you! And no worries about not sending me questions – trust me – I hadn’t retained that at ALL. It’s all good. And it’s possible I may forget to send these promised questions…
    Emily – I know I have to do the marriage meme…what others am I missing?
    Zoesmom – I would love to catch a movie with you. And afterward we can go book shopping!

  6. Emily Barton says:

    Don’t worry. I haven’t a clue.

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