This week I took part in The Great Interview Experiment. This means I was interviewed by one blogger, and I interviewed another. If you’re interested in taking part, just leave a comment on that post. I had to get in touch with the person before me, but it’s not a difficult task and reaps some great rewards.
Secondly, I interviewed Kanani over at Kitchen Dispatch, which focuses on war, yoga, books and the life of a military wife. I learnt some wonderful things about a fellow blogger and encourage you to check out both their blogs to discover two gems in the internet blogosphere.
1. When did you first discover yoga and how often do you practise?
I discovered yoga a couple of years ago. I quit and then I came back to it in July of 2009. I practice in the studio 4 times a week, and if I don’t go in, I just practice at home. I love yoga, but I make no pretence to know what it’s all about. All I know is that I feel better when I do it. But overall, I look askance at the popular yoga culture that has grown out of it. A lot of it is marketing, and sidesteps doing substantial work on one’s inner self by encouraging people to
buy this or that. Anyone can stretch (especially if they are young). But it takes a much longer time to question one’s own beliefs and allow oneself to change.
2. If had a day to do and be anything, with time and money covered for, what/who would you be and what would you do with the free time?
Oh, no doubt I’d spend it writing, reading and having lovely meals with friends –new and old. Once the groove is found, then it all feels like free time because one is doing precisely what they love.
3. How do you find time to write so many blogs; what’s your secret?
I was a writer before I was a blogger. And so I’ve always written around specific interests. They’re separated to reach different audiences. The only secret is to only write when I’ve found something of interest. It helps me keep it from devolving into a whine fest! I can pound out a post in less than 15 minutes, but have spent as long as 3 hours crafting one. But in general, short (less than 500 words) and to the point seems to be the goal.
4. Do you have a morning routine? If not, what’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
It changes. I enjoy checking my messages, going to yoga, and then falling into writing.
5. How do you feel your experiences of war have shaped your blogging experience across your separate blogs?
Well, certainly I lost a few readers who only wanted the writing and literary posts. They didn’t want to read about military service, or even have their own views questioned –as I was questioning mine. Those posts really dropped off, but then again after writing about writing for over 2 years, I really did feel that I’d covered everything. I mean, there’s writing about writing, and then there’s just the beauty of taking those skills to explore a much bigger world. Ultimately, every serious writer has to do this. Milblogging provided new ground for me to explore.
After all, I think that’s one of the benchmarks of a writer –being curious and willing to go into new worlds. I leaped into the milblogging world in 2009. It was very tentative, but then I went full bore into it because what I was experiencing was so interesting. Every single assumption I’d made about those who serve and even the war was questioned and often times overturned. What I found was a passionate and equally compassionate group of individuals. Also I found one that has in the U.S. been scorned and often discriminated against. They have great needs, compelling stories, moments of depth. And then I had the chance to meet some milbloggers. What an incredible group of men and women, and also very supportive.
6. What would you say your favourite song/band is in general or at the moment? Is there a specific reason you like it?
I don’t keep track of bands. I never have. But I will tell you that I grew up in a household filled with classical music, then I moved onto Jazz, and then I found poetry. Poetry is music. Good prose is music.
What a wonderful way of putting it! As a poet myself, I can really relate to this idea.
7. What is your favourite genre to read? Any favourite authors or must-read titles?
No favourite genres. I look for writers who are consistent, are good wordsmiths, and explore themes often overlooked. One must read is Kent Haruf who crafts prose that has both compactness and beauty. Any Californian who doesn’t know John Steinbeck is really missing out on the western experience. Jane Austen. She was fan-tab-u-lous. I think all writers should read her. A healthy dose of Shakespeare helps as well, and fortunately, one can take in a play or watch it on DVD. If someone wants to read a biography, I adore David Niven’s “The Moon Is A Balloon,” for his storytelling. For some eerily crafted magic of putting words, try Peter O’Toole’s biographies.
8. Have you had any amazing experiences you wouldn’t have had if you didn’t blog?
I wish I could tell you that I was picked to travel the world for free, but it hasn’t happened. Blogging has always been secondary. Writing is the thing that makes me tick and has opened doors.
9. If you were stranded on an island, what movie, book, and item of food would you take; ignoring the lack of TV or cooking utensils?
The Moon Is A Balloon by David Niven. Oranges. Cinema Paradiso.
10. A couple of weeks back, you mentioned a huge editing project you were working on: Can you give us any more details? How’re you fitting in blogging around it?
Blogging and more specifically, Facebook has been taking a backseat. No, I can’t give any details on the project. But needless to say, there’s a tight deadline that I have to meet. I have to cover at least thirty – fifty pages a day.
Wow, what a challenge. Wishing you luck! I know I thrive on a challenge so I hope you find something wonderful amidst the project.
Thank you to both bloggers for taking part in this experiment and giving us all a chance to share with others.