The one where I answer five questions

I’ve been seeing these blogger-interview posts lately in which one blogger posts the answers to five questions about her/himself asked by another blogger. The interesting thing is that the subjects don’t wait to be invited – they have asked to be interviewed by a blogger who has already been through the exercise. Usually I’m the wait-to-be-asked type, but blogging seems to be making me more forward, and I decided I wanted to play too. Dawn of She Is Too Fond of Books (who was interviewed by Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit) was kind enough to oblige me by e-mailing me five queries.

Why do you blog?
Because it’s like potato chips – once you start, you can’t stop :-).

I’ve been blogging for almost two years now (and there’s a landmark on the horizon some time next week, y’all – post #800!), and it seems like the longer I do this, the more reasons I have for doing it. I’ll share three of the biggest here:

  • My original, and still a significant, reason for blogging is to keep a detailed record of what I read. I never kept a handwritten reading journal, but I felt like I really wasn’t retaining much about the books that I read and I needed to try something that would help me with that. Blogging has not only accomplished that record-keeping function, it has helped me read more carefully and critically (since I know I’ll be writing about what I read), and it has also given me a place to talk about what I’ve read.
  • Blogging is one way I maintain a social life. “Blogging,” as opposed to writing, is meant to be a social act. That means writing content that engages people; going out to find those people by posting links, participating in blogging groups and events, and reading and commenting on other people’s blogs; and interacting with readers by responding to comments and fostering discussions. I have met some terrific people, and been offered unexpected opportunities, thanks to blogging.
  • I’ve always liked writing, but now that I have a regular place for it, it’s truly become a habit and I get restless when I haven’t done it for a few days. Writing well is also a skill, and I’d like to think that this nearly-daily practice is improving mine. I feel that having this forum to express myself has helped me become better at self-expression in other areas of my life.

What are the next two books you’re reading, and how did you choose them?
One of my goals this year is to be more timely in reading and posting about the books that are sent to me for review, especially when I get them as ARCs. The next two books on my reading agenda are ARCs of books with February publication dates, and that’s why they’re on the top of the stack right now; I’d like to post the reviews during the new-release period. I began reading Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran, a memoir by Azadeh Moaveni, this past weekend. I’ll say more about it when I post my review, but so far it’s fascinating. After I finish that one, I plan to read Kristin Hannah’s upcoming novel, True Colors.

I know the question asked for the “next two,” but since one of the books I mentioned is already in progress, it’s technically not a “next,” so I’ll mention the book that’s third in line as well. It’s also fiction, but it will be a far cry from Kristin Hannah. I’m looking forward to reading Susan Helene Gottfried’s collection of short fiction about the band ShapeShifter, The Demo Tapes – Year 1, after getting to know them through the “outtakes” she’s published on her blog.

What is your dream job? (dream big!)
Well, I’ve been an accountant for over twenty years. That’s not it :-).

In all seriousness, what I do as a blogger is probably pretty close to a dream job. I work on my own schedule; I get to read a LOT; I write and have the opportunity to be creative. If I got paid for it all, it would be just about perfect. I suspect a large number of other bloggers might answer this question the same way…what do you think?

What is your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?
My favorite holiday is probably Thanksgiving, but it’s not because I’m a big fan of turkey – in fact, my family almost never eats “the bird.” Last Thanksgiving, our feast was lasagna (I did put ground turkey in it, though). In other years, the centerpiece of dinner has been capon, duck, or famous Honeybaked Ham. For me, Thanksgiving is a peaceful holiday with the focus on food, family, and friends – less hectic than Christmas, although Christmas does have better music.

The way we celebrate the holiday varies by the year, and depends on who’s around. My husband and his ex-wife alternate the major holidays with their kids each year; if the kids are with their dad and me, we’ll invite the grandparents to our home and I’ll plan and prepare the meal, which I really enjoy doing. If it’s their year for Thanksgiving with their mom, my husband and I will usually go to my mother-in-law’s for the day. The wild card is my son, who lives on the East Coast; last year, he came to California for Thanksgiving instead of Christmas, and at this stage in his life I don’t factor him into holiday plans too far in advance. If he joins us, he will be part of wherever we go and whatever we do, as long as he has access to the Internet and a TV, so he can keep up with the college football games.

My next favorite holidays are not widely observed – they are my birthday and my wedding anniversary.

If disaster struck and you had to leave your home, what 3 things would you bring with you (assume all people and pets get out safely with you!)

I would do my best to make sure I had my wallet, my glasses and contact lenses, and my MacBook. I would have said “the book I’m currently reading,” but chances are pretty good that I’d be able to get another copy of it at some point when things settle down.

Thank you for the great questions, Dawn! This was fun – and if you’d like to join in the fun yourself, you can ask me to interview YOU! Here’s what to do:

Leave me a comment saying, “Interview Me.” Please include your e-mail address if it is not in your profile.
I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)
You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

I hope you’ll play along!

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  1. Since I seem to be bereft of topics right now, and the first time I did the interview thing, I didn’t necessarily do it right, feel free to email me questions!

  2. You know, when I saw the first answer I thought it said you blog because you like potato chips. It doesn’t make sense, does it? I need to get some sleep.

    You can interview me if you like. But, as you know, I’m going out of town and I’m not sure I’d get to it before I leave.

  3. great questions and answers. I love to see everyone’s answers to dawn’s questions. I could not leave behind my g4 powerbook either.

    I love that you think blogging is like potato chips…

  4. Mike – I’ll e-mail you with the questions. Then you’ll have something to blog about – besides your trip – when you get back :-).

    And I DO like potato chips! But you need to get done with those midnight shifts and get some sleep.

    Susan – The social part is what defines blogging as something unique, if you ask me. However, it’s made maintaining my social life with NON-blogging friends and family a little more challenging :-).

    Kathy (Bermudaonion) – When I don’t have review responsibilities to meet, I’m usually more of an impulse reader too. But I’m trying to be more diligent about getting to the review books, and that means I have to plan for them.

    Serena – Thanks for getting this started with your interview of Dawn! She did come up with good questions.

    I figure that if I can take the computer, that means that things like pictures and documents may be saved too. Besides, won’t I need to blog about the disaster :-)?

  5. Alright, email me some questions! 🙂 You are always so indepth with your answers! And I would blog for a living if I could!!!

  6. Your description of the social nature of blogging articulated some of what I’ve been surprised by in this new endeavor. Thanks for putting it into words for me!

  7. Amy – Your questions will be in your Inbox on Wednesday :-).

    Green-Eyed Siren – It was one of the things that surprised me too; then I was really surprised by how much I grew to like it :-). I think it’s one of the things that keeps me hooked.

  8. I’m not sure I’d like to blog for a living. I think there is definately a huge social side to it, but it’s not enough for me. I need human contact to be happy!

    Go on then, interview me!

  9. Florida – thanks for playing along; your answers were well-thought-out (I know, I’m stumbling over the right way to write that phrase!).

    Funny, Susan Helene Gottfried and I have talked about how Trevor and the gang from *The Demo Tapes* are like potato chips … you just can’t stop at one chapter …

  10. Dawn – Thanks for asking such fun questions :-)!

    I don’t read many books in one gulp any more – just don’t have the time – but I have a feeling that The Demo Tapes will be an exception.

  11. Like Greeneyedsiren mentioned, the social side of blogging came as a surprise to me. It plays a big part in why I blog now. And like for you, blogging has proven to be a great way to practice my writing skills.

    I hadn’t really thought of a dream career in book blogging, but now that you’ve mentioned it, it would be ideal, I agree.

  12. Wendy (Literary Feline) – The social side of blogging is definitely a big factor in why I rarely think about not blogging.

    It would be nice work to get paid for, wouldn’t it? But I do have another dream career that I forgot to mention – singing commercial jingles. I’ve always thought that might be fun, and it does pay – no fame, but that’s fine. I’m not a frontwoman – at best, I’m a backup singer :-).