Friday, June 28, 2013

Today's victim interview is Suzan from Simply Vintageous.

She hails from one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Montreal, where she paints furniture and has interesting conversations with her husband, John.

(She also quotes song lyrics incessantly, but we like her anyway.)  Here's how she reacted to me prying into her innermost thoughts:

1.  What do you think of heated floors?  
 I'm menopausing Kirby - heated anything is definitely O.U.T.  Now floors with air conditioning built into them would be heavenly.
2.  How do you feel about ceramic tile?   
Well I've never actually given that any thought - and I need far too much time to figure it out - I don't know how I feel about terracotta either now that I think of it.  Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day searching within myself to see how I feel about it - and I have a feeling tonight I'll be no wiser.
3. Did you ever pretend you were an Olympic athlete?   
I used to LOVE swimming and diving - but really, I wanted to be an actress. Maybe I could have been the next Esther Williams?

4. Beer or wine?  
Both - not together but love both.
 5.   If you are out cruising around town at midnight, are you more likely to get fish and chips, or Tim Horton's?  
Fish and Chips - Tim Horton's is for the morning after.  A big fat chocolate donut is the perfect remedy for too much Wine ( or Beer )
6.  Your HONEST opinion regarding burlap is… 
 Overrated - I prefer drop cloths
7.  Where is one place you have visited that you will definitely try to return to? (Or, if I’m using my English teacher grammar, to which you would like to return?)     
PARIS.................. if I ever win the lottery I'm buying an apartment there ( after I've had my facelift ) and I'm going to walk around eating croissants - and saying things like " J'ADORE " and " Magnifique " and wear hats ................
8.  You love pink--Fuchsia or Bubblegum?    
9.  You're always quoting song lyrics--what song on your iPod (or in your album/CD collection) do you feel best represents who you are at this point in your life?   
BOTH SIDES NOW - that's what I feel - everyone else in my life, however, might think WITCHY WOMAN is more fitting.
10.  One blogger you love to read is--- 
This is one of the hardest questions you can ask - there's just too many of them Kirby! You of course - but if I could only pick one - let me see now - nope - I can't do it - next question?
Oh there's no more?
Well - I could have went for another 10 !!!
Kirby here--thanks again to Suzan for having some fun with this!  Next week, there is a surprise guest!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Feature Friday might be starting with paint!

If you don't know Linda at It All Started With Paint, you should. 
She is kind, supportive and lots of fun. 
She is also addicted to Mason Jars.  And I could tell her that Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana was started with Mason Jar money.  I could also tell her that the fave cheer of Ball State students is "Ball U!  Ball U!" but I won't because that sounds slightly sketchy.  So, with no further ado from me, here is my interview with the lovely Linda:
1.  Gas or electric? 
Gas.  Really Kirby?  You set me up for bathroom humor right out of the gate? 

Now I'm concerned about the questions that follow ... :)

2.  Which do you hate less--dishes or laundry?
Laundry.  My husband does it. Oh wait, he does the dishes too ...
 3.  If you are in need of a midnight snack, what do you crave most? 
Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.  No, wait, a Nestle's crunch bar.  Or maybe chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream topped off with a Nestle crunch bar.  And whipped cream.  Can you tell I'm on an evil diet and hungry as I answer this?
4.  You live in my favorite big city.  What is your fun thing to do in Chicago? 
 Neighborhood pubs. One on every corner.  Oh, and this isn't a "to do" but I love driving down Lake Shore Drive on a beautiful day and crossing the river to catch the Bob Newhart shot ...
5.  If you found $10,000 in the dryer after you ran a load, what would you spend it on (for your home, of course)? 
 Well, I don't do the laundry. So my husband would find it.  Hopefully he'd share ... and we'd redo the kitchen.
6.  Peach or pumpkin? 
To eat, peach.  To color, pumpkin.
7.  You are now famous for your Mason Jars.  Do you have a project in mind that you haven't done yet?
 I've been dreaming up something that incorporates all the current trends: mason jars, burlap, book pages, ASCP, Chevron, milk paint, and a pallets.  It's gonna be HUGE, I tell ya!
 8.  If you had to choose one song that best represents you, what would it be? 
 Rock Lobster.  I'm a matching towels kinda gal ... :)
9.  Is there a place you'd love to visit (though lawd knows why you'd want to leave Chicago...)?  London.  And Ireland.  I've never been across the pond.
10.  Who is one blogger whose posts you never miss? Aside from you, Kari @Thistlewood, Kelly @View Along the Way, and Bliss @Bliss Ranch. 
Kirby here:  Thanks to Linda for being a good sport AND a good friend!  Make sure you check her blog out!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Today, I have a real treat--a "real" writer!

(Okay....please don't misunderstand me.  We are all "real" writers...but today's guest has had published two very successful series of mystery novels. Books!  With pages!  And covers!  That someone else paid to have printed!) 

Anyway, now that I have offended you folks, I would like to introduce today's interviewee, Margaret Maron.  She writes the Sigrid Harald and Deborah Knott books and has a list of awards as long as my (flabby upper) arm.  These awards include the Edgar, the namesake of last week's interviewee.  Coincidental, no?
If you like mysteries, I highly recommend you check out her books, because her characterization is great--I feel like I know these people.  But for some reason I always pictured Dwight bald...I have very specific ideas about how my pretend people should look.

Margaret (yes, I am being presumptuous calling her by her first name, but I don't think she'd mind) lives here in NC and uses many of our great locations in her Judge Knott books.  She was great about putting up with my silly questions and was very prompt in getting back to me and was an all-around good sport.

Here's how she answered my questions:

1.  Most of my readers are Home Decor/DIY bloggers.  So before we begin the interview in earnest, would you describe your house?

Let's see. . . eclectic? eccentric? idiosyncratic? Definitely one of a kind. Our house began as a 1200 sq.ft.  vacation home, a 3BR, 1B, featureless box with a back porch that ran the full 50' length. Over the years, it's sprouted wings, had walls knocked down, doors and windows moved. It's now about 2600 sq.ft with all sorts of odd spaces. It has 6 doors to the outside and 31 windows.  It should tell your readers something that we have three fuse boxes. I've never cared about luxury, but I do care about comfort. When I sit down, I want a place to set my coffee cup and I don't care if it's a piecrust antique or a wooden box. You can set a glass of iced tea down on any surface in our house without worrying about water marks or white rings. Polyurethane is my friend. (Yes, I can hear your readers shudder and gasp.)  I'm big on repurposing furniture and will always try to build it before I buy it.
2.  You write your series set in NC with characters that are familiar to those of us who live in the south: farmers, good ol' boys, folks
who drink too much and lose their tempers, people who will buy "brandy" off the back of a truck, old-fashioned church-going women.
Is there an underlying message in the fact that your protagonist is "Judge Knott?"

Not really.  Her first name, Deborah, comes from the Bible. ("And Deborah judged Israel at that time." Judges 4:4) I gave her Knott as a last name thinking I might use punning titles for the books. By the time I decided that was a dumb idea, she had already appeared in print in a short story that won the Agatha Award and it was too late to change her name.

3.  What is the writing process like for you?

Heaven when it's going well, hell when it isn't. Writers stare out of windows a lot, but you can't wait for the muse to drift in and inspire you. You have to wrestle her into your office and tie her to a chair. The only inspiration I get is from staring at the computer screen,

4.  How does it feel to be on the NY Times bestseller list, in twelve words or fewer.

 Incroyable! (and I don't speak French)

5.  If you could redecorate one room in your house, what would it be? 

My supposedly "formal" living room.  It may be time to rethink the ca. 1900 white wicker armchairs, the ca.1960 kitchen cabinet that serves as a lampstand, and the ca. 1930 oak dresser that serves as a sort of  a sideboard. (I cut the feet and mirror off of it and added shelves across the knee hole.
6. I have written a couple of blog posts on style and voice.
 How important do you think it is to keep those in mind as you write?
I don't know about style, but voice is key for me. Josephine Tey and Rumer Godden are my absolute idols. Their characters just rise up off the page, fully rounded and fully engaged.
7. Any words of wisdom for those of us who are interested in writing professionally?

Finish the article. Finish the story. Finish the book. Treat it as a job and work at it every day. I myself do not believe in "writers's block." Dentists don't get up in the morning and say, "I'm blocked on filling cavities." English teachers don't say, "I'm blocked on teaching punctuation." They go to work and they do their jobs. If you want to be a professional writer, you have to treat writing like a profession.

Kirby here: I want to thank Margaret for taking the time to correspond with me and for her graciousness.  She was very patient with my silliness!  (And those of you who know me, know I can be silly.)  I have a few other interviews with writers waiting in the wings, and of course I have some other blogger interviews.   I think.  Laura?  Linda?  Anyone?