Just what you were looking for…

1. How do you put up with 2 kids that are puking AND whining and not just climb back into bed and lock them out of the bedroom?

Ha! If I had the answer to THAT, I could write a parenting book, make millions, and then hire you a nanny so you could lock the bedroom door for a few hours.

Seriously, just like every other mom I know, I just muddled through (and continue to muddle through) and gritted my teeth through the really rough spots.

2. Your life seems very full – you have kids, work, craft, travel….how do you find time for just yourself? What do you do to relax?

Yeah, my life sometimes seems impossibly full, but despite that, I’m actually fairly good at finding time for myself – partly because I have pathetically low standards for some of the things other women excel at, like cleaning house and actually putting the folded laundry back into dresser drawers. (That’s what laundry tables are for – just line everything up in piles for every member of the family and let them fend for themselves.) Part of the reason I’m quite fond of my business travel is that it allows me guilt-free time to do some of my favourite things, like wandering, reading, taking pictures, and spending uninterrupted time in a bookstore. The other thing that helps me find time for relaxation is the fact that I have a really cool husband who is very much an equal partner on the home front – he does most of the cooking and lots of the cleaning and stays more on top of things like what forms are due at school and who has a soccer practice each night – and who sends me out the door when it’s clear that I need some “me time”. One of the other things I do, when the world seems to be unraveling, is take my journal to my son’s grave and write whatever comes to mind. (Sometimes I wish my dad’s grave were closer so I could do it there too.)

3. You’ve traveled all over the world, but where’s one place you haven’t and would love to?
Here are the countries I’ve been to: Canada, U.S., Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Greece, France, Holland, and Spain.

And a few of the countries I want to visit some day: Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Kuala Lumpur (I know that last one is kinda random, but I loved the book Democracy by Joan Didion and that was the first time I ever heard of Kuala Lumpur. I’ve been intrigued ever since.)

4. What do you love to write about most?
Funny you should ask – I’ve been working on building my own website lately (because I want to build up my freelance career in writing and leadership consulting) and I’ve been wrestling with trying to find my “unique voice” so I know what I most want to sell myself as. I’ve done alot of different kinds of writing (poetry, drama, essays, research articles, lots and lots of business writing, and I’ve even written a novel), but I think in recent years, my favourite thing to write would fit in the category of personal essay. If I were to narrow that down even further, I think I would say essays about issues such as social justice, leadership, experiences in other cultures, and unique approaches to spirituality. (I’d love to turn this question around, though – what do YOU most like about what I write?)

5. In your experience, what are most important ingredients necessary for a creative writing workshop?

Ooo… Stephanie, you ask GOOD questions! I think some of the most important ingredients are:
– enough freedom to write in the voice that’s most comfortable, but enough challenge to test voices outside of your comfort zone
– trust among the participants and instructor – that they can respect each other’s unique perspectives and world views
– unique, outside-the-box writing exercises (one of my favourites was a brown bag exercise where each participant was given a brown bag with a few things inside that they had to incorporate into a piece of writing)
– an instructor (or facilitator) who knows the “rules” but is confident enough to know the right time to break them
– an instructor who provides some constructive ideas for how to use/share your writing and challenges people to get good writing out into the world

6. What I want to know is, how does having a cold or allergies affect that nose ring?

The nose ring really has little affect on my life, even when I have a cold. Once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy to blow your nose, wash your face, etc.. Now and then you have to pick the boogers off the little curved wire in the inside (is that too much information?), but it’s really not a big deal. I’ve never regretted it, and the only time it has caused me discomfort was the time shortly after I got it that I caught my ring on it while washing my face in the shower. Ouch.

7. You have a nose ring?

Why, yes… yes I do! I got it on my 4oth birthday (2 and a half years ago) just for fun. I’d wanted to get one back in my twenties, but chickened out because I didn’t think I had the right nose for it (my friend had a lovely regal nose and just seemed to suit it so well) AND I was much too concerned about what people thought of me back then. By 40, I was much more comfortable in my skin and no longer cared as much about what my nose looked like or what other people thought, so I went for it. Call it delayed gratification. 🙂 (Julie is trying to convince me that at 50, I need to get a tattoo. We shall see.)

8. Who’s your favourite sister-in-law?

Well, it’s ccap, don’t ya know? 🙂 (For those who don’t get it, my sister is also my sister-in-law, and since I only have one sister, that seemed like the most politically correct choice.) Truthfully, though, I’m rather found of all of them, INCLUDING YOU, ACCIDENTAL POET/HOUSEWIFE/CANDLE CARVER/BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WHO MARRIED MY TECHNOGEEK BROTHER! (Yes, you’re beautiful, despite what my bumbling 15 year old self once said to you!)

9. Who’s the favourite man in your life?

Why that would be YOU, Mr. Anonymous, a.k.a. Studmuffin Husband!

That was fun. Any more questions?

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