Something you probably don’t know (and why would you? I’m not in here as often as I should be, I’ve been suffering from blogger’s regret for three straight seasons now) is that I’m a member of an online blogger’s group called the Brain Storm Bunker. It’s a lively place full of people who surpass me in energy, creativity and humour. They let me hang round anyway, they give me little jobs to make me feel valued, sometimes I bring them coffee, but I always get the order wrong (cinnamon on the latte NOT on the mocha, and vanilla syrup in a straight americano?! What was I thinking)
Anyway, by the time I’d finished wiping the coffee stains off the wall at which the unfortunate recipients had hurled their cups in disgust, I caught the tail-end of a conversation.
“It’s the bunker punk tour deadline today”
“The What now?”
“Liz, the bunker punk tour. We’ve been talking about it for ages. Get with the programme”
“Again, the what now?”
“For F’s sake. It’s simple. We each write and post a blog entry that answers five questions about ourselves. It’s a way for us and our readers to get to know each other better. Even you can get your act together to do that, surely?”
“Ok, I can do that…”
So here goes…
What is your most prized possession?
That’s a tough one. I’m not big on possessions. Not because I have philosophical anti-materialist leanings, it’s mainly because between me and the kids most stuff in our house gets broken, chewed or lost. I am big on memories. I have a wooden box full of photographs from my childhood, and a huge plastic storage box full of mementos from my life – I call it my memory box. Pictures and letters from my Dad, before he passed, little things from old relationships, bad poetry I wrote as a child, all the postcards I had on my wall when I first left home and went to university.
Yes, that. The pictures and the memories. They are who I was and who I am.
How do you unwind after a long day?
In short, maladaptively (is that even a word?). It used to involve cigarettes and red wine, and the contemplation of a LONG night of wakefulness ahead. My eldest child is autistic, and has serious sleep problems, so a long day for us includes a fair portion of the nighttime hours too.
I’ve tried to make some healthy changes these last few weeks though. We’ve dropped the cigarettes, cut back the wine and started using our rowing machine. I’ve dropped three pounds, I’m a firmer and more energetic me. Does that count as unwinding? It’s more like energising. Feels good though.
If I truly want to unwind it involves massage and all sorts of fun stuff that I have precious little opportunity to indulge in, and even less inclination to discuss here…
What is one song that has followed you through your whole life?
“We are the champions” by Queen. Their Greatest hits album was the first I ever knew off by heart. Queen were my Dads favourite band, EVER. Every long car journey, every holiday trip, when he needed to relax, when he needed to energise – that’s what was on the stereo. He was also a massive fan of Birmingham City Football (soccer) team, and they used to play “We are the Champions” at all their matches.
Dad passed away in 2002, and at the end of his funeral, as we all filed out of the church to the burial plots, we played “we are the Champions” to him for the last time. To this day, I still can’t listen to it without a flood of memories and a tear or fifty.
If you could give one piece of advice to new blogger’s in your field, what would it be?
I don’t really feel like I’m qualified to give advice. Also, I’m at a strange place with my “field”. I started out blogging as an parent of an autistic child. Yet my last few posts haven’t been anything to do with autism. Or anything to do with each other. I get a mental block with my blog – I feel like every post should be some worthy, fine-tuned pice of master prose. I have ideas and then intimidate myself to the point where I can’t write them out.
Maybe that’s my advice. Relax. Set targets and deadlines if you need to, trawl around for submission sites if that’s your thing, but don’t put yourself under too much pressure. This should be fun. Write about what moves you when it moves you. If you are constantly battling with yourself, the best of your words will never shine through.
Oh, and proof read. Always proof read.
Now that you’re famous, we need a quote from you:
“If you find yourself tumbling towards the edge of the world, look for something to hold onto – a memory, a relationship, an object, a place. Then reach out, there will always be hands reaching back to pull you up”
Ok. That’s me. Thanks for reading. Now where’s my mop and bucket, I see a vanilla coffee stain on the floor that needs my attention.