How exciting! Our first round of One Question Wednesday - 2012 is underway!
I'll post the answer to the questions I've been asked by other bloggers here this evening and will update the post as I go along. I'm also providing links to their blogs so you can read their questions and answers too... I've already seen some very interesting replies! There's still plenty of time to ask me questions... just post them in the comments below, and I'll send one back your way! Here goes...
1. From The Ranting Monkey - Is your writing style influenced by anyone you've read or are there authors you really love that you read over and over and if so, who?
As folks might have noticed, I have very little style when it comes to writing... I write just as I speak... rapidly in a tangle of directions with minimal punctuation. I gave my high school English teacher nightmares. :-) I am very much a realist, tell it like it is, person, so I write mostly from first-hand experience and just tell the story as it comes to me, hoping that my readers are able to figure out what the hell I'm talking about!
Since a very young age, I've been in love with non-fiction, primarily biography. Just like with OQW, I am fascinated about other people's life experiences and how they think and feel. As a child I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder series since some of the books were based in the part of country where I grew up. Among the most powerful books I've read in recent years are Dave Pelzer's "A Child Called It" about his childhood of unspeakable abuse and how he came to terms with it, and a series of books by Torey Hayden that chronicle her experiences teaching children with severe emotional disturbances/trauma. For light reading I totally enjoy the Chicken Soup For the Soul series, and everything fiction and non-fiction to do with Amish life - I think there is much to be admired about living simply with healthy values and with specific gender and family roles.
I hardly ever re-read books or re-watch movies, I got it the first time and the my impatient nature grows bored with the replay. A few exceptions would be philosophical books like Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" or the writings of Mother Teresa where there is always new enlightenment to be found.
2. From - Pen - If you could go back in time five years, what would you tell yourself?
I am thinking this would make a good stand-alone post, Pen, so I'll make you a deal... I'll write that post soon, if you will write a companion to it! Short answer - five years ago my life was a living hell from which I saw no means of escape. Knowing what I know about my future now, I would tell myself to "make a plan and ditch that man" and then to stay strong, have faith, and believe that better things were in store for me than I could possibly imagine at that time. When I finally left him and our marriage of 13 years, I was convinced that I would never fully recover myself or have a good, happy life of my own... how very wrong I was about all of that... thankfully! :-) Thus my sermon to everyone to never, ever give up hope on life, all things change!
3. From JYankee - If you had to live your life over again to get to where you are now... would you do it?
My off the top of the head answer to this one was, "well of course I would 'cuz look what my life is like now!" After more consideration I would still have to say yes, even knowing what hell I'd have to go thru to get here, though I have to admit that the thought of enduring those years and relationships again is pretty scary - I barely made it out with my life, much less my sanity. Of course if I could have a re-do with the knowledge and understanding I have now, then I could have and would have made much better choices along the way! Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say. The other side of this is that all those experiences have combined to make me the person that I am today and for the most part I'm pretty content with who I am, so I guess in the end it's all good!
4. From Soul - Tell us how exactly you met your spouse, how long your 'courtship' lasted, and what was the giveaway that he was THE one - and you for him?
The short version for folks who don't know my story... I met my beloved husband on the Internet at Yahoo Personals four years ago. I'd nearly given up hope of meeting anyone decent and normal much less wonderful in that manner or any other way, but something told me to give it one more month before canceling my subscription.
Just two days into the new year I connected with John, and we began a whirlwind courtship from 100 miles apart which involved countless hours of deep phone conversations as we got to know each other from the inside out far better than would ever be possible thru casual dating. Having experienced such horrendous marriages in the past, I'd finally figured out that I was making a poor choice - being attracted to bad boys and the runts of the litter - so I decided to look for someone who was the complete opposite of the traits the three previous men had in common... and it worked! I really take little credit for our meeting though, we both believe it was totally God's plan for our lives at this stage of the game. John is everything I never thought was possible in a man or a husband, being married to him is easy and a blessing that I treasure every single day.
I connected with him at the beginning of January, went to meet him in Texas two weeks later, and two weeks after that we were talking about how we could make a home together if I relocated to join him here. If one of my children or friends made such a major life decision that fast I would be so in their face about the stupidity of not waiting to see how it all played out, but something just told both of us we were right for each other. There was no real "aha" moment, just a rapidly growing sense of comfort and belonging... much like how a new pair of blue jeans softens in the wash and starts to feel so good! I moved to Texas at the end of May, we were married in September, and the rest is his history! This really is a happily ever after story and I pray we have each other for a long time yet to come! There is so much more to this story, but time contraints and the impending blindness of my readers says to end it here for tonite. :-)
5. From L - What inspired you to blog and do you still have the same inspiration?
I began my first blog in the final years of my previous marriage when all hell was breaking lose due to my ex's ever increasing love of illegal substances. I didn't even know what a blog was, other than a funny sounding word, until I read a great article written by Dana Lonehill in Lakota Country Times which listed her blog address in the byline. I went to check it out and I was smitten with the possibilities this avenue of expression provided. I tentatively began my first blog and before long had made a small group of online friends that spanned the globe, many of whom I continue to be in touch with today. I am a writer at heart, I always have been. As a teenager it was nothing for me to crank out 10 page handwritten letters... ahh what a blessing computers/keyboards and the Internet have been in my life!!!
Blogging is my best form of therapy, even though I have walked away from time to time when I was in "hibernate and avoid people" mode or felt too frustrated with the lack of personal writing time to do it justice. I always come back for more, because the experience of sharing my words and thoughts with an amazing bunch of people is so incredibly gratifying and encouraging! I have learned thru trial and error not to pressure myself to write a post every day or to write a specific kind of post, so you will find a bit of everything in my posts... good and bad, mostly all too long, and it happens when it does. If there was a way to sit at the computer and blog all day and make money doing it... I'd be one wealthy woman... so that answers the inspiration question! For me, blogging is simply The Best Experience Ever, and continues to be!
By the way... here's another great blogger with an awesome OQW post - check out Bozo at A Bozo's Abbozzo!
I want to thank you all for joining The Ranting Monkey and me in playing One Question Wednesday. I hope you'll return for another round next week, and bring your friends! :-)