Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Great Interview Experiment: Magpie Musing

I suck. I know this post isn't supposed to be about me, but I do. Here's why: I signed up to do Neil's Great Interview Experiment AGES ago. I took way too long to respond to the questions sent to me by my interviewer, and then took way too long to send my questions to my interviewee, Magpie Musing. But she responded quickly. And I said I'd put up the interview ANY SECOND NOW.

That was, um, let's just say several weeks ago.


Magpie's awesome. We have oodles in common, and I'm loving keeping up with her blog, now that I've been introduced to her. You will, too. So, here, without further ado or suckage-related delays like waiting until I'm at home where I have the cool logo so I can add it here, is my interview with Magpie:

1. From one of your more recent entries, I found out that infertility blogs were your entree into the blogging world. But who were your early influences? Which blogs, which bloggers? And what about now? Who are Magpie's Muses? (Sorry. Had to do it!)

During the infertility treatment period, I got enmeshed in message boards - Resolve ( and Inciid (, primarily. They were incredibly helpful and supportive. At some point, after the baby was born, I was drawn - like a moth to a flame - to the very very idiosyncratic and insane "toddler" message board at UrbanBaby ( I really don't remember migrating over to reading blogs, and I don't remember what the first one was - but both Julie ( and Julia ( were right up there. Today, I don't know that there's a blog that's a "muse". I read a lot of blogs - some with great regularity, some more randomly, many are by people I don't know, some are by people I've met on-line and/or in person. I think, though, that the source of my "muse" is not so much on-line as it is just day to day life. I see stuff, I want an outlet for processing it - from the ridiculous to the sad to the sublime. And some of it is just as a way to document my daughter's childhood.

2. Sticking with blogging for just one more minute: You post nearly every day. Do you have a blogging routine, a time of day or a place or something that gets you started? And do you have a "process"? Do your posts always come off the top of your head, or do you plan, do drafts? Do you outline? Do you jot notes for future posts?

I have no process. I try to post most weekdays; sometimes the posts are scheduled in advance and sometimes they just happen. If I have a post sketched out on a Saturday, I'll usually schedule it for Monday - but not always. Sometimes the posts are off the top of my head; others percolate for a while. I have a notebook in the bag I carry every day - it's got scribbled notes, and printed out articles, and other people's posts - all things that have piqued my interest in some way and that I think could be fruitful. There are maybe 10 draft posts in my blog at any time - and a draft could be as little as nothing more than a link to something else.

3. If tween Magpie met grown-up Magpie, would she recognize her? What would she like about her grown-up self? What wouldn't she like?

I was a kind of idiosyncratic child, and I'm differently so now. I cooked then, I still do. I was crusty and reserved then, I still am, though I'm better at acting outgoing now than I was then. I think that tween me would be surprised to find that grown-up me is married. I was deeply opposed to marriage then, because my parents endured a nasty divorce that my mother never recovered from. And part of me still thinks that it's a faulty construct, and I had to be talked into marriage by my now husband. I'm not sorry that I entered into our partnership, but...(trails off, thinking of same-sex marriage, and the individual, and, maybe this is a whole post...)

4. We have so much in common: books, cooking, crafts, gardening. (And ohmigod, I never learned how to be a girl, either. Except I don't even have those two bottles of nail polish, because I bite my nails almost down to the quick. But I digress.) These similarities made me wonder if you, like me, have a hard time keeping up with all of your own varied interests. Is there a hierarchy of favorites among them? Given a couple of hours of completely free time, with no outside pressures, what would you do first? Next?

Free time! Such a huge luxury. A nap would be nice, or a hot bath! If there really were no outside pressure, I'd probably dive into some crafty project. Books I can fit in - on the train, or at night before falling asleep. Cooking is fun, but it happens when it happens - my husband's been doing nearly all of the day to day cooking for the past six months. The garden ebbs and flows with the season. The crafty stuff is short-shrifted, and it's a shame, because it's terribly satisfying. That said, I have some crafty projects that I'm mulling for Christmas.

5. If you could time travel, would you go back to the future, or just back in time? Would you visit any specific year or event? Why?

I'd probably go back, but then again...I don't know. Two really cool books that I've read were Jack Finney's Time and Again (which goes back) and Philip Kerr's A Philosophical Investigation (which goes forward, but only to 2013 which is like right around the corner!). On reflection - I'd like to go back, as in Time and Again. A block or so away from my office, there's a staircase that leads down from the sidewalk - to nothing. Every time I walk by it I wonder what's down there - and if it's the transitional portal to another period, as in Time and Again.

6. Are you a helicopter mom or a free-range parent? Do you have a parenting philosophy, or are you winging it? If the former, what is it, and why is it the way you've chosen to go? If the latter, do you wish you had some kind of guiding principle, or are you happy with free-and-easy?

Totally free-and-easy, winging it, slacker mom. And, honestly? It works just fine. Yeah, she whines sometimes, but she questions authority. Better that than a sheep. When she was a smaller child, I did obsess about the (no) sleeping thing for a while, and there are still three sleep help books tucked under my bed, just in case.

7. (Because I prefer odd numbers, and because these were more serious than I'd meant them to be...) Dream vacation: Where and with whom? (Sky's the limit on money and companions.)

A warm beach, with lovely blue water and perfect fine white sand. A hammock. A pool boy with drinks and snacks. Enough books. Good food at night. And a soft bed with excellent cotton sheets. Alone. Oh hell, my husband can come too. And my daughter. And my sister. And her kids. And you!


Magpie said...

Thanks for the interview - it was fun. Good to get to know you too.

mayberry said...

Ooh, worlds colliding. Love Magpie!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it feel good to have gotten that off your plate? I hate it when I have something lingering like that but still I do it all the time!

Re Magpie - I got hooked on blogs generally through infertility blogs too. Weirdly, because I wasn't in that community at all. Chez Miscarriage was the grandma of them all/favorite blog ever. She might have been the one that led to Julie and Julia (and Karen (Naked Ovary), and Tertia (So Close), and Danae ;-))


Florinda said...

Nice interview. I had the good fortune to room with Magpie at BlogHer'09 in Chicago this past summer - glad you've had the chance to get to know her!

And nice to meet you, too - I'm always glad to encounter other SoCal bloggers :-).

nonlineargirl said...

I really enjoy reading Maggie's blog. So now I want to read yours (love your blog's name, especially).

TC said...

Yay yay yay for the new faces 'round here. And yay for new blogs to read! Welcome, you guys!

po said...

Great interview! Thanks for the introduction to Magpie! I'm going over right now to check out your blog! I'm an old veteran of the infertility battle, too.

She She said...

Great interview, Magpie. I checked, and both of the books you mentioned are in at my library. I'm off to get them.

painted maypole said...

I can come?? I'll bring you an excellent book for reading in the hammock. I promise.