Wednesday, January 28, 2009

RP: The Interview

Donnie over at Spinning the Wheel has interviewed me with 5 intriguing questions, all the things you wanted to know but were afraid to ask! Grab your coffee or tea and enjoy....

1: How many times have you moved house in your life, and are you happy where you are living now?

This was a tough question, but the answer is (drumroll, please) 29...not counting the car !!! Many of those places were while living with others (parents, in-laws, sister...), but I have purchased (and sold) homes 4 times. We own the townhouse we live in now, and I love it. I have a beautiful view of a pond out behind the house where I get to see beautiful sunsets and an ever-changing panorama of wildlife, weather, and nature's bounty. Despite recent incidents, my home has a peaceful feel to it, and I am enmeshed in the community.

2: You write so beautifully! do you have any plans to write a book?

Donnie, you are a charmer, you! Actually I am a published author already, though my work has been in the field of engineering, academia, and - twice - poetry. I have two books in the works which have been stalled due to my bad habit of overscheduling myself. The first book is based on the people and events around King Philip's War (1675-6) in which there was a horrible and bloody uprising between the Plymouth colonists and the son of Massasoit, who was the Wampanoag sachem who celebrated the first "Thanksgiving" with the bewildered and starving colonists. I wrote an academic piece about this and really want to finish my historical novel based on those events.

My other book is based on the murder of my cousin in 1982. In the book I change the names (because her death was officially ruled a suicide in an effort to hush things up and get it closed), but I imagine the killers being brought to trial, with the story of my cousin's life woven throughout. I really want to finish this one, too. Something has to give in my life, though. I am so overbooked!

3: You love films, list your top 5 best films of all time...

That's a tough one, because I love so many films! Hmmm. Don't hold me to this list, but here are a few I can't live without....
  • Stranger Than Fiction (I just love Emma Thompson)
  • Lost in Translation (what a beautiful, understated look at the human condition!)
  • Groundhog Day (what would you do if you had eternity to get it all right?)
  • Bull Durham
  • Gran Torino
4: Name one thing that has changed your life and why?

I wish I could say that it was something wonderful and magical that changed my life, but it was something awful. My daughter was in the psych ward because she was hearing voices. She was only 14 years old. It came out in therapy that she had been sexually assaulted at age 9 on a playground. We were completely and utterly devastated and knew then that nothing would ever be the same. For all I tried (and still try) to protect my children, things can still go wrong. It was a hard lesson for me, and I blamed myself for a very long time. It changed everything.

5: What would be your absolutely perfect weekend?

A perfect weekend for me would be one in which I was at a quiet beach with still, blue waters and long stretches of white sand. I would have a marvelous pet sitter at home with the beasts and nothing pressing on my mind. The sun would be bright and warm, but not too hot. I would be halfway through a fantastic read and would tuck myself under a beach umbrella to polish it off. With the biggest thing on my mind being what to have for dinner, I would relax, relax, relax, and feel all of the tension in my muscles subside. By Sunday evening, I would be smiling, shining, and ready to sink into a restful night's sleep.


I want to thank The Brit for his wonderful questions and for taking the time to interview me!

If you would like to participate in the "Me" Interview here are the instructions:

1. If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by e-mailing you five questions (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and let me know when you have posted it.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Oh, and now that you've read this, is it any wonder that Carol, over at The Writer's Porch, saw fit to give me this? I am deeply humbled and honored.

Thank you, Carol! I do strive for honesty, though some might think I'm nuts to do so....

Love, D


Mental P Mama said...

Wonderful job. And number 4 just stopped me dead. Bless you all.

Maggie May said...

I have learnt a lot from reading that.
You are a writer already! Clever you!

Your cousin was murdered but it was said to be suicide to cover things up. Phew!

You have moved 29 times.

Your daughter was sexually abused in a playground without your knowledge. (That does explain her problems now, don't you think?)

It must has been quite an ordeal writing all this down. Thank you for sharing though. And thank you to Donnie for the questions.

Sandi McBride said...

How nice it is to learn more about the ones we think we already knew so much about.

Moannie said...

Phew! With all that accomplished and with daughter's trauma it is no wonder that a desert Island is beckoning.

Thank you for this glimpse into your life.

Daryl said...

Great interview .... my heart broke reading of you blaming yourself for what happened to your daughter ... xo

Carol said...

Wow. Very interesting life you've had, River. This is such a nice way to get to know people better. Thank you for baring your soul here. I think you are very brave.

ConverseMomma said...

Oh, I love finding out that we have things in common. I adore Stranger Than Fiction. I have no doubt that you will be published again. I am so sorry about your cousin.
Great Meme!

tysdaddy said...

What a cool meme idea.

Loved Lost in Translation . . .

Lavinia said...

I really liked reading this. I'll note those movies. Gran Torino sounds intriguing. 29 times? Wow, you must have packing up down to a science. Very very interesting about the books you are penning. I remember your post about your cousin,some time back. It's a story that should be told, I agree. Something isn't cricket there.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh, never mind about my question...I just read the post about your daughter. it hurts my heart.
sending good thoughts to you...

Busy Bee Suz said...

Ok, you will think that I have a mental disorder....I left a comment here a few minutes ago and it did not stay....It was in reference to your interview:
I love your perfect day, it is similar to mine.
I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your is just heartbreaking. How is she today?

Then I read the post below....and came back and my first comment did not stay, just my 2nd.
now my 3rd.
I may have scared you.
I have scared myself.
Suz. ;)
really, I am ok.

Lorna said...

Well, Pauline..... at the risk of taking a risk, I would enjoy getting five questions to answer and going through an emotional wringer deciding how to answer them honestly without being sent either to prison or a local saloon to relax. =Lorna

Akelamalu said...

Great interview m'dear. I'm so sorry about your daughter. I cannot think of anything more devastating to find out has happened to your child. :(

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Great answers D!
It is so nice to learn so much more about you in just one post!
I'm so sorry to hear about your Daughter and this absolutely must be why she is in so much turmoil now...
and as for your answer to number 5: it sounds like you are picturing yourself on a Brazilian beach on a spring day! (not too hot like Summer; perfect temperatures) so if you ever find yourself here you know you have a friend to show you around all the sites and not get overcharged with buying souvenirs like tourists always do!
Big Hug!
Donnie X

SandyCarlson said...

Your idea of a good weekend and mine are the same!

Thanks for sharing so much of your story here. Your daughter had a tough go of it. I am sorry.

I am impressed by your publishing list!


Hey there River,

You did a great interview! I already have one that I haven't got posted yet,lol. I'm always running behind tho,lol. Thank you for letting us get to know u better. My prayers to you and yours my friend, take care,
Julian :)


I have come here from Ms. SANDY CARLSON's blog.

I have read some of your posts. I liked the same and would like to revisit your website.

If you like short stories and paintings, then a visit to my blogs would be an interesting one for you.

Naval Langa

Another Interesting Blog


the walking man said...

Well done RP. I was going to get the coffee before I read but missed that opportunity because I caught reading what I read.

Find you day and your beach.

RiverPoet said...

MPM - I understand. It stopped me, too.

Maggie - Yes, it explains some of her problems, to be sure, but we got her the very best care money could buy until she was 18 and was no longer insured. Then things really started to spiral down.

Sandi - Ah, there's always more.

Moannie - An island is always beckoning :-)

Daryl - Yes...a part of me died the day I found out.

Carol - Thanks so much for your kind comments. I'm not nearly brave enough...

CM - And I love having you for a reader :-) Just let me know if you want to be interviewed!

Tysdaddy - And I'd love to interview YOU!

Lavinia - "...something isn't cricket there" - that's a new phrase for me! I really need to finish that book. When, though, when?

BB Suz - No worries on the comments. Sometimes Blogger eats them. Yes, while some people bounce back from a bad event in their lives, my daughter never did. It's probably a good thing she told us years later and with such vague information. Otherwise? I'd probably have committed a mortal sin.

Lorna - I'll get some questions out to you soon!

Akela - Truly. That's why it was my number one life-changing event. I've never ever had another day like that. I thought my heart would stop.

Donnie - Thanks for the interview! And if I find myself with the time and money to get to Brazil, I'll plan the whole thing out with you!

SandyC - Thanks, my friend. We just never know what God will roll our way.

Julian - Thanks! Can't wait to read your interview!

Naval - Thanks for the visit, and I will definitely check out your blogs.

WM - I'm planning on finding a beach this summer and spending at least a week there doing not a lot of anything.

Peace - D

San said...

Great interview, Doris!

We have a few things in common. I knew that already, but I learned some other things:

We've both moved numerous times. When my husband and I bought this house over ten years ago, I listed all of the addresses I'd lived and decided I wanted to stay here longer than anywhere else I'd lived--which was 8 years in one of my childhood houses. That intention did come into being. And like you, I LOVE where I live now. That's a good feeling.

I too have published some poems, ages ago.

We like some of the same movies. Gran Torino is so NEW. You must like it, since you've experienced the neighborhood incidents. I haven't seen it.

We share the same perfect weekend fantasy. Bennie and I lived that fantasy last year--in the Yucatan-- and it was every bit as good in real life. Business is too slow this year, however, to live the fantasy again.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I too enjoyed doing this for is good being sparked onto a post by other creative thoughts...

I agree with much of you answers...moving house, I now find quite traumatic on so many levels...l love films too..I think lost in translation would be in my TOP obviously love the hang dog expression of Bill Murray...two I dont know so will go source them thank you!

I didnt know about #4 I was shocked, how terrible and the ripples continue..

May I join you in silence for your perfect weekend, it gets my vote for sure!!

Jay said...

I commend you for writing a book about your cousin's murder. It will be therapeutic for you, and maybe for others too, but also, it may become a published work and that is no mean feat.

Interesting. You have one of my favourite movies listed (Bull Durham) and also one I truly hate (Groundhog Day). It's up there with Pink Floyd! LOL!

So funny how things appeal to different people, and how people can have things in common, but disagree quite strongly, too!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Great questions and great answers, D! I really enjoyed reading this.

ed said...


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