Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Interview with "From Smiler, with Love!"

When I started participating in the meme Thursday 13 I was immediately drawn to Smiler's blog. She is a world traveler, a talented writer, posts about stuff I never knew existed - and poses in the bathtub! She's way cooler and smarter than I ever hope to be, and this was my chance to pick her brain on how she thinks the universe, or at least blogging, opperates.

Q: Why did you start a blog?
I started From Smiler, with Love to help me communicate with friends and close family members who live all over the world. It allows me to easily exchange with my mother who lives in France on a daily basis. She’s a writer and we enjoy bouncing ideas off each other. My father who lives in Israel is also a regular reader. Another reason I started this blog was because I needed a creative project that could encompass my eclectic tastes. I worked in magazine publishing for a number of years so it seemed like a natural fit, while giving me the kind of freedom I could only dream of when working with print.

Q: What has blogging brought to your life?
It’s given me a sense of continuity. I’ve traveled and changed living arrangements many times in my life, so it’s nice to know that wherever I go, the blog will still be there, and that I’ll still have access to some of the people I enjoy exchanging with regularly. It’s also given me a place where I can put down seemingly random things, and write out some of my memories and somehow find a continuous narrative through it all. That’s ended up being very therapeutic for me, especially when I find other readers responding to some of my experiences.

Q: What advice do you have for new bloggers?
Keep in mind that there isn’t a “right” and a “wrong” way to blog, so don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. Visiting other blogs will give you an idea of what some of the possibilities are for your own blog. I’d say do keep in mind though that everything you write on your blog ends up on the web and you have no control over who reads it so if you’re not sure you should share certain things, it’s best to save a draft and come back to it again fresh. Also, don’t worry about traffic at first. That takes a while to get going and gives you the opportunity to build up content so when new visitors come they’ll find more reasons to want to come back.

Q: What are your favorite blogs?
There are too many to name here which is why I’ve created a page especially for all my links which is aptly named Link Love

Q: I see motherhood as…
A lot of work! I seriously admire moms who are able to be so giving and put their own needs second, as is usually required, especially if there are young children to take care of. I don’t think every woman is necessarily cut out to be a mother and I came to the conclusion I was one of those. I’d rather put what little energy I have into creative projects such as writing, photography and painting. I’m always very careful when I talk about that around moms because I don’t want to make anybody feel like I don’t aprove of their choices which couldn’t be further from the truth. I just think to each her own and we’re amazingly lucky to live in a society where we can make those choices for ourselves.

Q: What keeps you going?
I’m a student of life. A lot of times just getting out of bed seems like a major accomplishment since I’ve been battling with a serious mood disorder all my life and the depressions are debilitating. But no matter what, there’s always something new to discover. Everything is an inspiration to me and I see many things as possible material for a creative project. That’s what keeps me going. If there were nothing to feed my curiosity and no outlets for my creativity, I don’t think I’d be interested in going on. Luckily it’s not possible to ever run out of either.

Q: Name an artist, photographer, musician, or author that you like or admire:
I’ll name just one from each category (it’s hard enough to narrow it down to one!)
Designer: Milton Glaser. Because he’s more than an artist or a designer, he’s a mastermind.
Photographer: Margaret Bourke-White. For a long time photography was practiced almost exclusively by men. She was one of the great women pioneers in news photography.
Musician: impossible to narrow down, but I’ll say Schubert (composer)
Author: Kahlil Gibran (for The Prophet)

Q: What inspires you?
Practically everything! Travel, nature, city, people, animals, objects. The one which usually blocks my creativity is an office setting.

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and what would you do there?
I actually posted a partial list of 13 places for TT a few weeks ago. I’d really love to go to India eventually take photographs and stay in an ashram for a few weeks. But more immediately I’d like to go to France to see my mother and spend some time in Israel to see my dad.

Q: What's your favorite gift to give?
We’ve never been big gift givers in my family, but I like giving books mostly.

Q: In 2008 …
I’ll continue living one day and one moment at a time.

-- Peace, love & namaste!

Please be sure to check out some of my interviews including:

5 comments:

Smiler said...

Thanks so much for publishing this Nicole. Of course now that I'm all better and can see straight I notice all the typos and mistakes I let slide in there when I was in a state of semi-consciousness... but I'll probably be the only one to take note that Margaret Bourke-White pioneered “photojournalism” and not “news photography”. Hope all is well for you and your family.

Square1 said...

Wonderful interview, and thank you so much for conducting and posting it. Smiler is a wonderful person and her creativity is paramount.

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

good questions (which is not such an obvious thing in interviews)
answers? that's the Smiler I know and love.

Reynie said...

I love your interviews with bloggers. For newer bloggers like myself, this is inspirational. I like to hear about these folks and learn how they all got started. Are you taking request for interview subjects? What about Rocks in My Dryer or Fried Okra? Just two I read and think might be interesting folks. Great job though!

Lulu said...

Great interview! She sounds like a very interesting person, and I will definitely check out her blog!