It gave us a chance to chat and laugh together as we each answered questions for the interview.
What Compelled You to Start Review This Reviews?
As Contributors, we write our articles and reliable reviews based on first hand knowledge. Review This Reviews! was designed and created to share those reviews with the world.
If You Could Watch the Sunrise with Anyone, Who Would that Be and Why?
|Photo by RenaissanceWoman2010|
The Mystery Genre also includes 'suspense, thrillers, crime and espionage. Oh, I know, some said fantasy, romance, poetry and historical fiction. But doesn't each of those genres contain one form or another of 'mystery'? Even 'children's books' are filled with 'mystery' (mysterious secrets to discover, puzzles to complete, problems needing solving). So, the overall favorite genre choice is 'mystery'. Each writer below outlines her own choice.
What is Your Favorite Book Character and Why?
I have many favorite characters, which made choosing just one character a little difficult. If I go way back, it could be Nancy Drew or Laura Ingalls Wilder. If I think about more contemporary books, I could say that my favorite is Perry in the Lottery by Patricia Wood or “the doctor’s wife” in Blindness by Jose Saramago. It is so difficult to choose. Or so I thought.
Nick Andros in the book The Stand by Stephen King. Nick was a deaf mute, but showed a wisdom and perception that was levels above the seeing and hearing person. I often wondered if that was because he learned that listening within would lead you to a path truer to yourself that listening to the chatter of others. I really loved the book The Stand, it had so many wonderful lessons in it.
What is Your Favorite Writing Snack?
Peanuts are easy to handle one-handed, deliciously good, and actually good for you. Many health benefits are associated with the simple peanut. But there's something even better ~ chocolate. Chocolate-covered peanuts is the best snack of all.
Of course, peanuts as a snack is just this writer's favorite. Other 'Review This' writers have spoken out on their preferred snack, as seen in the list below. RenaissanceWoman2010's favorite of 'fortune cookies' might contain one with a 'paraphrased' fortune something like this: “(Wo)man/Writers cannot live by bread alone. That's why 'snacks' were invented!”
Plus the Answer by Sam Monaco
Then, there are those little candy-coated bits of licorice. That's right one of my all-time Favorites Good & Plenty. When I'm really hungry while writing I toast an English Muffin with peanut butter. The trick here is to get the peanut butter on the muffin while it's still hot so it melts.
|Contributor (Name or Pen Name)||Favorite Book Genre||Favorite Snack While Writing|
|Sylvestermouse||Romance & Historical Fiction||Potato Chips|
|Dawn Rae||Psychological Thrillers and/or Noir Crime Fiction||Unfortunately, it's something sweet (chocolate)
followed by something salty (chips)
followed by something sweet...followed by ...
well, you get the idea.
|Mbgphoto||Mysteries & Historical Fiction||Dark Chocolate Covered Fruit Drops|
|Wednesday Elf||Mystery/Suspense||Usually peanuts or a granola bar (with peanuts).
I know -- I'm a NUT.
|Brite-Ideas||New Age Spiritual/
|Glass of wine (sometimes) & a piece
or two of cheese or
a Banana dipped in peanut butter
|BarbRad||Romance & Detective Fiction||Dark chocolate covered or salted almonds|
|Mystery & Espionage||Fortune cookies!!|
|Fiction, LOL||I do not eat while I write...though the idea is delicious.
If I did, my first choice would be potato chips.
|Olivia Morris||Mysteries & Suspense - Combine the two and I'm
there all over it!
|There is always a cup of coffee, hot and black on my desk.
My other favorite snack food is red licorice
although my other half does not equate that with licorice.
His has to be black licorice.
He calls mine candy!
|Lou16||Thrillers, Whodunnits & Cozy Mysteries||Chocolate and/or Potato Chips|
|Margaret||Regency Romances, Historical Fiction, Mysteries||Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea with organic honey, dark chocolate and dried mango|
|Sam Monaco||Mysteries and Historical Fiction||Cheese & Crackers, Candy-coated Licorice, or English Muffin with Peanut Butter|
|Raintree Annie||Romance & Historical Fiction||Grapes or Dark Chocolate|
|Tracey Boyer||Sci-Fi||I don't really snack much while writing but I do have a protein bar in the afternoon about 4 pm|
|Buckhawk||Mysteries!!!||Uh, duh, Chocolate!|
|Bev Owens||Mysteries||Cheese and crackers|
|Heather426||Mystery and Ancient History||Tea and Chocolate|
|Susan Deppner||Mysteries, especially legal mysteries. I started reading Perry Mason books in junior high and have read all of them, though none recently.
||Recently, corn chips which aren't quite as greasy as potato chips (keeps the keyboard cleaner).
I often add a few dark chocolate chips to the bowl, too
|Mickie_G||Cozy Mysteries||Anything that will not make crumbs
to fall in the nooks of the keyboard!
|Decorating for Events||Mystery (sub-genre is Espionage)||Snack is baby carrots!
I munch on them like chips!
Was hoping I could ditch my glasses for distances
but, alas, I still need them!
|Coletta||Fictionalized History||I get too involved in writing. I don't have time to snack.|
|MissMerFaery||Fantasy||A Yummy Mix I Make of Dark Chocolate
Buttons, Dried Cranberries, Almonds, Brazil Nuts
& Sunflower Seeds!
How Do You Keep Focused On Your Blogging?
|Fishing Cat Photo By Sylvestermouse|
Relatability or being able to relate to my readers and them to me. In my writing, I don't want to sound like a newspaper or magazine article as in: "Just the facts, ma'am." I also don't want to sound too stilted or like I am talking too technically or above them. I want to sound like a friend and someone that wants to help by sharing my past experiences as well as my new ones.
Relatability and forging a connection with our reader should be a goal for anyone that writes online. Regardless of the topic -- a recipe, how-to, craft, particular ideas, miscellaneous help, etc. -- when an article is written in a 1st person point of view and relates the authors experiences like friends talking, it resonates better with readers. At least, that is my experience!
Answered by Brite-Ideas
Thanksgiving is a time of prayer,
a time to thank God a time to be fair,
when robbers give up robbing the banks,
when we forget the bad done just to give thanks,
when the army forgets all about war, when the world is all quiet and peaceful once more.
(The words of an eight year old)
Each of the Contributors on Review This Reviews have extensive writing CVs. Instead of giving you dozens of sites for each one, I have requested that each Contributor share a link to their current favorite writing site other than Review This Reviews! Most of the sites listed here are actually owned by the contributor which shows that our team is made up of highly qualified reviewers and website administrators.
|Contributor||Link to Another Site Where They Write|
|Dawn Rae||Treasures, Travels and Tales|
|Wednesday Elf||Crochet, Crafts and Cute Critters|
|Brite-Ideas||Funk This House|
|BarbRad||Books to Remember|
|Olivia Morris||Grammie Knows How|
|Treasures by Brenda||Movie Treasures by Brenda|
|Sam Monaco||Sam's Place|
|Raintree Annie||Diary of a Wild Country Garden|
|Tracey Boyer||Homemade by Jade|
What is Your Favorite Holiday and Why?
Answered by Bev Owens
Christmas Magic Ceramic Ornament
I think that one of the reasons that I love this holiday so much is that more than at any other time of the year we are witness to people being kinder, more giving and more loving. I have never stopped believing in Santa (he is in each of us, you know). I can still hear the “bell of Christmas” as clear and bright as when I was a little girl.
Answered by Susan Deppner
The best gift I've ever been given was my own copy of Roget's Thesaurus. My parents bought it for me for Christmas one year when I was junior high school age and that meant so much to me. I knew that they knew I enjoyed writing and that I did well in English and composition classes in school, but I didn't know that they took my writing seriously. I remember studying the thesaurus for hours, learning how the words were cataloged and how to use the book to find synonyms or just to see how certain words were related to others. Not only did the tool help improve my writing skills, it motivated me to write more. For that I have always been very grateful to my parents who, as it turned out, knew me better than I thought they did.
If You Could Choose Any Vacation Destination, Where Would it Be and Why?
Answered by Olivia Morris
|Tower of David in Jerusalem - Morguefile.com|
My favorite vacation destination would have to be Israel. I have been there twice and would love to go back again. If I could find a way for someone to sponsor me there I would be gone in a heartbeat. There is so much history, geography, and climate that you just don't get anywhere else in the world.
It is also holy ground, not only to the Christians, but the Jews and Moslems as well. I would love to know more about the country as a whole, it's people, it's traditions and it's history.
If You Could Turn Back Time, What Year Would You Choose?
I love my current life but I would like to be a teenager again. I was not a joiner when I was young and if I could do it over again, I would love to revisit the late 1970s and early 1980s and take the opportunity to join clubs, groups, etc. Plus, there are a few choices that I made in those years that I would like to change. Of course, I am a big fan of the pop culture from that time and it would be fun to see groups like Supertramp again!
What is Your Favorite Music Genre and Why?
80s Music - probably because I was a teen in the 80's so when I hear the music it has that nostalgic pull for me.
What is Your Favorite Hobby?
Answered by BarbRad
|Look Closely at this Photo and You Will See Barb|
Engaging in Her Favorite Hobby!
Why? Because when I have a camera in my hand looking for things to photograph, I notice more of what I’m seeing. I’ve never been a particularly observant person. I’d make a terrible eyewitness for that reason. The camera transforms my observation powers.
When I starting writing online I was able to use my hobby to inspire my writing, illustrate it, and give me more ideas. Now I’m starting to enjoy photography more and more for its own sake and I’m beginning to explore digital photo editing more.
Plus, An Answer by Raintree Annie
When I left home to live in a city as a young adult, I did not have a garden and instead I filled my flat with houseplants so that way I was able to keep in touch with nature and gardening. It was important to me to have the plants to care for and I loved having them around me.
It was not until my husband and I bought our first home that I was really able to garden outside again. We bought a pretty barren garden, just an oblong patch of grass, its saving grace being a beautiful mixed hedge at the end of the garden. The previous owners had used chemicals to keep on top of the weeding and sadly we had no flowers, shrubs, insects, or wildlife of any kind.
So I set about making a garden there using no chemicals at all. It was not long before there were shrubs and flowers, bulbs, perennials and annuals growing everywhere. I waited for insects, birds and other wildlife to return to the garden and slowly they did. I developed a love and passion for gardening, always keeping wildlife in mind. The garden has grown up well over the years and we now have beautiful plants for us to enjoy and great habitat for birds along with nectar-rich corridors for insects and especially bees. We share our space with the wildlife and have been treated to friendly nesting blackbirds, flocks of sparrows, robins and bluetits to name a few. We were even treated to a beautiful Barn Owl sitting on our shed roof one night!
We marvel at the insect world from the ladybird to wasps, worms and butterflies and I even developed a tolerance for the slugs and snails that love to eat some of my garden plants, they are a part of the ecosystem too. The highlight of this year was seeing an endangered hedgehog visiting our garden.
When I hurt my back quite badly I was told that I may never be able to garden again. I was devastated. I spent the following year "supervising" and teaching my husband how to care for our garden. I was still able to look after our houseplants though, which made me happy. Determined to get back to gardening myself, I put every effort into my exercises and therapy and tried to get better. That determination and effort paid off after two years and I was able, with some restrictions, to once again pursue my love of practical gardening. Plus now I had a knowledgeable and enthusiastic husband to help me!
I enjoy gardening with wildlife in mind because there is always something to learn, something new to enjoy, special moments in everyday events. The garden calms me, soothes me. It is a sanctuary when things are busy or when life is tough. It is often a source of inspiration and rejuvenation and a connection with nature. I can't imagine ever not gardening in some way all of my life
Why Did You Become a Jewelry Designer?
Answered by Margaret Schindel
|Vintage Style Earrings Made by Margaret|
Dad used to travel to Europe one or twice a year to meet with some of his clients and Mom usually joined him on those trips. When I was around 10, she brought back some magnificent Venetian glass beads from Murano, Italy. She strung them with glass bugle beads, seed beads and pearls to make long, elegant necklaces, which she often knotted in a lariat style, twisted with a scarf or wrapped around her neck to create two shorter, nested strands. I begged her to teach me how to string the beads and add a clasp. That’s when I designed my first necklace.
My uncle was a jeweler and my parents bought me a set of 14k gold chains when I graduated high school. Those were the first pieces in what was to become a very large jewelry collection. Eventually I began collecting vintage jewelry and vintage glass beads. I had worked in the retail fashion industry for several years after I graduated college and, many years later, I discovered that I loved being able to design and create my own unique jewelry with my stash of rare vintage beads. My beaded designs featured sophisticated and unusual combinations of colors, materials, sizes, shapes and finishes. I taught myself how to make vintage-style jewelry featuring beads embroidered with very fine wire onto metal filigree, in the style of Miriam Haskell, Stanley Hagler and other popular jewelry designers from the 1950s and ‘60s. Co-workers, friends and even strangers admired my jewelry and wanted to know where I had gotten it. When I told them I was wearing my own designs they asked whether I would sell them. That’s when I started my jewelry business, Polished & Put-Together.
I wanted to expand my jewelry making knowledge and capabilities, so I taught myself basic metalsmithing skills. When my husband and I honeymooned in the Tuscan countryside in Italy, we spent part of the time learning to make lampworked glass beads.
|Metal Clay Textures Locket Made by Margaret|
In the mid-2000s I discovered a relatively new jewelry making material called silver metal clay, pure silver particles mixed into an organic binder. This malleable form of metal could be sculpted, impressed with texture, carved, drilled and manipulated very differently than traditional milled metal, then fired at high temperatures in a kiln to burn off the binder, leaving just the pure silver intact. I was immediately fascinated with the possibilities and took several multi-day, intensive workshops with a world-famous metal clay artist and jewelry designer to learn how to make fine silver jewelry from metal clay. I’ve developed a passion for this unique material, which now is available in several other metals.
I recently learned a wire weaving technique called Viking knitting so I can create fine silver chains for my silver pendants. And I’ve begun using professional artist-quality polymer clay in some of my jewelry designs, which allows me to add wonderful elements of color and pattern. I love learning new techniques to expand my creative repertoire!
|Created on WriteOnIt.org|
My dream never went away, but it has changed. I no longer want my picture on the cover. These days, I dream about writing a feature story that would make Hunter S. Thompson sit up and take notice. I want to see my byline on The Cover of The Rolling Stone so I can buy five copies for my mother. That would be the perfect lifetime achievement award for this starving artist.