. . . . . and the drinks . . . . . . and the quiz . . . . . .
. . . . . and she even finds time to run her own Friday Twiz feature. She says this feeds her Twitter addiction. Click on the URL for a full explanation.
A get a load of this! She invites Guest Posts from her holiday guest bloggers . . . .
. . . . and she writes various published articles .
What a busy lass, and to boot she is a Lancastrian, in the North of England, my home county.
I expect this little commenting graphic will be familiar to many.
This week's interview is with Nickie O'Hara
who writes the blog, Typecast .
Thank you for the interview, Nickie
A very warm welcome to you and your followers
I blog for a number of reasons, the main one being to hone my skills as a writer and to empty my head of all the crap that's whizzing around it.
I had two stories about my life that I thought people should know. The first was the story about how I became a grandmother at the tender age of 36 (this is the first story I sold as a freelance writer) and the reason why this was such a miracle as my daughter was diagnosed with cancer at 14 months old.
Since then I've entered the world of "parent blogging" which has spiralled in popularity in recent months and it is a community that I'm proud to be a part of.
What's the story behind your blog name?
My blog was originally called "The Bored Housewife" when I first started it in 2003. I soon found that (a) I wasn't as bored as I first thought and (b) I got a lot of salacious comments from undesirables. I let the blog collect dust for a while whilst life took over with a number of major life-changing events (the need for me to have a hysterectomy at age 31, the death of my mother after a life-long debilitating illness, a move to a new town and a role -reversal with my husband involving me becoming the breadwinner and him a house -husband) and decided last year that I was ready to start writing properly after becoming more comfortable within my own skin - you could say I finally grew up. It sounds corny but I'd become "typecast" as a parent - just a face in the crowd - and I needed to break that mould.
"1972 model, good condition (large scratch on bodywork), one careful owner since 1990. Genuine mileage. Full history available."
This sprang to mind after writing short adverts for my husband who dabbled in buying and selling cars for a few years.
(Loved the car analogy! Hope the scratch in your life was not too serious though)
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
I've noticed this mentioned a few times in your Sunday Roast interviews but I'm afraid I've got to mention it again. It's the community spirit. The comments and interaction that I experience with my readers and other bloggers surprises me every day. When I first started blogging there were very few comments left; blogging seemed to be a way to put your private thoughts in the public domain and occasionally it felt very voyeuristic to actually pass judgement on that. However, since the internet has become more accessible to more people I find that there are many opinions to be heard and my voice is just one of them. If I've opened the door to a conversation or lead the way with a viewpoint and it's got people talking then it can only be a good thing. I'm a massive advocate of social networking as I find working full time, being a parent and caring for someone with mental health issues (my husband) can be quite isolating sometimes. Social networking is my "pub" - my night out with my friends without having to pay for babysitters, queue at the bar for a drink and search for a taxi at the end of the night. Plus I don't have to get dressed up to do it.
(Yes, Nickie, BlogLand is a fantastic community, full of wonderful people)
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
It's funny you should ask this as a similar question was asked on a forum that I frequent. The simple answer is to just start... don't think - just dive in. Whatever you write can stay, be amended, be deleted, the title can be changed... nothing is permanent and who ever uses their first draft anyway? You also have to be yourself, be original and be try to lay your blog post out so that it is easy to read (spacing, punctuation). I may sound pedantic when I say that but a block of text with no natural breaks tends to make it difficult for the reader to browse through. I wouldn't say that blog design is important initially but you may want to have a play around with styling once you settle into blogging.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
I like to think that every single blog post written has it's own merits, regardless of the subject but I am truly blown away each time I read a guest post submitted to my "Cancer - Your Story" series.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?
I've already mentioned the two that are most important to me. I have also detailed my husband's battle with his Mental Health and the way in which we cope with my son's ADHD. I'd like to think that I showed my deep side in this post and I loved it when the story of my chance meeting with the Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP just snowballed.
I enjoy writing every single post I put up on my blog and don't consider it a chore. If I did I would stop. I do this for me initially and knowing that people keep returning to read is what spurs me on. My blog also gives me a chance to try out different styles of writing (there is at least one piece of creative writing on my blog each week - look out for the "Writing Workshop" posts) and I know that I will eventually find my niche.
Another favourite observational blog posts I wrote was Caution: Men At Work - (a.k.a. Fitting A New Radiator Nearly Made My Head Explode)
(Nickie, this really this post really appealed to me and totally cracked me up when I read it! -it was a real hoot!)
Which two blogs would you recommend for roasting?
Whenever I read The Sunday Roast I am always surprised by the cross-over of recommended blogs that I already have in my RSS Reader - two noticeable ones that have cropped up a few times are Auntie Gwen's Diary and Mr London Street. Also, my guilty pleasure is reading the updates on Letters of Note, Found Shopping List and People I See On The Street.
It would be too obvious for me to recommend other parenting blogs. If you want to see the best of the best then there is a list called the Tots100 Index which is updated monthly. I very much enjoy reading blog posts from the King of Ankh and there is a new blogger/writer on the block called Steve who's blog is based at Steve's Twisted Quill. Finally, the Japanory blog is a cross between a travelog and a blog of Carole's time in Japan over the past four years.
Many people keep a "blogroll" in their sidebar but I find that becomes dated very quickly, especially if blogs become dormant or you follow many blogs within the same genre. I read the majority of blogs via Google Reader and have a widget on my sidebar which shows the single blog posts that I have "favourited". The widget shows the most recent five but if you click on "view all" you can see all my shared items - very varied and multifarious.
(A good way to attempt to keep on top of what is posted - thanks, personally I sometimes find it difficult to keep tabs on others' writings)
That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.
Pick three things you can't live without.
(excluding the obvious of family, air, food, water, etc.)
Laptop, home-made chips and Twitter.
If we were to make a movie about BlogLand, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?
Anyone who knows me would not be surprised by what I am going to suggest. My Blogland movie would be called "Typecast", it would be a musical and would have me in the starring role. I would work my way through each of my own blog posts (albeit in chronological order) with a cast of thousands, struggle through the bad times by bursting into song at inappropriate moments, have Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini Op. 43, Variation XVIII playing in the background for the sad parts and have a finalé worthy of a BAFTA. I'd tap dance at some point in the movie too. Just like real life really.
(The music reminds me of a favourite film, "Somewhere In Time")
If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?
I never know how to answer this question. My life has shaped the person I've become and if I changed any of it then who knows what would happen. I try not to have regrets and believe that we are all in control of our own destiny. If you want something then you have to work for it.
(Great answer, Nickie . . . .and most people settle for being themselves)
You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?
Have the various references to writing given it away? I would love to be a best-selling novelist or really a recognised writer of any description. I really appreciate the comments on my blog about my venture into creative writing (I try many different styles) and I believe it will happen one day. First and foremost, I have to learn more about writing and encounter more in life as I am the type of writer who draws from personal experience. I also need to finish my degree first (I'm studying with the Open University). I am two years in with probably another three or four to go! Eek!
(I've just started a writing course with The Writers Bureau. Looks good. It's self pacing too.)
If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?
When I was 13 I went to Germany on a school exchange programme for 10 days. They had the most amazing ice cream cafés over there and my favourite during my stay was one that looked like a pile of spaghetti. My only disappointment was that you couldn't actually suck it up like real spaghetti. I don't actually want to look like a pile of spaghetti though so I think I'd be a Tutti Frutti ice cream (a little bit of everything in there) and I would like my childhood idol - Simon le Bon of Duran Duran - to lick me... from top to bottom, from bottom to top, wherever he wants... oh sorry, where was I . . .
(Very funny, Nickie . . . I can see the shoulders in BlogLand bobbing up and down and hear the giggles)
Describe in one sentence your perfect day.
To sit and watch all of the 80s Brat Pack movies and anything else that John Hughes has written in one sitting with someone bringing me food and drink when necessary - no interruptions.
If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?
Victoria Wood. I know she's not your contemporary writer but I just love where she comes from with her sketches, observations and songs.
(Brilliant lady is Victoria Wood)
What was your most embarrassing moment?
There's been so many.. some of them TOO embarrassing to share. I will tell you a little story about a night out though. My husband and I had been out for a couple of hours and were walking between pubs. I had on what he calls my "silly shoes" (quite high stilettos) and was tottering along beside him. Where we live there are a few cobbled streets and I think you can guess what happened next... yes, my heel caught in one of the cobbles and I rather unceremoniously landed on my derrière in the middle of a rain-soaked street. Because we'd had a few sherbets, we both though this was quite amusing and my husband offered his hand to help me up. I must have caught him off-balance because rather than him pulling me up, he ended up on top of me in the middle of a rain-soaked street. Neither of us could move for laughing even though we tried to get up on several occasions. A good Samaritan passer-by saw our plight and offered to help my husband up and... yes, it happened again - he ended up on the floor too. So, now we have three people on a rain-soaked floor, in the middle of town, in a mini-pile-on, all laughing as though their sides would hurt and only two of them know each other. We eventually managed to get to our feet and retired to the nearest watering hole to recover. Funnily enough, we've never seen the bloke again!
(ROFL literally! Thanks for sharing this wonderfully funny story. It is a great shame you have never seen the other fellow again. It would be nice to have an annual reunion together)
. . . . and the really brave go for this question I was recently dared to ask!
If you awoke to discover you had changed gender what would be the first and second things you would do?
Oh, hahaha. I think that the first thing is the most obvious... I would have to go to the loo because I'm always desperate for a pee in the morning when I wake. Then I'd have a bit of a grope and a play to make sure everything was in full working order. Finally, I'd probably then ring one of the tabloid newspapers and try and make a few quid off the back of the story or try and sell the rights to the film to the highest bidder.
(That's what I like, a gal with a true entrepaneurial spirit. You'd make a fortune Nickie - I like your business acumen! But if it happened to me I would feel a real sense of loss! LOL)
Your turn to ask me a question if you wish.
I have two stock questions that always reveal a lot about people - you can answer either or both for me:
1. Who would you like to have a cuppa with?
2. Who is your biggest female inspiration?
(OK - Those are great questions and I will answer them both for you:
1. Billy Graham, the great American Christian evangalist. I am delighted to see he is still alive because I would love to have a 'cuppa' with him. In fact it would need a large pot of tea or even a long lunch extending into late afternoon because this man would set anyone's Spiritual Life on fire . . . . or rekindle it . . . . and we all know how many fires he did light! Tens of Thousands! Truly, he is a man of God.
2. Joanna Lumley , that great English actress. She is my ideal lady on planet Earth and so far I have found none to compare - she is so polished, so talented, so beautiful, and she has a wonderful sense of humour and an equally wonderful heart. She certainly has captured mine - she is two years younger than me and she can still can turn every head in every room she enters with her natural charisma. And when she speaks . . . . sheer poetry. I believe she has inspired a number of modern 'beauties' to go to finishing school.
Well, Nickie, sadly we have come to the end of the interview. Thank you and my best wishes for all the projects you are undertaking, including you Open University course. Let's just finish with a look at your blog screen.
Said Nickie, "Eddie, thanks for featuring me - it's quite an honour in blogland.Wow, this Sunday? I shall be sure to put my best frock on seeing as though I'm expecting visitors."
Today's Sunday Roast with Nickie at Typecast is the 129th in a
weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world
This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press HERE