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Saturday 10 July 2010

The Sunday Roast

Watch Out! The FBI's About! - It's Secret Agent Woman!

Just love the outfit . . . but oh no! she's got us on film . . . .

. . . . and now she's an undercover agent!!

Ah! now I know who she is!
She works for SpecSavers!! and here is her calling card.

(No actually . . . . she is a psychologist . . . so watch it!)

This week's interview is with Secret Agent Woman
who writes the blog, Blogging Incognito .

Thank you for the interview

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

Here is the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

When my baby sister started up a blog, many of my family members followed suit so we could all stay in touch. But mysteriously, people outside my family found their way to me and everything changed. Coincidentally, I went through a divorce toward the end of the first year of my blog, and got more support from my readers than I could have imagined. I was hooked. The blog world has become a virtual community for me. The bog has taken me through separation and divorce dating relationships and a miscarriage, watching both my kids turn into teenagers, buying and remodeling an old-house, surgery for me and a medical scar for my younger son, and travels to Tasmania, Nova Scotia, Greece, Turkey, Puerto Rico and Mexico. It's been an interesting four years and I like to go back and review from time to time. The blog serves as an on-line journal for me, complete with lapses into metaphor and secret encoded jokes for myself. I started the blog with my own personal credo: "Life is weird and unpredictable, but often in a good way." I had no idea how much that would come to sum up my life.

(Yes, I agree the blogging community is very supportive - we all seem to help each other over life's hurdles, which is great!)

What's the story behind your blog name?

Originally, My blog was called "Another Tangential Thinker" and I just went by my initials. But I started getting some local notice that worried me, including discovering that I was in a weekly bloground-up in the local paper. No good - I'm a psychologist and value my privacy. I changed URLS and the blog name to "A Little Off Kilter" and called myself Citizen of the World.
And all was fine until three things happened: a recently discarded boyfriend googled my email address and began stalking my blog, I became increasingly unhappy with my family making assumptions about me based only on my blog, and a local blogger started making it her personal mission to out me.

I went further underground by faking my old blog's death, and sending all my posts to a new site which was exempt from search engines. Hence, Secret Agent Woman at Blogging Incognito. In fact, I do use photos of myself and my kids on occasion, and anyone who knew me would recognize it as me. But no names and I don't identify my location in the profile, so it would be hard to set out to find me.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Is there one best thing? The community aspects, I guess. You get to know people and care about their lives, and discover that there are people out there who have never even met you who grow to care about you. And I like the range of ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, political leanings and spiritual viewpoints. I love that. And having a blog lead me to pick up a camera, giving me a whole new hobby of photography. All but a very few images (which I credit) are my own and carrying a camera has changed the way I look at the world.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Be genuine. I think people really do want to have the sense that they are being let into your life. And post often enough so people don't lose track of you. On the other hand, if you post several times aday, you risk people feeling overwhelmed. Or maybe that's just me and my own personal time constraints. And finally, visit other people and leave comments. That's the surest way to bring people to your own blog and get enveloped by a supportive crowd.

(Agreed - sadly I do not have sufficient time available recently to visit and comment as often as I would like, but it does lead to building good friends and a good readership.)

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Hmm. There have been many that have moved me. I can't speak to an individual post because my mind doesn't organize information in that way, but when I found Renee of "Circling My Head," I was completelydrawn into her experience of battling inflammatory breast cancer. When she died, her whole blog community grieved hard. Renee's daughter continues to post from that blog now and again at Circling My Head.

(Wonderul lady was Renee - sadly missed. She had a great sense of humour and was very kind.)

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Well, who knows? I'm sure that would vary by reader. People tend to respond to posts that have personal meaning for them. I know one that was personally important was one I wrote on the anniversary of my brother's death titled Cause you know I'm Gonna Miss You Whe You're Gone, Wish I Could Hide Away.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

There are many blogs I really love, but I'll pick some who I've been following for a very long time. And I have many men in my blogroll whose blogs I thoroughly enjoy, but I'm feeling a bit of sisterly solidarity today and love these women:

KJ at Options For A Better World. KJ writes a mix of her day to day life and excerpts from her novels. As a bonus, she is working up her second annual sex survey. Fun stuff.

Jazz at Haphazard Life. Canadian and a wee bit snarky. I'm sure those two things aren't related. She also writes both about her life and commentary about what's going on in the world. Since I am a somewhat eclectic blogger myself, that blend appeals to me.

Jocelyn at O Mighty Crisis. A college English professor on the verge of a sabbatical (so, you know, not nearly enough on her plate at the moment). She and her rugged bunch seem to actually enjoy living in a very, very cold place, which I respect but do not comprehend.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be niceto get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on theroasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the openfire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubesto cool you down)

Love. Makes the world go round, right? I might as well face it, I'm addicted to love. Or maybe sex -hard to say.

My sons. Although I don't consider myself a "mommy blogger," my boys do feature heavily on my blog. They are kind of cool kids.

Red wine and chocolate. In July 2006 I wrote a post, titled Red wine and chocolate. Food of the gods.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

This is so not the way my brain works. I have no power of recall for movies or actors, nor the ability to equate an actor with a particular person. I'm going to have to pass on this one.

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Well, me. Possibly me with superpowers. I like boots and flying would be cool. Invisibility would suit my current blog incarnation. But the superpower I really want is the ability to make all people incapable of hurting others.

(Now invisability would be very useful. Wonderful last sentence - I'll drink to that one.)

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you tomake 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?

From above? Okay, I'll set my non-theism aside for a moment. You know, I have no desire to be world famous. I mean, of course it would be great to be a really great writer or singer - but really I just want to be a good friend, a decent mother, a competent therapist, and a loving partner. Maybe be liked enough so that a few people will cry at my funeral.

(You seem a very caring person and I would think many would cry at your funeral, hopefully a long way into the future.)

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Raspberry chocolate. But the licker would depend on which day you ask me. :-)

(Interesting! - and I don't think I should comment further LOL)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

I have two versions. One would involve going somewhere spectacular with the kids. Maybe the Galapagos or Iceland. The other would be kid-free. Lounging on a tropical island with some lovely man, with plenty of great seafood and champagne.

(Sorry, you don't get two days! - just one! Where are we going? LOL)

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

Again, I have no capacity for calling someone appropriate to mind.

(That's OK - we'll leave silly questions like this to Suldog and Knucklehead.)

What was your most embarrassing moment?

I'm not easily embarrassed and happily tell on myself all the time in my blog. I love a funny story, even if I'm the one I'm laughing at. And believe me, I do lots of foolish things. But if something truly embarrassed me, there's no way I'd reveal it here.

(I do not blame you - what a silly question! However, I think it is a mark of a good character to be able to laugh at oneself.)

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you toask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

So what made you decide to pick up a virtual pen and start blogging? And why the interviews?

(Ah I see you've sneaked in two questions, not one. Quite typical of your gender, may I say? LOL. To answer your first question, my sister Maggie May of Nuts Of May was already blogging for about a year and she told me how much she enjoyed it, for similar reasons you stated earlier. I rather fancied writing about my ambulance and life experiences so I started in January 2009. I rapidly discovered my sense of humour was popular if I injected into my posts and I was 'steered' towards funny creative writing. Today I do a mix if I can of sad posts, funny posts and life experience posts. However I am not that active at present due to huge domestic refurb projects and a 'gammy' leg. I am pleased to report my legs are much better.

Why the interviews? Good question! I was asked by David McMahon of Authorblog if I would take over his Sunday Roast column when he quit blogging in October 2009. I was honoured to be asked I accepted his generous invitation with enthusiasm. I have enjoyed keeping the flag flying and have even roasted David for the highly popular 100th Special Edition - well worth a read. The Sunday Roast is a great way of bloggers getting to know one another.

Thank you for your interesting interview - great fun.


Today's Sunday Roast with Secret Agent Woman is the 123rd 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


  1. read her every day eddie...that is a pretty crazy story in and of itself on how the blog name came to be...dont think i knew all of that...nice.

  2. Hello Secret Agent Woman, Hi Eddie,
    I am glad for the interview. I learned many things that I did not know. Now I feel closer to the Agent and understand her better.

    And I thank you Secret Agent for reminding me to be genuine. It comes at a time when I need to be reminded. And the story about how the blog name became what it is, makes me wonder if we all should be extra careful.

    Thank you both for the interview and you are right Eddie, the Roast is a place we meet and get to know other bloggers better.

    I wish you a happy Sunday.

  3. Great usual Eddie! I enjoyed meeting her and I must pay her a visit.

  4. I really enjoyed this interview and I LOVED your answers, SAW, to many of the questions because I can so easily identify with them.
    Your answers could be mine to the first few!
    Will pop over and view your blog SAW.
    Good interview Eddie.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  5. Great to learn even more about you, Agent!

  6. Great interview - very intriguing blogger is Secret Agent Woman.

    I love how she is camouflaged in the camera shot!

    And as for her perfect day - I would have chosen the day at Galapagos with the kids. Hands down.

    Eddie, how are your feet?

  7. ethel

    Feet are much better - I was confronted by Left and Right waving your letter at me, the brilliant one you did on my last post!! LOL

    I had to let them put their feet up for half an hour. LOL

  8. Great RRoast Eddie, and thank you once again for all your efforts.

    Another new blog to me, must check her out...she certainly has given responses I can heartily agree with.

  9. This is a new blog for me. Off to check her out. Thanks for the interview - very enjoyable.

  10. Great interview... I haven't been here in a long while and this was a nice post to arrive on.

    I like Secret Agent Woman... she's clever and delightful :)

    best wishes to you Eddie and great to read your blog again.

    Robyn of Ribbon fame ;)

  11. I didn't realize you had moved through so much all during the course of your blog. Wow! I knew some of your history but not the timing.

    Your raspberry chocolate comment cracks me up!

  12. Eddie...
    You have a class blog here My friend. You've found a niche, and you are GREAT at it.
    Keep up the good work.

  13. Visiting from Secret Agent Woman's bog...great interview! Thanks :-)

  14. Thanks for the interview, Eddie. It was fun. And I hadn't even thought about how it would give me new blogs to visit, which I always enjoy.

  15. Secret Agent Woman
    The pleasure was mine. Great to have you on the show.
    Please stay in touch. Thanks again ~ Eddie

  16. I've been following secret agent woman for many months but I'm not a spy. I just enjoy her writing and sharing.
    good interview.

  17. Eddie, I was delighted to see secret agent woman as your "victim" today!! She's one of my favorites and it's nice to get to know a little more about her.

  18. This is a nice interview. That's a scary story behind your blog's name. I hate stalkers. Though, nobody has found me yet!

  19. I'm with secret agent woman: the greatest thing about blogging is the community of friends.

    I always think that if older people blogged, there wouldn't be the depression that comes as you get older, and feel more alone.

    That's just my 2 cents worth..but I'm so happy to know that as I get older, I'll have blogging to not feel so isolated and forgotten. (what a pick me up I am, huh? )

  20. Hello. My first time here. Funny since secret agent woman's then blog was my second blog that I dared to visit... and inspired me to start my own blog. (Did that sentence make any sense?)

    I dared to pattern mine off of her blog, failed utterly and developed my own craziness instead. But... I find it very true that my blog community has supported me through so many tough and wonderful times.
    Secret agent woman is part of my support, much enjoyed and vastly appreciated.

    BTW S.A.W... I live too far to be there if I manage to outlive you, but I will certainly cry.

  21. Well hell! SAW gave me a heads up on her interview and I discovered you had taken over David's roasts.

    Now I'll have to come back because anyone who is willing to invest so much time is worth the read.

  22. Ha ha, I love those pictures. Secret Agent Woman is in my top five favorite blogs. I always stop in and try to catch up on her posts.

  23. Another Secret Agent fan here coming by to read the interview. This was a good interview, and what a nice concept to get to know other bloggers! Very cool!

  24. I am a new Secret Agent fan, and it was nice to learn more about her here. It's not easy to remain anonymous on a blog -- not if you're me! I strove for that at first, but eventually just gave up. I wanted to connect with people in a way that precluded strict anonymity. Anyway, nice roast, Eddie.

  25. Definitely one of my favourite bloggers :0)

  26. Makes my blog seem very uneventful, mind you, aggro I dont need!

  27. Wow, thanks Eddie. This is a new blogger to me and I'm happy to meet her. I'll be stopping over and reading more of her blog.

    You know I love your Roasts! Thanks a million.

    I'm just back from vacation and hoping you are feeling good???

    xo jj


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