In August I decided to do a little experiment involving members of the WordPress community. I asked a series of seven questions and invited anyone and everyone to respond, regardless of whether they followed Suzie81 Speaks or not. I had done a similar experiment the year before with great success, and as my community has grown since then I thought it would be an interesting way to get to know fellow bloggers. While I expected some sort of a response, I didn’t expect the enormity of the amount of answers I received, generating HUNDREDS of individual answers to my questions. In order for me to be able to include everyone, I have had to limit it to just one answer per blogger. I haven’t compiled it in order of preference, but I have tried to include an interesting answer from each person, complete with a link to their blog if it is still available. I think you’ll agree that the responses I received are emotive, witty and offer a small insight to the variety of bloggers that exist within the WordPress world.
It’s a lot of reading, but here is a pre-made blog party for you where you can go and check out all the blogs that participated.
Editors note: If I have accidentally missed you out, please let me know and I’ll link you asap!
1. How did you create the title for your blog?
I thought of two iconic things from where I come from and where I live now ie Scotland and New Zealand, hence Thistles and Kiwis (Thistles and Kiwis)
The DMB song “Grey Street” described my life spectacularly at the time. (Georgia Mom)
It was the name of the website that I created during my Ph.D. (which I have quit since then). Originally it was Science Fiction, Media and Fandom, but evolved into Science Fiction, Transmedia and Fandom as I did more research work. Save for gender studies, it reflects my main fields of work as an independent researcher, writer and public speaker (Natacha Guyot)
It seems like everything I say is part of a bad conversation. So every post is Another Bad Conversation. (Another Bad Conversation)
Telling the Truth. It describes in three words what I’m doing in the blog. I’m telling the truth (for the first time) about how I was groomed to be a victim, how that affected me as a child, young adult, wife/mother and professional, and what it took to survive and thrive. (Telling the Truth)
I came up with the name while talking with people at work. They kept calling me Bitter Ben because of all the complaining I would do at work. They said I should start a blog about all things I was bitter about. The natural extension Ben’s Bitter Blog. (Ben’s Bitter Blog)
It’s based on a old episode of M*A*S*H (Apple Pie and Napalm)
Special Needs children are referred to as Exceptional, and I live in Delaware, so my blog is for all the Exceptional people in Delaware, children, teens and adults! (Exceptional Delaware)
My ex was stalking me on here. I needed to come up with a name he wouldn’t associate with Kate. My 11 year old son came up with the name FlippyZipFlop, and I decided to keep it. Professional looking? Absolutely not. However, it makes him a part of my daily writing, so I’ll continue to keep it. (FlippyZipFlop)
2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?
Pace yourself in blogging. Set a schedule. You can write as much as you like, but you don’t have to post it all as you complete it unless it is a time sensitive subject. I border on burnout daily, hourly. (Ronovan Writes)
You won’t get 100,000 views on your first blog post. You will start off small, but regular, interesting posts, full of passion will generate traffic. You will meet other incredible bloggers too, there to support you and provide you with advice. (A Reflective Student)
Once you figure out what your theme is, you have to remember it each and every time you post. I can’t write about fashion and celebrity in my blog unless I can find a creative way to bring it back to health and Dr. Oz’s advice. (The “Whiz-ard” That is Dr. Oz)
Participate, participate, participate. In whatever you like and where your preferences go, from Weekly Photo Challenges, Daily ones, Writing ones, all sorts of challenges other bloggers do… You will find benefits are triple, you craft your talent and things you are passionate about, you meet other people who are interested in same stuff and others see your work. (Ivy Mosquito)
My advice would be to write with passion. Write about your passions, because if you’re not having fun writing, then you will feel burnt out quickly. Also, make sure to read as many blogs as possible. This will help you meet other bloggers and help you become a better blogger (Humyn)
Be true to yourself and don’t try to cater to others. (Richard Ankers The Writings)
Blogging is about community, about sharing, and about learning. Enjoy the process and making new friends! (Writing Rachael Ritchley)
Just be yourself and don’t worry so much about the naysayers… If you put out genuine posts then stand behind them. (Valley Girl Gone Country)
Get a thick skin. In the infidelity blogs it’s dangerous. You show your pain and hurt and you get people who did the same things to other people, be they cheating spouses or their third parties, who come in and insult you or patronise you and try to make you feel you caused it, or you should do (insert self serving course that let’s them off the hook). Well, screw that. You have to be strong enough to stick to your voice and not be hurt by them. I’m sure trolls hurt bloggers even on less sensitive topics, so the thick skin is my best advice. (Writes Itself)
3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?
Working at in Int’l border crossing and a naked man walked in and asked my supervisor for a cigarette and a light, then walked back out into the rain… We all just stared as each of us was speechless. (Annette Rochelle Aben)
When I worked in another city, I found out my “twin” (the one they say you always have) worked in the same building. For a year, we had fun taunting and fooling those who knew us. (Mary J. Melange)
Strange doesn’t really happen to me…stupid, yes, all the time, but not strange so much. The strangest thing that’s happened might be my mother picking out my husband nearly a decade before we got married. (Somber Scribbler)
Being knocked out by an electric potato peeler and waking up thinking I was in heaven because this beautiful lady was looking down at me. (Hugh’s Views and News)
The day my Father in Law asked me to do him a manicure and pedicure. He had never had one and saw me doing my own. It felt a bit odd and it did take me aback when he asked. He passed away that night, a heart attack in his sleep. I always wondered if he ‘knew’… (CeeJayKayFit)
During the last month of my pregnancy I was on full bedrest due to concerns about pre-eclempsia and it was the height of summer in the DC Metro area so the windows were shut tight with the AC on full blast. During that last month periodically I would start to smell my grandmothers Snickerdoodles (which she made me every year for my birthday) or her perfume (Heaven Scent) – my grandmother had passed away a few years earlier. My son, The Boy of Terror (BoT) talks about her now and about her snickerdoodles (Masala and Blarney)
It involved a sleepless night, Apples to Apples, some lab goggles, my eventual detainment and a supposed ban from WalMart nationwide. Try not to re-live it. (Permashift)
Being surrounded by the SBI and law enforcement and soldiers and things while innocently exploring a cooling tower at a nuclear power station. It turns out that just because the front gate is open does not mean that you’re welcome to visit. (This was before 9/11 or things would have probably been even stickier than they were.) (Nerd in the Brain)
I was 16 and some random guy proposed to me at the library. He also asked me if he could meet my father to ask for my hand in marriage. I just looked him up and down and walked away. Btw he wasn’t joking … (Nuuray)
I had taken a $20 bill, in singles, and left them all in a family Dollar store as Random Act of Kindness. About a week later, a woman handed me a $20 dollar bill in the dressing room, in my yoga studio, saying – “You must have dropped this because there was no one else there.” Astoundingly weird! (Lavender Reflections)
On my blog or in life? In life, setting the garbage truck on fire is probably the strangest that my wife will let me talk about in public. It’s a long story so you gotta find that on my blog. (Parnassus Musings)
If we’re talking about overall, probably the time I was kidnapped, robbed, molested, tied up, and left for dead by 4 Guatemalans in the jungle in Belize on the first full day of my honeymoon. I wanted to go to DisneyWorld. (O Pie-oneers!) EDITORS NOTE: WHAT!!!!
4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?
My boyfriend said to me once “We will both grow old and let’s face it, not look youthful and fabulous any more. But you have wonderful personality so you will always be the most beautiful person in the world to me.” (I Follow Islands)
I had a meeting with Dr. Dre about the possibility of his buying my bank robbery script. He told me, “You are one sick mother$%^&*” and that’s the coolest compliment I’ve ever received about my writing. And it was from Dr Dre! (The Return of the Modern Philosopher)
The executive director at work (large, worldwide organization) wrote the following statement on his well-read blog last year (about me managing the internal communications blog) — and he’d never done that before or after about anyone else. “… If you ever get the chance to meet Diane XX, please thank her and give her some feedback. She is amazing and we are lucky to have someone like her as a part of our team. Her enthusiasm and desire to help is second to none.” That had to be the high point of my working life! (Thoughts, Tips and Tales)
My mum. Just a few weeks before she died. I stayed over night with her in hospital and she woke up the next morning and said: “how lovely that I open my eyes and the first thing I see is you” (Carol’s Learning Curve) EDITORS NOTE: THIS MADE ME CRY.
I once went out with my version of The World’s Most Interesting Man and he said I reminded him of Ireland. This guy absolutely loved his trips to Ireland and he has been everywhere and went on to explain how I remind him of his favorite place. It was very, very smooth of him. So, I replied with well that sucks because I’m Scottish Welsh. (Winter Bayne)
”The world needs more people like you”, (my grandfather) (A Blonde Brain)
I have a husband who says lots of wonderful things—probably far more than I deserve. I think, though, that the day a student came in and told me that she got into nursing school and thanked me for helping her with her application was one of the best moments I’ve had—it was a moment of really seeing that what I do really and truly affects other people. (Part Time Monster)
My son telling me that he was finally feeling OK, months after his depression hit its lowest point last year. Being told “I love you”, sincerely, by someone you love is also a nice thing to hear. (Not a Punk Rocker)
This is a toughy. One time before I got married to Mrs. Fearless Leader, her daughter (now MY little girl too) came up to me while I was washing dishes and asked, “Toby? Would you be my Daddy?” It’s pretty hard to top that. (Dumbass News)
5. When presented with a time machine, which one time and place would you visit?
My teenage self to warn against making major life decision based on love for the wrong me (tenderness on the block)
Middle Europe at the end of the last Ice Age, right after the eruption of the Laacher See
volcano (Germany) 12900 years ago. (A Neat Street)
Piazza Maggiore in Bologna on VE Day at End of World War ll. (A.K.Andrew Writer’s Notebook)
Most definitely pioneer days. I’d be on one of those Conestoga wagons heading off for new adventures out West. (misterio press)
Any time during the life of Gene Kelly or Frank Sinatra. I absolutely adore them both and would worship the group that Gene Kelly walked on if he was still alive! (New Teacher Life)
I would go back and see The Beatles in concert in 1963 or 1964. I was too young to have seen them. (Vintage Rock)
I’d travel into the future to see if we ever terraform Mars. Then start quoting Total Recall; ”Are you crazy? I don’t even know anything about Mars!” (One Man’s Adventures in the Big Wide World)
I would go to a place near Moscow (Russia) to 1974 and play badminton with my dear friend Yury (he passed away in 1976 when he was only 42 years old). (Pursuit of Happiness)
I’m more of a “never look back” person. I try to live in the moment and learn from each experience. While it is tempting to ponder time travel to an early time in my own life, and maybe tweak a few things, I would refrain. You always have to go through the dark to get to the light. If I was thinking about it from a historical perspective, there are so many times I would love to visit, mostly during the 20th century. The world went through so many dramatic changes. It would be fascinating to experience things first hand. Specifically, I would visit the 1940s. Politics, war, fashion, music. It was an important time. (Steps Times Two)
6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?
Well, my first name is pretty cool. If I just had to change it, I’d go with Cesare and insist on the correct pronunciation. (Sourcerer)
Duke, because of a chance encounter I had with John ‘Duke’ Wayne which ended with him asking me to wear his nickname as a thank you for a service I was able to render him. (dukea98)
I’m named for my grandfather. There isn’t another name in the world I’d like better. (Old Road Apples)
I absolutely can’t think of any other first names I’d like because I’ve taught so many girls over the past 43 years and probably have memories of all of them. (How Can I Control My Class?)
Years ago, when I was working as a psychic, I was advised to be a one-name psychic and that Jennifer is not my name. I chose Rachael. After 14 years of not using that name, I am using it again. I truly am Rachael, not Jennifer. The name never suited me. Makes me think of a leggy blonde with biceps. Rachael is the Earth Goddess. (A Little Fluff)
I’d like to have the first name Éilís which is Irish for my real name. It rhymes with ‘I wish’ when pronounced correctly. It’s unusual and a traditional link to my heritage. (Green Lizard’s Blog)
Probably the name of some literary character given that I named my daughter after the heroine in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. (Parent Your Business)
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Maybe something like super or amazing or uncanny. Incredible, astonishing, spectacular…. well you get the point. I might even need a cool costume made of spandex. I would need to go on a workout binge first though. (JED’s Playhouse)
7. If you were a ‘B’ Movie, what would it be called?
Decent People Also Succeed. (ashokbhatia)
If it’s the 1950’s campy invader type, it’d probably be something like “Revenge of the Lab Wererat”. If it could include late ’70s and ’80s sci-fi and comic book movies, it might be “Song of the Stars”. (the tao of jaklumen)
Close Encounters of a Would-Be Reporter! (Thoughts By Mello-Ello)
Frenzy of the Sleepless Zombie Mama vs Mutant Laundry Pile of Doom (Barb Taub)
The Day It All Went Weird. (Manchester Flick Chick)
Starship Captains Don’t Wear Dresses. When I was a kid, they said that would be the name of my biopic. (Things Matter)
Indecisive Decisiveness (though, that may run the potential of becoming an art film…) (Ecclectic Alli)
Estrogen Overload…I have four daughters who are 21, 20, 18 and 15. Good times!!! (greatsnaps, goodtimes and me)
“My Time Is Now” and its sequel “Damn, That Was Fun!” (Butterfly Sand)
EDITOR’S NOTE: A special thank you to Gene’O and his blogs, including Sourcerer Blog who posted all of the links onto a Pinterest board.
Interested in seeing all of the answers in full? Visit the original post here and read on!
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks
Game of Thrones: zipmeme
Polar Bear: makeameme.com