- Books, Literature, and Writing
Meet Bravewarrior (a self-interview writing challenge)
Interview myself? Are you kidding me?
As is true of most writers, I’m not comfortable talking about myself. But part of becoming known as a writer is to go outside your comfort zone. So, here I take the leap and hope there’s a net at the bottom to catch me if I fall.
I hesitated in taking this challenge. However, I saw many of my writer friends jumping on the trampoline without a safety net, so I thought, “hey, if they can do it, so can I”!
When I was a kid, if you dared me to do something I stepped up to the plate, whether the dare was stupid or potentially dangerous. Have I lost my oomph? Have I lost the dare-devil that has taken me through decades of unknown paths? Had I not done so, I’d not be where I am, so why stop now?
Can you hear the conversation I’ve been having with myself over this challenge?
If I can talk to myself, why not interview myself? No reason, you say? I agree.
So, here we go….
You can read about my professional background on my profile page (click the link below my avatar), so I won’t repeat myself.
Instead, I’ll tell you some things you don’t know.
Date of Birth: March 3, 1957
Time of Birth: 9:03 p.m. (that means something in my astrological chart)
Place of Birth: Madonna Hospital, Denison, Texas
Hair Color: Brown, Gray, Silver (chestnut before age set in)
Eye Color: Blue
Ethnicity: American born of Italian, Irish, English, Scottish, German, and Cherokee heritage
Education: High school honor grad, 30th out of 300 students
Certifications: 1983 TV/Radio certification from Brown Institute, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Second in class
K, now that we’ve got stats out of the way, let me put on my “I’m-someone-else-hat” and get on with the interview.
Actors Studio questions
Writers are actors who hide behind the screen of the written word, so this should be a piece of cake. Just so you know I’ve covered my eyes so you can’t see me! LOL
What is your favorite word?
I’d have to say my favorite word is juxtaposition. I love the sound of the word. When we were young, my dad would have us learn five vocabulary words a day. And, I mean young. I was thrilled that my peers had never heard of the word, let alone knew what it meant. It’s a really big word with a simple meaning, yet it’s rarely used in conversation or text.
What is your least favorite word?
At the risk of being flagged, my least favorite word is penis. I simply don’t like the way it sounds. I much prefer the slangs when addressing that part of the male anatomy. It just doesn’t sound right to use the proper word. Especially when you’re telling someone they’re being a ____!
What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Many things inspire me in those areas:
- Hearing the birds greet and begin a new day
- Seeing elderly couples walk hand in hand
- Seeing the sun’s rays reach down through the clouds and the trees. Every time I see that I say, “hello, God!”
- Not being the first to say, “I love you”
This certainly isn’t all that inspires me, but it’s what comes to mind foremost.
What turns you off creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
- Boys who feel the need to show their boxers. Pull your damned pants up!
- People who constantly complain
What sound or noise do you love?
I have to answer this question from the memories of a little girl. Sure, I have favorite sounds now as an adult, but I doubt they’ll last as long as this one:
My favorite sound is the car slowly rolling over a rock-paved drive-in theater. My folks would put us in our pajamas and Mom would pop a big brown bag full of popcorn. To this day, I pop corn in a pot. No microwave popcorn or air-popper for this little girl!
What sound or noise do you hate?
I don’t know if hate is the right word, so I’ll translate the question to, what sound or noise grates on your nerves?
Without a doubt, fingernails scraped on a blackboard grates on my nerves. It gives me the willy-nilly heebie-jeebies.
What is your favorite curse word?
In my neck of the words, it’s called a cuss word. And I’d have to say it’s the F-word. It just fits into so many conversations and really gets the point across. It might not be lady-like, but what woman is lady-like when she’s cussing??
What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
At age 57, I’m not thinking of attempting any other career than the one I’m trying to get a grasp on, so I’ll answer this from the perspective of a much younger me.
When I was in high school, I spent some time with Mongoloid children and adults. Their unconditional and honest love was heartwarming. I think I’d like to work with kids who have a harder way to go than the rest of us.
What profession would you not like to do?
At one point in my (younger) life, I thought about becoming a nurse. However, I can’t stand the sight of blood and don’t do well with severed limbs, etc. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I don’t react well.
I have such huge respect for our medical professionals. They are much bigger people than I can ever think of becoming.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“Welcome, Shauna. You done good.” Of course, he wouldn't use bad grammar, but you get my gist.
These are questions that Jennifer asked us to answer should we accept her challenge. I think these may be the hardest questions of all to tackle.
In the film version of your autobiography, who would you like to play you?
I’m thinking Julia Roberts would do a good job of portraying me and the many facets of my life. She’s pretty, but can pull off being a bad girl. I spent much of my twenties and thirties being the bad girl that surprised you because of my petite stature, intelligence, and good looks. I’m not being conceited, but I was able to walk in all crowds from the elite to hard-core biker because of my looks and intelligence. Julia Roberts is versatile enough to pull that off. The only thing is she’d have to have her co-stars wear elevated shoes to make her look as short as I am! Plus, she’d have to wear blue contacts.
What quality or talent do you wish you could cultivate?
This isn't really a fair question, because I can cultivate anything I wish. However, one thing I wish I would have kept up with is playing the piano. I was given lessons by a concert pianist at a very young age. However, I was a rebel and quit because my mother enforced my daily hourly practice. Had she left me alone, I would have been fine because I loved playing the piano. It was being forced that rubbed me the wrong way. Now I know I cut off my nose to spite my face.
Who is your favorite fictional character ever?
This is a tough one. I don’t really have favorite characters, but I do have favorite authors. However, I need to think outside of the books that line my shelves in order to answer this.
When I really think about it, I’d have to say Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. She had to overcome separation from her family, fear of the dark woods, yet still found the strength to help the Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion, and The Scarecrow find what they were looking for. Together, they battled the Wicked Witch of the West, the flying monkeys, and the huge, scary presence of Oz himself. Yet, she never lost faith. She found her way home. To me, Dorothy is the epitome of faith, love, and strength of character.
If you could have the career of any author, who would it be?
Dean Koontz, hands down. He’s my favorite author. I’ve read almost everything he’s written, from when he penned himself as Dean R. Koontz to present day. There’s only one book I didn’t care for; that’s a pretty good track record. He’s not predictable. He’s not gory. He deals more with the paranormal than plots so scary I can’t sleep at night. He stays out of the limelight, yet everyone knows who he is. He’s humble and successful. That’s what I’d like to achieve in my writing career.
How to encourage creative writing in your children
What inspires you?
I've already answered this. Basically, life inspires me. Emotions inspire me. You have no idea how many times I've gotten up out of bed and started a poem or an article based on the hurt I was feeling at the time. Fortunately, I don’t publish them. Writing them down releases me and that’s all it takes for me to resume my comfort zone. I choose to write pieces that uplift, inform, or send my readers into a fantasy world.
When did you first realize you were a writer?
When I was in 7th grade, our teacher asked us to write a story based on the Dragnet series. She gave us some prompts. We were to use a baseball bat, garbage can, sneaker, and a dollar bill. Rather than use those prompts as props, I turned them into characters, with each speaking in the first person. I got an A++ on my story. I wish I still had the composition book, because I could really gain from reconnecting with my creative self at that age.
And now for something a little different
At this point, I’m to come up with my own self-interview questions. Come on, Jennifer, you’re really pushing it, aren’t you?
Okay, remember what I said about dares? Hmm. Give me a minute (or a day) to think.
What is your biggest regret in life?
I really only have one. I don’t regret most of the decisions I made in life because I learned and grew from them. However, there is one:
I regret having stepped out of my copywriting career in the 1980s. I was successful and had a blast. I was good at what I did. I wrote TV commercials that were aired on local network affiliates. I had it made.
Had I stuck with it, I would have naturally morphed into today’s market and technology. Instead, I have to learn all over again. I have no contacts and absolutely no clue about the editing end of television media, whereas I once did. I was not only a copywriter, but an assistant producer. Too much time and way too much technology has come to be since then. Plus – stupid me – I never thought to save my copy or get dubs of my TV commercials. I could kick myself in the ass!
Are you willing to interview yourself and share with us?
What advice do you have to offer to those who are considering writing as a career choice?
I have three words: Go For It. If it’s in your mind and in your heart, it’s something that needs to be nourished. Write whenever you can and whatever comes to mind, even if you don’t share it. And save everything you write. You never know when you’ll need to call upon your work.
Create a new crowd of friends: writers. Get advice, opinions, critiques; do whatever you can to have your love of writing encompass your world. Learn what you can and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You only lose if you don’t try.
Out of curiosity, why do you call yourself Bravewarrior?
Simply put, because I am. I don’t mean to be snotty, but I’ve never let anything get me down or hold me back.
To be honest, I became Bravewarrior when I was about nine years old. I lived in Philly from age eight to the summer before I entered ninth grade. Across the street from our row house was an empty lot filled with trees and black raspberry bushes. I’d squish the berries and apply them to my face, as Bravewarrior or I’d use the berries to make dinner as a Cherokee squaw.
It wasn’t until 2011 that Bravewarrior gained a presence and went from imagination to reality. You can read how I became Bravewarrior by clicking here.
Bing Crosby's Version of Getting to Know You
This was difficult at first, but very enlightening in the end. Jennifer, I thank you for creating this challenge. I would recommend everyone give this a shot, even if you don’t post it. You’ll learn a lot about yourself.
Shauna L Bowing
Refining, Defining, or Rhyming
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© 2014 Shauna L Bowling