Month: May 2013

An Interview with Writer Rory Mckay

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Rory Mackay is a blogger and author of the book Eladria; Here is a link to his blog:

www.dreamlight-fugitive.co.uk

 

 

Q:  What is Eladria about?

A: ‘Eladria’ is a fantasy novel with a slight twist of science-fiction and metaphysics. It tells the story of the titular character, a seventeen year-old princess whose home is invaded and overthrown by a militant religious order. She’s forced to witness the destruction of her home and the execution of her father, but she manages to escape and spends much of the novel on the run, a fugitive in her own land. Before long she learns of an even greater danger that’s been lurking in the shadows for millennia, an ancient evil that’s trying to claw its way back into a universe it was long ago banished from.

Q: What inspired you to write the book?

A: Although ‘Eladria’ is pretty much a self-contained novel, it’s also a prelude to a series of books that I first conceived when I was just a kid. It’s a story that’s been with me most my life and try though I might, I just couldn’t let it go. It’s always been there in the back of my mind.

I’m never really sure where my inspiration comes from. I think there are two types of inspiration: external and internal. External sources of inspiration are easy to identify — often coming from other stories, books, movies, people, events and ideas. Inspiration can be found everywhere! But internal inspiration is more elusive and harder to pinpoint. Those are the ideas, stories and insights that just seem to spontaneously rise up from the recesses of the unconscious mind. It’s a more passive form of inspiration. You’re just kind of waiting for the right ideas to come to you.

That’s what I did with ‘Eladria’. I knew I wanted to write the book and I had a vague idea what it was going to be about, but I wasn’t clear on the details at all. I just kind of let it simmer in the back of my mind for some months, and then one day I was suddenly flooded with ideas. It was as though I was watching a movie unfolding in my mind. I got a pen and paper and began scribbling furiously, transcribing the images and storyline I was seeing in my head. The whole plot for the book and all the characters just popped into my mind, more or less fully formed. It was a strangely effortless process! I love it when the ideas just flow organically like that, with a seeming life of their own.

Q:  What were the challenges of writing about a female protagonist?

A: I didn’t actually find it too hard. I’ve always had at least as many female friends as male so that helped. Eladria is a vivid character: I had a strong grasp of who she was quite early on and I just followed that. She’s a strong, dominant personality, very much a tomboy, determined and headstrong, qualities that both serve her and can be her undoing. The opening chapter sees Eladria dealing with some of the issues that are typical to a teenage girl, or boy for that matter: first love, a disapproving father, feeling constrained by her life circumstances, believing she belongs somewhere else, but not quite sure where. Then things take a frightening turn and it becomes all about survival. It’s not really a story about gender issues, but it is very much about human issues.

Q:  What do you do for a living and how does it impact your writing?

A: I was working in social care until my health broke down and I ended up with a chronic illness which left me exhausted pretty much all the time. I had to quit the job I was doing and take some time out to try and fix up my health, which has been a challenge. However, it brought me back to my true passion as an artist and writer, and I have now been able to pursue this as a career, setting my own hours and branching into different aspects of the profession, such as blogging, copywriting and editing. So life took an oblique turn and nudged me into the only career that I ever really wanted anyway!

 

Q:  What kind of educational background do you have?

A: I have a BA degree in Social Science, in which I studied a range of subjects including sociology, psychology, politics, history, communication and behavioural science, media analysis and literature. I really loved it. It helped me immensely as a writer and, as a person, giving me a huge insight into human nature, why we are the way we are and why we do what we do. It also led me to study Eastern philosophy and spirituality, including Taoism, Vedanta and elements of Buddhism such as zen. This has been the greatest education I could ever have possibly had, especially Vedanta, which I adore. I spend a lot of time reading vedanta texts and listening to commentaries. It totally changed my outlook on life, myself and everything.

Q: Who are some of your literary influences?

 

A: One of the first was Tolkien and CS Lewis was another, I have clear memories of reading ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe‘ in school as well as watching TV adaptations in the early 90s. David Eddings was another fantasy author whose work inspired me. I also loved exploring the work of Herman Hesse, Aldous Huxley and Paulo Coelho. I very much liked the way they used stories as vehicles for exploring deeper topics and reflecting on the nature of the human condition, life, philosophy and spirituality. That inspired me hugely. Reading their amazing works made me want to write stories that were about something.

Q: Who do you think is the most overrated writer in history?

 

A: Overrated? That’s a tough one, because I think most art has merit, even if I don’t like it personally. I’d probably say E.L. James for ‘50 Shades of Grey‘. I read a bit of it and couldn’t believe it had become such a phenomenon. But then, this was the same year that  ‘Gangnam Style’ became one of the most successful songs of all time. Go figure. There is so much amazing literature and music out there (music is one of my other great loves) and yet….well, I guess I just don’t get mainstream culture sometimes!

Q: Your blog bio says you are a nondualist; what the hell is that?

A: Oh no…! Ask me something like that and I’ll be answering for the next year! It’s an excellent question. Nondualism is the assertion that life exists as a complete, interconnected whole. I think I first came across the notion in a quote by Einstein:

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — which is a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task is to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

That quote, which is a concise and powerful definition of nondualism, highlights the illusory nature of our perception of being something that’s completely separate and cut off from other people and from the world. I mean, we go about thinking that there’s *us* and then there’s life, when in fact that’s a false dichotomy. There’s just life. We are life. We are the universe. I was so fascinated by this and it led me to study advaita vedanta, which is one of the core ‘schools’ of nondualism. We’re hardwired to think in terms of duality and our entire language is subject/object based, but when you learn vedanta from a proper teacher and begin to assimilate it, the logic is just irrefutable. It’s amazing. When you no longer see yourself as separate from life and from other people, it gradually changes the way you see and relate to everything.

Q:  What is the central theme of your blog?

A: The tagline of my blog is “life, awareness, creativity and happiness” and, broad though that is, I guess that about covers it! In my previous blog, which I wrote from 2005 until last year, I wrote quite deep posts about philosophy and nondual spirituality. I actually never promoted that blog, it was almost like a little private place, although it did have a small but loyal readership. My new blog, which I began last November, is called ‘Beyond the dream’ and it’s designed to be a bit more accessible. I wanted to express some of the same themes in a simpler, more relatable way.

I believe that happiness and wellbeing is something that’s innate within us — you need only look at very young children to see that. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the ways we tend to lose that as we grow up and it largely has to do with habits of thought and belief that obscure our wellbeing. I’ve been sharing some amazing tools for identifying, questioning and moving beyond limiting thoughts, beliefs and emotions, and learning to be and express all that we truly are. My approach very much ties in with what I spoke about in my previous answer. I guess my blog is basically about digging ourselves out of the ‘perceptual prison’ Einstein spoke of.

Q:  What makes your writing unique?

A: I think if there’s anything unique about my writing it’s that I strive to find ways to use it to share my outlook on life, which is a little different to that of the average person. I like creative works to have some depth to them, some meaning and purpose, otherwise I don’t feel it’s fulfilled its ultimate potential. So that’s what I endeavour to do with my work: to entertain and to make people think.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Beer Blogger Sean Sullivan

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Sean Sullivan is a blogger who writes for   The Beer Scribe; here is a link to the site:

http://beerscribesully.com/

 

 

Q: Why do you love beer?

 

 

A:  I love the complexity and variety of beer. I can drink a dark, rich porter on a winter night, enjoy a refreshing pale ale on a hot summer day or partake in the current Pacific Northwest hop craze with an IPA, double IPA or black IPA.

Q: How do I tell a good beer from a bad one?

A:  THAT is the question that makes beer tasting so much fun! Although you can find lists of “off” flavors and the mistakes that lead to them (BJCP.org), the rules change from one beer style to the next. You do not want clove flavors in a pilsner, but most Belgium beers would seem lacking without them.

My palate has changed as I have studied and brewed beers. Something about smelling hops in the boil adds to their flavor when I taste them. Also, after tasting malts in their raw form I appreciate them more in a beverage.

 

Q: Why should my readers read your blog?

A:  If you love beer or just want an idea of what to drink this weekend you should check out The Beer Scribe. The page has fun with the topic. That’s why we drink beer, right? Also, I have contributors from Portland, Oregon to Asheville, North Carolina to San Diego, California writing about their regions, so the page really gives an overview of the craft beer movement.

Q: What other kinds of writing do you do?

A:  I am writing a fiction novel titled, “The Book of Nothing,” which is a twisted, psychological thriller about a boy who accidentally does a favor for the devil. If Joseph Campbell had gotten drunk with Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson this would be the genre of book written by them.

I also write for The Oregon Beer Growler.

 

Q: What kind of job do you have and how does beer help?

A:  I order beer and wine for a grocery store! So I use my ongoing beer education every day.

 

Q: What’s your wildest drunk story?

A:  My drunk stories come from years ago. I have found with craft beer I now drink quality over quantity. That said, I could write a book on the drunken adventures of my youth which include falling off my high school roof, climbing a 150 foot tall Douglas Fir and unsuccessfully attempting to find the West Coast from California.

 

Q: Truth or rumor; southerners can drink Yankees under the table?

A:  Rumor. Irish-Americans settled in Boston and other Northern locations. As the saying goes, “As long as an Irishman can hold onto a blade of grass and not fall off the world, he’s not drunk.”

Q: Are you for or against beer battered fried food?

A:  I am for all battered food including but not limited to beer battered. I wish I liked salad. My mid-section wishes I liked salad.

Beer can be used many ways in cooking. I like to cook sausage in a pan of Guinness Extra Stout, onions and a stick of butter. Let it simmer for an hour or so.

Q: I live in Portland and the hipsters hear all dig PBR; what do you think caused this trend?

A:  PBR is a classic that seems to tie us to a past that probably never existed, but we wish did. As far as American Lagers go PBR has little or no aftertaste, which puts it far above some brands I won’t name (Bud) that leave an odd banana taste in your mouth.

 

Q: If America were a foreign beer what kind of beer would she be?

A:  Toughest question of the ten, because America’s craft beer movement is all about diversity and experimentation. I am going to have to go with Guinness Extra Stout in the bottle, not the one with the widget. The Extra Stout challenges the drinker to have an open palate and to question what they know about beer with a complex malt bill, bitterness and oddly also a little sourness. Yet, the beer endures while other brands and styles fall to the wayside.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Business Consultant Jesika Babylon

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Jesika Babylon is the  founder of the business and internet consulting firm J Babylon Consulting; here is a link to her website:

www.jbabylonconsulting.com

Q:  How did you get into web design?

A: Web design is not the strongest skill I have, but I started out learning to code HTML (the language web pages are built on) by hand about 15 years ago. It’s a painstaking process to learn and then use all of the codes but I liked it better than other programming languages because it made more sense. Currently there are so many easier and better ways to design websites, from Modular systems like WordPress to programs such as Dreamweaver. It’s become easier to make web pages, but harder to make great ones due to the glut of designs on the market.

Q:  What makes your company unique?

A: Unfortunately, the fact that it’s run and owned by a woman makes it one of not-very-many (although that is changing) but my blend of skill sets and abilities is what makes J Babylon Consulting unique. I style myself a “Jes of all trades” and I really mean it – if I don’t have the skill to get your project done, I am not afraid to go to one of my many resources and ask for help or even outsource the project in order to get satisfaction for my clients. I can be very flexible in the matter of what service I can provide, so often one project will morph into five others by the time the first project is underway.

 

Q:  What was your most challenging project?

A: I think managing a project with a Costa Rican web designer and a Harvard alumnus elderly gentleman, trying to describe what one wanted, and other was able to do. We pulled it off, but barely, and with quite a bit of communication innovation.

Q:  What is the biggest change you have seen in web design in your career?

A: Part of the reason I don’t focus on web design is that there ARE so many changes happening so rapidly. I enjoy designing, so I will often work with a client on design specs and then outsource to a friend who does programming. She keeps up with all of that, and I think it’s a really smart way to go, dividing it up into pieces like that.

Q: . What is the most common mistake people make in designing there own web page?

A: I think a lot of design appeal depends on what you’re trying to convey. Too many bells and whistles can be a design no-no, but most people designing websites on their own probably don’t have a basic design principle in mind. I’d say that folks underestimate the level of skill and learning it takes to make a great website look like it’s easily made, and there are plenty of SNAFUs to run into when going it alone. Take it from me, since I taught myself how to code (which is probably why I prefer to outsource it).

Q:  Why should my readers hire a professional web content writer instead of hiring an expert in the field that the website is about?

A: A web content writer can use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keywords to draw attention to your page. Obviously if you have something that requires legal knowledge or could be construed as expert advice, you’ll want to fact-check, like any reputable reporter. A web content writer of good quality should know when and how to research appropriately to make your content (text) not only dazzle, but also provide correct and relevant information.

Q: What I do you like about running a business in Boston?

A: Boston is so full of entrepreneurs just brimming with great ideas, and offers so many resources to make those ideas come to fruition, I find it hard not to get excited when networking with other ‘treps and business startups about their own ideas. I especially enjoy being part of that community and having been in the vanguard of locals-done-good such as Task Rabbit.

Q:  what don’t you like about it?

A: It can be grueling. There’s no sick pay, no vacation or holiday pay. If you go down, everything stops unless you have a great cushion and smart planning. So the flexibility and creative opportunity is nice, but the times when the economy tanks and no one is able to hire my skill sets are a little intimidating. But just like Boston, I bounce back!

Q:  Where can we see some of your work?

A: A fair amount of it is in backend stuff. For instance with Task Rabbit I helped design their hiring and training programs, and authored the training manual, which regular folks wouldn’t ever get to see. I’ve done some real estate advertising and of course, I designed and created my own website however, my focus is less on web design and more on graphic design, organization, efficiency, and life coaching or mentoring. So in that sense, you will rarely see results of my work unless you know some of my clients personally but of course, I would never reveal those sorts of details.

Q:  How can I become the world’s most famous and beloved blogger?

A: The best advice is to write what you know about. What you enjoy, what you want to share with the world. Blogging shouldn’t be a job, it should be a joy. That will get transmitted, much like you can tell if someone is smiling on the phone with you, it infuses their whole conversation, the same can be said of the words you type (or speak, if you’re doing a video blog). It doesn’t really matter what you write about, as long as you genuinely care and can give it a true voice.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview with Feminist Sex Blogger Lola Davidson

Lola Davidson
Lola Davidson

Lola Davidson is a “sex positive” writer who runs Blogger Slut on Tumblr; here is a link to her site:

 

http://bloggerslut.tumblr.com/

 

Q: What inspired you to start your blog?

A: I had a lot of opinions about sexuality and empowerment and I really wanted an outlet to express all that, I started my blog kind of as a public diary of my thoughts, i didnt expect a lot of feedback but I actually got a really great reaction from people, a lot of them were very accepting of what I wrote and asked me questions and struck up conversations with me about it, I’ve met some really interesting people through my blog.

Q:  What sort of job do you have and how does it influence your attitude about sex?

A: I’m a student, so it doesn’t affect my attitude too much about sex but it has made me realize a lot about sexual safety, we’ve had a lot of workshops and seminars at my college about the important of consent and respect and feeling sexually comfortable around your partner, mostly my ideas about sex come from my own personal self growth and from watching my friends and people i know with their experiences.

Q:  How would you define the word “feminist”?

A: I define “feminist” as any male or female who believes in equality for men and women and acknowledges that we live in a patriarchal society and believes that that should change.

Q:  You have several naked pictures of your butt on your website; what motivated you to put them up?

A: Thats actually not me! thats a post I reblogged from another blogger, and i believe her motivation was just that she liked her butt and wanted to post it online. But i do have a bunch of pictures of me on my blog, mostly just to add a personal touch to my blog and so that I wouldnt be this faceless anonymous person behind a computer but actually expose myself in a way i was comfortable with.

Q:  Why do you think feminist object to pornography?

A: I think feminists come in all different forms, some object to pornography, some don’t. I think certain people in general object to pornography because it seems demeaning and dominating and just wrong, but I think times have changed and now girls actually want to have sex on camera and thats ok! People assume that those girls dont want to be there or they have daddy issues but that belief in itself is pretty sexist, girls enjoy sex just as much as guys, sometimes more and theyre there because they choose to be.

 

Q:  What is the difference between a porn website and a sex positive website?

A: Well, sex positive websites don’t always include nudity or pornography, they can be sex positive just by words. But I think the main difference between a sex positive website and a porn website is the intention, porn is there for pleasure while sex positive websites are there for education and inspiration. That being said, I do believe that some porn websites can be sex positive. I consider my blog sex positive because I really focus more than just the “penetration” part of sex, I think its really important for girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and their partners and to not feel forced into acting a certain way or doing certain things to please their partners, I’ve felt that way a million times before. I think its really hard for girls especially to be comfortable with sex because of the pressure put on us to act the way girls are “supposed to act” towards sex and I really want to show other girls who have issues with this that its okay to be sexual, its okay to take charge of your sex life and not fit into a stereotype of what you think a girl is supposed to act like during sex.

Q:  Who are some of your favorite bloggers?

A: One of my favorite bloggers goes by the pseudonym “Sugar Tits” (lovesugartits.tumblr.com), she was kind of the main inspiration for me starting my blog, she created this community and safe space for girls of all ages to be open about their sexuality. She has a lot of controversial views, some which i disagree with but her overall message is for girls to feel empowered and respected by the people they’re intimate with.

Q:  What do you like about living in San Francisco?

A: I love San Francisco, I really like how liberal and open it is, I grew up going to private catholic schools where being gay was wrong and sex was wrong and it was in a very wealthy area so classism was really prominent, also girls were treated really badly and demeaned a lot, called “sluts”, etc. But what I like most about San Francisco is the resources we have here, there are so many resources about sexual safety, not just STDs but emotional safety too, and the people here are really diverse and interesting and are usually very supportive and non judgmental about your life choices. It’s a great city with a lot of life in it.

 

Q:  What don’t you like about it?

A: Probably the usual cons that come with living in a big city. It can feel unsafe sometimes in certain areas, I’d be lying if i said i didnt look over my shoulder every once in a while waiting for the subway on a late Friday night in the Mission (an area in San Francisco). Being a single girl in San Francisco can be scary sometimes and you run into a lot of disrespectful jerks.

 

Q:  If you could have lunch with Hugh Hefner or Gloria Steinem, who would you pick and why?

A: Well, I think Hugh Hefner represents everything wrong with the sex industry and is a role model to a lot of anti-feminists so I dont think I’d care for what he has to say. I’d love to have lunch with Gloria Steinem because I have so much respect for her. I’d love to talk with her on her views about pornography though, I remember her saying in an article that it was “dominating” and I’d love to share my opinions on that, she’s been openly accepting towards Erotica, which I consider to be a certain genre of pornography. Specifically Erotic Literature. Also I think the porn industry has changed drastically in the last few decades so I’d like to hear her opinion on that.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Journalist Sarah Harvard

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Sarah Harvard is the editor of www.define-liberty.com; here is a link to her

website: www.sarahharvard.com.

Q: What made you interested in politics?

A: I really hate pulling this card, but I honestly believe that the fact that I am the first generation American had really instill this passionate interest in politics. I have witnessed first hand the ugliness of prejudice, discrimination, invasion of private property, and the infringement upon civil liberties. My parents were also always very supportive of me when it comes to voicing my opinion. I would remember that in the kitchen table or car rides back from swim practice there would be a discussion over politics. I also believe that the fact that I find politics filled with corruption do I find interest in being aware and standing up for what is right, because no one will give you your liberty. You have to take it.

Q: What is your background in journalism?

 

A: I have always been an avid writer since middle school. I would write poems about the ills of society and persuasive papers over certain political issues. What really started my career in journalism was taking a journalism class my junior year of High School. By my senior year, I was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune’s teen edition. My op-ed would win many awards like the Enterprise’s Journalist of the Year Award, NISPA Blue Ribbon Award in Editorial Writing, and then placing first in the nation in sports writing for the Newspaper Association of America. Now, as I complete my sophomore year in university, I have started an independent international media organization and had my op-eds published in Antiwar.com, Students For Liberty, Young Americans for Liberty, BuzzFeed, and the Nation. I am also the co-Editor-in-Chief of American University’s student run magazine — The American Word.

Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about President Obama’s foreign policies?

A: I often like to quote President Obama in his 2009 Cairo Speech:

“In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.  We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject:  the killing of innocent men, women, and children. ”

Without a doubt, the people of Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya would find the President hypocritical of his words. I think the biggest misconception about President Obama’s foreign policy is that he still is the embodiment of peace and change for this nation. It really frustrates me, as someone who was a former Obama supporter, for the American people to be so naive or so silent when the President has irresponsibly ordered four times as much drone strikes and had waged a more destructive war on drugs. People often point to the President’s speech in the American University in Cairo about extending a hand to the Muslim world, but in reality, he has jerked his hand back and had created more flames of extremism in the Arabian Peninsula and Southeast Asia.

 

Q:  You have worked for the Chicago Tribune what was the biggest challenge about writing for a corporately owned newspaper?

A: I loved my time at the Trib. My editors were amazing and we still remain in contact to this day. However, i’d say that my biggest challenge is the fact that there wasn’t a lot of freedom to write what I had wanted. There were advantages like interviewing T.I and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but there were great disadvantages when I wouldn’t be able to write an op-ed on the War on Terror or Immigration policy.

 

Q:  What were some of the benefits?

 

A: Like I mentioned earlier, the great benefits of writing for a highly established corporate newspaper was the exposure and the high profile events. I had been on various radio shows and had attended red carpet movie screenings, the Chicago Mayoral Debate, high profiled press conferences, and fancy receptions with Chicago’s most influential leaders.

 

Q:  What is the primary difference between a political blogger and a political journalist?

 

A: I truly believe that journalism is one of the most noble occupations that an individual can earn. I find it that in journalism that the pen can work mightier than the sword and instigate a revolution. I believe that a political journalist must find the true facts at hand and report or provide commentary without any manipulation of data or research. I realize that most political bloggers write for solely their own exposure and often provide subjectivity in topics at hand. I find many bloggers manipulate research and data to prove their point or offer controversial statements — and perhaps it isn’t fair for me to generalize all bloggers.

And perhaps I have a traditional view on journalism vs blogging. I think it’s easy to just “blog” or write up your own opinion, but it takes a journalist to research, investigate, and provide data for their opinion piece or news piece. And it is also important to note that while all journalists may be bloggers, not all bloggers may be journalists. That does not preclude bloggers from committing an act of journalism.

Q:  What inspired you to start Define-Liberty.com?

A: I was really frustrated without the limitations and censorship over my voice through journalism. In addition, I never was fond of corporate media. There is so much manipulation and corporatism involved in media and I realized that many students of journalism found themselves stuck in their options. I grew up watching CNN and MSNBC, and now, I realized how I am appalled at how CNN can consider themselves “the most trusted name in news” or how MSNBC can consider themselves journalists.

It is no doubt that our generation will face the challenges of tomorrow, and I find it a duty of mine as a member of society, to contribute to ensuring that our information doesn’t become misinformation so we can take correct actions and become victorious for the benefit of humanity.

Q:  What is the “new intellectual revolution”?

 

A: The new intellectual revolution is the voice of the youth taking matters into their own hands. The ideas that were derived from Friedrich Hayek, Lysander Spooner, Robert Nozick, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and the like all compiled into a 2.0 version. The new intellectual revolution is the message of unlimited liberties, less authority implemented into our politics, culture, and way of life.

Q:  What causes anti-intellectualism?

A: Apathy, reluctance, and ignorance. Individuals often loose themselves in their own lives without ever realizing that their lives are being affected through our societal and political framework. The mentality of “you only live once” or “live fast die hard” has really plagued the optimism for intellect.

A lot of individuals are also unwilling to learn more about the “other”. They often stick to their comfort zone and refuse to receive any further knowledge of other groups within their society, yet make arguments and claims based upon their emotions — and not with logic and reason. In addition, they only listen to their favorite politician and take their word as their commandment. They are often reluctant to admit the wrongs of their favorite politician or idol.

With apathy and those who are reluctant, ignorance plagues society. When controlled tragedies occur, society isn’t sure about their motives and will often blame things in a collectivist stand point. They don’t look at the historical and political context as to why these tragedies and attacks occur. It is only until we understand the contextual information and refrain from making those same mistakes can we find ourselves at peace and free from our enemies.

 

Q: What do you think it would take to get the American public to elect a third party candidate to the presidency?

A: That’s a difficult question to ask for someone who consciously doesn’t vote. The reason I don’t vote is that my vote doesn’t matter in a two party system. I think people are so accustomed and apathetic to the reality of the two-party system that they often don’t even care for a multi-party system. The two party system establishes a voting for the “lesser evil” habit that has done nothing more than elect the same leaders with the same policies into office. If individuals started to really think critically and don’t think about the popularity of their vote, and vote for what they believe is in the best interest of themselves and society as a whole on issues — then we can see a chance for a welcoming idea of a third candidate.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Tarot Card Reader and Spiritual healer Julianne Victoria

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Julianne Victoria is a tarot card reader and spiritual healer who runs the blog Through the Peacock’s Eye’s; here is a link to her site

 http://juliannevictoria.com/

 

Q: What inspired you to start Through the Peacock’s Eyes?

A: I had originally started Through the Peacock’s Eyes sort of as a writing portfolio – a place where I could practice teaching through writing and try to challenge myself with writing. That was my vague idea when I started this blog, but once I was able to put more time into it, it has grown into so much more. Now it has become a not only an outlet for spiritual teaching, but also a means to connect to many like-minds and like-souls.

Q:  What do you think qualifies you to “guide others on their journeys and in this life” ?

A: I don’t think helping and guiding others really requires any specific qualifications. Anyone with an honest and open heart does so automatically. Personally, “seeing” with my heart is the foundation of who I am, and I have always known that I am here to help others. In addition I am also highly intuitive and empathic which enables me to understand another’s struggles as well as to do intuitive Tarot and astrology readings.

Q:  What does your blog have to offer that other blogs of a similar theme cannot?

A: Based on the blogs that I have discovered so far, Through the Peacock’s Eyes seems to be one of the more spiritually diverse. And that’s actually my intention. I want it to be a place where anyone form any background – Atheist, Catholic, Astrologer, Buddhist, Physicist, Yogi, Wiccan, etc.- can stop by and find some inspiration or learn something. There are many paths to self-discovery and personal and spiritual growth. What resonates with one person, may not at all with the next, so I’d like my blog to provide as many views (Eyes!) as possible.

 

Q:  What is your professional background?

 

A: I started out as a teacher, from Kindergarten classes to middle school German to high school Latin. After some graduate work in Historical Linguistics and did a career switch and became a Massage Therapist and Healer for twelve years. I also began doing readings (Tarot and Vedic Astrology) in 2006. About a year ago, I closed up my healing practice to move back to San Francisco, CA to that I could focus on writing. Besides my blog, I have just self-published two books: Daily Yoga for a Healthy and Happy Cat and Butterfly Journal: Monthly Contemplations for Spiritual Metamorphosis. I’ve also recently completed the first in a series of children’s books and am also working on two other creative non-fiction books on mental illness and astrology.

Q:   What is the most misunderstood thing about spirituality?

 

A:  I think that a person has to be tied to a specific religion live spiritually. But also the opposite: that just because someone is religious it doesn’t necessarily mean they live their lives as spiritual beings.

 

Q:  What is the monthly tarotscope?

 

 A: The Tarotscope is a horoscope done with the Tarot. I draw a single Tarot card for each of the twelve astrological signs. Then I combine my reading, or intuitive interpretation, of the card with the indications of the house and sign placement of the Sun for each sign. For example in the May Monthly Tarotscope for Gemini I drew the Six of Cups and combined that with the position of the Sun, which is Taurus and the twelfth house.

Q:  What other kinds if writing do you do?

A: See Question #4.

Q:  How have tarot cards helped you in your life?

A: As a tool to help me to connect to Spirit, they have helped me to understand situations in my own life that have been challenging. I usually also do a daily spread for guidance for my day.

Q:  What has been your greatest triumph as a spiritual guide?

A:  I can’t say I’ve triumphed over anything since that’s not my intention in any way, but working with and emotionally and spiritually healing abused animals has been the most rewarding. I easily connect with animal spirits and hope to work more with animals in some way in the future.

Q:  Am I ever gonna win the lottery?

A:  Haha. My sense is no, but there is a greater abundance waiting for you. 😉

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

 

An Interview With Actor Lawrence Buchér

Lawrence_Bucher_Interview_1

Lawrence Buchér is an  actor who appears in Josh Mitchell‘s new film, Helen Keller had a Pit Bull. Here is a link to his IMDB page:

www.IMDb.me/LawrenceBucher

 

 

 

 

Q: What role do you play in Helen Keller had a Pit Bull?

A: I had the opportunity to play the role of the Antagonist in the film. The director, Josh Mitchell posted an ad on AA for the project which I submitted for and we stayed in touch with each other on Facebook– which was a first for me regarding film related opportunities. I did my “due diligence” (sorta-speak), and in turn stumbled across his video, “My Girl Does E.” I tell you what (LMFAO), I about fell outta my chair. It was BRILLIANT! I knew then and there this dude had that artistic edge that is not learned. You either have it or you don’t. We stayed in contact through a slow-and-go process eventually meeting up in person. But as I look back on it, I don’t think I was someone who Josh (initially) envisioned for the role. I knew he struggled from a creative standpoint in casting as this Antagonist was not your Hollywood-movie A-typical, see you coming a mile away kinda bad guy. Josh needed to capture that, “Something’s not quite right” to the character, without giving away the premeditated aspect all-together. But through the mentioned correspondence, couple with my conditioning and the body of work he had seen me do, he finally caved in (lol) and offered me the role… And I guess you’ll just have to wait and see his film to see what we came up with 🙂

Q:  What experiences did you draw from in playing the role?

A: Sadly, from an Antagonist perspective there’s too much to draw from– especially living in Hollywood.

Q:  What has been your greatest triumph  as an actor?

A: Large or small, all reel-worthy roles are a pivotal step in the right direction. With that said though, what enabled me to realize my ability was my performance in the feature (inspired by true events), MUTILATION MILE. It was a difficult and physically demanding role which landed me in the hospital twice. It was beyond rough. A two-week hell-bent method approach to anger not often paralleled in film. And for me I can’t fake it. Every performance is do or die for me. I have to come organic. The director, Ron Atkins needed a cocaine-fueled rage to my character tore up at both ends, so on top of him leaving me unsettled by intentional sleep deprivation, in turn I slammed myself with continued Red Bull’s and coffee. I’d safely say I had roughly hundred+ servings of caffeine in the first week of shooting. This, and on minimal sleep, my body was crashing. First trip to the Hospital I discovered Pneumonia was setting in. O2 levels where dangerously low; in the 80’s. And still I walked out ADR (Against Doctors Request) after three hours of combined breathing treatments, a shot in the ass, and antibiotics– as we were not finished shooting that night. Second trip to hospital they though I was having a heart attack as blood pleasure was through the roof. And that night there was no walking out. Was it worth it? Sure. Did I leave a little bit of my life on the table? Yes I did. But as I look back I see it no different than the sacrifice Christian Bale made when he lost all that weight when filming, The Machinist. And while Mutilation Mile failed to see a properly executed exit-strategy yielding the notoriety I should (or could) have gained, my performance in this hard-ass ultra-violent movie and the movie itself gained global reviews, and yielded me a 2012 “Award of Merit” for Best Supporting Actor from, The Indie Fest– which was kool being mentioned along-side projects like “Silver Case” starring Eric Roberts which won “Best of Show” in the Festival.

Q:  What was your greatest let down?

A: Oh, boy. This one comes crystal clear. But it’s actually a two-part ordeal. It was the summer of 2005 and like most things which come in three, I not only ended up being better-dealt after being cast as the lead in the feature, Awaken The Dead replaced by Gary Kohn (Almost Famous), I was simultaneously cast in another feature, GASP which the city of LA ended up shutting the set down and had an arrest warrant for the director. Too boot all in this two-week, life-shattering fiasco, I discovered that my girlfriend (at that time) was back in Vegas banging someone who I thought was a friend. Yeah, “let down?” That was an understatement. It was a time in my life that the thought of taking a pipe-wrench to my face was a good time. But we’re not done… After picking my teeth off the ground in LA, I find myself with tail between legs and back in Vegas. But through this immense struggle, I find a strange inspiration to first-time write. So, there I go, off and running on my first script, flying away at the keys with two very slow index fingers. It was ugly. My writing was awful (and still is), but my ability in story-telling was solid. My screenplay, 40 BELOW ZERO received MULTIPLE looks and in late fall, 2008, a producer out of SLC read my script, fell in love with it and offered me a 15MM Letter Of Intent to produce my script– only for the producer to go MIA two months after signing paperwork… So, if you who/ever find yourself feeling some sense of misplaced self-pity, give me a buzz. I’ll get you feeling right as new.

Q:  What sort of day job do you have and how does it affect your pursuit of acting?

 

A: Day Job? Well, you should know I get paid to chew bubble gum and kick ass… and I’m all outta bubblegum!

 

Q:  What sort of training have you had?

 

Extensive. I was really lucky to have had the opportunity to train under Joseph Bernard (IMDb). Joseph, an American actor, was best friends with Jerry Lewis and long-time friend of Marlon Brando. Joseph appeared in over 25 Broadway plays and several movies,including Murder Inc., Judgment at Nuremberg, and a number of other films that included Ice Station Zebra. His television roles included appearances on Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible, and he was the executive director and teacher at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute (1968). Joseph later made Las Vegas his new home leaving his mark not only on me but on hundreds of local-based actors and the Vegas community abroad. Sadly, in April 2006, Joseph passed away, but not without equipping me with tools necessary for my journey ahead. But following his passing, it took two years (seriously) to get past the fact he passed away. In 2009, I slowly found my way back on stage and continued my studies with a number of coaches including Doug Warhit. In 2013, Doug really helped confront a number of challenges (and fears) I was facing as an actor. He was named “One of the Top Ten Acting Coaches in Los Angeles” by Back Stage Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter.

Q:  What is the biggest lie anyone in Hollywood has ever told about you?

A: That making it had to do with talent.

Q:  The character you play bad mouths someone on the internet. Do you think the internet is an easy tool for revenge?

 

A: Yeah, the internet leaves anyone with a voice now. The director of Mutilation Mile used to kid that there should be some kind of aptitude test before being allowed to get on the internet. It’s kinda funny to think about it like that, but like most jokes, it has a hint of truth. In the entertainment world everyone wants to add their mustard– which unfortunately comes from a great percentage who are angry, somewhat smart, and premeditated in their trespass.

Q:  What is special about pit bulls?

A: Honestly, I know nothing about pit bulls. And it’s been years since I had a pet. Any pet. But like many pets, dogs, regardless of their breed are nothing more than an extension of their owner and environment. I don’t want to give anything away about Josh’s project, but his story is a highly noble journey filled with several heart-felt struggles including a new-shared perspective on one highly misunderstood breed.

Q:  What famous role could you have nailed?

A: Oh, man. GREAT question. I had to take a day to give this some thought but the role that always comes to mind is Brad Pitt’s performance in, 12 Monkey’s. To me his performance was ground breaking. The movie would not have been the same without him. If you replaced Pitt, the whole film’s presentation woulda stood at great risk in changing– yes, lol, even if casting me. But on the real, I’m definitely a character actor. The subtext to Pitt’s character was organic and was a role I would have loved to tackle– and could have. I wouldn’t have pulled off what Pitt did, but I woulda brought wood for sure to that role.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)