Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Sanitarium - The Interview

The lovely lady you see to the far left in this photo is Naomi, author of "Diaries of the Happy Sanitarium". I know I shared this yesterday and don't expect you to be in your dotterage,* completely unable to remember a salient fact from as short a time ago as yesterday. However, in the event I have hundreds of new readers today who are not familiar with this tome (and the likelyhood of that is prodigious), I felt new introductions were in order. Henceforth, I will dispense with the overuse of advanced vocabulary words as I have now exhausted my vast mental lexicon. Oh hark! And anon! There is this one thing more.....

*Dotterage: A word not included in modern dictionaries but which, prima facie, is, at the least, colloquial in nature. Okay, I'm done.

Let the interview begin!

Robynn: How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

Naomi: I think I've been blogging since August 2008. I started originally to keep my family updated on our going's on up here... we live at least 5 hours away from our immediate families now, and I was tired of sending mass e-mails to family, and not really being sure of who I should include, if they consider it nagging, etc. Then I'd feel all weird if folks didn't email me back, it was like they were ignoring me speaking to them, and it made me obsess. With a blog, it's nice (really nice!) if people leave comments, but I don't feel as tho I am shoving my kid's adorable little stories in their face all the time. Nobody FORCES them to check it, after all. And, I really HATE Facebook. I know, I'm weird. But, it is a visually obnoxious web program, and that irritates me. There are reasons why there are rules for designing websites that will make people return to them. Visually obnoxious programs should not, IMHO, be used, or encouraged by anyone. It just encourages the little geeks in their little cubicles to make more visually obnoxious programs, and then the world is overrun by visual obnoxiousness.

Robynn: I couldn't agree more, Naomi. I was turning myself inside out to share, through email, stunning and revelatory information with my friends and yet it seemed few were riveted by my musings. Now that I've started a blog they complain that they never hear from me. Isn't that just the way? Oh sorry! This interview wasn't about ME was it....... Apparently I never miss an opportunity for good, cathartic therapy. Moving on......

Robynn: What has been the most fun and/or rewarding part about blogging?

Naomi: Well, when I started I had NO IDEA that so many of my friends & acquaintances through our church etc., had blogs. I just never thought about it before. But, I used to work, so never really even thought about connecting with other people. At the end of the day, I was done with other people. So, now that I'm a SAHM, it has totally forced me into this world of motherhood, where you're SO GLAD to connect with other moms who speak kid all day long as well. Blogging is a great way to do that, cuz you don't have to pay gas money or over-minutes charges on your cell phone to connect, and you don't have to make a play date to do it... you just switch the laundry, empty the dishwasher, fold a pile of clothes, put shoes away, start dinner, and then take a break for 5 minutes here and there on the computer.

Robynn: What has been your biggest surprise?

Naomi: The thing that has actually surprised me the most is how posts can totally take on a life of their own. When I'd read an author's notes on a novel, or something, I'd always sniff my nose when they'd say something like, "I couldn't wait to see how this story I've written ended!" That always made me go, "Umm. Duh, you're writing it. You should know how it ends!" But it's really true for me, in my little blogging way, sometimes my posts really sprout wings and fly in a different direction then I've planned for them, or things that I planned to get in there totally end up not working. I'm not, by any means, any sort of novelist, but it is a creative outlet using words, so I don't feel as though it is unreasonable to use that parallel example... :-)

Robynn: What are your greatest frustrations?

Naomi: Can't think of anything. If something frustrates me, I usually don't touch it at all, ever. I will blog as long as it makes me happy to do so. The day it becomes irritating is the day I quit. Life is far to short to do quit-able things that irritate you. Sadly, I cannot treat cleaning my toilets the same way.

Robynn: Have you learned anything through blogging you don't think you would have otherwise?

Naomi: I think so. I've discovered I love web design, the marketing aspect of it. I'm currently exploring options for doing more of that, as time and budget allow. I've always in the past had my fingers in marketing in one way or another at my previous jobs, and I'd love to learn more about that from a web design standpoint, as well as learning a few different web design languages. I've spent so many years hunched over a computer, I've discovered that even as a SAHM, I'm happiest at the end of the day that I've had a lot of productive time in front of the computer. Then I look at the laundry pile, and happy goes down the tubes, but it makes me momentarily happy, anyhoo.

Robynn: Do you ever feel like blogging is a waste of time or do you see it as enriching your life?

Naomi: I am on a continual quest to only do things that enrich my life, or contribute to the wellness of my family. I think it would be VERY RIDICULOUSLY easy to waste time blogging... that is why I rarely post more than 2-3 times a week, depending on what I'm posting about. But, I had to discover that when it comes to reading blogs I ONLY read blogs regularly that truly contribute to me in some way. I was getting overwhelmed for a while by blogs I was trying to fit in. I now only allow myself blogs from people I really care about or challange and uplift me...
Family/Friends blogs. One humor blog--thats' you, Robynn!--and I stop by a few of your pals as time allows. The Pioneer Woman, cuz hey, I've read her since 2006, can't stop now. Dutch Girl Cooking, cuz I love food, and I love food photography, and I actually use her recipes... so that's a keeper. And, I read Sew, Mama, Sew-- I like to keep my hand in the sewing blog world just a little bit, cuz ya never know what you might learn, but I had to stop reading a bajillion sewing blogs, because I discovered it irritated me more that it enriched me. So many great ideas, so little time. I'm like a fat kid with a tray of cupcakes when it comes to sewing projects. I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL. Or, do them all, anyway.

Robynn: Ever had any flamers or weirdos?

Naomi: Nope! Not yet. I keep this a matter of prayer. I want only encouraging and uplifting things on my blog. As I am a Christian, if someone saw something on my blog that touched them, or made them want Christ for themselves, and wanted to contact me, I would want them to be able to get in touch with me. Also, we LOVE where we live, and it's a huge part of our lives to appreciate it, so my blog wouldn't be complete without that being a part of it. I decided that if I'm to be a testimony for Christ in every aspect of my life, I'll hopefully do that in internet land as well, follow basic safety precautions, and leave the rest with Him.

Robynn: What advice would you give someone starting a blog?

Naomi: To be sure to never embarrass anyone with your blog. Sometimes you can get carried away with a story, or something, and people can inadvertantly get the wrong impression from something that you've said. Especially if you're a sarcastic sort. The written word will always be stronger than the spoken word, in that each person who reads it imagines a different tone of voice with what they're reading,and the whole copy and paste thing, and e-mail forwarding, and all that. I don't think I've ever embarrassed someone, but I would consider that to be ultimately horrifying.

Robynn: Who is your favorite blogger? (Okay, sounds like I'm pandering here but, seriously, do you have a blog that you have learned a lot from, has been especially inspirational or uplifting, or that you feel you can never miss?)

Naomi: My "read regularly" list is VERY limited, and the ones I do read are there because I walk away from them with something. I have others that I check in with every week or every couple weeks. That being said, if I read something that touches me, or causes a thought it my head, or cheers me up, or whatever, I do leave a comment. I used to not, because who cares what I think? But, since I've started blogging, I've realized how EVERY comment is read and appreciated to a blog author, so I do try to keep that in mind, and always comment when I stop by a blog.

Thank you so much, Naomi, for being willing to take the time for this interview, sharing your thoughts, and letting us get to know you. It was great getting to meet you, Frank Castle, Kiki and Debris, and the rest of the gang. Maybe we'll see each other on a four-wheel drive trail sometime. But, in the meantime, you know I'll be dropping in regularly!

Copyright 2009


  1. What a GREAT interview Robynn and Naomi!

  2. It's after midnight here...but I thought I'd leave you with a threat, "I'll be back!" LOL. I'll read this tomorrow, or should I say later today?? Sweet dreams!

  3. Now THAT was a good interview. Nothing like a Katie Couric interview... you covered the biggies and with style and grace. Just call yourself multi-talented (but we KNEW that!) :-)!
    Enjoyed! She sounds like a smart girl with her good priorities.

  4. What a great interview! I throughly enjoyed reading this!
    Well... I enjoy all your posts of course, but you KNOW what I mean!

    When you become the next Oprah or Ellen, please remember this little person!

  5. You are too good to me. :-) I made upside-down pumpkin muffins today with pecans and caramel sauce on the bottom (now the top)! Would you like one? You're seventeen hours away? Bummer.

  6. What a great post--and a great idea! Already I'm thinking how I could adapt it to fit the focus of my own blog! You're one of my favorites--because I learn a lot from you!


  7. That was so fun... and insightful :)

  8. what a great interview - she sounds like a fantastic blogger, I'll have to check out her site!

  9. Great interview! What a neat idea,.. now i feel like i really know Naoimi. And I must say that so far I think the blogger community is just full of wonderful people. I live in a rural area and I feel like I now have friends all over the country. Thank you Robynn and Naoimi!

  10. Love your interview, Robynn! And your subject seems to have found a balance and control when it comes to blogging that I so sadly lack... ;-)

  11. Great interview! Nice to see someone else dislike Facebook. In fact, I just deactivated my account. It felt like a chore to go there and I hate chores.

  12. Naomi seems like a really terrific person! More reasons to read her blog! Have a super rest of the week!

  13. Well done Robynn! You definitely know how to keep your readers plugged-in. Also, I really enjoyed visiting with you this morning :O) Thanks for your gift of time!!

  14. Love the whole concept of this :) Not only were your questions good, but loved her answers too! Well done!

  15. Great interview! Love learning about what makes other bloggers go and Naomi sounds lovely! Thanks Robynn

  16. I totally agree with Naomi's response to the question about frustration...let's not make life difficult because of something that is "quitable."

  17. I enjoyed reading that! And I too do not trust facebook...however all the family is there..even bible study peeps! So I only respond to things sent to me by them.