My interview subject for the month of May is Swirlingfire, who does not have her own blog but is a key contributer on the site Insights and Ramblings of melody. Swirly writes poetry and prose, and is currently ‘hosting’ the 4Thoughts meme with the topic Social Media, inviting fact and fiction posts inspired by social media experience. She tweets as @Swirlingfire and here she reveals a little of the person behind the writing:
To introduce yourself, please tell us one possession which you treasured as a child and why.
A soft toy, given from my great grandmother, known as “The Duchess”, she died before I was a year old. A formidable Matriarch.
Do you find blogging a cathartic experience?
Partially cathartic when it’s public, it’s been far more healing learning that many others have experienced exactly the same life trials as I have. Talking to people that understand is helpful.
The most surprising aspect regarding my blogging – to be able to offer support when asked. It’s very easy to wallow within a victim narrative. Dragging myself forward each day is hard when nobody “listens”. Blogging has brought some amazing Twitter People into my orbit. Thank you – you know who you are.
Was writing always your choice for expressing yourself? Did you scribble/ keep a diary growing up?
I had a private journal until life experiences turned very dark/violent.
I restarted journalling during Rape Therapy. I was emotionally numb, I had nothing to say to anyone out loud anymore. When I did speak, it was like a machine gun fire of bullets.
During Therapy, with consent, two journal entries were published in a “trade journal”.
When did you realise your words could be so powerful?
Are they powerful?
Or are they thought provoking?
I’ve never thought that my words are powerful. The counsellor was able to dive deep, far too deep at times, to unlock everything I’d buried. Ouch.
Some people see my writing as threatening to their view of the World and themselves, as it appears to provoke their personal hatred (towards me), without us ever having had a conversation.
The most violent reactions to my blogs have been from negative people lacking empathy – I now understand I’m a catalyst for their unwanted thoughts.
Traumatised people understand & don’t further verbally abuse people like us.
I wonder if my questions push thoughts towards answers for folk in denial? They won’t acknowledge the complicit part they play in life?
The most positive aspect has been the contact following a blog by those in emotional pain. Either Rape, Assault, Romantic Coercive Control and/or Mental abuse from a partner. My words prick at their thoughts and they recognise similar situations of their own. It takes time to accept non consensual violence was not our request because of the way we dress or because we agreed to spend time alone with a previously charming person.
My preferred writing style for blogging lately is #365Words – I enjoy the restraint of a hard word count. It keeps me focused and prevents rambling – all under the expert editing of @sissymaidmelody
If you were stranded on a desert island, name 3 things you would be glad to leave behind?
Which do you think evokes stronger memories – music or smell?
Both are equally powerful
Both are mixed with pleasure and trauma
In the last few years I generally avoid music.
You can invite anyone (dead or alive) round for dinner; name 5 guests and tell us why.
1 Queen Nefertari – imagine all the questions I could ask, the secrets about an advanced civilisation.
2. Marilyn Monroe – educated, funny, beautiful, so misunderstood.
3. George Michael – a brilliant musician, secret philanthropist, great humour.
4. @sissymaidmelody – my long suffering editor, the least I can do is offer her an extremely fancy dinner.
5 John Astin – my first childhood crush.
What was the last book you read, and what’s your preferred format? (tangible book, e-book, audio version)
My mind is like a grasshopper and I find it very difficult to concentrate/focus on a physical book.
I currently prefer audio books.
Most recently, “Transferrence” starring Alex Kingston.
I’m now working my way through the final series of a BBC sounds drama – “Tracks”
I have joined a great site called “dimsdale.co.uk” – 20+ New Torchwood Episodes.
Hmmm it seems I enjoy psychological thrillers.
Are there any websites that draw you in?
I prefer psychology/research sites or my working industry based sites.
Quick Fire questions:
Countryside or city?
Chocolate or alcohol?
Neither potato crisps
Dogs or cats?
Stinging nettles or brambles?
Music: old favourite or new tunes?
ClassicFM IF I feel the need for music (see above)
Coffee or tea?
Sport: play or watch
Neither, hate it all.
Thank you so much for sharing some clues as to what makes you tick.
For more of Swirlingfire’s thoughts and insights, visit her space on melody’s blog, follow her on Twitter, and don’t forget to visit 4Thoughts or Fiction meme to see what posts her prompt Social Media has inspired.