As I mentioned in my first post about MaryLou, she is one of the most fascinating people that I know. I find the way she lives her life with intention, may be explained in one of today’s answers.
I asked MaryLou the following two questions:
What do you think is the most interesting thing about you?
Perhaps the most interesting thing about me is that I survived the tsunami in Phuket Thailand in December of 2004. We were on a family holiday there. A series of changed plans probably saved our lives. This included switching to a different resort a week before we left, postponing a snorkeling trip we had planned for the day of the tsunami, and sleeping in and not going down to the beach the morning of the tsunami. Seeing the devastation later and the chaos at the airport when we left with so many grieving and wounded people, was a watershed experience for me that really changed my perspective on life and caused me to rethink some of my long held spiritual beliefs. It made me realize the importance of living every day to its fullest and making sure the people I love know how much I love them.
Right now I am reading From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. It is my first book by this author and I am really enjoying it. The book was a gift from my eighty-five year old aunt who is a veracious reader. Every time I visit her I leave with a stack of books she thinks I will like. She has introduced me to many great authors. She is my reading mentor and has inspired me to try and be a reading mentor too and recommend books I like to others.
MaryLou Driedger is a newspaper columnist, art gallery tour guide and university student supervisor who lives in an old warehouse in downtown Winnipeg. Her favorite role in life is being a grandmother. She loves to travel, read and blog and dreams of someday having one of the stories she writes for children published.
Meet wonderful author, friend, and fellow Anita Factor member, Melinda Friesen. Melinda is one of the most deadline dedicated people that I’ve ever met. She consistently sets goals for herself and meets them which is truly inspiring. And I need to mention – she’s the plot queen! A true gift to think of plot solutions outside the box.
I asked Melinda the following two questions:
What was the last book you finished? Would you recommend it?
The last book I finished was Winter by Marissa Meyer, which is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I loved this series, but I’m afraid this final book left me flat.
As a writer, what would your mascot/avatar/spirit animal be?
I think my spirit animal would be a duck. Ducks can do anything—walk, fly, swim. They adapt.
Please connect with Melinda:
Melinda Friesen authored the sci-fi/dystopian, One Bright Future series. Enslavement, book one in the series, was released in 2014 from Rebelight Publishing Inc., and its sequel, Subversion was released in 2016. Enslavement has been shortlisted for a Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Snow Willow Award and was nominated for a Sunburst Award. She also co-wrote The High-Maintenance Ladies of the Zombie Apocalypse [for adult audiences.] Her short stories have placed in numerous contests and have appeared in the Forging Freedom II Anthology, Freefall Magazine, and the Metro News.
Sunny was so cute, sunning himself, he just screamed – must take picture with book! Really, the book has nothing to do with adorable senior cats.
Super Cleanse by Adina Niemerow explains “the nitty gritty on cleansing” with down-to-earth advice that includes daily routines.
The book has a unique set up as well. Instead of separating recipes by typical categories: beverages, snacks, entrees, etc. She”s set it up by cleanse. For example:
“Some Like it Raw” (5-7 day) All your meals options are laid out and all the recipes are “raw.” (In this one I particularly recommend “Angel Hair Pesto” pg 103 – amazing! I used butternut squash instead of zucchini.)
A few years ago, my daughter and I did the “Three-Day Face-Lift Cleanse” on a weekend camping excursion. Much fun!
And, I just had a laugh flipping through the book as I write notes beside the recipes, if I liked it, didn’t like it, made substitutions, etc… and “The Green Buzz Cleanse” is riddled with comments beside each recipe including statements like, “Shockingly Yummy!” beside Pirate’s Potion (pg 171) and “Holy Cow Batman!” beside Rainbow Blend (pg 172) followed by several recipes with “Yummy” written beside them. Apparently, some of these surprised me and I’m thinking it’s time I try this cleanse again! 😀
There are also recipes for self-care products such as bath salts, lip balm, foot baths, and even household cleaners that are all environmentally organically friendly.
Maybe the title should be who isn’t addicted to Netflix? The best two things about Netflix (like I need to tell you) – no commercials and you can watch an entire series, or season in a binge sitting. Around here – 10 p.m. is Netflix time, kids are in bed and we watch an episode or two of our current addiction.
Here’s a few shows we love:
- That 70’s Show
- Breaking Bad
- Lie to Me (only watch season 1, season 2 killed it.)
Shows that I wait impatiently for the next season to stream:
- Stranger Things
- Better Call Saul
- Jessica Jones
- Bates Motel
- Mrs. Brown’s Boys
- Walking Dead
- Santa Clarita Diet
- Luke Cage
Shows that came highly recommended, but we just couldn’t get into:
- Once Upon a Time
- A Series of Unfortunate Events
What do you recommend?
I hunted through my phone (I use Android.) and considered the apps I used most, or find the most useful. Here’s some I recommend:
Instasize. Want to make picture collages, add backgrounds, text, crop… anything really… Instasize is my app for prepping pics for Instagram. (Give me a follow! I’d love to see your gallery too.)
Zedge. This is where I get backgrounds and ringtones to personalize my phone.
Weather Network. I have tried so many apps to get the right weather display that I can follow. I’ve even tried paying for some (don’t do that… not worth it!) I always come back to the good old Weather Network.
My Fitness Pal. Great app for tracking all things diet and fitness! It also syncs with your FitBit, if you use one.
Beep ‘n’ Go. I got tired of carrying so many membership cards for places where I shop. Beep ‘n’ Go holds them all for me on my phone. Works great!
Pay By Phone. I’m not sure about other cities, but if you’re in Winnipeg, and you park downtown, you need this app! I pay for parking with my credit card, never have to run back to the meter to plug in more coins. I even get a text message when my time is running low.
Manitoba 511. If you live in the country in Manitoba, you need this one. Highway conditions at your finger tips.
Christina and I have known each other a long time. We were both members of the Vast Imaginations writing group, prior to the formation of the Anita Factor. Christina is one of the most creative people I know, not only does she have excellent story ideas, but she’s creative in everything in her life – from writing, to DIY home renos and decor, to arts and crafts, to drawing. And most recently cake decorating – all self-taught. Her creativity oozes from every cell. She’s simply amazing!
I asked Christina the following two questions:
What was the last book you read and you would you recommend it?
The last book I read was Murder and Mistletoe by Robin Stevens, a middle grade read, part of a series, about two girls who solve a murder at their school. An enjoyable read.
What do you think about when your alone in the car?
I drive a lot of highway miles, leaving me free to think unhindered. And after a few minutes my creative mind kicks in and I start to work on whatever project I happen to be working on at home. Sometimes that means trying to sort a way to tackle a DIY home project in the most feasible and efficient manner, or a craft project I want to do. [Pictured: Christina’s book lamp and hand-bound journals.]
But often my brain turns to a writing project I’m in the middle of and almost lazily mulls over different aspects of the story to come up with quirks and details of the piece that surprise me pleasantly. The things my muse comes up with aren’t necessarily things I can work into the story but help me learn my characters better or my setting, which affects my writing positively.
Please connect with Christina:
Christina likes the quirky and the queer, and enjoys trying to come up with characters and settings hat fit that in her writing. She writes for middle grade children
I hate cardio workouts. I basically hate anything repetitive (and this stretches from mundane data entry jobs to music that repeats a line over and over, to my seven-year-old making car racing noises with his Hot Wheels – I freak out inside.)
I came to realize that walking on a treadmill, cycling on a stationary bike, or skiing on an elliptical is just not going to cut it for me. I’m also too uncoordinated (aka embarrassed) to join a class. Cardio workouts are a real dilemma and I mostly just avoid them. But, as I can no longer ignore this part of my exercise routine, I had to find a solution. And, me, being a problem solver extraordinaire 😉 – found one.
I love TED Talks, but rarely sit around watching them. “I don’t have time.” But I do have time if I’m bored out of my tree on an Arc Trainer (similar to an elliptical). Watching a TED Talk while I “ski” has proved to be an excellent solution.
At the gym, I do my weight routine and then pick my TED Talk and use an Arc Trainer for the duration of the talk. The time goes much faster and I’m not bored. I still watch the clock a bit — I really do hate cardio — but the time ticks along by minutes instead of seconds.
Here are TED Talks I’ve watched that are worth checking out:
- How to speak up for yourself by Adam Galinsky
- Your body language shapes who you are by Amy Cuddy
- How online abuse of women has spiraled out of control by Ashley Judd
- How to get better at the things you care about by Eduardo Briceno
Do you have tricks to get through the things you don’t like doing? Please share your ideas with me.