I am thrilled to bring back Sunday Serenade where we meet bloggers who are passionate and dedicated to the book reviewing community. Today, we are virtually serenading Trish from Desktop Retreat. One of the many things I really enjoy about Trish’s blog is the pictures and comic strips she shares, bringing a sense of humor to the can-be-somewhat-dry literary community. And as you’ll see through the interview, Trish is just a truly neat person and blogger.
Q: What do you do when you’re not blogging or reading?
A: I’m somewhat of a homebody so you’ll probably find me doing something very domestic: sewing, cooking, gardening, baking, that sort of thing. Although I’ve had a number of jobs over the years nothing brings me as much satisfaction as making a home for my family. My three boys are older now and not at home as much so I’ve been working at my youngest son’s school and volunteering at a group home for teenage mothers. I also try and get in an hour’s worth of walking everyday, either very early in the morning before anyone is up usually listening to an audiobook and enjoying the dawn, or during business hours so I can *strategically* swing by the library and various used book shops in my neighbourhood.
Q: Trish, your life sounds very busy. As someone who has worked in a group home, I know intimately, how your volunteering with the teenage mothers truly changes lives. It sounds like you have a heart for children and youth in addition to your love of books. So with all of your extra-curricular activities, how do you carve out time for blogging, reading, family, and life?
A. Prioritize! As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how quickly time passes by so I try and take care of things in order of necessity. I get some blogging done in the early morning after my walk and with a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. Any solid reading gets done in the evenings and pretty much all day Sunday. I do bring a book with me wherever I go and find I can sneak some reading in here and there – sometimes even whole chapters! But this kind of reading isn’t nearly as satisfying as the curled-up-for-hours-with-a-glass-of-wine-or-cup-of-coffee/tea-and-everything-else-can-wait kind of reading. That’s the best.
Q: I am so with you on the “curled-up-for-hours-with-a-glass-of-wine-or-cup-of-coffee/tea-and-everything-else-can-wait kind of reading. I don’t get very much of it, but it is the best! It also sounds like you’ve had a few of those moments in the grocery store line where you can get a chapter of reading in while waiting to check out. Speaking of reading in the checkout line ~ describe your favorite place to read and why you love it so much.
A: I have a papasan chair I bought about twenty years ago at Pier One and it’s falling apart but I love it! It sits in a very bright and sunny room surrounded by windows and my books. It has just the right kind of support for my back and neck that makes reading for long hours possible. I also have some floor cushions in that same room that my boys used to lie around on for movie nights when they were young but now I use them occasionally for stretching out when I’m reading. My back doesn’t tolerate much of this, though. But I do enjoy it.
This room is actually just a spare bedroom so I’ve kind of adopted it as my own retreat for reading and blogging. When my hub and sons are home, though, we usually all hang out in the living room by the fireplace with newspapers, laptops, and books spread out everywhere. I love that too. It’s very cozy.
Q: What a perfect room! I love your papasan chair – I had one many years ago and recall it as being the most comfy chair ever…and you made a good point about it being just the right shape for supporting your neck and back while reading. It can be so hard to get comfortable while on a reading jag but it looks like you are all set with your mom room. Love it! So, if you could speed-date any author who would it be and what questions would you ask.
A: F. Scott Fitzgerald and I’d ask him to tell me about Paris in the 1920s. I read Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and enjoyed his take on the whole ’20s literary scene but now I’d like to hear Fitzgerald’s version, preferably over a bottle of wine on the banks of the Seine or over a gin ricky (or three) on a patio in the Hamptons. Yes, I’d like that very much.
Q: What a wonderful idea! Simply being in that time period with all of the great writers like Fitzgerald, Wharton, and T.S. Eliot would be an experience of a lifetime. Which reminds me ~ have you seen the movie Midnight in Paris? Owen Wilson plays a screenwriter who while on a visit to Paris goes back to the 1920’s every night at midnight and meets the great Fitzgerald himself. Now, if your life could be summed up in a book or a movie, what would it be?
A: The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. Although his childhood was about a decade before mine – his in the ’60s, mine in the ’70s – there were still so many recognizable people and situations that anyone growing up during those decades in North America would appreciate this book. His memoir is funny and touching and, I think, nails the quirks and wonder of childhood on the head.
What a beautiful thought! I’ve heard that Bryson can evoke the culture of North America flawlessly. Thank you so much for sharing your blog and yourself for Sunday Serenade. I have really enjoyed this opportunity to get to know you a little better and what I’ve learned simply makes me want to call you up and invite you to lunch! Not to mention how much I enjoy your blog ~ “Desktop Retreat” is such an apropos name for a book review blog – I wish I’d thought of it! Thanks Trish and happy reading!