This week's interview is with Michelle,
who writes the blog The House Of Lime.
The first of the standard weekly questions. Why do you blog?
I started mainly to keep in touch with some friends I had made in a trivia chat room when that forum went down the tubes. I also thought it would be a fun and cheap (read 'free') outlet for me. It was more fun than I imagined and I found so many fascinating people out there. I read a wide assortment of blogs and I love the variety of perspectives, the creativity, the humor, and the honesty I find. I have been amazed time and again and I enjoy being able to explore different sides of my own creativity as well.
What's the story behind your blog name?
In Trinidadian slang "to lime" means to hang out with friends. It can be planned or spontaneous but it's always a laid back time perhaps involving food and drink or music and dancing. My name in the trivia room was a reference to that and I became known as "Lime." I started the blog at a time when the trivia forum was dying a slow death partly as a way of keeping in touch with friends from there. Hence, House of Lime was built.
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
When I was in college I spent most of my time with the exchange students. I got such an education from being with them. I spent countless hours in the student union center with friends from all over the world, liming together. Blogging gives me a chance to do that in a virtual sense and intersect with so many people from all over the world that I otherwise never would have met and been enriched by.
I've also been so blessed by the support I've received at times when I have really needed it. I'm not generally one of the confess all and blog for the sake of exorcising demons types, though there is nothing wrong with that. However, when I fell off a zipline and demolished my left arm just six months after starting my blog, the outpouring of concern over my involuntary disappearance and the continued support throughout a long rehabilitation both surprised and
touched me. I was amazed that people I'd never met cared that much and went out of their way to encourage me. The sense of community is tremendous.
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
Don't go crazy looking at stat counters and whether or not you are getting a number of hits that pleases you. Blog what your own passion is and the people who share that will find their way. Some folks will come and go over the course of time because this can be a very transient environment but you'll also find some permanent fixtures and even friends along the way.
Also, the type of environment you cultivate at your blog will be a factor in what kind of people hang around. If you are welcoming and show respect to your readers you'll find that returned to you. I'm not too crazy about the extreme political correctness that is expected in some quarters but I try to be generally respectful. So far I've been fortunate and have not had more than the most fleeting issue with people being nasty.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
Wow, that's a tough one! I don't think I could boil it down to a single post or even a single blog. Brian's blog had a tremendous influence on me and was part of why I started House of Lime for myself after doing a joint blog for merely a month. I was so impressed by not only the way he wrote but what he shared. He was going through some major life changes and blogging about it thoughtfully. At the time he also had a weekly feature on a person of historical significance that I looked forward to so much. He covered a range of topics each week and had an overall positive tone that I aspired to.
The other blog that has impacted me deeply is Phaedrous' Lightning Strikes Twice. He was diagnosed with cancer many years ago and is still fighting it. He has recently been entered in some trials for treatment of his cancer and seems to be responding positively for the time being. This is good news since all other avenues for treatment were exhausted once they proved unsuccessful. He started the blog after his wife was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago.
He has eloquently chronicled the intensity of caring for and watching his beloved die and then adjusting to single fatherhood as he continues his own fight. Through it all he has managed to find joys in life as well. I've said it at my own blog, I will say it here. If anyone can give an honest read of his writings and not come away touched and examining their own life, I dare say that individual lacks both head and heart.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?
Gees, that's even harder than the last question! I'm really not good with these superlatives. I think the first one that really revealed a side of me that many people don't grasp was the letter to my birth mother. I have written something like 80 posts on my time in Trinidad, it's culture and people, and how much I loved living there. The hardest one was talking about the dark side we saw when were were robbed at gunpoint in our own home. Those were the two posts I felt the most vulnerable about but I've been blessed by having several others that people have responded to and said were really meaningful to them.
Today's Sunday Roast with Michelle is the seventeenth in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.