Last August Amanda Socci, my friend and creative writing "drill sergeant" had profiled me and posed 9 questions to me for each of my five blogs (3 of which are retired), as part of her 10 month "I know I Can" training series for Nina Amir's Write Nonfiction Now and Write Nonfiction in November efforts.
I am now answering those questions at last (Series introduction).
(1) Here is another treasure that was difficult to find. Another blog that has been discontinued but is still available to read. Why did you create this blog? Why did you end it?
It was my first blog and I was encouraged by dear friends (3 of the 5 are still alive), who have been daily correspondents, supporters and encouragers since 2000, to take my creativity into this newly born format.
I ended it for the same reason I later ended the bike blog; because others, with bigger audiences, more knowledge, connections, time, and resources, than I serve that need very ably.
I also came to realize I wanted to take my writing in new directions, focusing not on politics anymore, but on all my other interests.
It is also something I am extremely proud of all that came from writing it.
(2) This blog, Sneakeasy, has a lot of political references on it. Did you ever get in trouble or have dangerous situations happened to you because of your comments?
No dangerous situations, but the extreme socialist who helped me discover my talent as a poet “disowned me” and tried to publically shame me into staying his friend for something I wrote he disagreed with. Needless to say that didn’t work out well.
I had one blog post that went viral for weeks (in no small part to actually having a link to a decent version of a video) and had over 300 responses left to it, plus a 2nd, related, post that was also popular on a much smaller scale; They were about a video showing the beheading of a journalist in the Middle East, by terrorists.
3) Sneakeasy appears to be a hodgepodge of blog posts grouped together in interesting categories. Which category was your favorite and why?
In a way they ALL were the mid-wives helping at the birth of the writer I have become since those first 5 years.
The cat post archive led me into the new world of pet blogging, the creative writing archive helped me become an accomplished poet and storyteller, the stories about my museum trips and other adventures, including from my past, helped me become a good travel writer, as did several other categories.
The political archive, and genealogy archive, among others, helped me become a good researcher, essayist and commentator.
(4) Your sense of humor is definitely intact. Many of your blog posts, such as “The Directory Assistance Operator Song” are ingenuous and clever. Once again, would you consider extracting a category or two and republishing these as a book? Do you think photos or clever graphics would enhance the writing?
Where's a Monty Pythonesque troop when one needs it?
I think my poetry and song, of all types, have book possibilities and photos, but especially illustrations, would only enhance them, I think.
(5) You make a lot of military references in your blog posts. What types of reactions did you get from these posts?
Reactions were mostly positive to my military posts.
One poem, a Christmas tribute to the troops, has been plugged by several famous military themed blogs, and appears to have been read and shared around the world in various ways.
(6) Your genealogy stories are beautiful, rich, and historical. What have you done with your original photos of your family? Have you added them to a scrapbook? Preserved them? How did you choose which photos to share?
I have all the photos in envelopes and chose what I thought fit the needs of the story I was telling.
However, I have not done any research since maybe 2009. Lack of time and resources, plus the possible disapproval of my one remaining American-side uncle over the direction some of my research was taking, and the lack of trustworthy communication with European relatives have stalled me in my tracks. I have dozens of photos from that side of gthe family, with words on the back in need of translation, as well as a few old letters in their language as well that need translation.
My genealogy research, in the late 80's/early 90's and later (2002), led me to discover, the Immigration files of my father, the fate of the sister of my maternal grandmother who had disappeared, and I also discovered the newspaper coverage of the murder of my maternal grandfather and I shared those those stories on the blog.
(7) Why do you consider yourself to be a creationist? Did you invent that word or did you borrow it from someone or somewhere else?
I haven’t thought of that word since 2007!
I wrote in my last blog post on SEJ : “I have been something of a Creationist, around here, bringing to life various "personalities", "organizations", and concepts.”
The term has its origin in the ongoing debate over evolution vs creationism, but I used the word to describe the unique ideas I came up with and have continued to come up with since.
8) This blog also contains several videos, but they are hard to find. Would you consider adding them to one of your newer blogs? Would you ever categorize all of your videos in one place?
As with the others those videos are on You Tube. As mentioned previously in this series, like my other blogs this one has an archive of stories with links to the videos.
(9) What does “Sneakeasy” mean for you? Why did you use this name for your blog.
Sneakeasy was the name I used on the message board I joined when I first ventured online in 1998. I honestly don’t remember why I chose the name.
I once described the blog this way:
“eventually, EVERYONE comes to Sneakeasy's. Enter an establishment of infinite delights: creative writing, and discourse on cycling, hiking, cinema, books, genealogy, humor, cats, politics, society, national and world Events, and even my everyday life are some of what can be sampled here. So wear your Thinking Cap, and check your expectations at the door. And don't forget to tip the bouncer on the way out.”