1. What is your name?
2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?
I have pretty much been through an entire life overhaul in the past few years. I left my corporate job just before the economy tanked. It was pretty rough going financially, but I am glad I got out when I did or I might still be there, waiting to get voted off Cube Island in the next round of budget cuts. Rather than being pulled kicking and screaming from the teat of Big Business I got to leave while I still thought that would be easy.
I reconnected with the love of my life. We met when I was four and a half at the Michigan State Fair, standing in line for the carousel. We got on our horses and held hands and just stared at each other the entire time. I did not meet him again until we were 18 and although I had that carousel feeling about him I did not immediately make the connection. It was another 15 years before the kiss that blew our doors off, and some months later when it was pretty much confirmed by his amazed dad that yes, he was the same curly haired blond boy who loved me with his wide green eyes when I was too small to have any walls up and my heart hadn't yet been stomped by circumstance.
We co-wrote Night of the Living Dead: The Musical in October 2008, produced by the Abreact and performed at The Majestic Theatre in Detroit. I wrote a short play called Pumpkin Love for The Hot Mess Chronicles, produced and performed at the Abreact in October 2009, and then co-wrote another full length play, Happy Season to You Acquaintance Name (thanks for the title goes to Quizro, who lodged it in my brain years ago, though the play itself has nothing at all to do with the node), produced and performed at the Abreact in January of 2010.
I am self employed as Girl Friday, taking care of organizational tasks for individuals and small businesses. I love what I am doing now. I have always had some kind of customer service roll but it was usually based on some cheesy corporate idea of what "help" means (It really means "We fuck it up, You take the heat!"). Sometimes I could kind of pretend that was almost rewarding, sorta, but usually I just felt like a clown in a dunk tank waiting for the next asshole to hit the big red button and dump me in a pool of fish heads. Working with real people, in their actual space, and helping them reconnect with their own priorities is a pretty sweet and unexpected way for me to take my crazy bag of odd skills and weave up some meaningful relationships. It's very physical work, which is nice. I also get a lot of sweet perks and interesting conversations and I get to make people happy by helping them prioritize and clear out the stressful stuff that gets in the way. I get to pet a lot of dogs and smooch up a lot of babies. I also get a lot of awesome free stuff to give away. For real, what's your shoe size? What's your favorite color? Know anyone who wants a box of leftover linoleum a client had in their basement?
I also make stuff. I am working on rag rugs, sock monkeys, bags, car muses, magnets, jewelry and amigurumi creatures. I am also still writing prose, essays and short fiction, though most of that is shared only with my writing group for now.
I am rather busy being a mama. Those of you who remember my nodes about my kids might be interested to know they are now 10 and 12 and still totally hilarious, wicked smart, well adjusted and inquisitive. I no longer write as openly about them because it gets so much more personal as they get older. It's easy to talk about cute stuff toddlers do and say, but once they become self aware telling all their business to the internet seems like too much of an intrusion.
I also have two cats. One is a sweetheart, mellow and grey. The other is a gorgeous ginger rescued house beast who is bit of a turd, totally fascinating, all kinds of stupid and only sweet when his food dish is empty or it's time for a nap on my head.
3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?
I blame it on my boyfriend. He told me about E2 in 2000. It sounded interesting and I was curious what he was writing about. I had just sold my Big Red tiller and built my first computer with the proceeds, and was instantly and completely in love with the internet. I lurked around E2 for a few months, then decided I would join and write if "witchiepoo" wasn't already taken. I wrote my first node and got positive feedback pretty much immediately from three prominent noders who welcomed me and were very encouraging.
I loved the idea that whatever I wrote could be read from anywhere in the world, kind of like leaving a journal around and accidentally connecting to someone else because it was out there. The feedback part was kind of addictive. I had a lot to say, but I was pretty rough. I had always kept a journal, but I did not have any real practice sharing my stuff with Other People. E2 was great transition from journaling to writing for an audience because it forced me to edit, share and deal with the consequences. I had to learn to deal with and process criticism, a crucial and important element to writing well and a skill I could never have picked up if all my writing had stayed private.
4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?
As for my own stuff, The Mama and the Dancing Girl, Unfurling is still my favorite. And Free Lunch, not for what is IS, but for what I want it to be if I ever get around to fixing it. I left some crucial parts out. I was too exhausted from rehashing my own poverty to handle the second part with grace. I am also really glad I put my Dream Logs on here, and all the stuff about my kids. And the many nodes that were really about my sweetie, when he was my secret lost sweetie. They tell a very (personally) important story of ache and sadness and blowing it. They probably don't add much to the site itself, but I am still really glad I had a place to put them. I think of them as beams of energy that finally landed, a crucial connection that was finally made. Knowing they ultimately have a happy ending makes all that public vomiting less painful for me now. E2 gave me a space to be frighteningly honest about what was going on in my head at a time when I had no other outlet. Thanks for cleaning up my puke guys!
As for favorite writeups of others, holy crap that's hard. If you want to know what I loved check out the 481 things I cooled. I lost all my bookmarks and re-creating that list would suck me back in for hours, and I just don't have the time. There have been MANY awesome words from many awesome writers, plunked down for free, right on this site. My advice is to surf the links, upvote, C! and bookmark what you love and cut your own path of appreciation. Honestly, there are too many to list. There are strings of words that have stuck with me for years, some whole nodes, some shells, some writers who always (always) bring it. I watched writers grow up here. I watched them bloom. I applaud them all for doing it.
5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?
I have a lot of great memories, as well as some of the other kind. Finding this crazy ship saved my life. It does seem that I skipped the hazing, which is probably a good thing. Had I been squashed right out of the gate you would have lost me. My self esteem as a writer was one part arrogance, ten parts self-doubt, so I would not have come back if I had been embarrassed, which is a pretty important thing to remember about all "new" writers here. All too often, instead of an E2 welcome mat, new contributers find a barrage of downvotes and bitchy messages. I try to be encouraging to new writers myself when I can, but I'll never contribute as much as I once did because shaping the database isn't as OH MY GOD, SO IMPORTANT TO ME like it used to be. When I was an admin I witnessed some pretty harsh squashings, and wished there was more of a conscious effort not to be so cliquey on the newbies. The politics of E2 aren't exactly easy to navigate, and while quality is important, some gentle guidance goes a long way toward attracting people who love words and might make some pretty sweet content if only someone would show them how to use the playground or find a life raft before getting smacked off the boat.
6. What keeps you coming back?
Words. People. People who make words.
7. What do you hope for E2's future?
I hope it keeps growing. It is a very innovative idea, and had been a fascinating place to watch. I hope it continues to attract writers, those who are already good, and those who need a place to cut their teeth.
8. What does E2 mean to you?
Personally, I am grateful E2 exists. I arrived as a trapped housewife, stuck in a marriage that wasn't working, with two toddlers, no money, no car, very few outside social contacts and a lot of words slamming around in my brain. I needed an outlet. Real. Fucking. Bad. I am glad E2 was here and that I wasn't shamed away. I grew a lot as a writer and I met a ton of amazing people. In fact, finding E2 also precipitated a major life overhaul. Through my own writing I was able to see that I was not making decisions for myself at all, that I had been living as a people pleaser, taking everyone else into consideration before myself and ultimately living a disingenuous life, making choices for someone else's reasons. Eventually typing my brain into this little glowing box wasn't enough. I wanted to meet the people. I started saying no to things that were no longer working and yes to things that were. I got a divorce, a job and an apartment. I fell in love and lived with a sweet noder for six years. I re-connected my brain to my body. I traveled. I got stronger and more certain about who I am and what I need. My writing improved. My friendships increased, both in quantity and quality. I learned I was much more than just a broken kid, a housewife, a mama.
And then writing here became another thing I no longer needed to do. There was too much behind the scenes history, too many stories that were not appropriate for this venue, too many people lurking around, looking. I could no longer be anonymous. Knowing so much about my audience made it harder to write for all of them. It was too psychically muddy once the nodegel turned into Real People.
9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?
Most of my favorite noders are still my real life friends, so I don't have to miss them at all, but there are some I lost contact with and that sucks. If you are one of the people I haven't spoken to in ages since I last expressed esteem or affection please know I meant it. I still mean it.
10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?
I am more interested in knowing who's gonna write that fucker.
11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as _____ is to the world."
12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?
Rather than answer that I will leave you with my favorite "joke" ever, as told by a 3 year old:
Q: Why did the hippo cross the road?
A: To KNOW hisself.
Everything2 Decaversary Interviews
If you have questions or comments, please contact witchiepoo or Jet-Poop.