The Interview Meme

microphone1.jpgThis is a unique kind of meme that Jade brought to my attention. Specific questions are generated by people who want to know more about you, and then you answer them on your blog and invite other people to be “interviewed.” Okay, does that sound confusing? Well, these are the questions that Jade put to me. If anyone else would like to be interviewed, see directions at the bottom of this post.

1. What do you like about blogging? How has it affected your creative writing, if at all?

I like the sense of community, the conversation that it creates with people I know and don’t know. I feel like it breaks up the sense of isolation that writers often experience; it makes the writing life a bit more interactive. I feel like it is very separate from my creative writing life, however. People might think that I could better use this blogging time to write “creatively” (although I think blogging is creative; my motto is “everything counts!” when it comes to writing) but I really can’t write fiction or nonfiction in fifteen minute chunks, which is pretty much how much a blog post takes.

2. Do your children read your stories? Why or why not? If so, have they always read them? Are there any stories they have not read?

Not often. They have often not been all that interested; although I did attempt two children’s picture books that never saw the light of day, and they helped with those. If there are stories they have not read, it is because they are PG-13 or R rated. But now the younger one is almost 13 and I think I’d feel okay about them reading just about all of it.

3. Describe the story you are most proud to have written.

When you say story, I’m assuming you mean “short story,” ie fiction. I’d say it would have to be “The Liver Nephew.” I worked so hard on that story. The published version is I think my thirteenth draft. The revision process was so grueling but the editor was totally amazing and helpful, and I kept at it until I felt like it really worked. And the revisions were HUGE, changing settings, taking out characters, changing enormous things, not just line editing. I feel like it was kind of a perfect blend of using life experience combined with imagination. It combined a story that my physician husband told me, with small details about some of my relatives and also part of my own inner life. I was really pleased and proud when the journal it was published in chose it to be reprinted in an anthology of their best published works over the past six years.

4. As a hapa adoptee, you have had your share of unique revelations and experiences. What do you think you would be like if you had lived with your birth parent/s? Or if you had lived with adoptive parents who were not Japanese?

Well, that’s a big what-if question. I’ve met my birthmother but not my birthfather. If I had lived with my birthmother… I don’t know. Her whole life has been so carefully constructed around keeping me a secret. If I lived with her that would have had to mean she would have either constructed some lie to explain my existence, or she would have been a completely different person. It’s all very hard to imagine. She didn’t have the fortitude to be that different; to be okay with standing out from society in that way (a single woman with a child). And as far as my birthfather goes, he would have had to have left his family to be with her and me, and that would have presented a whole different set of difficulties.

It was weird growing up hapa but not having my hapa-ness mirrored in two different parents, if that makes any sense. Most hapas can see how Parent A + Parent B = their own mixed self. I didn’t have that and I think it gave me a disorted sense of identity. What I saw in the mirror didn’t make sense with what I felt I was inside.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how very unusual my situation is; that most adoptees of color end up with parents who do not share their background. I feel a little sheepish saying that I feel “lucky” but I do. So many adoptees feel cut off from their racial/cultural roots and I didn’t have that experience. I think if I had been raised by white parents I would not have any sense of feeling Asian at all. I suppose I might have been okay with that, but the thought of it makes me sad. I feel that I was very lucky to have that sense of continuity from my biological family that carried through in my adoptive family. And my “white” half? That was provided by the dominant culture, by the media, by the town I grew up in, etc. Although I do often wonder about the specific white culture that I supposedly carry.

Edited to say: I do not mean to imply that people who are adopted by people not of their race/culture are UNlucky. But I do think that it presents more of a challenge to those parents to make every effort to keep those children connected to their birth culture in a variety of ways.

And:ย  I think that people who are adopted by parents not of their race and culture, who choose to keep said adoptees apart from their race and culture are unlucky.

5. If you did not write, what would you do with your spare time/life?

There are so many things I wish I could do that I really do not have time for. I would do more political organizing. I would learn to play the banjo. (my not so secret lifelong dream!) I would keep teaching. I would travel a lot. I would read more books. I would cook more. I would exercise more. I would consider having more children (by adoption! not birth). But right now none of those things seem possible, because I have to write.

Do you want to be interviewed? If so…

1. Leave me a comment saying, โ€œI too am an egomaniac.โ€
2. I respond by asking you five question. You will answer them, because you like talking about yourself.
3. You will update your blog.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

23 thoughts on “The Interview Meme

  1. Okay, daddy in a strange land, you asked for it! Here are your questions.

    1. You were a stay at home dad for a long time. What do you miss most about those days? What do you miss least? (I know, I’m cheating, those are really 2 questions)
    2. If you didn’t live in A Strange Land, where would you want to live and why?
    3. When did you start blogging and why? What is the most unexpected result of your blogging?
    4. How has being hapa figured into fatherhood—has being hapa affected being a father to your child? –what do you teach her about her culture and how?
    5. If you could have any car in the world, what would it be?

  2. Wow Suz. I often think of you as the other side of the same coin – dealing with the reluctant “other side” in reunion. You have written so poignantly and articulately and thoroughly about your situation I almost feel there is nothing you have not said. So I just looked at your blog again and realized there are some things I’d love to know about your life outside of the adoption sphere.

    1. You’re a jewelry maker! Please tell us about the jewelry that you make and what inspires you as you create it.
    2. Tell us about your tattoos – how you chose your designs and what they mean to you.
    3. What are your top three favorite books and why?
    4. What is the best place you’ve ever traveled?
    5. What do you like to do when you have solitude?

  3. Lisa Marie! Okay here goes:

    1. I have not seen you in the classroom, but I bet you are an awesome teacher. What kinds of things do you like to do with your students; what engages them in your classroom?
    2. I know that you are AKA “Ungrateful Daughter.” But you strike me as being a very joyful person. What are you grateful for in your life?
    3. If you could listen to only three songs for the rest of your life, what would they be?
    4. If your adoptive family could know one thing about you that they do not know, what would it be?
    5. If your birth family could know one thing about you that they do not know, what would it be?

  4. Ha. Thats amusing. There is SOOOO much I have no said. Perhaps someday. I assume I have to do this in my own blog? Will cut and paste Qs and then post in my blog as an OT item.

  5. I’m so happy you did this meme. I loved jade’s questions to you and your answers. I saw it on her blog earlier today but was too shy to ask her since I only read her blog and don’t even virtually know her. Anyway, I too am an egomaniac. : )

  6. feedyourloves, here are your questions!

    1. If you were limited to only five food items for the rest of your life, what would they be?
    2. When did you first start writing poetry and why? Do you write poetry in Spanish as well as English?
    3. Describe your “writing schedule” or writing routine now that you have two little ones. How do you carve out the time?
    4. If your dogs could speak, what would they say?
    5. What is a piece of advice you wish you could go back and give the You of ten years ago? If any?

  7. Questions for Dawn:

    1. What is the best and worst thing about being a blogger?
    2. Where and how did you meet your spouse? I love that you describe him as Delightfully Odd. I’d love to hear more about that.
    3. I really want to hear about YOUR writing schedule as a homeschooling mom. How and when do you write? And where??
    4. If you could learn to do a certain kind of work that you currently don’t know how to do, what would it be? and why?
    5. When are you coming out West to have a Margarita with me? OK, OK. Real question: What are your travel plans for the next 12 months?

  8. Okay, mom2one, here you go!

    1. If you could back and deliver a message to your twenty year old self, what would you say?
    2. If you lost your sense of smell, what three scents would you miss most?
    3. What is the funniest thing your kid has done in the past year?
    4. As an (adult) only child, I am always curious about why people make that choice. When I was a child I was unhappy that I didn’t have siblings, but now that I am an adult it actually feels a lot less complicated and I am fine with it. What led you to this choice?
    5. What’s the best book you read last year, and why?

  9. Sure, Margie. Here are yours.

    1. You have one child who is about to leave the nest and one who will be with you for a while longer. How do you think the dynamics in your family will change when you move from a two child to a one child home? (I ask this because I am in the same position!!)
    2. If you could live anywhere other than where you are living right now, where would it be?
    3. If you could design your dream job, what would it look like?
    4. You impress me as being one of the most thoughtful and open-minded adoptive parents out there. If you could go back to your preadoptive or early adoptive years, is there anything you would have done differently then?
    5. Name one movie that changed your life (or at least your mind). And say why.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s