The Dirty Dozen… with Ritu Bhathal!

Welcome to the final edition in this first “series” of The Dirty Dozen!

This is my spin on the author/blogger interview… Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. So show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

This week, I’m delighted to be hosting Ritu Bhathal in the Dirty Dozen “hotseat”.

Ritu is a prolific (and bubbly!) blogger, writer, and poet, who is so committed to her blogily that she wouldn’t even let a little thing like a surprise family holiday to Finland get between her and her blog this week!

You can find more here – https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/

1 – How did you come across my blog?

RB – I do believe that I started following you as it became apparent that we were doing the Haiku Challenge with Ron regularly, and I could see that you were another slightly bonkers blogger/writer who got involved in silly conversations on the comments… Just like me!

Oh, and I like to read your posts, obviously!!!!

AL – another “win” for https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/ and that wonderful haiku challenge!

2 – You, in three words?

RB – Positive, Smiley and Loopy!

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that made you cry

RB – Honestly, I cannot remember!!!!!!! It also depends on my emotional state at the time of watching. Sometimes Eastenders can set me off, other times when I am feeling rather tough, nothing will make me cry!

AL – I know that feeling. I cried because I couldn’t get the lid off a jar once…

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey ?

RB – Well, right this minute, I am in the final processes of getting my first poetry book out! I am waiting for the final cover, then I can do a cover reveal, along with the name too! I am rather excited, I have to say!

I’m working on some fiction pieces too, either a book of short stories or a longer novel… we’ll see what comes of it!

AL – An exclusive reveal – you heard it here first! Can’t wait to hear more news on the cover soon!

5 – One piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are sick of hearing, or that really doesn’t do it for you

RB – Can I be really cheesy here and say I love all these kinds of quotes. And advice. It’s all priceless, and if you don’t want to take heed, then just ignore them!

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie….
RB – I can wiggle one eyebrow and make it dance around!
– There is a trophy named after me at my old school
– I can do napkin origami, and create a very lifelike erm, male appendage!

AL – Anyone attending the Bloggers Bash next week has to report back which of these is not true… have those napkins at the ready! There’s still time to vote for your favourite blogs for the Bloggers Bash… jus’ sayin’… 🙂

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku book (coming soon to all good Amazon websites)… What else do you grab?

RB – My family and Cat, Chocolate, Phone and Charger (hoping we still have access to electricity!), Pens and Paper!

AL – The classic family-loving writer’s response!

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life?

RB – Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla, at a younger age…

She does remind me of me, as in her personality. She is bubbly, full of mischief and the joys of life!

The other aspects, I am afraid I am not so much of a film buff to know of directors and script writers, but it would have to be a Rom Com with an Indian twist!

AL – This sounds amazing!

9 – Doc Emmett Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean from Back to the Future… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where and when in time are you heading?

RB – To Ancient Egypt and the time of Cleopatra. I reckon I would rock the eyeliner, and I can ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ no problem!

AL – Another one to test at the Bloggers Bash next week! Have the DJ on standby…

10 – The producers of the Marvel Avengers films are worried they don’t have quite enough superheroes already crammed into the series… They call you up to play an original character. What would your character’s name be? What’s your superpower (yes, you can only have one) ?

RB – It would have to be The Phantom Giggler, like my Twitter name! My superpower, to make anyone laugh!

AL – love it!

11 – You are hosting a (very small) dinner party for the deceased… You can invite three dead people to your shindig, but you only have enough spectral energy for one mega-star “A-lister”, and any two others. Who do you summon, and why?

RB – My Nanaji, maternal Grandfather, as I feel there was so much to learn from him, and I never got the chance, as I was only 6 when he died…

My Baba, paternal Grandfather, as he died before even my Pops really knew him. I would love to know who he was properly.

Michael Jackson, not for the talking, but so he could sing in between courses!

AL – I love how close you are to your family… and even want to provide entertainment between courses for them!

12 – Any regrets?

RB – I try my hardest to live a No Regrets lifestyle, but I wish we had travelled more before starting our family. I wish I had embarked on my teaching career earlier, and not left a 17 year gap between qualifying, and actually finishing. And not continuing with my book, when I initially started it!

AL – I would definitely echo that first one… hindsight changes our perspective, but lives are there to be lived in the moment 🙂

So, a huge thank you to the loveably loopy Ritu for sharing herself with us. I am really sad I won’t be able to meet her in person at the Bloggers Bash next week – if only to check out those dance moves and wiggling eyebrows! (I wonder if both work at the same time…)

You can connect with her at:
Blog Website: https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Twitter: @Phantomgiggler

I wish her the best of luck with her (first!) book, and can’t wait for the cover reveal! Now, go and check out those links and share the love 🙂

 

The Dirty Dozen is taking a rest for a few weeks now, but will be coming back for one week only in July for Comedy Book Week, with some special guests!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat when this returns properly later in the year? (This is aimed at bloggers as well as writers, so don’t be shy!) Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

 

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen… with Richard Archer!

Welcome to another edition of The Dirty Dozen!

This is my spin on the author/blogger interview. This will hopefully create something entertaining and informative for you, the reader, while sharing what platform I have with some amazing and talented people. Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. Show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

This week, I’m delighted to be hosting Richard Archer (aka “Skaggy The Poet”) in the Dirty Dozen “hotseat”.

Richard is a poet who blogs and performs on a regular basis as part of the Walsall Poetry Society. He has a poetry book out – https://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/buy-my-book/ – and you can follow more on his blog at – https://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/

I asked Richard for a cheery picture. He sent me this one…

Pic for Al

1 – How in all the gin joints in all the world did you come across my blog?
Most days I do a random search on WordPress using the tag poem or poetry and see what turns up. One day your site appeared and I liked what I read so I decided to stick around, when I read your poems about the Walking Dead I knew I had made the right choice.

Yay! I’m planning more on The Walking Dead… maybe a romantic sonnet or two for Lucille 🙂

2 – You, in three words?
O.C.P. – Obsessive Compulsive Poet

(My inner nerd notes that these letters were used for the name of the all-powerful corporation in the original Robocop film, and smiles at the irony)

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that you wish you’d made
Every time I listen to the Professor Elemental album “Ape Quest,” I think I wish I’d thought of that. If you like steampunk chap-hop then this is the concept album for you as the Professor travels time and space to find his missing butler who is also an ape named Geoffrey.

I’d never heard of this before, but you can check it out on youtube. Bet you’ve never heard anything like it! This made me laugh out loud repeatedly. “Come take a look at my time travel trousers!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSXI6l5rubQ

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey?
I’m in the middle of working on three books of poetry. The first is a collection of poems from around my local area (the West Midlands in the UK), the second is a collection of poems with another poet from my home town of Walsall and last but not least I’m writing another book of poems to follow up my book “Beer Froth” which was published last year.

5 – A lot of writers and bloggers enjoy taking part in quote challenges, and sharing inspiring nuggets to help their fellow bloggers along. Can you tell us though one piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are absolutely sick of hearing, that really doesn’t do it for you?
A lot of people when they know you write poetry try to be helpful with advice that often goes as follows…
“Listen to this you’ll get a real kick out of it and I bet it would make a great poem.”
To me poetry is my personal views and interpretations of events, stuff has to mean something to me to enable me to write about it. However I often say to the advice profferer “that’s great why don’t you write a poem about it?” Hoping to help another writer.

I’ve had the same. Working in an office and the toner runs out halfway through a big print run… “ooh you could write a poem about that”. Yes, because these are the moments I want to capture!

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie…. Don’t tell us which is which.
I failed my English Literature studies at school and hated poetry cursing it almost daily during my time in the education system.
I have appeared on TV talking about poetry.
I was once booed off at an open mic when I read a version of the Lord’s Prayer that I had rewritten to be about doughnuts.

Well, doughnuts are heavenly…

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku survival guide (coming soon to all good e-retailers)… What else do you grab?
As I have foot problems and I figure I’m going to be doing a lot of walking I wouldn’t go anywhere without a pair of comfy insoles. Plus pen and paper the apocalypse needs poetry and I will probably literally get to test whether the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

I applaud the practical approach to footwear – it’s easily overlooked. But you might want to keep a sword as back-up to your trusty pen. I know D. Wallace Peach will be carrying a sword, for one thing!

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life?
I think David Tennant would make a good me in a film entitled “From pork scratchings to poetry and back again.” As for the director I don’t want subtle so let’s have Quentin Tarantino working from a Paul Cornell screenplay with a Professor Elemental score.

Get Jason Statham on board too and I think this is a runner.

9 – Doc Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where/when are you heading?
Back to the eighties to visit myself at school. It’s time for a long overdue chat where I explain to myself that to get qualifications you actually have to attend school not spend all your time in second-hand record shops or the pub.

Isn’t this what youth is about though? And why wouldn’t you share the winning lottery numbers too (or at least Leicester winning the Football Premiership at odds of 5000-1)??

10 – Your beloved partner (real or imagined) is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?
I’ve always had a thing for Drew Barrymore so if she popped round I would have to attempt my signature dish of spag bol washed down with copious amounts of decent craft beer. We would dance to the dulcet tones of Cecilia Bartoli and when I pass out and she says “shall I call an ambulance? “ It’s probably the end of dinner.

It’s the stuff of romantic legends…

11 – You manage, fortuitously but entirely accidentally in a bizarre toaster incident to rid the world of its most dangerous inhabitant… Who do you call to help destroy the evidence, and burn that hairpiece?
Jean Reno the “cleaner” from La Femme Nikita, one of Luc Besson’s earliest and greatest films.

Richard’s taking no chances here!

12 – Another apocalyptic scenario, only now the pet food is running out… You have a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, but only food supplies for two of them… Which one misses out?
I figure dogs and cats can sort of fend for themselves so I’ll take the rabbit. I think never having owned one (we have an urban fox problem where I live) makes me curious as to what sort of pets they make.

Hurray! A win for the rabbit at last! Although having previously owned some, I would caution that they make rather disappointing pets…

13 – In a line, any regrets??
I’ve had a few I wouldn’t be lying but one wasn’t affecting my life as badly as I thought until I answered these questions!

So, a huge thank you to Richard for sharing, including those details about Drew Barrymore’s dream date, his envy of Professor Elemental’s chap-hop stylings, and acting as the humble rabbit’s last hope in the end times!

I hugely look forward to his future poems and books. Now, go and check out https://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/ and share the love 🙂

Join us same time next week for another Dirty Dozen!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat? (This is aimed at bloggers as well as writers, so don’t be shy!) Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

 

The Dirty Dozen

Have you heard the rumour? (poem)

Have you heard the rumour?
There’s a rumour going round
That people go weak at the knees
When a poet is around

Ladies and gents alike,
All go weak at the knees
And think the poet before them
Is as handsome as you please

Have you heard the rumour?
Make sure you tell your friends
Because sometimes knees go weak.
But usually it depends!

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Picture courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yamagatacamille/5233703048