The Dirty Dozen, featuring Annette Rochelle Aben

Welcome to the first in a new series, which I’m (slightly mischievously, and completely inaccurately) calling the Dirty Dozen!

I read, and enjoy, a lot of blog posts with blogger/author interviews, and wanted to put my own spin on that. This will hopefully create something entertaining and informative for you, the reader, while sharing what platform I have with the amazing and talented people who have bravely volunteered to take part. 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?

First to step up to the plate, as happens so often on my blog, is the amazing, inspirational Annette Rochelle Aben, of

1 – Hi, Annette, thanks for volunteering to be the canary down the mine for this new series… And because I’m not entirely comfortable giving up all of the limelight straight away, tell me – how in all the gin joints in all the world did you come across my blog?

Divine Intervention! I am convinced that it was the impossibly bright light pouring in from the East that I had to follow to its source which lead me to you. I stay because I love being swaddled in poetic language artistry!

(It’s a good job that Annette started following me before the month of zombie haiku…)

2 – How would you describe yourself, in just three words?

Caffeinated for protection

3 – What was the last book/ film/ or album that you wish you’d made?

I wish I would have made Dark Shadows. Not saying I could have made it better but I couldn’t have done any worse.

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

I am happily filling every available space on my Amazon Author’s Page with new titles, even as we speak. has a variety of pretty covers wrapped around words of pure, spun gold! The six titles that I have published solo are: Choose, the 2-step plan, Perspective, it’s all about replacing one thought with another, A Haiku Perspective 2015, PhoKu, visual perspective haiku, Angel Messages, a wing and a prayer and A Haiku Perspective 2016. There are also some books to which I have contributed chapters to and one of those became an International Best Seller! (go me) There are more books in the works, so please check back frequently, load up your Kindle, or fill your hands with paperback pleasure! Thank you.

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?

If I’ve heard, “Don’t eat your soup with a fork” once, I’ve heard it a hundred times. Please, I am old enough to decide whether or not I care to fork!

(One amusing variation I’ve heard on this was a description of the “uncomplicated” Liam Gallagher, of Oasis, as given by his brother, Noel: “He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” )

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie…. Don’t tell us which is which.

I am a multiple personality. I have no right elbow. I love roller coasters.

All I’m saying about this one, is that I guessed which was the lie, and got it wrong 🙂

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, signed One Direction photos… What else do you grab?

Holy Crow! I grabbed my crayons, coloring books and the last jar of peanut butter in the cupboard! I mean, really, a girl’s got to eat.

8 – I’m often mistaken for John Cusack (sadly only in my head… the reality is more a fat, jovial John Malkovich/Patrick Stewart)). But who would play you in the movie of your life?

I would have Sally Field portray me (I like her, I really like her). Let’s get Nora Ephron to pen that screen play (is she even still alive? No matter, she’d do a good job regardless) Since I was always an Andy Griffith fan, let’s have Ron Howard direct and last but not least, I want Sir Paul McCartney to score the film (why not, eh?).

Sadly, Nora Ephron, the writer of When Harry Met Sally and writer/director of Sleepless in Seattle, died in 2012, but an impressive choice nonetheless.

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?

Okay! Let’s fire up that time machine and head for Atlantis! Just want to see how long I can hold my breath under water.

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? What happens next?

Oh man, Alton Brown! We’d dine on mac and cheese (only so I could prove that mine is better than his) of course we’d have to have beer for him and coffee for me and that music in the background, I’d say Tom Waits because he’s like listening to a poetry slam in your living room. The need to catch something on The Food Network would signal the end of dinner… (yeah, I’m a die-hard romantic – NOT)

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?

I got in touch with every cat in the neighborhood to help me make the evidence disappear! They’re little masters at making off with something just moments before I need it.

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?

The rabbit, I hear their feet are good! LUCK! I hear they are good luck…

13 – In a line, any regrets??

Of course, I regret that I which I did out of fear, that which I refused to do out of spite and that which I rejected out of ignorance. Other than that, I’m good!

A fantastic piece of wisdom to end on. So, that’s Annette in 12 or so questions, revealing her mastery over cats, love for Alton Brown, and a practical approach to surviving zombie days… probably best not to ask her to pet-sit your rabbit though. Just in case. And definitely don’t tell her not to fork!

Now, go and check out her blog, buy her books, share the love 🙂

Join us same time next week for another Dirty Dozen, featuring the wonderful… sorry, you’ll have to wait and see!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat? Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

The Dirty Dozen

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Author: Al Lane

Writer, Poet, Daydreamer

30 thoughts on “The Dirty Dozen, featuring Annette Rochelle Aben”

  1. Al,
    Love, love love this post. “A man with a fork in a world of soup?” I can’t get past that line.
    Inspiring, funny and thought provoking. I can’t wait to read more.
    who has had no problem with your comment section btw but who would love to reblog this post and can’t find the spot on my phone.

    1. Thanks Jo-Ann – only just spotted that myself about being unable to reblog. I’ll have a look at the background settings. Feel free to reblog my reblog on my blog site, if that’s not too far removed!

      Glad you enjoyed the interview. Annette was fantastic 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness… what fun, eh? Thank you Al, for this opportunity to profess my love of peanut butter, mac and cheese AND Alton Brown to the world! Although I am certain my curves have more proved my love of food. None the less, I wish to emphatically state, here and now, that no rabbits were harmed in the creating of this post Thank you.

      1. Chilling my cheeks in a bath of cool water (allow the imagination to decide which cheeks they may be)

  3. What a fabulous start, Al! If there was a Zombie Apocalypse, then I would want to be with Annette so I could share her peanut butter and have a good old laugh! 🙂

  4. Oh that was fun, Annette and Al. Love the unique questions and getting a peek inside Annette’s playful imagination. Excellent commentary as well 🙂 I’m never heard any fork/spoon quotes – I’ve been enlightened. 😀 😀

  5. Such fun! No right elbow, huh? Amazing! I’m with her on Atlantis, but I’m terrified of Alton Brown. Peanut Butter & cats (hopefully not together) are always a good back-up plan. Enjoyed this Al, look forward to more. 🙂

  6. I’m sorry I missed this on Saturday (or was it Sunday…egads, and I wasn’t even drinking). Hooray for Annette being the inaugural interviewee! She is all sorts of hilarity and I loved learning more about her. 😀

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