In Which I Interview Myself

Posted by melissa kandel on January 15, 2018 in Personal | 11 Comments

Hello. My apologies for the hiatus, I haven’t forgotten about you, life has been busy and honestly, little word studio has always been this place of uber-creativity for me and I haven’t felt all that inspired to write something worthy of this blog.

The plan for little word studio in 2018, just so you know, is to get really weird, posting only fiction pieces, much like I did when this whole site began.

Anyway, in between my last post and this, WordPress gave me a third (!!) feature, which brought hundreds more followers to my little site. And, as Spiderman so aptly explained, with great power comes great responsibility and I didn’t want to let everyone down with boring shlock posted just because.

Anyway, as part of this recent awesome feature, I got a ton of comments on my interview with sob, the poet behind Discarded Post-It Poetry, and in one of these comments, someone nominated me for an award. I’m really not one for accolades — I write because it brings me joy, not because I want acclaim — but this particular award had me interested. With the nomination for this award, I was given a series of questions to answer and to end my weeks-long blogging intermission, I want to share the responses to these questions with you now. Ready?

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging a few years ago because I was lonely and uninspired. I had just moved to a new city, transported from the electric streets of Wrigleyville in Chicago to a quiet suburb of Southern California where I knew no one and couldn’t relate to the interminable stillness. It was a stillness of culture, of friendship, of really anything that might stimulate someone to enjoy his or her current existence and so, I started a blog because there was nothing else to do.

Oh, I had also just finished the first detective novel by J.K. Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith) and her words inspired me to pen this weird short story about a would-be book editor who was way too full of himself and kind of dumb. Reading good writing always gets my fingers itching to put down a few sentences of my own.

JK Rowling

What motivates you?

Positive feedback. I know earlier I mentioned that I don’t care much for awards, (I still don’t) but I do care when people let me know I’m on the right track. Writing is such a solitary endeavor. You create alone, in a room, by yourself. Maybe there’s music, maybe there’s nothing and then you hit “publish” and have no idea if what you wrote was some of the most brilliant prose to grace a computer screen or else complete and utter garbage. Although, in the end, maybe it doesn’t matter.

I always feel like a fake writer until I read what people say about the things I jot down. In my last WordPress feature, a very personal post of mine that the team at WordPress somehow found, the comments below my story were some of the most motivating, inspiring, kind feedback I’ve ever received.

What are your biggest goals for 2018?

I only have one goal. To love. My job, a person, a something. Figuring out the word not as a noun but as a verb is how I plan to spend my 2018.

If you could choose anywhere to live, real or fictional, where would it be?

Put that eye-rolling emoji here but I would live right where I’m living now, in Newport Beach on a several-mile stretch of sand called Balboa Peninsula. Just this afternoon, I was walking my dog along the beach as the sun was setting, listening to this song called “Hidden Track” by Jason Mraz and I felt so, so lucky for every step I took, for the crashing waves, for the orange and pink sky, for living in a place that’s pretty close to paradise.   

What writer has inspired you the most?

I mentioned J.K. Rowling before and she’s definitely one of my big inspirations. Other writers I love: Haruki Murakami, Jane Austen, Michael Ondaatje, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Reading is, surprisingly enough, not one of my great passions, which is odd for a writer. There are some books I just can’t get through, no matter how hard I try. Maybe it’s because I read in Stephen King’s On Writing (a book that changed the way I approach the craft) you shouldn’t waste time on bad writing. There are too many great things written to spend even a minute on something mediocre. As a writer, I learn from the masters but can’t tolerate anything less.

Ugh. I don’t know if that makes me sound snobby but I hope not. I just want to read something that compels me to turn the page and devours me completely into its world. Writing like that doesn’t even seem like writing, it seems like some kind of magic where you click your heels and step into this entirely new existence, living wholly inside someone else’s words.

What did you always dream of being when you grew up? What ended up happening?

I always dreamed I’d be a singer/songwriter. Life got in the way I guess.

What is your favorite book and why?

Sherlock Holmes. Every story, the whole shebang. He’s such a well-drawn character and I read the complete works of Sherlock Holmes in about a week. If we’re going absolutely classic, I’d have to say The Odyssey. It’s one of those reads that stays with you forever.

What do you most want to accomplish in your lifetime?

Eventually, I want to produce some kind of longer work. A book, a TV show, a movie. I’m not sure what format I want this thing to take and recently, I’ve gotten into screenwriting, so it might be something for film. I’m tossing around a few ideas but still don’t have one that I think is good enough or that can sustain my interest for the length of however long it’ll be.

What is your guilty pleasure?

The Bachelor. I’ve written about it before and through my writing, have come to know a few of the contestants, which is a bit weird and also cool. The show is such an interesting study in modern love and sociology, and that’s how I rationalize the fact that every Monday night a bunch of my friends descend on my apartment, wine and cheese abound and we laugh for a solid two hours as the episode airs.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?

Hang out with my dog. I don’t see him that much during the week and he’s a total goof.

If you could travel to any one place, where would you go and why?

Japan. To that jazz bar where Scarlett Johansson met Bill Murray in Lost in Translation. I’d look out at the neon-lit skyline of Tokyo, laugh in that casual-cool way she did and get the strange, exhilarating sense there was nowhere else in the world I’d rather be. It’s the ultimate romance.

11 Responses

  1. immadreader
    January 15, 2018
    Read my new blog about loving someone and maintain relationships

  2. Sarah | On The Way To The Barre
    January 15, 2018


  3. Garry Stafford
    January 15, 2018

    Cool idea Melis! 🙂 Keep it up! And that Austin <3

  4. umashankar
    January 15, 2018

    This piece did wind-up my spring! Over the oceans of distance and disparity, I could relate to many of your obsessions— Holmes, Murakami, positive feedback, writing.

  5. hermissunderstood
    January 15, 2018


  6. WritingLifeBlog
    January 15, 2018


    • melissa kandel
      February 4, 2018

      Sorry to hear you feel that way. I was provided these questions and chose to publish them on my own blog. I think writers should support all those trying to make their way in the craft. Sending you positivity and light 🙂

  7. Kiki
    January 18, 2018

    Melissa; I did NOT want to sub to your blog as I’m an ardent ‘commentator’ and only read posts of great interest to me (or great entertainment or get me further in my ‘spiritual’ life – I know BIG WORD) – but now I’ve read THIS post, written in an English and in words I find totally addictive, well, I think I ought to give it a go…. 🙂
    I also totally agree with your ‘positive’ attitude, with Doing Love in any and everything…. and of course, I love your dog!
    Take a big hug from a Swiss (non blogger, just some photography) who’s living in France

  8. They Call Me a Narcissist – little word studio
    February 4, 2018

    […] few weeks ago, I posted an interview with myself. It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and fun, a play on the many interviews I’ve read before. I […]

  9. Miriam Burrows
    February 4, 2018

    It’s a generous thing a writer does. You expose your private thoughts, your secret dreams disguised as a character’s, yourself through words. Melis, you brighten the light for a growing readership and this deserves only a great big Thank You!


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