Friday, October 19, 2012

Interview 02: Brenda Covert

Greetings, humans, half-breeds, and everything in between. This week I had the pleasure to interview my new friend, Brenda Covert, a niche blogger you just gotta meet. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down.  

Hi there, Brenda! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ECS Universe. Don’t worry about the darkness, your eyes will adjust. Let’s get started.

So who is Brenda Covert?
Author, Editor, Mother, Daughter, Child of God … that’s me! I’m the adoptive mother of two now-adult black children who were born in the USA, not Haiti or London or other places people have guessed. I’ve made a living as an author and editor since 2002. I love historical and nature site-seeing, photography, and amusement rides that don’t turn me upside down or sling me around. I live 500 miles away from “home” and wish there was a train from here to there so I could make the trip back more often.

Wow. Already I’m blown away by your story. I can tell this is going to be an interesting afternoon. I gotta tell ya, coming from an open door kind of family, I find it so refreshing that you opened your home up to little strangers that you’ve made your children…But let’s get back to the subject at hand: you the blogger.

So whacha got for me today?

I like my corn dogs smeared with peanut butter. J  Oh, and I love Christmas—the sights, sounds, aromas, flavors, and traditions. Love, beauty, joy, and inspiration wrapped in the miraculous birth of a Savior. I prepare for Christmas all year long to prevent holiday anxiety. My blog, “Christmas All Year Long,” suggests an idea or two each month for ways to prepare in advance for Christmas. I don’t blog a lot; I don’t want to overwhelm my readers and myself! After all, the idea is to prepare for the holiday, not just read about it!

With your great wit, I don’t think people would mind just reading about Christmas, but your helpful tips are really great. At first glance, I was leery of your blog, but now I love it. Just like you said, I was afraid it would be overwhelming, but it’s not.

Where did the inspiration come to start your project?
As a lover of all things Christmas (except for barking dog carols and “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”—one must draw the line somewhere!), I started this blog because I was sick of being rushed through my favorite holiday. Each year I never seemed to have time to invite guests, to make and bake many of  my favorite treats, to go see live nativity events and Christmas light displays, and to relax with a cup of hot cocoa and watch Christmas specials with my family. I’d be up till 2 or 3am Christmas mornings wrapping gifts and crying from exhaustion. Christmas breakfast would become lunch because I overslept. I couldn’t take it anymore! Planning all year long struck me as the best way to have time to enjoy everything I love about Christmas when December rolls around.

I like the idea of planning ahead, but all year round is new to me. It does make sense. Oh, by the way, my father treats Christmas Eve Breakfast like a sacred rite of passage. We have a two-day celebration routine, and if breakfast doesn’t go well, the family gets stuck with the Grinch for the two days.

What is the best and worst thing or experience about blogging, in your opinion?

The best thing is connecting with readers. The worst thing is waiting for that connection to happen! ;-)

Am I ever relieved to hear you say this! I thought it was just me. I thoroughly enjoy making connections, and now that I’ve met you, my life has been enriched. I hope to make more connections.

Any comments on blog comments?

I like them and allow them. After all, with a topic like Christmas, the comments are sure to be good!

That’s good to hear. As rarely as I step out of my comfort zone to actually leave a comment, I find that I’m turned off by blogs that don’t allow it. Don’t get me wrong, I understand how frustrating spam content can be, but not allowing comments just doesn’t seem very inviting…

Now this where the questions get a little kooky. Are you ready, Brenda?

Cool beans, Toi!

Alright then, here we go.

Who’s brain are you just itching to scratch?

Ew! That sounds faintly zombie-ish. Let’s not speak of brain-scratching. LOL

After giving it a LOT of thought—Lady Jane Grey, Lazarus, Marilyn Monroe, George Washington Carver—I settled on my father. He died in 1996. The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know about him. For example, after his death I found out that he used to dance! I had no idea! His father died before I was born, and I’d like to ask what he was like. I never thought of it when I was younger. A month before Dad died, I asked if I could interview him about his experiences in WWII, which he never talked about. He didn’t want to be videotaped, and so I put it off. I wish we’d had more time together.

Aside from the comedy of your intro, which I enjoyed, this is so real and precious. I have to admit that I’ve had difficulty answering this question for myself, but your answer is awesome and inspiring.

Who is so you and why?

I have been compared to Wonder Woman. How cool is that? LOL! Friends felt that my ability, as a single parent, to work from home while homeschooling my children and being involved in a variety of extracurricular activities qualified me as a Wonder Woman. And truthfully, I used to have bad dreams where I played a superhero role, fighting (or hiding from) evil and trying to save the world—or at least my children. It was a stressful time in my life, to be sure. My pastor said I was trying to make up for the absence of my children’s birth parents and adoptive father. I’ll admit it—I was trying to prove that one parent was just as good as two!

Ya know, Brenda, every time you answer a question, I realize more and more why I like you. You’re just “good people” and worthy of a Wonder Woman comparison, but that’s where I have to stop. At the mention of Wonder Woman, I started to lose a little focus; us comic books geeks are easily excited.

What makes you chill?

I am lying in bed with my night sounds spa playing softly. I have a spray bottle filled with water laced with lavender essential oil. I spray it toward the ceiling and then enjoy the mist that falls on my face and arms. Very pleasant and relaxing.

Well now, when you decide it’s time to relax, you don’t play around. This sounds wonderful. The only thing missing, from my standpoint, would be some herbal tea.

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

No contest, it’s The Princess Bride. I’ve seen it so many times, and it’s still exciting and funny every time and has the requisite happy ending. There’s not a moment when the story drags. It’s my idea of the perfect movie.

Oh, you’ve done it again. We really must hang out. I am crazy about this movie. I could just go on for hours quoting from it. I love when Indigo tells Vizzini, about inconceivable, “I do not think it means, what you think it means.” LOL!

What makes you geek out?

The Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve read all seven books and own the three DVDs. When each of the three movies came out, I watched carefully to see where the storyline strayed from C.S. Lewis’ work and explained it to my kids (multiple times. I probably bring it up every time we watch!). Some changes I don’t mind so much, but others I do. For example, the Pevensie children do NOT break a window and then run and hide! That was completely out of character! O the outrage!

You are seriously cracking me up. I know that feeling of reading a book or series and then looking for the discrepancies in the film version. My problem is that I love both literature and cinema equally and am always left wanting when the two intersect.

So what’s testing your patience right now?

The HobbitMy daughter and I already have Groupon ticket vouchers that we plan to use to see it.

That’s a good one. I’m looking forward to it also. I think it’s cool that you and your daughter share some of the same interests, and The Hobbit is a great interest to have.

When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?
I love Mandisa’s music. That would be the background to much of my life. Pink has some original songs that would fit at times (if you bleep the naughty words for me). “So What” tickles my funnybone! For rage, just look to screamo music. I hate it! My son plays it sometimes when he visits; I think it’s made to feed rage, and that’s not a good thing. I’d rather be happy, so no screamo for me.

You are one cool mom. You have your own taste in music that’s not afraid to dabble in the modern, and you care enough about your son to know what screamo is. You rock!

What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had?
That’s a tough question. I enjoy so many things! Vacations; being introduced to delicious food (tee hee); watching my children perform—whether in gymnastics, dance, sports, or singing; meeting authors at a couple of mystery conferences. Hmmm. If I have to choose just one experience, I’ll say being cast as the Fairy Godmother in a local production of Cinderella back in 1990. That was exhilarating! I have a photo around here somewhere …

I know it’s hard to choose just one from so many thrilling life moments, but this one sounds and looks like a lot of fun. I have no talent for the theatre, but I like a lot. I bet you kept the cast laughing during rehearsals…Well, Brenda, that you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Don’t be a stranger.


Here’s one final bit of random hilarity that Brenda so graciously shared with me. I asked a question along the line of what’s a favorite catch phrase she liked to use, and this is part of the answer I got.

I let my yes be yes and my no be no. However, when something goes wrong, my signature phrase is “Nuggets!” If it’s really upsetting, it’s “Chicken nuggets!” I’m still waiting for that to catch on. ;-)

What a glorious hoot and inspiration Brenda has been. Ok, humans, half-breeds, and everything in between, that’s all for today. For more from Brenda Covert, check out this great link: