Friday, July 24, 2015

InfoBarrel Author of the Week: LittleTwoTwo (Lyttle Twotwo)

In honour (and imitation) of Jerry Seinfeld's web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, I decided to interview InfoBarrel author, LittleTwoTwo, in a 57 Chevy Bel Air convertible.

Photo of 57 Chevy Bel Air Convertible by Christopher Koppes on flickr (CC-by-2.0) Avatar of LittleTwoTwo, RoseWrites and cat added using Pixr
Image of 57 Chevy Bel Air convertible by Christopher Koppes on flickr (CC-by-2.0) | Avatar of LittleTwoTwo, my editor and I added July 22nd, 2015 using Pixlr / All rights reserved (Click to enlarge)

I also brought my editor along. Admittedly, LittleTwoTwo appears to be emerging from the glove compartment (rather than sitting comfortably in the front seat) but you get the idea.

On a personal note: I was deeply moved by something LittleTwoTwo did on October 19th, 2014. Soon after a heated InfoBarrel forum thread, she sent me a private message. I won't post all of it here, but here are a few things she wrote:
"Just wanted to let you know that even though I was quiet during the big discussion (it was truly above my paygrade) I agreed with quite a bit with what you said (and others as well).
It seemed to me that others were taking things personally and thus accused you of attacking. One of them was being incredibly manipulative with her/his words.
Maybe their emotional responses were guilt driven seeing the truth in your words. I dunno, maybe they are just old school buddies that won't see the truth."
She has no idea how much better her note made me feel. Suddenly, I didn't feel so bashed and bruised.

Later that week, I read her Canadian Disasters: Great Miramichi Fire article. 

Wow, I was blown away by her account of this lesser known Canadian disaster. She referenced no less than a dozen sources. (For those who write history pieces on InfoBarrel, take a peek at her bibliography).

And rather than just rewrite history, LittleTwoTwo put those times into perspective for her readers. For example, she wrote: 
"But help would come, right?
It was 1825 and there was no such thing as Red Cross, Salvation Army or any kind of relief assistance."
It was the perfect example of a compelling history piece – and LittleTwoTwo and Vic Dillinger have it nailed. 

Other articles she's written that I found myself completely immersed in include: Chicken Soup Recipes From Around the World, When Canada Forgot About Human Rights, and Euthanizing Your Pet: The Hardest Good-bye. LittleTwoTwo is another writer that (like Amerowolf) can tackle any subject.

Avatars of LittleTwoTwo on InfoBarrel and Lyttle Twotwo on Google Plus profile (used with permission)
Avatars of LittleTwoTwo on InfoBarrel and Lyttle Twotwo on Google Plus (used with permission)

In a forum post on InfoBarrel, LittleTwoTwo mentioned she was from the east coast of Canada. Then, I realized the reason for her cartoon man avatar. She's got something to hide.

And for those of you who thought Newfies weren't bright, well, it turns out that (for five years running): "St. John's (the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador) showed the greatest improvement" in Canada's Smartest Cities by Nancy Macdonald (Maclean's magazine, 2010).

Then there's the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador have "more dialects than any other place on the planet."

So I checked out her Google Plus profile page and there it was: INTP all the aquarian way. I had my people (mostly the Grade 3 army) crack the true meaning of INTP while I looked up "the aquarian way."

According to Yogi Bhajan from Aquarius Times (Spring 2003), "Aquarian values have no boundaries."

No boundaries? Hmm, society needs boundaries – we call 'em laws, sister! What kind of trouble are you getting involved in? I'd better consult my team of cryptologists. 

Here's what we came up with for INTP, so which one is it LittleTwoTwo:

I'm not telling police; I never talk properly; I notice tall people (which would explain your avatar); I need to pee; or I nailed Tom Petty. (Whoops, think that last one was for Sunday's confession). 

Hey look, Gimme a Break Rooster showed up.

Rooster (not looking impressed) by Jenny Campbell on flickr (CC-by-2.0)
Rooster by Jenny Campbell on flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Without Further Ado

I present to you my interview with InfoBarrel author LittleTwoTwo (aka Lyttle Twotwo). Oh and she not only answered the naughty question; she elaborated on it. 

Writing-related questions:

Q: How did you end up on InfoBarrel and what do you like about it here?

A: I started writing online at HubPages and for some reason or another I was searching their forum (which I normally avoid) and came across a thread about InfoBarrel. The poster was angry and felt that InfoBarrel was a scam since they would not publish his (or her) work. I was curious and did my own research. It did not take me long to see that InfoBarrel was not a scam, but a legit writing platform.

I was already growing unhappy with HubPages and after a few months on InfoBarrel, I found myself starting to dislike Squidoo as well. They just really couldn't compare to InfoBarrel. Or perhaps InfoBarrel was a better fit for me.

Today, InfoBarrel is the only site I write for. They have standards that apply to everyone (regardless your popularity level), the community has shown themselves over time to be helpful, honest and understanding (without catering to egos) and most importantly InfoBarrel wants in-depth articles and not the tabloid-style writing most others want.

Q: What's the deal with your InfoBarrel avatar? Your Google profile states you are female. Also, can you explain what your tagline "INTP all the aquarian way" means?

A: I was going to use my real picture as my avatar – everyone said it gives me more credibility as a writer. I didn't agree with that notion. My credibility as a writer (anyone's credibility) comes from their writing, not a picture in a profile. I wanted something memorable but simple and that little sketch fit the bill quite nicely, even though I couldn't find a female version I liked.

When Google wanted to know more about me, I panicked – I didn't want to leave it blank nor did I want to write a book. At the time, my company was doing those Briggs Myer personality tests and even though I know they are much like horoscopes (in that they are vague and could apply to anyone or anything), I assumed the majority of people were familiar with both Briggs Myers and the Zodiac – and it seemed a perfect way to sum me up in a few words. [Well, some of us aren't from the east coast, smarty pants.]

INTP's are said to be logical, problem solvers and creative where as Aquarians are more rebellious, individualistic and free thinking. I'll walk the line, but I will do it my way. 

Q: You mentioned you were from Canada's east coast but "without the Newfie accent." Personally, I love the Newfie accent, what's the story behind that?

A: My mother's side of the family is all East Coast. I was born in Toronto but spent a large portion of my youth in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. I feel more at home in the East Coast provinces than I do in the big urban city of Toronto. I picked up the excited, fast talking ways of their speech but never picked up the accent. I, like you, love their accent and unique phrases.

Q: What recommendations would you make (for writers and admin) to keep InfoBarrel going strong?

A: I think the bulk of responsibility falls on Administration to keep InfoBarrel going strong and steadily improving. They are the ones who have to ensure that quality is maintained and that standards are not lowered for quantity. They are the ones finding ways to keep the writers well paid and making InfoBarrel a desirable place to write and publish. The Admin team, to date, has performed their duties amazingly well. After the whole HubPages and Squidoo debacle, I feared never trusting an online publisher again. But InfoBarrel has my trust still, the Admins care about the site, work hard at keeping it awesome and it shows.

Writers are a unique lot. Each has their own reasons for writing, their own ideas on how to write, what to write ... that offering advice in a generalized manner is almost insulting. Personally I try to keep InfoBarrel strong by bringing my A game, by acknowledging what doesn't work, changing, growing and rising to new challenges that are presented by writing. I try to keep up on links in existing articles, stay on top of the comments and engage those who take the time to comment on my articles. Whenever you are stuck, the forums are the best place to get helpful advice and to learn.

Q: What is the strangest response or most hilarious comment you ever received on one of your articles?

A: I am not sure I ever received a comment that counts as strange or even funny. It could be my subject matter or my writing style.

Highly inappropriate questions (entirely voluntary):

Q: Ever shave somewhere you wished you hadn't? And if so, how long did it take until everything was back to normal, if you know what I mean?

A: I nicked myself shaving 'down there' one time and swore off shaving with a vengeance. It did not take long to decide I did not much like hairy either. I decided to try a wax parlour for my 'down below' area and as a first timer I was an excellent candidate for upselling. I was told to ask for the bikini wax but got talked into a Brazilian wax. 

[Mmm, looks like Shocked Lemur woke up.]

Public Domain image of a red-ruffed lemur by Mathias Appel
Red-ruffed Lemur by Mathias Appel on flickr (Public Domain)
LittleTwoTwo cont'd: Giving my partner the thumbs up I sauntered off like a hero. 

I was brave, even downright cocky, right until they pulled the first strip off, my scream shook the rafters, tears flowed easily, curses feel freely (there was some artistic license taken in the description) and when I started to calm down I could hear it in the distance, laughter – belly deep hilarious riotous laughter of my partner. 

It took about 6-7 weeks for the hair to return, but my pride was bruised for much longer.

Q: Who was your first (or longest lasting) crush?

A: Based on what my bedroom walls looked like as a child, I would have to say it was a toss up between Kirk Cameron and River Phoenix, though River lasted much longer.

Q: What are your thoughts about the "Free the Nipple" campaign?

A: Personally, I think it is a low priority first world 'oppression' that does nothing to address inequality between the genders and in many ways muddies somewhat clear waters. The campaign itself is hazy in what it stands for and I can't see it being helpful to the causes associated with gender inequality.

You had a great point in your blog about how hard it already is to earn a man's respect and even when the boob is covered it has power. As one commenter mentioned it would also tap into body images, who is 'boob sexy' enough to show their nipples?. When I asked my partner about this campaign he first asked for pictures, then did that face and cheek thing men do when boobs are the topic of conversation.

I'm no prude, I am pro-boob and all for gender equality but being in your face about it is not going to change the attitudes and perspectives that need changing for real change to start to happen in regards to gender inequality. If I am to support a cause or a campaign with my time, money or efforts it really needs to be a campaign that I can believe in and this Free the Nipple campaign is not a campaign I can get into, back or even support a little bit. I don't see why we (women) can't achieve gender equality without the use of our boobs. [Clapping from the audience is heard.]

Q: What famous person, author, TV character or cartoon character do you most relate to (and why)?

A: I have no idea to be honest. So in the spirit of giving a good answer I turned to online for help. Apparently there are quizzes that answer these questions. My results ranged from Carrie Underhill to Road Runner to Johnny Depp. Not exactly helpful, but I did ace the 70's and 80's TV show quizzes.

Q: Do you have an strange (or helpful) writing rituals?

A: I make a cup of coffee, yell at everyone on my way to my desk, then I sit and stare at my technical canvas and promptly get distracted by Simon's Cat (usually) or some obscure fact I must chase down to include in an article that never makes it to the final draft.

The most helpful thing I have started doing is always having a small book on me to write ideas in. So many great ideas have been lost all 'cause it came to me when I didn't have paper on hand and forgot the idea by the time I got home.

Back to you and your work:

Q: What are three or four InfoBarrel articles you are most proud of?

A:  That's a tough one, I am proud of nearly all my work ... though some came out not at all like I had in my head .. lol. But if I had to choose it would be:

Microbial Arms Race, a look at superbugs and how the modern world would look without antibiotics. 

Arctic Explorations: The 1897 Arctic Balloon Expedition, it was a hydrogen balloon in the Arctic in 1897 – how cold I not write about it.


Intellectual Adversaries: Scientists and the Poisoner, this one was one of those articles that sounded great in my head but I couldn't get it out onto paper correctly. It took a few rewrites but I finally got it (I think).

Q: Where can readers find you?

A: Right now I am only active on InfoBarrel, I do have a HubPages account but have not published a story there in a very long time – honestly waiting for next payout and likely closing down shop there. I am always exploring new sites but few actually stick.

I am also on a few of the social medias, but being introverted to nearly reclusive at times I am not always active on them and those who already have me added as friends can attest I am not an over-sharer. I can be found on G+ Lyttle Twotwo, Twitter and Pinterest.

Q: What animal, colour, and veggie would you would be? A: Owl, orange, green leaf lettuce.

Q: Your superhero power? A: Invisibility. No, time travel. 

Q: What TV show would you bring back? A: Firefly.

Q: Favourite comic strip? A: Calvin and Hobbes.

Q: Best movie? A: Goonies.

Q: Are there any other writers on InfoBarrel you'd like to see interviewed? And if so, are there any questions you'd like me to ask him or her?

A: I can't say I have favourites or anything but Leigh Goessl I think would be interesting to interview. Another would be Yindee. Some of her articles have really grabbed my attention. And egdcltd (I think that is his name). There are so many good writers popping up on InfoBarrel that it is hard to pick.

In Closing:

When I was linking up LittleTwoTwo's social media pages, I took a peek at her Pinterest profile. The link at the top led to a GoFundMe page. It was Helping Heidi To Walk Again – a donation page for a chinchilla I saw on my Google Plus stream.

A post on June 1st, 2015 read: "NO MORE DONATIONS PLEASE. I can handle the bills with what was raised and my personal contribution. I would rather see donations given to another fundraiser in need."

Well, nothing screams Maritimer more than that, b'y.

Tune in again next weekend for another thrilling episode of InfoBarrel Author of the Week.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

InfoBarrel Author of the Week: Deborah-Diane

This week, I decided to visit Sin City [Las Vegas] to interview the lovely and talented InfoBarrel author Deborah-Diane.

Since Deborah is familiar with Las Vegas (having written Your Guide to a Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding), she convinced me to try on some Vegas showgirl costumes with her.

Here we are outside the Bellagio Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip in Paradise, Nevada.

InfoBarrel authors RoseWrites and Deborah-Diane heads added to Vegas Vacation Show Girls photo by Brian Whitmarsh (CC-by-2.0)
InfoBarrel authors RoseWrites and Deborah-Diane (heads) added to photo by Brian Whitmarsh on flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Both DebW07 and mommymommymommy (Hannah Gold) remarked they'd love to see you interviewed. They added you've been on InfoBarrel forever, produce "top-notch" work and "we can all learn a thing or two from" you.

When you answered my question about HubPages in InfoBarrel's forum, you proved to me that you aren't afraid to tell the truth. I doubt you know this, but you are quoted on Wikipedia. When I read how much factual information was either missing (or not updated) about HubPages, I decided to update their Wikipedia page for the public.

At first there was some resistance to have my edits approved, but eventually my proof won over the Wikipedia editors. Below is a screenshot of where you are quoted on the HubPages Wikipedia Talk page (click to enlarge). It's near the end of the screenshot (and on the Wikipedia Talk page).

HubPages Wikipedia Talk Page Shows Deborah-Diane Proof for Edits by RoseWrites
May 1st, 2015 Wikipedia Edits for HubPages by RoseWrites and Quote of Deborah-Diane in InfoBarrel's Forum

Back to Deborah-Diane

Avatar and photo of Deborah-Diane, DeborahDian and Deborah75
Avatar and photo of Deborah-Diane on InfoBarrel (used with permission)

Okay sister, I read your Google Plus "About" page where you admit you've been married "over 40 years" but you left out how many husbands you've racked up.

I read your "From the Author" section on Amazon. Let's see now . . you said (and I quote): "many people don't realize how simple it is to get married there [in Las Vegas]." Is that the voice of experience, hmm? Further along you asked, "How much easier can it get?"

Come on, don't you think these people just wanna have "a good time" without the guilt? I mean they don't call it Sin City for nothing.

But here's something I did discover in Las Vegas: the future career path of those small elf-type men in Brownies. Apparently, most of them end up being FTD guys.

Frances Shadbolt illustration on cover of The Brownie Handbook and photo by Céline MOSNIER on flickr (both images CC-by-2.0) shows resemblance of FTD guy to the Dancing Pixie
Left image of The Brownie Handbook (Book 3) cover illustration by Frances Shadbolt | Right image by Celine Mosnier (hirondellecanada on flickr) both CC-by-2.0 images

I'll have to check this out with Hannah Gold on her Girl Scout Leader blog. This could explain a lot of dysfunction in my life.

Without Further Ado

I present to you my interview with Deborah-Diane (who also goes by the pen names DeborahDian and Deborah75).

Deborah began: First, Rose, I wanted to compliment you on your well researched questions. You obviously spent time looking at my profiles on InfoBarrel and Google Plus and that really impressed me. Thank you. [Blushing.]

Writing-related questions:

Q: When I glanced over your InfoBarrel profile page, I noticed that you have a degree in Human Environmental Design. What's that all about? Sounds like something far too advanced for me.

A:  Human Environment Design is similar to Interior Design, but is not the same as Interior Decorating. For example, I had to take classes in architectural drawing, engineering drawing, architectural history, and housing design. When I graduated, I went to work first for a restaurant design company and after that I worked in the construction department of a grocery store chain. Later, I became a Realtor, often working with people on construction projects, including on a high rise condominium complex. My husband and I have also built several homes during our marriage. In one way or another, I worked in housing and construction until my early 50s.

Q: What brought you to InfoBarrel and what do you love most about it here?

A: I have always loved writing and have frequently written detailed and informative brochures for other people. When I was a Realtor, I wrote a 30-page booklet for my buyers and a similar one for my sellers, which explained the process step-by-step. I granted my firm permission to adopt it, so that all their agents could use it. I enjoy explaining things in writing, and InfoBarrel is the perfect outlet for that. I feel very fortunate to have found InfoBarrel, because I think it is one of the most respected sites on the internet.

Q: Okay, so why haven't you written on InfoBarrel for a couple of years then?

A: After I wrote over 327 articles on InfoBarrel, I began to go back and edit the earlier ones ... which has been a time-consuming process. I continue to go back and improve articles on all the sites where I write and, in general, I don't produces as much new work as I used to. Although I haven't written anything new on InfoBarrel in a while, I still spend time on the site nearly every day. i also have some ideas for new InfoBarrel articles I would like to write, but I am waiting for the upgrades that will come with InfoBarrel 4.0, which should be available soon. I want to see how my new pieces will work with the improved format. I am very excited about the changes they are making.

I also believe that every online writer needs to check their old articles occasionally to make sure the links still work, the advertised products still exist, and the material is still relevant. That takes time. Writers who do not do that usually see their income drop off dramatically from their older material. You need to keep your work fresh if you want it to keep earning money for you!

I also have thousands of articles on other sites, so just maintaining my current library of articles keeps me pretty busy. However, whenever I want to write a really informative article, InfoBarrel is always my first choice. I can't imagine writing one anywhere else. I often recommend the site to retired teachers and other intelligent people I know. I don't think there is any other site like it! [Nods.]

Q: I looked at your Kindle books and I must say this: it looks like you are a romantic who wants to protect children from dirty politicians. Can you tell my readers more about those endeavors?

A: Ha! Ha! I think you summed my writing up very well. I write about wide-ranging topics, don't I? Here are a few two or three sentence summaries for each of the books I have written:

"Your Guide to a Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding" – I wrote this after my daughter, sister, niece and a friend were all married in Las Vegas. I did a lot of research and, after learning how easy it is, I wanted to simplify the process for other people who were also thinking about getting married there.

"Romantic Budget Wedding Ideas" – After raising four daughters and paying for all their weddings, my husband and I picked up a few tips on how to have an elegant wedding without going bankrupt! I thought I would pass on what I learned to other people who don't know what they really need, how to set up a budget, or where to find the best deals.

"The Mayor and the Garbage: The Teen Who Saved His Town" – This is a fictional account of a teenager who becomes the mayor of his tiny town in order to become a voice for the residents who experience an environmental crisis. I came up with the idea after a real life 12-year-old boy became mayor of his Texas town in order to keep it from being annexed by Houston.

"Dangerous Lies We Tell to Children and Ourselves" – When I was in my 50s, I worked for a decade at a local high school and discovered that many teens have a lot of misconceptions about their abilities, the world of work, how to find a job, good careers that will be interesting to them, their family history, death and so much more. I did some research on the harmful effects of lying to children or misrepresenting things to them, and I decided to write a book about my findings.

"What Would Jesus Tweet?" – I wrote this book because, as the granddaughter of a Pentecostal minister and a lifelong Christian, I realized that a lot of Christians believe almost everything in the Bible ... except what Jesus actually said. I am shocked sometimes that there are Christians who do not believe in supporting peace, providing affordable medical care to the sick, food to the hungry, or clothing to the poor, although Jesus clearly told his followers that this is what he wanted them to do. He also said we should not judge others harshly. In addition, since the Good Samaritan was a non-Jewish foreigner, Jesus also made it clear that we were to extend these services to everyone, not just people like us.

Highly inappropriate questions (entirely voluntary):

Q:  For a bride with Wedding night jitters (not me, of course) what would you tell her?

Public Domain photo of Red-ruffed Lemur taken October 19, 2014 by Mathias Appel
Red-ruffed Lemur by Mathias Appel on flickr (Public Domain)
A:  I'm the mother of four grown daughters and the grandmother of three teenage granddaughters, so I have had my fair share of embarrassing conversations. 

I have always encouraged young brides to talk to their doctors about things like birth control, lubrication and any questions they have ... and to do it at least a couple of months before the wedding!

My jaw drops open and Shocked Lemur shows up: And by "do it at least a couple of months before the wedding" you mean . . . 
ohhhh, talk to my doctor. 

For a second there I thought I might not be going to h*ll.

Deborah cont'd: Some preparations take a little time. I think the right preparation can go a long way towards preventing jitters about the wedding night!

Q: I noticed on your Google Plus page that you've been married over 40 years. What's the secret to staying with the same man that long? More importantly, how did you change him? (JK)

A: Ha, ha! I actually think marriage does involve a bit of training, but not necessarily changing your spouse. Of course, training takes time! If you marry a guy who is basically nice, he will try to please you, as long as you are self-aware enough to be able to tell him what you want. [Not a prob for me, Deborah.]  

Deborah cont'd: However, if you expect a guy to really change who he is, you are going to be disappointed. If you marry a jerk, he never will try to make you happy. He will just get worse!

In October 2015, my husband and I will have been married 44 years. That is a long time. I tell him I'm looking forward to our 50th anniversary, because I want some new gold jewelry!

So what is the secret to staying with the same man that long? You have to be willing to stick it out through the hard times ... and there will be hard times. You also have to take the time to have fun with each other.

Women also have to recognize that if they really enjoy their physical relationship with their spouse and let him know, he'll overlook a lot of missed meals and forgotten household chores! It is NOT true that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach ... if you know what I mean. [Ohh, I gotcha.]

Q: What did you tell your kids or grandkids when they asked where babies come from?

A: I think you can tell from my last answer that I am pretty honest and blunt, and not easily embarrassed. All our children knew where babies came from by the time they were in elementary school! Of course, when they were very young, I just read them little age appropriate books and, as they grew up, I gave them more information.

Q: What author, famous person, TV character or cartoon character do you most relate to (and why)?

A: Honestly, I struggled with this question the most. I have never been much of a hero worshiper. While I enjoy reading biographies of famous people, including authors, I rarely compare myself to them.

Q: What's the smartest move a man can make to get a woman in the bedroom?

A: The dishes! Honest! I read once that it really turns a woman on when a man helps her get the housework done so she isn't too tired to be romantic. After nearly 44 years of marriage, I still think that is true. (I told you I did a good job training my husband!)

Q: How did you meet your husband and does he have any remedies for "Dishpan Hands"?

A: My husband was a young stockbroker and he did a mass mailing to thousands of people. I filled in the postcard he sent out and returned it. He called me and I went to meet him at his office. He asked me how much money I had to invest. When I told him i had $100 in savings, he took me out to dinner, instead! I was a "flower child" living in Berkeley; he was a conservative Republican. We were married six months later in a park in Berkeley. No one expected our marriage to last ... but it did!

One reason we get along so well is that he has ALWAYS supported me in everything I wanted to do. I could choose to work or be a stay-at-home mom. When I worked, I could take the jobs that interested me. I could be a writer, a Realtor or volunteer for a charity (and I have done them all). I have also supported my husband in his career choices. When two people support each other, it really helps their relationship.

Back to you and your work:

Q: Name four InfoBarrel articles you'd like readers to check out.

A: Here are four articles that I enjoyed writing and people seem to enjoy reading. They are the type of articles that seem to do the best for me on InfoBarrel ... informational pieces that fill a need or satisfy someone's curiosity:

Q: Where can readers find you?

A: The best way to find me is on my retirement blog: Baby Boomer Retirement. It contains hundreds of articles about where to retire, financial planning, common health concerns, family relationships and more. I have been writing it for four years and it is now read approximately 12,000 to 15,000 times a month. It is completely free, so I encourage everyone to check it out. If you leave a comment on one of the posts, I'll know you were there!

I also have hundreds of articles on HubPages (as Deborah-Diane and DeborahDian), Daily Two Cents, and Bubblews (as Deborah75); I have answered over 6,000 questions on WebAnswers (as DeborahDian). However, my blog is the best place to find me.

Q: Are there any other writers on InfoBarrel you'd like to see interviewed? And if so, are there any questions you'd like me to ask them?

A: I would love you to interview JudyE and ask her about her life in Australia. I know she is traveling in Europe this summer for a wedding, but when she returns I think she would be an excellent person to interview.

Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the other InfoBarrel writers?

A: In the past few years, I have come to appreciate the other writers at InfoBarrel so much. Whenever I have had a question over the years about how to do something, there has always been at least one writer who was willing to step forward to help me out, in language I could understand. I'm not sure if new online writers realize how unique the InfoBarrel forum is. The people there have been genuinely kind, helpful and supportive, and I cannot thank them enough. I am sure that I would not have been very successful as an online writer, if it had not been for the help I received from the staff and writers on InfoBarrel. Rose, you are a perfect example of that! [Ditto for you too, Deborah.]

Again, thanks so much for the opportunity to be interviewed for your site. [The pleasure was all mine, Deborah.]

In Closing:

I had a blast interviewing Deborah-Diane. I vaguely recall her on Squidoo and I've barely gotten to know her on InfoBarrel (until now). I guess because I joined InfoBarrel January 2014 and she's been off doing her own thing elsewhere online for the last couple of years.

I'm so glad to hear she'll be writing more on InfoBarrel (and the new version is coming any day now).

Be sure to drop by next weekend for another installment of InfoBarrel Author of the Week.


On July 20th, 2015 I designed this coffee mug for guests on my blog.

It is also available in other styles and sizes. Plus you can customize it further with a photo and text on the other side (if you wish).

You can find it on my Zazzle store. It's called A Blog for the Underdog MUG by RoseWrites.

Shown is the 11 oz. "Ringer Mug."

NOTE: I will not be posting this item on every interview. Instead, it will be available through my Google Collections page where every InfoBarrel Author of the Week can be found.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

InfoBarrel Newbie of the Month: Browna86

When I began writing about the unfair and deceptive Squidoo-HubPages business deal, I had numerous supporters. Naturally, people get busy after a few months and move on. But there were a few key people that continued to support me long after the initial brouhaha wore off.

Browna86 was one such person that seemed to keep me going when I felt like giving up. On my piece Squidoo Authors Who Migrated to HubPages: Here Are Your Choices, she wrote:
"I really enjoyed your articles ever since I first came here. It is odd that nothing has been done about this and odd that HP is still running especially with that tricky TOS stuff about earnings and other stuff."
No worries Browna86 (and others). The FTC received my complaint in April of 2015. When I read Christopher Soghoian's post How long does it take for the FTC to investigate a company?, I learned it's at least a year. He posted a chart which shows the duration of FTC privacy investigations of six companies. So, it's not over (far from it).

Keep your proof that you are owed earnings and royalties from either Squidoo or HubPages. 

Back to Browna86

InfoBarrel avatar for Browna86 and for her Blogger and Google Plus profiles
Avatars of Brown86 on InfoBarrel and Topaz Blu on Blogger / Google Plus (used with permission)

After Browna86 settled in, she introduced herself in the forum. I fondly remember her first post. She wrote:

"Hi everyone. Been here a few days and looking forward to participating on the site. Nervous but excited. It's a wonderful site and already ran into a fellow deviant. Great to meet all of you."
I perked up at the word deviant. So I responded:

"Welcome aboard! For a sec I thought you meant me (re: deviant)." [Little did I know she meant deviantART.]

Her kind and respectful commentary prompted me to check out her work. Since I'm not cool enough to be into games (like Amerowolf and others), I went for her Urban Legends by State series. Her conversational style kept me interested and her documentation was exemplary. 

I also read her Dollar Tree Love piece and was impressed by her sincerity. She doesn't pad her work with fluff. Just honest and genuine. It's like speaking to a level-headed person who has the best of intentions.

I loved the message in her charity article Encouraging a Biz Kid. Her introduction proved she has a knack for storytelling that I think even Vic Dillinger would enjoy.

Without Further Ado

I present to you my interview with Browna86 – one of the sweetest people I've ever met online.

Writing-related questions: 

Q: I noticed your InfoBarrel profile page states you've "been writing professionally since Spring 2010." How did you end up on InfoBarrel? And what do you like about it here?

A: It was late August 2014 and I was just getting ready to update my lenses on Squidoo when I saw this announcement (after logging in), about a site closure and moving things to HP. I disliked the idea of the transfer as well as the timing and went in search of another platform.

After exploring some of the forum posts, I came across one that linked to a blog that mentioned InfoBarrel as a potential writing platform.

One of the things I liked [about InfoBarrel] is how mistakes are caught and brought to the writer's attention. There were so many mistakes in my old articles that I didn't even see. To top it off, IB is filled with helpful members that don't have a problem with offering a helping hand. [Nods.] 

Q: You also mentioned that you are a digital and traditional illustrator and photographer. Have you showcased some of your work in your articles on InfoBarrel? 

A: Free Online Course Providers features two pieces I did myself. One was a personal logo design (the winning design out of several drafts) and a tossed together illustration featuring various icons to represent available online courses. [Browna86 donates all of the revenue generated from this article to charity – as she also did with her Biz Kids story.]   

Browna86 cont'd: So far there's one photo I took which is featured in Urban Legends by State Part 1 which was taken within White Point Gardens near the Battery.

If I can't produce an ideal image myself, I will usually outsource to other creatives to help meet my objectives as well as give the creator and their work exposure.

Q: What topics get you fired up to write an article?

A: It varies but usually topics featuring food, video games, games (in general), earning money online and anything that catches my attention while I'm browsing articles.

Q: Do you have any weird (or helpful) writing rituals?

A: Going straight to the computer to work has never been my strong point. I like to work by hand first; in this case writing everything down with pen and paper first. If I'm experiencing a writer's block, I will play some online games, watch some movies, and even browse the local library catalogue.

Q: What bothers you the most about writing online?

A:  In general...ever-changing writing environments where the norms and acceptable writing topics vary on a daily if not weekly basis.

Highly inappropriate questions (entirely voluntary):

Q: Who was your first (or longest lasting) famous person crush? 

Face by Pure_Nutter on flickr (CC-by-SA 2.0) Taken August 19, 2009 at Flamingo Land
Face by Pure_nutter on flickr (CC-by-SA 2.0)
A: Can't recall if I had one.
[Hey I believe you, but my new mascot, Skeptical Flamingo, isn't so sure.]

Q: If you could be any rock star or singer (male or female), who would you choose to be (and why)?

A: Vic Dillinger. 'Cause we all wanna be big rock stars. 

Q: What author, famous person, TV character or cartoon character do you most relate to (and why)?

A: It's currently a tie between Yomiko Readman and Major Kusanagi. There's more to the characters than initially meets the eye. They have good days, bad days and days where it's best to give them some breathing room.

Q: What is the most pressing problem (in your view) facing young women today?

A: Fitting in and being accepted as you are. [Impressive observation me thinks.]

Q: I noticed you used French in your first forum post; are you fluent in other languages?

A: I'm fluent in American English (the proper kind). I speak very little French but can read it so-so. I've studied a little Latin, a little Spanish, a little Japanese, a little German and a little Italian. [Wow, that's fabulous.]

Back to you and your work:

Q: Name three InfoBarrel articles you are most proud of.

A: The Urban Legends by State series (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3); the Wartune articles (Wartune Overture and Wartune: an Overview) and Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda.

Q: Where can readers find you? And what other pen names do you go by?

A: Most of my writings appear on InfoBarrel and some on Blogger (it's kind of quiet right now but stuff is coming). My 'pen name' on Blogger is Topaz Blu:

Q: How do you spend your free time (aside from writing, illustrating and taking photos)?

A: Well, I like to hang out in the library, take naps, learn a new language and compile ideas for a potential graphic novel/manga/comic strip. [Mmm, I love napping too – especially in the library when people are learning a new language.]

Q: Are there any other writers on InfoBarrel you'd like to see interviewed? And if so, are there any questions you'd like me to ask them?

A: Rainy Kua -- Favorite genre of book?
HLesley -- What are some fascinating discoveries you've made while studying other languages?

P.S. Does Vic count as a rock star? [I'd say yes, but I'm sure Vic will let you know his thoughts.]

Thanks again. This is so awesome!

In Closing:

I'd like to thank Browna86 for a most enjoyable afternoon getting to know her better. Her positive energy always leaves me wanting to read more of her work. 

InfoBarrel Newbie of the Month is a fairly new Google collection. So far, I've been featuring new people mid-month (in case you were wondering). My rough definition of "Newbie" is an InfoBarrel author that has less than 25 articles or has been on the site for less than a year. 

Every weekend I feature an InfoBarrel Author of the Week. In this Google collection, I feature highly successful veteran InfoBarrel authors.

Thank you for tuning in. Drop by again next month (or weekend) to discover the secret writing lives of famous and soon-to-be famous InfoBarrel authors.           

Friday, July 10, 2015

InfoBarrel Author of the Week: Amerowolf (Emily Heeb)

Soon after I joined InfoBarrel, I checked out the homepage features. Immediately I was drawn to an article by Amerowolf (who I thought was a guy). The article was called The James Bond Shower - The Health Benefits of Cold Showers. I was probably having a hot flash.

The following month, I read Malala Yousafzai - The Girl Shot for Going to School and I found myself completely absorbed in Amerowolf's piece. I remember glancing over at her boyish avatar with the smoking gun thinking, 'Gee, this young guy is an incredible writer.' 

A month or two later, Ryan (admin) contacted me about writing for Paw Mane Fin. So I took a peek at Emily Heeb's article New Study Shows Cats Recognize Owners' Voice, Yet Fail to Care and after reading a few more of her pieces, I started feeling insecure about my own stuff.

I loved the flow of her words. She ended her stories with the most thought-provoking final sentence. She proved that a newsworthy item can be professionally covered in 400 - 600 words.
Avatars of Amerowolf and Emily Heeb (InfoBarrel and Paw Mane Fin author)
Avatars of Amerowolf on InfoBarrel and Emily Heeb on Paw Mane Fin (used with permission)

A couple of months later, Emily Heeb "followed" me on Google Plus. When I followed her back, I glanced over her Google Plus profile and discovered she was also Amerowolf.

It blew me away.

Now I recognize her seamless style. She can tackle any length or depth of article. Plus she's fearless. Emily Heeb (Amerowolf) makes every word count. Reading her work is like sipping fine wine.

Still, I had to know more.

So I researched her profile on Paw Mane Fin and found a clue. She admitted to being "in other places" in Canada. Suddenly, it all made sense: the scarf, the hat, the snow. Emily Heeb is a Canadian in disguise.

And she's pretending to be a gun-toting American. Why? Because she never made it out of Brownies (like me).
Avatar of Amerowolf and Amerowolf (Emily Heeb) in a Brownie Uniform
Amerowolf avatars. Right image of Brownie uniform (circa 1980) by Girl Guides of Canada on flickr (CC-by-2.0)

She's mad and she wants to feel powerful again (hence the smoking gun and Amerowolf alias).

Now Emily, believe me, I understand. But pointing a gun at Brown Owl isn't going to solve anything. Look, I talked to Hannah Gold (mommymommymommy) and she has a program for us. Yes, we can go back and earn Brownie badges and "Try Its" – whatever the h*ll those are.

And before you know it, we'll be skipping around a huge fungus that is surprisingly strong enough to support a real stuffed owl.
Cropped image of The Brown Handbook (1965 - 1977) illustrated by Frances Shadbolt
Image of Book 3, The Brownie Handbook (1965 - 1977) Illustrated by Frances Shadbolt. Credit: Girl Guides of Canada on flickr (CC-by-2.0)
Hmm, I don't recall the smallish elf-type men, but perhaps the idea here was to prepare us girls for guys with "Peter Pan Syndrome." Although the one on the left looks French (could be problematic too).

Without Further Ado

I present to you my interview with the exceptionally talented Emily Heeb who is also known as Amerowolf on InfoBarrel. And yeah, she openly answered the naughty question and shared some helpful advice too.

Writing-related questions:

Q: How did you end up writing on InfoBarrel and Paw Mane Fin?

A: I started writing at InfoBarrel around a week after graduating from college. While I was looking for a place to put that newly minted Bachelors of Web Development and Design into action, I needed something to fill the cavernous void of free time on my hands. I decided to put my efforts into writing for a bit of money. I checked out all the options - HubPages, Squidoo, and the like - and came across InfoBarrel. Unlike the face of potential consumers, InfoBarrel seemed to be generally oriented towards knowledge. Being new to the world of online writing, it took a few tries to get articles approved, but I got the hang of it from reading and absorbing proper formatting, content quality as well as reading the forums.

As for Paw Mane Fin, it's actually related to InfoBarrel. Admin Ryan approached me and asked if I'd like to take on some more pay-per-article writing opportunities. Having lived on a farm with ample pets for the majority of my life, Paw Mane Fin was a natural fit for me with a subject I'm passionate about.

Q: What is the strangest response or most hilarious comment you ever received on one of your articles?

A: You know, I don't rightly know . . . Probably something Vic posted.

Upon reading through my comments, I've found I was indeed right. I wrote an article about some of the terrifying creatures that live at the bottom of the sea and Vic Dillinger said: 

"This article supports my main argument about why there is no Bigfoot/Sasquatch. If humanity can find these obscure critters several thousand feet below the surface of the world's LEAST explored territory, obviously we could have easily identified and captured a lumbering, idiotic, slobbering, smelly, none-too-bright 8-foot tall primate out here in the great wide open any old time." 

He makes valid points, though. [I have to agree with Vic – and I remember commenting on that fascinating piece of yours too.]

Q: Do you have any weird or helpful writing rituals?

A: I always write while watching something on my second monitor. I have kind of a loud mind (ironic, considering I'm a quiet person) and I've found having something in the background to listen to keeps me focused on what I'm doing. Another unique habit I have is I proofread by reading things out loud. Personally, I think articles that read as if a person was talking to you are more . . . engaging, I guess. Thus why I occasionally throw grammatical rules to the wind, or at least that's what I tell myself to cover up my poor grammar skills anyway.

Q: What are your niches and do you have any that you'd like to explore?

A: I've never really focused on one thing in particular. I write about things that interest me and things I know because that's what makes me happy. My favorite niches are gaming and anime because those are the two things that soak up the majority of my spare time. Plus, they can both be pretty profitable, especially gaming guides about newer games.

As for niches I'd like to explore, I have always been fascinated about all the non-famous, awesome people from history. Unfortunately, the problem with non-famous, awesome people from history is that they are hard to discover. [I'm sitting right here, Emily. JK] 

Emily cont'd: I'd also like to eventually move into some more environmental topics as I can see people grazing this planet away like locusts, but I still have a bit of learning to do on that front.

Q: What advice would you give new InfoBarrel writers?

A: I'm going to recommend the best piece of advice about writing that I ever read - "Just write." That's the advice Vic Dillinger gives to every new person, and it's really the key to success. While I occasionally write articles oriented on making some money from a keyword I happen across, mostly I just write about things I find interesting. 

Just write about what you like, be detailed about it, pour a little heart and soul into it (blood, sweat and tears might not hurt either) and people will come. This isn't the early years of online writing anymore, no one cares about keyword-smushed, product-stuffed, robot-written articles about all those popular topics like weight loss and how to get the shiniest knuckle hair.

Q: If you could change anything about the online world what would it be?

A: I would probably change the way passive income writing sites are viewed from a quality of content standpoint. People saw Squidoo, EHow and HubPages as the face of writing sites for a long time and their content is questionable at best most of the time. It is hard to build trust back after someone was duped by misinformation. [Nods.]

Highly inappropriate questions (entirely voluntary):

Q: What is the most daring (or dangerous) thing you've ever done?

A: Isn't getting up and going out into the world the most daring thing everyone does every day? [Hmm, good point.]

No, but really, I had a serious proclivity for crafting explosives when I was much younger. I never aimed to hurt anyone or destroy anything, I was mostly just interested in how big of a boom I could make. [Aren't we all.]

Living in the boonies [Canada?] with access to a number of potentially volatile ingredients, I could make a pretty big one. The worst I did was leave a few craters in a field as well as some burned patches that got out of hand. Still, I probably should consider myself lucky to have all nine . . . Er, I mean, ten, of my fingers.

Q: What famous person, author, film/TV character, cartoon character or comic strip do you most relate to (and why)?

A: This is a surprisingly tough question considering like I often feel I've watched every TV show under the sun. While it's unlikely anyone will remember this cartoon character, I'd have to say I relate to Daria from the eponymous MTV show, Daria. She's sarcastic and has a biting wit, but often remains a quiet bystander in her surroundings.

Q: Ever "made out" in the great outdoors? And if so, is there anything one should know beforehand?

A: I have, actually. If there is one thing to remember, it is that no matter how rural you think you are, there are still eyes everywhere and they always seem to find you. [Agree, strongly.] Also, bring a blanket, grass stains are real tattletales as to your antics.

Q: Do you have any secret crushes online? And is there anyone you'd like to meet in real life?

A: Secret crushes online, eh? No, no, I don't believe I have any of those. If I told, I don't think it'd be a secret. [Hmm, notice the "eh" folks and the brilliant line of reasoning = Canadian.]

Emily cont'd: There's no one I'd like to meet in real life either. It's not that I don't like anyone (although to most people, I'm sure it seems that way), but for as charming and eloquent as I am online, I'm terrible at socializing face-to-face. I'm shy, quiet and just terribly awkward, recognizing all of which makes me incredibly nervous when meeting people. It's the perfect storm of ineptitude. [Well, I'm guessing that pointing a smoking gun at the peeps might make them "incredibly nervous" too.]

Q: If you were an animal, what would you be (and why)? 

A: A dog, most probably. It seems like a nice, simple life. Just eat, go for walks and sleep all day with the only stress and worries coming from the occasional nail trimming or encounter with the vacuum cleaner. And yes, I frequently tell my own dog that it must be nice being a dog.

Back to you and your work:

Q: Which three articles of yours would you like readers to check out?

A: Let's go on a magical journey of obscure people throughout history~

The Baddest Frontierswoman That Ever Lived - Stagecoach Mary Fields, the roughest, toughest, whiskey-drinkingest woman you'll ever hear about.

Hiroo Onoda - The Man Who Fought World War II for 29 Years, a lesson in dedication, loyalty, and the strange story of keeping your military uniform in perfect condition for 29 years in despite humidity.

Q: Where can readers find you?

A: InfoBarrel, of course: Amerowolf

Paw Mane Fin, I post new articles every Tuesday and Thursday: Emily Heeb

Twitter, which I recently taught myself to use correctly and now fill with snarky comments about anime and gaming: Emily Heeb @Amerowolf

Facebook, which I just casually browse and rarely ever post anything: Emily Heeb on FB

Q: Are there any other writers on InfoBarrel you'd like to see interviewed? And if so, are there any questions you'd like me to ask him or her?

A: Like the loneliest dinosaur, all my friends on InfoBarrel are dead, or rather, inactive. However, there are a few people I would be interested to know more about, like Marlando and egdcltd (but classicalgeek beat me to him). Also, you, my dear Rose, I don't think anyone would argue if you interviewed yourself. [I tried, but I got upset with myself and I had to leave the room.]

As for questions, I'd like to know what TV, movies and documentaries Marlando has worked on and what egdcltd's favorite game is.

In Closing:

I want to thank Amerowolf (Emily Heeb) from the depths of my soul for letting me interview her (and for not shooting me or blowing up the studio). I've been admiring her work for well over a year now and she is definitely one of the hippest, coolest writers out there [even if she isn't Canadian].

Drop by next weekend for another up close and personal interview with a hugely successful InfoBarrel author.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

This Week's HubPages Hypocrisies

Doris Day Standing in Front of Blank Chalkboard Creative Commons Image
Image Credits: Doris Day at Blank Chalkboard by velvettangerine on flickr (CC-by-2.0) 
Text (in script font on chalkboard) added by RoseWrites July 5th, 2015 using Pixlr

"People tend to make rules for others and exceptions for themselves." 

~ Anonymous 

1) Profanity used in the title (and URL) of some content on HubPages is okay. But if you object to having such an article show up on your page (in the "related Hubs" section), you will be punished.

2) A stellar Hub (or one edited by HubPro) can be 255 words now. Oh but not if you write it, only if the crack HubPro team has "edited" it.

3) Watermarked images are okay now. But not for you, the mere Hubber, only for the HubPro team of "editors" and "photographers." And if you keep asking in the HubPages forum, you will be ignored by Robin Edmondson.

The HubPages Rules and Recommendations (For Hubbers ONLY):

"To protect our community of writers, your Hubs must also comply with the Google AdSense Program Policy on Adult Content." Adult can mean: 
Inappropriate language . . . or profanity in the Hub title."

"Watermarked (or pixelated) images and videos on a Hub take away an author's credibility."
"...images (or videos) that contain watermarks are also prohibited. This rule applies even if they are your own photos..."

And on the Hub Content Rules and Guidelines, it clearly lists 
Watermarked or Pixelated as a "flag."

Finally, on the HubPages Wikipedia page it states: 
"The site encourages members to cover a specific subject creating what they call a "hub" with a recommended length of 1150 words or more."
In the HubPages Learning Center, the Elements of a Stellar Hub it recommends "a minimum of 1150 words of truly informative, well-written, useful content." Further along, this mantra is repeated in a heading which reminds Hubbers to write At Least 1150 Words with more blather about it.

Is it any wonder why I don't trust HubPages?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

InfoBarrel Author of the Week: classicalgeek

When I found out that classicalgeek was formerly a full-time opera singer, I decided to interview her at the Royal Opera House in London, England. We are shown at the bottom of this photo (to the right of center a little bit).

Royal Opera House London England and Two Women's Silhouettes
ROH auditorium by User: FA2010 (Public Domain) | Silhouettes of two women (bottom) by dgrosso23 on flickr (CC-by-2.0)

When I first joined InfoBarrel, I had some difficulty figuring out how to use the elements properly. I posted numerous questions in the forum and was helped by many veterans of the site. Soon afterwards, classicalgeek posted this in the forum: 

"I have threatened, and then I've promised, and here it is:
A Newbie's Guide to Publishing on InfoBarrel."

She doesn't know this, but somehow I felt kinda responsible. I thought I had sufficiently annoyed her (and everyone else) with my queries that it prompted her remedial action. But oh, if only the Newbie's Guide was around when I first started.

Except for the moon, does anyone else notice a resemblance?

Temporary avatar of classicalgeek beside photo of moon in night sky
Left image provided by InfoBarrel | Right image "moon" by George Alexander Ishida Newman (takoyaki_king on flickr) CC-by-2.0

Well, you know what they say nowadays, black is the new black.

Without Further Ado

I present to you my interview with the lovely and talented InfoBarrel author, classicalgeek. Oh and she answered my naughty questions (and then some).

Writing-related questions:

Q: As you mentioned casually in InfoBarrel's forum, what's the "secret of the little black box" avatar?

A: As you may remember, some time ago, the United States Congress tried to pass a number of laws regulating freedom on the internet. In response, Wikipedia and many other sites darkened their sites for a day, and people were encouraged to change their avatars to black.

When governments decide that it's a bad idea to regulate the internet, I'll change it to:
Gardanne (vue horizontale) 1885-86 by Paul Cezanne
Painting by Paul Cezanne (1839 - 1906) "Gardanne" (oil on canvas) Public Domain

CG cont'd: The painting is of a neighborhood near where I used to live, and hope to return someday.

Q: DebW07 felt you are like "one of those genius recluses." Is this fairly accurate and why (or why not)?

A: I think I like socializing almost as much as most people. I'm going to a wine-tasting this evening with eighteen strangers. I imagine it's not that I'm a recluse as much as I have a lot of projects going on that require a lot of time and intense concentration, and I don't have as much time to socialize as I might wish (currently I'm working on a 'this day in history' calendar, a 'local events' calendar, and six e-books, as well as some volunteer work and just generally helping people out of jams). My other problem is that I really do like to work, so I have to balance my enjoyment of work and my enjoyment of others' company.

Q: Your profile page on InfoBarrel mentions you've been in business for over 20 years. What exactly does your business entail?

A: It's twenty-seven years now (time to update my bio, obviously). I was formerly a full-time opera singer and artist; now I teach classical piano, classical singing, and vocal training for speakers, as I have since 1988. I intend to pick up where I left off on artwork one of these days Real Soon Now; [sic] I was making books as art objects (not intended to be read). 

Q: What awards have you won for writing?

A: One award for poetry in college, another award for poetry in a country-wide contest in England, another award for poetry in France, and an award for non-fiction writing in the Czech Republic from a magazine published by a newly-formed gender studies center. (These are the ones that came with checks; awards in name only don't count.)

Q: You've been writing on InfoBarrel since 2009: what has kept you here? And what advantages does InfoBarrel have over other writing platforms that you are familiar with?

A: Obviously the pay structure; no other platform will pay up to 90% of revenue. I'm fond of the admins and the community, too. InfoBarrel is a very positive place and even the critiques are helpful in tone without a hint of animosity or envy. The attitude that everyone (within reason) can do well here if they are good writers and follow the rules is a big draw. And I particularly appreciate the emphasis on quality. While some other sites are floundering and changing rules (and enforcing them somewhat arbitrarily), InfoBarrel has been remarkably consistent.

Highly inappropriate questions (entirely voluntary):

Q: If these three prominent CEOs were vying for your affections, who would you do, dump and marry? The men are: Larry Page, Elon Musk, and Ben Rattray. (My blog post CEOs You'd Like to Do, Dump or Marry goes into greater detail).

A: Marry: it would be Elon Musk, for his ingenuity. I'd let him hack my Roomba (everyone on InfoBarrel should know how I feel about my Roomba by now) any day. [Oh you wild woman you – do tell.]

Dump would be Larry Page. While I love the idea of "Don't be evil," I don't think he's followed it that well.

And that leaves Ben Rattray in the default position. [See what I did there?] [Well CG, somebody's gotta do it, err him. Doesn't he resemble a dapper-looking Englishman?]

Q: You and I are 'women of the world' right? If I were to start a campaign that made it law that all women be paid 25% more than their male counterparts, would you support my efforts?

A: Of course I was tempted to say yes, but upon a few seconds' reflection, I'd have to say no. The problems are: 
a) you don't have a sunset provision, and one would hope that one day that would be necessary;
b) while it's an admirable start, it doesn't address the root problems and might create a backlash storm; 
c) it certainly doesn't address the problems of people of color, who face staggering amounts of discrimination each day;
d) "counterparts" is still open to interpretation (previous laws have tried to address this without success because of unconscious sexism). I'd love to see something else along these lines that addresses pay inequities, but this particular piece of legislation is too narrow. (I actually read Supreme Court decisions, and have lots of lawyer friends.)

[Hmm, okay. I see your points. But I'm thinking if we overshoot it (pushing a new law), that perhaps we can settle on "equal" pay. Because asking nicely just isn't working.]

Q: What famous person, author, TV character or cartoon character do you most relate to (and why)?

A: The entire cast of The Big Bang Theory. My parents were both scientists before they retired, and my undergraduate major was neuroscience.

Q: Do you have any online crushes and is there anyone you'd love (or never want to) meet?

A: I so definitely have a crush on Adragast! (Don't tell him, though.)

Q: Which famous musician would you (or have you) had a fling with?

A: I have to say that if Håkan Hagegård came courting, I'm not sure how long I could resist! [Hmm, I think you just chose him so I'd have to find some way to put a little circle over two "a"s. I can't figure out how to do it and now I'll have to ask you in InfoBarrel's forum.]

On Second Thought . . .

Swedish opera singer Hakan Hagegard and his head on body of CC photo of male model
Left photo by Patrik Osterberg (Polar Music Prize) CC-by-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons | Right image titled "Low Key Male Model" by Liam Somerville (techtronic on flickr) CC-by-2.0 

Who knew clasping your hands together made you so ripped?

Okay CG, fess up. Was he the reason behind your article How to Remove a Hickey Fast? Or what about 10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do in Your Car or 3 Reasons a Music Teacher Should NOT Come to Your Home. Perhaps Håkan was the fourth reason, hmm?

Back to you and your work:

Q: Three InfoBarrel articles that you are most proud of?

A: Obviously the Newbie's Guide, which took most of four months to write and really got me into image editing (those red circles were hard to get right!). The others that I am particularly proud of are the ones designed to make everyone's life easier, so the article about automatically promoting your content and the one on automatically being alerted to copied content and filing DMCA notices round out the top three.

Q: Where can readers find you?

A: InfoBarrel, Google+, TwitterHubPages, Wizzley, my two active blogs: Food, Face First (food science as it relates to everyday cooking) and My Journey to Financial Freedom (mostly online, mostly passive income).

My Zazzle stores: musicker, classicalgeek, elementary, and passiveaggressive.

And my Amazon profile: classicalgeek.

Q: What motivates you to write?

A: Everyone has only a limited time on this earth. If I can do anything to allow someone to do something enjoyable, instead of something they don't like, or improve their lives in any way, I want to share it. There's too much misery in the world. So helping others do things better or more efficiently gives them a little bit of leisure to do something they love. [OH, I likey.]

Q: If you could change one thing about the Internet (online world), what would it be?

A: Everyone you interviewed already has mentioned the scammers, spammers, and trolls. By now that goes without saying that we'd all like them to find other interests. However, I remember the Internet back when it was primarily the province of academics and people felt safe putting their real contact information at the end of their posts (see the very old postings on newsgroups for examples). It would be wonderful if the online world once again became that safe for people to express themselves. Getting rid of all the inaccurate information out there would be great (the old wives' tales about killing ants with instant grits, for example, which has been proven by agricultural research departments not to work). And, of course, finally, I wish everyone would improve their writing skills to the point I wouldn't need to write any more articles about grammar! Okay, that was more than one thing. Sorry. [Let loose sister and don't be sorry. You're not Canadian!]

Q: Are there other writers on InfoBarrel you'd like to see interviewed? And if so, are there any questions you'd like me to ask them?

A: Adragast, of course. And egdcltd. I want to know everything about them! [Oh, I like the leeway you've given me CG.]

In Closing:

I wish to extend my deepest, heartfelt thanks to classicalgeek for a most revealing interview. She went where no man has gone before. She's a gem to know on InfoBarrel and someone who is definitely worth following and reading online.

Drop by next weekend when I feature another InfoBarrel Author of the Week and hopefully an InfoBarrel Newbie of the Month.