Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ask Austin Eavesdropper: Writers, swappers, and single moms.

Welcome to the very first edition of "Ask Austin Eavesdropper!"  

So if you scroll down, and see the box on the lefthand margin, "Ask Me Anything," this is where you can submit a question to your gentle blog host.

For example:  "Can you recommend a a sushi place in Austin?"  "Where can I find vintage boots?"  That kind of thing.

I'll answer these questions on a regular basis.  Since the box has gone up, some folks have submitted more Tolly-centric questions, and that is ok too.  Like, "where in the US would you live outside of Texas if you had to move?"  As long as my response isn't boring (DAKOTA, DEFINITELY ONE OF THE DAKOTAS), I'll answer some of those too. 

For now we're going to do these in a regular Q&A format, but Ross gave me a little camera for Christmas with a kickass microphone, so I might film a bit too.  But I don't know!  I'm shy on camera.

If you're an Austinite and can chime in / add to my own answers, by all means!  Write stuff in the comments section!  This new feature is meant to be kind of a resource for all things Austin.  But mostly its purpose is for us to have fun.

So let's do this:

1. What is your best advice to a writer/ poet/single mother of one moving to Austin in the near future?

Hello writer/poet/single mother of one moving to Austin!  I think you're going to love it in our fair city.

When I posed this question to my Twitter friends, the most specific response I got was: "Avoid I-35."  And it's true, I-35 is probably not the best major thoroughfare for a creative spirit such as yourself, with its long river of concrete and not-so-picturesque scenery.  And with a child in tow, you may want to opt for routes that are less prone to drunk Sixth Streeters.

But I sense your question points to deeper needs than highways.  Let's start with the writing part.

Writer's League of Texas has a home in downtown Austin (specifically, on South Congress) and is an awesome organization.  They offers classes and workshops to writers/poets, as well as seminars with visiting authors.  They even host an annual agents and editors conference if you have a manuscript that is polished and ready to go.  I've spoken at WLOT about book publicity, but I'm thinking of enrolling in one of their classes myself, since I love the staff -- and could use writing instruction too, especially in the area of fiction.

For inspiration, I recommend the KOOP-FM radio show "Writing on the Air," which features local and visiting writers talking about their craft.

And for the single-mother-of-one part of your question, are you looking for schools?  Child care?  Fellow single mommies?  I'm going to take a shot in the dark here and recommend our city's Annual Pet Parade.  What kid (nay, what person) doesn't like a herd of pets marching down South Congress? In costume?  You are pretty much guaranteed to have a rad time with your kid.

Without knowing more about you I'm not sure if this addresses your question (at all), but like I said: This advice, it is worthy. You'll totally love the Pet Parade.

2. We want you to organize another swap!!

Hello, swap-lover! Here, I assume you are referring to the Rock N' Swap that Miss Sarah Jessica Dean of Magnolia Family Vintage and I put on? I'm glad you enjoyed it (enough to come back and ask for another one)!

The jury's still out on another swap.  We had a ton of fun, but it was a LOOOT of work.  Sarah and I were running around like crazy people that night.  That being said, I personally scored some way awesome stuff, so that kinda maybe motivates me to do one again ... and as a result of the Swap, someone out there is wearing one of my contributions -- my little Parisian scarf!

(Excuse the iPhone quality of this pic).  I bought that scarf with my Dad, way back when, on a father-daughter trip to Paris.  I miss you, scarf!  I hope your new owner is treating you well.

3. Who the heck nominated me for an Austin Blogger Award?

I don't know! But congratulations, and good job! What is your blog?

4. Where in the US would you live outside of Texas if you had to move?

I love this question!  Let's see.  I tried California.  I think someplace on the east coast, since I've never spent any significant amount of time there.  And it just so happens that all of my best friends here in Austin are from New Jersey, so maybe there's an inner north-easterner trapped inside me?

(My parents are probably dying laughing at that response.  I stomp around and whine when the temperature drops below 60).

If warm clothing were abundant, in all seriousness, I might try out Canada.  I have never been.  But they seem like a well-balanced, friendly people, non?

And if money / job / husband's compliance were no issue, I'd pick up and move out of the U.S. in a second.  Not for permanent, just for a little while.  To either: Brazil (husband has been and loves it), Italy (I studied abroad there in college and always daydream about going back), Japan (to experience the juxtaposition of hyper-fast urban culture against a backdrop of rural tea houses and mountaintop temples), Africa (Dajara.  Random, right?  Ever since I saw the trailer for this documentary last summer about the girl's school there, I've thought about it constantly.  Kind of a pipe dream but we'll see).

5. How can I blog on Austin Eavesdropper?

I'm so flattered you asked!   What do you want to blog about?  Shoot me an email and we'll tawk.

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Yay! Thanks for participating in Ask Austin Eavesdropper, y'all.  If you have additional thoughts/ideas of your own regarding these questions, leave a comment. And if you have a question you'd like to submit, check out the "Ask Me Anything" box.

Happy Wednesday!


Rachel from Love a la Mode said...

To help out the single mother... When I was little my parents always took me to the Children's Museum Downtown, the Austin Nature centersomethingorother, and to Amy's ice cream in the arboretum to play on the cows. That last bit will make sense when you go there. I promise.

Dad said...

Hi Darlin' I love the picture of the coffee with the little cream doo dad in it. I am still amazed that can be done. Remember when Christi and I and a couple of your friends went to that little restaurant in Milan? A waiter named Sergio I think made little hearts in your coffees. He was smitten of course, but talented, too. Like your talent with the napkin origami stuff you made when you were a waitress in college.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Rachel -- I love that idea! I went to the Children's Museum when I was a little kid, too. :) Good memories!

@Dad -- Haha. The chicken napkin! I should make it again and take a picture. And we LOVED Sergio!!

Also, all: This message was left in the "Ask me anything" box in response to the above:

"There's a new cute little vintage store at 2109 E. Cesar Chavez called Charm School in the same building as a wig shop and a salon! Amazing stuff. Check it out."