My Interview With a Blogger: Annika Barranti

In case you haven’t heard there is an interview movement going on over at Neil’s blog, Citizen of the Month. It’s supposed to make everyone feel special. Special feels good.

It’s a pretty neat system and all the cool kids are doing it. I’m also doing it. I was lucky enough to get Annika for my interview. Her blog is Through the Looking Glass. Damn, I didn’t ask her one question about Alice or mushrooms. Maybe next time.

Here are my boring questions and Annika’s interesting answers. Read, learn, enjoy, visit.

1. You’ve had your blog for over 5 years. That is B.C. in the blog time line. What inspired you to start blogging?

My BFF started blogging before I did and I wanted to be just like her. Actually, I was sort of blogging in 2001, when I would manually update the front page of a now-defunct free website I maintained. I started on Blogspot in 2002. Katherine was definitely my biggest inspiration at that point.

2. Since starting your blog you have become a mother and a knitter, do you consider yourself a ‘mommy blogger,’ a ‘craft blogger,’ or are you a hybrid of sorts?

I don’t think my blog fits into any easy category. My mom described it as an Annika blog, which I think is a nice way to describe it.

It’s funny — there are several guides out there on starting a blog (most are aimed at people who want to make money and get famous by blogging, I think) and the ones I’ve glanced at all say that you have to have a specific focus. I never have, and while I am hardly Dooce I think I am doing just fine. I have awesome readers who don’t seem to mind my randomness. Five years ago I wrote about funny conversations I had with my boyfriend. I still do, but he’s my husband now. Yes, I write a lot about my kid, but that’s because he is the biggest focus in my life right now. And I write about my knitting projects because I am consistently amazed that I am able to finish anything, ever. But I also write about all sorts of other things.

3. You write screenplays with your husband. How did this come about?

When we met he wanted to be a screenwriter. I wrote short stories and had worked in film briefly, but didn’t really want to write movies. That was ten years ago, and in that time our goals evolved because we had so many ideas for projects we wanted to develop together. We tried writing together a few times and never were able to work together well. Then after our son was born Will left his job as a film exec and took a few months to write. He completed a draft of a script and I loved it. Eventually we decided that we’d work on the second draft together, and suddenly it clicked. We found our writing style and the process that gets us from an idea to a draft.

4. You mentioned that you are working on a proposal for a craft book- can you give us a quick pitch?

Knitted and sewn projects all for boys, with 100% less sailboats.

5. We were talking about LOST and how you don’t watch it. Do you have any idea what you are missing?

I do, actually! I saw “Special” and was bored senseless. And I know, I saw it out of order, blah blah blah, but I firmly believe that a television show is not worth much if you can’t enjoy it out of context. That is probably a little unfair of me, but I’ve got so little time to watch television/movies that I am very picky.

6. What do you mean when you say ‘extended breastfeeding?’

Well, the average modern American mom seems to nurse for three to six months, if at all (that is not a real statistic, just my observation). My son is 20 months old and we’re not quitting any time soon (though I am trying to get him to cut it out at night so I can sleep). I actually hate the word “extended” because I think it is totally normal and natural to nurse for 3-4 years or until the child is ready to stop, and because the international health standard is to breastfeed for a minimum of two years. But in the U.S. it is unusual, and I don’t have a better word to describe it.

7. You are planning to homeschool- what made you decide to do so?

Lack of faith in school as an institution. I don’t think that modern education is a good fit with the way that children naturally learn. I was home/unschooled and went to school (not at the same time, obviously) and in my experience school is not very educational.

8. How do you take your coffee?

Mmmm, coffee. I take it with cream. I also drink from a small cup so that it stays hot and so that I can drink a whole cup before my son distracts me. It’s a silly psychological trick and I am totally onto myself, but it really works.

Thanks, Annika!

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