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Posted by: David Spinks - 7 July 2010 / 9:25
Welcome to Behind the Blogs, where we take a moment to get to know the bloggers in the Scribnia Community on a more personal level. We’ve read their words, but now it’s time to learn a little bit about the person behind the keyboard.
Today’s interview is with Estelle Nagel aka Essie who writes for Loch Ess Monster. Essie is an extremely unique person and writer that I met through the always amazing, 20 Something Bloggers network. She’s 27, and lives on a wine farm in South Africa. Her favorite instrument is the vuvuzela (kidding) and she’s a Marketing Manager for a UK company (not kidding).
She has an amazing story, and it’s bloggers like her that first intrigued into me in the blogosphere.
Well, lets get to know Estelle a little bit better!
1. Where is your favorite place to go to write, read or think?
I live on a wine farm and we have this huge old tree that sings when the wind blows on the property. There is a back story to the tree that I don’t remember, so I enjoy making things up.
2. Why did you start blogging? Why do you blog today?
I found myself hopelessly depressed due to a lot of unfortunate circumstances…I tried writing about the things that were depressing me, but that seemed to make me feel worse. So instead I decided to toss all the Sylvia Plath out of the window and rather find something to laugh about each and every day. And I started to write about that instead. Blogging is my therapy. So I suppose my blog started with Japanese subculture and ended with the zombie apocalypse…as I’ve said, that’s where it’ll ALL end.
3. What was your life like growing up?
I grew up in the 80s in South Africa, which was a pretty violent and confusing time for a child. Seeing riots and protests and petrol bombs wasn’t out of the ordinary, but other than that I had a “normal” uneventful childhood. We were a tight-knit, bluecollar family and still pretty close. I remember the old apartheid flag go down and the new South African flag go up. People were crying in protest. All of a sudden I was exposed to all these new languages and cultures and ideas. Even our history lessons swung around dramatically – we had gone from the good guys to the bad guys in less than a week. We had been sheltered from all that before.
4. How do you continue to find inspiration and ideas for blog posts?
I don’t know. I have a twisted sense of humour and tend to see things differently than most people. Part of it was growing up religious and brainwashed in apartheid South Africa and then having been forced to see it from a different angle. Plus the Internet’s dark nooks and corners are awesome. I occasionally just do some “mad libs” browsing where I type random phrases into Google and see what pops up.
5. Who are your biggest inspirations in life?
My sweetheart Matt. He doesn’t let me feel sorry for myself. He’s survived horrible child abuse, two divorces, losing 3 kids, losing custody of two more, drugs, alcohol, homelessness, jail and then turned his life around 360 degrees. He reminds me daily that you can change your life. You can be happier than you are.
6. How do you define success?
Definitely not in monetary terms or titles. My mother is the most successful person I know – she was a housewife but she’s learnt to be spiritual, happy, balanced and loving. I don’t admire Donald Trump – he’s got money, bad hair and no life. I admire my mother.
7. Have you ever faced a challenge that helped define who you are today?
Plenty. I joined an extremist religious sect when I was 18. It consumed my life and finances and alienated me from my family, and it was exhausting. There was plenty of abuse on the inside. It took me six years to leave and I had no way of adjusting to the real world. I also found myself stuck in an unhappy church-sanctioned marriage I had to get rid of. Hard as it was, ultimately it taught me that I am responsible for my own happiness and that you shouldn’t give up your rights and freedom to others willy-nilly.
8. How has music impacted your life?
Well I married a professional drummer, so it meant I’ve wasted countless weekends sitting in smoke-filled backstage rooms. Music is not glamorous for me, it’s not a passion.
9. What do you have in stock for the future of your blog?
I will keep doing it until it stops being enjoyable for people. That’s about as far as plans go. I don’t want to do it for money or fame. I like making people snicker and that’s how I want it to stay.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Essie. Keep up the great work.
If you know of an interesting blogger/author that we should interview for the Behind the Blogs series, or if YOU are that blogger, send me an email at David [at] Scribnia.com