This week’s Candid Canuck is Bonnie from The Koala Bear Writer. Check out our interview with her..
Where did you get the inspiration to call your blog “The Koala Bear Writer?”
My mascot since I was about five or six is a small, stuffed koala (the one you see in my blog header). He was given to me by one of my babysitters and traveled everywhere with me when I was kid – to Ontario for our family vacation where he saw Niagara Falls, on various hiking trips in the Rocky Mountains. He even went to Australia with me eight years ago. So when I was thinking about what to call my blog, it seemed natural to use my mascot (since I didn’t use my own name at first). I also started the blog as a way to encourage myself to be a writer, so I was the Koala Bear Writer.
Since you have a love for reading, tell us what book you last enjoyed reading and why?
I really enjoyed One Glorious Ambition by Jane Kirkpatrick. Jane writes historical fiction and is one of my favourite authors because of her talent for bringing the past alive. I knew nothing about Dorothea Dix, the reformer in Jane’s book, until I started reading, but Jane’s interest in her story made me want to know more about her. Dorothea was a fascinating woman who worked hard to get better treatment for the mentally ill (including people with Down’s Syndrome) in the 1800s and I found her story inspiring and interesting.
Congrats on the new baby! How are you juggling family life with blogging life? Any tips for moms looking to start a blog?
Thanks! Juggling family and blog is always a balance. I could always do more work online and I know that, but I also try to pay attention to my girls and what they need. So if they are starting to get whiny because I’ve been on the computer all morning, then it’s time to turn off the computer and go to the park. 🙂 I try to prioritize what I’m doing so that I get the important tasks done first and then, if I have extra time (or if they are playing happily with each other), I can do more. Right now, Jade (the baby) sleeps lots, so I often type with her on my lap or in my sling (like now!).
Do you find living on Vancouver island you have an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to opportunities for Canadian bloggers? Why or why not?
Hmmm, interesting. Well, as a book review blogger, it’s a bit of a disadvantage because several publishing companies that I review for will not ship books to Canada. I finally bought an eReader so I can continue to review books, but for a while that cut down on my reviewing opportunities. It does seem at times that there are fewer opportunities open to Canadian bloggers, but at the same time, the blogosphere reaches around the world so I have readers from everywhere and that’s kinda cool. I’m part of a fantastic group of Canadian bloggers which helps me feel connected and learn more, and I recently had the chance to meet some local bloggers at a conference in Vancouver which was also lots of fun.
What is being Canadian to you?
Smile. This is something I thought about a lot when I was in Australia eight years ago and I’m not sure I have an answer yet. I think Canadians are friendly and polite (and sometimes too politically correct). We live in an amazingly beautiful country (though I’ve really only seen the western half and Ontario) and have some pretty cool animals here (like moose and beaver). Oh, and maple syrup is pretty awesome too. I personally think snow is great because there’s so much you can do with it – skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, snowforts, snowball fights, etc – but I know many Canadians disagree with me on that.