Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meet Natasha aka eviltwit - my shelfari friend

Time to meet another of my shelfari friends – Natasha.  

Shelfari, of course, means books. This blog is about books, pretends to be about books, sometimes is about books, therefore; 

JJJ - My first question for Natasha is - what kinds of books do you like to read?

N - I've read Sci-Fi and Fantasy since I was nine years old. Some of my favorite authors have been and are Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Tamora Pierce. Marion Zimmer Bradley, Elizabeth Moon, Douglas Adams, and Tery Pratchett, Raymond E. Feist, Guy Gavriel Kay. However, I also love mystery&suspense and historical fiction - especially the combination of both [Elizabeth Peters]. Lately, I've been reading a lot of science and social commentary. The most recent books I read were a book which profiled the lives of four kids from four walks of American high school life and a book about the psychology of astronauts. 

JJJ - Do you have a book that you’d call an all-time favorite? If so, what is it and why do you like it?

N – Tamora Pierce's Alanna: The First Adventure is my all-time favorite book. I read it when I was around 10. Alanna is a wonderful character with a unique voice. She's a girl in a boy's world and literally fights to keep her head above water (in addition to using her brains). It's a series of books called The Lioness Quartet. They are all fantastic and it is still my favorite series as an adult.

JJJ – You’ve done some writing. Tell us about that.

N – I started writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy several years ago. It made sense. I have not written regularly, but have gotten several short stories published. I write stories in a sci-fi or fantasy setting, but concentrate on the characters. My main protagonists are almost always girls or women. I think it's important that I try to carry on the work of the fantastic authors I have read.

JJJ – Are you still writing for Harlot's SaucePaikea's Blog ?

N – I also have written political commentary occasionally for the online non-partisan magazine, Harlot's Sauce Radio. Unfortunately, between traveling, moving, and studying, I have no time to write such things anymore. I am sad that I do not get to write on my blog these days. I intend to return to it at some point. Right now, Facebook is enough of a venue to display my views, and share music and thoughts for right now.

JJJ – Tell us about Throw Like A Girl.

N –What I intend for Throw Like a Girl is to get a group of women together and go into schools to talk to girls, aged approx. 9-11 - as an assembly and/or in a two-part workshop. We would talk to them about self-esteem, confidence, strength courage. We are interested in strengthening the role of women in today's society through teaching girls and young women that they have the tools within themselves to strive and succeed by pushing through boundaries and refusing to accept limits imposed upon them by the media and society. We would love to network with women across the world to find ways to teach girls and young women that they should get out there and make our voices heard and make an impact in the world - whether among their peers, in their community. Visit us at ThrowLikeAGirl!

JJJ – Paikea is a reference from the movie Whale Riders. You took on that moniker because you’re an American transplanted to New Zealand . What’s it like being a kiwi?

N – I feel like a Kiwi, because I do love being here. New Zealand is beautiful and low-key. I felt at home as soon as I moved here 10.5 years ago, but it is far from everywhere. It may someday be a home-base while I live yet somewhere else [like Germany - since I am taking it at university for the next two years].

JJJ – You are one busy lady. How long have you been learning to play Bass? How do you feel about your progress there? Are you in a band?

N – I have been playing the bass on and off for a year, but just started studying it in university here in March. My bass professor is this awesome guy named Rob Burns. Look him up. I can't believe I am lucky enough to be taught by him. I am making progress, especially since I already play piano, violin and percussion. There are a good group of musicians who are taking first-year classes like me. I am sort of in a band in that I have been invited to play with people as soon as I get around to learning yet more music. There isn't enough time in the world!

JJJ – You’ve turned me on to some nice music in the past. Anybody new and good that we need to link to?

N –Absolutely! Civil Twilight - a drum&bass band from South Africa. Check out their self-titled album as well as their new album, Holy Weather. There is a rock band from the US called Animals as Leaders - the guitarists are awesome. Also, check out Breton - an electronica group from the UK.

JJJ – Speaking of busy – we better make this the last question because – you’ve gone back to ‘Uni’ full time. What are you studying and what’s it like being back in school?

N – Yes. Well, even though I am not getting another degree, I seem to have really entered the Twilight Zone of university again full-on. I am studying German - entered into 2nd year, because I already spoke some enough to skip 1st year - so it is really a lot of work. Also, I am studying bass guitar, which is fun, but again, a lot of hard work. I think the commonalities are the technical things. With German, it's grammar. With bass, it's the theory you really have to know. I am so busy, I barely have time to think, and to my consternation, have turned into a morning person! I am also worried about my grades, even though I don't really have to be. Once a student, always a student for me! Like I said before, there is simply not enough time in the day or night, as it happens. I love being back in uni. I found a fabulous group of friends - who are all mostly 20 and are really great people. I'd forgotten how much enthusiasm uni student have, and it is invigorating to be around. And, I feel young again. It is good. And, I am finding a sort of alternate future for myself.

Natasha and I first bonded on Shelfari in a much maligned group called Just For Atheists. We have since emailed and IMed on facebook.

Even though we don’t get too much face time, we tend to stalk each other round the webz. I’m glad to have her in my life. Thanks for being a guest on my blog, Natasha.
See ya soon in cyber space!

Who has become your internet friend and in which corner of the webz did you find them?


  1. You are a very busy wonan. Throw like a girl - what a wonderful program.

    I like your taste in authors and enjoy many of them myself.

    Great blog.

  2. Hi Judie:) I do not know how I got so busy. This year, I decided to put myself "out there" and here I am, wishing that I didn't have to sleep!

    Thank you for reading:) Judy is a fantastic blogger and an awesome woman. It was a pleasure to be interviewed by her.

  3. Thumbs up for the reading tastes. :)

    1. Always nice to hear that other women agree with my reading choices:)

  4. Yes, definite thumbs up on the reading taste. I've never heard of Elizabeth Moon, though, so I'll have to check her out. If N. likes all those other writers, she must have similar taste to mine. Thanks for the interview, J3 and Natasha!

    1. Barb - which other writers do you read?

  5. Judie, Delia and Barb - thanks for coming around and commenting. Natasha is a busy person but interesting people usually are.

  6. Judy - Thank you for featuring me on your blog:)