This next blogger is someone I’ve known for quite some time and I was so glad that she agreed to be a part of this series. Today I am introducing you to Ariel @ Writing Radiation!
Let’s start with an introduction: Tell a little bit about yourself.
I wanted to start by saying this is a great idea & I’m happy you’ve received such a positive response already. As I said before, I do look forward to reading about all the interesting people you’re interviewing! I hope to see some new blogs to follow. 🙂
Oh dear! The first question & it’s already hard! It’s like the “About Me” section in a social media site, y’know?
My name is Ariel. I’m 34 years old & I’ve lived in NJ, USA for my whole life. I have been “blessed” with a bunch of different chronic health issues, which leave my professional & social life, but, when I was more able-bodied, I studied English with a Concentration in Creative Writing, graduated Magna Cum Laude, & worked as a web content writer. I also had a poem published in a modest review called “The Melancholy Dane.”
On the fun side, I love reading, writing (but not arithmetic; I’m terrible at math), singing karaoke, super hero movies, being sarcastic & self-deprecating, tattoos, hiking through the Reservations in the spring, & making craft-y projects like jewelry & bookmarks. You can never have enough bookmarks.
Could you tell me more about your blog and how you got started?
Oh man. I feel awful, but I can’t remember whose blog it was that first encouraged me to start reading WordPress more frequently until it eventually overtook my Facebook addiction. However, I saw a link to someone’s blog – it might’ve been yours, Carla’s, or B’s, I honestly can’t say! – & made a blog so I could get notified of new posts from these 3 amazing women & others soon followed. For the longest time, I did mostly reading. Then I started coming up with ideas, although I tend to psych myself out of writing them out.
Still, I’ve had some lovely responses & met some wonderful people from reading, commenting, & (rarely) posting.
If I tried to peg my blog to a niche, I think I’d fail miserably. I guess, in that way, I’m lucky that I haven’t posted too much on any one particular topic (aside from political positions I support like feminism) – I still have a lot of room in which to grow.
Are you currently reading anything good? (Or have you recently)
Oh man, I’ve been reading a lot of good (intense, but good) books lately.
It took 2 years, but I finally finished The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. It’s a really neat edition, leather-bound, gilded-edge pages, with a ribbon bookmark, which has a similar format to the original Folio.
Then, my brain needed a break (I’m still trying to make sure I read the sonnets correctly by checking my notes against SparkNotes; many misunderstandings!), so I read a book on stretching. I’m still trying to incorporate it into my daily life & exercise routines!
Now, I’m working on a book I bought when I was taking a Shakespeare course in college. It’s all about the historical, political, religious, & other aspects of daily life that influenced Shakespeare’s plays, plus a whole section on approaching the works critically. I really should have read that before I attacked the tough reading!
Wow congrats! I think my friend Bria has the same edition or something similar of his complete works. She LOVES Shakespeare so she really enjoyed it.
Not gonna lie, I’ve only read Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar..
You mentioned that you like super hero movies, do you have a favorite?
It was a pretty inexpensive edition, despite looking super fancy, from, I think, Barnes & Noble. It’s a hard read, but it has so many phrases still used today – plus some great insults!
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with only reading one, two, or even none of Shakespeare’s plays. A lot of people were forced in high school &, therefore, find it torture to try again. I think all students deserve those “Shakespeare translations” along-side the original text. It would make the work so much more enjoyable!
Plus, it would show them all the sexual innuendos & dirty jokes.
Oh boy. It’s a tough call. I like Marvel over D.C., normally. D.C. has tried to come out with some good works, & it shows. Unfortunately, they’ve also done a whole bunch of re-boots & cross-overs that just don’t live up to the Marvel quality. Still, I liked Wonder Woman & that’s D.C.
I can’t pick a favorite, but I can narrow it down to my top 3. Wait, no, I lied; top 4. In no particular order, my favorite superhero movies:
Wonder Woman – It was great seeing a female character as the focus of a superhero movie. It was also interesting seeing how her culture, which raised her to be unapologetic, strong, & not seen as the “inferior” gender, clashed with the “two” gender society of the mid-1900’s.
Black Panther – The mix of technology & African culture, the attention to details, the SASS! I was never bored watching this movie.
Thor: Ragnarok – Another movie that I thought avoided the “dragging” that plagues a lot of superhero movies.
Deadpool – Stupid, raunchy, curse-laden, unapologetic; it was stupid fun that poked fun at itself. It was also funny to hear how some parents tried to bring their young children to the movie, thinking, “Hey, it’s Marvel, my kids love Marvel, they’ll love this movie,” then got all pissed at the staff when they ignored the R-rating & found it offensive.
Huh – all but Thor were “firsts” in the superhero universe. The first female main character, the first African/African-American cast, & the first R-rated Marvel movie. I may have to ding Thor from the list!
I’m not going to lie I fell asleep during Wonder Woman but I am going to watch it within the next couple of weeks. It does really seem like DC isn’t as good as Marvel though. I’m catching up my Marvel movies and they are pretty much all good or at least interesting. I’m up to Ant Man at the moment. (We started this interview a little while ago so now I’m at Doctor Strange!)
You said you like tattoos, do you have any?
Parts of origin story movies always drag, so I don’t blame you for falling asleep during Wonder Woman. Then again, I wouldn’t judge a person who fell asleep during any movie, because that’s just silliness.
Ant Man was pretty good! It wasn’t a character with whom I was familiar, I like the guy who plays Ant-Man (I can’t remember actors/singers/authors’ names to save my life lol), & I thought it was a pretty good watch. I’m interested in seeing Ant-Man & the Wasp when it’s released, but I feel like I need to re-watch Ant-Man first.
I have 4 tattoos currently. Technically, I guess I could say 5, because one was done separately from the original art for separate reasons. Yeah, there’s a story behind each one.
I got my first tattoo when I was 17. My Dad signed for me to get it & even came with me to the appointment, but sat in the waiting room while it was done. He said he was going to get one that day, but “chickened out” (that’s what I say to tease him; truthfully, he wants to be buried in a Jewish cemetery next to my Mom).
I have a mermaid’s silhouette, on the ocean, in front of a sunset, on my stomach. This one was my first & it was completely silly – I show the tattoo when people hear my name. The response, 80-90% of the time, is “Oh, your name is Ariel? Like the Little Mermaid!” I say, “My name is Ariel. This is a little mermaid.” I think it’s funny, but I’m weird!
Next was a rose on my calf in memory of my Mom. She loved roses. I wanted it on my ankle, but my cousin, with whom I was visiting in New Orleans, was freaking that it was going to hurt, so I conceded to moving it away from the bone. It didn’t hurt at all.
Third was the theater/comedy & tragedy masks, in rainbow colors, on my upper arm. Life is funny, life is sad, life is colorful. Also, I identify as pansexual & an LGBTQIA+ ally, who did stage crew work in high school. So, multiple meanings.
Fourth was the word “Foxy” where the Y’s tail is a fox’s tail. There wasn’t a lot of thought behind that one – I was young & stupid (yeah, I was in my early 20’s, so that’s not a valid excuse LOL).
Fifth was placed in a semi-circle above the theater masks & it’s a tight script saying “Io sono coraggioso,” which means “I am brave” in Italian. My friend got the same words, but in French, on the same day. We’ve both been through an immense amount of stuff in our lives, but we’ve stood by one another & called each other on our B.S.
I do want to get one more (at least; it’s an addiction): I want a quotation from Albert Camus’s “The Plague,” which I want between my shoulder-blades in a scroll: “What interests me, is living & dying for what one loves.” I kinda want a devil laughing & an angel crying on either shoulder, holding the scroll, but that would cost too much money. Money that I could spend on books, crafting supplies, or pads & pens. LOL
I watched Ant-Man and then went to see Ant-Man and the Wasp. I thought they were both pretty good! I can finally watch Civil War!!
Oh wow that’s really cool! Did any of them hurt??
I’m always looking for good book recs, have you found any books (or heard of any) that have good LGBTQIAP+ representation?
Aw, darn! I haven’t seen Ant-Man & The Wasp yet. Nor have I seen Jurassic World, which sorta feels like an “I gotta see it movie,” even though I think the franchise is a little over-done. Still, it was part of my childhood & I do think Chris Pratt was a really good addition to the movies. He’s funny.
Honestly, the first tattoo – the mermaid on my stomach – hurt like the dickens! I didn’t know it then, but there are tons of nerve endings around your belly-button. Also, the artist might have been on drugs while she was doing the tattoo (I heard about it from my friends afterwards, so it’s total hearsay; this was in a legitimate shop too).
Another funny story about tattoo artists, the woman doing my tragedy & comedy masks didn’t tell me it was her first tattoo until she was done. I was tired, yawning, & she was panicking that I was in pain. LOL
Oh dear. I hate to admit it, but no, I haven’t read any good LGBTQIAP+ books. I encourage recommendations, though!
I’ve really loved all the interviews you’ve posted thus far. It makes it clear that I need to post more – I think it would make your job much easier if you had any basis on which to ask about the writing I (don’t) do.
Jurassic World was also pretty good!
Do you have any ideas floating around for what you want to write about on your blog?
Man, I’m missing all sorts of good movies right now. LOL
I’m currently working on a post-Shakespeare book review. Honestly, I could pop it out in a few minutes if I applied myself, but I tend to be a chronic multi-tasker. Nothing gets done, at least in a timely fashion, when doing it that way. Recently, I’ve started thinking about giving myself a time – anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour – where I commit to writing.
That review aside – plus trying to put together thoughts for a Shakespeare review (I took copious notes while reading so I could pick up on some of the themes, plus I’m now reading a book explaining a lot current events affecting Shakespeare’s writing & critical approaches to his work) – I’ve got a Word document full of ideas. I’m also a chronic list-maker. It has 15 or so ideas, plus notes.
The top of the list, right now, is how to combat negative or overly critical thinking. I’m hoping tackling the subject will help me address my own issues with it!
Have you started writing up that piece? Also, how is the new book coming along?
I started working on it, in the sense that I have a title & maybe a sentence written down. I also pulled a lot of great information from the Stress Management class I took through my gym.
Then, I’ll admit, I got distracted. My sister “put me to work” making bookmarks & jewelry for the adoption agency from which she fosters cats. We’re hoping they can sell them & raise money to support their fostering/adoption program.
I finished one book since putting Shakespeare to bed. It was an anatomy book on stretching, which offered some really novel stretches about which I hadn’t thought. Plus, the pictures showed me exactly where a stretch targeted, which I found super helpful.
Now I’m reading An Oxford Guide to Shakespeare. I just reached the critical approaches to reading Shakespeare & I find it exhilarating. I know that I’m a very weird person. LOL
Okay, now that you’ve told us about it we will be looking out for that post! (Accountability buddies)! Ariel! Time for a check in, how’s it coming?
Do you have a favorite book (or maybe top 3)
Thank you for holding me accountable! I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
That’s the toughest question I’ve ever been asked. That, & my favorite movie… & my favorite music. I’m terrible at choosing, & I find myself a bit of a “Renaissance” media consumer.
I really do love Shakespeare (I embrace my nerdiness), because there are so many different ways to interpret the text. Add to that the option of viewing it on stage, as he crafted it for, & the interpretations only increase.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is a constant favorite too. I love the clashing of opposite personalities, the craft of the writing, & the numerous adaptations for TV & movies. I gotta say, “Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies” was a great movie (I haven’t read the book yet, though). This is another book, in my opinion, that I could spend a lifetime interpreting. Well, maybe not a lifetime. Maybe a decade.
My third favorite would have to be the Game of Thrones books. I have to put them all as a favorite “book,” because choosing one would be too difficult. I find George R.R. Martin’s ability to craft a world & system of government that is so unique, so engaging, & so familiar while still being distinct, is outstanding. He ends each chapter with a “cliff-hanger,” before going to another character’s story in the next chapter. This drives readers to keep going because “I have to find out what happens next.” It was a tough call between Harry Potter, for many of the exact same reasons, & Game of Thrones. I only chose the latter because I read it more recently than Harry Potter.
I find my favorites, the former two being top contenders at all times, change frequently because I’m always reading. I think that’s how it should be – our minds should be open to changing & we should always been absorbing new material that gives us the opportunity to change our minds.
In all honesty, I am a little interested in reading GoT but I tried to read A Knight Of Seven Kingdoms and it put me in a reading slump.
Well since you mentioned it….what’s your favorite movie?
In all honesty, I had no idea there was a A Knight of Seven Kingdoms until you mentioned it!! I’m a little peeved, having looked it up on Amazon after I read your email, that Mr. R.R. Martin is working on prequels, but hasn’t written book 7 yet!
OMG, that’s just wrong to ask that question! Um. Dear Lord. Let me check my external hard-drive (which I had to buy, in 5 Terabytes, to hold all my Kindle books & movies LOL) – I really love stupid action movies, as my love of Marvel flicks probably shows, so “RED” is up there in my favorites. I used to love “Pirates of the Caribbean,” but, after people revealed Johnny Depp is a terrible human being, I don’t watch any of them anymore.
But, if I had to pick one movie I could watch over & over, I’d cop out & say, Eddie Izzard’s stand-up DVD, “Dressed to Kill.” Move over Dirtbag Depp – I got a new man to drool over. It doesn’t hurt that he’s hilarious & looks spectacular in heels.
Ooh that’s annoying. I guess he knows fans will be there no matter what lol so he’s just drawing it out
Hahaha I know! But I had to do it Ariel, I had to! I also used to love Johnny Depp, but no more!
We’ve hit our tenth question so that means that was the last one. I think I’ve tortured you enough lol
Thanks a million for doing this!
Yeah. George R.R. Martin’s a bit of a jerk like that. Maybe he wants to have the show progress further on HBO so people don’t know what’s going to happen? Or maybe the books being made into a show affected his plan for his storyline; I don’t know. All I know is I think he’s a bit of a jerk for not coming out with the next book yet!
I get it. I brought up the subject of movies, so it really was my fault. & I agree – Johnny Depp can go suck eggs.
I enjoyed every moment of this “torture.” Thanks so much for including me & for doing this interview series! I’ve loved the other bloggers you’ve interviewed so far!
Be sure to check out Ariel’s blog and if you want to get in touch with her reach out in the comments!