Meet Chiara!

It's true, I want these reader Spotlights to go on forever. They really are my favorite things on the blog. If you still want to join, please do; I'm easy to email with, swearsies. Or if you want to do anything else on the blog, that's cool; it can be tied to the books or whatevs. I love a good guest post.

Today's spotlight is Ms. Chiara. She's recently been educating me in languages and ways to say "I love you," so that has been fascinating. Here are some questions I recently posed, and her fab answers:

You live in The Netherlands. What's something people don't know about your home that you would love to share? I'm always very proud of the fact that The Netherlands is quite progressive, one fact I'm particularly proud of is that The Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001. Another little tidbit is that the Dutch love to ride bikes. There are about as much bikes to be found in The Netherlands than there are inhabitants and there are separate parts of roads that are for bikes only. Oh, and the Dutch eat their peanut butter with chocolate sprinkles on bread. Well, not all but it's sort of a Dutch thing.

Hooray for all this! I'm coming over this afternoon. I think the flight is only, ohhh, fourteen hours?

Are you an expert in any one area? Can be big or not big at all. Mmh...this is a hard one! I teach English, Italian and Dutch so to my students I'm probably a grammar and vocabulary expert but I wouldn't call myself an expert. Some people tend to call me a language expert but I was raised bilingually so Dutch and German were giving to me as a "gift". I kept mulling about this question but I really don't know what I'm an expert on and I honestly find it hard to see myself as being an expert in any kind of area.
This is a fine area for expertise. My husband speaks pretty excellent German and one of my two best pals lives in Berlin, so I keep thinking I need to take a class. Perhaps when I'm on a book break I shall. Thanks for the inspiration.

You're a writer and you've talked a bit about your approach in the comments. What's your favorite thing about writing? Any tips? Well, I'm not a fiction writer and I'm probably not the kind of person to get writing tips from. Ever since high school, I've been that person that just starts to write (or not because of lack of inspiration) and then gets stuck with her pen in her mouth or nowadays a computer screen and none typing hands. I write weekly articles for Wit & Fancy (mostly about animal/environmental issues and feminism with the occasional recipe or book review). If research is involved, I obviously need to work more structured but if it's more of an opinion kind of thing, I usually just tend to start writing and let things come as they come until I'm done. Afterwards then I edit because I might sometimes get too passionate and carried away about certain things and not really think that much about what I'm doing. I'm also working on my PhD and there I basically do the same thing unless I'm working with sources obviously. Once I'm on a roll, I just like to let things out so anything and everything I feel that needs to be said is out there. I can make it look good afterwards.

All interesting to me. I think "just starts to write" are key words; I worry too many writers get stalled in the "thinking about" stage. I know I have. Planning is essential, but getting to the typing part is the biggest hurdle.

Are you about the sweets or are you a savory/salty fan? Actually I don't have a big sweet tooth, except for ice cream I guess, I've always loved ice cream. I'm not a big savory snack person either, besides tortilla chips. So I can't really say I'm either this or that. I take a real meal over any kind of snack!

I don't have a huge sweet tooth, either. I like real meals. And dips. That's no lie. I lovelovelove dips.

What's the key to a good attitude in life (when a good attitude can be hard to find)? I'm an optimist (comes with the territory of being a Sagittarius, speaking of star signs, what are the Wilfair people?) so for me the glass is always more than half full and I just can't stay sad for too long. As bad as life can be, it will always get better and people should keep remembering that I think. Also, keep smiling! Whatever cards life deals you, try to keep your head up and smile.

Optimism, always and forever. As for star signs? I'll do a post! Thanks for the suggestion.

Can you sing in front of other people? If so, what's your go-to song?
Oh God no! First of all, I'd be way too shy to actually sing in front of people and secondly I can't sing! Only times I sing is at Gianna Nannini concerts but nobody hears me anyway with all the noise and my friends sing with me so that makes things very different but please don't have me stand up and sing in front of others, I might die from embarrassment and people would probably run away.

I also never sing in public, except Christmas carols, and then I sing real, real loud. Ear-screeching.

What's the moment you know that a person you've met has friend potential? A mutual sense of humor is one thing. I read something on Facebook the other day which I loved: "If you have someone in your life who laughs at the same crap as you do, no matter how messed up it is. They are your soulmate." So basically this. Also being able to trust somebody completely but that's obviously something that comes later on and wouldn't count as friend potential.

Again, yes, with the laughing. I'm a firm believer that "common sense of humor" should be the first consideration in any matchmaking or friendmaking. It encompasses so much.

Wilfair question: You've kindly mentioned Sutton Von Hunt in some comments. If you were to spend the day with our fruitcheress in your neck of the woods, what would you two do? Awesome! I'd probably show her around my university town because it's much more exciting than my own town and for lunch I'd probably take her to the vegan restaurant I recently discovered (since Sutton eats healthy and you said she had the vegetarian sandwich I assume she'd probably like that) and after lunch we'll either hang out in Aachen some more and I'd take her to some other cool places nearby, like the point where Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium meet. For dinner, probably my favorite Asian place. If she's still up for something I might find a good party, hopefully she's visiting on the day there's an awesome 80s music themed party. 

I know she would like all of this. '80s music party! One of my favorite things. PS There's a dance music party to come in "Fairwil." Because there must be. There must.

Like I said, I'm flying over immediately. Meet at that vegan restaurant in, oh, fifteen hours? Although it'll probably be breakfast by that time.

And thanks so much, Chiara! Love these answers. We think alike on much. I love the commonalities I'm seeing on this blog, for sure.

And now, here's your special Spotlight photo. I know you have a soft spot for Pugs, as do I. I had two Pugs, now sadly passed, and I'm a sometimes babysitter/doting gal pal to a guy named Fred. Fred is WACKY, and has a lust for life I need to emulate. His parents are on the beach this week so this photo of him is brand new. It says so much. This is a dog that won't be kept down, no sir no way, and I like to think we all can share Sir Fred's can-do spirit. It's all about rocking the optimism with this nutty nut.

Chiara, meet Fred!


Erika said...

Yay!! It's so great to meet you Chiara!

Wow, for some reason it never ceases to surprise me when Someone online is living in a different part of the word. Especially continentally.

Also, pugs! I know a family that breeds pugs and there is nothing more joyous than sitting in a clean pen with six puppies! Especially when they are snorting pug puppies!

Wilfair Book said...

I love meeting people from all over. I keep saying it, but that's the best part of the blog. It's a bit like The Wilfair's lobby, right? Interesting people coming through from around the world.

YES. Pug puppies. I met my first Pug when she was just eight weeks. So plump but with the most wee little legs. Watching her crawl up the single step to our front door was like the most joyful, sweet sight ever.

Chiara said...

Nice to meet you as well Erika!

I love how the internet has opened doors to meeting people from all over the world. Having international friends is awesome.

Pug puppies! Or all puppies really, love them. Alysia, I can only imagine the site of that little thing trying to climb your doorstep. It already sounds like the cutest thing!

I've definitely gotten stuck in the "thinking stage" when I was studying but I got over that and now it's just writing and thinking later, I should maybe get a bit better at planning though. It does kinda help the process.

Oh dips are awesome obviously! But dips can be had with real meals, at least in my book! I do like my dips as a starter as well though. Now, I'm dreaming about having tortilla chips (or french fries for that matter) at the 500 Dip Bar...

Yay for star signs! I never really thought about it but I realized that I'd love to know about the Wilfair people. It's something we don't really get to know about book characters usually.

Glad Sutton would like my plans, I'd be happy to have her over any time! Everybody else as well, Alysia, the other Wilfair characters and readers (and if you happen to arrive around breakfast time, I can't promise a breakfast burrito but I can promise a good breakfast). We can make it a big party, have good food and then dance the night away to 80s music. Sounds like a blast! Looking forward to the party in the book because yes, there has to be one!

And thank you for doing these Alysia, it's been fun answering your questions and reading the other spotlights so far. I always find it pretty intriguing when I randomly get to know people that have the same thoughts on certain things. It's happened way too often and it's sort of like the universe has some sort of a big plan that I'm not aware of.

Fred!!! Fred is adorable. Now it's my turn to say that I'm coming right over because I should meet Fred. I love wacky dogs, they're the best. He sounds amazing and isn't it awesome how much we can learn from dogs?

I'll stop now because apparently I have a problem with stopping to type. Actually once I get to know somebody in person and get over that initial shyness, it's hard to get me to shut up.

Erika said...

How did I miss the awesome 80's music themed party?!? That is cool!

Wilfair Book said...

Chiara, your "I have a problem with stopping to type" made me laugh. I share that problem. I keep hoping a topical ointment or cream will help me, if spread liberally on my typing fingers, but thus far I have not found the solution.

Fred says hi! I just saw him and told him you send your best.

I LOVE '80s dance parties. I'm putting together an '80s playlist for this weekend, in fact. In fact, given that the Overboves run a rather retro motel, I'd say they, too, like the era. In fact, I know they do. I will post '80s playlists for both of them soon.

This comment thread cheers me. Pug puppies and '80s music and tortilla chips have all been mentioned, so I'm in a happy mindset.

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