Monday, August 4, 2008

The Fresh Air Interview with Claire B.

Ok, so we’re just pretending here. Terry Gross doesn't know I’m alive. But if she did. . .

Cue snappy music. . . bah de dum de dum!

Terry Gross: From WHYY in Philadelphia. . . This is Fresh Air. I’m Terry Gross. My guest today is Claire B., a sometimes-blogger from the Seattle area, who has surprised —and perhaps relieved—the blogging community by dropping out of the scene for the past five weeks. Welcome to Fresh Air. Thanks for being here.

Me: You’re welcome, Terry. And may I just say that I’ve noticed none of your guests seem to reply with a simple, “you’re welcome,” when you thank them?

TG: Huh. Why no, I haven’t noticed that. (Chuckle) It’s sort of intriguing that you have.

Me: Well, Terry, I can’t help it. I was taught the proper response to “thank you” is, of course, “you’re welcome.” Yet often the reply is, “thank you for having me,” which leads the original thanker in this case, you, to be in the prickly situation of answering “you’re welcome” back to the person you were originally trying to thank—or just sort of letting the second “thank you” hang out there in the air. It’s unsettling. To me. I can’t speak for anyone else.

TG: Interesting. Well, let’s move on to the interview before we run out of time. I’d first like to ask you, why haven’t you blogged in a over a month?

Me: Well, partly because I’ve been quite busy of late. You see, my husband. . .

TG: I believe you refer to him as “D.” on your blog?

Me: That’s right. You see, D. and I used to run a business together. We did that for five years of the six we’ve lived here in Bellingham. And we worked together for four and a half years before that.

TG: So, doing the math here, you’ve worked together for almost ten years, then? And you’ve only been married, for . . . what, eleven?

Me: Yes, correct. Oh what joy we have known. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in each other’s company. Our very dissimilar communication and management styles only added that extra spice to our marriage that so many couples crave. One day we were “discussing” work and our relationship and the strain it sometimes, well to be honest, often brings to our lives—I believe D. was dodging the plates I was hurling toward his head at the time—and in between ducks he suggested that we maybe ought to think about not working together any more. We decided it would be beneficial to seek another lifestyle—one that fits our personal passions, our yearning to have more control over our time, and our desire to stay married.

TG: So rather than just get a divorce, you, what? Sold your business?

Me: Yes. In hindsight, the divorce might have been simpler. . . and of course, both processes involve lawyers and CPAs and financial planners and mediators. But in the end, we made the right decision after all. We’re very happy that we decided to sell the business.

TG: So you’re glad that’s over with. And now you can start something new. What’s on the horizon?

Me: Well, Terry, I’m going to be a freelance copywriter and also get back to work on my two novels.

TG: Ahhh, yes. The writer in you is coming out. How does that feel?

Me: It is thrilling beyond description.

TG: (Chuckle) Well, if you’re going to be a writer, you might want to work on coming up with one.

Me: Hmph, well, yes I suppose you’re right. Truth is, I used to be so envious of D. because he’s a very gifted and talented musician who has always known beyond a doubt that music is his passion. I have envied countless people who write and talk about their passions, wondering all along what the hell mine was and when it would present itself to me. Then I began writing classes and was soon writing all the time. Writing fiction, writing my blog, writing professionally for advertising. And do you know what, Terry?

TG: Um, no, what?

Me: Just thinking about being a writer full-time—just thinking about it—makes me feel funny inside like riding a roller coaster or falling in love or speaking in front of a large group. Without the nausea. That’s the thrill. And that’s my passion.

TG: Well, that’s great, then. Fabulous. One more thing: I noticed you have no photo on your blog.

Me: Yes, that’s true. You know, when I started blogging I was very naïve. I felt exposed to the whole world. I didn’t want anyone to know my innermost feelings and thoughts. I was embarrassed that I thought anyone could possibly be interested in what I had to say. This was before I decided I didn’t give a rat’s ass what anybody thought. And realized that only about four people on the planet look at my blog. And that they are among the finest human beings out there. They even say nice things about my writing. It took all that silly fear away.

TG: Yes. I see. What does that have to do with the photo? Or the lack thereof?

Me: Well the rest of it is, I was mostly afraid I would be recognized by my staff or a customer. I live in a very small town and being a very public business owner as well made me feel way too naked.

TG: So you felt naked? Can you descibe that?

Me: I was uncomfortable. I was worried someone would find my blog and see what I was saying about my personal life. Or them. Or D. No way did I want any proof that I was connected to that Claire B. person.

TG: Well you are Claire B., right? Or is that a nom de plume?

Me: I love it when you speak French, Terry.

TG: So, what is it?

Me: It’s a pen name, is what it is.

TG: You know, I didn’t think you looked like a Claire. Where did that name come from?

Me: Claire is what my parents almost named me. The B. is for Brennan, my great-grandmother’s maiden name.

TG: I’ll look for that name on the New York Times Best Seller List.

Me: Oh, you do go on! Seriously, though, you should keep your eyes peeled for that.

TG: Well I want to thank you very much for being here.

Me: You’re welcome.

TG: No “thank you for having me?”

Me: Um, no.

TG: So you think we look alike?

Me: Um, again, no.

Terry Gross and Guess Who?


Mrs. G. said...

How exciting to have new things on the horizons. You and Terry are both very cute.

Melanie said...

Exciting! I'm so glad you're revisiting your passion. And I can't believe your name isn't Claire, by the way. I am completely disoriented.

Anonymous said...

What, it's not claire? I'm scared, Mel, hold me.

Wow girl, that is awesome BEYOND words, because you know pictures are more my thing. Oh how I'd LOVE to photograph you for your books. Do you think you can arrange that in your contract? said...

How funny! I can totally relate to the problems working and living with your husband 24/7. The intense desire to hurl plates at him in particular. I've been there. Recently, in fact, as he just went back to work after a week of vacation. It was time.

Rima said...

Your Terry Gross is DEAD ON, girlfriend.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I can't believe I missed the interview--I'm a Fresh Air addict!

Sojourner said...

Cool Beans! I am with Rima- you do have that Terry Gross thing down! It is exciting discovering our passions! Congrats on the new life! And good luck. said...

Loved the interview. If your name isn't Claire, I am guessing Barbara...don't know why.
I memed you, darling! Hie thee over to my spot and check it out! Should make decent post fodder...

Mary Alice said...

Well, that was about the best Fresh Air interview EVAH! And you are just as cute as a bugs ear....and every time Military Man talks about having a business together after he retires, I envision the screaming plate throwing bit. Following your passion rocks. I'm excited for you.

Hip Mom's Guide said...

Good to have you back. As a fellow freelancer, I totally understand your excitement. Good luck! Love the new photo.

Dr. Cason said...

Oh I really liked this! Congratulations on being a writer! I'll look for more fun!

Nora Bee said...

This is great! And I've always wondered what TG looked like.

Kristen M. said...

Thanks for stopping by my site today, Claire. (No return thanks necessary!) I am excited to hear that blogging has led to you pursuing your true desire to write because, even though I've only been blogging for maybe two months now, it's reminded me that I really love books and I want (just as I wanted when I was a kid) to be a librarian.

As for Frankenstein, we actually had to read in 8th grade and I've loved it since then!