Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Memories ~ answering five questions

My Photo

In 2007, I answered five questions put to me by Wanderlust Scarlett @ From the shores of Introspect and Retrospect.  Memes were much more popular then.  I answered on one of my other blogs, so this isn't really a repeat here.  And I've updated parts of my answers.

1.  You live in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  How did you wind up there, and what's it like to live there?  Do you enjoy it?

Chattanooga is a beautiful city, as you can see in these photos.  I love this city!  How did I wind up here?  My parents and grandparents all lived here, so it's where I was born.  I lived in Atlanta for three years and for a couple of years in and near Knoxville, Tennessee; however, the mountains cradling Chattanooga always drew me home.  It also helps that my three married children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren are here.  They all live in the same part of town, within minutes of each other.
2. What encouraged you to start "Weekend Wordsmith" (which is a fascinating idea and project), and what do you like best about it?
A great variety of prompts for writers can be found all over the blogosphere, but usually they are limited to words.  I'm a visual person, so I offer both words and pictures.  I recently revised the blog, so check out what prompt we weekend wordsmiths have this week (and consider becoming one of us).  I like seeing how many directions a word or two can take us.
3. You owned a bookstore... (curiouser and curiouser!).  How did that happen, what did you love/hate about it, would you do it again?
My best friend Donna and I both love books.  After my retirement and after a couple of years of learning the bookstore business by working for other bookstores, we decided to take a leap of faith and start a used book store.  We were ready to buy, sell, and trade when we signed the lease on a quaint brick building at an intersection where two main roads meet.  Then my mother died and her funeral was the same week we opened.  We did manage to get books on most of the shelves before opening day, but it was not an auspicious beginning.  We discovered that traffic on those busy roads zipped by without noticing we had a big parking lot behind our building.  So we started book clubs, tried advertising in print and on the radio, and struggled to pay the bills.  But I loved it!   I absolutely loved helping customers find the right book, tracking down out-of-print books, bringing in local writers for book signings.

Then less than a year into our 5-year lease, the floor started sinking and 9-1-1 sent fire and police, who evacuated the building and wrapped it in yellow tape.  We couldn't go back inside!  Long story short:  we found another location, moved a store-full of books, lost the money we had spent on signage on the building and at the street, paid movers and packers, had to sign new contracts for phones and utilities, and watched our customers melt away because we "disappeared" from their radar.  The new place was less visible, had less space, was not as cozy (which changed the atmosphete) ... and by that time we couldn't afford the kind of lighted signs required by the landlord.  It didn't stand a chance and closed after a few months in that location.  Do it again?  Nah, I don't think so, especially not after I developed back problems from lifting all those heavy boxes of books.  But it was fun while it lasted.
4. Your fortune cookie says "You will pay for your sins, if you've already paid, please disregard this message."  What was your favorite sin (PG-13), and what are some that you thought about but didn't follow through with?
My favorite sin? Hmmm, must be my book addiction, always buying or borrowing or lusting after one more book, or six, or ten. Some sin I thought about but didn't do?  Oh, I think I've managed to do all I thought about, including that BIGGIE:  indulging in a bookstore binge!
5. You took a mini vacation under my hidden palm tree.  Where would you go with a blank ticket in hand?  Why?

It seems foreordained that "wanderlust" Scarlett would ask me a traveling question!  Her beautiful photo of a single palm tree by an ocean beach looked something like this one I found online.  I'd probably go around the world, visiting the settings included in the book I am writing, Around the World in 80 Books, which covers both fiction and nonfiction accounts of people living in the widest possible variety of places I can find in print.  Though my intended audience is book clubs and individuals who have no one to discuss a book with, I can imagine travelers using my book before going on trips.
Good questions, Scarlett! I had fun, though my answers were probably longer than you had anticipated. Thanks.

Here are the rules of the game, in case anyone else wants to play:
1.  Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2.  I will respond by emailing you five questions.  I get to pick the questions.
3.  You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4.  You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5.  When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
I have one taker, do I have two?
Helen @ Helen's Book Blog has answered five questions.


Helen's Book Blog said...

I've never seen photos of Chattanooga before, it's beautiful!

Interview me!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Oh, Helen, that's great. You've made my day! I'll come up with questions as quickly as possible nd send them to you.

stacybuckeye said...

It's my dream to someday open a bookstore and loved your story. At least you go to live the dream for a little while :)

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Stacy, don't open one right now. The economy is too awful to make it. One long-time used book store near me closed at the end of April.