Friday, 1 August 2014

Turning The Tables: Answering Your Questions (Volume 2)


Back in July 2013, I decided to put myself out there and do the first edition of Turning The Tables - kind of like a "Reader Mail" blog to mix things up a little bit. I'm constantly getting feedback about the content on the blog via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter and I want to thank you all so much for reading, being supportive and even correcting me and providing constructive criticism. As I wrote last time I did this... without you reading what I'm writing, I'm just talking to myself so I really appreciate all of the kind words and feedback. So without further ado, some answers to your questions:

Q from @Colinsfansdotcom on Twitter: "What's the hardest move you ever did on the ice?"

A: I talked quite a bit about my time as a figure skater the last time around and it's something I get asked about a fair bit. As I explained, I competed mainly in Artistic (which I think is now known as Interpretive). This was mostly because I loved interpreting music and expressing myself creatively on the ice and taking risks, but hey... it didn't hurt that I wasn't much of a jumper either. All of my singles including my axel were 100% consistent and near the end of my time skating, I was doing double salchows and double loops pretty consistently as well. I LOVED hydroblading and field moves but jumps just weren't something I was really strong at. I was about 5'9" and 120 pounds soaking wet so there wasn't much muscle to me back then. I was kind of a string bean.

Q from @ClaireCloutier on Twitter: "So what made you decide to start a figure skating blog? And, is it hard to keep going?"

A: I've always had some sort of creative outlet from the time I was a teenager until now. I've acted, danced, skated, written, acted and performed as a drag queen for ten years. When I decided to give up drag, I thought about what my next challenge would be. I'd really kind of given up writing (which is my true passion) for several years and have passionately followed figure skating since around 1994 so it just seemed like a cool choice. I had no clue what I was doing when I started and I'm still not convinced I do. As for being hard to keep going, I've got discouraged a few times but lately, things have been great. I've learned to stay well ahead and always have a LOT of content already prepared well in advance so unless I'm writing about a current event or something like that, I never really have to be freaking out going "what am I going to write next?" Staying ahead of the game has been key to always having lots of fresh content.

Q from Alex E. via e-mail: "Where did you come up with the name of the blog?"

A: "Is That A Skate Guard In Your Pocket Or Are You Happy To See Me?" - which is definitely a mouthful - originated in my own twisted head. You have to laugh in life and I'm all about having a sense of humor about what you're doing! At the end of the day, it's a lighthearted blog and it's meant to be entertaining and educational to people. I kind of like the fact that although the writing style is lighthearted at times and the name is playful, the content is very much for real.

Q from @MartinBeetler on Twitter: "Who is the one interview you have tried to get the most and they keep declining?"

A: Interesting question! I usually contact most people for interviews initially via e-mail, social media or their federations so I really leave the owness on people themselves to get back to me and connect. Naturally, some people you just don't hear back from and with others, you start coordinating an interview and communication falls through... which is completely understandable when you think about how busy life is. That said, most people are great and sometimes the best interviews are the ones you wait for or have to work to get! I've only ever had one person flat out refuse and that had to do them not being a fan of the name of the blog, which I kind of get. Totally up to them obviously! There are so many people I haven't interviewed yet that I'd love to but one person that comes to mind off the top of my head that I'm just dying to interview is of course Toller Cranston.

Q from Lyne O. via Facebook: "What are your favourite blogs and podcasts?"

A: I am absolutely in love with Stuff You Missed In History Class. If you haven't given this podcast a listen, you need to get on that. The two co-hosts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey have wonderful senses of humor but more importantly, they are very thoughtful about their topic choices and do their homework. From shipwrecks to civil rights to a man eating lion, I've learned about hundreds of topics that I never would have on my own and I think you're going to find that a lot of the blogs coming up in particular really center on skating history topics you may have missed in skating history class, so you can definitely say they have inspired this blog. Absolutely. As for skating blogs and podcasts, I have listened to almost every single episode of The Manleywoman SkateCast. Allison really is the queen of skating interviewers! She asks the write questions, ALWAYS does her homework and is really so versatile both in the people she interviews and the topics she discusses with them. She's definitely inspired me, that's for damn sure. As well, if you want to talk about sense of humor... Check out Allison Scott's Life On The Edge Of Skating blog. For those of you who don't know Allison, yes, she's Jeremy Abbott's Mom but more importantly, she's a great writer and she's just hilarious. Open Kwong Dore Podcast is another big favourite of mine - PJ Kwong is simply to die for! In case you may have noticed, most of these are podcasts. I write almost every day... it's nice FOR ME to listen for a change!

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' on the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.

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