Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Sunday Roast

The Sunday Roast is a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world by David McMahon on his wonderful blog authorblog.

David is a Melbourne-based journalist and internationally-published photographer. His first novel, `Vegemite Vindaloo', was published in April 2006 by Penguin Books India and was on the bestseller lists from July to December. He was born and educated in India, where he finished high school at St Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling and university at St Xavier's College, Calcutta. He has lived in Australia for 20 years.

I am the 61st person that has appeared on The Sunday Roast. You can see it here.

On The Sunday Roast, David asks six questions. Here are the answers I gave to his questions.

1. Why do you blog?

I guess that the answer in it's simplest form is "because I'm addicted". The next question would be "How did I get addicted?" Sometime towards the end of August last year, My friend Laurel was visiting in our home. She was excited because her daughter was moving from Canada to Arkansas, and she would be able to see her three grandsons regularly.

She showed me her daughter's blog, Winter's Day In. Because she lived so far away from her daughter, she kept up with he through the blog. I had heard the word "blog", but really had no idea what it was all about.

As I was reading this blog, I noticed at the top of the page that it had a link that said create blog. I had to see what it was all about, so I clicked it. In a few days I had my own blog, and I enjoyed writing and posting pictures to it. I had written a little before starting the blog, but definitely not regularly. I occasionally write a column for the religion page of the local newspaper, and I had posted a few articles on the writing website Helium, but I had never had a "reason" to write before.

Now as I go through my day, I am thinking about what to write about. At first my wife did not understand what in the world I was doing all the time on the computer, but she has resigned herself to the fact that I am now a blogger.

2. What's the story behind your blog name?

I have to admit that very little thought went into the name of my blog. As I was looking at the create blog page in Blogger, just trying to figure out what it was all about, one of the first things that had to be filled in was the title. I spent about thirty seconds thinking, and typed An Arkies Musings. Arkie is slang word for someone who lives in Arkansas.

We used to be officially called Arkansawyers, but now the term is Arkansan. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, Arkansas and Oklahoma were some of the hardest hit states. Many people moved to California trying to get jobs. The terms Arkie and Okie were disparaging terms used by the Californians for people from Oklahoma and Arkansas. Now the term Arkie is most often used to describe a native Arkansan and is often still a bit disparaging. It seems to indicate that someone is unlearned and backward.

I have lived here for 28 years. Though I'm not a native, I am proud to be an Arkansan or even an Arkie. You have to admit that An Arkansan's Musings just doesn't roll off the tongue.

3. What is the best thing about being a blogger?

What I enjoy the most about blogging is the people that I have met, around the world and close to home. It helps me have a greater understanding of the world as a whole. Most of us associate with and are friends with people who are very similar to ourselves. Blogging for the few months that I have has broadened my horizons and really made me think.

I had never experienced internet friendships before, but reading and commenting on people's blogs does help you get to know them. I am a very curious person by nature and reading peoples blogs, especially those from other countries and cultures, has helped satisfy my curiosity and taught me so much.

4. What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Since I am a newbie myself I don't think I am in a position to give advice, but since you asked, here goes. My advice would be to be yourself. I have read blogs where the purpose of the author was to gain readership. They try to pick topics that are popular at the time. Decide what the purpose of your blog is and don't worry what others think. My favorite blogs to read are personal and no holds barred.

5. What is the most significant post you have ever read?

Blackhawk Down, by Captain Cat's Dairies. I read this blog shortly after I started blogging and it was eye-opening for me to find information of such a personal sort that tied into the national issues. It showed me the importance of getting information from many sources and to not rely on the news media alone for your information.

6. What is the most significant post you've ever written?

I'd say Why I Relay. I am very involved with American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. My wife is the chairman of the committee that puts on the Relay For Life in our town. Relay for Life is a community event that raises money for Cancer research.

Just about everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or another. Relay For Life is a fun way to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. There is probably no other cause that a person can support that touches more lives. Relay celebrates those who have battled cancer, it remembers those who have fallen, and it provides a way to fight back. That is why I am proud to be a part of Relay For Life.

Thanks so much, David, for being an internet friend and including me in your circle.


  1. Congrats. An interesting interview, but many thanks for presenting
    Blackhawk Down, by Captain Cat's Dairies.
    to me.
    That is a blogger I just have to follow in the future

  2. Congratulations with "the Roast"! You did both yourself and David proud.

  3. I just wanted to step over to say "hi", having just read your interview over at David's. Congratulations on a great interview.

  4. Well, gosh, congratulations my friend! That is a great honor indeed! What a wonderful post, a terrific interview... definitely something to be proud of, you did well!

  5. I popped over from David's after reading you great interview. You have a lovely blog here. I skimmed down the page and read a couple of your posts, I loved the photographs of Judith and her family. Nice meeting you. :)

  6. It is so interesting to read about the interview and know more about you. You did well in the interview. Congratulations. :) Have a nice weekend. Will try to visit you often as soon as time permits. :)

  7. My husband grew up in Hot Springs and one of his daughters lives in Little Rock ... both are pretty places to visit .. nice to meet you!

  8. It's always great to hear (well, read) why people are blogging. And from what I can see so far: you're doing great. Keep it up!

  9. "Most of us associate with and are friends with people who are very similar to ourselves. Blogging for the few months that I have has broadened my horizons and really made me think.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your interview over at David's Sunday Roast, especially your observation quoted above. Thank you! :-)

  10. Great blog called over from Jules.I sent this to Jules and her dog.........


    The Dog

    A butcher is working, and really busy. He notices a dog in his shop
    and shoos him away. Later, he notices the dog is back again.

    He walks over to the dog, and notices the dog has a note in his mouth.

    The butcher takes the note, and it reads, "Can I have 12 sausages and
    a leg of lamb, please."

    The butcher looks, and lo and behold, in the dog's mouth, there is a
    ten dollar bill. So the butcher takes the money, puts the sausages
    and lamb in a bag, and places it in the dog's mouth.

    The butcher is very impressed, and since it's closing time, he decides
    to close up shop and follow the dog. So, off he goes.

    The dog is walking down the street and comes to a crossing. The dog
    puts down the bag, jumps up and presses the crossing button. Then he
    waits patiently, bag in mouth, for the lights to change. They do, and
    he walks across the road, with the butcher following.

    The dog then comes to a bus stop, and starts looking at the timetable.

    The butcher is in awe at this stage. The dog checks out the times, and
    sits on one of the seats to wait for the bus.

    Along comes a bus. The dog walks to the front of the bus, looks at
    the number, and goes back to his seat. Another bus comes. Again the
    dog goes and looks at the number, notices it's the right bus, and
    climbs on. The butcher, by now open-mouthed, follows him onto the bus.

    The bus travels thru town and out to the suburbs. Eventually the dog
    gets up, moves to the front of the bus, and standing on his hind legs,
    pushes the button to stop the bus. The dog gets off, groceries still
    in his mouth, and the butcher still following.

    They walk down the road, and the dog approaches a house. He walks up
    the path, and drops the groceries on the step. Then he walks back
    down the path, takes a big run, and throws himself -whap!- against the

    He goes back down the path, takes another run, and throws himself
    -whap!- against the door again! There's no answer at the door, so
    the dog goes back down the path, jumps up on a narrow wall, and walks
    along the perimeter of the garden. He gets to a window, and bangs his
    head against it several times. He walks back, jumps off the wall, and
    waits at the door. The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door,
    and starts laying into the dog, really yelling at him.

    The butcher runs up and stops the guy. "What the heck are you doing?

    This dog is a genius. He could be on TV, for Heaven's sake!" To which
    the guy responds, "Clever, my eye. This is the second time this week
    he's forgotten his key!"
    GOD's Blessing to you and your's. POD.

  11. Congratulations on being on David's Sunday Roast! Well done! And thanks for visiting my Sunday Psalm today. They are some of my favorite verses too!!

  12. Congratulations on the interview, it was a great read. :)

  13. Congratulations, Richard! I've been away from home for a week, and am just now playing catch-up on my favorite blogs. I enjoyed reading your "Sunday Roast." David picked a good one this week! :)

  14. This was so good! Very insightful! I also can NOT stand, when people just write about what is the latest greatest thing and don't keep it real. Life is about highs and lows. Sometimes there are lows. I love bloggers that get real! Realness gets me every time!