Random Fan Q & A
Here’s your chance to ask us any three questions you want. However, if we answer yours on the blog we’ll be asking three questions of our own in return.
Leave a comment to enter the Random Fan pool(house).
This month’s Random Fan is Susi, who has her own blog called Reading Between The Wines where she discusses books, wine and food. If you’d like to know more about Susi and her blog, be sure to visit at http://readingbetweenthewinesblog.com/.
Many thanks to Susi for signing on for this experiment with us.
Morgan and Jennifer: As a foodie, which is your favorite to prepare – breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert? Why?
Susi: I cannot say that I have a favorite dish to prepare. I love making desserts but I love preparing dinner too. I took pastry chef classes when my boys were young because I always enjoyed making all of the desserts and treats for their parties. I took cake decorating classes too. I learned the art of fondant from one of the best cake decorators in Miami.
As my kids grew, healthy dinners became even more important. I have always had a large collection of cookbooks and I take recipes from those cookbooks and make my own changes to suit my family needs and tastes. I love it when my younger son, the pickiest eater of them all tells me, “Mom, please repeat this dish. It was awesome!”
I love food. I consider myself a foodie. Whenever I am not reading, I am watching Food Network. Not many people know this, but my husband and I want to open a restaurant someday. It is a dream for us.
Susi: Did you always want to write together as a team? What challenges do you encounter writing as a team?
Jennifer: Morgan first began writing fiction in 2008 when he signed up for his first NaNoWriMo, but I didn’t become involved until two years later. Morgan began writing and posting a story online and asked me to edit it for him. This ended up turning into a two year commitment. During that time, I was inspired to give writing a try. I posted a short story online in 2011, and since then we’ve both writing on one project or another.
Morgan: The hardest part is the editing process. When we’re trying to reword a sentence, for instance, two solutions usually present themselves and together we have to agree on which thought is the better one to go with. It’s not a bad thing, but it can slow the editing process down because the decision can’t always be made spontaneously.
Morgan and Jennifer: We noticed you have a segment on your blog called Throwback Thursday. What books did you read in childhood that you still read today?
Susi: I grew up with an older brother (11 years older) who would leave books lying around. I inherited many of his books which is probably why I love science fiction. I was fortunate to have a librarian living across the street too. She didn’t have any children of her own. For this reason, she saw a daughter in me. She would bring me all of the latest books to read. I read many Judy Blume books, Beverly Cleary books, and especially loved reading Nancy Drew Mysteries. I still read these books today. My students love it when I tell them that they were my childhood favorites.
Susi: I love that you focus on charities via social media. What inspired you to do this?
Jennifer: Community service always has been an important part of our lives. Over the years, we’ve donated our free time to several local causes – volunteering for the American Cancer Society, mentoring teen parents, promoting the performing arts, fundraising to develop ocean literacy programs for school children throughout our state and working to obtain affordable healthcare for women and children in our local area. We have found great joy in donating both our time and our dollars to various organizations, and know that our lives would be incomplete without these experiences.
Susi: How important is writing to you both as parents? Do you encourage your own children to read and write?
Morgan: Reading and writing is the key to unlocking true imagination, and as such all children should be exposed to it. Both of our children are readers. Our son has shown an occasional interest in composing poetry and has experimented with songwriting, while our daughter is showing an aptitude toward creative story writing. Hopefully, these are interests they’ll maintain into adulthood.
Morgan and Jennifer: As a teacher, how do you inspire your students to learn to love reading and writing? What books do you like to use to wake up their minds?
Susi: First of all, I read to my students every single day. I read books, magazine articles, newspapers etc. I encourage them to read from whatever sources they enjoy. Some of the books that I have read this year to my students are The Kingdom Keepers Series by Ridley Pearson. I also read Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan and The Secret Garden by Frances H. Burnett because I feel it is important to expose the students to classics. I also have read some short stories by Edgar Allen Poe as well as excerpts from novels that I have read. We are currently reading books by Roald Dahl.
My students laugh because I highlight in my books. I find examples of imagery and figurative language that I think they would enjoy and make a teachable moment out of it.
This year, I created a blog for my students. They are now writing their own short reviews of the books that they have read. It is fun for them. They look forward to comments on their posts. As a Language Arts teacher, I encourage students to write everyday. We start our day with creative journals and a lesson on a new vocabulary word of the day. I always look for words that are above their grade level. I call it infusing mature vocabulary into our day.
My blog received special attention this year. Because we added a Spanish component to our blog, I had royal visitors in my classroom. I had the honor of meeting the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Spain. This was momentous occasion for my students and for me. It was an honor and probably the highlight of my teaching career.
Susi: Do you have plans to write a full length book together to publish? If so, what genre?
Morgan and Jennifer: Actually, you have scored yourself a bit of a scoop here. We’re excited to announce that we recently signed a contract and will be publishing a contemporary romance. We’re looking forward to saying more soon, and will share further details about this just as soon as we can.