Monday, June 8, 2015

InfoBarrel Author of the Week: DebW07

Hey, does anyone else notice the resemblance and sense of style?

Jacqueline Kennedy at Fort Worth, Texas beside a photo of online writer DebW07 (aka Introspective)
Photo of Jacqueline Kennedy by Cecil W. Stoughton (Public Domain) | Right photo provided by DebW07 (June 7th, 2015)

I am thrilled that Deb contacted me for this interview (because I would have kept on asking her anyways). She's the reason I write for InfoBarrel and Paw Mane Fin.

I never told Deb this: she's the first writer that helped me see how incredibly spammy the majority of Squidoo lenses [articles] were - even some of my own (gasp). I remember reading one of her lenses and thinking 'this is so thorough, everything is properly credited and her attention to detail is impeccable.'

I secretly wished she replaced Bonnie Diczhazy (Squidoo's community organizer). Deb and her work stood out from the crowd (more than I think she ever realized).

After absorbing myself in her work, I started to pare down my Amazon products and soft sell instead of being an overly enthusiastic lunatic.

And her commentary is just as thought-provoking (and kind). Deb comes across as someone who accepts everyone and who has an open mind - yet is firmly rooted in her beliefs. I respect that. A lot.

Without Further Ado

I present to you my interview with Deb. And yes, Deb also answered all of my questions (even the highly inappropriate ones).

Writing-related questions:

Q: How did you end up on InfoBarrel?

A: A few years ago, when my oldest daughter was a high school senior and preparing to leave for college, my husband noticed my gloomy mood. He encouraged me to take a class he'd found in our local paper on "how to make money online." The four-week course covered several topics, including revenue-sharing sites. The instructor shared his favorite websites with the class and InfoBarrel was on the list. IB was the second site I submitted my work to and it quickly became my favorite. I was drawn to the friendly atmosphere, and I liked the way Kevin and Ryan ran things. Since joining IB in 2010, I've written for several other sites, but InfoBarrel remains one of my favorites.

Q: Do you have any strange (or helpful) writing rituals?

A: Hmmm, not that I'm aware of . . . . Sometimes, I'll turn on the television for background noise. I also keep a notepad, pens and pencils on my nightstand in case I get some ideas in the middle of the night (it's happened). [Yes, I can relate Deb, but I keep other things on my nightstand.]

Oh, and I use a note app on my cell phone to jot down thoughts, ideas, sentences, and occasionally entire articles when I'm away from home.

Q: What do you enjoy most about writing online?

A: First, I like the freedom to choose my topics, write from my point of view, and work when I want. I also like seeing the finished product in the form of a published article; it's quite gratifying. Lastly, I enjoy the positive feedback and interaction with other writers.

Q: If there was one thing you could change about the online world (Internet), what would it be?

A: I would ban plagiarists, trolls, scammers, and predators. These folks either need a life, psychiatrist, prison sentence – or all of the above.

Q: What are three articles that you are most proud of?

A: "You Must be Born Again - 5 Compelling Christian Conversions," because there's a personal element to it and the subject speaks to the core of my being.

"Introspective Book Review: The Pilgrim's Progress," because the book is absolutely amazing, awesome, incredible, marvelous . . . you get the picture.

"The Wizard of Oz ~ A Political Statement?" because it highlights an allegorical theory of the beloved classsic that few people have heard.

Personal and highly inappropriate questions (entirely voluntary):

Q. Ever fart in church?

A: No, but I've had the misfortune of sitting behind someone who did; talk about your hazmat situation! My husband and I took the first opportunity we had to "make a run for it" and find other seats. [Gee Deb, I was wondering where you guys went!]

The next example has nothing to do with church but when I was in college, I worked for a high-end department store and had the unpleasant experience of someone expressing air in front of me. One evening, an elderly Asian couple walked by my register and as they were pacing along slowly, the heavy-set gentleman let one rip. I couldn't believe it. [Hmm, I think I know him.] Later, my friends and I had a long belly laugh about it, but it was really gross.

Oh, and for the record, I don't fart; I'm an alien from outer space. [That's good Deb, there's an alien friend of mine I hope to interview soon – for that reason.]

Q: What's the worst food or drink you ever ate (but pretended to like)?

A: Curry – many years ago, my boss and I took some clients out to their favorite restaurant – Indian.

Q: If you were an animal, what would you be (and why)?

A: I would choose any animal that made it onto Noah's Ark. "Why?" Duh . . .
[Come on Deb, what about those two mosquitoes? Don't ya wish Noah swatted them?]

Q: If you could have a coffee with anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be? [And for some people who follow me, yes, I mean the dead person when he or she was alive.]

A: Clive Staples Lewis aka C.S. Lewis. He is widely regarded as one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth-century and one of the most influential writers of his day.

Although he was raised in a Christian home, Lewis' faith was shattered when he was ten after his mother died of cancer. His atheistic beliefs were strengthened after he volunteered for the British Army and witnessed the carnage of the First World War. Lewis believed one of the strongest arguments for atheism was a quote he often cited, "Had God designed the world, it would not be a world so frail and faulty as we see."

Lewis met J.R.R. Tolkien while teaching at Magdalen College, after joining a group of writers and intellectuals known as "The Inklings," Lewis credited the influence of Tolkien and the writings of G.K. Chesterton and George MacDonald for his conversion to theism but he described himself as, "The most dejected, reluctant convert in all England." He eventually converted to Christianity and became a member of the church of England. Lewis was a prolific writer with several titles, including The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe. His book Mere Christianity is considered the best twentieth-century Christian apologists treatise.

C.S. Lewis (along with Pilgrim's Progress author John Bunyan) is my favorite author.
My top five Lewis books are:

1. Mere Christianity
2. Surprised by Joy
3. A Grief Observed
4. The Great Divorce
5. The Pilgrim's Regress

Q: What are your thoughts about the "Free the Nipple" campaign?

A: I must admit that until now, I was unaware of this campaign. I'd have to say that I would definitely side with the opposition on the issue. My position is that whatever body parts are required to be covered by law should remain covered.

I believe that the proponents have it all wrong when they use the word "free," as if this is somehow liberating for women. It isn't. It's quite the opposite; it causes an atmosphere of self-degradation and reproach for women whose bodies are less than ideal. Look, women are already extremely self-conscious with clothes on, and now these folks want them to go shirtless?!! Right now, women can wear pushup bras or other body enhancing clothing to level the playing field, but without the aid of these garments, women will most likely feel intimidated and inferior to other women, not free.

We know that, for the most part, the type of woman who will embrace this campaign and go topless is either the young gal with the perky set or the slightly older woman who's had breast augmentation surgery. Older women with natural breasts, women who are post-childbirth, and women who've undergone mastectomy or have other issues will probably not want to expose themselves in public. That's not to say there won't be the occasional woman who will let it all hang out no matter what. But, can you imagine Hillary Clinton whipping out her C cups (or whatever size she is) on the presidential campaign trail? Also, I, for one, do not want to see the likes of "Mama June" out in public exposing her enormous mammary glands (or anything else). This initiative may lead to women feeling pressure to undergo breast augmentation surgery. Hmmm, makes me wonder if, behind the curtain, the plastic surgery industry is behind this campaign . . .

To any woman who claims she has a right to go topless I counter with I have a right not to see your breast in public. Instead of "free the nipple," let's be free of these shortsighted campaigns.

Q. Do you secretly enjoy the satirical cartoons I've done about HubPages?

A:  It's no secret; I do enjoy them. I used one (with your permission) in an article.

Back to you and your work: 

Q: Where can readers find you?

A: You can find me on the web under the pen name of "DebW07." In addition to InfoBarrel (where I go by "Introspective" and DebW07), I write for HubPages, Wizzly, SeekyT, and a few others (not to mention a few private clients).

I'm also an avid photographer, and a photo contributor on Shutterstock and Pixabay. I recently put together a photography blog: "Introspective Pics" where I post new photos Monday through Friday – feel free to follow.

Oh, and don't forget Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Q: Are there any other writers on InfoBarrel you'd like to see interviewed? And if so, are there any questions you'd like me to ask him, her, or them?

A: Well, since you've already interviewed InfoBarrel heartthrob Vic Dillinger, I would recommend "MommyMommyMommy" (although she's probably "Mom, Mom, Mom" by now) and "Debra-Diane." These two women are top-notch writers and good folks. We can all learn a thing or two from them. I would also include you, Ms."RoseWrites" but I don't think you can interview yourself – well maybe you can . . .
[I will ask the women you mentioned, but no write up needed on me, there's enough of me "out there" already Deb – much of it I'm trying to get removed. No nipples though.]


  1. Rose, thank you for the kind introduction and interview. I thoroughly enjoyed answering your questions (even the "inappropriate" ones) and I think your blog looks great! —Deb

    1. It was my pleasure Deb. I would have kept on hounding you to do it anyways.

      I hope my blog looks okay. I didn't want too many ads on it and I only wanted certain types of ads (none of those obnoxious ones).

      Thank you, kind lady, for granting me this chance to interview you.


  2. I love Deb (she knows this), I love her work (even when we are on opposite sides re : Christianity), and she is genuine. And a hottie. Good interview, Rose.

    1. Thanks Vic. I owe a lot to Deb. She's the one that told me about InfoBarrel (which also led to me writing for Paw Mane Fin).

      You are both absolute gems online - both as writers and as human beings.

      Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting on other posts too.


  3. I love Deb (she knows this), I love her work (even when we are on opposite sides re : Christianity), and she is genuine. And a hottie. Good interview, Rose.

  4. Deb has always been a top writer in my eyes. I loved her Rocket Power article from a few years back. It reminded me of watching it with my older daughter.

    1. Deb is the older sister I never had (online). She knew exactly what to say to me at a low point in my writing life and when to tell me about InfoBarrel. I agree, she's an incredible writer. She has a way of reviewing anything (even concerts) that makes you feel like you are right there with her.

      It's more than a pleasure to know (and interview) both of you.

  5. Wonderful interview! I have always admired Deb as a writer. As a fellow resident of Southern California, I have often hoped we could actually meet one of these days. Since that has not happened, this article is the second best thing.

  6. Oh wow, that's five people I know online that live in Southern California. The world is small, so you never know.

    I'd love to attend an "InfoBarrel" convention where we all meet someday.

    And gee, thanks for the compliments (on this and Vic's), but the authors I interview provide all of the material. What a fabulous bunch of peeps we have on IB.