Friday, July 24, 2015

InfoBarrel Author of the Week: LittleTwoTwo (Lyttle Twotwo)

In honour (and imitation) of Jerry Seinfeld's web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, I decided to interview InfoBarrel author, LittleTwoTwo, in a 57 Chevy Bel Air convertible.

Photo of 57 Chevy Bel Air Convertible by Christopher Koppes on flickr (CC-by-2.0) Avatar of LittleTwoTwo, RoseWrites and cat added using Pixr
Image of 57 Chevy Bel Air convertible by Christopher Koppes on flickr (CC-by-2.0) | Avatar of LittleTwoTwo, my editor and I added July 22nd, 2015 using Pixlr / All rights reserved (Click to enlarge)

I also brought my editor along. Admittedly, LittleTwoTwo appears to be emerging from the glove compartment (rather than sitting comfortably in the front seat) but you get the idea.

On a personal note: I was deeply moved by something LittleTwoTwo did on October 19th, 2014. Soon after a heated InfoBarrel forum thread, she sent me a private message. I won't post all of it here, but here are a few things she wrote:
"Just wanted to let you know that even though I was quiet during the big discussion (it was truly above my paygrade) I agreed with quite a bit with what you said (and others as well).
It seemed to me that others were taking things personally and thus accused you of attacking. One of them was being incredibly manipulative with her/his words.
Maybe their emotional responses were guilt driven seeing the truth in your words. I dunno, maybe they are just old school buddies that won't see the truth."
She has no idea how much better her note made me feel. Suddenly, I didn't feel so bashed and bruised.

Later that week, I read her Canadian Disasters: Great Miramichi Fire article. 

Wow, I was blown away by her account of this lesser known Canadian disaster. She referenced no less than a dozen sources. (For those who write history pieces on InfoBarrel, take a peek at her bibliography).

And rather than just rewrite history, LittleTwoTwo put those times into perspective for her readers. For example, she wrote: 
"But help would come, right?
It was 1825 and there was no such thing as Red Cross, Salvation Army or any kind of relief assistance."
It was the perfect example of a compelling history piece – and LittleTwoTwo and Vic Dillinger have it nailed. 

Other articles she's written that I found myself completely immersed in include: Chicken Soup Recipes From Around the World, When Canada Forgot About Human Rights, and Euthanizing Your Pet: The Hardest Good-bye. LittleTwoTwo is another writer that (like Amerowolf) can tackle any subject.

Avatars of LittleTwoTwo on InfoBarrel and Lyttle Twotwo on Google Plus profile (used with permission)
Avatars of LittleTwoTwo on InfoBarrel and Lyttle Twotwo on Google Plus (used with permission)

In a forum post on InfoBarrel, LittleTwoTwo mentioned she was from the east coast of Canada. Then, I realized the reason for her cartoon man avatar. She's got something to hide.

And for those of you who thought Newfies weren't bright, well, it turns out that (for five years running): "St. John's (the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador) showed the greatest improvement" in Canada's Smartest Cities by Nancy Macdonald (Maclean's magazine, 2010).

Then there's the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador have "more dialects than any other place on the planet."

So I checked out her Google Plus profile page and there it was: INTP all the aquarian way. I had my people (mostly the Grade 3 army) crack the true meaning of INTP while I looked up "the aquarian way."

According to Yogi Bhajan from Aquarius Times (Spring 2003), "Aquarian values have no boundaries."

No boundaries? Hmm, society needs boundaries – we call 'em laws, sister! What kind of trouble are you getting involved in? I'd better consult my team of cryptologists. 

Here's what we came up with for INTP, so which one is it LittleTwoTwo:

I'm not telling police; I never talk properly; I notice tall people (which would explain your avatar); I need to pee; or I nailed Tom Petty. (Whoops, think that last one was for Sunday's confession). 

Hey look, Gimme a Break Rooster showed up.

Rooster (not looking impressed) by Jenny Campbell on flickr (CC-by-2.0)
Rooster by Jenny Campbell on flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Without Further Ado

I present to you my interview with InfoBarrel author LittleTwoTwo (aka Lyttle Twotwo). Oh and she not only answered the naughty question; she elaborated on it. 

Writing-related questions:

Q: How did you end up on InfoBarrel and what do you like about it here?

A: I started writing online at HubPages and for some reason or another I was searching their forum (which I normally avoid) and came across a thread about InfoBarrel. The poster was angry and felt that InfoBarrel was a scam since they would not publish his (or her) work. I was curious and did my own research. It did not take me long to see that InfoBarrel was not a scam, but a legit writing platform.

I was already growing unhappy with HubPages and after a few months on InfoBarrel, I found myself starting to dislike Squidoo as well. They just really couldn't compare to InfoBarrel. Or perhaps InfoBarrel was a better fit for me.

Today, InfoBarrel is the only site I write for. They have standards that apply to everyone (regardless your popularity level), the community has shown themselves over time to be helpful, honest and understanding (without catering to egos) and most importantly InfoBarrel wants in-depth articles and not the tabloid-style writing most others want.

Q: What's the deal with your InfoBarrel avatar? Your Google profile states you are female. Also, can you explain what your tagline "INTP all the aquarian way" means?

A: I was going to use my real picture as my avatar – everyone said it gives me more credibility as a writer. I didn't agree with that notion. My credibility as a writer (anyone's credibility) comes from their writing, not a picture in a profile. I wanted something memorable but simple and that little sketch fit the bill quite nicely, even though I couldn't find a female version I liked.

When Google wanted to know more about me, I panicked – I didn't want to leave it blank nor did I want to write a book. At the time, my company was doing those Briggs Myer personality tests and even though I know they are much like horoscopes (in that they are vague and could apply to anyone or anything), I assumed the majority of people were familiar with both Briggs Myers and the Zodiac – and it seemed a perfect way to sum me up in a few words. [Well, some of us aren't from the east coast, smarty pants.]

INTP's are said to be logical, problem solvers and creative where as Aquarians are more rebellious, individualistic and free thinking. I'll walk the line, but I will do it my way. 

Q: You mentioned you were from Canada's east coast but "without the Newfie accent." Personally, I love the Newfie accent, what's the story behind that?

A: My mother's side of the family is all East Coast. I was born in Toronto but spent a large portion of my youth in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. I feel more at home in the East Coast provinces than I do in the big urban city of Toronto. I picked up the excited, fast talking ways of their speech but never picked up the accent. I, like you, love their accent and unique phrases.

Q: What recommendations would you make (for writers and admin) to keep InfoBarrel going strong?

A: I think the bulk of responsibility falls on Administration to keep InfoBarrel going strong and steadily improving. They are the ones who have to ensure that quality is maintained and that standards are not lowered for quantity. They are the ones finding ways to keep the writers well paid and making InfoBarrel a desirable place to write and publish. The Admin team, to date, has performed their duties amazingly well. After the whole HubPages and Squidoo debacle, I feared never trusting an online publisher again. But InfoBarrel has my trust still, the Admins care about the site, work hard at keeping it awesome and it shows.

Writers are a unique lot. Each has their own reasons for writing, their own ideas on how to write, what to write ... that offering advice in a generalized manner is almost insulting. Personally I try to keep InfoBarrel strong by bringing my A game, by acknowledging what doesn't work, changing, growing and rising to new challenges that are presented by writing. I try to keep up on links in existing articles, stay on top of the comments and engage those who take the time to comment on my articles. Whenever you are stuck, the forums are the best place to get helpful advice and to learn.

Q: What is the strangest response or most hilarious comment you ever received on one of your articles?

A: I am not sure I ever received a comment that counts as strange or even funny. It could be my subject matter or my writing style.

Highly inappropriate questions (entirely voluntary):

Q: Ever shave somewhere you wished you hadn't? And if so, how long did it take until everything was back to normal, if you know what I mean?

A: I nicked myself shaving 'down there' one time and swore off shaving with a vengeance. It did not take long to decide I did not much like hairy either. I decided to try a wax parlour for my 'down below' area and as a first timer I was an excellent candidate for upselling. I was told to ask for the bikini wax but got talked into a Brazilian wax. 

[Mmm, looks like Shocked Lemur woke up.]

Public Domain image of a red-ruffed lemur by Mathias Appel
Red-ruffed Lemur by Mathias Appel on flickr (Public Domain)
LittleTwoTwo cont'd: Giving my partner the thumbs up I sauntered off like a hero. 

I was brave, even downright cocky, right until they pulled the first strip off, my scream shook the rafters, tears flowed easily, curses feel freely (there was some artistic license taken in the description) and when I started to calm down I could hear it in the distance, laughter – belly deep hilarious riotous laughter of my partner. 

It took about 6-7 weeks for the hair to return, but my pride was bruised for much longer.

Q: Who was your first (or longest lasting) crush?

A: Based on what my bedroom walls looked like as a child, I would have to say it was a toss up between Kirk Cameron and River Phoenix, though River lasted much longer.

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

A: Personally, I think it is a low priority first world 'oppression' that does nothing to address inequality between the genders and in many ways muddies somewhat clear waters. The campaign itself is hazy in what it stands for and I can't see it being helpful to the causes associated with gender inequality.

You had a great point in your blog about how hard it already is to earn a man's respect and even when the boob is covered it has power. As one commenter mentioned it would also tap into body images, who is 'boob sexy' enough to show their nipples?. When I asked my partner about this campaign he first asked for pictures, then did that face and cheek thing men do when boobs are the topic of conversation.

I'm no prude, I am pro-boob and all for gender equality but being in your face about it is not going to change the attitudes and perspectives that need changing for real change to start to happen in regards to gender inequality. If I am to support a cause or a campaign with my time, money or efforts it really needs to be a campaign that I can believe in and this Free the Nipple campaign is not a campaign I can get into, back or even support a little bit. I don't see why we (women) can't achieve gender equality without the use of our boobs. [Clapping from the audience is heard.]

Q: What famous person, author, TV character or cartoon character do you most relate to (and why)?

A: I have no idea to be honest. So in the spirit of giving a good answer I turned to online for help. Apparently there are quizzes that answer these questions. My results ranged from Carrie Underhill to Road Runner to Johnny Depp. Not exactly helpful, but I did ace the 70's and 80's TV show quizzes.

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

A: I make a cup of coffee, yell at everyone on my way to my desk, then I sit and stare at my technical canvas and promptly get distracted by Simon's Cat (usually) or some obscure fact I must chase down to include in an article that never makes it to the final draft.

The most helpful thing I have started doing is always having a small book on me to write ideas in. So many great ideas have been lost all 'cause it came to me when I didn't have paper on hand and forgot the idea by the time I got home.

Back to you and your work:

Q: What are three or four InfoBarrel articles you are most proud of?

A:  That's a tough one, I am proud of nearly all my work ... though some came out not at all like I had in my head .. lol. But if I had to choose it would be:

Microbial Arms Race, a look at superbugs and how the modern world would look without antibiotics. 

Arctic Explorations: The 1897 Arctic Balloon Expedition, it was a hydrogen balloon in the Arctic in 1897 – how cold I not write about it.


Intellectual Adversaries: Scientists and the Poisoner, this one was one of those articles that sounded great in my head but I couldn't get it out onto paper correctly. It took a few rewrites but I finally got it (I think).

Q: Where can readers find you?

A: Right now I am only active on InfoBarrel, I do have a HubPages account but have not published a story there in a very long time – honestly waiting for next payout and likely closing down shop there. I am always exploring new sites but few actually stick.

I am also on a few of the social medias, but being introverted to nearly reclusive at times I am not always active on them and those who already have me added as friends can attest I am not an over-sharer. I can be found on G+ Lyttle Twotwo, Twitter and Pinterest.

Q: What animal, colour, and veggie would you would be? A: Owl, orange, green leaf lettuce.

Q: Your superhero power? A: Invisibility. No, time travel. 

Q: What TV show would you bring back? A: Firefly.

Q: Favourite comic strip? A: Calvin and Hobbes.

Q: Best movie? A: Goonies.

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 or her?

A: I can't say I have favourites or anything but Leigh Goessl I think would be interesting to interview. Another would be Yindee. Some of her articles have really grabbed my attention. And egdcltd (I think that is his name). There are so many good writers popping up on InfoBarrel that it is hard to pick.

In Closing:

When I was linking up LittleTwoTwo's social media pages, I took a peek at her Pinterest profile. The link at the top led to a GoFundMe page. It was Helping Heidi To Walk Again – a donation page for a chinchilla I saw on my Google Plus stream.

A post on June 1st, 2015 read: "NO MORE DONATIONS PLEASE. I can handle the bills with what was raised and my personal contribution. I would rather see donations given to another fundraiser in need."

Well, nothing screams Maritimer more than that, b'y.

Tune in again next weekend for another thrilling episode of InfoBarrel Author of the Week.

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  1. I love the interviews, Rose - and your mascots rule!

    1. Well gee, thanks. It's my guests who are "givin' me" all the material, tho. (The ladies seem to be putting out more of the juicier stuff lately, eh). I can't wait to read what Vic Dillinger has to say. Thanks for your support for this project Jonathan.

  2. Enjoyable interview! Thanks for sharing these, Rose. It is fun to learn more about the IB writers!

    1. Oh, it certainly is. I'm amazed at how fascinating (and a bit wild) most everyone has been. Thanks for dropping by and commenting Deborah-Diane. Take good care, Rose

  3. I'm not a real fan of "baldness" in eimmrn ( occasionally it's nice, but I prefer the natural look). Oh, and not that astrology crap means one solitary thing of inootmrtance to anyone I'm an Aquarius, thous not living in The Land of Mental Giants that apparently is Newfoundland (all along here I was thinking it was Somalia that held the title). Most excellent., Rosalita (and Little Deuce)!

    1. Pardon the typos-- I meant "wimnen", "importance!", and "though" (I'm on my phone and can't see the tiny type too well)

    2. Pardon the typos-- I meant "wimnen", "importance!", and "though" (I'm on my phone and can't see the tiny type too well)

  4. I'm not a real fan of "baldness" in eimmrn ( occasionally it's nice, but I prefer the natural look). Oh, and not that astrology crap means one solitary thing of inootmrtance to anyone I'm an Aquarius, thous not living in The Land of Mental Giants that apparently is Newfoundland (all along here I was thinking it was Somalia that held the title). Most excellent., Rosalita (and Little Deuce)!

    1. I'm glad you are enjoying these interviews Vic.I think we all look forward to your in-depth analysis of the "inappropriate" stuff.

      I'm not from the land of Mental Giants either, just Ontario.

      And any typo you make will be overlooked, we all know you can write (and then some).

      Take good care,


    2. I run into those issues too when I comment on my phone. Still prefer a keyboard though.

  5. Little Deuce - I likes that, why didn't I think of that. Frumbles about not being witty wordy enough.

    And thank you Rose for the interview, it was my first - you cherry popper- and I rather enjoyed it.

  6. Cool interview. I do the journal thing to but the ideas seem to expand from journal to whatever is near me that can be scribbled on. Personality tests aren't my favorite but they keep coming up.

    The zodiac thingy was interesting but I don't pay much mind to 'em. When I do, focus is usually on the Chinese and Winx (Winx Club) versions. This is certainly an interesting interview that's more earthly than an earthworm.

    Awesome to meet you LT2.

    1. More earthly than an earthworm ... love that!

      Thanks Topaz Blu, its a pleasure meeting you too.