There are different content producers on Associated Content whom we have taken a shine too. The CP who strikes our interest and we find ourselves waiting for more content from them. One of my favorites is Jenn Weiss. I found her because of Doug Pennington’s interview he did with her on September 17, 2008. I was inspired by the words in the interview that I had to read some of her work. I have come to love her work, and decided to do an interview of my own.
I know you did an interview for Doug Pennington, how was that?
It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed answering his questions, and he had some that were hard to come up with an answer for. I am not one to talk about myself much, so answering questions about myself comes as a challenge for me. It isn’t something I tend to do, I would rather talk about other people and tell others how wonderful they are.
So what are you working on now?
I am working more so on a book than on articles for AC, though I have a few once in a while. The book I am working on is about keeping your faith while dealing with cancer, of course is something close to my heart. Also in december Chicken Soup For The Soul: Count Your Blessings, is featuring one of my stories, which is about my uncle. I also work on random poems that I am trying to submit to literary magazines, but that is so hard right now.
Keeping the faith..how did you do that?
I prayed a lot and cried out to God. I think prayer is very important when you are going through something like cancer. Every Sunday I was at the church alter praying with my pastors and half the congregation. The support I had from my church and friends was overwhelming but it helped a great deal. I cried out. You know how they talk about people in the Bible tearing their clothes in angiush and falling to the ground, I felt like doing that so many times. I did read my Bible and listened to musicians like Jeremy Camp.
Has your writing changed since having cancer?
In a sense it has because everything about me has changed. My outlook on life is so much different, that it reflects in my writing. I do more to try and improve it because I want to achieve my dreams in life no matter what. Having cancer really puts life into perspective for you. I love to write and in the past I never really did a whole lot that helped improve my writing, so I am trying to do that more now. I read constantly to try and get different perspectives and see how other authors do things like fight scenes or love scene. Life is too short to not strive for your goals and work on the things that you are passionate about. What are you passionate about Louise?
Hmmm a question for me….I would have to say I am passionate about photography.
Then you should do everything possible to improve your talent. Take pictures as often as you can, and try different angles with things. You will see a difference. Study photographers you like or who are successful like Ansel Adams.
Thanks for the advice!
Who has inspired you to achieve your goals?
In general? That would be my mom. She has so much strength, she raise my brother and I went my dad left. She taught me to values the small things in life and to look for the bright side of things. Through the cancer it was my uncle. He taught me what it meant to have strength when you felt at your weakest. They both inspired me and pushed me to achieve my goals and do what it takes to get where I want to be in life.
So your uncle helped you deal with the cancer?
Yea he was diagnosed with cancer as well, so we understood what each other went through and I really needed that. I didn’t know who to turn to at times and it helped knowing I had my uncle to turn to and have him there for me and I was there for him. We shared tips about what helped with the fatigue, sickness and depression. Sadly he died in 2007 shortly before I was diagnosed as cancer free, but I still think he found victory because he never let it get him down.
Other than writing what are your hobbies?
I like anything that is creative. I take a lot of pictures of my friends, family, and nature because I love having pictures. I love decorating my house with pictures that I have taken, it is cheaper than buying those expensive nature based pictures and it gives a gentle touch, though I am sure I am not the photographer you are Louise. I also like to scrapbook, I actually just finished one of my best friend’s wedding. Walks are good to think and collect my thoughts…anything that can keep my grounded.
Keep you grounded; what do you mean?
To often we get side-tracked and wrapped up in daily life. We don’t stop to appreciate the small things in life. Like Thoreau said we need to simplify things and that is what I mean about being ground. Keeping things simple in life.
You mentioned Thoreau, what do you think about the decline in reading? I mean not many people know who Thoreau is.
You are so right. I mention Thoreau or Emerson at work and no one knows who they are, but I am happy I have a few friends I can talk to about literature. When it comes to the decline in reading I think too often people think it is useless and boring. But it really stimulates the mind I consider reading a comic book reading because it still stimulates your mind and gets your imagination working. Reading is the gateway to so many things, to learn so many things. Would we have come this far if we hadn’t read just a little? So much could be accomplished if we read a little more and tried to learn some more things. I want to learn Hebrew so I am going to read some Hebrew grammar books. Reading helps us understand things a little more and I think that would help people understand things like politics and the economy more, not that I am saying people are stupid or ignorant about these things…I will be first to admit that I don’t understand them either. I got myself a phsycology book to help myself understand my job better, my brother got Japanese drawing books because he wants to understand Japanese culture a little more. Books are the gateway to knowledge, we need to take advantage of these wonderful things called Libraries.
You write a lot of poetry, what interested you about that form of literature?
Poetry has no right or wrong way to write it. If I want to use punctuation it works if not that works too. I read a few poems in high school and I fell in love with poets like Tennyson and Frost. I saw how they use poetry to express their feelings and inner thoughts and I thought that would be better than simply writing them down. I find it easier to write poetry than short stories though I am working on breaking that comfort zone and I’m writing some short stories now.
What made you want to do that?
I figured short stories would expand my versatility in writing and short stories give me a different venue to express things. A friend of mine challenged me to write a short story about a cabin in the woods and when I started it was so hard, but now that stories is over 4,000 words and like 6 pages long. Then I wrote a story for my boyfriend which went into detail about a fantasy I had. It was an attempt at a romance, not sure if I like it, but he sure did LOL.
I’m sure he did haha.
Aside from poetry do you express yourself in other ways?
I blog from time to time. I haven’t had time really to blog as much as I would like. I generally stay with myspace blogs to help my friends and family keep up to date with how things are going with me and it helps me get thoughts out on paper. I also have a blog called Way of Hope that focuses more on the spiritual aspect of things. I like to take a picture and add it to the blog to add a special touch to the post. It adds to the meaning of those post. Recently I added a post about camp and added some of the pictures and now people who read it can visualize what I am writing about. I also started my own personal journal to write about things that I don’t want others to know about.
You said you haven’t had time to blog, how do you find time to write your book, or articles for AC?
I make time (laughs).I think when you want something to be more than a hobby you need to make more time for it. When I take my lunch break at work I jot down notes and then write it out completely, or I edit while at work. I write a little bit before bed, and even in the bathtub. I read in the bath, but my mind is coming up with new ideas and how I can change different things in the book or in my poems. I even come up with ideas while I am driving but it is too dangerous to drive and write.
Okay off the wall random questions
Oh goodie I love random!
The dark, or rather being alone in the dark because I cannot see completely what is around me creeps me out.
What are you currently reading?
Oh gosh I have so many books by my bed waiting to be read: like six of them including Crime and Punishment, but I am currently reading Sinner by Ted Dekker, which I am almost done with.
Coffee or tea?
Tea all the way. I love green tea and that is random
Advice to others?
Never give up. When you give up, you lose everything even your dreams.
Jennifer Weiss is such an inspiration with what she has been through. I want to thank Doug Pennington for his interview which introduced not only myself but other readers to her work, as well as Jenn for allowing me to interview her.