Sunday, September 20, 2015

Interview with a Renaissance Lady – Linda LaRoche (Part 1)

My dear Readers, you are in for a special treat, today.  I’d like to introduce you to a brilliant writer and accomplished woman.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know Linda LaRoche through her wonderful Blog Do Write.”  To read it is not only to be inspired, but to get a mini-lesson on how to put together a beautifully crafted sentence, which, in an age of the trite (Twitter anyone?) sound bite is rare indeed.    

 

But, as you’ll soon learn, Linda LaRoche is much more than just her words on a page.  Although Linda is a very private person, a quality which I admire, she has graciously agreed to sit down with me for a little cyberchat. 



Personal Background



M-T:  You were born in Pasadena, California, and have moved around quite a bit, living in Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Berlin, New York, and Las Vegas.   Which of these cities has had the biggest influence on your writing?   

L.L.:  As a writer, little of my environment is featured in my writing with the exception of Berlin, which not only appears in my writing but holds the greatest significance for me. I have always felt like a foreigner or outsider in the country (USA) where I was born. My soul is European.  As an avid traveler while living in Germany, I visited a different country every six months. 
 


M-T:  How wonderful!  The arm-chair traveler can learn a great deal from books, but nothing beats packing a bag and taking off for parts unknown.  Tell us about some of your experiences. 

L.L.:  I recall the incidents during my travels as real lessons that I could never have learned in school: In Portugal being locked out of the youth hostel and retreating to the police station with the city drunk and prostitute, who cracked dirty jokes with the Police Captain all night; in Morocco riding a camel on the beach that was prone to spit and kick; trekking the streets of Hungary in an unending rainstorm without a map; and being stranded without money in Denmark.  These are some of my memorable moments that inspired stories.  



M-T:  With your eclectic interests and talents, the world is your oyster.  Do you have a favorite city?  You now make your home in California.  Did you return to your native state for personal or professional reasons?  Or both?

L.L.:  I can't really name a “favorite” city, nor can I say that California is my home.  I am a transplant that floats seeking refuge. Someone once told me that home is where your mother is. When I visit my mother, her home doesn't feel like mine. The place where I forged my independence and adult identity feels more like home. Mystics say that home is within you.  If I were to apply that concept to the idea of home, there would be no need to question, because home is where I claim it to be.

Our return to California was for personal reasons. In some respects, I preferred California over Nevada, for the cultural ambiance, but tremendously loved my work and impact in Nevada.  I grew to appreciate my house (my husband's choice, not mine) in Nevada.  Sometimes in life, despite our taking the helm at the wheel, a storm ensues and we are forced to ride the waves where we do not want to venture.  The important thing is not to lose sight that all is temporary.


Professional Background


M-T:  It would take me dozens of blog posts just to list your professional accomplishments (teacher, writer, reporter, columnist, author, screen writer, television producer and host, recipient of numerous grants and prestigious media and literary awards), so I’ll just ask you to share with my Readers which of these accomplishments you are most proud of.  I know, I know, it’s like choosing from among your children; still, there must be one or two that bring a smile to your heart when you think of them. 

L.L.:  As a writer, my greatest desire is to stir an emotion, to talk about the human condition and bring about truth and awareness. That gives me joy. Writing, however, is very subjective.  I may touch others but they may not verbalize their reaction(s).

I have three accomplishments that make me most proud, as a Producer, a Columnist and a Creative Writing Teacher.    

1)   Producing a film, I was given feedback through the gift of laughter. It confirmed joy by bringing people together who might not ordinarily connect. 

2)  Writing a column, I was publically acknowledged and received mail from readers who attended art events that I covered and from those that did not.  They stated that my writing made them feel as if they were there. It gave me the power to forge ahead.

3)   Teaching creative writing to adults, I enjoyed nurturing students’ creative ideas from the abstract into a polished execution. Adults are most apt to keep their feelings and reactions silent. When I saw students waiting for me in a cluster, interacting, forming a bond, it made my heart sing. After I stopped teaching at College of Southern Nevada (CSN), shopping in my local Target, a student shared how I had inspired her. It was wonderful! 

By that time, I was working with children who are much more expressive. They are a fount of information, they create stories others would not, the secret, forbidden tales of the present.  Since they live in the moment, and with gratitude, they don't let a day go by without a smile, a kind word or an embrace.  The exchange of love uplifted me. 


In Part 2 of my interview with this extraordinary Renaissance woman, Linda will talk about current and future projects, what she likes to do when not writing, and why she became a reluctant blogger (for which I, personally, am most grateful).  You won’t want to miss this.  


5 comments:

  1. thanks for introducing us to this interesting blogger, M-T. I really admire writers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writers are truly interesting people. I consider writing to be more of a "calling" than a profession -- like the priesthood. In fact, it can be equally monastic.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for Part 2.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  2. Great interview. I look forward to Part 2. She is a remarkable person.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been asked to post this Comment from Doranne Croon Cedillo:

    "I love this great interview of Linda LaRoche - so interesting - thank you! I'll be looking forward to Part 2. She is a true gem, and deserves to be in the spotlight.

    Doranne Croon Cedillo

    Thank you very much!

    Best,

    Doranne Croon Cedillo"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    While we were near Atlanta, enjoying Chloë Agnew (former Celtic Woman singer) and an Irish tenor, I missed this post!
    Great discussion and it sums up all the ins and outs of being a writer. Indeed, by far not all people ever respond to your writing and children are remarkable when it comes to letting you in on their thoughts. We had the pleasure just this past Saturday with another group of 11 teenage girls and under, for Etiquette Class, including dinner at our home. Lots of work but very rewarding.
    Linda LaRoche has lots of stories to share with her travel experience!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete

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