Sunday, August 26, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Erica Deis

Erica Deis's tale in Woe of the Road is a cautionary tale about Canadian travel. Specifically...never run over a man named Pierre. 

If you found an alien from outer space on your porch, what three questions would you ask it?

Are we talking a freakishly large headed alien, or maybe one of those Star Trek girls with fake boobs and just kind of pointed ears? 

I'd ask, "On your planet, do you know it's polite to call first before you just show up on someone's porch?" I wouldn't get too irked about it. It could be a cultural thing. Maybe aliens bombarded each other's porches all the time.

As I lead the alien to my washer and dryer, I'd ask if they knew it was a tradition in our culture (or at least my house) if you did show up unannounced on someone's porch to do all of their laundry, and fold it. I'd put it away this time, but others might not be so gracious. I'd even throw in a juice box or a glass of wine before I tossed the alien back on the porch.

If the alien had on cute shoes, or it was a male alien and he had on a jaunty ascot, I would ask "Hey, where did you get those shoes or ascot?" This would make the alien feel like they had a knack for style. It also would be a good segue into directing them how to separate the white clothes from the colored clothes. And, if they started crashing other porches and the residents were all "touchy-feely" and didn't make them do their laundry, at least I'd be the girl who complimented their attire. At least its something. 

What would be the title of your autobiography? 

"Finding The Courage to Peaceably Co-Exist in a World With Wood Paneling and Keno Pencils"

Keno pencils are so useless. They are short, stubby, ergonomically unsound, and do not have an eraser. What is the point of having a pencil without an eraser? There is something violently aggressive about them. And as far as wood paneling goes? I still haven't completely worked through that.

What would be the title of Pierre's autobiography?

I suspect I was a victim. I think he preyed on American women by leaping in front of cars driven by American women. It's dangerous, but must have earned him pity sex somewhere along the line. It could have cost him a limb, and how could you not put out if you ran over a cripple? He was a good looking guy,even splayed out on the pavement. If he did lose an arm, he couldn't do that weird pat-slap kiss thing. That first kiss may have been slightly less repulsive. If that were the case, his autobiography would be "Jumping In Front of Cars: A Canadian Carnival of Lust".

Promote yourself. Where else can our readers find your writing?

You can read one of my haikus on any downtown bathroom stall in chalky red lipstick until the cleaning staff catches wind of it. I'm working on a couple of projects that I'm excited about. It may involve lipstick, but in a more abstract way.

  You can friend request me on Facebook.  You'll probably change your mind about that decision around the time you receive your fourth dancing cat at 4 a.m.  You'd be surprised how many people like to Youtube their cats dressed up like elves doing the Macarena. You will also be amazed how much I enjoy plastering your profile with them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Amy Leah Potter

Travel extremest Amy Leah Potter has been to the ends of the Earth and back again! Her essays in Woe of the Road will make you glad you live in a country that believes in air conditioning and show you what "not" to do when visiting a monastery during snack time.

The cookie from the monastery sounded pretty gross indeed, but what's the grossest thing you've ever eaten?

Hmmm...I have eaten some pretty unusual things...puffin, kangaroo, alpaca, tarantula, guinea pig, whale, reindeer and an assortment of things that I was told was "chicken", but the grossest think that I ever eaten was definitely deep fried scorpion.  It wasn't the taste or even the crunch or the insect - it's the fact that it feels like I am still pulling legs out from between my teeth.

You're an avid traveler. What's the coolest place you've visited?

Tough question...New Zealand reminds me of home (Canada), Mongolia has a fantastic remote feeling and nothing can beat the food of Italy but I would have to say Rwanda is the coolest.  Considering the fairly recent genocide - the country has made a remarkable recovery.  Plus - everyone should spend one hour in the presence of the gorillas - an experience you will change you...

What's your idea of hell...besides a sweltering night in Cambodia?

Love traveling but loathe airports.  The flying process is hell to me.  It's not the actual flying that bothers's the countless queues, idiots trying to shove steamer trunks into overhead bins, nickel and diming airlines and folks crowded around the baggage carousel.  I am fortunate enough to have seen many things in the world...I'll see the rest of it when teleporting machines become mainstream.

Promote yourself --- where can we find your work? 

I don't have too much in the way of "work" for people to find.  Most of my days, and too many nights are spent in ICUs, Emergency Departments and Operating Rooms dreaming of the next time I can wander in a foreign land with no cell reception.  I have found that I really enjoy writing things that are not policies or work instructions.  I started to send e-mails back home to friends and family and I saved them for my own personal memories.  Most people joke that their biggest audiences are their family - not Dad once wrote back "sounds like fun".  Apparently he didn't read the entire message because I was recovering after being struck by a car.  So now, as a personal journal of sorts, I keep a blog that houses travel memories and photos.  It's not up to date and an editor would have a coronary at the grammar errors that pepper the writing but when I am having a long day - I look back and remember why I leave.  It's open on the internet so that the occasional family member, friend or shut in can see what I have been up to.  If you are ever in need of a the literary equivalent of a warm glass of milk, feel free to stop on by.  (any comments are welcome and VERY much appreciated!)
I am also proud to be a part of "Woe of the Road" and the upcoming book "All Woe Great and Small"!