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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Five Questions: Petrona

1. Why do you blog?
To write down my ideas about the idea-based subjects in life that interest me – books, reading, writing, publishing, science and the web, in particular the social science & technology aspects of the web. Since starting blogging, I have connected with a small group of people who have overlapping interests, so I now also blog as a way to connect to them (and any other readers/commenters).

2. Which author and/or book has most influenced you?
Impossible to say, as there have been so many and for me it depends strongly on the stage of life. Cannery Row (John Steinbeck), 20,000 leagues under the sea (Jules Verne). Look Homeward, Angel (Thomas Wolfe) influenced me a lot when I was young, for example. As did Lord of the Flies. I can’t single out any one, and I am sure that the impact of the author/book strongly depends on the developmental stage/psychological state of the reader.
If your question can be answered by naming an author/ouevre that I’ve found enduringly influential, I would have to say Jane Austen as I have probably re-read her more than any other author (all her books).

3. Which three blogs do you most visit?
I visit a large number of blogs every day. So I can’t tell you three.
Three I particularly like:

Books, Inq. (Frank Wilson) at:
The deblog (Debra Hamel) at:
The Inner Minx (Minx) at:
But I love a lot of others.

4. Why do you read fiction?
To be transported into another place in my mind. To enjoy sensations – excitement, etc. To forget my troubles. To learn about things I don’t encounter in my regular life. To relax in the sense of “switching off”.

5. What makes you laugh?
Huh! Is this a trick question? When my girls are happy. When I read or see something funny to me. When someone cracks a joke and I think I should be polite, or actually find the joke funny 😉 Probably other times too. (I don’t laugh a lot though. I should do it more but I am generally too miserable.)

Maxine Clarke blogs at Petrona, which can be found here:

One Response to “Five Questions: Petrona”

  1. Phillip Gleason says:

    You have given me a lot of ideas for my own blog by all the questions and answers you have put here. You could have easily made a post for each of your answers here and fleshed them out a lot more. You also some really interesting answers.