May 24, 2009


I'm excited to present cuileann, the girl behind the super-popular blog eating a tangerine. She draws in so many visitors and writes astoundingly beautiful and raw poetry. Her blog is such a treat to read; exploring her archives and her latest posts is like a walk through the prettiest places on Earth. It's cozy, warm, and welcoming.

And even her answers are perfect and phrased just right. Here she is.

1. How did you get into blogging? Did you ever think your blog would become as popular as it is today?

I started blogging when I was fourteen, but I only stuck with it for a few months. Then about a year and a half ago I resurrected my old blog. Both times I started blogging, it was because I had circles of friends who were blogging - the first time, "real life" friends, and the second time, some of the fearsome and awesome Shan-fans of Little Red Reading Hood. To be honest, I wasn't even too aware until last year that blogs were things that had varying degrees of popularity; I just hoped I would start getting more comments, heh.

2. Would you encourage people to get into flickr, tumblr, Goodreads, etc?

Of the ones you mentioned, Tumblr is WONDERFUL for people who collect photos, quotes, and the like from the internet and want to keep track of where they found them. Much nicer than saving them to your computer. There's a lot of beautiful photography on flickr; following photographers there is definitely worthwhile. As for Goodreads, I find it handy, but it's not very much fun if you don't have friends with accounts.

It kind of depends on the person, though. There are so many different places around the internet to spectate or get involved; you just need to figure out what each one offers to you and what you want to get out of it so that a site doesn't turn out to be just a timesuck for you.

3. You flew solo to Iceland last year, as you told us on your blog. What was the experience like? Do you think it has changed the way you look at the world, having traveled to such a beautiful place (as we learned from your photos)?

Oh my, I do like an opportunity to talk about going to Iceland. That trip was one of the best things I've done. Parts of it were hard - for example, being on my own and only having planned the trip a few days in advance, I had to make everything happen on my own. Even small things like, if I wanted to have people to hang out with some of the time, I would have to spot the people and approach them and strike up a conversation. Most of what was hard was hard in a good way, though.

My experience of the country was more wonderful than I can say. I loved everything I saw - Iceland is stunningly beautiful, and her people are some of the kindest I've ever met. And I was there as I was beginning to consider leaving my college, at a point when having a lot of time for reflection and having to rely on myself were exactly what I needed.

Yes, I would say the trip changed the way I look at the world. It was a good and very timely reminder that I can make my life what I want it to be, and take care of myself, and make wonderful things happen for myself. It was also proof for me that there are more beautiful places where I am happier, that when I'm fantasizing about distant places, it's not necessarily just my romantic tendencies making me believe that the grass is greener on the other side!

4. Have Internet friends changed you at all? What are the good and the bad things about having friends whom -- in most cases -- you've never seen?

The people I've gotten to know online have been very much a blessing to me. I wouldn't hesitate to call them friends without distinguishing them from "real life" friends, and I have gotten quite close to some of them. Aside from the ordinary lovelinesses of friendships, I think they have probably made me more comfortable with my personality and my interests, just because many of them are more similar to me than my in-person friends.

The good things about online friends: you really choose each other, so they're more likely to be people who you can really relate to and who inspire you. Plus, they're with you wherever you have internet access, as much when you're in another country or at a relative's house as when you're at home. Bad: you can't hug them when they're upset, or hang out with them offline.

5. A handful of your favorite blogs and/or flickr photostreams?

Difficult, difficult. I'm going to restrict myself to ones that I think you might not know to make it easier for myself.

Flickr photostreams: Ültra, razbarabanilo,schweet_rice, シャッターBUG,sweet distin, Susannah B, and *Cinnamon.

Blogs: a handful of stones, Iceland Eyes, simply breakfast, Marya Hornbacher's blog, Writing to Reach You, and Generación Y.

6. You've said that you love baking and cooking. What are some of your favorite things to bake/cook and eat?

Cupcakes, of course -- they're so cute and leave room for creativity. I love stir frying because I can throw in tons of vegetables, and only the ones I like. Anything with lentils, anything with pine nuts (PESTO!), and any kind of vegetarian curry. Also any kind of bread, but especially breads that fill the kitchen with that amazing yeast smell.


Q said...

Ditto on the no hugs thing. That's the worst.

I <3 pesto, especially on toasted sandwiches. I need to learn how to make lentil soup.

Priya said...

Fun interview! Cuil's blog is one of my favorites.

Beth Kephart said...

This is SO wonderful, Maya. Another in-depth look at someone I admire and respect (by someone I admire and respect). Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Lovely interview! :)

And I quite concur with the popular blog/I JUST WANT MORE COMMENTS! thing.

Emma said...

Great interview! And now I really want to visit Iceland. I'll add that to the list of things to (eventually) do, along with "make the perfect (or at least half-way decent) souffle" and "determine the most adequate excuse for extracting yourself from a birthday party you really, really don't want to attend".

Odessa said...

great interview, maya! cuil is definitely one of the most talented and genuine people i've had the pleasure to know.

Anonymous said...

Such a fun interview :D And Holly, I love lentil soup too! My mom has offered to make it when you come over :)

Edge said...

Cuil = amazing. That's all there is to it.

Edge said...

And oh gosh, sympathy on the no hugs thing! That is def the hardest part about online friends.

Maya Ganesan said...

Thanks for visiting, all! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Cuil is such a great person.

Holly said...

Thanks so much for troubling to change the blog title here too, Maya!