This Is Personal

This Is Personal

Figure 1. My kid, Matilda. Who also has 99 million personal interests that change every week.

Figure 1. My kid, Matilda. Who also has 99 million personal interests that include My Little Pony, Adventure Time, stop-motion animation, guitar, foxes, penguins, dogs, hair dye, neon, skinny jeans, Harry Potter, Raven from Teen Titans…


When doing book promotional stuff, book bloggers have been really sweet to me. Really generous. Really excited about my book. *cough, Heather from The Flyleaf Review, cough*

That is all fully lovely. Makes me feel good, that they are into my book and into reading and into blogging and talking about reading.

But then they’ll say stuff like, ‘oh, write a little guest post! whatever you want! whatever interests you!’

And I’m all, eh, erm, uh.

Because what interests me personally?


Like, my personal interests change so quickly. I know I know I know! I used to be interested in the following:

– herbs, candle-making, root cellars, basset hounds, Wicca, reclaimed yarn, Benicio Del Toro, ghost lore, Oaxacan tin work, Mexican tourist pottery, wooden-heeled sandals, Friday Night Lights, food preservation, pressure cookers, Latin American revolutionary literature, the history of Venice, Charlaine Harris novels, drug addiction memoirs, vampire stories, Argentinian leather and beef, Jeepster Commandos, Jason Statham movies, ICE-T, Frida Kahlo, Donna Leon mysteries, zines, postcard art, ballet being all creepy and fucked up as an art form, Bikini Kill, Neil Young, text tattoos, language translation, feminism as a concept, Alice Neel, men’s hip bones, puzzling over Christopher Hitchens & Caitlyn Flanagan, Wislawa Symborska, ADHD in adults, Kings of Leon’s Aha Shake Heartbreak.

Figure 2. Remember him? Dear sweet lord. I loved him in Traffic.

Figure 2. Remember him? Dear sweet lord. I loved him in Traffic.


And all those things are still good. And I still like them. I’m just not sure I want to discuss them right now. Like, I could. If pressed.

(Notice there’s not much book/literary interest in there. OH GOD.)

Right now, I am personally interested in:

– exfoliation, sex in YA literature, sex in general, lip balms, Norman Reedus, fandom as a concept, masculine sweaters, Metallica, Tom Brady’s supposed Faustian bargain, dystopias, The Walking Dead, my 21 days of not smoking cigarettes, running in the winter time, my husband’s strange man-brain, mental illness, masturbation, all my issues with wearing jewelry, raspberry and blueberry bushes, men’s Adam’s Apples, masculinity as a concept, loving Ta-Nehisi Coates, social media, cowboy boots, my dog’s psychological problems, historical romance novels, my husband’s fantastical muscles, Paintbox Soapworks products, Hayden Panettierre’s excellent thighs, Barcelona, owls, Narcissism, why I hate all women’s belts lately, Jeanette Winterson, Eminem, souvenirs made of coconuts, Kings of Leon’s Mechanical Bull.

Figure 3. I mean, lookit at those thighs! Smooth like butter, yet substantial. Makes you want to bite that shit, amirite?

Figure 3. I mean, lookit at those thighs! Smooth like butter, yet substantial. Makes you want to bite that shit, amirite?


My friend Jennifer Imsande says that our personal interests are ‘portals’ and we need to just accept them and love them and let them help us write stuff that’s good and what not. Okay, she says this WAYYY more eloquently than that, but the lesson remains one I need to absorb.

I’ve always been a little embarrassed/ashamed of the things that obsess-rattle through my head. Like I ought to be doing something more productive/intellectual with my time and instead I’m reading fan fiction or scrolling through Tumblr or reading GQ or some other off-topic thing.



  • Ela on Oct 31, 2013 Reply

    I second that “nothing is off topic”!! Having a huge and wide-ranging plane of interests makes _you_ interesting and makes what you write about interesting. It was sweet to read through your lists (litanies? catalogues?) and be reminded of times I’ve heard you express them.

  • Michelle on Oct 30, 2013 Reply

    You know I love a good list! Nothing is “off-topic” if you love it, hate it, or it’s somehow relevant to your life.

    I hate belts so much.

  • Heather @ The Flyleaf Review on Oct 29, 2013 Reply

    Hey, thanks for the lovely shout-out my friend:)

    So– I am liking this blog post because it is SO revealing–whether you intended it to be or not. I get your quandry–being asked to elaborate on something you are interested in for a guest post is a pretty daunting request. For the record I think any topic you select will be amazing–so I wouldn’t sweat it too much. But really I am totally loving reading about all your past and present interests. I don’t know how you sat down and came up with those two lists but I think they are an awesome picture of who Carrie Mesrobian is–and hey, it’s pretty cool that you put all that out there!

    I have to say I totally concur on:

    Benecio Del Toro (that name! LOVE), post card art, men’s hip bones (lately I find that I am into men’s shoulders too–the back view), feminism as a concept, historical romance novels, sex in YA lit, sex in general, masculinity as a concept, cowboy boots, and Kings of Leon ‘Mechanical Bull’ (OMG, ‘Temple’ is on heavy rotation on my ipod lately.)

    The things that made me laugh but I still find fascinating are:

    ballet as a creepy art form, men’s adam’s apples, Hayden Panettierre’s thighs (yes–you’re right, they are awesome and btw, that’s the first time I have ever spelled her last name. Is it me or does it sound vaguely naughty?? Hmmm…)

    This post has made me want to compile a list of interests too. If I do it I’ll have to send to you so we can compare them:)

    • Carrie Mesrobian on Oct 30, 2013 Reply

      I think we should make long lists, as well. I dunno what we’ll do w/ them, but…something something. It’ll be fun.

      I LOVE “Temple” so hard! Also, “Tonight” and “Don’t Matter” and and and. They are coming to Minneapolis in March but to a venue I saw them at last time and I hate concerts there.

      I wonder if it would be fun if bloggers were like, You WILL post on the following topics, just to give authors a challenge. That might be easier than me rehashing all the crap that slithers through my mind (and just ends up on Twitter anyhow).

  • Hannah Kincade on Oct 28, 2013 Reply

    We all have our obsessions. I used to be obsessed with journals: owning, collecting, writing “meaningful” things in them, practicing my penmanship. But alas, I still love my journals, but it’s been many a year since I’ve added to my stash.

    Currently, I’m obsessed with how completely lazy and ineffectual I am.

    • Carrie Mesrobian on Oct 30, 2013 Reply

      Fertile and fallow seasons, my friend. Easy for me to say; I hate it when I’m all fallow and doing nothing but watching Netflix or reading magazines. But that happens for a reason – yr not a machine, you’re an artist, right?

      (did that sound douchey)

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