For this "I'm freezing my tits off in Mid-March" edition of Tête-à-Tête Thursday, we'll be delving into the magical mind of Susan Ishmael-Poulos, who is toasty warm down in Texas. Susan is tenth generation Kentuckian now living in the Lone Star state; a published poet and blogger; and former sales and marketing executive who now writes full time. Her first novel is in the final stages of editing and will be on submission later this year. You can find her at www.whatwomenwritetx.blogspot.com and on Facebook. She's represented by Leigh Feldman of Writers House.
The Bourbonista: Tell me about yourself in 50 words or less. At least one word must begin with the letter “X” and none can begin with the letter “S.”
Susan: I'm a mom, writer, traveler, wife, Texas xeriscaper, and friend. I like to give gifts and dance. I think coffee and Chardonnay are better than food. I'm a Kentucky girl at heart. For almost eighteen years I worked in advertising but now I write, which is way cooler than working.
The Bourbonista: Xeriscaper...I see someone subscribes to Word of the Day. If you were a circus performer, what would you be and why?
Susan: I must say I am partial to Cirque Du Soleil over Barnum and Bailey… I like the idea of being a sexy contortionist. Trapezes? Leotards? Ropes and scarves and crazy stunts? What's not to love?
The Bourbonista: Leotards, ropes, scarves and crazy stunts...sounds like a typical Tuesday night on the boat for Frank and I. Try to get that image out of your head. Moving on, what would you do if you won the lottery?
Susan: I would travel a lot… and I’d pay college costs for my children and my nieces and nephews. And then after they graduated I’d pay for them to travel, too, but not to swanky places. I’d send them to Kete Krachi, Ghana, and Angkor Wat, Cambodia and Kolkata, India. I’d probably give half of the winnings to charities. I’d build a 1000 square-foot off-the-grid lake house somewhere in Kentucky with water reclamation and solar heat and a garden where I could write and be by myself. And then I’d write more books.
The Bourbonista: Cool. We can be neighbors and I'll kayak over to your place and we'll drink spiked coffee out of tin cups and discuss the pros and cons of composting toilets. Now, next, if you were on death row…don’t act like you don’t know who you killed to get there…what would be your last supper?
Susan: I'd go with seafood—a platter of oysters on the half-shell, some scallops and sea bass and snow crab and lobster washed down with a bottle of red wine.
The Bourbonista: I swear I could drink my weight in oyster shooters. Seriously, a raw oyster floating in top shelf vodka with a big splash of Tabasco is heaven in a shot glass. Just the thought of it makes we want to hop in the car, leave this frozen tundra, and head to Key West. But first, let's finish this interview. Let's get deep. Write a short “Thank You” letter to your future self for all the cool shit you’ve done twenty years from now.
You are forgiven by Me, first of all, for all the uncool shit we've done in the past twenty years. Things like hurting people and letting people down and for being mean. We've made a shit-ton of mistakes. HOWEVER, thank you for writing that first novel, and the next one, and the next one after that. Thanks for being a good mom and a good friend. Thanks for choosing love and for creating this life we always dreamed of. Thank you for all the travel and cool places we've gone. Thanks for taking care of this body and spirit and heart. Thank you for writing every day and for reading so many books. Thanks for keeping all the friends that love us in our life, and for getting rid of those that bring us down. Thank you for saying yes to our life instead of no—the yeses bring about a much better story than the nos.
The Bourbonista: I feel you. In the words of Ado Annie, "I'm just a girl who cain't say no." And, damn, has it made life fun. Finally, if you were a booze, which booze would you be and who would you want to drink you?
Susan: I would be bourbon, hands down. Poets and writers would sip me dry. Mamas would rub me on the gums of teething babies. Old men would reminisce; young studs would find their courage. Every day, someone new would ‘discover’ me and fall in love. It’s a nice little fantasy to think of Ernest Hemingway, Sharon Olds, George Clooney, William Faulkner, and Donna Ison, all sitting around enjoying my company, talking shop. Hell, we could probably talk Barbara Kingsolver into joining us for a round. Bourbon is good for writing on summer nights with big moons. Bourbon is good for fireplaces and conversation. Bourbon is good for both a good cry and a wild party. My kind of drink.
Sharing All I KNOW about the fine art of voluptuating. here's to living the lush life.