Turnabout is Fair Play: An Interview with Sandra Anne (SA) from “Tales From A Bar Stool”

Living my life the way that I do has had several regrettable side effects. One of these is my description of the past being either “a while ago” or “yesterday.”

Sometime, between a while ago and yesterday, a website, “Tales From A Bar Stool“, popped up on my radar. It was filled with usually humorous, sometimes disturbing, but always enlightening stories about Vancouver night life. Written by two young, professional women, it became one of my weekly reads.

About the same time, I began seeing an old acquaintance around town with increasing regularity. Eventually, through very non-scientific deduction, I managed to figure out that she was one of the anonymous authors of the site. Writing under the nom de plume, SA, she’s been giving pointers to daters and trying to inform the relationship-illiterate. I had a few things I’d been meaning to ask her about how she approached writing and what she foresaw in her future now that she is expanding beyond “Tales”.

As we renewed our friendship, I tried my damndest to get an unfavourable mention on the site. Turns out I’m a loveable rogue. So much so that I was asked to do an interview for the site. Well turnabout is fair play.

Sandra Anne (SA) is one of my dearest comrades, a kindred spirit, and a pair of buns I can spot with my peripheral vision from across the street. Not to mention forward thinking, beautifully self-confident, and a fantastic writer.

Why writing? Why not painting? Photography, music?

Words can be warped and manipulated and painted together just as beautifully as a painting or musical score. They tip toe and dance on my soul. Is that cheesy? In all honesty, I have a huge appreciation for everything creative. Writing is what I’ve chosen to exercise myself but a life without listening to music or gazing at art would be empty.

I’ve heard stuff/read things, attacks. Usually sheltered thinking young women, cock first ignorant men… How do you defend Tales from a Bar Stool to them or do you bother?

I’m just learning now to take negative comments with a grain of salt. I’ll hear them but can’t let them get to me. That’s the fastest route to losing confidence. My skin is thicker now than it was at the beginning. Tales from a Bar Stool isn’t for everyone. There will always be critics and those who judge what I write. It would be wasted breath to defend my work to them. I’d rather save that breath on writing for those who relate and who are inspired by the stories, lessons and interviews.

Five minutes in a perfect world?

I’m somewhere surrounded by history. Where walls have ancient stories embedded in them – the kind you can feel and read just by touching. Probably Europe. Glass of crisp white wine in hand. Sun beating down. Flowing dress that waves in the cool breeze and bare feet touching the ground. View to the sea that I could stare at for days. Pen and paper on my antique wood topped table. Handsome man beside me who is creating something of his own, reading, or just appreciating the moment. That’s just five minutes… things get really interesting at minute seven…

Beyond “tales”, where do you go? What’s next, not the dream, but life.

One has to dream to live. I live in pursuit of them. Beyond Tales I want to write more. Keep challenging myself with different projects. Write a fictional novel that has nothing to do with bar stools. I have one idea in particular brewing. I’d also love to do something in film or television. Translating stories onto the screen has always appealed to me. And then there’s a farmhouse in France or Italy that has my name on it.

I have the unfair advantage of reading SA and knowing you… which brings me to this… I have my own opinion, but I’m curious about yours… Honestly, in time, do you think you could do Anna Wintour’s job?

Oh wow. Hmm… Perhaps not for Vogue. I’ll let her keep that one. It’s not something I’ve really thought about, to be honest. My sights have always been set on writing, creating and telling stories. To oversee that process is a different can of worms. It’s something I could do, but don’t know if I want to do. What’s your opinion?

Finally, what is the one thing the makes you step forward when retreat is what seems natural?

I need to prove to myself that I can succeed doing what I love. It’s that simple. I’m not ready to give up on something that I believe in. It’s those who persevere that make it. At least, that’s what Richard Branson says. Sometimes the road is rocky, fickle, and brings on tears but it just makes the celebration that much greater at the end. Retreating isn’t an option.

Right after finishing this up, I went outside for a smoke and found this growing in my lawn. Got to be a good sign. I’ll carry it with me until Sandra Anne and I share neighbouring bar stools again. Maybe then I’ll tell her if I think she could do Wintour’s job.

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