"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris ... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

From the couch - bloggers share an intimate peek into their lives. Today I welcome Ann Carbine Best.

Hello everyone!

I'm starting a new series incorporating some of my favourite people, bloggers! I've sent out some random questions, hoping to receive some interesting/inspiring/funny/poignant answers. 

The first blogger guest who agreed to recline on the couch and come up with answers to my questions is a long-term blogging friend, well known to many, Ann Best. It's her birthday today, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ann! Here's your present from me!!

I first hosted Ann just before she got her publishing contract with WiDo Publishing. Her memoir, In the Mirror...met with high, followed by steady, sales. In Ann's words, "I find it amazing that this is its 4th year anniversary. It recently dropped in the Amazon ratings from Page 2 to Page 5 (out of 400+ pages) on memoirs..." Ann believes the success of her memoir has a lot to do with timing, but really the ongoing success amounts to more than good timing I think.

So it is with great pleasure I say thanks Ann for agreeing to tell it like it is from your couch!

FROM THE COUCH WITH… Ann Carbine Best, Author of In theMirror: A Memoir of Shattered Secrets.

A vivid childhood memory is… 
As a teenager in Salt Lake City in the 1950s, I and my late beloved sister would ride our bicycles up and down the streets in the eastern part of the city. These were second-hand bicycles our father found for us, the kind with tires that had inner tubes you had to keep pumping air into. When he brought them home, I talked my easy-going sister into taking the bicycle that I knew was the most difficult to pump. She was a good sport, and we laughed about this in our later years.

My most treasured possession is …
Ancestral stories from both of my parents’ lines that my mother first laboriously typed on an old Underwood typewriter for my first family history book.

The word that best describes me is …
Persistent. Maybe tough.

My favourite smell is…
Lilacs. They were first to bloom in my parents’ backyard those long-ago summers.

A song that gives me goosebumps is… All the dramatic songs from Les Miserables as performed at Prince Albert Hall.

My favourite movie of all time is…

My first job was… After-school typist of invoices for an insurance agent (using not a computer but a typewriter in 1957-58).

I began writing…
...stories when I was in first grade (1946). Poems when I was in high school (1956-58).

Books I loved as a child… Nancy Drew mysteries. Anne of Green Gables. I also liked whatever was current in murder mysteries. I’d have to look up their titles online as I can’t remember any of them now, over fifty years later.

Books I couldn’t put down recently… Flying with a Broken Wing by Laura Best, and The Catacombs by Jeremy Bates.

Books that I enjoy are… Memoirs. Thrillers. Murder mysteries. But at this time in my life, I’m interested in non-fiction, especially ancient history which includes anything Jewish and Biblical, and an ancient record called The Book of Mormon.

If you are a writer, tell us about your latest project…
I thought I might write or try to write a second memoir aimed at publication. This one would be based on my life as a caregiver to my disabled daughter. It would be about our “spiritual” experiences together, experiences that are the center of everything we are and have become. But I’ve discovered that trying to write this for a wider (possible) audience is very frustrating, so I’m just going to relax and write it for family and close friends.  

What is your writing plan?
I’ve got many, many scenes already written, and the others wriggle in my head. I just have to discipline myself to write something each day. Will see how that goes J

Where do you do most of your writing?
In front of a computer, usually the one in the corner of the living room in the small duplex that I share with my daughter Jen.

I relax by…
Watching movies and series that stream through Netflix. Jen and I have watched all the Leverage episodes, and now we’re working through the modern remake of Hawaii Five-O. It’s fun.

The point of life is…

For me, one of the points of life is to gain knowledge, especially knowledge of God.

Thanks so much for sharing with us today Ann. Hi to Jen! 

  • I hope you enjoyed spending time with Ann. If you're burning to recline on the couch and answer my questions, please email me: den.covey@gmail.com or drop a few answers in the comments below!


  1. Thanks for sharing your memories with us, Ann and Happy Birthday! Casablanca is one of my favourites, too!

    1. Casablanca is one of those all-time faves for sure D.G.

  2. Ann's book was really good - and she is really awesome! Fan of Leverage. Now that just rocks.
    Write the book you want to, Ann. Don't worry about publication.

    1. Well I have no idea what Leverage is. I also don't have Netflix although it's finally legally available in Oz! I agree with you on Ann's next memoir!

  3. I love Netflix! Congrats on her book contract. I love the idea behind this blog series!

    1. Netflix has just arrived in Australia. Imagine! Everyone who wanted it had to make up an address in the US previously. Now the Oz govt. has decided to tax it to smithereens. Don't want that American culture here! Ho! Ho! Ho!

      Glad you like the idea of the blog series. I myself love learning more about that precious commodity - bloggers. :-)

  4. I was shocked to see your blog at the top of my blog role - finally! Will go back and see what I've missed though. Love this idea, congratulations to Ann and you too Denise - a winning combination spiritual and memoir will do well!

    1. Well that was hard wrought Yolanda! Have had so much trouble with feedburner. I only know when my blog has dropped out when someone tells me!! Glad you're getting my updates at last!

      Ann can be so proud of her success. It's really helping her financially in these tough times.

      Thanks for calling-:-)

  5. Hi Denise,

    Love this idea of sharing on the couch...and happy birthday to Ann! I have a feeling that books written from the heart do better than those written with an eye out for publication, more so for memoirs... all the best to you both.

    Btw, the feed is working fine this morning..happy to note :)

    1. Thanks for coming by Nila! You're spot on re books written from the heart. :-)

  6. What a fun idea!

    There is a street nearby me that is bloomin' with lilacs. It smells heavenly. Happy Birthday Ann!

  7. That picture is really cute! If you make me one like that I'm going to steal it for my blog. :D

    Hi, Ann! It was nice getting to know you! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

    Denise, this idea is awesome! It turned out really well. Good job! The interview was great! :)

    1. Thanks Chrys. I really enjoyed making the pic. I'm trying to get the unique personality of each contributor. We'll see how we go!

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  9. Have the happiest of birthdays, Ann. It was wonderful to get to know you better. And CASABLANCA is my favorite movie, too. I fell a little bit in love with Ingrid Bergman, and I have never completely fallen out. :-)

    This is a fun concept, Denise. You never cease to amaze me. :-)

  10. Thank you, Denise. I feel honored to be first on your couch. The picture really made me smile....and made my birthday, as do all of my friends' comments. Thank you everyone!

    1. I hope you enjoyed your special lunch Ann! Glad you like the little peek-a-boo pic! Was lovely to have you on the couch!

  11. A great interview indeed. Happy Birthday too. Leverage was a good show

  12. Happy Birthday, Ann! Loved the interview!

  13. Great interview - and happy birthday Ann! :)
    I loved, loved, LOVED those Nancy Drew books too - and Anne of GG is at the tippity top of my favourites list :)

  14. Happy birthday, Ann! Great interview, ladies. I just came back from a garden walk where the lilacs were in bloom. What a gorgeous scent. They were my dad’s favorite as well, Ann. Sometimes I forget how closely scent is tied to memory. I immediately thought of him.

    VR Barkowski

  15. Hey Ann; nice to see that you are still writing and blogging. Happy birthday to you. Good luck with your future projects.

  16. Hi Denise and Ann - so pleased to see Ann here for her birthday - and I hope you had a wonderful day. Lovely memories of those bikes, the teasing with your sister, the early writings of your parents, and the writing of your own Memoir. So pleased that's been such a success ... I enjoyed the read and learnt a lot .. and that's what blogging friend's books are about learning new things from a different perspective or reading a new genre ... Being relaxed about your new Memoir seems a good idea and not worrying who it's for - it's about you and Jen, and your family ... we'll enjoy reading it if it comes out.

    The lilacs are out now .. and they are lovely ... but I have other favourites .. sweetpeas for me at this time of year.

    Cheers to you both .. I've no idea what Leverage is either .. and I don't do Netflix ... and I struggle to read much now .. but I'm going to over the summer ... this was great to read here and meet up with Ann in blogging world - Hilary

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Hilary. All the best with summer...:-)

  17. Lovely post, Ann and Denise! Now I feel like rereading Anne of Green Gables :-)

  18. Welcome Ann! It's always fun to hear from one of my favorite blogging friends and fellow writers. I like your new feature, Denise. It's fun to read about people even when they don't have a book coming out.

  19. I enjoyed the interview! Lilacs and Nancy Drew mysteries are some of my favorite things too!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog, Denise! The fact OZ is heading into winter (yuck!) means it's a great time to ponder wonderful vacation spots and write about your favorite for the hop! lol ;)

  20. Happy belated birthday, Ann. The approach you're taking to write your memoir about caring for your daughter is good. The end result could be exactly what you intended at first.


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