Continuing the Vancouver Blogger Profile series, that never really stops, I contacted Sarah as I had read her blog and heard such great things about her from Raul. She’s filled out the staple questions below and be sure to check out her blog for more of her writing.
Who are you? Sarah Marchildon, lover of the absurd.
Where do you blog? The Hollywood North Report
Are you originally from Vancouver? I was born and raised in Toronto but Vancouver has been my home for the past seven years. Iâ€™ve lived in Ottawa, Saint John, Fredericton and Japan but always knew I would end up here. My grandfather used to live in North Van and I visited him when I was a little kid. The trees, the ocean, the mountains, the fresh air. It all made a very strong impression on me.
Why do you blog? When I first moved to Vancouver, I had no friends and no social life. So I would spend my Friday nights holed up in an Internet cafe on Davie Street writing email dispatches back home to family and friends. I called it the â€œHollywood North Reportâ€ and I would fill it with random observations about the oddities of Vancouver life and all of the weird and wonderful people who live here. I also had a weekly â€œfriend count.â€ Sadly, it remained at zero for a very long time. That all changed when I joined the English Bay Swim Club and was elected â€œsocial coordinatorâ€ of more than 100 gay men. Real friendships started to bloom and I was no longer spending lonely Friday nights filing the Hollywood North Report. Then I got mixed up with a bad crowd who made me try backcountry camping, triathlons and open-water swimming.
One thing led to another and before I knew it, I had signed up for an Ironman. I quit the triathlon scene in 2004 and found myself with a whole lot of extra time. I decided to resurrect the Hollywood North Report in blog form to make it easier for friends and family to read. I guess Iâ€™ve always liked writing and story-telling. Blogging is a natural extension of that.
Whatâ€™s your favourite thing to write about? I love writing about things that strike me as odd or absurd. For example, the public transit system in Vancouver is a comedy goldmine.
What is the best part of blogging? Hands down, the response I get to my posts. It can be as simple as a thoughtful comment or as elaborate as complete strangers sending me free stuff. I once wrote about how jealous I was that Ontario had juice-box sized wine and jokingly begged someone to send me some. One of my Toronto readers actually sent me a case of the stuff.
Another time, I wrote about how I couldnâ€™t find Grape-Nuts anywhere in Vancouver. The next day, one of my readers delivered 10 boxes to my office.
But the craziest response was when I wrote about how I had a non-sexual crush on Claire Martin (the CBC meteorologist) and she put my blog post on her weather forecast where the map of Canada should have been. It was awesome. I have the best blog readers in the world!
Do you write for yourself, your readers, for Google, for a living? I wish I wrote for a living! I could really use an editor. Sadly, I just write for my readers and myself. For free. In my very limited spare time.
Do you ever censor yourself? A little bit. My entire family reads my blog. Thatâ€™s not to say my blog is middle-of-the-road pabulum. Iâ€™m pretty open with my parents but Iâ€™m not that open. Most of my coworkers read my blog so Iâ€™m not exactly going to blog about a bad day at the office. A lot of bloggers hide under the cloak of anonymity and that gives them a lot more freedom to write about very personal things. I made a conscious decision to use my full name and, as a result, Iâ€™m a little bit more restrained. Besides, I have no desire to barf my personal life all over the Internet. Not that thereâ€™s anything wrong with that. A lot of my favourite blogs are personal blogs!
PC, Mac or Speak nâ€™ Spell? What the heck is Speak nâ€™ Spell? Iâ€™ve been a Mac girl since 2006. Macs are pretty.
Blogs you read or would recommend? Yours, of course! Actually, Iâ€™d hate to single out one blog over another. I read loads of blogs, most of them written by friends. Iâ€™m not sure they have broad mass appeal.
Read more from Sarah on The Hollywood North Report.