5 for Friday with Grace Bridges

5 for Friday is a segment where I pose five questions to a special guest. These questions are meant to be fun, giving the audience an small glimpse into their lives beyond what’s normally known.

Grace Bridges is a New Zealand native, author, and owner of Splashdown Books. She also happens to be my publisher, so she could not escape the long claws of me forcing her to do this interview. Just kidding. She was actually glad to help. She’s the author of Legendary Space Pilgrims and Faith Awakened, not to mention the whole publishing thing. Find out more about her at www.SplashdownBooks.com and http://grace.splashdownbooks.com.

1. Tell us a little about yourself outside of the writerly life.

Hmm, what’s to know? I live in a big house with four other singles plus a young married couple. We have a lot of fun. I like to walk the nearby beaches and forests, alone or in company. I love wind and water and I’m very fond of our gulf islands – my grandmothers both lived on one of them, and so I spent many summer holidays there enjoying the slower pace and the nature. I was born a city girl and I live here still, but the country’s in my heart. Quietness and wide openness and wildness is what inspires me most of all.
2. Why in the world did you want to be a translator? And how many languages do you know?
It’s kind of the only choice for a language student who doesn’t want to teach. And it just sort of happened as a natural progression: my parents love languages and taught me from an early age (teachers both); I chose a language major at university and discovered a knack for translation (there’s a distinct connection to writing!) and there we have it. Sadly, most of my work is legal and technical – literary translation jobs are hard to get, but I’d leap at the chance.
I speak German and French, a little Maori, and some school Latin which often helps with deciphering Italian, Spanish, and other relatives, though one has to beware of words that look similar to something in English but mean the opposite!
3. Why (and how) do you travel so much?

It’s in my blood. I definitely love having a home and spending lots of time in and near it. But travel changes something in the chemicals of the brain, it changes the colour of the soul and my entire outlook on life. With regularity, I get “itchy feet” and have to go somewhere, no matter how near or far. It becomes a necessity when I want to meet friends from online, too. That’s an amazing thing.
Travel can be expensive, yes, especially when you have to start from the end of the world, but I’m single and determined and quite content to eat porridge for months to make it happen. Plus I always stay with friends when I can. Nothing is impossible.
4. You do so much interaction online. What’s the most awkward experience you’ve had meeting someone in person?
Hmm. Well, there was the time I met Frank Creed and didn’t know whether to call him by his pen name or his real name. I called him both in a row and we had a good laugh, so it wasn’t really awkward.
Or there was the time I nearly didn’t meet David Brollier because I fell asleep in a train (after flying in from Ireland and being awake for altogether too long). It had started moving off from his station and he had to get them to stop again. Ooops.
I’ve also walked right past a few people who came to get me at airports. I guess everyone looks different in person!
5. Is a kiwi a fruit, an animal, or a person? And what’s a kiwi pizza?
Around here, it’s a bird. Our national bird. And by extension, our people. But never a fruit. Folks in other countries shorten kiwifruit to kiwi, which is kinda sad, because a kiwifruit isn’t Kiwi at all, but Chinese. It was imported as the Chinese Gooseberry and renamed in a marketing gag. Seems to be working!
Kiwi pizza, at least the way we always made it, is built on a base of regular pizza dough or even toast. Get some canned spaghetti (Does not work with pasta you cook yourself – It has to be squishy and in that cheesy-tomato sauce). Spread the spaghetti over the base, then top with meat, pineapple, veges if desired, and grated cheese. Bake in the usual manner. Yum!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Did not know that about kiwifruit, Grace (and yes, I am guilty in Canada of calling them kiwis for short). And thanks for that intriguing pizza recipe. We’ll have to try it.


  2. Jill says:

    I don’t claim to be great with languages; however, in college, I had a great time doing Spanish-English translations. I even had a job translating English to Spanish for a commercial website for a while. It was all technical, so not as much fun as translating Sor Juana poetry into English, but it was challenging and kept me on my toes.

    Your Kiwi pizza reminds me of some Italian recipes I’ve read about that involve the use of both bread and pasta–I think as a way of using up leftovers. If wheat didn’t incapacitate me, I’d give it a try.


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