As you can imagine, I get a lot of emails from people asking me all sorts of questions. So chalk it up to laziness, chalk it up to efficiency, I thought I’d handle all my replies here in one shot. Here we go — answers to the most common questions that crop up in my inbox:
Q: How often do you post in your blog?
A: When I first started this blog more than six years ago, I was plenty enthusiastic and posted just about every other day. This was the days before I launched the forum, so I really didn’t have any other outlet. Now that I’ve calmed down a bit, I’ve decided to give everyone a break. I generally post once a week — usually on Tuesdays.
Q: Can I suggest a blog topic?
A: Sure! If you have an idea, I’d love to hear it. Sometimes the story ideas come fast and furious, other times it’s a real struggle to come up with blog topics. So yes, if you have something in mind, feel free to get in touch. Please keep in mind, however, that I will not shill for your business. That said, I love to do interviews, and I’m happy to do product reviews, too. Just be advised that I can not be bought; my reviews are 100% honest.
Q: How good a skier are you, anyway? Did you ever race/instruct/patrol?
A: I’m better than some, not as good as others. I think it’s safe to say I’m an aspiring expert — which means I’m an advanced skier who’d like to be better. That said, I’m at the point in my life where I don’t feel like I have to prove anything to anyone; those days are long gone. I ski for the fun of it, and while I’m mildly competitive, I’d rather just sit back and have a good time. And no, I’ve never raced; I think that would make me too anxious. I’ve also never instructed or patrolled, though I did work in a ski shop for a couple seasons. I had to quit, though, since I found that I hated just about everyone by two o’clock. Not good for my soul.
Q: Have you skied for a long time?
A: Yes and no. I first started skiing when I was 13, though I only went 10 or so times a year. When I was around 23, I stopped entirely. Personal things got in the way, and I didn’t ski again til I was 40. Since then, I’ve been working like crazy to make up for lost time. I’m in the east, where the season is relatively short. Last year was pretty lousy, too. I think I only got in 52 days. Contrast that with the ’10/’11 season, when I made 82 ski days — a personal record.
Q: I’d love to participate in TheSkiDiva forum, but I’m a man. Why can’t you open the forum up to men, too?
A: Fair question. I started the forum for two reasons: 1) selfishly enough, I didn’t have any women friends who skied, and I was looking to find some; and 2) I found that other online ski communities — and conventional ski media, as well — didn’t pay much attention to women. Anything to do with women’s skiing was seldom addressed, and when it was, it was only in a very secondary manner . I wanted a place where women skiers were front and center — a testosterone-free zone where women could feel comfortable talking about skiing in a way that they could relate to. I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, but the forum is our little corner of the world. You have all the rest to play in.
Q: Can you recommend skis for me/my wife/my daughter?
A: Choosing skis is a pretty personal process. That’s why there are so many skis out there. You may love the skis I hate, and vice versa. The best way to determine which skis are right for you is to demo, demo, demo. But if you’re looking for information on where to start, you should definitely check out the Gear Reviews section of TheSkiDiva.com. There’s a lot of good stuff to read there.
Q: What do you ski on?
A: Right now I have 3 pair. I’m in the east where we have a fair amount of hard pack, so my everyday go-to ski are Volkl Tierras. These babies are fantastic; they’re like riding on rails. I’m actually on my second pair. For powder days, spring skiing, and choppy conditions, I have Volkl Auras and Atomic Centuries. My boots are Dalbello Krypton Lotus.
Q: What do you do in the off season, anyway?
A: The off season is hard, just because I can’t find anything I love as much as skiing. I try. I really do. I road bike a couple times a week, swim (a mile!) a couple times a week, too. And sometimes I hike. So I try to keep busy. Nothing comes close to skiing, though. But you knew that already, right?
Q: Are you working on a new Ski Diva mystery?
A: Here’s where the guilt comes in: (says in a small voice) No. I know, I know. Awful. My intent was to only write during the off season, and to be honest, my off seasons have been really, really busy. So while there are two Ski Diva mysteries for you to enjoy: DOUBLE BLACK and FADE TO WHITE, I don’t have any others in the works at present.
On a brighter note, my husband, the fantastically-gifted novelist Jon Clinch, author of FINN and KINGS OF THE EARTH, has a new book, THE THIEF OF AUSCHWITZ, coming out in January. Keep an eye on this space for some shameless promotion.