Karen Howlett was born in the Isle of Man. She read law at Edinburgh University and then practised as a solicitor until she moved on to motherhood. She lives in the heart of Edinburgh with her husband, three children and two dogs; she is company secretary for the learning difficulties charity, Mindroom, and reviews fiction for The Good Book Guide. Karen blogs on books, food, music and other passions at Cornflower.
Why do you blog? > It combines creativity and self-expression in a hugely enjoyable and rewarding way.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Having a wonderful bunch of regular readers who go to the trouble of leaving comments. The two-way communication with many of the visitors to the site is great fun and very important.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Losing my internet connection for a week.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > It takes time to find your voice, and your readers, but stick with it.
What are your favourite blogs? > The first two blogs I discovered - Yarnstorm and Dovegreyreader Scribbles - remain daily treats. A third I never miss is Books Do Furnish A Room which is written by a close friend who is far better read than I shall ever be.
What are you reading at the moment? > A biography of the food writer M.F.K. Fisher and Jessica Mitford's letters; I'm waiting for some promising-looking fiction to arrive and can't start anything else before it gets here.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Dr Elsie Inglis, pioneer of medical education for women, suffragist, founder of the Scottish Women's Hospitals, indomitable and inspiring Edinburgh lady.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Shores' by Sorley Maclean.
What is your favourite movie? > Impossible to pick one so I'll have four, if I may: Brief Encounter, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Enchanted April and To Kill a Mockingbird.
What is your favourite song? > 'Mild und leise', the Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
Who is your favourite composer? > Bach (cerebral) and Prokofiev (visceral).
Who are your political heroes? > Andrew Marr.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Stephen Fry.
What would you do with the UN? > The provision of tea and cake at meetings would undoubtedly have a beneficial effect.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I should like to believe it is yet to come.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Integrity.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Rudeness.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I'd continue to study the piano.
What would you call your autobiography? > A Quiet Smile.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Emma Thompson.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > On a cliff above the sea.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Reading, walking, eating good food, visiting galleries, museums, historic buildings.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading and day-dreaming.
What is your most treasured possession? > My desk.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Almost no one ever shortens my name, but I actually rather like being called Carrie (or Kari, if you will).
What talent would you most like to have? > To be a brilliant musician.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Doctor, writer or musician.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I could give a lot away, creatively and anonymously.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Hugh Laurie, Tom Stoppard and Alan Bennett.
What animal would you most like to be? > A Labrador dog (especially in this household).
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]