Sue T was born in Maryborough, Queensland, but moved several times in her youth before settling in Sydney for her teens. In 1975, she moved again to Canberra, to work as a librarian-archivist in national cultural institutions. She has lived in the USA twice (with husband and children) and believes it's a privilege to live in another country. She is (semi)retired. Sue has been an active member of online bookgroups since 1997, but only gave in to the temptation to blog in 2009. She blogs at Whispering Gums.
Why do you blog? > Primarily to provide a discipline for getting my thoughts together about my reading, and to provide backup when my memory fails (as it often does).
What has been your best blogging experience? > Receiving thoughtful comments from generous, interested, interesting people.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Publishing a draft post by mistake one time too many. You'd think I'd learn.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Just do it – and if you have a problem, ask another blogger as they are a friendly lot.
What are your favourite blogs? > Limiting it to three would mean leaving some favourites out so I'll just say my daughter's, Wayfaring Chocolate.
What are you reading at the moment? > Eva Hornung's wildchild novel, Dog Boy; Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (my current Austen reread); and Haruki Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (short stories).
Who are your cultural heroes? > Jane Austen (if only those who don't like her knew what she had to offer, and those who only like her for the movies actually read her books); Leonard Cohen (ever since attending his live concert); Geoff Page (local hero); Shakespeare.
What is your favourite poem? > Where to start? 'Spring and Fall' (or any number of poems) by G.M. Hopkins.
Who is your favourite composer? > There are so many but if I want to refresh my spirit I go to Mozart.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Nonviolent resistance and pacifism. OK, so I'm idealistic, but someone has to be.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > This is not really a thesis but I would like to replace our current adversarial political practice with something more collegial. Let's forget about winners and losers and work together.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (which I read in about 1972), because it opened my eyes to what lies beneath.
Who are your political heroes? > Gough Whitlam (for having a vision); Aung San Suu Kyi (for all that she is and stands for); Martin Luther King.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Life was never meant to be easy! (If you are Australian, you know what I'm talking about.)
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Anything that would improve Indigenous rights and welfare.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Our ongoing fear (and intolerance) of others.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I hope the best is yet to come but I fear plus ça change...
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > You get out of it what you put into it.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Warmth and generosity of spirit.
What is your favourite proverb? > I have a few but let's go with 'Do not judge another person until you have walked two moons in his or her shoes'. I wish I followed this better than I often do.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > One person's waste of time is another person's pleasure. Who am I to judge (see above)?
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Be more fearless - mentally and physically.
What would you call your autobiography? > Then Again, On the Other Hand - because I am both blessed with and damned by seeing both sides to a question; I find me very irritating at times.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Anywhere Mediterranean because it has the best climate, not to mention good food and, as far as I can tell, a great attitude to life.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Anywhere I can walk in a beautiful place, and find, along the way, a peaceful spot for a quiet read. Alternatively, anywhere I can eat good food, drink some wine and meet people while doing so.
What talent would you most like to have? > Musical ability - I wish, wish, wish I could sing. Well I can, but so badly that no one wants to listen to me.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > My son - his fresh take on the world and refusal to say the usual can always make me laugh.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > That my children (now in their 20s) make of their lives what they will (and so find contentment).
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Hire a cleaner to enable me to read without feeling guilty; travel more; and increase our charitable donations to help change other people's lives.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Too hard, too hard, but here goes: Jane Austen (she'll make me laugh but scare me at the same time); Katharine Hepburn (because she was fearless in the ways that I'd like to be); Martin Luther King (need I say more?)
[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.]