Featured Author: Allie Olsen

Allie Olsen

 Allie_O2_resized for Interview

Writer, photographer, blogger
Florida, USA
Website: simplystaugustine.com

Harrington E-Interview


Q: Do you have a day-job, and if yes, what is it?
Allie Olsen: My most important job is home educating our six children.  It is more than a day-job, really, it’s a lifestyle just like writing is.
I eat and explore nature and shop and even relax as a writer… sentences dance through my mind describing experiences even as I’m enjoying them.  Homeschooling is the same way.  We learn when someone wants to know the difference between yellow and white lines on the highway.  We learn with Florida’s Fabulous Insects in hand when we see a bug in the backyard we don’t recognize.  We learn to respect when a friend or sibling is unkind.  I’m blessed that in my world, exploring and learning and writing and homeschooling all blend together to create life.

Q: How much time do you spend on reading and writing, respectively?
Allie Olsen: Well, if you count reading aloud in the backyard, on the couch and in the van… I read a lot.  Living history books are a huge part of our homeschool.  But reading simply for personal growth and pleasure… not a lot.  That’s actually one of my New Year’s Resolutions.  To read more.
As far as writing goes, I weave my writing into life as much as I can.  My goal is at least an hour a day.  Sometimes I get 3, others I only post on Facebook.  LOL

Q: Do you have a library card? Explain.
Allie Olsen: Yes.  My most recent loan was an audio Western Civilization course by Notre Dame professor Thomas Noble.  We also have quite a collection here at home so we can grab a book for reference or entertainment off the shelf at any given time.

Q: Which book did you absolutely loathe reading in high school or college? Did you ever grow to appreciate it later?
Allie Olsen: Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead followed very closely by Elie Weisel’s Night.  Did I grow to appreciate them?  Well, I learned from them, so I guess I appreciate them in a sense.  Rand’s work was ill-timed for a young high schooler. I may appreciate it more now with life experience and a lot more context, but I’m unwilling to give it a try.  “Night” was hard for other reasons.  I read it in college as a new mom and wept.  I appreciated the sufferings of those who lived and died in the holocaust, in a new way relating to hopes and dreams and children lost as I personally never could before becoming a mom.  I was devastated and transformed and so that was a beautifully painful experience.

Q: How would you react to a 12-year-old who states that he/she hates reading?
Allie Olsen: He just hasn’t found what he likes to read!!  If I could only read from the teen section at the library, I’d hate reading too.
I was just working on a research project with a 12 year old boy who loves flight.  He isn’t reading Hunger Games or Harry Potter or even Hardy Boys… but he’s devouring aviation books.  Real, meaty books about the history and mechanics of flight.  He found his section at the library!

Q: Do you like playing video games? Explain.
Allie Olsen: Nope.  Well, unless you count mastering social media as a game.  Which it is.  My days are full and writing is my outlet.  If I played games, I’d lose this time…

Q: What’s the best advice you have ever received, and who gave it?
Allie Olsen: Colossians 3:12-17 comes to mind right away.  God gave that one.  🙂  It’s about “putting on” compassion, kindness, meekness, patience and love and forgiving others as we are forgiven.  Words to live by.
Next is something my grandma told my mamma when she got married.  She told her not to pick up the phone every time Mom & Dad got in a little fight, because long after Mom forgave Dad, my grandma would remember that offense against her daughter.  This reminds me to handle offenses with individuals and also reminds me to put squabbles with my hubby or silly things with friends in context.  In the span of my entire life, does this little thing matter enough to be mad about?  Probably not.  And that goes right back to Colossians 3:12-17.  I have a wise grandma.

Q: What’s the top item on your bucket list?
Allie Olsen: You’re going to laugh!  My bucket list is so small.  I want to go parasailing, go in the lens room at the St. Augustine Lighthouse (with my camera! Just before sunset!), and learn European history with my family in Europe.  Ok, that one’s not small.  😉

Q: Are you older or younger at heart than your age?
Allie Olsen: I think I’m older at heart than most people my age.  I’m only 33, but my happiness isn’t defined by my house or job {or the aforementioned European vacations LOL}… I’ve learned that contentment is a state of the heart.

Q: What time do you usually get up in the morning, and how does your daily schedule look like?
Allie Olsen: Oh, you really don’t want to see the daily schedule of a homeschooling mom who teaches 5 grades and has a preschooler!  I’ll just say I wake up around 6:40 for a few quiet moments before the kiddos get up and I’m trying to get to bed by 10:30.  I usually write from 1:30 – 2:30 or so.

Q: What would you print on your favorite T-shirt (and wear it)?
Allie Olsen: My favorite T-shirt is a Home T.  It’s the softest, comfiest heather grey T with the state of Florida printed on it and the word home printed quite near to St. Augustine.  Love it.
One reason I started www.SimplyStAugustine.com was to slow down and Love where we live.  Instead of travelling everywhere else, we’ve sunk our toes deeply in the Florida sand and are enjoying our home as thoroughly as possible.  So my Home T really reflects who I am very well!

Q: What do you wear when you are the most comfortable?
Allie Olsen: I never wear it out, but I have an American Apparel cotton skirt that I love to wear with a ribbed tank around the house.
I was born in the perfect state- I love flip flops (or bare feet!) and unfettered limbs all year.  I feel so… so… restricted when my arms are covered!  Viva Florida!  Viva St. Augustine!

Q: What is your top choice of a book you’d like to turn into a movie?
Allie Olsen: Gone-away Lake

Q: What do you blast in your car when driving (music, radio channel, other)? Explain.
Allie Olsen: I’ll leave you with this very deep answer…
What Does the Fox Say?

Connect Through Reading

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