Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Alabama Woman -- Blogger Interview

Alabama Women Bloggers
One of the things I have really enjoyed as a writer has been getting to know other writers. This interview is my "Getting to Know You" interview for Alabama Women Bloggers. It is a group of women bloggers from all over the state.

1. Name & Birthday

Regina Pickett Garson.
Born June 12, a Gemini, which just about sums up my life. I am into everything, and even I don’t have a clue how many personalities I have.   

2. How long have you been blogging?

I started blogging in 2005, but I’ve been involved in the Internet and online publishing for right at 20 years. Blogging came later and suddenly it was the thing, I started my first blog to provide a discussion area for Magic Stream, my first web site, which is a self-help and holistic wellness literary zine.

3. What is your favorite part of being a blogger and why?

I’m a word smyth. I like reading and writing and I have been a writer in some way all of my adult life. I’ve written articles, poetry, web sites, news reports, political analysis, technical papers, it’s a long list. I’ve covered everything from social issues to rocket science. Blogging is its own style though and it lends to more personal discussion of everyday life than some of the other writing styles. That is what I love about blogging, as both a reader and a writer both, I like the more personal aspects of blogging, the connectedness in the writing that makes us all human.

4. Why did you start blogging?

I had been involved with online publishing for a while when the blogging craze hit, I hate to say I jumped in because everybody was doing it, but I jumped in because everybody was doing it. Not to be flip, but if you are active at all in online publishing, you have to keep up with the trends and what is going on in the industry. If you work online and you spend too much time blinking your eye, you are toast. Since then though, blogging has been a whole lot more than -- well I really need to do this. Blogging is here to stay, if fills a need for readers and writers both.

5. Tell us a little about your family.

My family is from Alabama. At least some of them have been here since before the state became a state. Like many Southern families I have a very rich and diverse heritage. My mother’s family, the Cashs, were from Scotland and my Dad’s, the Picketts, were from England. The Picketts were among the early colonial settlers. Members of both families married Native Americans along the way, Cherokee on my dad’s side and Choctaw on my mom’s. So when I say my family has been here a while, we go way back. Like most Southern families, there is, of course, a lot more, I’ve got Jewish heritage, a strong French influence, and a few Dutch, but that is just a nutshell and I am certain I have left something out. I have a very mixed and wonderful heritage, a large extended family on both sides.

6. Where are you from?

I was born in Birmingham. My parents moved out in the country between Montevallo and Pea Ridge when I was three, and that is where I grew up. The area was so remote when I was a child, my dad put in the first running water in our area. There was no city supplied water service back then, so he dug a well and put in his own water system, and did the maintenance. When I was a child, I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, reading those books, I always felt like my upbringing was kind of like being a pioneer. And it probably was. The closest community was Pea Ridge; they only had 650 some people at the time, and we were out in the country from there. I always loved that area, the people and the land, beautiful.

7. What is your greatest achievement?

That is a hard one. I think every phase of our life we have to have something that we are working toward. Goals are important in many ways. I was very serious into the piano for the first half of my life. I remember hearing the “Warsaw Concerto” and the way people talked about it, I had to play that song. I don’t remember how long it took, but I worked on it until I could play it. The thing is, it had nothing at all to do with a great love of that particular song, it had to do with the way people talked it. Like that was something if you could play that song. And I wanted that something. I wanted to be able to play it too. If I heard it this instant, I am not certain I would even recognize it, it was a pure “I have to do this” kind of goal.

Then it was like, been there, done that. But the thing is, it taught me to set a goal and work toward it, and that is why I think it was so important. Somewhere in us all, we have to have something we are working toward. That is important our whole life, every minute of it. That makes life worth living, it is not the destination, it is the journey. And that is why I rate that song as among my greatest achievements. It wasn't the song itself, it was what I learned by learning to play it.

Other accomplishments, my website Magic Stream has been in publication for twenty years this spring. I am pretty happy with that. At the time, I was aware a lot of people got rich and famous online and I was off building what amounted to a mission, providing self-help information. I don’t have a clue how many times I started to just fold it up because I never made anything on it, but people were still coming, and how do you build a mission and lock the door while people are standing there. So I keep it up. I feel like in some way, I was supposed to do that and I am glad I did and I still maintain it.

Whatever we do in life, I think it is important to give something back to the community, as we are able and whatever our talents. We are all different and we do different things. Magic Stream is my contribution. People come there for information on addictions, mental health, various emotional issues, how to help somebody who is suicidal, aging, depression, end of life issues and the list goes on, if it has to do with some kind of emotional or mental health issue, I have probably either covered it on Magic Stream or I can refer you to somebody who has.

8. If you could live anywhere -- where would it be and why?

Alabama, hands down, it’s my home. My family is here and has been for a couple hundred years at the very least. It is my home and my families’ home, I have no desire whatsoever to live anywhere else.

9. Favorite Movie?

Beetlejuice. If I am going to watch a movie, I want to have a good time, none of those tear jerkers for me. I totally love Beetlejuice.

10. Favorite Music/Song?

I love all kinds of music. My early piano training was in the classics, and for years I was totally fixated on Mozart, I didn’t want to play anything else. This was in the years of rock and roll, and more than one person has been dumbfounded that I didn’t know much of anything about the major groups of the time. But that wasn’t what I was into then. I totally love the blues too, not the loud new electronic blues, it’s not bad, it is just not what I am saying I like when I say I like blues, I like the old stuff, like B. B. King, music so mellow, you can hear the smoke.When I listen to the blues, I want to hear the smoke. And if you love the blues, you know exactly what I mean.

11. What are your hobbies?

Continuing on from the music, in the last few years, I discovered Sacred Harp music, and I was hooked on that too. I should have put this under my greatest accomplishments, I think the more you know about music, the harder it is to get your head around Sacred Harp, it’s a good time, participatory music. But I really had a hard time learning it. You don’t go somewhere to listen to Sacred Harp music, you get together with other folks who love it, and you all sing.

Also, as to hobbies, I am only two hours from Nashville, I love country music too. After all the years of music, only in the last few, I got interested in writing it, so if I had to list a hobby, I’d probably list writing music, not that I’m any good at it, that’s just what I do when I want to kick back and do something just for fun. And for all my early years in the classics, I have now gone country! Totally love it, there is nothing better than getting together with a bunch of country songwriting musicians, or any other kind of musicians for that matter.

12. What inspires you?

People inspire me, everyday people. Friends and family. I love to see what people do and hear the stories of their life. Their families, their dreams, their work, things they do, their projects, and their pets, their kids. Their ailments, dealing with their ailments. Life is not easy for much of anybody, but the sharing of the journey is awesome. I love it all. Politics inspire me too, I love getting out there and trying to work toward making things better. I guess what it boils down to is life – life inspires me.

13. Favorite Color?

I have a new favorite color every other year. Right now it is red, it makes me want to move and get things done.

14. What is your dream job?

I am a word smyth and I love my work. I write and edit both. I’ve been writing long enough and have enough bylines, I love helping others along to their writing dreams and ambitions just as much as I do fulfilling my own. Sometimes I think if I had it to do over, I might do something else, I'd probably pick mechanical engineering, but the thing is, I am doing the work that I love now and it allows me the opportunity to support causes and efforts that I think are important. Especially political and social causes, I definitely get political at times.

Also, word smyths never stop learning. The hardest part about college was I wanted to take everything and learn everything. I love that about my work, especially with my editing, I work with a lot of different people in a whole lot of different fields, learning about their work while I help them with their editorial needs, like even when I was over at NASA writing, I got to learn about rocket science, now that is something, I totally loved it. My editorial work has given me the opportunity to learn a lot different things that I would have not been exposed to and learn otherwise. And I love to learn. It gives me a good solid background in knowing what is going on in the world around me too,  but I have a good time too. I also take an occasional creative binge, and that too is part of the word smyth business.

Available on Amazon

15. What are you looking forward to most in 2014?

Speaking of creative binge. Of all the writers I know, it probably took me the longest to finally come out with a book, and I’ve been writing all my life.  I am on it now. This past April, I debuted my first fiction on Amazon Kindle, that was really exciting to me. It is part of a series of short, stand along stories, like the saying “art for art’s sake.” They are all very different in genre, mood, and style, a painting if you will in words. The first, “Journey,” is a mashup, a surrealistic excursion into madness. Everybody who reads it comes away with a little something different, reads it different, kind of like an abstract painting. What do you see in it? It's available on Amazon, but I leave the interpretation up to the reader.

My next upcoming is back to my Southern hill country roots, “Moonshine Revival or Justice in Possum Tree Gulch.” What could be better than a good strong drink on a hot summer night? It will be out in the middle of the summer and I can't wait.

If you'd like to connect:


  1. Nice to Meet you Regina!! Thank you so much for participating! I look forward to connecting more with you! Have a great weekend!

    Kari Scott
    Editor at AlabamaWomenBloggers

  2. Nice to meet you, Regina!

    Monica Staton