Name: Kate Inglis
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Online Home: sweet | salty
Kids: Evan (5) and Ben (3) and Ben's twin Liam, but I don't always mention him when people ask "how many" because it makes some stare at their shoes. You'll see him sometimes on the blog and I don't want you to gulp uncomfortably. It's okay. He's a light, mostly. (interstellar gypsy boy, forever 6 weeks or 600 years old depending on who you ask.)
There are parent blogs you turn to for fun crafts and homemaking ideas and then there are those who write openly about life, love and heartache without the need for tutorials or inspirational messages at the end of their posts — enter Kate Inglis.
Although Kate is one of the most inspirational writers in the parenting world, it's not because of the usual reasons. She doesn't spend her days sharing stories about how to make a chore chart or how to clean craft paint off the ceiling. Instead, she tells life like it is and is honest about how the world feels around her. You become lured in by the truth in her words and the moments she captures in her photographs.
sweet | salty is a corner of the internet where you find someone you identify with as a person, as a parent and as an individual who knows life doesn't always go as planned. We introduce to you, Kate Inglis.
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started blogging in 2004 for the same reason anyone else might start blogging. I figured I was the first woman in the history of the universe to get pregnant.
Tell us about sweet | salty and how the name came about:
I remember the day I bought a domain. I remember sweet | salty coming to mind and I remember it sticking. I had no idea then how appropriate it would turn out to be. I might be psychic.
How do you find time to be a mom and run a successful blog at the same time?
I was going to say speed balls, but then figured I should try and actually answer the question. 'Speed balls' would allow me to gloss over what's necessary when you're a mother involved in creative work, bill-paying work, and kid adventures: a constant benign neglect of one thing or the other. Filthy floors. Spontaneous uncontrolled nakedness. Very little sleep.
Aside from being a mother and a blogger, you're a published writer, can you tell us about some of your works?
My first novel, The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods, came out last fall. It's an adventure for 8-14 year olds but adults like it too. It's set in Nova Scotia and it's about pirates but they're not ocean-going pirates. They're forest pirates and they're kind of disgusting. But it's also meant to bewitch Americans and Frenchmen and Torontonians and make them experience a strange lust for woodsmoke and danger and squashed leech compote. I'm working on the second book now for a fall 2011 release.
I also co-wrote a photography book that just came out: Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters Guide to Shooting from the Heart. It's lovely. I'm so grateful to be among that circle of women. If writing is my mistress, my camera is my golden retriever. It gets me outside and breathing fresh air. Keeps me from getting fiction scurvy.
You write with truth and honesty, is that hard to do in a world that seems to be sugar coated?
It's never been hard. I don't remember choosing to write truthfully or honestly as opposed to some other way. Words like that tend to be attached to people who keep writing through a life-changing event: they're called 'raw' or 'courageous' when really, they're just expressing what needs to be expressed in that moment. It's not a choice. It's frantic and not at all contrived to be anything other than a reaching-out. That said, plenty of people go through transformative experiences and withdraw from public writing because that's what feels right for them. That doesn't mean that I'm any more honest than they are. It just means that writing is one of my necessary vents.
I have no principles around writing other than to not enter cleavage contests. I'd lose anyway. I try to engage in minor deception at least three times per week. It keeps me grounded.
What do you wish you had more time for?
Right now, anything other than the ten-mile stare of being almost finished the first draft of my second novel. Working to a deadline is new for me. I'm happy, but I'm a cross-eyed hunchback. Right now, I'd pay ten million dollars to spend an afternoon canning zucchini and scrubbing the bilge of the boat.
Where do you go in the blogosphere for inspiration (parenting, art and otherwise)?
Bon at Crib Chronicles is a brilliant writer and thinker and friend. Ryan at Pacing the Panic Room, Sweet Juniper, and BHJ for wildly different reasons. I'm the last person in the known universe to have found Joanna Goddard at Cup of Jo. She's got great taste. I still love The Sartorialist not so much for the fashion, but for all those faces just standing there and staring at the camera from Stockholm and Amsterdam and Paris. I wonder if any of them really know how beautiful they are. Well. Some figure they do. Shutter Sisters for photographic inspiration except I'm one of several founding contributors so that's basically saying that I inspire myself. Which is odd.
Finally, what is one great piece of parenting advice someone has shared with you?
The same piece of advice I've gotten lately about writing: that one of the best gifts you can give yourself is permission to suck sometimes. We grow up too entitled - we expect life to unfold in a way that validates our world view. Pregnancy, birth, kids, marriage... we make it all mean more than it should in terms of our performance. We're just this throbbing mess of ego in everything we do. We demand to feel gratified at all times or else it's all angst and knuckle-biting and it's inhumane. It's a humbling and a healthy thing to be open to messing up.
When you embrace your own occasional suck, it's easier to shake off panic and demoralization. You just roll up your sleeves and do what comes next. It's very freeing. It's the only mantra that will ever result in an improved second draft of anything.
Read more about Kate, her family and life's adventures over at sweet | salty.
Since our inception, we have loved hearing from all of our readers as well as reaching out to several in the blog community. You are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands all writing about your families, style and what makes you tick. To continue fostering this great blogging community, we'll now begin featuring close-ups of our favorite family and design blogs as part of our "Big Blog Family".
Image: Kate Inglis