Interview with Carol B.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was a kid, I read and wrote like a fiend. I immersed myself in the world of books. I was nine when I declared my intention to be a writer and illustrator. I wrote intricately detailed chapters of white-skinned pioneers and native American Indians, long-hand, in pencil, on notebook paper, which I stacked up and bound with yarn into a 500-page book. My friends thought I was insane.

Almost 50 years later, I write and illustrate a blog (The Hellish Handbasket). I also recently finished a 390-page dissertation, which just happens to also be illustrated. Pretty cool! This dissertation is the subject of my first ebook, "Welcome to Dissertation Hell." My friends still think I'm insane. But now that I'm finally finished--phinished!--they are happy to see me again.
What is your writing process?
Whenever anything interesting happens, I write a blog post about it. Blog-worthy events can be large or small, universal or personal. I write an essay by starting at the top and proceeding to the end. (That is not how I would write a dissertation or an academic journal article, by the way.) After I ferret out typos and sniff out ambiguities, I scroll through my hundreds of digital drawings, looking for an image to illustrate the post. On only a couple occasions have I written a blog post toward a particular illustration.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read anything that lets me escape from the excruciating realities of being present in my own life. As a self-obsessed control monster, I am rarely satisfied with anything--hence my moniker, The Chronic Malcontent. I've read far too many textbooks in my academic journey, so when left to myself, I will dive into the tub with a juicy vampire romance. I'm not above reading stories about dragons or werewolves, too. Fantasy, science fiction, anything that lets me out of the here and now, I'm there!
Describe your desk
My desk is a piece of high density particle board on a table. Besides the computer monitor, my desk is covered with pens, paper clips, dust, and cat hair.
Published 2014-05-04.
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Books by This Author

Welcome to Dissertation Hell: A (hilarious) Handbook for Doctoral Students
Price: Free! Words: 70,340. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire, Nonfiction » Education & Study Guides » Adult & continuing education
"Welcome to Dissertation Hell" is a compilation of selected posts from the Hellish Handbasket Blog, written and illustrated by Carol B. (AKA The Chronic Malcontent). Each post marks a memorable moment on her two-year journey from A.B.D. doctoral candidate to Ph.D. scholar. Humorous pen-and-ink drawings illustrate many of the posts. Frustrated grad students will find a kindred spirit here.