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2012 Twenty Questions Interviews : Bonnie Neubauer

20 Questions Interview
with Bonnie Neubauer

Teacher, Artist, Inventor, Writer


Bonnie Neubauer1. What's your name?

Bonnie Neubauer.

2. Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the city of Philadelphia. Now I live in one of the western suburbs.

3. Who are you today?

In an ever-evolving, ever-changing litany of titles, today I would call myself a teacher and mentor. I had the distinct honor of teaching an 11-year-old how to create a funeral for her pet hamster which included writing a eulogy and discussing death. Tonight I will be an artist who paints on rocks; yesterday I was a cognitive skills trainer for kids with learning challenges; tomorrow I will be the writer of a newsletter for female business owners; and on the weekend I will be a board game inventor.

4. What do you do? (Elevator speech)

OMG. I should have read all the questions first. Please see #3 and add author, speaker, greeting card writer, and marketing consultant to cognitive skills trainer, artist, inventor, and freelance writer. And if you have to boil it all down to one phrase, I would say, "My life mission is to make my inner smile external in others through edutainment."

5. What's your story (how did you get here)?

Looking back it's fairly easy to see how the thousands of baby steps, handful of leaps, and myriad of detours all fit together like stepping stones to form the creative life I lead today. However, as a child a young adult, I didn't seem to exhibit a single creative tendency. I especially hated writing and didn't do much reading, either. I didn't know it until it happened, but I was just a late bloomer. When I was in my mid-thirties, creativity in the form of writing, seemed to magically ooze out of every pen I touched. I was like a baby who finally learning to walk and I just took off. I have never looked back.

6. Why is creativity important to you?

If I go more than two days without doing something creative, I start to feel out of sorts and a bit ornery. Creativity takes so many forms for me (teaching, writing, inventing, drawing, devising clever ways to avoid household chores, etc.) that it's very easy to get my daily fix. I would have to say that creativity is akin to connectivity for me — it brings me pleasure and I then share that joy with others.

7. When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?

The day I watched someone (and hundreds of someone's after that) in one of my writing workshops catch the writing bug, I knew something special was happening. My writing prompt idea made her entire posture changed, her face light up, a smile curl up on her lips. After the writing exercise was over, her hand flew up so she could share her writing with the group. I felt both proud and honored to have been a part of it. Every time it happens I feel this way.

8. How did you embrace it?

With a huge hug! Creativity is most definitely contagious and I make it a point to spread it to everyone I meet.

9. How did that feel?

Magical. I had finally found my life purpose after feeling like I never really fit in. It was so powerful a revelation that it initially sucked the air out of my lungs. Once I got comfortable with it, I was able to consciously share it with others. I sound a bit like an evangelist, but all I really mean by this is that I lead by example and encourage others to tap into their creativity on some level.

10. Where has your journey taken you?

Into my heart. That's where creativity originates. I think mine had been shut down until I discovered my creative side.

Continue to Interview page 2 »