Tuesday, February 1, 2011

B.W.T.A.: Ev’Yan Nasman.

Hello Everyone!

I want to give my readers a look into the bloggers/writers I adore and enjoy. A lot of the things I write and the way in which I format them, have been inspired by the other pen&keyboard lovers I visit. There’s a list of them on the right side of this blog, but I’m sure most of you haven’t ventured into that area. So once a month, with a segment called Bloggers Worth Talking About (in case you were wondering what the acronym stood for), I’d like to highlight their work/blog with an interview here. This blog focuses on writing, love, and creativity; and these themes will be the topic of the questions. Enjoy!

My First Victim:

Ev’Yan Nasman, owner of apricot-tea.com, is an amazing writer, wife, and eccentric. She’s incredibly multifaceted: she crafts artwork, cooks amazing vegan meals, takes visually aesthetic trips with Sven (her camera), and is a licensed cosmetologist. That being said, her blog is one hell of a rollercoaster. Apricot-Tea is a peek into the lives, meals, and philosophies of Ev’Yan, Jonathan (her husband), and their beautiful dog (child) Sophie. Ev’Yan writes articles on everything, from her thoughts on religion to her personal-married-sex story (my favorite post). What seems to have started out to be a blog of a fashionista with vintage appeal, turned into a flurry of exhibition tales which highlight the trek of young woman juggling love and creativity. Sound familiar?


I must say first and foremost before starting this interview that I am
a huge fan of your bravery. Most bloggers specialize in a certain
topic—technology, love, writing, etc—and are usually too afraid to let
the world in on their personal life. Although you’ve always let us in
on your life in some way, in recent months you’ve given us a much
closer look. You do that with no holds barred, has that been tough for
you? Which post would you say initiated this style into your blog?

Doing candid, no holds barred kinds of writing it difficult; absolutely. What's most difficult about it is not knowing how it will be received by my audience. The process of writing whatever it is I want to say is easy, but waiting for the comments (or emails) to pour in is always a bit nerve wracking.

With everything I write, I try to paint a good picture of who I am, what I go through, & how I am feeling. I think this kind of honesty is rare in most blogs -- I don't see it as often as I would like to, & I love giving my readers a chance to know the real me, & not just an "online personality" that is altered to look perfect, pleasant, & happy. Because life isn't always perfect, pleasant, & happy.

I think what initiated my brutal honesty with what goes on in my life was certainly my sex post. I had written other personal posts before that, but admitting to the world that I was having problems with intimacy with my husband was the first time that I was really, really honest. I wrote it because I needed to feel less alone about a topic that I didn't feel was popular amongst women. I wanted reassurance, encouragement, & proof that I might have not been the only girl going through it at the time. & I STILL get emails to this day from people telling me how my story/thoughts on the subject of sex resonates with them, & they often thank me for coming forward with such a touchy topic. That makes me feel amazing. Knowing that I've helped others speak more openly about their truths, while admitting to having trouble with such an intimate subject, is the goal ultimately. If I can do that, then my mission has been accomplished.

I’m sure you’ve answered this a million times before but it’s a
prerequisite for an interview like this one. What motivated you to
start Apricot-Tea? Did you think it would be as successful as it is
now? (If you don’t know, judging by Ev’Yan’s bloglovin’, features, and
commentary; her stats are off the chain!) How would you say you feel
about the change of direction your blog has taken?

I started Apricot Tea when I was recently married & about to be unemployed, & it was really out of wanting something to do during the day to keep the boredom at bay. If you go back to the very first posts, you'll see that I was kind of all over the place. At first it was a diary. Then it was a fashion blog. Then it was a photo-blog. Then it was a confessional. Apricot Tea has been so many things for the last almost three years, & for a while I thought it would be easier to focus just on one subject -- that being fashion. I did that for a while because I knew it would get a lot of attention. Taking pretty photographs of what I wear is much, much easier than digging deep & discussing things that are private but truthful. But after a while, I found myself feeling stuck. While showcasing my style is great, it's so overdone, & I wanted to get back to the way Apricot Tea was in the first place, which was my personal diary first & foremost. It's obvious to me (& I'm sure to the people that have been reading my blog for a while) that I do that best; writing just comes so naturally for me.

Never in a million, trillion years did I expect my blog to get as big as it is. Never, ever. I didn't even have any expectations of having people actually read what I had to say. If anything, it was meant to be my own little site to say & do whatever I wanted. But the community that has come from it & the relationships I've developed with people all around the world... it just baffles me. It's beautiful. I love it.

You live, what looks like, a free spirited life that most dream of.
Are you and Jonathan (your husband), both successful bloggers, a great
writing team at home? Do you spend hours brainstorming and bouncing
writing ideas off of one another?

Thank you! Yes, Jonathan & I are self-employed. He & I own a business together, which is based through his self development blog, IlluminatedMind.net. I help him write & proof articles, I correspond with & schedule his clients, & he & I brainstorm about the direction to take his blog. He is definitely more involved in it than I am, because it's his blog. But I've played a big part in helping him throughout the years, & I am so grateful to be able to work from home with my best friend, doing the thing I love most... which is writing. & the great thing about it is that we can work anytime, anywhere. Sometimes we'll brainstorm in line at the supermarket; sometimes it'll be over dinner; sometimes it'll be while we're laying in bed, just about to go to sleep. He fuels my work at Apricot Tea (which I make NO money off of, by the way) & I fuel his work at Illuminated Mind. He inspires me, I inspire him. We make an excellent team.

Most blogs/articles lead to full texts on the subject. Are you at all
interested in producing a full body of work, like a memoir or novel?
If you were to complete one, what would be the topic and what kind of
audience would you strive to reach?

Yes, yes, yes. I have been wanting to write a book for years, but have only seriously considered it as of recently. The only problem is that I wouldn't know what that would look like; if it would be fiction or non-fiction; self-development based or memoir style. I have no idea! I'm waiting for the idea to come to me so I can expound on it more. Until then... it's a huge desire of mine & it's waiting to be implemented. I'm really excited about it!


You’re extremely versatile when it comes to your interests and
hobbies? What/who would you say has the most influence on your

I don't know if there's a particular person or thing that has influenced me to keep an open mind & heart. I just believe in doing things that I enjoy & have a fondness for. Life is much richer that way.

I frequently review hip-hop albums/artists and I always ask this of
any one I interview. I notice you don’t speak much about hip-hop, but
there’s got to be an emcee you enjoy! Who would that be and why?

Believe it or not, I used to love hip-hop back in the day. (& by back in the day, I mean when I was in 8th & 9th grade.) I wouldn't say that I was heavily into the lifestyle aspect of it, but for a while I enjoyed the music, which went nothing further than listening to the radio. People like Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Pharell, Jay-Z, Floetry, & The Pharcyde... I still like a lot of those artists.


A friend of mine told me that true love will feel as though you have
entered a new phase with your best friend and it should be calm and
easy. Would you say this about your marriage? What keeps the
equilibrium between you two?

I would definitely say that true love is easy & calm. Not necessarily in how it forms, but how it is kept together. Things like distance, color of your skin, differences in interests & lifestyles don't stand a chance in threatening your union. & when you DO finally come together, everything falls into place & gets integrated smoothly. For instance, Jonathan's lifestyle was a vegetarian who had little impact on the earth; I was a meat-eater who usually used paper plates for breakfast, lunch, & dinner. The change wasn't instant, but eventually... I adopted his views & ways of life because they were ultimately what I wanted, too, & vice versa. It happened so naturally that it was practically seamless, same with other things in our relationship, like taking the step to moving in together & then eventually getting married. It was so simple that it was almost a no brainer. I truly believe that true love can & should be that way.

As far my relationship with Jonathan goes, we're best friends first & foremost. & then we're lovers. & then we're partners in crime. I can talk to him about anything & everything, as can he. We do not judge each other & we maintain an easy-going state of mind when it comes to all things. It's all about love; everything that we do & say to each other comes from unconditional love.

I know you believe in love at first sight. In your words, what are the
characteristics of such a feeling?

Literally, falling in love at the first sight of someone; knowing that that is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, for better or for worse. It's extremely difficult to put into words without sounding cliche or cheesy, because it's more of a feeling than an action. But trust me... it exists! & this is coming from a girl who scoffed at the idea of love at first sight, until I was blindsided by it.

What advice would you give to women that are your age (or older) that
are starting to give up on hope for a good mate or future with love?

Stop looking. He/she will find you, I promise. Just keep an open heart & stay hopeful that he/she is out there somewhere, because it's the truth.


I already know the answer to this but I’m sure my readers will get a
kick out of it. Can you please tell them what you do with hate email?

I set fire to it & let it burn. There is something so powerful about watching hateful, intrusive words ignite in flames before your eyes. & then the end result is ash, which is perfect for my garden. :]

You can read tons of Ev'Yan's musings here:

twitter || @_apricottea



Danielle Renee said...

You've become a reporter now! look at youuu! Awesome!

Unknown said...

i loved this and i'm feeling your new layout!

RBWS said...

So me being curious, I had to read the sex post you said was your favorite...it was good!!! Really good.

T. said...

Cool sh*t! Loved the interview, glad to see you are doing well Ms. Buddington :)

Veronica said...

Love this new addition to your blog..I'll be interested in seeing whoese coming up next!

Also, I got your note about sharing/comparing notes swapping manuscripts etc. it sounds like a lovely idea. I really admire the work you've been posting. I'm too afraid to post mine on my blog...maybe I'll start soon..lol

hit me up on email: veronica.wright1@gmail.com