Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Timmy Interviews Cody! Part One of a Three-part Interview!

Getting to know My Koti 

This is part one of a series of three interviews about Cody in conjunction with Love Bytes Reviews!

I have met some really cool people on Facebook and I love to soak up all the information I can about them. I like to feel I really know them. I know Cody very well, and respect him a lot. As I read interviews of him, I find that people ask him a lot of the same questions and those are mostly about his work as an author, and the work he does helping abused kids.

I wish people knew My Koti; the one who has helped me through so much of the difficult time in my life. There is so much people don’t know about him. So, on that note, I asked if I could interview him and he said yes! I had so many questions that I decided to make it a three-part interview! And he still said yes! Yay! I’m super excited!

This first interview is all about My Koti where I asked never before asked questions about him. Enjoy!

I have heard that writers do different things when starting a new book. Are there any rituals you go through when starting to write a new book?

Because I’m an organization freak, the first thing I do is ensure that all of my filing is complete. This may sound simple, but for me it isn’t. I detest filing with a passion. I create piles and am happy with my piling system...until I can’t find something. Then a bunch of keening and wailing occurs. I digress. 

Because I view starting a new project as an exciting privilege and I practice “get the worst over as quickly as you can,” I force myself to FILE. This involves a lot of self-talk. If you hadn’t let it go for so long, you’d have this done in ten minutes. But, no. You had to let it go for a month. It’s your own fault. Speed it up. 

Once the filing drama is over, I set up a binder and divide it into four categories: inspiration, notes, research, and draft MS. This is very time consuming. I use only white binders and choose a different font and color scheme for each project. I have wasted entire days setting up one binder. After I have wasted sufficient time customizing a binder, I organize the inspirational images I’ve collected on my computer by character, location, etc. I place one or two of those images beneath the plastic and it is the front cover of the binder. Finally, I select a song that fits the overall story, set it to play, open Word, and GO!

If you are sleeping and suddenly wake up with a new story or character on your mind, what is the first thing you do? 

Tell myself to go back to sleep, the idea will still be there tomorrow. True story.

There are some who say writer’s block is not real. What are your feelings on writer's block? 

Writer’s block is defined as “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.” Setting aside for a moment that authorship is a profession and, as such, one does not have the luxury of being unable to write, I don’t have this problem. I was blessed with a wild imagination and, rather, I have the problem of having too many directions to go with a story. I’m oft burdened with figuring out how I can fit all the imagined options into a story. Realistically, this isn’t possible and I must choose what to keep and what to lose. I have a number of incredible talents, but the art of choosing is not one of them. Please see: keening and wailing, above.

I have heard it said that if you do something a million times you become an expert at it. Translated to writing, if you have written over a million words would that make a writer an expert? Are you an expert?

No and no. Writing does take practice and many of us have written well over a million words, but unless we hone our skills as we go and press ourselves to be ever better as we write, we won’t improve. I have been writing for nearly half a century and am nowhere near being as good as I hope to one day be. I’ll add another thought. I will never be an expert at anything. Being an expert infers that there is little or nothing more to learn about a particular subject and I won’t limit myself in that respect. Our worlds are not static. They’re ever-changing and ever-evolving things and there is and always will be more to learn about everything.

As a thirteen-year-old boy, I find that I am way different from other kids my age. Romance is something I like to read and dream about. It gives me hope and it is one reason I work so hard to heal from my past. There is nothing better to me than reading a sweet romance story. If you were planning a date, where would you take him? What would be the perfect romantic date for you? 

Is this the part where I say I don’t date? Gawwww. What a question! A walk on the beach, good conversation, and dinner on the pier as we watch the sunset. Life is hard and I suggest that spending as much time as we can making our lives peaceful and easy, the healthier we’ll be. I like peaceful and easy.

I love reading about different time periods, whether in the future or the past. I always wonder what my life might be if I was born in another time. If you could live an any time period, what would it be and why? 

I would choose to live in the future. I want to be able to fly without the aid of large machinery, to travel instantaneously, and to live in world peace. While things may get worse before they get better, I’m certain we’ll achieve world peace in the future.

I think of the future often. I hope that one day everyone will see me as normal as they see themselves. Until then, we depend on our government to keep LGBTQIAP people safe and to force people to treat us equally. In your opinion, what is the most important law that can be or has been put into place to help the LGBT community?

Certainly, marriage equality has changed not only our country, but also the world. Nonetheless, rights are not yet equal or equitable. The disparity in both instances stems from discrimination and I believe more severe pecuniary measures should be in place not only for discrimination, but for concealing, fostering, and/or being a passive party to it.

I have always wanted a pet but, other then my fish, I have not had one. Tell me about the pets you have had in your life. Are they your friends? Are they your children? Do they make you laugh? Are they there when you are upset? 

I have had every conceivable domesticated animal as a pet, each with his or her own distinctly different personality. I had a fawn Great Dane when I grew up. Psyche was the sweetest dog ever and took up more of my twin bed than I did. Pyewacket, my beautiful chocolate Siamese cat, was very fickle and aloof, but also slept on my bed at night. Her purring is indelibly imprinted in my mind. As an adult, I had a black and tan hound named Dixie for thirteen years. Her disposition was as sweet as Psyche’s was. I miss all of them dearly. Now, I have a horse and three parrots. My horse, Majic, is fun but he is spoiled and can be a jerk. Having three parrots is like having three four-year-olds. They’re a ton of work and time-consuming, but so worth it. And yes, they know instinctively when I’m upset or angry. Two of them will immediately ask “Are you okay?” This goes on repeatedly until the third chimes in with “I love you.” It’s uncanny. #BestFriendsEver

Yes! They are stockings!

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes it’s hard to sit back and look at what your weaknesses are. My strength is caring. I care about people and things, and I believe that makes me a better person. My biggest weakness is self-bullying. If I could learn to be nicer to myself, I could save myself a lot of drama. What is your best strength and your biggest weakness?

I don’t know. I try to look at the positive side of things and think that's my best quality. It seems each trait we carry has two sides to it. I’m fun, caring, and try to be kind. Because I strive to be patient in all things, I often allow others to take advantage of me. #Note2Self #Area4Improvement I wish I was not as gullible as I am and wish I had a quick wit. I’m lousy with wit. I’d say my greatest weakness is my temper if I feel someone is being unjustly treated or, worse yet, mistreated. It’s a whoa gig for me. I force myself to walk away. A friend of mine bought me a stuffed animal as a birthday gift once. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I still have it. Begs the question: Why do I still have it? :/

People say it doesn’t matter what others think about me. I say that’s a bunch of crap! It’s hard not to care when people look down on me. I know what your advice to me would be, but how do you deal with negative people in your life?

I ignore them. One of the benefits of age is that you care less about what others think of you. In caring less, you are more naturally yourself and the ease with which you function puts others at ease. As a result, less strife occurs around you. That said, when I was your age, I felt very differently. My grandfather kept having my hair cut short when I was young and I finally convinced him to let me grow it...and grow it...and grow it...and have had long hair ever since...because I can hide behind it when I’m feeling unsure of myself. That’s a secret. Please don’t tell anyone.

When I review books, I try to be careful not to hurt authors’ feelings because I know they put a lot of time and effort into their books. I understand that two of your books hit close to home for you. I can’t imagine what it took for you to write about such painful memories. How do you deal with criticism on these stories? How do you deal with what must be heartbreak when they say they are not realistic?

First, I swallow hard and stifle sadness. Second, I shake my head and decry the human race for believing that we are incapable of treating our youth so badly. Third, I smirk. Particularly at those who claim to be “in a profession” related to what I have not only written, but lived. Finally, I smile to myself and think there is nothing wrong with people disagreeing with or not liking what I write. Far be it from me to “tell” anyone anything. It isn’t my place. In the end, I try to be philosophical about it. The aforementioned said, Pollyanna is not my middle name and I welcome constructive debate when it comes to the treatment and care of abused children.

I find that though being gay does not define me, many things about my appearance might indicate that I’m gay. What parts of your appearance are unique to your sexuality?

Being Intersex, it’s difficult to tell whether I’m male or female. From a distance, I appear female, but as one comes closer, they realize I shave, etc. What follows is a lot of staring. We’re deeply conditioned, sociopathically so, to sense gender first and above all things, and it’s tough for people to adjust to. Unfortunately, staring is also one of the few things that irritates me. I want to stare back and say: JUST ASK! 

Thanks, My Koti! This is great! The second interview will be about Intersex people and what is means to be intersex. The third interview will be about how being intersex has affected him and the challenges he has met with. Stay tuned!

81 comments:

  1. What a fabulous, very thoughtful, and in-depth interview. I love learning more about the authors I love. Thank you, Timmy for being the Barbara Walters (asking questions we all want to ask). Thank you, Cody for being so open.

    I look forward to Part 2!

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    1. This was so fun! I learned a few things about my Koti as well. Thanks for stopping by and reading it!
      <3 Timmy

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  2. GREAT questions, Timmy! Now I'm sitting here anxiously waiting for the next two installments. Feel free to release them early! lol :D

    <3 Cody & Timmy <3 The Dynamic Duo! :)

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    1. I think they will be going out monthly. Sorry! I'm excited for the rest as well!
      <3 Timmy

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  3. Great interview Timmy and Cody. I agree with Cody, when we are younger we want to fit in and listen to people and judge ourselves. At the young age of 48 I have come to the conclusion if people don't like how I look or what I wear it is THEIR problem. It's great to get to know a little more about Cody. Timmy, you are a very talented young man. Your reviews are awesome and your questions to Cody were very thought out. I can't wait for part 2. Love and Hugs. <3

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    1. Thanks Denise! I really enjoyed doing this! Cody doesn't often talk about himself, so when he said yes to an open interview I was kind of shocked.
      <3 Timmy

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  4. This was a great first interview. I love learning more about Cody, and your questions are very insightful,so thank you Timmy, and thank you Cody for sharing your wisdom with us.


    I'm looking forward to part 2 <3

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    1. Thanks Deeze! I'm glad you liked it! I'm still writing questions for the part 2, but I hope to have them done soon!
      <3 Timmy

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  5. Fantastic. Thank you Timmy for organizing this amazing interview, and thank you Cody for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Really amazing and insightful. You guys are both amazing. <3 For reals.

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    1. And I'm so embarrassed that I used the word "amazing" three times in my comment. Sorry 'bout that. How about *fabulous* or *awesome* or *fantastic*... yeah, pretend I said one of those words instead of the SAME word. :-)

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    2. I love the word amazing! Until I went on FB that word had never been used about me! Thank you!
      <3 Timmy

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    3. I think it's awesome that you used awesome a number of awesome times, Beth! Glad you enjoyed the interview!

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  6. Great interview and some really thought provoking questions, Timmy! And, Cody, I LOVE those stockings! My best friend has a blue and gold macaw and she makes stockings all the time - but never ones like that! I can add my words to Cody's and confirm that the older you get, the easier it is to see how little other people's opinions matter. It's a shame it takes us so long to figure that out. Someone will always look down their nose at you, Timmy - it happens to all of us - but it's their issue and ignorance.

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    1. I hope you are right. I can't see that I will ever be ok with someone looking down on me, but I look forward to the day it doesn't hurt so much.
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you, Jaycee! The stockings are AWESOME! I'd love to see someone make more of them!

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  7. Wonnnnderful interview. Love, love, love.

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    1. Thanks Jules! Thank you for stopping by and reading it!
      <3 Timmy

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  8. Wow!!! He did ask a bunch of questions that I didn't know!!! :D As people before me have stated, thankee Timmy for asking such brilliant questions and thankee Cody for answering them!!! I loved the pictures, too. Can't wait for part two!!! <3 <3 <3 Much love!!!

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    1. Thanks M Leanne! I was hoping to ask all new questions so people would learn new things about my Koti!
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thanks so much, Leanne! <3

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  9. Insightful questions, Timmy. Well thought out and phrased, and they elicited revealing answers. You should have your own interview show on TV. Good job!

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    1. LOL! Nope I'll save that for my friends! I want to do a interview for all my friends, because I'm nosy like that. ;)
      <3 Timmy

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  10. Wow. Just wow. These are some hard hitting, in depth questions here Timmy. I'm so proud of you for doing more than "scratching the surface" with this interview. I could tell that your questions were thought out and they were very well worded.

    Cody, I appreciate your candidness in answering questions which I consider tough (good job again, Timmy!). You've got such a fantastic outlook on things, that's just part of what makes you so special.

    You both are so brave for tackling these series of interviews. I admire, respect and love you both. I can't wait to see what the next two bring.

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    1. Thanks Sandy! I've bee waiting for someone to ask these types of questions. I gave up waiting. LOL
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you, Sandy! Timmy is an excellent interviewer and I hope my answers help raise awareness about intersex people!

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  11. Fantastic interview, Timmy & Cody. Awesome questions, Timmy! Looking forward to parts 2 & 3.

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    1. Thanks Lynette! Love seeing you here!
      <3 Timmy

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  12. Aloha Timmy and Cody. :-). What a fabulous interview. I can't believe you're only 13 sometimes Timmy. You're amazing. Yes - no other word for it. :-).

    You're intelligence is phenomenal. You're so articulate and thoughtful. And I know at your age you just want to fit in and not be different. All I can tell you is that people like you just get better with age. I look at some of the people I went to school with who were the 'popular' kids. And they're not very interesting now. The ones who had great brains, were artistic and had unusual ideas - treated as misfits - are some of the most fascinating people I know. It goes without saying - you'll continue to amaze us all as you get older. You're outstanding now!!

    You and Cody bring a very special energy and joy to all of us. I love the questions you asked. And love the way you asked them Cody. The jerk horse. Lol. Does he have a Christmas stocking too. What do they get in their stockings. If I gave my kids stockings. My oldest would look at me disdainfully. My youngest would have figured out a way to get each one down and have pawed through the contents well before Christmas. Lol. Wee horrors.

    I've been reading more about the parrots. They fascinate me with their ability to talk and know emotions.

    And Cody as always - it's a joy to hear your voice and answers. You and Cody seem like kindred souls. Both bright, articulate, funny caring people. We all love you.

    Thanks and aloha Meg. :-) <3

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    1. Thanks Meg! I really enjoy getting to know all you wonderful people! My self esteem is like 200% better then before FB. :D Thanks for stopping by and reading!
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you for the compliments, Meg! Sadly, the horse does not have his own stocking. It's more interested in the hay bale and oats. The birds each receive a new wood toy and many nuts! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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    3. YES, Meg! This is SO true! I was on FB the other day chatting with old classmates and it's amazing how 99% of us said we felt out of place at school and didn't talk to anyone. People started asking about the "popular" kids and almost all of them have fallen off the face of the earth it seems. It's like after school, when they are no longer the center of attention, they wither. Yet, all us "misfits" have somehow survived and - wow - what a fascinating, wonderful collection of people we are!

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    4. So very true, Jaycee. And we are a fascinating, wonderful, strong, loving people.

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  13. Ps. Love the cartoons and the toy. :-). Gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks! Mel did the cartoon for me.
      <3 Timmy

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  14. I love this interview! Timmy, your questions gave us insight into our friend Cody that few ever get to see. Cody is a terrific person; one of the best people I know and I love that people get to see his various sides. He is sometimes topsy-turvy and quirky yet also very methodical, but rarely linear, so very kind, yet ferocious in his youth advocacy, and above all else he is the most fun-loving person I know. You are a magnificent interviewer, Timmy and what a great first interview. Thank you!!

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    1. He is ALL those things and more, Mel! He is my hero on many different levels.
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you so very much for the compliments, MLissaLou! Timmy did a great job with this interview!

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  15. Fantastic interview! Fabulous questions, Timmy. Really well thought out and insightful. You truly are amazing through and through.

    Thank you for being so open in your answers, Timmy's Koti. It's always nice to get to know someone you admire a little better, so your willingness to share more of yourself with us in this interview, Cody, and the two to follow, is truly appreciated,

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    1. Thanks Aniko, it wasn't that long ago I hated asking questions. They scare me, because I was raised and taught never to ask questions. It's nice that I got to grow a little here, and Koti branched out a little too. He is such a private man.
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you, Aniko! Timmy made it easy to answer his questions. He's a great interviewer!

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  16. What an awesome interview! Timmy, you are so thoughtful and well spoken for such a young person! I think it is very brave of you both to share these things with all of us. You are both incredibly special, and I feel very blessed that I can be apart of your story. Well done BOTH of you! Can't wait for January!

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    1. Thanks so much Jessica! I thought if I explained each of my questions with they WHY i'm asking, it might make it easier for Koti to answer them. So I tried to preface each question.
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you, Jessica! We count ourselves fortunate to you as part of our story!

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  17. Dear, dear, dear . . . You have helped me so much with your philosophies. I am so glad you are allowing others to see your viewpoint on life, it is refreshing! Because of you, I do "just ask".
    I would challenge your definition of 'expert' though. To me, an expert is NOT someone who knows all there is to know; it is someone who knows more than the majority of others in his/her field. Someone who has a grasp on the deeper aspects of his/her field. I can't guess if you fall in that category or not - I want to see more of your work!
    Thank you Timmy for interviewing Cody and allowing the rest of us a glimpse into this very private man. I'm looking forward to the rest of your interview! Both of you are such an inspiration.
    (Okay, I know I'm laying it on thick, but I rarely get to really express my feelings towards you guys).
    That is all.

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    1. Kerry, you are the sweetest! I'm glad you liked the interview! I'll let Cody debate the meaning of exert with you, as I am not an expert in anything, I don't know.
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Be patient grasshopper, you have much time left in your life to become expert <3
      Love ya!

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    3. You make us smile, Kerry! Thank you! You may be right about the definition of "expert." Alas, I don't consider myself close. It's great to see you here! <3

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  18. Excellent job, Timmy. Such a multi-talented guy! Looking forward to the next installment.
    Cody, enjoyed reading your candid answers. Bravo. :)
    ~Whitley

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    1. Thanks Whitley! Thanks for stopping by and reading the interview.
      <3 Timmy

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  19. Wow, Timmy and Cody! I learned so much about both of you. Amazingly well done.

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    1. Thank you, our sweet Mia! It's great to see you here! <3

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    2. Thanks Mia! Love you! Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. Loved the interview, Timmy. Awesome. Big thanks to Cody, too. Pamela <3 <3

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    1. Thanks Pamela! Glad you stooped by!
      <3 Timmy

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  21. Fantastic interview guys! So many varied and interesting questions. It's always a pleasure to learn more about Cody. *So glad you think there will be world peace in the future, Cody! I feel the same way.* And it's true, the older one gets the less you care what people think of you. Of course, it would be nice if everyone liked me, but I don't give them the power to hurt me anymore. You'll get there Timmy! Simply focus on the people who love and support you and don't worry about the others. Their loss for not knowing the wonderful person you are. Looking forward to the next interview! :)

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    1. Thanks Dianne! I love learning about people too.
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you, Dianne! Hope it happens in our lifetimes! It's always great to see you here!

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  22. A fantastic interview, Timmy & Cody! <3 I'm looking forward to reading parts 2 & 3. :)

    Hanne

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    1. Thanks Hanne! They will be out soon!
      <3 Timmy

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  23. Fabulous interview, gentlemen! Your questions are great, Timmy, and your answers, Cody, and very insightful. Thanks for sharing of yourselves!

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    1. My Shira! Thanks so much! *hugs* When do I get to interview you?
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you, Shira! And thanks for stopping by and commenting! It's great to see you here!

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  24. Wow, that was a fantastic interview. I love to read interviews with questions that are 'different' I think an interview is meant to uncover interesting things and yours certainly has. Thank you both for sharing

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    1. Thanks! Glad you stopped by to read it!
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank you, Nephylim! Timmy is a great interviewer!

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  25. Such thoughtful, incisive questions! Timmy would make a great journalist. And thank you, my birthday brother from another mother, for your honest answers. <3

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    1. Thanks, my birthday sister from another mother! It's great to see you here! <3

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  26. Dear Timmy and Cody.
    You are the bravest men of all the people I know.
    And the most glittery.
    You both bring such joy to so many of us, and you teach us all about honesty and how to be proud.
    Well, I, for one, am so proud to call you my friends. You make everything better.
    Well done, both of you, well done. <3 <3 <3

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    1. Thanks Anna! Thank you for all the support you give me. <3 <3
      <3 Timmy

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    2. Thank YOU, Anna, for being our friend! <3

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