The Backstory - Summer Rogers
Updated: 6 days ago
People who know me know I enjoy doing skits on Facebook and Twitter. Skits where I interact with the lead characters from my books and writing projects. There's a backstory about all that in one of my blog posts.
One of those characters is Scratch. Scratch is my fast talking, used car salesman-ish, charismatic, zoot suit wearing version of the Devil. He can be found in my "Scratch's Urban Legends" series, which can be found somewhere on my website, I think. Scratch loves most writers. He once whispered in William Shakespeare's ear. He used to share drinks over card games with Ernest Hemingway. That said, he holds an absolute hatred for horror writers due to a misunderstanding with Edgar Allen Poe.
Scratch contends it was a pigeon, not a Raven. I don't know the full story, you'd have to ask him.
He also has a thing for strong, independent women who happen to be redheads. Now, that part? That part I do know. It was inspired by someone who enjoys whenever he makes a skit appearance on Facebook.
I take you to South Carolina to meet Summer Rogers, a lover of music, an artist, and my next guest for The Backstory.
KD: Summer Rogers, who art thou?
Summer Rogers: What makes me who I am is my personality, my resilience and my determination. Since childhood, I have been independent and fought my own battles. Relying on no one to save me or solve my issues for me. I have never taken a victim mentality. I never wanted to be a Disney princess. I am a warrior that does not need anyone to save me. I am capable and strong to make it in this world on my own two feet.
I have a fierce determination to succeed at anything I set my mind to do or learn. I love learning each day. I never believe I know everything and each day my knowledge of the world and people grows because I willingly learn from them or things. I am being on taking responsibility for my choices and holding myself accountable for my actions. I will admit I am wrong and I will not try to justify it. If you justify it then you are making excuses and not holding yourself accountable. I set goals for myself and I do not give up on them. At this time I am chasing my dream of holding my PhD.
I determine my worth and my importance. The opinion of others does not affect how I see myself as a person. My perception of reality is based on my thoughts, motivation and passion not the opinions, judgments or perceptions of others. Many people call me beautiful based on my physical appearance. One of my flaws is I have a difficult time accepting compliments about my physical appearance. As a child, I was made fun of and called plain and ugly as a child and teenager. I believe a lot of this perception from others regarding my physical appearance was because I did not know my own worth or value during this time of my life. I lacked confidence in myself. Once I gained that confidence and found that strength in recognizing my worth and value, I began to notice it was reflected back in how people perceived my physical appearance. Although I appreciate the compliments about my physical appearance, I desire for people to find me attractive not based on how I look but based on my intelligence, my kindness and my personality.
I recognize that I have flaws and I am not perfect. I do not claim to be perfect or without fault. I listen to others and contemplate what they say regarding how I interact with them. I work on changing aspects of myself if I see that those aspects hurt or harm others including how I think about things. I don’t argue but do discuss issues with other people in my life if there is disagreement or dissention between us. I always try to take on the mindset that I do not know the reality of another person and I cannot judge them based on my reality. I need to willingly see from their perception or shoes to understand where they are coming from in their thoughts and actions.
I set boundaries that maintain my positive energy and happiness in my life. I will not compromise those boundaries just to keep someone in my life. I am confident in my abilities. I want people in my life but I do not need people in my life to have happiness or contentment in life. I am very comfortable being alone. I enjoy my solitude because I enjoy my own company.
KD: I do so love that in-depth intro response! How do you kick back and unwind?
Summer Rogers: I read, I write, I draw, and I paint. I love to listen to music. My music taste is eclectic. My favorite genre of music is blues music. I am a big fan of Delta blues and one of my favorite blues musicians is Robert Johnson. My favorite blues/jazz musicians is Nina Simone. I am not a big fan of television. Most of the time if the TV is on and I am the only one in the home, it is only on as background noise. I prefer the excitement of a good book over the watching of a movie or program. If I do decide to watch television, I love to indulge in sci-fi.
(Ahh, Robert Johnson. The Crossroads. The rumored deal with...well, Scratch.)
KD: Okay, give a shout-out to your corner of the world by telling me the best thing about your part of the globe.
Summer Rogers: The best thing about my neck of the world is the ability to get lost in the beautiful nature that surrounds me. I am close to two major cities so if I need some city life, I can quickly spend the day in one of the big cities. However, I prefer the peace and simplicity of the place I call home.
KD: Sounds nice. So, with this being the season, I have to ask, do you have a favorite holiday? If so, which one, and why?
Summer Rogers: I just lost my mother in February of this year. My mother was my best friend. Although I am fiercely independent and I fight my own battles, I knew she was there when I needed her hugs and arms to hold me when I got weary of being so strong. Her favorite holiday was Christmas and it became my favorite holiday. She taught me that the holiday was not about receiving but showing those in your life the love you have for them. It was a time to love and be together since life is so fast the other days of the year.
KD: In case I didn't say it months ago, my condolences. Okay, you touched on this early in the interview, but I'm going to have you go deeper. What genre of music/movies & shows/reading do you listen to/watch/read more than others?
Summer Rogers: Music- I listen to everything but my favorite genre is blues. I prefer delta blues and southern blues but love all domains of blues music.
Reading- I love reading philosophy particularly the works of Sartre and Nietzsche. I love sci-fi classics such as Dune. I love reading Fydor Dostoevsky with The Brothers Karamazov being one of my favorites of his works. I also enjoy books that are from authors that live in my neck of the world. David Joy is one of my favorite authors because he captures the reality of where I live very well. His descriptions of the area and the people of this area make you feel like you are actually in the events.
Movies- Scifi, Action. I do not like romantic comedies or dramas. I feel they tend to carry on the Disney theme of women being incomplete without a man or love interest in their life.
KD: I've seen the original Dune movie and the remake, but I've never read any of the printed forms. Okay, a bit of backstory for this question. When I got serious about being a writer, I was told having a social media presence would be highly advisable. So I use Facebook and Twitter to forward my brand (I still don’t know what to do with my Instagram account). Which is one of the reasons I do my character skits. What do you use your social media platform for?
Summer Rogers: I use my social platform to display my drawings and paintings. I also use it to post my favorite quotes by my favorite philosophers or authors to share these individuals snippets of wisdom with the world.
KD: I'm a Plato type of guy myself. Okay, drop some two sentence parenting advice on us.
Summer Rogers: There is no perfect parenting advice or parent because everyone fucks up as a parent at some point. The only thing I hope to achieve is to teach my children to determine their own worth and value so they will march to their own drum and not be sheep.
KD: That in itself is pretty good advice. The time has come for this question to now be answered. Coffee, tea, or...?
Summer Rogers: Although I am Southern, I drink black coffee and unsweetened tea.
KD: Wait, what? Like, without sugar?
Summer Rogers: I like both types of beverages.
KD: But, without sugar?
Summer Rogers: If I am not being a mom and want to enjoy a good adult beverage, I prefer an aged scotch or an Irish whiskey such as Jameson.
KD: Still, how are you Southern and not sweeten up your...I'll just let that go and keep it moving. How would you describe yourself as far as personality and character?
Summer Rogers: I am me. I am blunt and truthful to the point of it being hurtful at times, but I would rather be honest than sugar coat something to someone to spare their feelings. I am sarcastic in my humor and my interactions with those I have allowed into my inner circle. I am guarded due to the emotional abuse by my father as a child and I do not trust easily.
Once I do trust you and you are part of what I consider my inner circle, I become fiercely protective of that person. I despise gossip and will walk out of a conversation if the person begins to gossip. If I say something about someone to another person, then it is something I would say to the person’s face. I do not say anything unless it is something I would say to the person face to face. I am quiet because I tend to observe and watch people. My brain is always active. At any given point of the day, I have three million thoughts or conversations with "me, myself, and I" going on in my head. The only time my brain quietens is when I am painting or drawing.
KD: And, turning the tables, how do you think your friends would describe you?
Summer Rogers: Loyal, honest, quiet, observant, intelligent and intimidating.
KD: Remind me to ask you about that intimidating part another time. So I was thinking about The Descent movie that came out a while back (the first one, not the sequel). The movie was set in North Carolina, but it kinda made me wonder, are there any spooky places or urban legends in South Carolina? If so, time to spill the tea.
Summer Rogers: I have heard several stories of ghosts and legends in South Carolina. The one near where I reside that only happens at night when it is raining on a particular mountain road in the area. According to legend, drivers see a man dressed in black raincoat and muddy boots looking for a ride. The man is quiet, expressionless and looking for a ride to a nearby scenic overlook from a place called Moody Spring or vice versa. Once he arrives at either destination, he disappears leaving only a wet spot where he was sitting in the vehicle. Many believe that he is the ghost of a pilot who flew into a rain storm and crashed in that area. Debris of his plane were found in the between the two destination points but his body was never recovered.
KD: Yeah, I will not be on that road and I am not hitting up this Moody Springs place. Nope. Okay, you gave us two sentence parenting advice, now give life advice, but in one sentence.
Summer Rogers: Continue to always expand your knowledge of yourself, others and the world by listening and questioning until you reach your own truths not truths of others.
KD: Ahh, to thine own self be true. Not saying that's what you were saying. Just thought I'd toss that off in there and...well, nevermind. What, to you, is the greatest aspect of America?
Summer Rogers: At this time I have to say it’s the only place I have ever lived or experienced for extended periods of time. I have no other experience in other countries to be able to determine what aspect makes it greater than another country. I can read and listen to others, but again I have no empirical evidence gathered from experience to question and determine if the truths they talk about of said country is the truth I have determined for myself.
KD: I can understand and respect that. On the other side of the fence, what do you feel are the greatest challenges facing America?
Summer Rogers: Honestly, social media. It gives a distorted perception without physical interaction. Growing up prior to cell phones and internet, you had to communicate disagreements in person and face to face with each other. This perspective helped you to understand the person’s perspective more than reading words or seeing a video can regarding someone’s perspective of a reality. The other issue is this narrow person-centered perspective of viewing others reality and perspectives is creating individual truths in a person they feel is superior and close off the questioning of that truth when they are presented with evidence of fallacy in their truth.
Political parties are thriving on division and discord in citizens. People align with a party based on “facts” stated by party politicians. Most people do not question why they are aligned with a party and really investigate the positives and negatives of candidates. They blindly follow them without question.
KD: What are things you’re passionate about?
Summer Rogers: My babies, knowledge, art, blackberries, music, and Notre Dame football.
KD: Ya just gotta love the Fighting Irish. Name something you wish you would have known or learned way earlier than you did?
Summer Rogers: The greatest love and love relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
KD: To thine own self...pet peeves?
Summer Rogers: Refusing to look at things from other’s perspectives.
Assuming people are evil or bad based on color, religion, political beliefs, nationality, or sexual orientation. People need to realize everyone is inherently good and evil because categorization of what is good and evil are socially acceptable constructs.
Organized religion and factions (aka political parties/ groups) using their power to push their self-centered agenda.
Persons who judge others and believe he or she is better.
KD: I should probably add those to my list of pet peeves as well. So here’s an either/or. What’s a movie you loved but the book disappointed you. Or a book you loved but the movie disappointed you?
Summer Rogers: Never loved a movie and been disappointed by the book. Nearly every movie based on a book, I have been disappointed with and refused to watch again.
The only movie that I felt came close to catching many aspects of the very long novel it was based on was Dune. Plus, this question is hard to answer because I rarely watch movies.
(I mentioned in a previous interview the one for me was Forrest Gump. So much in the book that the movie left out. Another one for me was Ender's Game. Loved the book. Waited umpteen years for a movie to be made. And when it finally was. I mean, even with Harrison Ford in it, the movie was...)
KD: What was your greatest "aha" moment?
Summer Rogers: Sitting in philosophy class hearing the teacher read the line from "Thus Spake Zarthustra" about God is dead and you have killed him. It felt wrong, but as she explained what Nietzsche was conveying in that parable, it was like reality shifted for me. Realizing that so many things I believed in were because I was told to believe in them instead of coming to my truth by questioning the reasons I believed in something.
KD: I've never read any of Nietzsche's work, but I think I will before the year is out. Who has been an influence on your life?
Summer Rogers: My mama. Always my mama and my babies.
KD: What's an unpopular opinion you stand by?
Summer Roger: Pumpkin spice is someone's cosmic joke on white females.
KD: Well...uh...I can honestly say...uh...I have no idea how to respond to that. So...uh...yeah, that should about do it!
My thanks to Summer Rogers for participating in The Backstory. We've been friends on Facebook for a good while, but this interview really was insightful for me. Hopefully, it will be for others who know her as well. My thanks to you, the readers. You all are the ones who make doing these interviews worth it. More of The Backstory to come. Meanwhile:
Take a break from your world...visit for a while in mine. Come often. Stay for a spell.