Friday, September 27, 2013

TMI Fridays: Hollow Tree Ventures

Today, in the TMI Friday spotlight, is Robyn Welling of Hollow Tree Ventures. Robyn is funny as shit, and everyone knows that shit is funny. She is a writer, a wife, a mother of "three [that] burst from my loins, [and] two more [that] burst from my second marriage" and all that other stuff that women get to be. She writes about a variety of topics on her blog and around the Internet with wit, intelligence and humor. I always enjoy reading Robyn's words.

Like every good love story, Robyn and I met on an Internet chat room. Sort of. Is Facebook a chat room? We were two of 36 who co-authored the anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone. Robyn's story, "Babies: Easy as 1, 2, 3!" made me laugh out loud. Then we met in person, where I discovered that Robyn is also very striking and gloriously tall. 

I think that Robyn is the bee's knees. Plus, she sent me the following picture and said, "I attached a photo of a drawing my daughter made, which you should in no way feel needs to be included in the interview - I just saw it in my photos folder next to my headshot and thought, 'If anyone will appreciate a child's drawing that looks like a cowboy crapping out a horse, it's Johi.'"

You're correct, Robyn. I very much appreciate the drawing and of course I'm including it.

Art. It's a beautiful thing.

Johi: How did your writing career begin?
Robyn: Holy crap, I have a writing career?!? Oh yeah, I guess I do, a fact that surprises me pretty much every day. It all started with the decision to start a blog - no, scratch that, it started with the decision to Google "what is a blog?" and then start one. I had no plan or clue whatsoever. I still don't.

Johi: What are your short-range and long-range goals with writing?
Robyn: I'm not much of a planner (clearly), but my short- and long-range goals are the same - to be able to support myself on an income from publishing stuff that's fun to write. I don't think I'm organized enough to be any more particular than that, so if something even remotely close to that happens, I'll be happy. My preference, of course, would for that to happen in a time frame closer to "short-range," and for the writing to happen in some remote log cabin (with WiFi!).

Johi: If you could pick one person to rub suntan lotion on your back, who would it be and why?
Boring but true: I'd pick my husband, because he's the sexiest man I've ever met. And also because he'd chain me to a post in the basement if I named anyone else.

Johi: What movie/person/thing scared the shit out of you as a child?
Robyn: Only *everything* scared me - Freddy Krueger, all his creepy maniacal ax-wielding friends, Pet Cemetery, the children's book Angus Lost, the very real possibility that we were going to be A-bombed by the Russians at any moment, fire drills, the very real possibility that my cat was going to suck my breath out while I was sleeping... I might have watched too many movies when I was a kid.

Johi: Where do you hide the good food in your house and how do you eat it without being caught?
Robyn: TOP SECRET: I'll tell you this because I love you, but if my kids ever find out I'll know who told them! The secret cookies, gum, candy and other goodies are in the back of the dining room pantry, on the highest shelf I can reach - there's also an emergency stash of Fruity Mike-N-Ike's on the bookshelf in the living room. I have been known to go to extremes, up to and including hiding in the shower (link:, to keep all that sugary deliciousness to myself. You know, out of concern for my kids' dental health, of course.

Johi: If you could only pick one of the following experiences, which would you choose and why: Having a Groundhog Day experience, always smelling like urine or having your sex tape go public?
Robyn: I get it, this is a trick question, right?!? Because the obvious answer is "All of the above," but then when you think about it, there's no real way for people watching the sex tape to know you smell like urine. Well, wait, I guess there is one way they could figure it out, but I'm not keen on releasing that kind of sex tape.

Johi: When you were a tween, what poster(s) did you have on your bedroom wall?
Robyn: I'm glad you asked, because this affords me the kind of opportunity I always enjoy: the opportunity to give my mom a guilt trip. I wasn't allowed to put posters on my walls at all until I was about 14, and even then I was restricted to adorable animal pictures from adorable animal calendars. Nope, no New Kids On The Block for me! When I was in therapy, I listed that as chief among the many reasons I'm as maladjusted as I am today.

Johi: Marry, Fuck or Kill: David Caruso, Jon Lovitz and Big Bird.
Robyn: Why do I always want to kill all three people named in these questions? Should I talk to some kind of professional about that? 

Johi: Me too. On both counts.
Robyn: Okay, I'm going to say marry Big Bird because he seems like a nurturing type of guy who enjoys a good nap. Then the other two can be a toss-up for fuck/kill, since my husband will kill the fuck guy so they'll both end up dead one way or another anyway.

Johi: What is on your nightstand?
Robyn: My toddler's used tissues, my toddler's discarded ponytail holders, a dusty wedding photo, a garage sale vase, and the tiara I wore on our wedding day (because where else do you store a tiara)? If you're wondering why I don't have a table lamp on my nightstand, it's because we keep it on the floor. Naturally.

Johi: What is your favorite essay in I Just Want to Pee Alone and why?
Robyn: Ohhhhh no, I'm not falling for that one! I have no idea how I got lucky enough to be included in two (TWO???) best-selling humor anthologies in one year (I Just Want To Pee Alone and You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth), (link: but I'm not about to jinx it or piss anybody off by naming a favorite! Like my children, I reassure them all that I love them equally - then I'll silently mouth the name of my favorite to you when none of them are looking.

Johi: Then I won't tell anyone about the time you told me that mine was your favorite. Your secret is safe with me.

If you live in the Michigan/Indiana area, join Robyn on October 16, 2013 for the National I Just Want to Pee Alone Ladies' Night Out! RSVP HERE for your chance to win a door prize! 

Robyn Welling is a freelance writer and humorist at Hollow Tree Ventures, where she isn't afraid to embarrass herself—and frequently does. She also writes for awesome sites like In The Powder Room, NickMom, CraftFail, and The Huffington Post. She loves sarcasm, wine, beer, other bottled items, long walks on the beach, and her husband. Oh, and her kids are okay, too. Her goals include becoming independently wealthy, followed by world domination and getting her children to clean their rooms. Until then, she'll just fold laundry and write about the shortcuts she takes on her journey to becoming a somewhat passable wife, mother, and human being. If history is any guide, she'll miss the mark entirely. You can find her avoiding responsibility on FacebookTwitter, andPinterest.


  1. Haha, I love this! I want to answer questions!

    1. You should do it - Johi's interviews are a riot!

    2. You should do it while on cold medicine, like Robyn did! It adds an extra surprise element!

  2. I love Robyn! I shared a room with her at BlogHer and I can tell you that she is the sweetest, smartest, most efficient bathroom user on the planet.

    1. You're just saying that because I don't wear makeup, bathe, or brush my hair. Oh, and probably because of that back rub, too. *wink, wink*

    2. Those are all qualities that will get you far in life.

  3. LOVE this interview!! You guys are among my favorite Pee authors (which sorta kinda is related to the smelling like urine question, no?)

    1. Ahh! THANKS TERI! You're among my favorites, too! xxoo

  4. I, too, love Robyn long time, and we actually got to meet at BlogHer! We officially met twice, because the first time I was in some kind of BlogHer-induced fog, which I now call BLOGHERFOG© and I blew her off.. then I made up for it and blew her for real in the.. nevermind.

    1. BlogHer makes me feel like I had ADHD. I completely understand how that could have happened.