So. I did a thing. I answered a question about new hobbies and pastimes acquired during the lockdown of 2020. It was asked last Spring by the publication REAL SIMPLE, on their IG page. I typed something about “working on jigsaw puzzles” and that was it.

Martha Upton, an Associate Editor, DM’d me about being featured as their Reader of the Month. I ignored the first message. Thought it was a solicitation of some kind. But she contacted me again. I still don’t know why. I guess they really liked my answer.

Martha sent me about twenty more questions and a two week deadline. Plenty of time to give my answers some thought. So here we are. Your August Reader of the Month.

REAL SIMPLE Reader of the Month

Edwina Owens Elliott

Where do you live?

What do you do?
I am a fashion illustrator, self-published indie author, and creator of WINONA, INC., an online illustrated series for adults currently in development as an animated series for Warner Bros.
Home is _
Home is where my husband Phillip is. We’ve been married for 26 years.
The book you could read again and again:  
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Most organized part of my life: 
My computer files
Least organized part of my life: 
My main clothes closet 
What’s always in your bag? 
Lipstick and business cards. (Although with the masks, I haven’t been wearing much lipstick.)
What’s always in your car? 
Hand sanitizer, my big, blue IKEA shopping bag, and copies of WINONA, INC., the book. You never know when the opportunity to make a sale might present itself.
What’s on your bucket list? 
I’ve always wanted to attend New York Fashion Week but it’s in such a state of flux these days, who knows if they can ever bring it back? So now I’m just trying to get to Paris.

Who makes you laugh the most? 
My friend, Mark. I haven’t seen him in years but when we worked together, he made me laugh all day long.

Isn’t this a pretty cover?

What would you sing at Karaoke night? 
Sweet Dreams by Patsy Cline
What’s your favorite family recipe? 
Creole Gumbo
What’s your favorite tradition? 
Baking the cookies, candy, and breads we give as gifts during the Christmas holidays. I design the packaging, too. Presentation is a big part of it.  
What is the coziest thing in your home? 
My den. I’ve finally gotten it just the way I want it.
Most recent bargain? 
Silicone basting brushes from Amazon. Four for 8.99!
Most recent splurge? 
Two weeks ago I finally found the perfect coffee table for the den. It’s the right size and shape with just enough bling to wake up the room. It cost more than I intended to pay but I’d been looking for three whole years.
The simplest part of my life is: 
Waking up every morning knowing exactly what I’ll be working on. There’s nothing better than being in control of your day.
The cleanest thing in my house: 
My living room. I dusted just yesterday.
Where is your happy place? 
My patio. After spending all day in front of the computer, being able to rest my eyes on nature—the trees and grass, birds and squirrels—is one of my greatest joys. On top of that, my imagination seems to come alive outdoors. With a glass of zin, that’s the place I conjure up my wildest plot lines for the series.

My spread, pages 14 & 15. So clean and airy. Lots of white space. The design of REAL SIMPLE is what drew me in years ago.

What do you think? Did they select the right questions for publication? I don’t know. I thought there were other questions and answers much more colorful.

But as you can see, I was able to sneak WINONA, INC. into a few of my responses. Gotta talk my girl up whenever I can!!

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