Spotlight on Elizabeth Rago

by admin on March 25, 2013

aboutme2

We are thrilled to introduce you to a woman who is an outright delight. Talking to Elizabeth Rago is, in my opinion, like opening an Easter egg: you just never know what kind of quirky treat (or nut) you’re going to get! I hope you enjoy her answers to our cast questions as much as I do!

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What led you to writing for Listen To Your Mother Chicago?

I attended the Chicago Writer’s Conference last year and several, if not all, of the writers encouraged us to start reading our work out loud. I think it makes you a better writer, to hear your words prancing about in the air.

How do you feel about the show in general?

I feel fantastic about it, with a cherry on top!

How long have you been writing?

Personally, since I could pick up a pen. Professionally, 6 years.

What do you typically write about?

In my role as a copywriter, I am the voice for businesses and non-profit organizations, so I create marketing material and web content.

My freelance writing focuses a lot on health, wellness, home décor, parenting, gardening, the cosmetic industry, fashion…Pretty much the lifestyle genre. I tend to put a humorous spin on much of my freelance pieces, as life is just so much more interesting with a little funny sprinkled on it.

I report for a local paper because being connected to my community is important to me. (Plus, writing is isolating, so I get to interview and interact with other people, which is good for my health.)

I am finishing up my first novel, which is half modern women’s fiction, half historic fiction, but this is no witty chick lit. This piece is jam packed with people who have issues, domestic violence, artists who talk to themselves and murder.

I prefer to keep my mind fresh and am open to writing about anything, except for politics. Politics makes my brain hurt.

Where do you write?

I write from home some of the time, but because I have three children, I must venture out to quieter surroundings to work longer than 15 minute increments at a time. I LOVE working at the library and could honestly stay there all day and night. If I had to choose one coffee shop it would be Graham’s 318 Coffee House and honestly can’t get enough of downtown Geneva.

Oh my, I am all over the place… I started my online storytelling with Parenting Without A Parachute at ChicagoNow.com and am Senior Editor of All Things Girl, an arts and literary e-zine. I am a freelance writer for Chicago Shopping and have a weekly blog called The Circular Home, where I write about home touch ups inspired by the weekly sale papers. I often include my former-home remodeler husband Peter (former in the home remodeling area, we are still married…) in the column as we usually tackle our home décor and DIY stuff together.

I love reporting for The Elburn Herald  and am participating in the Illinois Farm Families Field Mom program where we visit Illinois farms to learn more about what happens to food before it hits our plates.

I have also been a contributor at MOMentumNation, and published in Mamalode magazine.

My dream is to write for The J Peterman Company and have a column with a lifestyle publication that appreciates storytelling and a sense of humor. Women’s Health Magazine comes to mind…

Have you ever performed on stage before?

In high school, I was all about the stage. I was in our glee club and drama club.

Any funny situations you can share?

I embarrass myself quite a bit on a daily basis and find the more I just get out into the world being the real me, the less pressure and stress on my life. I trip and fall down. A LOT.

I have come full circle from being a cynical, stuffy busy body type to being a loosey-goosey, song singing gal in just 6 years. (With the help of yoga, Billy Blanks boot camp, a few therapists and a dash of meds.)

Where do you come from?

I was a city girl from birth to 1 ½ and then I toddled out to Bolingbrook with my family.

Hometown?

Bolingbrook

Favorite places to frequent with family in the Chicagoland area?

We love being outdoors and live near the Fox River, so we explore quite a bit on the paths and local forest preserves. We spend a lot of time at the Brookfield Zoo and just started frequenting The Morton Arboretum. We love all the museums downtown Chicago…

What trait is your “signature” trait with family and friends?

I took a poll on Facebook: “Your ability to rock a hazmat suit like a boss.” “You are open and willing to share ~ the fun stuff and the not so fun stuff.” “You think of an idea, and you run full force to implement it with grace, positivity, and laughter. It’s my favorite thing about you, and why I’m so excited you are joining me on PTL.” (Stroke my ego and you, too, can have me on your Parent Teacher League!)

If you were stranded on Lake Shore Drive in the worst traffic jam in history, what 3 items would you want to have with you and why?

Ingrid Michaelson and Keane – a traffic jam is just not the same with some good tunes

My husband – so he can accompany the music with interesting expletives about how the traffic in Chicago is ridiculous

Some Chicago snacks – an Aurelio’s Pizza, a Portillo’s hot dog (w/ extra celery salt) and a steak poorboy & double baked potato from Merichka’s. And then, a defibrillator.

Chocolate or Licorice?

Chocolate, for sure.

Coffee or Tea?

I am a recovering coffee addict. I detoxed and now I am working to be a tea connoisseur.

Any famous words you live by? Or do you live by your own words? If so, what are they?

Love is patient, love is kind. (When you are raising 3 small kids, this mantra comes in handy.)

Just breathe. (When you have anxiety, this comes in handy quite a bit.)

“Write like your mother will never read your work.” – Me (When you are writing, this mindset always comes in handy.)

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Thanks, Elizabeth! I giggle just to think of how the audience will react to your essay and performance! Tickets are still available for our May 5th performance in Chicago.

 

Samantha March 25, 2013 at 7:36 am

You’re adorable. And I’m so glad to “share the stage” with you in two areas this year! xo

Elizabeth March 25, 2013 at 7:50 am

Oh, Samantha! I knew we would click from the moment we locked eyes at that pig farm…. 😉 hugs and kisses, E

Marianne March 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

I’m not sure if I can truly love a person who doesn’t drink coffee. Seems unnatural.

Meh. Nevermind. You’re cute as a June Bug and I’m DYING to hear your essay again!

Elizabeth March 25, 2013 at 9:47 am

Marianne,
I am a coffee drinker at heart, it just makes me go wacky! I resist the urge to snort the grounds as my husband brews up a pot every morning… 🙂
xoxoxoxxoxoxo E

lceel March 25, 2013 at 10:13 am

Veerrrryyyy interestink. I look forward to your performance – I think LYTM is in good hands with Tracey and Melisa. The new cast members are exciting.

Elizabeth March 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Tracey and Melisa are amazing, aren’t they?!?!? Thank you for reading and I hope to see you at the show!
-E

Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy March 25, 2013 at 10:18 am

Love the words to live by. I have to say my writing changed a lot when I lost my mom because I could truly write without that fear. Not to in anyway shape or form say I wouldn’t trade ANYTHING to have her back, but it IS true there’s something about worrying about how mom would feel!!!!!!

Elizabeth March 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I totally understand what you are saying. A kid never wants to disappoint mama. 🙂
E

Danielle March 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Yay, Elizabeth! Loved reading this interview and so wish I lived closer to see you on the stage. x

Elizabeth March 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Oh, Danielle! I wish you could be here too!
E 🙂

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