If there’s one thing to be found in the stories Kristin Millis posts on Intersect, it’s a sustained appreciation not just for her life, but the lives of her friends, her kids, her brand new grandson, even the daily rhythms of the world around her. The publisher of The Daily at the University of Washington and mother of five took some time to reflect on her stories.
Tell us about what you’re posting on Intersect.
I post daily photos from my cell phone as part of a My 365 project. I’m also filling up my story line with significant events throughout my life. My 9-year-old daughter Emma asked if Intersect was a place where I share stories she can read to know me better. I thought that was a good analysis. I write a lot about my kids and my dog. I plan to include stories of my parents’ and grandparents’ lives as well, since their history is my history, too. I find it is a good way to put events in perspective so I can go back and eventually gather items into a book, even if it may be a fiction one.
What’s your favorite story (fiction or non) of all time?
Anything written by John Steinbeck. He has incredible compassion for the people he wrote about. His words are clean and honest. “East of Eden” was the first real novel of any significance I ever read. “Grapes of Wrath” opened my soul. “Sweet Thursday” is probably my favorite. My goal in life is to travel across the United States with my dog Ubu and write about the people I would meet like he did in “Travels with Charley.” Intersect would be a perfect medium for that kind of storytelling.
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve ever met?
I can’t think of one person. I’ve found that if you give people time and a safe place to talk, everyone has a story. I miss being a reporter and having people share their lives with me, even just for the day. There are terribly interesting people all around us in disguise as average, common folk.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?
The Tetons. I took a solitary road trip in September 1996. I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to go on the trip, making decisions spur of the moment when I hit crossroads, but I knew I wanted to see the Tetons. I came around the bend on Highway 89 along the Snake River and saw the mountains for the first time. I fell in love. I knew I wanted to live there someday. I went home to Moab and told everyone I was moving to Jackson, Wyoming. They asked when I was moving. I said I had no idea, just some day. My fantasy is to live there on the cheap, be a river guide in the summer and write all winter long.
What’s your favorite place you’ve never been?
Machu Pichu, Peru. I dig alpacas, love panpipes and think the Peruvian people are the most beautiful people in the world. I want to experience the magic.
If you could relive one day in your life, what day would it be?
A Sunday in October 1994. I was on the Colorado River in Westwater Canyon with my friend and mentor Jim Page. It was our third trip down Westwater that season.
I expected it to be cold, because October is a little outside the comfort window for going down the river. The weather was absolutely perfect. The trees were starting to turn yellow. The sky was so blue. The light on the canyon walls was gorgeous. The water was exquisite. Westwater is best at low water because it is a stretch of water to be savored at a slower speed and the best rapids become more technical with more rocks exposed. We had the river to ourselves.
Jim is one of my favorite people in the world. We developed a strong friendship while working together at Canyonlands Field Institute and at TI Maps, a map store I owned. He was a retired Marine and firefighter. He feared nothing and was the most level-headed person I’ve ever known, a true man of integrity.
He encouraged me to take the oars on some of the more technical rapids. On one, Sock-It-To-Me, the other person has to be at the bow of the raft to bunch down the tube on the last wave (the one that socks it to you) in order to keep the boat from flipping. You can’t see the rapid as you make the ascent because there is a bit of a drop before you get to it.
When I got over the lip and saw the series of three huge waves I screamed in fright. Jim turned around and was ready to take my place at the oars. But then It hit me it was now or never, I wasn’t going to get to go through the canyon again that year.
I pulled hard on the oars for momentum and threaded the needle of the rapid perfectly. I hit the waves in perfect succession: Boom, boom, boom.
It scared the hell out of me, but I did it. And I did it perfectly. Whenever I face something that scares me, I remember that feeling and remind myself that if I approach with confidence, even if I am scared to death, I can accomplish what needs to be done.
On the lazy flatwater he gave me the best compliment I’ve ever received in my life. He’s not a person who gives compliments, so it made it even more valuable. He told me I was “competent.” That compliment gave me courage to no longer be afraid and take control of my life. After the trip we shared a lemon meringue pie to celebrate his birthday. It was delicious.
If you could go back and give your 10-year-old self advice, what would it be?
Love yourself and everybody else. Don’t take offense. Go outside and play. Don’t wait for other people to approach you. If you have a kind thought, share it. Don’t waste time with mean girls. Love has no fear. If someone asks you to prove your love, they don’t really love you and may not know how to love.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs. They swim and like to travel.
Print books or digital?
Print. Don’t have to worry about dropping it in the bath tub. Paper can eventually dry.
Smart phone or cell phone?
Cell phone with a camera, so I can take pictures for My 365.
Coffee or tea?
Hazelnut Americano with a little extra cream.
Ski vacation or beach vacation?
Beach. I don’t care if it is hot or cold. Give me the beach!
Give a shout out: Who’s another Intersecter whose posts you enjoy? Why?
Jim Strange has really interesting posts that make me think. I’d love to meet Joanna Stevenson in real life. She just seems so lovely. I always look forward to seeing photos from Travel Monkey. Marie Montemayor and Patti Aro‘s stories are so intimate and honest. I can go on and on. Intersect is a beautiful community filled with kind and interesting people. It is a safe place to tell real stories.
When we launched Intersect in private beta in September, we rolled out a video by cartoonist David Horsey that explained some of the concepts that inspired the team to build the site.
Now that we’ve seen Intersect in action (thanks to all of you!), we’ve posted a shorter demo video that shows what Intersect can really do.
Check it out:
(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, there’s no audio.)
Washington Post photographer Michael S. Williamson is at it again.
Last summer, he and reporter Theresa Vargas traveled the country documenting the impact of the recession. Today, Michael is back on Recession Road, photocasting his journey with the Intersect iPhone app.
And he’d love your help.
“On Recession Road, Michael will test the limits of his mobile production prowess… teaming up with Intersect to photocast the recession from his smartphone,” the Post wrote in a post introducing the project.
“We’ll also be asking you to join the story by submitting your own images and stories of the recession at Intersect.”
To submit your own recession experience to the Post project or suggest somewhere Michael should go, share your thoughts or stories here on Intersect and be sure to add “recessionroad” to the tag field. You can also contact Michael directly on Twitter at @mswontheroad.
Safe travels, Michael. We’ll be following along.
Blogger Clinton Bon poked around Intersect this week and created an equation to sum it up: Space + Time + Story = Intersect.
“It’s not that you are somewhere about to do something, it’s the what, with who that is actually compelling and Intersect innately realizes this,” Bon wrote in a post on the blog Everything 2 Everything.
There are improvements that can be made to Intersect, but today I’m here to praise their efforts thus far, and encourage you to check it out. I’m interested in seeing how savvy brand managers wield such an app. and I’m excited that the missing ingredient of LBS [location-based services], the human tale, is taking its rightful place in the equation.
Thanks for checking us out, Clinton!