Against the Wall

23 December 2010 text by Dima Chakarova, photoes by Iliyan Rujin
Milena Fuchedjieva is a free-spirited Bulgarian. LA or Sofia- based, she is an active blogger who cannot be put into a frame. After 20 years of living in the US, she returned to Sofia with her cat Pancho. We met her to ask her a few questions about her new book I, the Blogger which is like a diary and a collection of essays.

Are you back for good?
No-o-o. I never use that word. Nothing lasts forever. Except death, ha-ha. But I`m here now, I`ve got things that keep me busy, even though I have the deepest love for America. My dream is to live close to my daughter but I`m not sure where that would be as she hasn`t graduated yet. For the time being, I`m happy where I am now.

What was the best thing that happened to you since you`ve been here?
Well, there`s not a "best" thing. There`s just a lot of new people in my life as well as plenty of work opportunitites. I`ve realized I have new feelings for Bulgaria. When I left in the 90`s it was the gloomiest place and now there`s those people telling me that nothing has changed since then. That`s stupid! It`s millions times better now. Sofia is a great city, the country is getting more civilized. You can see it everywhere- the way people dress, the places they go to. I haven`t met a single rude person yet. It`s just that when you smile people will smile back at you.

You`re so energetic. How did you come up with the idea of the book?
I was planning to collect my essays in a book because the press has been publishing them regularly since 2000. However, they turned out to be such a huge lot and so serious too. That`s way a printed out some of my blog postings and they seemed to me more readable. There`s lots of aphorisms, swear words, verses, streams of consciousness and I thought the audience my find them interesting. The people my age are not so online as younger people, so they will prefer the book version.

Being a freelance writer here is not very lucrative, is it.
You can`t make loads of money but you can live well. Still, I believe that if you`re able to deliver decent critique, then your voice will be heard. If you only write for yourself, no-one will pay you for that. You need to be pretty thick-skinned in order to comment on social problems and stand for your views.

Is there a topic you would never write about?
I would do a PR text for a politician. No one has ever told me what to write on. I`ve got a couple of unpublished articles, one of them being about human tissue and bones being exported. Horrendous. While I was doing my research I realized Bugaria took top positions in human tissue exportation but the article didn`t make it to publication. I wonder why.

What is you normal day like?
I start checking what`s new in my gmail, the electronic papers, some sites and stuff. I must read my horoscope, astrology is a hobby of mine. I read but have no nerves for real literature. The Internet has reduced my level of concentration. I read about politics, politic comments on events in the US and Europe. I go to the theatre sometimes.
At night I like to be alone. I need my isolation at least 2 or 3 times a week to keep myself aware of what`s going on in the world around me. This is my kind of relaxation.


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