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From Texas to Shanghai - Sydney Aaliyah Michelle on Tattoos, Multiplex Theaters and Life after Law 

If binge watching movies on iTunes was a sport, Georgetown University graduate Sydney Aaliyah Michelle has an early training advantage over her would-be opponents.

This contemporary romance writer from Texas, who got a tattoo commemorating her first novel “Another New Life,” is on my Mighty Minion Bureau team for the 2015 Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge. I recently promoted her to Special Agent – (the top “Asset” aka “Operative” among my helpers), as its Sydney’s third year assisting me in the April Blog Hop.

You can find this self-employed event coordinator enjoying Lobster Ravioli and Sidecar cocktails.

After learning that Sydney climbed the Great Wall of China, I invited her to give us the scoop on how life has evolved since her days as a lawyer.

The Madlab Post: What advice would you give to single women who are traveling abroad for the first time?

Sydney Aaliyah Michelle: I truly enjoy traveling alone especially to a new place. It allows me to explore on my own agenda and my own timetable. Before I travel someplace alone, I do a lot of research. Read about the place your visiting, have an agenda and follow it.

When I travel alone, I don’t skimp on hotels or transportation late at night. I may walk everywhere during the day, but I don’t take any chances putting myself in situations that could be dangerous. Use common sense and you’ll be fine.

Sydney's tattoo story features her love of lotus flowers and the idea that beauty can emerge from less than ideal situations.Did any stigmas of being tattooed ever have an impact on your relationships or career?

When I got my first tattoo, my parents weren’t thrilled, but I was 21, not much for them to say.  My second one, they helped me design it. They don’t love them, but they’ve accepted them. Men love my tattoos, they are all sexy and feminine, so no issues there.

I paused for a minute before getting my most visible tattoo on my left wrist, and my current boss tried to have an issue with it. My tattoos are a part of me, but don’t effect who I am or my abilities, so if someone fired me or didn’t hire me for having tattoos, I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway. 

What area of law did you practice?

I had always wanted to go to law school, but I like the idea of being a lawyer more than actually being a lawyer. I practiced law for about 9 months working for a huge law firm doing bankruptcy litigation. I sat in a small room with 10 other people 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week reading documents on a computer. It wasn’t the kind of life I wanted to lead.

If you were a broke, ramen noodle eating artist who needed to relocate immediately, where would you move to get back on your feet? 

I would move to Singapore. I could be a beach bum and still have enough access to modern amenities to live comfortably with not a lot of money. It is an inspiring place as well, so it would feed my creative soul. Great mix of cultures. 

How many foreign languages are you fluent in?

With all of the countries I have visited and lived, I still only speak English fluently. I have some conversational Chinese and a few words slip out when no English word can quite convey what I am trying to say.  These are my three favorite Chinese words:

Hau zho bu jian – Long time, no see.

Bu zhidao – I don’t know.

Bu ming bai – Understand.

Can you tell me about your adult contemporary romance novel "Another New Life"?

Sydney released two novels, 'Hope for Her' and 'Hope for Him,' since the debut of 'Another New Life."

Here's the book blurb...

When Miranda’s talent wins her a piano performance scholarship to the University of Texas, she arrives on campus determined to experience everything college has to offer and to keep her secrets in the past where they belong.

An easy task, until the first guy who catches her eye happens to be someone, she’s known all her life.

Eight years have passed since the last time Miranda and Troy saw each other.

Can Miranda focus on her future with Troy while preventing her past from tearing them apart all over again?

Why is The Joker from "THE DARK KNIGHT" your favorite movie villain?

Heath Ledger’s performance was incredible. If it has to be our lasting image of him, I couldn’t think of a more pivotal role to immortalize his talent.

Plus, the Joker has one of my favorite lines from any movie and he delivered it brilliantly...

 “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” 

Where do you prefer to watch movies?

I prefer to watch movies at a big, stadium seating, surround sound theater. If it’s a blockbuster, epic, anything with an 'AVENGERS character in it, I have to watch it at the theater first. Day-to-day movie watching comes from iTunes rentals. Even though I have 30 days to watch them, it’s pretty typical for me to watch three movies in a row on the final few days of the rental period.

You’re stranded on a desert island and can only have one movie and one book...what would you request?

This may be cheating a bit, but I would probably request the "LORD OF THE RINGS" Trilogy – that counts as one long movie, right? I find something new every time I watch it.

The book I would request would be “Under the Dome” by Stephen King. I think it’s pretty brilliant writing and I might find some new found kinship with the characters being stuck somewhere. 

Thank you Sydney Aaliyah Michelle for riding with me for three years straight on the alphabet wheel!

Now, for everyone else, tell me...

How many movies could YOU watch in a row?

Which cities or countries have YOU visited more than once?

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Reader Comments (5)

Greetings from a sister minion from another mother (AJ's wHooligans)! Very cool badge, BTW!

In a theatre, I could watch maybe two in a row. I hate getting up in the middle of a movie and after two, I'd probably need a break! At home, as long as there is a pause function on the remote, I could watch movies from the moment I got up until I fell asleep from exhaustion. About the most I've watched at once is maybe 4-5.

US: NYC, DC, Atlanta, Orlando, DFW, SLC, LA, SF, Chicago, Denver, Crab Orchard (Kentucky)
Rest of the world: Zurich, Bern, Davos (my mother was born there)

Countries: Canada, Switzerland.

Lots of places visited once.

February 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLuAnn Braley

Nice to e-meet you, Sydney :-)

I stream a lot of things via Netfix and Hulu+ so when I find I have a whole day to kill and what to procrastinate writing by using "movies as inspiration," I can watch several movies in a row before passing out in a blissful sleep lol!

I've traveled in my dreams, but only been to Mexico. I've LOVE to visit to hop through various countries of Europe, especially make a stop to Italy, and then visit China, Shanghai and Nigeria.

February 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Brown

We share a love of travel, so I immediately relate to her. There's no better way to experience the world and gather different perspectives on life and world events.

No tattoos for me. I have a vision of saggy flowers when I'm eighty that prevent any ink on my body. :-)

February 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterC. Lee McKenzie

This is an insightful interview and it's amazing that your parents helped you design your tattoo! They sound cool.

February 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMaurice Mitchell

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May 20, 2017 | Unregistered Commentervinod

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