Buzzy Jackson Revealed
About Buzzy Jackson
What is your birthdate?:10/10
Previous occupations:Frozen yogurt jockey; Tennis hostess; HR flack; NATO headquarters tour guide; waitress (2 wks); FM radio DJ; Professor of History; Museum docent; Newsstand op; Literary agency assistant; NBC Sports gopher; NCAA study hall monitor.
Favorite job:Researching and writing books. I love the smell of the library in the morning.
High school and/or college:Proud graduate of Truckee-Tahoe High School (CA), UCLA, and UC Berkeley.
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:Tom Waits or Nick Cave; whoever wins the arm-wrestling contest. Also: Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Prince, and Bach.
Favorite movie:Paris, Texas. It helped me appreciate the American West of my childhood.
Favorite television show:The Wire; Arrested Development; Grey's Anatomy; The Twilight Zone; America's Test Kitchen; Ren and Stimpy; NOVA.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. A serendipitous quest for wisdom and strong coffee.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. - Carl Sagan
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. I can't describe it, but if you listen to Bill Evans you'll know what it sounds like.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. The public docks at Donner Lake, in my hometown of Truckee, California.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Walt Whitman - not because I'm anything like him, but I love the way he understood the universe.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Anyone who stands up for justice.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. Friends tell me I say "basically" a lot, so I'm trying to work in "fundamentally" more often now.
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. Wasting time on regret.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. Virtuosic guitar skills. For some reason the only instrument I ever learned to play was trombone. Bass trombone. And my trombone skills were not virtuosic by any standard, though I did win Rookie of the Year.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Quitting a dreadful job as a cocktail waitress in mid-shift may not have been my greatest achievement, but it was certainly a great day for me. Very little feels as good as slamming down a plastic tray full of overpriced Long Island Iced Teas and stepping out into the freedom of a warm summer's day.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. I've never won an Oscar, for starters.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. Modestly, obviously.
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. A giant redwood tree in a protected grove, somewhere on the coast of Northern California.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. Modestly, obviously.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Captain Haddock, Jane Eyre, and Krazy Kat.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. Hal 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Jack Torrance (The Shining).
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. Samuel Beckett, who once said: "Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness." So I would settle for (silently) buying him a drink.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. Casual cruelty.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Imagining the perfect unwritten book.
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. Paramedic or wildlife biologist. Or geneticist. Or astronomer. Or...
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Sense of humor, kindness, and a grasp of basic grammar.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Ripe summer peaches from Colorado's Western Slope.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. The entire soundtrack to "Paris, Texas," by Ry Cooder; "Peace Piece," by Bill Evans; "Re: Stacks," by Bon Iver; "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis," by Tom Waits; "Mannish Boy," by Muddy Waters.
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. Ursula LeGuin
Jorge Luis Borges
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. The Earthsea series by Ursula K. LeGuin
Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. There are writers who inspire, and then there are writers who both inspire and intimidate. When you sit down to write, focus on the former.