A. 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.
A. Researching and writing books. I love the smell of the library in the morning.
A. Proud graduate of Truckee-Tahoe High School (CA), UCLA, and UC Berkeley.
A. Tom Waits or Nick Cave; whoever wins the arm-wrestling contest. Also: Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Prince, and Bach.
A. Paris, Texas. It helped me appreciate the American West of my childhood.
A. The Wire; Arrested Development; Grey's Anatomy; The Twilight Zone; America's Test Kitchen; Ren and Stimpy; NOVA.
A. A serendipitous quest for wisdom and strong coffee.
A. Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. - Carl Sagan
A. I can't describe it, but if you listen to Bill Evans you'll know what it sounds like.
A. The public docks at Donner Lake, in my hometown of Truckee, California.
A. Walt Whitman - not because I'm anything like him, but I love the way he understood the universe.
A. Anyone who stands up for justice.
A. Friends tell me I say "basically" a lot, so I'm trying to work in "fundamentally" more often now.
A. Wasting time on regret.
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.
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.
A. I've never won an Oscar, for starters.
A. Modestly, obviously.
A. A giant redwood tree in a protected grove, somewhere on the coast of Northern California.
A. Modestly, obviously.
A. Captain Haddock, Jane Eyre, and Krazy Kat.
A. Hal 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Jack Torrance (The Shining).
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.
A. Casual cruelty.
A. Imagining the perfect unwritten book.
A. Paramedic or wildlife biologist. Or geneticist. Or astronomer. Or...
A. Sense of humor, kindness, and a grasp of basic grammar.
A. Ripe summer peaches from Colorado's Western Slope.
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.
A. Ursula LeGuinSamuel BeckettJorge Luis BorgesP.G. WodehouseWalt WhitmanIan FrazierMargaret AtwoodTerry SouthernGreil MarcusJohn Lanchester
A. The Earthsea series by Ursula K. LeGuinFicciones by Jorge Luis BorgesCloud Atlas by David MitchellLeaves of Grass by Walt WhitmanJane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
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.