This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
My Life in 8 Words
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all lives. What makes me perfectly happy (spending most of my waking hours in the same house as my husband, squirreled away writing books, surrounded by animals) might drive someone else absolutely nuts.
So I think we all have to figure out what would make us happy and work towards that. Meaning, don’t reach for other people’s definitions of happiness.
This can take a really long time. It did for me. I was pretty clueless what I wanted to do with my life until I started writing in my mid-twenties. Even then, I went back to grad school because I wanted a backup plan. But eventually I knew that only writing would make me happy.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. It would be cool to be a cat for a while. I’d get to stay up all night, see in the dark, get fed and petted for doing pretty much nothing.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Singing. I have a strong voice but am terrible at staying on-key. Which is a really bad combination, because it means I’m loud and painful.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Novelist! I can’t imagine anything better than this. Though I think it would be fun to drive a Zamboni or operate a forklift.