My Life in 8 Words
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Fall seven times, stand up eight.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I actually once had a dream that I met the novelist Charles Dickens. He was at a signing for his latest book, and nobody came but me. I figured I had him to myself, so I should ask him something useful. I knew that his novels were serialized in magazines, a section at a time. As soon as he finished each section, it would be published – before he finished the novel! I can’t imagine doing this, because when I get to the end of a book I realize all the mistakes I made at the beginning and have to go back and fix them. So in my dream, I asked Dickens how he did it. Did he just start at the beginning and write to the end and hope everything fit when he got there? Did he outline ahead of time? Did he know all along where he was heading? His answer was incredibly helpful. Just incredibly. Unfortunately, I forget what it was. So I’d go back and ask him again, possibly with my iPod voice recorder turned on.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. I've always used "really" a lot. And "actually." I love the world "fierce." Lately I've been overdoing it with "lovely" and "seriously."
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I mess up so often myself, that I try to be understanding when others do likewise.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. I'm kind of fickle, but Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) and Mma Ramotswe (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) are way up there near the top.