Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Jeez, I don't know if perfect happiness exists. But I do know that intense periods of concentration can lift me out of my sometimes jumbled, moody, myopic way of going through life. Which is to say that I am really, really happy when I lose myself in my writing, when time passes without me realizing it, and afterwards I have to look over what I wrote because it was almost as if I--the normal old neurotic me--went away for a bit. Other moments of happiness are: Watching my dog leap, jump, and play with the other dogs at the park. Cooking dinner with my husband and eating by candle light. Taking a walk on a crisp autumn morning, observing the leaves fall around me. Eating a salad of greens from my own garden. Sitting around with old friends, drinking wine and listening to music. The first bite of dessert. Touching down in Paris, knowing the dreaded flight is over and the vacation has begun.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. There are two and they are both pretty irrational (I hope!): The first is being in a plane crash and the second is being falsely imprisoned for a crime I did not commit.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. In Glenna Hunter's massage hut, called Chez Bamboo, which is located behind a gorgeous old inn in Mendocino, CA. Of course I wouldn't just be *in* Chez Bamboo, I'd be lying on a heated table, being massaged with essential oils by Glenna herself, the wisest person I know.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. I am big on parenthetical phrases. (And I probably use them too much!)
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I would love to know how to make really good puff pastry so that I could make homemade chocolate croissant. I would also love to be a really good singer. Oh! And be fluent in Spanish and Italian.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. I worry way too much.
Q. What’s your best quality?
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I remember small details about people's lives, even people I don't know very well.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. He's kind of an anti-hero, but I love Ignatius P. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. The Misfit from "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Owning my own restaurant.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. It's really important to me that the people close to me are passionate, present (no checking your Blackberry while conversing), and kind.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Cheese. But I want all kinds of cheeses, from sheep, goat, and cow's milk. And maybe a little bread and quince paste to accompany them? ;)
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. "I Want to Sing that Rock and Roll" by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. "Suspicious Minds" sung by Elvis. "Prayer Without Words" by Mary Guathier. "Trouble" by Cat Stevens. "Black Flowers" by Yo La Tengo.