Would You Rather
Would you rather start every sentence in your book with ‘And’ or end every sentence with ‘but’?
I use "but" frequently. That's because there are always so many sides to an issue and I feel a need to capture them.
Would you rather write in an isolated cabin that was infested with spiders or in a noisy coffee shop with bad musak?
I'll choose the spiders! My parents were string quartet violinists and I grew up on late Beethoven. I think classical music is what keeps me alive. Besides, spiders don't attack; they just quietly climb up an down.
Would you rather think in a language you could understand but write in one you couldn’t read, or think in a language you couldn’t understand but write in one you could read?
This is tricky. I'd rather think and write in the one language I know. In fact, I can't escape it.
Would you rather write the best book of your career and never publish it or publish a bunch of books that leave you feeling unsatisfied?
I've already published 27 books. There are some I wish I could throw out, but it's too late. But again (all these 'but's, cf. above) there are some I believe in and would not throw out.
Would you rather have everything you think automatically appear on your Twitter feed or have a voice in your head narrate your every move?
Voice in my head, for sure. There are things I definitely do not want Twitter to know.
Would you rather your books be bound and covered with human skin or made out of tissue paper?
Tissue paper. Even if it blows away, tumbling down a street.
Would you rather read naked in front of a packed room or have no one show up to your reading?
I am happy to have never had to give a reading naked. On the other hand, I have given a reading to the one person who showed up for it.
Would you rather your book incite the world’s largest riot or be used as tinder in everyone’s fireplace?
Here I'll vote for the riot. Maybe someone will find something in it more alluring than a riot.
Would you rather give up your computer or pens and paper?
I have already given up pens and paper, and I still wonder if was the wrong choice. My computer is unruly and far too complicated.
Would you rather have every word of your favorite novel tattooed on your skin or always playing as an audio in the background for the rest of your life?
I hope I never have to deal with either, but in a pinch I'll vote for the tattoo over the noise, which would make it hard to think.
Would you rather meet your favorite author and have them turn out to be a total jerkwad or hate a book written by an author you are really close to?
Well, I've already met some jerkwads. I'd choose the to meet the writer whose book I hate but whose person I respect.
Would you rather your book have an awesome title with a really ugly cover or an awesome cover with a really bad title?
Awesome title, please! It's titles that sell books, not covers.
Would you rather write beautiful prose with no point or write the perfect story badly?
The latter, although I try to make my prose as beautiful as I can.
Would you rather write only embarrassingly truthful essays or write nothing at all?
Embarrassingly truthful. I think I've already written some of those.
Would you rather your book become an instant best seller that burns out quickly and is forgotten forever or be met with mediocre criticism but continue to sell well after you’re gone?
Author of 27 books, 11 chapbooks, 2 translations of classical drama. Former PL of Virginia. Emerita, Poets Corner, NYC. Hanes Poetry Prize, NEA, USIA (the Philippines), Rockefeller, Bradley Lifetime Award, Phillabaum Prize, Weinstein Award, Notable Wisconsin Author, three Arts Board fellowship grants and two New Work awards from Wisconsin, Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook Award (2000, for 1999), Walker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Southern Letters; four Prize anthologies. Eminent Scholar, UAH, 2001-2005.