I would have sworn I got one of these before, but digging through my archives, I couldn’t find it–it was probably on Tumblr instead, because I know I’ve done the “answer 11 questions, ask 11 new ones” thing at least once.
Anyway, I was nominated by the lovely Bronwyn, my best fellow-writer-I-met-on-the-Internet friend. I’m accumulating quite a few of those, these days, but Bronwyn was the first, and a never-ending font of moral and emotional support when I was tearing my hair out last year, trying to get What We Need to Survive published successfully. (Love you, girl. Can’t wait for your next book!)
On to Bronwyn’s questions!
1.) What do you feel is the most criminally underrated movie or TV show?
Being a huge fan of Chinese cinema after I studied it in a college anthropology seminar, I’m going to go with the original Infernal Affairs. (If it sounds familiar, that’s probably because Martin Scorsese remade it as The Departed—also a good movie, but I feel the original is better.)
It has a compelling story, excellent cinematography, great music, and most of all, a stellar cast. This movie began my fangirling over Tony Chiu Wai Leung, who has (as far as I’ve seen) never given anything less than a fantastic performance in anything. (I wish he played a bigger part in Hero; 2046 and Lust, Caution were both amazing; and someday I’ve got to make time to see Happy Together, I hope it’s still on Netflix.)
2.) How do you feel about clowns?
Not fond of them, but not particularly frightened of them, either. That may change if I ever read It.
3.) What’s your favorite book?
Really? I really need to pick just one? I know my answer changes every time someone asks me this, but today I’ll go with Little Women, because it played such an important role in my junior-high years, and I’ve reread it a dozen times. I’d actually lost my copy, probably somewhere in the million moves to and from college, so I picked up one for 25 cents at the thrift store recently, and I’m looking forward to reading it again soon.
4.) Where is your happy place?
Snuggling in bed with my husband, preferably in winter under several blankets. Nothing beats that warm and cozy feeling.
5.) Growing up, what was your favorite toy?
I have always been Queen of the Stuffed Animals. I have fond memories of Play Dough and Legos and Micro Machines, but stuffed animals will always be the best. I still collect them.
6.) What was the worst job you ever had?
I spent three weeks as a temp at a bookbinding factory. Now, I realize the work I did was a lot easier physically than most other types of factories, but I worked the graveyard shift (I’m not a night person;) it was the middle of summer in Indiana and hot as a furnace; I didn’t know anyone there except my soon-to-be husband (we got that job together;) and I’m just not suited for doing the same exact (boring) menial task for eight hours in a row.
Factory work is hard, and I have never and will never look down at someone who does it, because I’ve done factory-lite and I could barely handle it. I never, ever want to work at one again.
7.) What fact about you surprises people the most?
My age. Yeah, I know, that sounds vain, but I take after my mother, and we both look considerably younger than we are. Plus, at the day job I work with a mix of adults and teenagers–the “kids” know I’m older than they are (I don’t look that young) but they usually assume I’m somewhere in my twenties, instead of my thirties.
I was warned at the first bar I visited after turning 21 that I would probably be carded well into my thirties, “with a face like that.” And I have been. The only reason I don’t get carded at my local grocery when I buy beer is because the cashiers know me by now, I’ve been going there once or twice a week since they opened a few years ago.
8.) What’s the one thing you wish you’d known as a freshman in college?
Don’t rush to get a boyfriend. You’ll end up spending a lot of time with him, and his friends will become your friends, which can get messy when your relationship heads south. Most of the friends I made my freshman year didn’t remain friends the next three. My lasting college friendships all came from sophomore year or later.
(And no, any young’uns who might be reading this, I’m not saying don’t date at all, just don’t make your first college boyfriend the absolute center of your life. I married my most serious college boyfriend. Just make other good friends too!)
9.) What are two of your bucket list items?
I don’t have a bucket list. Though I know horrible things can happen any time, I’m not feeling my own mortality yet, and that’s just not the way I think–I get anxious enough about the future without piling things on myself that I feel like I have to do before I croak.
I know a lot of people say travel, and there are still plenty of places I’d love to go, but I’ve already been incredibly fortunate in the amount I have traveled. As for the rest, I don’t need to go skydiving or ziplining or anything thrilling and dangerous (I do love roller coasters, but again, I’ve gotten to do that a lot.)
And I’ve already published a novel, which a lot of people want to and never do!
10.) Do you play any instruments? If so, which one(s)? If not, are there any you wish you could play? If so, which ones?
My primary instrument is my voice: I have sung my entire life, and in terms of training, I’ve easily put my ten thousand hours in, probably a few times over.
As for everything else, I dabbled with piano as a child, but I have incredibly small hands, so it became clear I was never going to be better than a dabbler. I tried to teach myself guitar: same problem, even on the lovely 3/4-sized acoustic I picked up for almost nothing back in college from a disgruntled former music major, there are still chords I simply can’t play because my fingers don’t reach that far. (Though I recently discovered this on one of those “Things to Learn Free Online” metaposts, and I’m considering giving it another go–I still have that guitar!–if I can make time.)
I have a friend who was teaching herself the ukulele last year and suggested it as a remedy to my small-hands issue, but I haven’t pursued it.
For instruments I’d love to learn, I’ve always felt intrigued by harps, but even setting aside my microhands, those are a serious monetary investment.
11.) What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever been given?
I know, that needs explaining.
The dorm I lived in my junior year was as dry as the Sahara. I struggled through the fall on a dozen glasses of water a day and more lip balm than any one person should go through, but when winter came, I was waking up in the morning with blood on my pillow from my cracked lips, no matter what I did the night before.
My now-husband, then-boyfriend-of-less-than-a-year came back from Christmas break with a giant box for me containing my Christmas presents: a few special snack foods he knew I liked, and a humidifier. I filled that puppy up in the bathroom sink, lugged it to my room, and set it up immediately. By the end of the week, my poor chapped lips had healed and I made it through the rest of the winter without any more problems.
He’s continued to be an incredibly thoughtful gift-giver ever since.
My Questions for You, Yes, You, Because I’m Nominating All My Readers:
- Who are your top three celebrity crushes?
- What book do you recommend most often?
- What musical artist/band do you recommend most often?
- What’s your favorite season, and your favorite thing about that season?
- What do you wish you’d started learning sooner than you did?
- What’s your comfort food?
- What’s on your desk right now? (Or nightstand, if you have no desk.)
- What motivates you in your daily life?
- Who would you love to take to dinner? (Romantic date, or non-romantic get-together, your choice.)
- Do you collect anything?
- Do you play board games, and if so, which is your favorite? (Always looking for recommendations, here, we’re Game Night aficionados.)