ELEVEN RANDOM QUESTIONS
What do you think of keeping a journal?
The real issue here is not that of how journal writing affects all the other forms of writing. There is much to be said about journal writing, both positively and negatively, and probably all of it is true at one time or another for all writers who face changing circumstances over the course of their writing lives. Sometimes journals can help our other projects, sometimes they can’t. Each person’s situation is best handled by themselves. The real issue here, the issue that has people so stirred up, and rightly so, is the fundamental arrogance displayed in both the “writer” Jimmy V.’s original essay condemning journaling out of hand, and his later condemning replies to any and all responses proffered to him. Arrogance of the intensity he displays has always been a substitute for actual wisdom. This truth is one of the fundamental truths of human nature, and I am not the only person to realize it. “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” (Bertrand Russell) That, little Jimmy V., spoiled rotten “writer,” is the central issue you should concern yourself with.
Which celebrity would you like to bitch slap?
Dr. Laura wins by a light-year. I only slap those who’ve been guilty of slapping others. She’s angry and cruel and gives just plain bad advice to her callers. I listen to her all the time to remind myself how wise and kind I am by comparison. King Solomon, she isn’t. She’s a one-note piano with a bent wire. She sounds like she needs heavy meds, and pronto! Wouldn’t we all just leap at the chance to come back as her husband or son? I’d rather be eaten alive by a swarm of rats.
Do you remember your dreams?
I remember my dreams often, but not every single night. My dreams run the gamut of emotional response — from terror to euphoria. I write down most of the dreams I remember. They are usually very long & complicated & sometimes make perfect sense but sometimes don’t contain the slightest thread of logic. My favorite dreams are the ones I call “therapy dreams.” Often, when I’m upset or angry with someone, I’ll dream about that person & act out my feelings in the dream & achieve some sort of resolution which flows over into waking life & is vastly superior to any traditional therapy I’ve tried. I’ve done everything in my dreams — flown without mechanical aids, been wonderfully fluent in foreign languages, had phenomenal sex with friends & strangers & celebrities, lived as a member of the opposite sex, written best sellers, killed people… my dreams are in many ways the best part of my life because they’re absolutely limitless in scope & action & intensity. Sometimes dreams are a lot more “real” than real life & more enjoyable. Surrealist dreams are the most interesting — upon waking I always try to puzzle out what was the link between seemingly unrelated events or objects. I’ve even accurately prophesied the future in dreams. I tend to think it’s because the subconscious is free to express itself rather than any supernatural explanation. We’re just that smart when we’re not weighed down with all our conscious baggage. Thanks for asking about dreams!
What’s your Wu-Tang name?
What’s the deal with long hair?
You’re right, it is 40. Not 30. Sometimes long hair can make the face look thin & drawn, but that’s also true for teenagers. Some of them shouldn’t have long hair. On the other hand, I’ve seen old ladies in wheelchairs with long fluffy white hair & it can be quite charming. I think if you look good with it, who cares what the rules are?
What are five good things about springtime?
1. Getting the taxes filed & out of the way
2. Wanderlust & regular lust & spring fever
3. Plants waking up & showing off & intoxicated
4. Putting the hand lotion away till next year
5. Birds, bees, butterflies & bikini underwear
What are your irrational annoyances?
Noise, noise & noise. Ungrateful children who view me as their maid. Children who, rather than empty the trash, stuff the can so full you can’t get the bag out. Children who leave dirty dishes & empty snack containers scattered around the house. Children who are, currently either at the movies or sleeping. Thank you, God.
Does springtime make you horny?
Nope. For me the season of lust is definitely winter. But then, I live in Florida.
Why do you love your pets?
I love my pets because they’re far less demanding than my children.
What do you think of the name game?
I have a former sister-in-law who collects unusual names. A couple of her favorites are Shithead (pronounced Shi-THEED) and Lemonjello (pronounced Le-MON-jello). Also PsalmCIV (pronounced PIZUM-siv). These are actual legal names, no joke.
What do you think of magazines with articles titled “Ten Steps to a Killer Orgasm!”?
I used to read Seventeen as a child… then read Glamour as a young woman… then read Mirabella as a grown-up. It figures Mirabella went bust, it was the most intelligent in a sea of dreck. Redbook was pretty good until they quit publishing short fiction. Jane’s okay, but too young for me. I hate Martha Stewart but her magazine’s got the best art direction, I think. And I like when she runs those articles about 27 varieties of tomatoes, or whatever, with a poster illustration. Gourmet is an old classic, still living up to its past. Vanity Fair has great writing & an eclectic subject matter. Rolling Stone & Sports Illustrated also win for good writing that crosses subject lines. I find I don’t have enough time to read all the magazines I subscribe to — they languish in piles. W is nice just for the outsized format but their writing is negligible.