If you won the lottery, what would you do with your newfound wealth?
How large a lottery are we talking about? If I won $500 off a scratch ticket, I'd probably blow it on just fun stuff. A large lottery, now that's different. I sometimes dream of winning a lottery that's substantial enough to share with my family, provide for my retirement, give to my favorite charities, and buy my dream home. I've been threatening to buy a new house for years and so far have remained in my little house with its tiny kitchen. Which makes my friends and family skeptical that I'll ever act. That's only because so far my dream home way exceeds my real budget.
No matter how much money I won, though, I'd still write, because that's what I love to do.
If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for?
More wishes, of course! Unless this is one of those Aladdin-type wishes that comes with restrictions, like you can't wish for more wishes. Once I had more wishes, then I could wish for all the wonderful and altruistic things like world peace, good health for everyone, plenty of food and comfortable shelter for all. And some of the selfish things like being plopped into the perfect house with a kitchen with plenty of countertop space and room for family and friends to gather, terrific neighbors, beautiful view . . .
If you could be any other person, animal, plant, etc… for a day, who or what would you be and why?
I'd like to be a songbird so I could fly. On my own power. Who doesn't have dreams of flying? It's the ultimate freedom. And I'd like to be able to sing rather than just mouth the words to songs out of embarrassment over my voice. Not so sure I'd like the diet of worms and bugs for a day, though.
Who's your favorite fictional character, and why?
There are so many! It's hard to choose. But I'd have to say Scarlett O'Hara. No, she's not nice. But she's spunky and a real survivor. And interesting. She's also foolish and headstrong. And though a great flirt who can capture men's attention, she can't recognize real love when she finds it with Rhett Butler. Being a hopeless romantic myself, I always think she'll get him back.
Who’s your present celebrity crush? Name a past (and hopefully embarrassing) celebrity crush.
What was the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked several summers at a fast food restaurant. It was one of those cases of being too good at a job I hated. I had to work the counter and wait on crabby, hungry customers when I wanted to be in the back making sandwiches. But my till always balanced and I got great reviews from customers. I was too valuable where I was. So I was stuck out front on the counter until I quit.
Besides being an author, what is your fantasy job?
There are so many things I'd like to try. I love flowers. I think being a florist would be fun. But I'd need to develop an artistic eye and a flair for floral arranging. Something I'm sadly lacking. Working in a nursery growing flowers would be fun.
I love to bake, but have had to cut down on it in recent years as my waistline started expanding. I'd love to be a pastry chef or bake for a bakery. I know in reality it's a lot of hard, hot work. But the thought of creating so many sweet treats and making people happy with them sounds like heaven.
My other fantasy job would be secret shopper. How much fun would it be to be paid to shop and then get to rate the service! In my version of the fantasy job, you only have to shop at stores you love or would love if you had enough money to enjoy them. And you'd get to keep the merchandise. And being a secret shopper has that added element of intrigue, but very little danger.
What music, food, drink, toys, etc… do you keep by your side when you're writing?
Who is or was your favorite pet? What made him/her so great?
My favorite pet was Ching, the miniature Pekinese we had when I was young. My brothers and I saved our allowance for months so we could buy him. When I was grown, Mom told me she and Dad had to chip in the largest share of what the dog cost. Without their help, it would have taken most of our childhood for us to save our pennies for a purebred dog like Ching. But never mind, my brothers and I felt like we had earned him. Ching was ours.
He was the cutest little dog. Everyone thought so. Unfortunately, so did someone selfish and sinister. Someone kidnapped him, or maybe I should say dognapped him, one summer. He was in a fenced yard at my grandma's house. Grandpa and Grandma lived on a lake and ran a resort. There were always lots of people passing by.
We knew Ching couldn't get out on his own. But he loved to go to the fence so people could pet him. We're sure someone nabbed him. We searched and searched for him, put up flyers, you name it. We never found him. It's a mystery that still bothers me. Who would steal someone else's beloved pet? My grandma felt so awful that Ching had disappeared during her watch.
I hope whoever took him treated him well and he lived a long and happy life.
I have an eclectic mix of things at my desk: a shoe calendar, a mug covered with writing quotes and filled with pens, a small basket holding sticky notes, mini handcuffs, lip gloss (gotta have moist lips while I write), a book light, reading glasses, and flash drives. I have a bulletin board covered with: inspirational quotes about writing, a postcard of Margaret Mitchell, a postcard of William Faulkner's home, the Flatiron Building, tons of magnets, including one of the Friday Night Lights stars, tassels, and a metal sign that says, "Future Award-winning Author at Work," and another sign that says, "Writer on Deadline."
My framed book covers surround my desk. Of course, I have a printer, phone, iPod and speakers, and radio. Oh, and a stack of books I plan to read.
It's a space that makes me happy.