Friday, May 30, 2003

The Friday Five

What do you most want to be remembered for?

Being a writer who, in life and work, saw clearly and spoke honestly.

What quotation best fits your outlook on life?

One I recently quoted here, so I'll give a few extra to make up for the repetition. (The extras come first.)

Run mad as often as you chuse, but do not faint. -- Jane Austen

The only way out is the way through. -- Howard Nemerov

In dreams begin responsibilities. -- Delmore Schwartz

Almost everything conspicuously great is great in defiance, has come into being in defiance of affliction and pain, poverty, destitution, bodily weakness, vice, passion, and a thousand other obstructions. Forbearance in the fact of fate, beauty constant under torture, are not merely passive. They are a positive achievement, an explicit triumph.
-- Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?

The NaNoNovel -- 50,000 words, many incoherent, in thirty days. I'm planning to rewrite and finish it this summer.

What about the past ten years?

Surviving and growing.

It's been an eventful decade. Wrote three books (published), two book-length mss. (not yet published), various articles, a couple of chapbooks, and got a solid start on the current novel and the current book of essays; started and ran a successful small press, then let it die of neglect when my life collapsed; dealt with the deaths of my father-in-law, both grandfathers, father, and niece (not to mention the death of my marriage); did serious gut-level work in therapy; left my husband and started up my professional full-time career again; sold off my furniture and moved to California; built a solid family relationship out here. Pretty good.

If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?

I would sing them "I Hope You Dance." I don't care if it's corny. It's good advice.

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