greatestofnates asked me the five questions that follow: 1) Do you ever listen to books on tape/CD?
No. If I'm on a long car trip, I enjoy music (and sometimes conversation, depending on our moods), and if I'm in a situation where I can actually read, I will. I don't fidget with normal books. I do when there's a book on tape/CD.
2) After they cast Jodie Foster and Keifer Sutherland for a movie about you and Mark's life - what (sub)genre(s) would it be?
Is there a genre where people stare a lot at computer screens and occasionally engage in frantic fits of typing? Because that would be our movie. I suppose the three of us in this household find ourselves immensely funny, but we haven't even successfully been able to explain half our jokes to people who are around us all the time, so "comedy" doesn't seem like quite the thing from the outside. From the inside, though, totally.
When I was in Oregon for the summer, we occasionally would play "who survives," the "if this was an action movie, who would make it out alive?" game. I was the only woman in the group, so I was guaranteed to be all right, because you have to have at least one woman alive at the end of the action movie. One of the guys was invariably toast, because he was a fresh-faced farm-boy, and everyone knows how they fare. Etc. But I don't think my life is an action movie.
3) If you could bring in a ghost-writer to slog through the hard parts of your book - who would you choose?
Well, awhile ago athenais and I were joking that we should finish each other's books....
Seriously, though, I wouldn't. I don't have a ghost-writer because I don't want one, not because I couldn't get them to agree or couldn't afford it or something. My books are my books because I did the hard parts as well as the easy parts. I am a writer. Writers don't hire writing, they get hired for writing. I would far rather be a ghost-writer than have one.
At Minicon, Steven Brust was talking about collaborating and writing until it wasn't any fun and then handing the manuscript to his collaborator, who did the same. That seems to me a different thing: a credited collaboration is worlds apart from a ghost-writing gig. There are several people I'd consider collaborating with, first among them timprov if he was feeling good enough to do more writing.
But if I didn't want to write books, I wouldn't write books, and that includes the hard parts. Other people write a great many books, and if I want to read their writing, I can do so. My books are different from theirs. Clearly so: they're mine. If someone else had written them, they would be someone else's.
4) What do you think happens after people die? Is it relevant to how you live your life?
Oh, sure, go for the easy questions.
I believe that the statement "God is love" is not a metaphor but a definition. I believe that when we die, we join that.
The nice thing about this is that even if I'm wrong about it happening literally, I absolutely know that it's true on the figurative level at least. My dead loved ones are part of how I love others in my life. I can point at concrete things I do in loving people that are the legacy of my Gran or my grandmother-in-law or Nanu or my uncle Lloyd or my cousin Dave or my friend Steph. Whatever is true of anything after, I know that that is true now. I can even point at things that I do that are the legacy of Great-Grandpa Lingen, who died when I was three, or my grandmother, who died before I was born. The continuity of some of these things is quite visible.
So in that sense, it affects everything I do. The literal truth of a heaven is not so much my concern. I don't do good things in hopes that someone will pat me on the head for them after I die. I don't avoid doing bad things for fear somebody will poke me with a sharp stick after I die. I try to behave with love whenever I can manage it because it's the right thing to do, and I don't think I'll be sorry even if there's an afterlife and I'm drastically wrong about what it contains.
5) What should I have for dinner next Monday?
Oh, sure, stick me with the hard questions.
Do you like chili? Have chili and cornbread. It's good stuff, and the leftovers save well for later. Or you could go get some Ethiopian food in honor of Ed's birthday, I suppose. Or a beer. I mean, probably not for dinner -- I don't think drinking your dinner would be a very good way to honor Ed's birthday -- but with your dinner, if you like beer.