1. You plainly love your life right now. If you could make a change (or a couple) to improve it, though, what would they be?
I have several friends and relations whose health could be improved, and whose improvement of health would improve my life immensely.
Failing that, a couple of extra hours per day would do nicely.
2. Ditto on the writing; is there anything you wish you could change about the process? (Your own writing process, not "I wish everything I wrote would get accepted instantly," though I think plenty of us would wish that on your behalf.)
In the process? Well, I have come to terms with being fundamentally non-linear, but it's a PITA sometimes. I can't give trusted readers the first three chapters I've written of something to see if they're any good, because they are chapters 4, 17, and 32. This is mostly okay, but I have a feeling that some attempts at collaboration would have gone better if I'd been able to start at the beginning, go straight on through the middle, and stop when I come to the end. (This is not the same thing as having the final written version of all stories being in chronological order, I hasten to add. Writing Chapter 5 first is not the same thing as putting a flashback in Chapter 5.)
3. Given a choice, would you prefer to be at the career-level of, say, a Neil Gaiman (hordes of fans, loads of touring, instant name recognition even outside the field), or a matociquala (established relationships with publishers, people showing up to hear you at cons, but probably fewer screaming hordes (at least, not in most places :-) )or at some other level altogether?
Screaming hordes? No. No, and no, and also no. I would have great difficulty with that. One of the lovely things about writing speculative fiction is that you can be famous with the people you like being famous with but not have any difficulty getting through the grocery store without being mobbed for autographs.
I also expect that there is some difficulty with Neil Gaiman in particular, where he has to be very careful in which editors he works with etc., because I'd imagine with big-selling big-name authors, there's some temptation not to risk pissing them off, even if you think something really needs another edit. It's happened to all kinds of people -- J.K. Rowling, for example, did not appear to be getting the editing she needed for several books once things really took off. (Be it known that I am not saying this has already happened to Neil Gaiman, just that if I was in his position, it would be a worry, and I would want to make sure I was working with really ethical people because of it.)
I will never be Bear, either, but that's fine, because I imagine it would be a great deal more boring for us to hang out at cons if we were the same person. ("So...you think anyone's suspected yet?" "Nope." "Me, neither." [pause] "So how's...stuff?" "Good." "Good, good! My stuff, too." "Good." [longer pause] "Hey, isn't that -- um -- someone who isn't us?" "Sure is! Thank God! Bring 'em over!") But I would much rather have a situation where I know where my next book is going -- and the one after that, and... -- than one where I don't feel comfortable saying what town I live in, lest people come find me.
I would make a terrible ultra-mega-superstar, because I feel obligated to interact with randomly encountered people as individuals. But Bear, whatever level of stardom you feel comfortable ascribing to her, can do that from where she is, and it looks like a good thing.
4. What do you do with lingonberries, other than syrup or jam?
Well, they're a bit like cranberries, in that people don't much munch the fresh ones without preparation. But they are quite fine in sauces for white meats, and you can make trollsuppa with them (lingonberries and cream or ice cream), and while you can have an Ole Taco without them, you probably shouldn't.
5. Is there a certain food you would have trouble living without, if - well, I won't say if you were to move somewhere because you wouldn't, but if Minnesota stores all stopped carrying it?
There are all kinds of things I would have difficulty living without, but not so much with brand-names. Tomatoes, for example. If I developed a sudden tomato allergy, it would be very, very hard on me. Dairy. I would have a miserable time adjusting to that one -- I drink skim milk with every meal.
I would be very sad if I didn't have my mrissa Chow, which the rest of the world calls Grape Nuts. But I would make it through the rough patch, with time and the support of my loved ones and possibly a bit of therapy.