Stephanie Burgis
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5 Questions
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First of all--last night's opera was amazing! I was just floating on our way out. Patrick even liked it, too, despite the fact that he couldn't actually put his feet on the ground for the whole performance because the rows of seats were too narrow and cramped for long legs. Great singing, great music, good staging, funny gags... All excellent. And one of my super-generous friends agreed to take Nika out for a walk this afternoon so that I didn't have to lose 2 hours of travel time, back and forth, after my supervisory meeting (which went just fine, by the way).


I loved reading all the "5 question" interviews across Journalscape, over the past week, so here goes! (Rules are at the bottom of this entry.) These questions come from Karina Sumner-Smith:

1. What do you find inspiring about your surroundings?

Now that I live out in the countryside, I'm tempted to say everything! I love the hills and valleys that I see every day on normal walks, the wide blue skies over sloping green grass. It gives me a sense of real expansiveness, which always helps to get my thoughts in order. But the most inspiring part of my surroundings is the forest five minutes away from my house. I love forests--I've always fantasized about living in a forest someday--and whenever I walk into this one, I'm automatically knocked straight into Writing Mind, no matter how blocked up I might have been until then. My last kids' novel, Queen of Thorns, was directly inspired by the forest here, and one waterfall in the novel is a direct transplant from the waterfall here.

2. Oh, dear, we've just received word that this is the End of the World. You've got a week before the life as we know it comes to a screaming halt. What would you want to do or accomplish in that week?

Hmm. I have to say, I'd drop all academic work, and, yes, all cleaning duties immediately. But what I would do...
-Take Nika for huge hikes to beautiful places
-Spend as much time with Patrick as possible
-Write as much as I could (I know, not logical, but important to me anyway)
-Make contact with all my family and close friends
-Eat whatever I felt like (chocolate cheesecakes, etc.), and really take time to enjoy it!

3. What is your favourite time of day?

This has changed recently. When I was in undergrad, my favorite time was the evening, which was when I relaxed after classes, wrote, and went out. Now, my favorite time of day is 8-9a.m., the time Patrick and I spend writing at a cafe before the normal work day starts. I always hate waking up for it, but it's always worthwhile to have that wonderful moment before the clock starts ticking and all the other chores and work needs take over completely. Until recently, it was still dark at 8:00, so we even got to watch the sun rise through the window as we wrote and (in my case) sipped hot lattes.

4. What are you afraid of?

Spiders, snakes, and the threat of my secondary career (academics) swamping the one I really care about (writing).

5. What has been the most defining moment in your development as a writer?

Going to the Clarion West workshop, in 2001. Before I went, writing was the most important thing I did, but I was afraid to call myself "a writer", especially to other people. By the time I finished the workshop, I'd gained a core of confidence and surety that was priceless.

1 - Leave a comment, or send an email, saying you want to beinterviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed

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