What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Taking fall walks with people I love. Picnicking under blossoming apple trees.
Which living person do you most admire?
Anyone who truly helps other people. Also; Will Ferrell & Tina Fey for making me laugh so much and so often.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Jealousy. It's so low and futile.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Greed and arrogance.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Lotion and clothes.
What is your favorite journey?
Any place I can go by train.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
Whenever I have to. But I do it poorly. I excel at exaggerations though.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My neck. Also would love to have slim feet.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I don't know. Probably "sick". Or "love you so much" to my kids, but can you overdo that?
What is your greatest regret?
Not fighting harder to get into Chinese class (taught by Cecilia Lindquist) in high school.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
When and where were you happiest?
Holding my newborns. Holding my children. Was pretty delirious getting married to Anders, too.
What is your current state of mind?
Happy and in need of a cup of coffee.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
A little more discipline, a little more ambition, a little less self-mockery. Even writing this I tease myself - saying "why would anyone care to read this", but you asked and I shall answer!
What is your favorite occupation?
Writing, reading, eating, talking, laughing, going to museums. Preferably all at the same time.
What is the quality you most like in a person?
What do you most value in your friends?
Their wit, humor and love.
Who are your favorite writers?
Too many! I've thoroughly enjoyed David Sedaris, Nora Ephron, Tolstoy, Selma Lagerlöf, Jean Webster, LM Montgomery, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Fay Weldon, Elsa Morante, Amy Tan, Ruth Reichl, Margaret Bloy Graham and Gene Zion and yes, Jane Austen.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A squirrel, gathering things, forgetting where I put them.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
It doesn't matter so much as long as I could recognize my loved ones in their new shapes.