Anatomy of an Uncustomary Writer
What’s the oddest thing you own?
I’ve got a figurine of a knight in chain mail trying to pull a sword out of a stone and he’s got the funniest, most constipated look on his face. I guess that’s pretty odd.
Any writing rituals?
Put in ear buds and start a white noise video on YouTube, or not. Sometimes I just wear the ear buds; they help me to stay focused. Then I’m in my happy writing place and ready to go.
What substance (prescribed, illegal or from the freezer section) most inspires your writing?
Coffee with coconut milk.
What’s the biggest advantage of your greatest disadvantage?
Procrastinating by reading articles online has led me to some great discoveries. I’d have never known there used to be a farting performance artist at the Moulin Rouge if I always got right to work.
Which language do you wish you could speak to ask what question to whom?
I’d have loved to speak in French to the film director Jean Renoir. He’s always seemed like a warm, intelligent conversationalist to me. It would have been great to talk with him about anything, not just his films, but the things that interested him.
Describe your relationship with inspiration.
I never think about inspiration; it just comes to me randomly. I always have a pen and paper available, and when it hits, I’m ready.
The formula for the perfect day is:
Get up late. Not wake up late, because I like to be able to fully enjoy how comfy my bed is. Have coffee, eggs and a roll. Chat with my husband, which tends to be a recap of the crazy dreams he always remembers in detail (like the time he was President Obama’s secret service agent and they went to the store to buy Hasselpuffs, which is a breakfast cereal with a photo of a Knight Rider-era David Hasselhoff in a leather jacket giving double thumbs up). Turn on some music and have pajama dancing party time with my kids (they like the Ramones, pronounced “Marones”). Send everyone off to the park while I read and write for a few hours. Have lunch together and go do or see something new. Then watch an old movie and eat Thai food.
Anatomy of the Book
Do you prefer…
…chapter titles or chapter numbers? Numbers. Chapter titles are like spoilers to me.
…short stories, a series, or a collection of poems? A series. I love to get hooked on a group of characters and follow them around for a while.
…footnotes, maps or indices? Definitely not footnotes, I don’t like to be taken away from the main text mid paragraph. Maps are always fun to explore.
…hardcover, softcover or digital cover? Hardcover books feel fantastic in my hands. They even smell better to me. I enjoy the convenience of digital books, but you’ll never catch me trying to get a whiff of my screen. Softcovers are the easiest to read lying down though.
Anatomy of the Reading List
What does your reading list look like? Is it a pile of books, a list of titles or a mental medley of thoughts?
Reading lists. Always multiple. I’ve got a pile of books, several digital titles waiting in my reader, a Word document to-read list, a pile of sticky notes with one or two titles each and lots of ideas about what I’d like to read.
Which book do you feel obligated to read next?
Quiet by Susan Cain. It’s almost due at the library.
Which do you actually wish you were reading right now?
I’m really enjoying Quiet, so it’s a happy obligation.
Uncustomary Book Reviews Written by Kendahl Cruver: Here’s the list.