let me pry into her life.
Then she

1. What is your favorite mental image or specific memory concerning your backyard pool?
Puck the wire-haired pointing griffon puppy chasing the cheerfully sinister duck-float, and backing away every time the wind blew the thing in his direction.

2. How do you describe your present, personal style of dress? How does it differ from how you dressed or were dressed as a child?
I like clothes and fashion, but I like to be comfortable. One thing that has never changed: I love hats. Hats are my passion. And shoes. Can never have too many shoes. I hate dresses, but lately I've been contemplating them. I love skirts worn with funky tights.

3. What's the first thing that pops into mind upon seeing the word “decadent”? Can you explain the thought in enough detail to span a couple of sentences?
A bubblebath piled high with bubbles, a glass of really good wine (syrah, perhaps?), a stack of novels, and Fuzzy feeding me chocolate-covered pears (I'm allergic to strawberries).

4. What culture, other than your own, would you choose if you were required to immerse yourself into it for a year? Which aspects of your chosen culture draw you the most?
I'd love to spend a year in Finland, actually. Except for that winter-thing.
Alternatively, I'd love to spend a year making wine in the South of France.
I have an aversion to dirt and plumbing that doesn't work. Neither of those countries is terribly conservative, socially, and wrt Finland, I'm just intrigued.

5. What do you require to be in the perfect mental space to write blog or journal entries?
It helps if I have music. Doesn't matter what kind. But I don't need perfect space to blog, I need perfect mental space to write /well/. Some entries are just drivel. Some I'm proud of. But, my ideal is a cool foggy morning, with no lights on in the room, just the soft greylight from outside, and a candle on my desk for glow and inspiration. A mug of tea or coffee. I love coffee, but I'm more creative with tea. Maybe it's the anti-oxidants. My favorite writing snack is tea and navel oranges.


let me ask her five questions, and now I'm answering some for her.

1) You're a WW, and you have to design a hatchling based on me. Describe her personality, voice, and physical appearance.
“Old Gold Dragonet”
She's the color of old gold, the kind some people call “rose gold” for it's slightly pinkish hue, even if she is newly hatched. But don't assume she looks PINK. No. Rather, she's the color of the first warming rays of a sunrise – fiery gold with just a bit of pink to soften it, and while, at this age, she's gawky and uncoordinated, she's not so delicate that injury is a real possibility. Her head will always be a bit out of proportion, slightly overlarge, the result being that she tends to look downward instead of meeting things head-on, but gradually, with training and encouragement (and her full growth) she will learn to compensate. After all, we can't have a Queen bowing to her public. She's more graceful, moving, than many would give her credit for while watching her still form, and surprisingly accurate, always catching her prey on the first try.

She's a fighter, both for rider, and against her rider. Specifically, she is her rider's best friend, confidante and supporter, nudging her to try new things, and speak her mind, but she'll also give in to more stubborn moods, where she'll do all but literally stomp her foot and refuse to budge. > she'll complain when a trip to the lake is suggested. > A bit of oil, and a kind word, plus assurances that her perceptions are only in her head, will soon set her to rights, however.

Her mind voice is a rich, warm contralto in her rider's head, with a little bit of huskiness for depth. Think Etta James or Sara Vaughn. Deep and murky and warm but not lacking in power, or the occasional very surprising high note. Her physical voice is much bolder, all brassy and loud, and generally the first thing that arrives on the scene. When she trumpets in delight, or croons in sadness, she carries all listeners with her.

2) What has to be done so I can either visit you or you can visit me?
Invent tesseract technology; it's cheaper than flying. Seriously, one of us has to simply decide upon it, and it shall be done (you're welcome any time, by the way). Or, perhaps, I will actually manage to GO to D*C some year. Which isn't quite the same, but better than nothing.

3) What was the last movie to make you cry, and what was the scene?
Movies don't generally make me cry, to be honest. Pippin's song, in Return of the King came close, though.

4) What historical period would you like to live in and why?
I would love to have hung out with people like Emerson and Thoreau and the American Transcendentalists, but I also love the music and the clothes of the '40's, and it would've been fun to be a torch singer. . .

5) What's your favorite tarot card and why?
I'm really very ignorant about Tarot. I like the picture on the Page of Wands card from the Celtic Dragon Tarot (the only other set I own is the Arthurian Tarot), and the information in the book says it signifies news, when hope is needed, and contact with foreign places or people, and I like those concepts, so…that's my pick.


I asked five questions, and she asked me some as well.

1. You trip and fall into an adventure. What genre is the story told in, and what role do you play among the heroes? (THE heroine, a mage, comic relief, etc.)

It's actually a mystery, because I'm much more a mystery fan than anything, but it's a mystery in an alternative reality a la Martha Well's Death of the Necromancer where it's pseudo-Victorian England, but with magic and tech. And me, I'm a thief, who may or may not be on the right side, but has a good heart, and gets the guy in the end. Oh, right, and there are really cool clothes.

2. There's often a sensory memory associated with one's childhood. What scent takes you back to the happy days of youth?

Well, Chanel No. 5 is a scent that takes me back to my cousin Tony's diner, and it also reminds me of rice pudding, because Aunt Molly wore it to work there, but other than that, wild onions always bring me back to summers in the garden with my grandfather. His lawn (they lived in New Jersey) was apparently laced with wild green onions and lemongrass, so after every rainstorm, you'd go outside, and it was like walking into a salad.

3. If you could become any character in any book—or TV series, if you'd rather—who would you choose to be?
Chronologically, beginning at age five: Madeline, from the Madeline books, Harriet M. Welsch from Harriet the Spy, Josephine March from Little Women, Catherine Velis, from The Eight, Emma Wheaton, from Certain Women, and Mrs. Pollifax, from the Mrs. Pollifax mystery series.

4. You talk a lot about books and cafés and indoor type stuff. Do you have any outdoor hobbies or activities that you like (or would like) to do?
I love bicycles, and have a new bike that I got for my birthday, but haven't had time to ride, much. (Note: My birthday was five months ago). I grew up ice skating, and still love it, I can roller skate, which for me is an outdoor sport, and I'll do anything that involves sun, sand, and surf, except surfing itself. I love to garden – I pay people to maintain the lawn, not the flower box. And one thing that I've never done, and would someday like to do is a boat-and-bed tour of the San Juan Islands (you're on a sailboat all day, and stop in different bed and breakfasts every night for a week). Once in a while I get into hiking moods – note: never wear sandals on a three mile hike that ends on a beach that's a foot thick in dead kelp and seal droppings. Ugh!

5. What's your “out of character” passion? (By out of character I mean something that people don't expect because it doesn't seem to mesh with your overall personality. And I really hope that makes sense. ^^)
I love bad horror movies, which most people find funny because I don't like gratuitous violence at all. But stuff like A Nightmare on Elm Street is great fun in the right mood. Fuzzy collects swords, and I've fallen in love with the habit, but mostly, anything that has to do with sharks is my thing – not the team, the animal – I'm just fascinated by them. Oh, and I'm really intrigued by submarines and naval history and warfare. And, as we established over Christmas, I collect HO-scale model trains.


asked me five questions.

1) Something simple. Favourite colour(s)?
This is so not simple :) In clothes, right now, I'm heavily into red, black, white, and grey, in various combinations. Not sure why. In general, though, I like purple, and I like icy pastels: lavender, periwinkle, and white are the colors I'm eventually painting the guest room and master bedroom in my house. I've always been a fan of teal, and sage green. Moody murky rainy colors, I guess.

2) There's been a spate of superhero's lately. Reworked on the big screen, and the little one. Who is the hero you identify most with, or would want to be. If none, is there a superpower you'd want to have most of all, and why?
When I was eight I had a crush on Superman, and when I was four my aunt and I used to play Batman and Robin, and I was Batman, but I don't really identify with any superheroes. Superpowers, though, would be cool. I'd really like to be able to have ten-second time-looping capabilities, so I could go back, and give different responses to things, or make different decisions. I think that would be too easy to abuse, though.

3) If there was one thing in your past that you could identify that would have changed your whole lifes path to where you are now, would you go back and change it given the opportunity. I think I know the answer to this one, but I'm still curious to know.
Other than finishing college, since I already wrote about that.
I had an abortion in 1996. We'd only been married a year, and we were in no shape (financial, emotional, residential) to have children, and I still believe it was the right choice for us, at that time. But sometimes I wonder how my life, our lives, might have been different if we'd made a different decision.

4) I don't know if you've caught the travel bug. You always seem so grounded in your writing, in a very positive sense. But if the itch ever took you, where is first on your list of travel destinations and why?
Actually I love to travel, it's just that it's a hassle because of having to kennel the dogs or hire a dog-sitter. (My older dog is epileptic, so we can't just have someone feed them and leave it at that – he requires more care). We spent Christmas 2002, in the South of France, for example, and I'd love to go back. Beyond that, I'd really love to see Alaska, the Caribbean side of Mexico, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. Fuzzy's company keeps whispering about opening a site in Sydney, but chances are that the Asian group will own it, and not the American group, and the timing was bad when we had the chance to move to London, a few years ago.

5) I throw the door open to you. What's the one question you'd want an interviewer to ask you?
Do I have to just state the question, or answer it as well? :)
Seriously, I can't pick questions for myself. I like to talk about rain and music and books, more than anything, so…probably something about that.


I asked a bunch of questions. She's taken her turn, as well.

1. As a chick in cyberspace, you know that the guy/girl ratio is huge. If you were single it might be fun, but when you're happily married it can get annoying. What coping strategies have you developed for telling the inevitable comers-on that “that's not what I'm here for”?

Unless you ARE here for that…

Really, I don't have much of a problem, but I think that's because I'm not now, and have never been, a fan of chat rooms. Part of that is inherent guardedness: while my journal isn't friends-only, I don't accept unsigned posts. Period. Even on my OpenDiary site and my personal blogs. I figure, if I'm willing to put something out there – even if it's drivel – and own it, than anyone commenting should be willing to own their comments. Part of it is that I tend to be shy until I warm up to people, anyway, so I'm not likely to flirt with strangers. And then, a lot of it is luck. I've only gotten ONE spam comment on my blog, ever, and only one or two stray chat requests, so I've never HAD to cope.

2. How is Electric Tangerine going, and what direction would you like to see it go in the future?
It depends. If you mean Electric Tangerine: The Forum I'd love to see it more active, and with real discussion. Of course, the only advertising was a post or two here in LJ. If you mean & Etc. the collaborative blog, I'd like to see it also more active, but right now, I'm hand-picking people to write there, because it's very very experimental and I don't want to push people out of their comfort zone. Ideally, I'd like it to be a place where women (mostly, but not necessarily only) feel comfortable posting their favorite pieces, and offering challenges to one another. A virtual writing group, I guess?

3. You have many musical interests. In what way do you feel most musically at home? (i.e., do you like playing an instrument best? singing? dancing to live music? dancing to canned music? playing your armpit?)
Don't knock armpit tunes!
Seriously, I think in vocal music, and when I'm in my house, or even in my office alone, I'm constantly singing – I just don't sing around my friends, because, again, I'm shy. Also, I'm a total geek when it comes to music, and while I like pop, rock, alternative, jazz, blues, and some country (pretty much everything except rap), what I sing /best/ and am most attracted to are showtunes and standards, which most people don't admit to liking, in public. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Billie Holiday…

4. Are you as active in the world as you are online? How do you feel about that ratio (time spent in meatspace/time spent in cyberspace)?
Yes and no.
I'm in a nesting period right now – I love my house and I love spending time in it, and I've always been very solitary. I think this is leftover from always being the only kid at adult parties, and always being the new kid. I never developed a great love of group activities – I get overwhelmed and feel overshadowed and dull – and yeah, that's all internal, but it's still there. But, I do stuff, yeah. I used to be extremely active in the local pro-choice movement.

The thing is, when I'm hanging out on the net, I'm usually at home, and Fuzzy is in the room with me, and we're chatting and stuff, or I'm at work, and doing stuff and interacting with people, so I'm never JUST online.

I freely admit that I tend to do too much internal stuff, though, and not enough interaction with the world.

5. At any time in your life, have you passed up an opportunity that you now regret having passed up (like that time that the then-unknown Bill Gates asked you out)? How does that inform your life now?
When I was sixteen I had the opportunity to take high school equivalency exams instead of finishing, and then go to Simon's Rock of Bard College – it's a boarding prep school that takes 16 and 17 year-olds, but I felt like there was no way my parents could afford it, so I didn't push hard enough, and I ended up hating high school, and pretty much blowing off my entire senior year (I'd already been accepted to my university) because I was restless and bored and unhappy. That ruined higher education for me, to this day. I keep telling myself that someday I'll go back and finishing college, but the truth is, I don't think it'll happen. I have no patience for classrooms.