My grandfather is my greatest inspiration. He read to me from when I was a toddler, making sure I really heard every word and that I didn’t take a nap (“That’s for babies”). As a first-generation American with parents who barely spoke any English, he knew that a facility with language is key to a full life. Some of his favorites–Kipling, The Iliad, Shakespeare, and Casey at the Bat. And yes, he didn’t think it was weird at all to read The Iliad to a four-year-old. As far as writers go, my personal preferences are somewhat different than is (although The Jungle Book holds up better than you might think). My deepest inspirations are troublemakers: John Osborne, Arthur Miller, Mike Daisey, Lee Breuer, Clifford Odets…
Does selling pot count? #tenthgrade
Probably Italy or France. I love eating. Given the appropriate circumstances (endless food/wine) I think could learn to love prose. Or something.
At the beginning of high school, I was given a small role in the school musical–I would not stand for it. I wrote my own gosh-darn show and put it on in the library with my friends (most of whom had never been in a play) and it was awesome. The writing may not have been as “good” as the school’s show (it was West Side Story), but it had heart! And guts! That’s pretty much how it got started.
Double amputation? But seriously—there’s no way. This summer, I had the privilege of hearing Tim O’Brien do a reading from The Things They Carried. What he’s been through is so horrible, his scarring is so deep… If that guy’s still at it, there’s no way I could ever have a good enough reason to quit.
Bonus Question: How do you measure, measure a year?
I don’t understand the reference…