I love the description of Kitty in “The Green Dress”: “She had big spaces between her front teeth giving her an impoverished look in a face that was worn and ruddy from too much booze and too little skin care.” How would you describe your use of humor in this and other pieces?
I don’t think I ever deliberately try to be humorous. My view of the world tends to be dark (dark, dark) and in the light of day that sometimes just comes out sounding funny. Sort of like watching a vampire bat caught in the net of a volleyball game. You know? Ludicrous!
I can’t write about sex. Any attempt ends almost as soon as it begins. Kind of like in life. Not for me of course. Other guys. So what’s the secret. How come you are so great at it? Writing about it. Not doing it. Although I’m sure you are. Not that I’d know, of course.
Heh! You are too modest, Randall. You don’t see any little children pattering around my house, now do you? (I seem to remember that they evolve from sex in some way, right? How’d you manage that?) Oh, but back to my sex life. Now that’s funny. Fiction, Randall, remember?
This piece just nails the ending. I read somewhere that most stories go on past the ending three, four, five (tell me when to stop, please!) paragraphs. So how do you know when it’s over?
Well, I’m hopeless about telling anyone else how to write anything—for me, beginnings and endings are paramount—the beginning: to grab a reader (or editor) and hold their attention, and the ending: to make sure they had a good time . . . hmmm, kind of like sex, I guess? Poetry is a good flash teacher—cut, cut, cut all that extraneous stuff and get to the point. When you’re there, let go!
I read your writing and think, “That’s one cool lady.” What’s the most uncool thing about you—something that would just destroy my illusions and leave me sobbing in distress at how wrong I was?
Well, have a big party and invite me. I’d likely hover in the woodwork and you’d find me zonked out at 9 pm on the pile of coats. For all my yada yada, I’m actually an introvert and as a square as a bouillon cube.
Your Ink Pot cohort, Myfanwy, also appears in this issue. How cool is that?—any insight you might have into her wonderfully lyrical world? Has she influenced your work at all?
Myfanwy is golden. Her work is beautiful and full of a kind of light that makes you take a quick intake of Ahhhh. I can only admire her! But beside her unique writing skills, her influence in my life is huge in our personal association. She is tender and bright, she’s a wonderful editor and knows how to do amazing things like press releases and marketing surveys. You know, the stuff you need to run a business? She also knows how to slap me silly when I get crusty and out of line. I am fortunate to have the best staff on the planet.