the award all Hollywood covets
Here it is. The Liebster Award interview, in which I, Hollywood style, bare all the intimate details of my life, grin a stupid grin, and jump on Oprah's couch.
me playing booga booga with Oprah
Liebster: Where is your favorite place to live?
Famous Author: Wherever the rent is prepaid. Actually I grew up in Central Illinois, and have lived in many places (the life of a Navy brat): Panama, Virginia, Hawaii, Arizona, San Francisco, London (UK), Boston, Minnesota, Marin and Sonoma Counties, California. Currently I'm bicoastal spending most of my time writing in Brooklyn with the ghosts of Capote, Mailer, the Millers (Arthur and Henry), Poe, Hemingway, O. Henry, Mitchel (Joseph), Davis (L.J.), Lethem (okay. He's not a ghost. Apologies.). I love my carless lifestyle in New York.
I memorized the subway map.
L: What is your favorite character trait?
FA: I presume you mean my fictional characters. Some of my favorite characters have a smartass, cynical, sarcastic edge to them. I have no idea how they spring from my sweet, even-tempered, Pollyana nature. Just creativity, I guess.
Not me, but I act like this sometimes.
L: Do you have a talent?
FA: Give me a moment while I think of one I can mention in polite society. I write stories. I think fiction is cool and reality is boring. I don't let reality get in the way of a good story. I'm satisfied with truthiness over truth. I write stories. (hmmm, mentioned that?). I can grow awesome kale and arugula when I'm living near dirt.
I write short stories, not as good as Hem, but my posterior is just as...
L: What is your favorite movie of all time?
FA: Life is too complex to have a single favorite. Mine depend on my mood. Best movie ever? Apocalypse Now. Also a favorite: Mary Poppins. See what I mean?
I wanted a mission. And for my sins they gave me a spoonful of sugar.
L: What is the most important thing to you in your life?
FA: There you go with the superlatives again. Let's see. There's pizza, Madeira, chocolate chip cookies, Indian curry, Jameson's, chocolate in general, Grimaldi's pizza. Did I mention my family? Oh, yeah, my family is the most important thing in my life. People reading my stuff is definitely second.
Not the most important thing in life, but...
L: Who is the person you look up to the most and why?
FA: Any number of NBA players. Standees on the subway, cause I usually find a seat. Also my wife, who possess all the good traits and talents you expected me to say about myself in the previous questions. Not to mention tolerance and patience beyond mention. Well, I guess I mentioned them, didn't I?
Me on the subway
L: What is your biggest pet peeve?
FA: I go nutso in restaurants when waiters remove plates before everyone at the table is finished. If I wanted a McDonald's eating experience at Manhattan prices, I'd go to Mickey D's. Also, I know they are just doing their job, but busboys who refill my water glass every time I take a sip. Don't they know there's a drought in California? And I don't have diabetes insipidus?
Did I look finished with that?
L: Do you have a dream you'd like to share?
FA: One type of dream I have frequently is too dark and disturbing to share. Some of that shows up in my writing now and then. The other type would make Meg Ryan take out a restraining order.
Pastrami looks good.
L: What gives you the most happiness?
FA: See above about my most important things in life. Actually simple things way more than momentous stuff. Experiences more than things. Like the unexpected invite from my wife to a quick falafel lunch near her building in Manhattan today. We hardly disagreed about anything. We like going on walks and seeing things that others might consider mundane. Like warehouse districts. Trains. God, do I love trains. Books, of course. I recently finished A Meaningful Life by L.J. Davis. A true couldn't-put-it-down dark comedy about Brooklyn in the seventies.
Not #1, but I do love trains.
L: What is your biggest accomplishment?
FA: Easy. Being married forty-five years, which we did on the day of the Mayan Apocalypse. We survived both events. Also raising four kids. Well, sort of raising them. My wife taught them to be good. I taught them what to avoid.
Glad they were wrong about that 2012 thing.
L: Why do you like to blog?
FA: For the same reason I like to write short stories and my work in progress, Johnny Don't March. Writing is an amazing, creative experience. My novel is set in Brooklyn and when I visit the real locations that appear in the book, I have to remind myself my characters aren't real. And when I admit to myself that's true, I have a bittersweet, sad moment. Then I pour a Madeira.
Brooklyn, May 5, 2014
Thanks for reading. Until next time?