A questionnaire for January
Found in February’s 2008 Vanity Fair, I decided to play along. Won’t you join me?
What is your current state of mind?
Anticipatory – 2008 is a blank slate.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My shoe and vintage handbag collection.
What is your greatest fear?
Passing on my neuroses to my daughter.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Being a braggart.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To have more patience.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Words: Actually, absolutely, epitome, egregious and hyperbole.
Phrases: “I’m being a tad uncharitable.” “Hey guys” “Let’s speculate irresponsibly”
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to be able to carry a tune. I love playing the piano and singing at the top of my lungs, but my darling husband insists that I’m tone deaf …
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I have two great loves: my husband and daughter.
Where would like to live?
I adore Victoria (where we live now) but I’d like to retire to a warmer climate. If the US: Maybe New Mexico, Arizona or Hawaii (especially the island of Kauai where we celebrated my 40th birthday.) Otherwise, I’d pick an island in Greece.
What is your favourite occupation?
Being gainfully employed as a writer (which I am) – though, I’d like to complete my novel and would love to refer to myself as a novelist (in the not too distant future).
What is your most treasured possession?
The Byzantine icon of the Annunciation salvaged by my maternal grandmother as she fled Izmir during the “exchange of population” between Turkey and Greece in 1923.
Who are your favourite writers?
Too many to mention but here are some of my favourites, in no particular order: Smaro Kamboureli, Anne Carson, Odysseus Elytis, Margaret Atwood, Neal Stephenson, A.S. Byatt, Jeffrey Eugenides, Salman Rushdie, Dave Eggers, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jane Austen, Alice Munro, Toni Morrison, Nick Kazantzakis, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, D.E. Lawrence … need I continue?
Who is your favourite hero/heroine of fiction?
• Hiro Protagonist and Y.T. from Snow Crash.
• Calliope (Cal) from Middlesex.
• Mrs. Ramsay from To the Lighthouse.
• Nell from The Diamond Age.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My beloved parents (both now gone) who were resourceful and hard-working immigrants and made a wonderful life for us in Canada. May their memories be eternal.
What do you most value in your friends?
Their intelligence, honesty, generosity, sparkling wit, integrity and compassion.
What is your most marked characteristic?
How would you like to die?
When I’m very old, at home, surrounded by my friends and family.
What is your motto?
Live and love fully and completely.