All right. Okay. I just can't say NO anymore. I've been flooded with requests for personal interviews from the media. Magazines such as Popular Mechanical Hip Replacements, Cosmo-Octogenarian, and Elle for the Elderly. Requests to appear on Dancing With My Boots On, and Desperate Gardeners of the Heartland. Calls from newspapers, TV and talk radio. Well, let's just say that I get a gazillion toll free calls and since they seem to know my first name and they always have SUCH special offers, I know I MUST be on their A-List.
Therefore, I decided I would come out from under the compost heap and take a few minutes to do an interview for EVERYONE. Kind of like a reverse TOLL FREE CALL...a 1-800-number just for you!
There is only one stipulation. I get to ask AND answer the questions. What can I say, there ARE some perks to being an internet celebrity. So here goes.
I am sitting here with the Not-Yet-A-Yeti and I must say she looks remarkably youthful and chic in her yellow wellies. She has a beaming smile, a twinkle in her eye, large clods of mud under her fingernails and a swipe of lipstick a bit outside of her lip line.
Q. What do you like to do?
A. None of your business.
Q. What don't you like to do?
A. None of your business. (I sense a hostile witness.)
Q. What are your writing eccentricities?
A. I like to write late at night with soft music playing in the background. I start with an idea and usually write for about an hour, slash and burn, wax poetic, dangle a participle, and ad lib with an adverb. I stomp away, pace, give up, go outside and sit in the dark awhile. Then, it just happens. I hear and see the words in my head...the beginning of a sentence or a phrase and when I sit down again the words tumble out. I rarely edit. IT is either there or IT isn't. But when it IS, I smile inside and glance over my shoulder for that someone or something that always keeps me company.
Q. Where do you get your inspiration?
A. I tend to be one of those people out on the fringes looking in. Fascinated by the conversation, intrigued by someone's fashion sense, touched by simple gestures, drawn to the unique, the clever, the original, the never seen before, the risk takers. I think I look for the answers to my own questions by watching others fall and fail, stretch and reach, struggle and succeed.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
A. I think they are supportive, except when I insert their escapades into my stories, which, they insist, are highly exaggerated accounts. My youngest still swears that one night I forgot about him and he slept in the station wagon in the garage. The oldest's favorite toy, when he was three, was the vacuum cleaner, and now that he is grown and vacuums three times a day, blames me for his addiction to straight lines in the carpet. However, I believe the year I dedicated my Christmas letter to hemorrhoid sufferers across the globe, they threatened to file a cease and desist order.
Q. What are the most important tools for a writer?
A. A love of words and the art of storytelling.
Q. What is your ideal corporate structure?
A. A one man show. CEO. CFO. Boss Emeritus. A solo act. Me.
Q. How do you multi-task?
A. Oh, I used to do that, but now I find that multi simply means driving past the garage three times to be sure I remembered to close it.
Q. What are three positive things you can say about yourself?
A. I. Am. Me.
Q. What are three negative things you can say about yourself?
A. I. Am. Me.
Q. What would you do if you won the lottery?
A. My version of "If I Won the Lottery" sounds a bit like the Dr. Seuss tale, "If I Ran The Zoo". I would be overwhelmed with excitement on the first day. The second day I would make a list of all the stuff I could buy and the places I could go. By the third day I would be putting together my disguise for the witness protection program so that I could remain anonymous, because if I had all that money and everyone knew about it, I would never have any peace and quiet. I would have to think about investing and mutual free ranging hedging funds and margin calls and cattle futures, then hire a manager to round up the cattle. Then on my first trip, what if I took a cruise and everyone got zombie flu and I was trapped on the poop deck in the middle of the ocean? So, on day four, I would write a check to charity and go back to being myself and buying one lottery ticket at Quik Trip on Tuesdays just in case I got lucky.
Q. Can you name two important ways to use a computer other than writing?
A. Free Cell Solitaire and Mahjong Dimensions.
Q. What was your worst addiction?
A. TaB...the pink cans, the sharp metallic taste, the first cold sip. I drank it everyday. I mean EVERYDAY. For a long while,
I could buy it anywhere. Then things took a turn for the worse. Only two stores in town sold it and there were other addicts
like me out there lurking about and stalking the Coke Rep. Until one day, it was gone. Gone. I know. I looked. I called
our local Coke distributor. I mailed the bottling company. No more in our four state region. Ever. I wrote scathing letters.
I found a stash in a store on the East Coast. Thought about shipping it in. Located a case in Denver and thought about driving
nine hours and selling it out of the trunk of my car. Then I stumbled across a website dedicated to TaB lushes like me. Filled.
Filled with pleading letters and possible sightings and petition forms to sign. Weary and sad, I switched to Diet Coke. Two years
into sobriety, I paused as the Coke Rep loaded cases onto the shelves. I admit I saw the pink cases and lost all sense of reason.
I shoved him aside, bought a case and went home and hid it in the basement. I waited until no one was home and sat in the dark.
Popped the top. Visualized myself on a beach covered in baby oil and iodine, hot and happy, and took the first sip. Gone. The
thrill was gone. I upended every can and ended an era.
Q. Can you explain html?
A. No...and if you tell me YOU can, I don't believe you.
Q. Which lawn ornaments do you prefer, pink flamingoes or garden gnomes?
A. I am afraid of clowns, so that eliminates gnomes, but there is a secret part of me that wouldn't mind a gaggle? a herd? a pack? of flamingoes hanging out with me and the snapdragons.
Q. How do you keep your aging brain well exercised?
A. Free Cell Solitaire and Mahjong Dimensions.
Q. What would the title of your biography be?
A. The Yard Yetis A Gardeners Tale...I'm writing it NOW before I FORGET.
Q. What is the best part of writing The Yard Yetis A Gardeners Tale?
A. Waving hello to a world full of strong Yard Yeti Women and getting goose bumps when they wave back from England, Australia, Russia, Ireland, France, Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Texas etc.etc.etc.
Q. How DO you make a Yard Yeti Gardener Grow?
A. One chapter at a time...and for me personally...one tiny step on the move from HERE to THERE with my sidekick Pepper on my shoulder...and the promise to myself that I will be a Yeti...just not yet.
Chapter 17 | Chapter 19