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Posted on Apr 21, 2013 in Blog, Writing

Tag, I’m It!

I’ve been tagged by L. Marie at El Space! (Thank you, L. Marie!) The “Tag, you’re it” is a way of getting to know the people behind various blogs. El sent me eleven cool questions to answer, and I am running really late answering them. If this were a real game of tag, it would be getting dark right now, and a chilly wind would be whipping up, so here I go:

What book inspires you the most?

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño, which I’ve read in both English and Spanish. (I cheated by reading the English translation first.) I really do think this is his best book–amazing in both its small details and the overall story arc. It’s a huge, complex story that’s hard to describe, but I was totally drawn into it as someone who wishes I had that kind of life (and wishes I could write like that too!).

What is your favorite type of M & M?


If you could meet any living author, who would you choose? Why?

Well, it’s too late for Roberto Bolaño, because he died in 2003 and according to Isabel Allende was a rather unpleasant person when he was alive. I really want to meet an author who’s nice and whose work I appreciate, and I’ve been fortunate to have met some of the most talented and gracious authors around. (Julia Alvarez comes to mind, as I saw her for the second time at an event at Siena College a couple of weeks ago.) Of ones I haven’t yet met, I think I’d pick Isabel Allende or Antonio Skármeta because I love their works for both adult and young readers and both of them influenced me in my writing of Gringolandia.

Favorite place to vacation or most desired spot to travel?

Those who have read my blog regularly know that I have fallen in love with Portugal and would like to return to live there one day. In fact, I continued my study of Portuguese upon my return in January in order to be prepared.

Animal preference: Cats or dogs? Other?

Dogs. I have a playful Bichon Frise named Charlie.

You have seven words before you lose all ability to talk. What seven words would you choose?

Can’t talk. Text me. Facebook. Twitter. Blog.

What tip would you offer teenage you if you could go back in time and talk to yourself?

I wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome until well into adulthood. Had I gotten the diagnosis sooner and appropriate therapy, including work on social skills and career coaching, I would have avoided many of the misunderstandings, conflicts, and failures that I experienced in high school and as a younger adult. Of course, that would have meant that I’d have much less to write about too.

What quote inspires you the most?

A family friend who lives in Berlin and who rides his bike to work in all seasons told me, “There is no such thing as cold weather–just inappropriate clothing.” That advice can be applied to a lot of things, not just weather and clothing.

What was the last movie that really made you think?

I blogged about it–the Chilean historical fiction feature “No.” It made me think about the tension between creating something that was faithful to the experiences of people who suffered and allowed them to tell their stories, and creating something that would appeal to the largest audience and motivate them to bring about change. Do you suppress the stories people need to tell in order to be heard and to heal if doing so will bring an end to the conditions that caused the suffering?

Favorite hangout spot?

It’s a tie between in New York City, on Tenth Avenue between W. 46th and W. 47th Streets, and Ice Dreams, on Rua da Escola Politecnica in Lisbon, a block and a half from Principe Real.

Book you’d like to see turned into a graphic novel (and why)?

I’ve always wanted to see Gringolandia as a graphic novel, because it’s a very visual story with lots of action, and for readers unfamiliar with the events in Chile during that time, it would help bring those events to life.

TaglogoOK, time to tag someone else. Maggie Desmond-O’Brien and Sharon Levin, you’re next. And here are your questions:

1. If you could date any superhero, who would it be?

2. What’s one quote that really inspires you?

3. If you could read any book in its original language, what would it be?

4. If you could meet any fictional character, who would you choose? Why?

5. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

6. If you could live in another country, which one would you choose? Why?

7. Which Disney character are you most like?

8. What is your favorite bird, and why?

9. Would you rather appear on American Idol, or House Hunters International?

10. What is one job you’d be terrible at?

By the way, Sharon’s blog is brand new, so let’s give her a warm welcome to the blogosphere!

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