Shaken and Stirred
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Five questions Christopher gave to me.

(1) All time top five dogs, fictional and/or actual.

1. George Rowe the Dog, Poster Boy for American Values, My Lawyer. Like, duh.

2. Trixie. Trixie was the first of my childhood dogs to survive more than a year, due a fairly well traveled highway in close proximity to my parents' house. She was a sweet dog, a terrier mutt that my Papaw Summers brought home for me from one of his customers at the barbershop. She'd been clipped by a car and was car shy -- couldn't even ride in them without throwing up, as he found out that day -- so my Papaw figured she'd be a great dog for me. Trixie never knew a stranger. She lived until I was in college, and had gone away, and she died on the road, which I suppose was inevitable as she got bold in her old age. I was visiting home, a sophomore in college, asleep, and my best friend drove by and saw her, came in and told me.

3. Mr. Tracy from BONES OF THE MOON by Jonathan Carroll. Mr. Tracy is the best!

4. Jealousy. Jealousy was a bassett hound my college roommate and I got from the pound. She ended up at my parents' due to a penchant for howling and the fact we weren't allowed a dog. She was a great dog, fond of accidentally rolling up the window on herself by putting a paw on the window button, and was stolen (we think).

5. Huckleberry Hound. I loved me some Huckleberry Hound when I was a kid. Such a southern politician of a cartoon character. (More so than Foghorn Leghorn in lots of ways, I think.)

(2) How did you know Justine Larbalestier was "the one?"

She had me at "Cheers."

(3) How do you think your life would have been different if you'd grown up in Sand Gap instead of Anneville? What if you'd grown up in Tyner?

Obviously, I'd be in prison if I'd grown up in Sand Gap. I imagine I'd be a lot less familiar with London, Kentucky... And well, Tyner was just evil growing up. (Their school colors were RED and white. Obviously evil.) It was where the "rich" kids went to school (which was complete b.s., because most people thought me and my brother were rich kids since our parents were principals -- and we weren't). I wouldn't have went to school there, because my dad would still have been principal at McKee, but I imagine my parents would have hung out more with the Tyner parentals and so I would have been friends with all those weird Tyner kids. (Disclaimer: My big brother now teaches at Tyner.) But, hey, Tyner's only about five or eight miles from where I grew up, so I don't imagine it would have been all that different.

(4) What's the biggest difference between writing screenplays and longform fiction?

Damn. A hard one. Well... I'll just answer with random sentence-like things.

Word count means nothing in scripts, unless you have a page that looks like it has too many of them on it -- then you cut some. It's much more spare. You work in pages in scripts, rather than in word counts. There is less room for serendipity in scripts, I think, because it's such a tight form -- you can stretch to accomodate unexpected growth in a book, but it's much harder in a script and you'd have to cut or change something else to fit something new. The use of language in a script is just different than it is in fiction -- period. And scripts are all visual description and dialogue, all show and no feel or tell. Period. So, it's usually easy to remember to write it that way. With a book, you have to fight to keep from making it too feel-y or tell-y, because those are natural outgrowths of the form (that can kill momentum). But hey, I still haven't completely finished with the book and the flip but true answer here is probably that scripts are way more definable and easy to understand as a form (because I've done more of them, can define them better, and understand them better) and books are more nebulous but also lots of fun because there's so much space and you don't have to cut that great line just because it makes your page look too gray. Plus, biggest difference, people who buy long-form fiction seem to actually be okay with the idea of READING. Not so with scripts.

(5) Wanna dance?

Yes! Let's take a dance class when we get back from Mexico!

And if you want questions from me, you can post in the other thread below. However, I suggest you go read the answers of and then ask these other fine people: Sarah Prineas, Jon Hansen, Greg van Eekhout, Jenn Reese, Tim Pratt, the aforementioned Christopher Rowe, or any of the other wonderful, witty people participating in the current questionable madness.

Later, gaters!

earworm: "Streets of Laredo," Snakefarm

rec: THE TWO SAMS, Glen Hirshberg

namecheck: Ed "Thinks Book Titles Are Too Long" Park

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