- What’s your least favorite thing about writing?
Everything leading up to the writing: the hemming, the hawing, the agonizing, the doing-anything-but-writing-before-writing, the existential crisis before every new piece. But once I am actually writing – crafting words around the inexpressible – it’s the most satisfying experience of my life.
- Which author would you like to have a drink with (Dead or alive. Them, not you).
I would love to have a drink with Dostoevsky! If the characters in the Brothers Karamozov have anything to say about it, it would be both great conversation and a raucous good time!
- Who is your favorite author that you don’t know personally? Who is your favorite author that you do know personally?
William Faulkner – His southern characters, rich scenery, and deep glimpses into the human experience… it’s everything I aspire to.
Vijay Seshadri – Amazing poet, amazing teacher, and great conversationalist: I just love his loooooooong pauses that somehow inspire people to stay quiet.
- What about your discipline (fiction, poetry, etc) do you wish you were better at?
I wish I were better at forcing myself to write even when I don’t want to write. I think there are two kinds of writers out there (and maybe other kinds of writers that don’t fit into these categories at all!): there is the writer who produces a lot of material, and then edits on the page, and there is the writer who edits in her head, and eeks out one perfect sentence at a time. I am the latter, and I am so envious of the former.
- What kind of creative rituals or patterns do you have?
Because I write in fits and spurts, I’m not sure I have any specific patterns. I like to write in my journal before actually writing, because it clears my head of all the daily sludge. I drink cups and cups of tea when working on any big project, because the five minutes it takes to make it provides me with just enough of a break to be rejuvenated, but not long enough to lose my momentum. Long walks before writing or in the middle of a project does wonders for getting past a stuck place – which always pleases my pup very much.
Bonus question: favorite Halloween costume? Either that you’ve ever seen or ever worn.
I went as Mia from Pulp Fiction, and was apparently unrecognizable. We had the whole crew: Vincent Vega, Jewels, and Marcellus Wallace (ball gag and all).
Thank you so much for reading with us, Rachel.
Last Tuesday, Rachel read at Writers & Words. This Tuesday, her own reading series, Innerloop, will be celebrating the launch of The Inner Loop Radio on iTunes. Head out to the Colony Club on Tuesday, October 17th at 7:30 and check it out!