1. What’s your favorite thing about writing? 

The words. I really like words.

  1. How often do you get new ideas? A thousand a second, or every 12 years when the moon is full and the stars align?

This might be TMI, but I tend to get great ideas when I’m PMS’ing. I think my mood (read: hormones) during that time of the month makes me naturally prone to self-reflection and creative impulsiveness. And to eating too many French fries. I’m trying to harness my inspiration (and my cravings for starch). I’d like to figure out a means to throw a halter around it and tell it to heel when I need it. I’m finding if I just show up to my laptop with the intent to write, that helps create a means for ideas to pop into being.

  1. Who is your favorite author that you don’t know personally? Who is your favorite author that you do know personally?

 Don’t know her but wish I did: Annie Dillard. Also, I was at Writers and Words in February when local author Jeannie Vanasco read portions of her new book The Glass Eye. I bought the book and read it in a matter of hours. Her writing is dark and fantastic, and I’d love to meet her. Just gonna put that out there.

So, I don’t know any authors personally. See above. #lifegoals

  1. What is your most re-read book, if any, and why?

Eek. I don’t re-read books very often. That said, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a book I’ve read twice. I first read it when I was twelve and adored the character Scout Jean Louise Finch, so much so that I looked into the legal process to change my name to Scout. My parents weren’t keen on the idea, so here I am, still Nicole. When I read it as an adult, I did so with a more complete appreciation of Lee’s brilliance and her ability to present two versions of the same character in one story line – the little girl Scout who is experiencing the events of the plot, and the adult Jean Louise who is telling the story. Also, there is a Radiolab episode that features Jenny Hollowell’s reading of her short story called “The History of Everything, Including You” that I’ve listened to at least ten times. Each time I listen to it I think, “Damn, I wish I wrote that.”

  1. What kind or creative rituals or patterns do you have?

I throw paint when I’m at a creative impasse with my writing. I have an unfinished basement filled with pieces of wood I’ve salvaged from Baltimore alleys, canvases of unwanted fine art I’ve bought from thrifts stores and gobs of cheap acrylic paint in plastic tubes. I get stuck more often than not when I write and will go months without writing a damn thing. During these dry spells I throw paint on the wood and the cheesy art I nab from Goodwill. A lot of it ends up on the brick walls of the basement. Down there, there’s no messing up. All you have to do is chuck some color around and watch where it lands. Eventually, I come back to writing.

Bonus question: April is the month when a lot of Aries are born; do you hate them? 

They can’t help that they were born in April versus a super duper cool month like, oh I don’t know, say, July. #NoteveryonecanbeaCancer.


That’s two Cancer readers this month! Interesting. Us Aries are outnumbered. I also appreciate your TMI answer to #2 – it’s not TMI at all. We’re all friends here.

Come out to Writers & Words on Tuesday, April 10th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear Nicole and our other rad readers. Check out the rest of the line-up on facebook here

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