I borrowed these questions from Amylia, who has a short history of their origin and her answers up on her blog. Answer if you’re willing, and I’ll gladly read and learn more about my favorite online community.


1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Finishing up a walk with my husband, drinking a sugarless Vanilla latte from The Woods coffee shop, and sitting right up next to him on the steps of the loading dock to watch the sun setting over Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands.

2. What is your greatest fear?
Uncertainty. I don’t handle it well.

3. Which living person do you most admire?
No one person; I have many living heros. Aung San Suu Kyi. Annie Proulx. Marlene Dumas. My mother. Jenny Saville. Mary Robinson. Teachers. Dreamers. Writers. Activists. Diabetics.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My fear.

5. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Cruelty and arrogance.

6. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Temperance? I’m not sure. I don’t have much of an opinion here.

7. On what occasion do you lie?
I lie when I’m speaking with people I don’t know and they ask me something difficult, either accidentally or intentionally, and a lie is the easiest way to make us both comfortable with the situation. I tend to omit more than lie, though.

8. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I don’t care. I guess the extra 15 pounds.

9. What is your greatest regret?
The periods of my life where I’ve allowed fear or anxiety to stop me from behaving as I wanted to behave.

10. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Daniel. Daniel, Daniel, Daniel.

11. Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to be really talented at compassion.

12. What is your current state of mind?

13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d kick the diabetes to the curb.

14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The relationships in my life.

15. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
That’s a difficult question. I’m not really sure. I’m happy here, and now.

16. What is your most treasured possession?
The old books that I’ve read over and over again, letters from friends and loved ones, and my husband’s guitar. Everything else that I own can be replaced.

17. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Public speaking. You might think I’m joking, but I assure you, I’m not.

18. Where would you like to live?
Here. Bellingham. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this city for my whole life.

19. What is your most marked characteristic?

20. Who are your favorite writers?
Too many to name. I love books. They’re friends and entertainment and escape, they’re lives I’ll never live and places I’ll never go and people I’ll never be.

21. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Quoyle, maybe.

22. Who are your heroes in real life?
People who do the right thing through difficult opposition. People who make things better for others in large or small ways.

23. What is it that you most dislike?

24. What is your motto?
I don’t have one! Any suggestions?

25. Favorite Journey?
Driving from Virginia to New York City with my husband on the day before New Year’s eve, 2001. It was the first time I had spent any real time with him, and when we went through Pennsylvania we watched the moon rise and set and rise again as we drove over the hills.

26. What do you value most in your friends?
Honesty and kindness. Gentleness. Knowing where I stand. Humor. Acceptance.

27. Which words or phrases do you must overuse?
None that I know of in general. There is one, but it’s only with my husband, really. It’s a little complicated. He’ll say something, and then I’ll say, “no, I’m going to —– your face!” So, a sample dialog might go like this:

“I’m going to take out the trash.”
“No, I’m going to take out your face!”


“Kitimer bit me.”
“No, I’ll bite your face!”

It has to be said in a very specific way. He laughs every time, big honest laughs as if he wasn’t expecting it, which never fails to amuse and delight me.

And yes, I realize how crazy that just sounded, and I’m wondering why I chose to share it. Ah, well.

28. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Laura Ingalls Wilder.

29. What is your greatest extravagance?
Well, art supplies, but I don’t consider that much of an extravagance, since they’re useful. So…. Perfume. Weren’t expecting that, were you? But yes, I have one really girly behavior, which is that I LOVE good perfume. That hopefully doesn’t smell sweet or anything like “perfume”. And it has to be applied just right, so it’s only there if you’re right up next to me, and even then subtle enough that it’s just a hint of yummy smell. Right now my top favorite is Hermes “Un Jardin En Medeterranee”, which smells like Italy… cedars trees and fig trees, dirt and ocean and a warm dry smell. I’m heading to Seattle sometime, hopefully Saturday, to check out some fragrances I’ve been curious about from CB I Hate Perfume, and I’m really excited about that.

30. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I don’t want to say.

31. What is your favorite occupation?
Theoretically, printmaking. My present job is pretty fun, though.

32. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
A generosity of spirit.

33. What is the quality you most like in a man?
There’s something about Daniel that I can’t quite put into words… in a way, he seems to radiate love and respect and kindness. Not just to me, to anyone he’s with, to anyone who has his attention. It’s that part of him that made him a good fit for the domestic violence legal clinic; women who didn’t want to be around men could be around him and feel totally safe. I love that about him.

34. How would you like to die?
Old, happy, surrounded by those I love.

35. If you could chose what to come back as, what would it be?
A woman. I’m happy with my experience so far.