I like birthday cake. It's so symbolic. It's a tempting symbol to load with something more complicated than just 'Happy birthday!' because it's this emblem of childhood and a happy day.
I write on a very strict 2-hour-a-day schedule, and I really respond to structure and invented rules. So even if I'm finding out good information on a character, I will stop when I'm set to stop.
Some creative writing programs seem evil, but my experience at Irvine was totally the opposite, where I feel like they were really good at focusing in on each writers voice and setting. When I felt like I was obligated to write a story that was more typical, no one really liked it.
There's a spectrum of those moments of connection and the moments we fail to connect, going from super-large successes to failures. Success would be love, I guess, and failure could still be love, but the bad side; and loss.
I liked Hans Christian Andersen because the tales were so dark and tragic.
I don't eschew autobiographical writing, but I'm not interested in mine to be so straightforward. The things that tend to move me the most are often those that I have to figure out its meaning for myself. The human being's ability to make a metaphor to describe a human experience is just really cool.
I developed a prejudice in high school that it was all going to be boring. That kind of teenage, why-do-I-have-to-read-these-goddamn-classics feeling. And then you discover that the classics are classics because they're lively. They don't stick around because they're boring. If they're boring, they go away.