Sunday, 31 July 2011

The questionnaire - last lines.

OK, I'm beginning to feel guilty that I've been using your answers instead of writing blogs myself, so this will be the last one. They're nicely contrasting answers from Sara Bain and Linda Faulkner, with just one for question 10 from Melissa Conway. Thanks to everyone who got involved - you gave me lots of laughs but also some food for thought.

1.       If such a choice were possible and meaningful, would you prefer to live in a real or a virtual world? Why?
Sara : Since reality is a philosophical concept of physical being and virtuality a potential form of existence, I would choose to live in a real virtuality: where life can be exactly what I make it. Just imagine a life with no violent criminals; no corrupt politicians; no starvation; no traffic wardens; no petty next door neighbours; no midges; and no onions. My fantasy would be an international best seller and the movie moguls would be slapping each other over the film rights.
Real. I can always make a virtual one if I want to.

2.       You have permission to paint a celebrity in a colour of your choosing. That doesn’t mean you make a portrait, you actually get to cover them in paint. Tell us which celebrity, what colour, and why?
Sara: I would paint Paris Hilton pink and camouflage her existence from both the real and virtual worlds.
I have more important things to do.

3.       What do you think of the word ‘nice’? In what contexts would you use it?
Sara: Nice is one of those useful words that can conceal a multitude of clandestine thoughts. I would use it as an acronym for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.
When applied to me, it’s boring. When applied to other people, it’s … nice. In a good way.

4.       You have the chance to spend an evening with a film star of your choice. Whom would you choose and what do you hope the evening would bring? (Be honest.)
Sara: Buddy the Elf: we could talk about Santa over a bowl of spaghetti and maple syrup. He could show me how to make toys and snow balls and we would sing a Christmas duet. If Buddy couldn’t make it that evening then I’d have to settle for Hitman.
I seldom watch TV or movies, so I can’t think of any film stars I’d want to spend time with.

5.       Complete the following sentence – ‘If I won the lottery and discovered that the prize had to be shared with 3 million other winners, I would …’
Sara: Slip into Real Virtuality and burn 3 million tickets.
Share with 3 million other winners. I don’t mind sharing. In fact, sometimes it’s downright … nice.

6.       If you had to change nationality, which would you choose and why?
Sara: I would become Fijian for the sun, sea, sand and surnames.  I could be lying on a beach with a coconut in one hand and a machete in the other. I would be called Sara Yalayalatabua and live on a diet of fish (and coconuts).
Something about Celts calls to me. Perhaps because some of my ancestors came from Ireland. So, I’d have to say Irish. Maybe Scottish or Welsh.

7.       Nominate 3 types of people for a long custodial sentence in a prison that uses painful experimental therapies to ‘cure’ its inmates. (NOTE. Obvious categories, such as bigots, tyrants, traffic wardens, estate agents, bankers, politicians and family and friends of Rupert Murdoch do not count.)
Sara: The managing director of Trinity Mirror (just refusing her a monthly session of botox and breaking her nails would be sufficient to make her scream in agony) ... wait a minute, you said “types” of people: sorry, the managing directors of Trinity Mirror (see supra); my next door neighbour; scammers (including scam callers, hackers, phishers,  virus programmers and TalkTalk sales people).
I don’t think causing pain is the way to cure anyone or anything.

8.       Your fairy godmother grants you a wish. You can curl up in front of the fire with your favourite object. What is it? (NOTE. You can define ‘object’ in any way you like.)
Sara: Her magic wand complete with its full English manual.
A book, of course. Or paper and pen—which is two objects, but they really belong to each other and form one unit.

9.       A beggar sitting on a blanket on the pavement (OK, sidewalk, if you insist), says as you pass, ‘Fortune has favoured you but looks less kindly on deprived and desperate beings such as myself. It would be a kindness if you were to redistribute some of your wealth to redress the balance between you and I’. What do you reply?
Sara: Nice.
Nothing. I was born in New York City and was trained to ignore people sitting on the pavement looking for a handout.

10.   Would you like to be immortal? Why or why not?
Sara: There can only be one and that’s Connor McLeod of the Clan McLeod: I’m afraid that I’m a Macdonald and I haven’t sharpened my sword in nigh on three thousand years.
It depends upon what goes along with it. Right now, I say no. On my deathbed, I’ll probably say yes.
Melissa: No.  I was confronted with that question when I wrote The Gossamer Sphere.  My character Caitlin is immortal (as long as she doesn’t suffer a violent death) and has lived for over a thousand years. She’s had to watch those she’s loved grow old and die and it’s hardened her heart.  It’s unnatural for a person to outlive their children, and I can’t imagine myself living without mine…so no, I’d rather die as we were meant to, in our own time.  Unless, of course, I could stay young and beautiful and keep all my loved ones with me.  In that case, bring on the immortality!

11.   What music would you play through loudspeakers at night outside the house of someone you disliked intensely?
Sara: I’ve Got a Brand New Combine Harvester by the Worzels – on a loop.
See my answer to question #7.

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  1. Great answers, especially when so different. Sorry I didn't play, Bill, but it was the wrong time for me. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

  2. Thanks Rosemary. Never mind, I'll have you as a guest interviewee and think up some really nasty ones for you.