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Q and A

Nov 08, 2009; Eliza Asks:

Were the cavemen smart? If they were can you give me some facts why they were?

Stacey answers:

It depends on what we mean by cavemen. I'm not sure if you mean the cavemen in my story or the actual, prehistoric cavemen of yore. I'm going to go with the latter and say yes, they were smart, at least compared to all other animals (except maybe whales). The people who made the cave paintings of 20,000 years ago were intellectually identical to us, or at least biologically identical. Their culture was different though, and most artifacts haven't survived the 20,000 years of intervening time. Therefore, what they knew and made and how they did these things is information that is not really available to us. But they did make remarkable cave paintings that are unmatched in presence and power, in my opinion, by most art of our historical epoch, maybe with the exception of medieval cathedrals. So they knew something.

Nov 08, 2009; Wag Asks:

I know it's a little early to be asking this, but what are you going to be dressing up as for Pearl Harbor Day?

Stacey answers:

Is this a traditional dress-up day? I did not know that! I guess I'll be a giant carrot.

Oct 29, 2009; Liam, with a second question that will hopefully be typo-free Asks:

Dame Richter,
So, I've been reviewing the answers you've provided to my questions over the years (quick note: You DID fully answer my tough, literary question from Feb. '08. You answered it fully and awesomely, and I stand corrected and cowed.), and I caught something that I either missed or forgot about. You once said that you "made a movie." What!?! Details!

Stacey answers:

In the early nineties, I made a movie with a friend and a 16mm camera. It was sort of long. It played in a lot of film festivals, which was nice, I guess. It's sort of long and stupid and cute. It has a lot of great shots of Tucson in it, including some now-lost Tucson locations, and I think it's mainly notable for that. If I showed it to you, you would think it was kind of cute but mostly boring.

Oct 29, 2009; Liam from in-the-flesh interfacing as opposed to just P2P site chicanery... Asks:

Lady Richter,
There tons of theories as to why contemporary literary-fiction and contemporary literary-fiction-writers aren't as prominent in society today as they were a hundred years ago. What's your take on this phenomenon?

Stacey answers:

Because we suck.

Oct 25, 2009; name Asks:

Are people actually capable of forgiveness?

Stacey answers:

Not most people, but they are capable of forgetting, which is sometimes just as good, if not better.

Oct 23, 2009; Wag Asks:

What happens when we live?

Stacey answers:

A lot of things, Wag, a lot of freaky things. Mostly we think about the past and the future while inhabiting the present, where we walk around and do things, or else sit and interact with electronics. Other things that happen are eating and pooping and secreting. When sleeping, an unusual thing that often occurs is dreaming. Another really weird thing that happens to girls is that they occasionally have babies, which come out of their vaginas, which had previously been used for other purposes. Some of us live in small rooms with animals such as cats or dogs or parrots. Others drive cars. It's all really very strange.

Oct 23, 2009; Dr. Girlfriend Asks:

What happens when we die?

Stacey answers:

We go to France.

Oct 19, 2009; arielle Asks:

What really happens to Tina in "The Doll Awakens"? I have a few theories but I'd really like to know what you intended.

Stacey answers:

Hi Arielle. Sorry to lag with my answer to your question but I got confused because I don't think Tina is in The Doll Awakens. Only Miss Pretty is. (I know that sounds like a drag queen but it's a doll). But if you're wondering what happens to Tina after the chapter that appears in Fairy Tale Review, she's okay, sort of. She's physically okay anyway. The story resumes when she's an adult.

Oct 06, 2009; izi Asks:

Not really a question but just a thanks for making our English 2 classes filled with great stories. It's not a boring class, but coming across your work made me giggle. I am horrible at writing stories and essays so I detest all of my classes (art student) but I have chosen your story, "The Land of Pain" because you allow the reader to interpret your stories to the fullest and because you verbalize situations that I have a hard time explaining, like the karma people and dealing with pain. My lower back gives me hell too ;}

Stacey answers:

Oh Izi, I hope your back feels better. Thanks for the great note. Really, all I've ever wanted in life is to be admired by art students. Now go start a band.

Oct 05, 2009; Creative Writing PM Asks:

How's it goin', Stacey? We're chilling at Great Neck North Creative Writing PM. We were just wondering, while eating a bag of burritos (and after reading your story The First Men), about its ending. There was quite a bit of debate over the ending... How did you know how to end it? By the way, we loved the story, and thought you had a strong voice. The class ends at 8 on Monday evening; no school next week. If you could, we'd appreciate it if you'd answer.

Stacey answers:

Hi chillers,

I didn't know burritos came in bags--like bags of chips come in bags? Oh wait, I'm not supposed to ask questions in my answers. Okay, well: as for endings, all I can say is that ideally the ending should be lurking somewhere in the beginning. But endings are tricky. Sometimes it's better not to end exactly at the end. Sometimes it works better to put the ending at the beginning, or somewhere in the middle, especially with literary fiction, which relies on a certain amount of ambiguity for its power and mystery, the same way that the bag hides the burrito. Until you remove it from the bag. And eat it. Or maybe you already ate it.

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