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Q and A

Jun 29, 2009; Aunt Meh Asks:

I'm sorry to bring my mental health concerns to you, Stacey Richter, but I have to ask. You said something about SSRI's earlier. What are your thoughts on them? I'm a depressive writer type (how boring, I know) whose gotten a lot of good out of over the counter supplement type things, cutting back sugar and going to good old fashioned therapy. But I wonder about those drugs. Are they any good? do they mess up your writing? Is this too personal to ask?

Stacey answers:

I think everyone wonders about those drugs--the idea of a happy pill is alluring. But in my experience, they're not really happy pills, they're more like anti-desperation pills with unpleasant side effects. I've found they sort of redirect my brain from the deep end to the shallow end so that instead of thinking about pain and death all the time, I think about shopping and decorating and pain and death all the time. They don't mess up my writing, they don't change who I am in any way, which is a bit disappointing. Still, they're serious drugs that scramble your brain and everyone reacts differently to that. I know some people who say they're much happier, or don't feel like themselves, or feel flat, or don't want to have sex anymore, or couldn't live without them. My opinion tends to be that if you're doing okay, you probably don't want to scramble your brain--but it's really up to you. For me, it has more to do with chronic pain, which fucks up your brain chemicals, than normal depression, though there may not really be much difference, in the end, between pain-depression and depression-depression.

Jun 29, 2009; Liam, from Facebook, making a cuckhold of MySpace Asks:

Hey, Stacey Rumer Richter (I spelled your middle name correctly, right?)!

I have a really random question, apropos of nothing, for you: You wouldn't happen to be any good at Boggle or online variants of Boggle, would you? And, if you indeed just happen to be good or great or whatnot at it, could you please share with all of us Richterites ("the Richter Army of the Undead" if you will, and I enthusiastically hope you do!) some strategies and techniques you might have? Perhaps some advice for a young person who used to think he or she was relatively smart until he or she played "Scramble," the Facebook rip-off of Boggle, for hours last night and the best this theoretical he or she could score was an always hilarious but nevertheless rather paltry 69???

Just a shot in the dark! Hope I luck out!

Your faithful bootlick,

Stacey answers:

69 is not a bad score. You can make longer words by looking for double letters, er's, ed's, re's, un's, ing's, and other assorted prefixes and suffixes. S's are very important. I would also advise that you experiment with one of two strategies: if you're a very fast typist, try to get as many short words as possible. If you're an average typist, look for long words, since they give you more points. But eventually, if you want to crush your opponents like eggshells, you will have to find the long words.

Please be careful with the game. I've quit smoking, I've given up sugar, I've walked away from various addictive street drugs without a glance back, but I cannot stop playing this stupid online word game. I don't exactly like it but I can't stop. I will choose the game over almost any other activity, including smoking crack and peeing. The only way I've been able to stop is to have my internet use restricted by content-blocking software designed for parents who don't want their kids to see porn. So good luck, Liam. Good luck.

Jun 27, 2009; Purple is a Healing Color Asks:

Do you subscribe to any of those "shelter rags", like dwell? If so, has reading them fostered any real effect on how you decorate your own home?

Stacey answers:

Before it folded, I used to subscribe to the great magazine Nest, the strangest, most confusing decorating magazine ever. It didn't usually show houses. Instead it had lush layouts of decaying schoolrooms in Kazakhstan, Bedouin tents, underground bunkers, abandoned apartments, things like that. I spent a long time trying to find a weird, Soviet-schoolroom-green paint color for my office, and I did find it. It was a Disney color called Christopher Robin's Swing from Home Depot.

Then I subscribed to Elle Decor for a year but it annoyed me. Mostly I like to look at vintage decorating books from the fifties and sixties, if I look at all. Many people don't realize that the urge to paint, repaint, redecorate, decorate, move, and buy assorted throw pillows is actually a side effect of SSRI drugs, particularly Lexapro. Really. I swear. Ask your friends. Since I haven't taken it for years, I now have trouble concentrating on paint chips.

Jun 22, 2009; zanele Asks:

What will you say on your book oral?

Stacey answers:

I will say, "I'm very sorry but I simply can't imagine taking my book oral on such a beautiful day." And then I will leave.

Jun 18, 2009; Wag Asks:

Hi. How's it hangin'?

Stacey answers:

Hi! Could be worse, but only slightly. How's it hanging for you?

Jun 12, 2009; Stacey Richter Asks:

Thank you for replying to my Questions. At the moment I am reading the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 2. Which I got for my 11th bday. Hey Stac wat are your books about sush as My date with satan or Twin study and do u have any other books? At this current time where are you and when are you going to Australia if your not. Do you have MSN. Because I feel alone because I know nobody with the same name or last name.Oh and by the way u can call me Stac or Stacey not stacey richter because i feel like u ok plz reply within the next day.

Stacey answers:

Hi Stac, I'm glad you're reading Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 2. I haven't read that one but I hear it's good. My books are short stories about people and animals, but mostly they are about people. I don't have any other books right now. I don't really think you will like my books yet, as they are mostly about boring grown-up things like fights and relationships and money and home decoration.

I've never been to Australia but I'd love to go someday. It's nice to know there's another Stacey Richter out there I agree. I don't have MSN but you can email if you'd like. It's:

Jun 08, 2009; conundrummed Asks:

Does having a boyfriend necessarily reduce your ability to be a writer? Because I am thinking yes. But then isn't it super-heartless and a little inhuman to be all, "Hey I kind of love you and you treat me great, but you're distracting so PEACE"?

Stacey answers:

Yeah. Because part of the desire to write comes from the desire to have a significant communion with another human being, and the more lonely and desperate and boyfriendless one feels, the sharper this desire becomes. But you've gotta get over it. You deserve love and all that. Plus also, if you isolate yourself enough for long enough, you may not write more, just drink more.

I suggest you be a man about it. Men are mostly so fucked up about themselves that it doesn't matter whether they have a girlfriend or not, their ability to be a writer is not reduced; they continue to feel lonely and small and like they don't have enough of whatever it is that everyone else seems to have. Remember, just because you have a nice boyfriend doesn't mean that you are in any way worthy. You must continue to prove yourself, missy. Also: death. It awaits us all. Death. Think about it. Now go write a masterpiece before someone else beats you to it.

May 30, 2009; Liam, the MySpaced Asks:

So when can we expect to be able to get our mitts on some new Stacey Richter material? Got any short stories floating around in the ether of the publishing world? How's the novel? Our minds are a-inquirin', so we hasta know! Your fiercely loyal lickspittle, Liam

Stacey answers:

I have a story in the new Versus Anthology, a collection in which writers pit historical figures, fictional characters, and other entities against one another in various types of battle. Pandemonium ensues. My story is called "Barbie vs. Stalin."

May 26, 2009; Stacey Richter Asks:

Hello me joking hi I'm Stacey Richter I couldn't believe I have the same name as you so I'm not the only Stacey Richter I know. Hi I'm 11yrs old and I live in Australia. I came across you on the internet I searched my my first and last name and saw you so I put and found your site I hope you can tell me if any other Stacey Richter's have emailed you site? and Are your books appropriate for me? Or are your book for adults and can I just buy your book for BigW or Angus & Robinson's if you don't know these shop's look them up on the internet in google.

Stacey answers:

Hi Stacey Richter, I'm so glad to hear from another Stacey Richter! You're the first one to write me. I have found some other Stacey Richters on the intertnet too, but most of them are Stacy Richters, which as everyone knows is the wrong spelling. My books are a little too grown up for an eleven year-old, I'm sorry to say. Maybe take a look when you're getting closer to fifteen.

Apr 25, 2009; Font boy Asks:

Why can't your website be fixed once and for all so that apostrophes don't show up as � on my Mac? Is it too much to ask of your webmeister?

Stacey answers:

Demons. Could you please email me and let me know where you see them and what browser you're using to aid in the exorcism? Or just put it in the question form if you don't want to email me.

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