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Q and A

Oct 29, 2007; lady fantastique Asks:

I read your short story in 'The Worst Years Of Your Life' and I was wondering if you really did have a scar from your left temple to your lip?

Stacey answers:

No. I made it up.

Oct 26, 2007; I Love Lucy Asks:

If we continue to draw from the well of inspiration, will we deplete imagination's aquifer? Is there an alternative energy source? Can I offset my anger with some sort of credit? Is my stock overvalued? How will I know when my investment in happiness has paid off? And what if the capital gains rate has gone up by then, will I be less happy?

Stacey answers:

No, you will not deplete imagination's aquifer, though you might find that you are saying the same thing over and over again in different ways. Don't be alarmed. The trick is to be crafty about it so that everyone doesn't notice.

The only alternate energy source I can think of is caffeine.

You cannot offset your anger with some sort of credit, though it's tempting to believe that revenge will do the trick. It doesn't. You're stuck with your anger until you find religion. And you might still be stuck with it then.

Yes, your stock is probably overvalued. It's been a long bull market. Sell, sell, sell.

I'm not sure how you'll know when your investment in happiness has paid off because I didn't know that happiness required an investment. Theoretically, you can be happy immediately, with no prior investment. Sometimes, Lucy, all you have to do is turn that frown upside down. Then you don't have to worry about taxes, which should only add to your happiness.

Oct 25, 2007; Wistar Asks:

I still love you, Stacey Richter. I wish we could get together sometime and vacuum each others' leg wounds. We have to get some shark bites first. Do you miss me too? I can't wait to read your story in Tin House. Am I betraying the literary establishment if I don't actually buy the issue, but just read it in the book store while drinking a free cup of water? I know I'll feel guilty afterward, but you don't get a royalty from each lit journal sold, do you?

Stacey answers:

No, I don't get a royalty from each lit journal sold but it's a special issue of Tin House and it should be really, really good. I say "should be" because I haven't read it yet, but it sounds great: all women writers, all non-realismists. Hmm, I'm not satisfied with that word. How about: Imaginationists.

I'm intrigued to hear that there is such a thing as a wound vacuum. I've just been using the shop vac myself. I don't miss you!

Oct 24, 2007; Bartleby Asks:

I would prefer not to.

Stacey answers:

I second that.

Oct 23, 2007; Desperately Seeking Susan Asks:

Who is the Mr. Wonderful below? But that's not my real question. My real question is: do you sleep with married men?

Stacey answers:

I don't know who Mr. Wonderful is. There's an invisible email address option on these questions and Mr. Wonderful opted out. I could guess. But it's not me!

I don't sleep with married men. I'm way too insecure to sleep with someone who has another woman in his life. I can hardly sleep with men who have ex-girlfriends. Besides, I've had the same boyfriend for 8 years and I just sleep with him now. I suppose that if we got married and I slept with him, then I would be sleeping with a married man. But I don't think that's what you mean. You mean fornicating, right?

Oct 23, 2007; Mr. Wonderful Asks:

Don't you want to let everyone know you have a new story in the latest issue of Tin House?

Stacey answers:

Yes. I kind of forgot though because I haven't received my own copy yet. Everyday I check the mail forlornly. It's a story about a killer doll.

Oct 18, 2007; Tom Asks:

I've almost finished Twin Study. I uttered, "holy shit," after the last paragraph in the Long Hall. I thought about the mind set and beginnings of strippers for a long time after that for some reason. At least ten minutes. Do you start out with a theme in mind, or does it come to you after you start writing? I threw that in, so it goes with the QnA. I always try to follow the rules, but I really just wanted to say what a great set of short stories.

Stacey answers:

Thanks. I don't have a theme in mind when I write. I have my hands full just focusing on what happens and in what order. Sometimes I don't really even register the themes until I'm done. I actually think our brains makes connections and create meaning whether we're trying to or not. Sometimes it works better not to try too hard to make themes cohere. An analogy to this process would be dreaming.

Oct 13, 2007; Wistar Asks:

Stacey, your advice came too late. But that's okay because 30 minutes after my quandary something good came on TV and the Asian Express delivery man arrived with dinner. Now I have moved on to another urgent question. I have to pee. I've had to pee all day. Is there a cure for this annoying disease?

Stacey answers:

Interesting question. Let me think about it. Just hang in there...

Oct 12, 2007; Wistar Asks:

I am sitting on the __ part of the L couch, and the remote control is on the | part of the L couch beside my boyfriend. I really don't like what's on TV right now. What should I do? PS There's also some microwave popcorn over there.

Stacey answers:

First, don't get up. Second, take a deep breath. Now I'd like you to utilize complex vocal signals via a sophisticated coordination of the mouth and face muscles (also called language) to pronounce the words, "Give me that." Point the the remote. After your boyfriend has given you the remote, repeat the process, pointing at the bowl of popcorn this time. Then say, "Thank you."

Let me know how it goes.

Oct 08, 2007; Wag Asks:

What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

Stacey answers:

I think I'm going to be a skinny eighties new wave boy with blue hair. I have an eighties new wave boy mask w/hair that I got for free from the band Ming and Ping, and I think I still have some pegged pants down in the basement, and I've become skinny ever since I was diagnosed with a lazy stomach, so why not go with it? Ming and Ping, by the way, are identical twins synthesizer rave boys, or something. I don't know much about them but they sent Dan Coleman, my husband-boyfriend, the masks and a lot of other neat junk.

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