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Q and A

Mar 27, 2007; Leela Johnson Asks:

A decorating question: I was thinking of doing my bedroom over. Should I beware of being overly matchy-matchy? There's a fabric I like but I don't want to overdo it and use it everywhere.

Stacey answers:

Leela, matchy-matchy can be very charming. My 100 year old grandmother's guest bedroom has matching bedspreads, curtains, and an upholstered chair. It's so...unified, and creepy. Matchy matchy-ness can impart a strange, old-timey feeling to a room, a feeling of trying too hard, obsessiveness, and excessive femininity. Consider the possibility that this is a good thing. You could also make a dress to match.

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Mar 26, 2007; Liam G. Asks:

Better: Sweet kumquats or sour kumquats? (Hint: the correct answer is sour)

Stacey answers:

Sweet and sour kumquats with jasmine rice.

Mar 23, 2007; pequat Asks:

Am I a good person? Will anyone ever love me? What does the future hold? Is the earth doomed?

Stacey answers:

Yes. Yes. I don't know. Yes.

Mar 23, 2007; Lukey G Asks:

I know this is kind of a dumb question, but how did you write "The Long Hall"? Where did it come from? I read the story last week and I can't stop thinking about it. Maybe my new favorite ever. I can't explain. It just has everything I've always wanted in a short story. Also, if you don't mind two questions in one: I have a friend who has just begun a new career as a film reviewer. Since you seem entirely proud of your stint with the Weekly Wire, can you offer him any advice?

Stacey answers:

Hi Lukey G. Thanks so much for your kind words. It can be really difficult to say where a story comes from (or embarrassing), but I do know that "The Long Hall" sprang out of a sad feeling I had on a trip to Colorado where I saw a lot of dying trees, victims of the ongoing bark beetle infestation of the west. It was a self-indulgent sad feeling--or maybe a flashback--about how I used to think about boys when I was younger. With longing and dread, I guess. Then the trees and the boys joined up and became the idea for the story. Along with sadness. Isn't that a girly answer? Feelings, Lukey. It came from feelings.

As for your friend, the trick to surviving three or more movies a week without having a breakdown is to avoid romantic comedies.

Mar 22, 2007; Rita Asks:

Stacey, what makes a good byline name? I've been considering hiding my gender with my name, cause I'm hoping it'll get me published. And do you like mideastern food? I make a mean arab flat bread.

Stacey answers:

Oh Rita, I'm so glad you asked. Alliteration and internal rhyme is always fun in a fake name, as is weirdness. Have you visited the random name generator? I love it. There's a link to it on the "stories" page of this website, and plenty of the names that pop up have no gender affiliation. Here's one I have written down: Preston Oelke. This one's girly but great: Carmella Mazella.

Yes, I like mideastern food.

Mar 21, 2007; sean Asks:

hey stacey sorry to bother you but i cant find mikes question... whats the point of this story? ( A Case Study of Emergency Room Procedure...)

Stacey answers:

Sean, what's the point of your question? Are you asking me for help with your homework? Just scroll down a little, or search for the word "mike." I don't mind helping you but you're only going to get a sarcastic answer if your question remains as vague as what's the point of the story.

Mar 20, 2007; sean Asks:

hey stacey... I read "A Case Study of Emrgency Room Procedure and Risk Management... as well and i was wondering what is the point of this story? can explain to me why you situated this story in sections? is it a fairy tale?

Stacey answers:

Sean, oh Sean, it's sad. There was a whole series of questions and answers about that story that got eaten by the website. But look down below and you will see a question from Mike that's much like yours. The point of the story is to make you happy and nervous. Yes, it is a fairy tale.

Mar 20, 2007; Alex Asks:

I just wanted to let you know that in one of my english classes in college we had to do a midterm paper on your story "A case study". Do you feel honered? The paper drove me a bit crazy...I am going to go take my stereo apart now and scream myself to sleep. Bye

Stacey answers:

Hi Alex. That's great, though having papers written about my stories seems surreal to me, odd and sort of overblown, like archaeologists going through my luggage. But pleasing. I'm glad to hear the paper drove you crazy. Good luck with that stereo.

Mar 19, 2007; Elizabeth Asks:

I'm really fascinated by book covers. Do you as the writer have much (or any) control over the design? If you hate what they come up with, will they change it? Also, I just want to point out that I *loved* the cover for My Date with Satan. That Jello mold in primary colors is truly mesmerizing...

Stacey answers:

Hi Elizabeth. I don't have much control over the image on the cover...I think I have something in my contract referred to as "input," which means that if I really hate what they come up with, they'll probably change it.

As it happens, I did hate what they came up with initially for My Date With Satan--I think it was roses, a sort of feminine hygiene-like blur of roses. But when the designer found the Jello mold with the jewels in it, I was thrilled. I'm glad you like it too.

Mar 19, 2007; Tippy Asks:

Do you ever wear leg warmers? If you do (or even if you don't - feel free to hypothesize), what color would you choose?

In an effort to make the Q and A more about writing, feel free to rewrite the question to read "Do you ever wear leg warmers while writing?"

Stacey answers:

Tippy my friend, I sense that you want me to make up a snappy answer but I'm going to tell the truth: I have a pair of black leg warmers in the back of my drawer and I never wear them. But if I had a friend who could knit, Tippy, and he knit me a pair of leg warmers, I would wear them all the time, proudly. I like red.

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