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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Aimee Bender does not use an alarm clock

Posted by on August 27 at 17:21 PM

At her reading at Elliott Bay Book Co. on Thursday, Aimee Bender (The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Willful Creatures) got the questions every writer always gets, which was kind of a shame, because here’s a writer open to more bizarre shit than most (some first sentences: “Steven returned from the war without lips,” “There were two mutant girls in the town: one had a hand made of fire and the other had a hand made of ice,” “The motherfucker arrived at the West Coast from the Midwest”), but no one asked her any suitably bizarre questions, not even anything obvious, like, Why’d you once write that story about the guy who evolves backwards into an ape, and then a sea turtle, and then a salamander?

Instead, Bender got the greedy, frantic questions of a crowd full of fans who, in spite of their love for her, asked what people who’d never read Bender could have asked her: How does your writing process begin? Sits at a desk for two hours every day. What’s your source of inspiration for sitting there for two hours every day? “It’s the law.” You really sit there for two hours? Yes. Do you ever write for more than two hours? No. Why not? Makes things easier. How do you know when you’re done with a story? Appropriately vague answer. What are you reading right now? Middlesex. Do you write in the morning? Yes. Do you eat breakfast during? Yes, yogurt and grapenuts. Do you set an alarm or does it just happen when you get up? Happens when she gets up. Longhand or laptop? Desktop.

There were one or two other questions, but that was about it.