Author M.K. Wiseman Answers the Pivot Questionnaire

m.k.wisemanM. K. Wiseman and I both have stories in “Mechanized Masterpieces 2: American Anthology” (Xchyler Publishing, 2015). Mine is “Nautilus Redux“. Hers is “The Silver Scams”: A fast-talking confidence man ensnares all of Holland in his scheme to eliminate dikes forever . . . for a price.


1. What is your favorite word?
Fantastic.

Can’t you just hear it? Say it aloud to yourself. Fantastic. It is hard to contain the joy that this word builds to. Getting over that middle ‘t’ is like a bubble bursting, letting out all sorts of good juju. It is a very special word. (You can imagine my delight when the 9th Doctor made the word his own special catch-phrase. Kudos to him for adding an emphatic “absolutely” to it to kick things up a notch.)

2. What is your least favorite word?

Fragment. Okay, I’m not 100% committed to it being my absolute least favorite word but it contains the elements that annoy me. The word hangs, it dies in the middle. Only through sheer will can we get through this word. And we have to dip (see the ‘g’) to do it! So we’re punished for our efforts. Sigh.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Coffee shops. (I ask that you look ahead now to my ‘turn off’, #4 below. Have yourself a chuckle and return here. Got it? Thanks.) I find infinite inspiration in the aromas, the hustle and bustle–sometimes loud, sometimes hushed like a library–and the intrinsic sense of adventure that you get at a coffee shop. Now, if you did look at #4 below, you’re probably wondering “But do you drink coffee?” Absolutely. But decaf. And just a skosh of cream. No sugar.

4. What turns you off?

Caffeinated coffee. I know, I know, this is supposed to be the savior of every writer that ever was. But it just kills my creativity, my productivity, my every-ivity. Caffeine makes me bounce and quiver from one thing to the next, praying that I can just ride out the buzz until I feel like me again and really get some things done.

5. What is your favorite curse word?

Whew. I’ve got a bit of a tie here. First there’s “What in the fairying forest?” –compliments of “Tenth Kingdom”. It’s both satisfying and safe for most audiences. Doesn’t hurt anyone. Yeah, it’s a pretty good curse word/phrase.

Honorable mention: Frack/frak from “Battlestar Galactica.” Not my absolute favorite for its tendency to get confused with the word it is meant to replace. But very satisfying to say at stubborn inanimate objects that you’re beating with a wrench-because-the-directionshaditallwrong— frak!

6. What sound or noise do you love?

The crackle of a camp fire. I could listen to that for hours on end. I think what makes it special is that I have never found a good substitute for the real thing. It is inimitable.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

Chewing. Yes, I suffer from misophonia. To the point where I cannot stand those KitKat commercials. Really. I turn off the TV, or put it on mute and walk out of the room. I can’t really even see chewing because I know the sound that should accompany it.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I always wanted to be an animator. But as I am educated in that field, that answer is a bit of a cheat. Somewhere in the back of my mind I’ve always wanted to pilot something. Tugboats, for example, fascinate me. And trains. And hot air balloons.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

Undertaker. I think that job would get to me after a very short while. I admire those people who can handle it.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“Oh, hang on… there was a mixup. You’ve got another good twenty years in you. Go back to earth.” Unless I was the last of my friends and family, In which case I’d hope God phoned ahead so they’re all waiting for me.
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