Author Ginger Mann Answers the Pivot Questionnaire

GingerGinger and I both have stories in “The Toll  of Another Bell” fantasy anthology (Xchyler Publishing, 2015). Mine is “The Year of No Foals“. Hers is “Jilted River“: An Appalachian fairy tale attracts visitors to a state park, but then they start to disappear.

1.  What is your favorite word?

Not fair. I like too many words. So, for you, I can narrow it down to two favorite words.  My favorite words are a phrase: “What if?” Regardless of what I am doing, whether it is writing, music, or even something mundane, I like to imagine what else is possible. If I’m telling  a story, it means that there is always another scene to write. If I’m solving a problem, it means there is an answer out there somewhere, even if it’s in my dreams.

2. What is your least favorite word?

Really?  Just one?  I think I will pick the phrase, “Supposed to.” I don’t know that, in and of itself, it’s such a bad thing to say. It is usually echoed by the conscientious, trying to follow directions with precision. However, I find that I chafe against it. Too often, I find that it is used as a way to diffuse responsibility, and let someone else do the thinking. I love to explore, and I am not fond of artificial barriers. What am I “supposed to” do with that? Oh, I don’t know. I guess I’ll make it up as I go along.

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

Big questions! I am turned on by things that evoke my senses. I find that I relax while holding a musical instrument in my hands, playing something beautiful. My blood pressure drops when I am around the woods on my family’s farm. I find open spaces and landscapes to be evocative. They inspire much of the prose and poetry that I write. It is counter-intuitive, I guess: I used to think of a writer as someone who cloistered herself indoors with ink and paper. Not so. I am at my best when I am fully engaged.

4. What turns you off?

Micromanagement.  I have a visceral reaction to anyone who attempts to control me. I will buck against a person if I think they are trying to infringe upon my personal choices. It’s not too great for some of my relationships, I admit.

5. What is your favorite curse word?

Oh, I love the word, “Frak!” It’s an invented curse word from Sci-Fi’s Battlestar Galactica, meant to impersonate the real “F” word. When the second incarnation of that series was active, I was working as a U.S. defense contractor. I heard the real “F” word on a daily basis, used as every part of speech. Okay, so I actually learned that word myself, and used it for awhile. Well, see, you can’t say that to the ladies at the local church, so when I learned “Frak,” I tried to use it to clean up my bad language. It worked, sort of. Thanks, Sci-Fi writers, for the substitution.

6. What sound or noise do you love?

I am in love with the sound of children playing. There is pure joy in the laughter of the littlest ones, especially. One of my favorite poets from my own personal history wrote, “All the angels pause a moment for the laughter of a child.” This I believe.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

Loud noises disturb me. I am one of those people for whom silence is golden. When I am at work, in particular, I need a fairly quiet room to keep focused. It has been a challenge sometimes, in places where there is a lot of crowd noise.

It also challenges me when music plays in the background while I am trying to work. I don’t know why that is: I am a musician, so you would think I’d love that. But it completely takes over my thinking, so I can’t concentrate anymore.

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

Hilarious, because I’ve already attempted about 4 professions, and I’m still doing two of them simultaneously. However, I remember my mother’s advice before I went for my bachelor’s degree. She said, “Major in Communications.” And well, I didn’t listen. I kept my own council. But now, years later, I wish I had gone for a journalism degree, and started writing earlier. If I had to change careers, it would be to that. Maybe I’ll give it a go someday.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

I do not want to do anything that requires me to count. In fact, I already have done a job like that, and I stunk at it. I am fine with math–don’t get me wrong–I just fail at accounting. In fact, I love anything and everything about math except for the numbers. Wow, is that wrong? I guess that’s why I program computers. They can count just fine without my help.

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

I have no idea if pearls are on any gates in heaven, or if there are golden streets or anything like it. Beyond that, I won’t deal with the word “if”. Personally, I have met God, and so the question of reality is answered. I am sure that one day, we will meet face to face. But the God I know is love, alone. When I meet God, I hope to hear Him say something like the words in Luke 3:22, “You are my beloved, my favor rests in you.” I can think of no words that are more beautiful than these, coming from the Source of all love.

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