20 QUESTIONS with JOAN WAI
1. My first job was… stuffing envelopes for a USC mailing campaign.
2. If I wasn’t the program manager of the Nicholl Fellowship, I would likely be… pitching myself to you for a job!
3. I collect… crispy new dollar bills. See #20 for further explanation. For a millisecond, I was into error bills (misprinted currency). They’re impossible to find in regular circulation and I couldn’t afford to acquire any of these bills, hence, the brevity of this avocation.
4. My favorite word is… currently: petrichor. The scent in the air after rain.
5. I’m a big fan of… food. Love food: weird food, fine food, junk food. I’m one of those people who photographs my food.
6. The single best piece of advice I have ever gotten is… ask “what question should I be asking that I haven’t asked yet?”
7. I have always wanted to… expand the capacity of my memory. I wish there was an external petabtye drive I could plug all the things I learn and all my memories into.
8. The best thing I have ever read is… thesaurus and idiom dictionaries. The building stones of all great stories!
9. People often tell me that I… have a great smile.
10. One thing I wish I knew as a kid is… there’s far less to fear than you think there is. But knowing that and feeling it are two different things.
11. I find inspiration in… architecture, photography, design, user interface, writing–anything that’s well done. I love watching someone do something they’re adept at; high proficiency is inspirational to me.
12. The best thing about discovering new writers is… sharing in the joy of creativity. And being able to give them some support to write.
13. I spend way too much time… thinking about what to eat next.
14. The smartest person in my cell phone is… Siri… when she understands what I’m saying.
15. It really bothers me when… I only seem to crave eating the fruit on hand after it’s turned moldy. Why can’t fruit ripeness correspond with fruit cravings?
16. The future of the film industry is… difficult to divine. When you figure out what’s gonna happen next will you let me know??
17. One mistake that many aspiring writers make is… being defensive toward feedback. There’s an art form to figuring out what is useful to you and what isn’t, and then graciously taking it all in. Playing well with others is vital to being a professional writer.
18. If I knew the apocalypse was coming in 24 hours, I’d… grab some friends and hunt for a zombie-proof bunker.
19. The three websites I visit most often are… Livescience.com, Psychologytoday.com, Instagram.com
20. You’d be surprised to know that I… am into dollar origami. So fun to transform dollar bills into animals through folding only. And there’s bonus joy in sharing pictures of this nerding via my Instagram.
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