LORI HOWE REVEALED
About Lori Howe
Q. PREVIOUS OCCUPATIONS?
A. I put myself through grad school by waiting tables at a great local restaurant, The Overland, in Laramie, Wyoming. I bartended briefly at the infamous Buckhorn Bar in Laramie. I’ve taught college-level English and creative writing workshops, with some forays into Spanish, Public Speaking, and Educational Psychology, for the last decade. I’ve also been a pastry chef (The Cakelady) for over a decade, but that’s more of a hobby, rather than a job, these days.
Q. Your favorite place to live?
A. Laramie, Wyoming is my favorite place to live, but I think I’d be happy in Jackson, WY, too. I also love Port Townsend, WA and would love to live there. Homer, Alaska is another favorite place.
Q. Favorite movie?
A. My favorite movie is The Shipping News, but I am also a big fan of The Lord of the Rings.
Q. Favorite television show?
A. Bones is my favorite tv show of all time. I’m a junky. I also love Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, The Blacklist, and Big Bang Theory.
Q. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE IN ONLY 9 WORDS?
A. Every day holds beauty and surprises, if I listen.
Q. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE PERFECT HAPPINESS?
A. Snorkeling. It’s such a funny word, but if there is any happiness more pure than floating face-down in the ocean, looking at the fish, I don’t know what it would be. Two close runners-up would be kayaking on a mountain lake, and cross-country skiing in the mountains after a fresh snow, in the quiet.
Q. WHAT’S YOUR FANTASY PROFESSION?
A. I’m a teacher, poet, writer, and pastry chef, so I’m already living the dream, but I’ve always harbored a secret fantasy about being an actor. I also fantasize about opening a restaurant, but I know enough about the business to realize that it takes over your whole life.
Q. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL VILLAIN?
A. Raskolnikov, from Crime and Punishment. He’s a villain with a strange and sympathetic internal landscape, unlike so many villains who are flat, unsympathetic characters meant to make the hero look more heroic.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO OR MAXIM?
A. You can’t win if you don’t enter.
Q. WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
A. My greatest fear is dying before I have a chance to do enough good in the world.
Q. WHAT TRAIT IS MOST NOTICEABLE ABOUT YOU?
A. Probably hospitality. I have an innate and undeniable need to make sure everyone is welcome and well-fed.
Q. IF YOU COULD BE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE?
A. If I could be anywhere right now, I would be in Port Townsend, WA, watching the boats come in, listening to their fog horns and the voices of birds, having a cup of coffee with author Erica Bauermeister. Runner-up: snorkeling in Fiji. I’ve never been there.
Q. WITH WHOM IN HISTORY DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY?
A. The people with whom I most identify are people no one has ever heard of, normal people who’ve wished humanity would work for peace and progress over power and money.
Q. IF YOU COULD BE ANY PERSON OR THING, WHO OR WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A. If I could be a thing, I’d be the world-wide fund that successfully ends childhood hunger.
Q. WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
A. This is a tie between Jimmy Carter and the Dalai Lama.
Q. IF YOU COULD EAT ONLY ONE THING FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAYS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A. This sounds like a fun question until you realize you’d have to eat only cheese or rare steak for every single meal. I’d have to go with sushi. Sushi never gets old.
Q. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL HERO?
A. Jean Valjean
Q. IF YOU COULD MEET ANY HISTORICAL CHARACTER, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO HIM OR HER?
A. I’d love to meet Elizabeth Bennett and tell her that she had a profound influence on who I’ve become and how I live my life.
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR MOST OVERUSED WORDS OR PHRASES?
A. Like many of my generation, I say ‘you know’ and ‘like’ far too much.
Q. WHAT DO YOU REGRET MOST?
A. More than anything else, I regret having smoked cigarettes earlier in my life. I quit years ago, but I know my body will never be the same.
Q. IF YOU COULD ACQUIRE ANY TALENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A. I’d give anything to be a really good singer. I only sing in church, because in a large group, no one is really subjected to listening to me—at least, not full-force.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
A. My greatest achievement is helping my students achieve success. Hands down.
Q. WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FLAW?
A. I’m very opinionated.
Q. WHAT 3 PERSONAL QUALITIES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
A. Intellectual curiosity, sense of humor, loyalty.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE?
A. Incorrect grammar and punctuation…and intentionally misspelled words, like “nite” and “thru.”
Q. WHAT’S YOUR BEST QUALITY?
A. I hope my best quality is generosity.
Q. WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?
A. My favorite authors are Wallace Stegner, E. Annie Proulx, Erica Bauermeister, Jane Austen, Peter Mayle and Anthony Doerr. My favorite poets are B.H. Fairchild, James Wright, and Pablo Neruda.
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR 5 FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME?
A. My five favorite books of all time are Cien Sonetos de Amor (Pablo Neruda), Angle of Repose (Stegner), The Shipping News (Proulx), Pride and Prejudice (Austen), and All the Light We Cannot See (Doerr). I’d like to add a number six, which would be The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister.
Q. IS THERE A BOOK YOU LOVE TO REREAD?
A. I have re-read The Shipping News, Pride and Prejudice, and Hotel Pastis (Peter Mayle) so many times, I know whole passages by heart. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister recently joined this list.
Q. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK SCENE?
A. My favorite book scene is in The Shipping News, after Quoyle writes the story about the Hitler boat, and his boss gives him his own column.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK MADE INTO A MOVIE?
A. The Shipping News. I know I keep bringing up this book/film, but it really is that good.
Q. DO YOU HAVE ONE SENTENCE OF ADVICE FOR NEW WRITERS?
A. If writing mostly makes you happy, stick with it; if it mostly makes you miserable, find something else to do–something that feeds your spirit.
Q. WHAT COMMENT DO YOU HEAR MOST OFTEN FROM YOUR READERS?
A. “Can you make a living as a poet?” Just kidding. Probably the most frequent comment is something like “I can see and feel this place through your words,” which, as a poet, I take as a very high compliment.