1) If you could spend a day with any fictional character, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
[I begin this question by scratching all the obvious Christ-figures off my list. And all the males whom I would happily snog based on their physical hotness alone.]
I would spend the day with Samwise Gamgee. (I almost feel this is cheating, since I'm sort of specifying a location and peripheral characters as well.)
We would spend most of the day--at least the morning and late afternoon hours--working in his garden at Bag End. I would listen to Sam tell me the best ways to coax the plants into growth and fruit, and follow his instructions as well as I could. If I did well, or if he was in a good mood, maybe I could get him to tell me a little bit about his travels during the War of the Ring.
There would be meals (hobbit-style), and I would chat to his wife Rosie and help with dishes (if she'd let me), and play with his very small children.
2) Have you ever written anything about or based on an intensely personal event or experience? Why or why not?
All of that is kind of subjective, isn't it? :-)
Let's see.... I have written to people about personal experiences, if that counts. Why? Because sharing the event helps me process it and come to an understanding of it in the context of my life and my relationship with God.
In terms of using an "intensely personal event or experience" in my fiction, I'd have to say I haven't done so in an obvious manner. (whitemartyr, would you say that's true?) I'm more apt to pull the emotional experience out of its factual context and transplant it into a similar event, in order to give me a baseline for my protagonist's reactions. Probably the closest I've come, at least in writing that's been read by others, is in my Numb3rs fic Phantom Intelligence.
I didn't really consider that necessary or necessarily valuable to my writing for a while, because my life has been much easier (and more "boring," heh) than that of most of my friends and fellow writers. I'm coming around to another point of view, since the past two years, and realizing that my own emotional and spiritual journey should be allowed to intentionally inform my work. So far, so good....
3) What is your favorite and least favorite thing about living in LA?
My favorite thing: having access to limited release films, and to screenings of older films (like a 70mm print of Lawrence of Arabia).
My least favorite thing: this is a dirty city. I hate seeing people leave their trash on the sidewalks, old couches and cracked plywood shelving; I hate seeing dead Christmas trees standing on street corners into March; I hate the smog in the air.
4) What TV show or movie made you cry the hardest? Why?
Wow, what a question. I tear up fairly easily, so I'll have to limit it to ones that actually made me *weep.*
Film: possibly "Finding Neverland." I remember sitting in the theatre with tears on my face all through the credits.
TV show: Um. I think it's split between Buffy, "Becoming, pt. 2," and Stargate SG-1, "Meridian</i>.
5) How was your steak?
It was tasty. :-) I like beef, so when it is cooked well, I enjoy it quite a lot.