1. Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvin?
    Kelvin, right? Duh! Kelvin sounds like a hermaphrodite foreign-exchange student from another planet. I’m picturing a redhead in a calf-length skirt and glasses. But this might actually be revealing a troubling lapse in my public-school education. Is Kelvin a way to measure temperature? Or conductivity or something? Ductility? Well, ignorantly, I stand by my preference.

    Talk about your vision of the ideal life.
    My vision of an ideal life is so boring. I’d love to have children one day. To have a permanent address where mail can come, and a Virginia Woolf–style Room of One’s Own where I could keep on writing books, stories, and novels. To achieve some relatively serene ratio of teaching:writing:traveling. A dog — can I have a dog in my ideal life? A rescue dog that sort of prefers me to other people, even though, you know, she’s really friendly? I’ve been moving around so much in the past several years that I think it would be heaven to have a small, quiet life where I can read for pleasure and visit green spaces. Maybe a life where I get to see my friends in a relaxed way and go swimming in the summers and see ridiculous movies in the theater. Impossibly, it would be so lovely to be a short commute from my friends and family. I’d love to play H-O-R-S-E on Sundays with my best friends and my brother and sister and their future offspring. Basketball utopia. Oh! There is also legal street parking in my ideal life. Actually, maybe buses take you everywhere. I’m in Philly at the moment and driving again for the first time in over a decade, and I’m terrified of vehicular manslaughter.

    Dogs, cats, budgies, or turtles?
    Turtles! For reasons unnervingly similar to my dating rationale above: turtles are as tough and old as the world but also so basically helpless and vulnerable. I’m sure I’d be the owner in the sad pet-store urban legend, though, whose gigantic, slow-moving turtle ran away.

    Five extraordinary recent story collections:
    After the Apocalypse by Maureen F. McHugh
    The Uninnocent by Bradford Morrow
    If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black
    Blueprints for Building Better Girls by Elissa Schappell
    You Think That’s Bad by Jim Shepard


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    UGH! Why is she so cool? And talented? Can I be friends with her, please?
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    I love you
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    Powells’s interview with Karen Russell
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