Fiction or Nonfiction?
I call my work "fiction," but it is based on my experience, so it can easily be called "nonfiction." I believe most fiction is based on the author's experience--the only question is to what degree the author disguises that experience. Is it harder to write funny or sad? I try to do both. I'm more successful at writing funny, but funny gets you only so far. The winners are serious/tragic, aren't they?
Long form or short form?
I can write only in the short form. This is not intentional; it's more instinctive. I begin by having a lot to say; I try to say it all; and the result is usually only a couple of pages.
Poetry or prose?
I write prose, but I'd like to think my prose has poetic elements. If you're asking whether I prefer reading one over the other, that would be prose. One writes what one likes to read.
Boxers or kickboxers?
You mean fighters who throw punches versus guys who practice muay thai? I've seen both, have tried neither. Or are you talking about loose underwear? Loose might be better; loose is probably better for everything.
Piece that you read and said Wish I’d thought of that?
I read the word "trepanation" last week and had to look it up. It seemed an efficient way of indicating the use of a tool to bore a hole in the head.
Cloned or frozen? I'd rather ask: Kelso or Forman (That '70s Show)? Kelso.
Book you read and reread?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Very soothing bedtime reading--I went through the whole thing at least a dozen times. Now, I wouldn't have the patience, though I still keep a book next to the bed.
When writing is going well…
It's going well when it becomes something more than what you were originally trying for.
Desert Island Book?
Tough one. I'd rather make friends with a sea turtle.
Thaddeus Rutkowski is the author of six books, most recently Border Crossings, a poetry collection. His novel Haywire won the Members’ Choice Award, given by the Asian American Writers Workshop. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute, Medgar Evers College, and the Writer's Voice of the West Side YMCA in New York. He received a fiction writing fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
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