issue two, round two Q&A: from the raw

welcome back to our Q&As, where we learn a little more about our issue two contributors. let's get ready for round two, in which we discover that the paradox is strong in all of us.

featuring Megan Bealer, Alex Martin, Jenn Northington, Rachelle Beaudoin, and Adriana Yugovich.

are you an early bird or a night owl? what is your favorite time of day?

MB: I’m always conflicted about this question because I love staying up late, but I also love getting up early. needless to say, I don’t get much sleep. and my favorite time of day is whenever I’m eating chicken nuggets.

AM: I'm both! I stay up way too late, and I hate sleeping in. I like to read in the mornings with a cup of black coffee, and I like to stay up writing into unreasonable times of the night, with unreasonable amounts of red wine. my favorite time of the day is early morning, where everything feels like bonus, like I could have missed it - but didn't.

JN: I can't sleep past 8 am most days anymore, or stay up past 10 pm (unless I have REALLY AMAZING PLANS). so I think that puts me solidly in the daytime person camp, not too early and not too late. and my favorite time of day is 8 pm, because I still have time to do whatever I want before bed but the day is definitely over. 

RB: I think getting up at 7 am is ideal. any earlier is a bit rough (especially in the winter) and much later just feels like a wasted day. I have never shied away from AM classes and I get up on my own to go to the gym. so I have been told I am a morning person. (see routine question below.)  dinner time is my favorite time of day.

AY: it all depends on what’s going on in my life on any given day. when I went to Burning Man I was asleep in my tent by midnight almost every night--I prefer day drinking. my favorite time for swimming and grocery shopping is at night. my favorite time for making love is between 3-5 pm on a hot summer afternoon or anytime when it's raining.

where are you/what are you doing when your creative ideas usually strike?

MB: I wish I had a wittier response, but there is honestly no pattern. anytime and anywhere.

AM: oh, usually somewhere terribly inconvenient: on a run, falling asleep in bed, in the shower... I have a lot of sweat-smeared, water-blotted, illegible post-it notes floating around my apartment. also, I get a lot of ideas from reading other writing - poetry, nonfiction, and fiction alike. 

JN: inevitably it is while walking somewhere. to the grocery store, to the train, from the train. to grab lunch or a coffee. I can brainstorm all I want but really, walking makes the ideas happen.

RB: although some ideas strike while driving or talking with friends, I typically need to sit and write lists before starting a project. even though I am visual artist, I tend to write first, then sketch and then complete the piece. often it is just a matter of making the time and sitting down to get to work that helps the ideas flow. 

AY: inspiration usually happens when I’m telling someone else what to do. or, it strikes at the most inconvenient time and there’s no way to write it down. I had a really good list of ideas saved in the notes app on my phone for almost a year, but then I accidentally deleted it.

are you a creature of habit/routine or are you comfortable kept on your toes?

MB: I sound like a walking paradox, but I have routines I feel the need to follow when I get ready in the morning and before I go to bed, but in between all of that I go with the flow.

AM: again, both. I like my creature comforts comin' to me steady (coffee, yogurt, banana & peanut butter every morning), but I write the best when I'm in transition, on airplanes and during times of tumult when the comforting and the "normal" get stripped. I like to write from the raw, and you usually find that on the edge of something, even if it's just the edge of anger, or sleep deprivation. 

JN: I am a planner, both professionally and by choice. so while I don't mind the occasional spontaneous, throw-caution-to-the-wind moment, I generally like to have at least a general outline of how my day (or vacation, or week, or Halloween, or whatever) is going to go.

RB: because I was an athlete in high school and college, routine was especially important and still is. practice, work, eat, gym, work, sleep. you have to be regimented as an artist in order to make time to work. I was just away at an artist residency and I find those are an interesting combination of routine (eating at the same time everyday) and new experiences, new people and new places. a combination of routine with room for variety or spontaneity is the sweet spot. 

AY: I am totally unable to commit to any routine. cooking, yoga, getting up in the morning, any artistic or spiritual practice…I’m super inconsistent. it would be nice if life was a bit more structured and predictable, actually. maybe I should move to Ohio.

what is your most helpful flaw?

MB: perfectionism. it’s stressful and anxiety-inducing, but it keeps me ambitious, always on-time, working hard, and making sure the wings of my eyeliner are impeccable before I leave the house.

AM: I was raised by manatees. tragic, I know, but I have great lung capacity and a healthy fear of children in flippers. OK or...a deep-seated anxiety that keeps me running to the point of exhaustion but helps me get sh*t done, and meet deadlines. (...maybe I should have just stuck with the manatee bit?) 

JN: I am a horrible liar. unless i'm 100% prepared for it, you can see it all over my face. this is not actually a bad thing except for when I know things I'm not supposed to know, which happens surprisingly often as I am also a good listener and people like to tell me things.

RB: staying at parties too long doesn't help anyone.

AY: impatience. it makes me very proactive.