The Proust Questionnaire, James Lipton version – Literary Feline variation

One of my favorite bloggers, Literary Feline (aka Wendy), recently posted this on her blog:

My husband and I were fans of Inside the Actors Studio for several years, and our favorite part was when the host, James Lipton, would pose the following questions to his guests. He borrowed the idea from Bernard Pivot, a French journalist and interviewer.

She decided to answer the questions in tandem with her husband, Anjin. Following her lead, I’ve coerced my favorite occasional co-author into giving his responses along with mine.

What is your favorite word?

Me: Chocolate
Tall Paul: Yes

What is your least favorite word?

Me: Tornado (good thing I don’t hear it much anymore, then)

Tall Paul: Cancer

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Me: Springtime, language, humor, relaxation, textures, thoughtfulness, generosity

Tall Paul: Light and shadow, smiles, good food, Florinda, first Coca-Cola of the day

What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Me: Disorganization, rudeness, thoughtlessness, self-centeredness, traffic

Tall Paul: Rudeness, arrogance, bigots, rap music (sorry, I’m old), deception.

What sound or noise do you love?

Me: My husband’s laugh, the ocean, chimes, acoustic guitar

Tall Paul: Florinda’s giggle, my children laughing, a nicely built engine, mandolin

What sound or noise do you hate?

Me: Screeching brakes, car horns, the neighbors arguing (the joys of apartment life)

Tall Paul: Dogs barking, car alarms, children crying.

What is your favorite curse word?

Me: Fuck (but I’m a wuss – I usually go for euphemisms like “frick,” “eff” and “screw”)

Tall Paul: Fucktard

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Me: Pretty much any – but seriously, writer/editor

Tall Paul: Professional photographer

What profession would you not like to do?

Me: Politician

Tall Paul: Slaughterhouse slaughterer(?)

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Me: “Please make yourself comfortable in our library, and meet your new dog!” (All dogs go to heaven, right? If they don’t, I don’t think I want to either.)

Tall Paul: “Holy shit!”

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,308 other subscribers


  1. Chocolate is a good word, isn’t it? And cancer such an ugly one.

    Do you remember the early years of car alarms? Anything would set them off and they’d go and go for hours. Ugh.

    I really enjoyed reading yours and Tall Paul’s answers. I do think that dogs go to heaven too.

  2. Literary Feline – There’s some history with cancer in Tall Paul’s family, so he’s got plenty of reasons to dislike that word.

    We live right near the train station, and sometimes vibrations from trains will set off a neighbor’s car alarm. But yeah, I remember when they’d go off for no reason and not stop – funny how the car owner was never around when it happened…

    Thanks for inspiring us to do this meme, Wendy!