We are coming up to the sixth day of Hanukkah this afternoon, a sunny day of clear skies and brisk air as I open the door to welcome my guest, David Faucheux, author of “Across Two Novembers”.
Me: David, welcome, please come in…oh, it’s so cold this afternoon.
David: Hello, it’s great to get to visit like this.
Me: Here, let me take your coat. Would you like something warm to drink, coffee or tea perhaps?
David: Tea with cream and sugar is fine. Do you have Irish Breakfast Tea. Mark T. Wendell has an excellent example.
Me: I’ll have to look for that. How about a bit of chai and a cookie or brownie?
David: Oh, perhaps a cookie; one of the organic Golden Raisin Cardamom Oatmeal Cookies. They look delicious. Thank you.
Me: Well, how did you know? Here you go. Shall we find a comfy chair in the livingroom, or is this all right?
David: Let’s stay in the kitchen; less chance of a food derailment.
Me: Ahhh, Chai is one of my favorites..mmm. . Now David, won’t you please tell me alittle about yourself? Where are you from?
David: I live in South Louisiana. I have lived there most of my life. I attended LSU in Baton Rouge but now live in Lafayette.
Me: And does your writing reflect where you live, your surroundings?
David: Because my book was a journal, it does reflect the local culture. I particularly mentioned foodways.
Me: Interesting. And what about your writing process, do you prefer certain time of day best for writing? Or is a certain place more inspirational to you?
David: At times, I find the quiet of the very early morning to be when I am most creative.
As to my writing process, I am exploring podcasting. I once maintained an audio blog from 2004 to 2009 but moved on due to technical difficulties with the hosting company. I’d have to say I’m still discovering my writing process which seems to be more related to nonfiction.
Me: And how did you start writing?
David: A friend asked me to review her book, Occupying Aging, and I thought that this journal format might be one that I could explore as a kind of personal development.
Me: Journalling can certainly be a means of self-exploration. What keeps you writing?
David: I write to clarify my existence; I hope to also educate people and possibly entertain them. I want to share my love of and appreciation for the vast world of books with people. In fact, I am considering using a book-related name for my podcast; perhaps, Book Bytes or Bookbagging.
Me: Well keep me posted about your podcast project, it sounds quite interesting.
Now a few off-beat questions…you know to really look inside you.
What kind of fruit or vegetable would you say you most resemble, David?
David: Oh, back to food. I do relate well to food. Fruit or vegetable; well, it depends on my mood. At times I hope I feel as happy, sunnily golden, and rich as a pineapple, say a Kona Sugarloaf. Other times I want to be some rare and exotic item such as a unique strain of cacao berry or coffee bean cultivar. Maybe a lucuma or quince.
Me: Okay,haha, you’ve got me looking for my dictionary now…you certainly are knowledgeable about food.
David: I enjoy learning about new products or produce that is brought here by Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, having been purchased from fair trade producers. I enjoy the unique, the carefully crafted, the original, nothing from huge monoculture Big Agra factories. To be connected with the head buyer for Whole Foods would be a lovely dream; or even to just follow him or her and do an article. Guess it says I live to eat, enjoy learning about the rich variety in the world.
Me: And what is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
David: When it rains, I want to be tucked up somewhere with a good historical novel or even science fiction.
Me: Where would you most like to vacation, at the beach or in the mountains?
David: I would like a city near mountains so I might experience the urban environment but escape to cool slopes at times. And with an island, I could have that and even the beach.
Me: An island. Now that is the perfect solution.
Do you have a favorite punctuation mark?
David: I rather like the semicolon; it’s bizarre. The comma intimidates me because of its use in nonrestrictive appositive phrases and relative clauses.
Me: Haha…oh dictionary…where are you…haha
Do children play any significant role in your life, or in your writing?
David: I have several nieces and nephews and find them an interesting conduit to the youngest generations. I have not yet tried to tackle an idea I had for a collection of related short stories set at a residential blind school in the mid-1970s though it would basically be dealing with middle grade children from a time and place long gone.
Me: What about Fairy Tales? Do you have a favorite?
Cinderella always intrigued me. The magic of transformation, the mystery, the magic, and the romance. Who wouldn’t want a fairy godmother or godfather, for that matter?
Me: Oh, look at the time…this has been so enjoyable, David, but I’d better let you get back to your busy life. Please tell me where I might findyour writing.
David: Oh, yes, surely – you can locate my book and related
information including reviews at http://www.dldbooks.com/davidfaucheux
And thanks again for having me drop by.
And as I hug my guest good-bye, and close the door against the waning daylight, my hand automatically reaches for my trusty candlelighter. I carefully arrange the two Shabbot candles on the mantle, and place my menorah beside it, whispering.
Blessed are You Beloved One who enables me to kindle the Shabbot lights
, I pause, take one deep breath, then another, and turn to the menorah, first lighting the helper candle, the Shamash. From left to right, I light the smaller Hanukkah candles until six are ablaze, then say:
Blessed are You, Beloved One, Who is the Light of All, who enables me to kindle these Hanukkah lights. May they be for Peace, for
Compassion, for Acts of Lovingkindness, for Friendship.
And let us say: Amen