This edition of 20 Questions features Deb Bryan, from The Monster In Your Closet. We first connected over our common love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Angel. She was an extra a few times on the two shows, while I, actually, was originally supposed to play the part of Angel, but then it turned out that I didn’t live in LA, and didn’t audition, and was, logically, therefore never considered for the part.
Deb, who asked to be introduced as Deb Bryan, Dragon Slayer, is a dedicated writer, stick-figure artist, and humorist. Really, though, she’s probably best known to her readers for her intense emotional honesty and ability to capture moments of beauty for her readers. Seriously, I think Deb has had more moving moments in the last month than I’ve had in my whole life. I picture the two of us hanging out together going something like this:
Deb: Look at that mother with her toddler! They love each other so much! It’s just all so beautiful, the bond they share and this moment that will exist forever in their hearts.
Me: Who did what now? Sorry, I was thinking about that word, “toddler.” Ha ha! That’s a funny word! Toddle, toddle, toddle. Ha ha ha!
I guess I’m saying she’s just about the best person you’re liable to come across ’round these parts of the Interwebs.
And so, Hey! Deb Bryan! Let’s play 20 Questions!
What quality do you most admire in others? Yellow bow ties, when coupled with honesty. Except the yellow bow ties aren’t really that important outside of Stickfigurelandia, so let’s just go with “honesty.” I love not having to guess what someone is feeling because they’re willing to tell me, even if it’s uncomfortable for them.
What trait do you most dislike in yourself? My compulsiveness. Once I think about something, I have to act on it nownownow or it bugs me to pieces. For example, I only barely managed to type this question without checking Facebook.
If you could come back in your next life as anything, what would it be? A vampire. Despite writing a few books about vampires, I am not a vampire fan, but I would dig having some of their non-sparkly powers, even if I had to suck blood to get them.
You’re suddenly made the absolute ruler of your country. What is the first change you make? I would love to write something light-hearted here, but I’d make sure people had food and shelter. People can accomplish so much more when they don’t have to worry about just barely managing to make ends meet.
With which Peanuts character do you most identify? The unicorn. (Shhh. I never followed Peanuts!)
What 3 songs do you think you’ve listened to more than any others in your life? “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Brother Israel, “Bitter Honey” by Eric Kufs and “Pachelbel’s Canon”
If you could relive one day – either keeping it the same, or changing something – what would you choose? I would relive the day my son was born, including those last minutes of labor, which made the sweetness of holding him all the more intense.
What is your biggest fear? An eternity alone in an enclosed space.
What would you like the title of your biography to be? Lessons on Kicking Junk from a Junk-Kicking Guru
What movie or book has had the biggest impact on you? I recently read the book A Monster Calls. It was so raw and powerful, goosebumps are rippling up and down my limbs at the mere thought of it. I still haven’t processed the book in full, but it was a cathartic, healing reminder of how holding things close actually makes it easier to let them go when it’s time that we must do so. That all said, I’ll be back in a minute. I got something in my eyes just there.
What is your favorite thing about blogging? You. And by “you,” I mean all the fabulous folks whose words have helped me see the world through their eyes. That’s too many gifts to count.
Least favorite thing about blogging? How many awesome blogs there are. This might sound glib, but I mean it. I have enough time to read about 10% of the blogs I’d like to, leaving me feeling perpetually chagrined at the insights I’m losing out on.
Which superpower would you choose if you could: the ability to fly, or to turn invisible at will? I’ve dreamed of flying since I can remember. Seriously, my first memories are of flying in my dreams and then waking up to go, “Wait, why can’t I do that when I’m awake?” Naturally, then, I’d choose the ability to turn invisible at will.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being enveloped in love, preferably including the hugs of my toddler.
Which of the 7 Deadly Sins are you most guilty? I’ll answer this with a hint: I just returned from my hometown with five extra pounds on my frame, like I do every trip home.
What public figure (past or present) are you just sure you’d be friends with, if you ever met? I have the feeling I’d hit it off pretty famously with Betty White, if I could get over my thrill at hanging out with Betty White long enough to actually talk.
If you could spend a year in any time and place, when and where would you choose? I thought of a dozen silly answers to this, but only the real answer will do. I’d go back in time to my early childhood and savor the closeness of my mom’s love and light, unobstructed by mental illness.
You are offered the following bargain: You will record a pop song that will become a huge hit. You will become very famous and wealthy. After a year, though, there will be backlash and you’ll become a pop culture joke. You will never record another hit, and you’ll be called a one-hit wonder, but you will have the experiences, and enough money to live modestly for many years (or extravagantly for a couple). Do you accept? Can I count this as an offer? If so, where do I sign? I still have an enormous amount of law school debt left, so the thought of not being saddled with that for another twenty years or so is pretty freakin’ compelling. Also, my mom’s rigorous embarrassment-squashing program, comprised mostly of embarrassing me and my siblings as hard and often as possible, means I’d happily trade being the brunt of new jokes for being able to live not only debt free but comfortably.
If you could be any TV detective, who would you choose? I want to say “Magnum PI,” but then I couldn’t date him. (Same goes for McGyver.) I think I’d have to go with Veronica Mars. I only watched the first season in full, but she was 110% made of win. (That’s a full 10% more than Chuck Norris, for the record.)
What would you most like people to say about you after you’re gone? I would love people to say, truthfully, that I helped them understand that they are so much more beautiful and capable than they give themselves credit for.