Each year before Islanders Write, The MV Times asks the writers taking part in the event a series of random questions. Last week we printed a selection of their answers; this week we invite you to enjoy the sequel.
Brain food or comfort food — which do you prefer to eat while writing?
Marc Brown: If things are going well, I forget to eat. If they don’t go so well, I begin imagining what kind of pizza I want to order.
Laurie Lindeen: Comfort, preferably Dove chocolate squares with the magical thinking messages inside the wrapper.
Dawn Davis: Coffee.
Gregory Mone: Brain food! Why should anyone be comfortable while writing?
Frank Bergon: Neither. All the best writers say to avoid thinking about food or listening to music while writing.
Jennifer Smith Turner: Comfort food — salty and sweet!
Katherine Sherbrooke: Brain food — if coffee with coconut oil counts as food! I add some other plant nutrients to the coffee so I can write for as long as possible before needing to break for a late breakfast.
The most challenging part of writing during the pandemic for you has been?
Nancy Slonim Aronie: The pandemic wasn’t challenging for me. It was the first time I slowed down, stopped actually, and had no more excuses about why I didn’t have enough time to write.
Geraldine Brooks: Realizing that the research I’d done was all I’d be doing: no more travel, no more archives.
Susan Wilson: As I was finishing up my last novel during the first pandemic year, and it came out in June of the second pandemic year, it wasn’t really a factor in my writing. Now, however, I am, as many authors are, trying to figure out how to handle the subject in any contemporary novel. Ignore it? Utilize it? Write stories that take place in the before times?
Misan Sagay: Trying to write with ALL the family underfoot all day. “MUM!!!!!!”
Elizabeth Benedict: It turned out to be a good time to write. There was nothing else to do except worry, do puzzles, and wash off groceries.
Bob Drogin: Putting words on paper is always the hardest part of writing, pandemic or no.
Hannah Halperin: It’s hard for me to write when I feel stagnant. I missed writing in coffee shops or libraries, being around lots of people while I work, and all the little human interactions that normally make up a day. When writing was going well, it felt like a refuge. When it wasn’t happening, it was a lot easier to say, I’ll do it another day.
E. Lockhart: Honestly, I could write. But it was painful having four books come out [over the course of the first two pandemic years] and not find their audiences.
Merissa Nathan Gerson: I wrote a book on death, grief, and PTSD alone at home during the pandemic. The hardest thing was not being able to hug people when necessary, and not being able to take some days writing in a coffee shop for the buzz and community.
Richard Michelson: The only thing the pandemic was good for was writing, as there were no unnecessary conferences, lectures, parties to attend (let me clarify that IW is a necessary conference).
Sarah Kernochan: Staying off news sites. I fail at this every day.
Fran Schumer: I did my best writing during the pandemic. The outside world stopped.
If you were to write a book, fiction or nonfiction, that takes place on the Vineyard, what would the first line be?
Gregory Mone: All happy beach associations are alike; each unhappy beach association is unhappy in its own way.
Callie Crossley: Imani swiped her lips with her favorite lip gloss and smiled at her image; everybody knew you did not go into the Art Cliff diner looking any ol’ kind of way.
Marc Brown: When he stepped off the boat, he couldn’t know that this island would change his life.
Dawn Davis: Nancy Michael is what they called me, but it wasn’t my name — and that’s not the only thing that plaque up in old Chilmark got wrong.
Susan Wilson: The story was that old Oscar Smith never left the island after his return in 1945 from World War II; he said that for a boy who had never before been off the island, seeing the world from the deck of a destroyer was enough for him.
Judith Hannan: It was only noon, and the screen door had already slammed for the 50th time so far that day.
Laurie LIndeen: It’s true, I’m a wash-ashore from flyover country, and my only defense, to use regional parlance, is that I freakin’ love it here.
James Dale: Sitting in the ferry wait-list line, I saw a family of skunks get right on the next boat …”
John Hough, Jr.: The island lies six miles south of Cape Cod, a summer playground for movie stars, ex-presidents, hedge fund billionaires, and Pulitzer prizewinning authors — exactly the place, thought Jimmy “the Horse” Scalisi, to go looking for a wife.
Katherine Sherbrooke: The fields came in waves, the stone walls disappearing over each swell, and she had to remind herself that she was no longer in the endless horse country of her youth, but on a floating apostrophe to the mainland, surrounded on all sides by water.
James Lapine: Who do you have to f___ to get off this island?
When JetBlue announced this week that it was buying Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion, we wondered what that would mean for traveling in and out of our area.
So reporter Laura Layden sought out officials with Southwest Florida International Airport.
We know it’s a deal that would create the nation's fifth-largest airline if approved by U.S. regulators. We also know the airlines have been making news a lot lately over pilot shortages, flight delays and cancellations.
While it’s still too early to know the impacts, Laura found out that JetBlue ranks as the airport's fifth largest carrier, with a 10.14% share, while Spirit is the sixth largest, with 9.6%. Combined that’s nearly equal to the airport’s largest carrier, Delta, at 20%.
The plan is to begin operating as a single carrier by the first half of 2025, according to JetBlue. So stay tuned for the latest.
If the question about housing affordability enters your mind like it does mine, Laura provided an update that might help explain why businesses are struggling to find workers.
Fort Myers once again topped the list of the most overvalued rental markets in the country. The area's average rent increased to $2,162. A year earlier, it stood at $1,532. That’s a more than 29% jump in the average rent charged for homes and apartments in June — when compared to a year ago.
There is some good news. According to the latest study that FGCU is involved with, the sharp rent increases are expected to slow dramatically in the Fort Myers-Naples area.
Did you know there are changes coming for alligator hunting season? Chad Gillis got some answers...and learned not everyone is happy about it.
Prior to this year, alligator hunting was prohibited between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. State wildlife managers earlier this year agreed to allow daytime alligator hunting for the first time in decades. The season starts in mid August and runs through Nov. 1. So if you’re out on an airboat in the Everglades, be careful.
And in the midst of hurricane season, there are always questions about property insurance.
Our USA TODAY Network Florida reporter Zac Anderson reported on a plan by state regulators to try and prevent tens of thousands of homeowners from being forced to look for new property insurance coverage.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said it will provide companies that have their ratings downgraded with reinsurance coverage through state-run Citizens Property Insurance.
As Zac reported, the plan “underscores the dire circumstances Florida is facing as a large portion of its homeowner's insurance market teeters on the brink of collapse.”
On the positive side, we are also on the brink of Friday night football. The 2022 high school season is set to begin in less than a month, so sports reporters Dustin Levy and Alex Martin came up with 30 questions that they are looking to answer.
Who are the likely candidates to lead Southwest Florida in receiving yards? What about interceptions? Who will have a breakout season?
Why 30? The prep sports duo posted the story 30 days prior to the Aug. 26 opening night kickoff.
If you’ve got a question, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, thanks for subscribing.
Wendy Fullerton Powell
Southwest Florida Region editor/ The News-Press/Naples Daily News
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers
If you need some help getting over the hump on this hump day, check out our roundup of the top financial stories out there. Lotta good stuff in here today.
Social Security is a large program affecting many people, so there are often questions that come up about how to receive benefits, age limits, direct deposit and other common topics. GOBankingRates breaks down the most frequently asked questions, as noted by the SSA.
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Robinhood announced it was laying off 23% of its staff, following the 9% of staff it laid off in April. While employees from all functions will be impacted, the changes will be concentrated in the company’s operations, marketing, and program management areas, according to CEO Vlad Tenev.
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Job-hopping is on the rise as workers, given the current market, are finding higher wages outside their current positions. But could switching jobs too often damage your career irreparably?
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Back-to-school means lots of added costs for parents, from supplies for K-12 children to books and tuition for incoming college freshmen. But one thing parents may not consider is how expensive having a new driver or a teen driver can be.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: GO in the Know: Social Security Questions Answered, Robinhood’s Woes & Top Financial News for August 3