For this installment of “20 Questions and a Selfie,” we catch up with web editor Arie Passwaters.
Arie is a web editor for a non-profit, private university in Texas that’s perennially rated among the top 20 universities in the U.S. and top 100 in the world.
An ex-journalist with razor-sharp wit and an even sharper tongue, Arie writes a column about storytelling, comedy and satire here are Stuff Writers Like under the pseudonym Mrs. Sasswaters, a nickname given to her by a colleague. (Trust us, it’s well-earned.)
Aside from scribing snappy-as-hell fiction and nonfiction, Arie excels at drinking beer, crafting and sewing poorly and using profanity well.
Our 20 questions with Arie start now:
1) What is your full name, including middle name?
Arie Amanda Wilson Passwaters
2) What is your professional job title?
3) Describe your organization.
A non-profit, private university
4) Describe your surroundings right now.
Meetings going on, coworkers typing furiously, music gently playing in the background..
5) What was your first paid writing gig?
Intern for my local newspaper, The Daily Leader, in Brookhaven, Miss.
6) What was the last thing you wrote?
An email submitting three columns to Stuff Writers Like.
7) What is the next thing you plan to write?
A quick-and-dirty news item about an upcoming “spirit day.”
8) Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …
to win the lottery.
9) Besides your computer, what is sitting on your desk right now?
My iPhone, a Diet Coke, lip gloss, a plethora of lists, my planner/schedule, pictures of my husband and baby, hand sanitizer.
10) So-called writer’s block is no match for you! What is your antidote?
Music usually gets the creative juices flowing.
11) Finish this sentence: I hate it when I read …
12) What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?
Photoshop, Dreamweaver, email clients, Word, Internet and SPELL CHECK. I’m a terrible speller.
13) First book that comes to mind? Go!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
14) What are your favorite smartphone apps and why?
Twitter—I love hit-and-run storytelling. Wikipedia—I love information. Audible—books-on-tape are my carpool companion.
15) What have you always wanted to write?
I think I was born a storyteller. I want to tell stories, both fiction and nonfiction
16) What is your advice for aspiring professional writers?
Don’t give up. Your first draft probably DOES suck. Do a rewrite. Accept constructive criticism with grace and thanks.
17) First famous writer who comes to mind? Go!
This is too hard to answer so I’m giving you two. Classic: Harper Lee. Current: Carl Hiaasen.
18) Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about being a writer is …
You control the story. The work you create, is unique and special. No one else can do what you’re doing, the way you do it. That’s magical.
19) Pencil versus pen—who wins and why?
Pencil. I don’t really use the eraser, but I love how pencils write.
20) Finish this sentence: One word or phrase people will never read in my writing is …
Subdermatoglyphic. EXCEPT YOU JUST DID. Mind. Blown.
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