Saturday, October 04, 2014

Author Interview: William Hare: International Author

Author William Hare stands above Jerusalem, a city that figures prominently in his Middle East historical work Struggle for the Holy Land: Arabs, Jews and the Emergence of Israel.
Born and raised in Los Angeles,  while in high school he became a part of the sports department of the Los Angeles Examiner covering the city’s prep sports scene.  After graduating from California State University at Northridge he became the youngest sports editor in the Los Angeles area with the Inglewood Daily News chain.  While there he also began moonlighting in the cinema writing field, visiting the local studios and interviewing top stars and directors.  He ultimately gravitated into writing books on international political as well as cinema history.  Currently he has entered the field of novel writing with a book dealing with the exploits of a Hollywood detective in 1949 seeking to solve the murder of a beautiful young actress.


Welcome William Hare a.k.a. Bill Hare!

 Your real name and pen name?

I have always gone either with my formal first name of William, which I use on my books, or Bill, which I have used on some occasions writing columns and articles of a less formal nature.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood.

This is an interesting question because my response dovetails so pervasively into my professional activities as an adult.  I spent almost the first decade of my life just south of downtown Los Angeles near the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Coliseum.  I got caught up early in Los Angeles’ always competitive and fascinating sports rivalry between USC and UCLA.  In those days both schools played their home football games at the Coliseum.  The Los Angeles Rams, a National Football League franchise that is now based in St. Louis, called the Coliseum home for many years.  It would not be many years later that I would be a member of the working press in the Coliseum press box for games involving those very teams.  I lived not that far from Hollywood.  My home away from home became Nickodells on Melrose in Hollywood.  It was situated next door to RKO along with Capitol and Decca Records and little more than a block from Paramount.  Meanwhile a third film studio, Columbia, was just a short drive of a few blocks.  A good friend of the family named Eddie Borden, a vaudeville performer who then became a film actor and used to get regular work at RKO, had met my father at Nickodells, a real hangout, as one would imagine, for the movie crowd.  Eddie used to regale my school friends as well as me with his stories of working with the likes of John Wayne and Laurel and Hardy.  Once we moved from the USC and Coliseum area it was to the San Fernando Valley in North Hollywood.  We were only a few blocks away from Universal Studios while Warner Brothers was also nearby in the neighboring town to our east of Burbank.  All this movie consciousness primed me to eventually become a movie historian as well as a cinema magazine feature writer.  So there you have it, my early life experiences move me toward sports and movies, two areas where I would eventually do much of my writing.
After my BBC World Service interview concerning my bookStruggle for the Holy Land, left to right, BBC commentator Jamal Demloj, myself, and my agent Robert Kendall, who arranged the interview, which took place at London's Hotel Kensington Close.


About your education?

I graduated from Alemany High School in Mission Hills, which is near San Fernando in the northern part of the San Fernando Valley.  By then we had moved west from North Hollywood to Van Nuys in the central Valley.  I went two years to Valley College in Van Nuys near the North Hollywood border.  I was destined to receive all of my higher education in the Valley.  I transferred to California State University at Northridge for my junior and senior years.  I loved my upper division courses.  I majored in political science with minors in English and history.  All would play an integral role in my career writing activity.  I loved the political science courses that dealt with comparative governments in the international sphere.  This information came in very handy when I wrote books and articles in the field of international affairs.  The international history courses also came in very handy.  The literature courses got me in touch with great writers and their definitive works.  Once again my focus was international.  The courses that influenced me were in spheres such as international comparative literature and drama.  One of my professors, Dr. Daniel Bernd, had received his doctorate after using George Bernard Shaw as his dissertation subject.  Shaw’s scope as a person of the world and his flair for internationalism served as a great influence for me in my adult years.  I also received a Juris Doctorate at San Fernando Valley College of Law in Sepulveda.  It would later move and eventually became La Verne College of Law.  I served as editor of the law review.  Since there was so much research to be done in my editor’s capacity I found that experience exceptionally useful later in my international historical writing.  Another area where I was greatly benefited was in the focus on preparation, an intrinsic part of the homework process prior to tackling a writing project.
What career did you plan during your education days
Even though I had received a solid journalism education in my Los Angeles Examiner days experienced while in high school I had believed during my days as California State University at Northridge that I was destined to become a lawyer.  So instead of continuing on to law school after graduation, as most students who would become lawyers did, I went into journalism.  At a certain point I decided to attend law school and did freelance writing and editing during that period of my life.
With Margaret, my tour guide through Lao Russell's mansion and philosophical learning center in Swananoa, Virginia.

What languages can you speak and write?

This question gives rise to a keen disappointment.  Despite my passion for travel and internationalism in general at this stage I am able to speak and write only in my original language of English.  Every time I begin immersing myself in foreign language study I seem to switch and become transfixed in a writing project.  In that I am now residing in the Costa del Sol region of Spain, however, I am determined to break the long mold and learn Spanish.  Then with France next door to the north I would love to make a dent in learning that beautiful language as well.  As the saying goes, hope springs eternal.  I must give myself frequent pep talks and perhaps I will begin turning the tide.
At a boat stop on an island hunting cruise near Singapore.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

This requires some thought, some concentrated soul searching.  I would say that probably my biggest source of inspiration is getting another day to pursue a hopefully meaningful result of providing information that will prove to be a benefit to someone somewhere.  As a writer I seek to reach readers with messages in whatever genre I happen to be writing in at the moment that will prove helpful and uplifting to these individuals in our joint question to find meaning in our lives and in our universe.
At the entrance to the Casbah in Tangiers, Morocco, an easy place to get lost in its maze of winding streets, as happened at one point to me.

What hurts you most in this world?

My advantages in being able to travel internationally, of which I am appreciative, have brought me in touch with the alarming inequalities one experiences throughout our world.  As citizens of the globe it is up to us to use every resource to seek to rectify the alarming level of poverty that exists.  Coinciding with this is the tragedies of diseases like aids and ebola along with the impact of war and the death and destruction that it wreaks. 
  
High tea in the backyard of Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Susannah York, far right, in the Wandsworth section of Southwest London.  In the foreground is London stage producer Richard Jackson.  Left to right are Sasha York, Orlando York and yours truly.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?  How did you overcome it?

Since my life has been a never ending challenge to successfully confront the written word and strive to communicate successfully, perhaps my biggest challenge was that of sitting down and putting something lucid and cohesive down on paper.  I began by reporting the activities of others.  Eventually I moved into the orbit of creativity.  In that realm I was the sole master, determining the subject matter, often the characters as well, and determining what would be said and by whom.  There are always temptations that will surface to the effect of putting off the inevitable.  One needs to confront those temptations by gritting one’s teeth and going to work.  Once I have something down on paper things become less ponderous for me than originally.
With BBC commentator Jamal Demloj at tea.

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

Since I have read and written so much history this is a truly daunting question in that so many options and desires of this sort open up in my creative tool box.  I would be tempted to go with a critical issue such as Truman and the decision to drop the atomic bomb, Lincoln at a critical juncture of the Civil War, Churchill and Attlee at the start of the Battle of Britain, or Jefferson and his thinking as he applied paper to pen in forging a constitution for a new country.  I would like to envision how such men of action tackled issues of such enormity and historical magnitude.
A break from interview preparation.  

 What is your favorite genre and why?

My favorite genre is the one in which I am working at that moment.  As for an overall preference, I am like a judicious and loving father.  I seek to love all of my creative products and the sources from which they sprang equally.

When did you start writing?  What is the purpose of your writing?

I have answered each link of the two part question.  My baptismal launching as a writer came at the Los Angeles Examiner in my first year of high school.  I earlier stated the driving force of my writing, my overriding goal, as providing enrichment and meaning for myself in the challenge of doing and at the other end the fervent hope that my words can generate something in the nature of a positive learning experience.  If I have achieved that in some measure then I will be happy at day’s end.
On a quiet, leafy street in one of my favorite places, London's Kensington section of Southwest London.

 Which of your work has been published so far?  Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

I have an extensive body of work in the area of articles from newspaper journalism to Internet blogs, so I should boil down discussion to my books that have been published.  In the nineties my book encompassing 3,500 years of Middle East history was published.  It was called Struggle for the Holy Land: Arabs, Jews and the Emergence of Israel.  This is a narrative historical work that examines the shakers and movers of the region, analyzing how they shaped and defined history.  They include Muhammad, Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, Lawrence of Arabia, David Ben-Gurion, Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  My cinema historical work Early Film Noir: Greed, Lust and Murder Hollywood Style traced the roots of the popular genre, emphasizing the popular 1941 film The Maltese Falcon and how the formidable team of debut director John Huston and actor Humphrey Bogart pooled their unique talents with devastating results.  A major element of the work relates how beautiful and predatory femmes fatales such as Barbara Stanwyck and Jane Greer used their beauty and strategic wiles to trap victims like Fred MacMurray and Robert Mitchum.  My next noir cinema history was L.A. Noir: Nine Dark Visions of the City of Angels.  This book analyzes how the sprawling, sun-drenched suburbia of greater Los Angeles, comprised of individuals from numerous cities and social strata, was an ideal setting for film noir drama, along with the fact that with the movie capital being located in Hollywood this afforded the built-in economic advantage of using local settings.  The influence of London-reared detective novelist Raymond Chandler and his love-hate relationship with the City of Angels, along with his brilliant depiction of the sprawling metropolis, is encompassed.  Some of the great noir works filmed there are closely scrutinized, movies such as The Big Sleep, D.O.A., Chinatown and L.A. Confidential.   My work Hitchcock and the Methods of Suspense could be appropriately summarized as a biography of ideas encompassing the works of one directorial film genius.  The conflict driven relationship between director Hitchcock in his early U.S. period and producer David O. Selznick enabled each artist to learn valuable information from each other, resulting in  shared benefits.   The Birds, Hitchcock’s great masterpiece of originality, focused on the battle for civilization’s existence, as exemplified by Rachel Carson’s non-fiction masterpiece, The Sea Around Us.  The London born and bred director’s provocative film Psycho focused on and in some way satirized popular American television melodrama.  Pulp Fiction to Film Noir: The Great Depression and the Development of a Genre is clearly revealed subject matter-wise by the book’s title.  The influence of the Great Depression and the popularity of detective pulp fiction, notably the New York magazine Black Mask, served as a springboard to the creation of film noir.  The two most popular detective authors of the period, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, saw their most popular works become cinema masterpieces in the cases of the former’s The Big Sleep and the latter’s The Maltese Falcon.
Another street in idyllic Kensington.

 What are your forthcoming writings?

I am moving my cinema background into the area of fiction.  I recently completed a detective novel set in 1949 Hollywood during one of the industry’s busiest and most thriving periods, that shortly following World War Two.  The story is built around former crime beat newspaper reporter and current Hollywood private detective Jeff Kelly as he seeks to solve the murder of a beautiful blonde actress.  I also have finished a sequel to my Middle East historical work Struggle for the Holy Land that I am actively promoting.  The book is highlighted by the strong roles played by the leading world powers and major religions in the region’s historical evolution.  A major focus is on the former Palestine and the period leading to the creation of Israel and its impact historically and culturally on the region and the world.  Another work nearing completion deals with the world of professional boxing with an accent on the fifties and the control of criminal mob elements on the sport with particular emphasis on lucrative national television broadcast revenue.  Major boxing films through the years that are analyzed include Champion, The Set-Up, Body and Soul, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Rocky and Raging Bull.  I am also pursuing having poems that I have written published in book form.
On bustling Oxford Street amid the activity of London's West End.

 What genres do you write in and why?

I have in responses to earlier questions discussed the various genres in which I write.  I will now deal with the second part of the question relating to why.  The driving force in my writing from the very beginning has been a strong and unceasing curiosity.  I have a keen interest in what makes people and situations tick.  Every writing project of mine in any genre whether it be fiction or non-fiction began with a keen interest followed by reading and research.  I am an impassioned researcher.  I have always been and forever shall be.
Astride camel at Egypt's Pyramids, one of the wonders of the world, alongside my agent and sometime writing partner Robert Kendall.  At trip's end we did a story on it for Hollywood Studio Magazine.

 What keeps you motivated towards writing?

The driving curiosity that I possess has been a strong catalyst.  I will mention one other essential element.  I have long felt that writing is not so much a profession one chooses but instead one chosen by external elements.  In short, you do not choose writing; writing chooses you.  This has certainly been the case with me.  The process began with a burning urge to express myself, after which pen was applied to paper.
With Susannah York in London.

 How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?

I do not work in this more routinized manner.  Instead I respond to a certain voice within that I have programmed through years of experience to expect and to which I know how and when to respond.  I have a basic blueprint in mind but with me the process is clearly internalizing rather than externalizing through operational outlines.  I frequently find myself spinning off based on my voice from within and even writing a different book than that initially envisioned.  Meanwhile I also see additional projects sprouting like branches of trees from what occurs in the developmental process of a different work.  I am careful to point out that this is my process.  Some professional authors have their concepts developed in advance and follow this approach.  This works for them and, hence, this is the approach they should follow.  We are in a creative realm with individuality the key word.  Having said all this, I will add a cautionary note for beginning writers.  When I was starting I used various guidelines taught to me by instructors.  Such guidelines prove highly useful in steering fledgling writers toward self-disciplined practice.  I remain mindful of Ernest Hemingway’s saying that I imagine I am closer to paraphrasing rather than precisely quoting, which goes thus:  ¨Writing good prose is damned hard work.¨
n front of international flag display at World's Fair held in Seville, Spain.

 What are your future plans?

I intend to keep working at my craft as diligently as possible and improve as much as possible.  Meanwhile my creative intellect keeps firing away and I listen to my inner voice regarding which project or projects I will be pursuing in the near future.

 What four top most things do you take care of while writing a book?

There are a few crucial levels of awareness that comprise my check list.  In fiction I carefully check and re-check consistency of characters I create along with avoiding mistakes in names and backgrounds.  This concern prompts many fiction writers to compose outlines with working chronologies about their characters.  In non-fiction a major concern is to see that factual details are accurate and consistent.  It is also vital to follow a carefully constructed path.  One important area in both fiction and non-fiction to closely monitor is that of avoiding repetition.  This includes your work as well as that of other authors.  An author can easily start writing about a presumed original thought in one chapter that might have been written about four chapters earlier.  The same can also apply to the work of others authors previously read.  This problem has surfaced particularly in the cases of authors with photographic memories who have amazingly copied works of writers they had read without knowing it.  Many have explained in uncomfortable detail that they were not plagiarizing.
With Robert Kendall in front of another wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

 How much real life goes into fiction writing?

This question leads me back to an axiom that is eons old.  The longer I write the stronger my belief becomes concerning that axiom’s simple and overriding honesty.  It is that it is best to write about what you know.  Many respected writing instructors urge that authors pay particular heed to this recommendation in their early periods.  Authors can later add to their creative repertoire through research, but with the daunting challenge of getting launched in writing it is prudent at the beginning to stick closer to what the author has actually experienced.  So many times an author immersed in the creative process is tapping a lot more heavily into personal experiences than realized.  It is like hypnosis and relating events, but is accomplished through a process more like automatic writing.  Fiction is inextricably related in some way or manner into real life even when writing about the cosmos or life on a distant planet at a future time since one way or another a writer is tapping into an experience bank.

 Is high level of imagination important to have for an author?

I believe the importance of imagination is a greater necessity for fictional work with the creation of characters and their life situations as opposed to reportorial writing as seen in newspapers and magazines, but I also note that a talented non-fiction writer will possess this gift of imagination and use it in a different manner than an author operating in the fictional world.  For instance, a truly imaginative writer assigned to interview, for instance, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, will find a clever nuance or nuances about them and their relationship.  I have found while interviewing successful people that when you are able to explore their world meaningfully that they will appreciate and recognize the creativity involved and respond by providing an inspired effort.
At one of my many book signings for Struggle for the Holy Land

 Your dream destination on Earth?

It would be one that would blend peaceful harmony with intellectual enrichment.  It would be a destination where individuals could achieve ultimate inner and outer growth, spiritual enhancement along with developing talents to the highest level of capability.
 
 Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/stayed.  What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I mentioned earlier that I was born in Los Angeles and spent my formative years there.  I also have lived in the central southern regions of Florida.  I initially lived on the central or Gulf side of the Sunshine State in Clearwater and Dunedin.  From there I made the trek southeast across Alligator Alley to Fort Lauderdale, where I lived next.  During the periods when I resided in Florida I also lived part time in the west in Oceanside in North San Diego County, situated one hour by car north of the Mexico border, and in Mashpee on Cape Cod, about a half hour’s drive from the United States’ first city of Plymouth, which the pilgrims coming from England colonized.  I have also lived in the Pacific Northwest’s most populous city, Seattle, along with the southernmost nation of Central America, Panama.  I resided in Panama City.  In late September 2013 I moved from Panama to my current home in Manilva in Malaga Province, the Costa del Sol region of Southern Spain.  Manilva lies between Gibraltar and the tip of Northern Africa on one side and Marbella on the other.  This region is popular with British people, many of whom reside in Costa del Sol either part or full time.  My interaction with them reminds me of my many trips to and reverence for the United Kingdom.  I have calculated that, beginning with my first trip to London on my initial European journey from America, I have spent somewhere close to one year living in that fascinating city with its broad international confluence.  It is easy to see why I feel so at home there as well as in Scotland and Ireland considering that on my father’s side my roots are Scottish-Irish.  On my mother’s side there is an Eastern Europe bloodline, but I will defer that information since it neatly dovetails into another question with which I will deal later.  Since the subject of India, a nation I find fascinating and have had the privilege to visit twice, is dealt with also in a future question I will postpone discussion about it until later.  I feel privileged indeed to have visited all continents and to see so much of the world.  While personal enjoyment ranks high on my priority list the most significant benefit from extensive travel, particularly when international destinations are involved, is the opportunity to, as stated in the timeless saying, ¨step into the other person’s shoes.¨ My favorite learning experience is to observe and interact with individuals from so many different walks of life.  An interesting derivative of this experience, despite my earlier admission that I am far from a master of foreign languages, I have found ways to communicate with so many people around the world even when I could speak little or nothing of their language.  It was a case of will overcoming linguistic obstacles.  There are so many areas of captivating beauty around the world.  One of my favorites for captivating beauty combined with timeless tranquility is the Provence region of France.  I agree with the great painter Vincent Van Gogh, who found it a source of immeasurable creative inspiration.  

 Your favorite time of the day?

Being an eclectic creative person known to work at various times of the day, a flexible design motivated by travel and encountering different cultural experiences, I have no particular hour or period that I prefer to another.  Perhaps it would be wisest to say about me that I take my cues from nature.  After having said all that, I do have a favorite time of day.  It is whenever my body cycle reaches a highly favorable state, when body, spirit, soul and intellect are all integrally aligned, or as close to that attuned level as it is possible to achieve.  That is my favorite time irrespective of how the clock reads.

 Your zodiac/sun sign?

I was born in July under the Cancer sign.  I have been told by many people aware of my Cancer roots along with my writer’s background that this is understandable since Cancers are known for creativity.

 Your favorite color and why?

My favorite color is blue.  I can think of two reasons why that preference exists.  The first is that my eyes are blue.  The second is that I have lived near three great bodies of water that radiate a captivating blue brilliance when the sun hits them in the right manner, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.

  What is the last book you finished reading?  What is the current book you are reading?

The last book I finished reading was a re-reading of a classic work I first read in my college days, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a brilliant study of the twenties in America capsulized in a superbly written novel.  I am into several books at the moment.  One is the non-fiction Ringside Seats by Peter Wilson, a premier British boxing writer of the post-World War Two era.  In the fiction realm I am reading one of Russian master novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s key works, The Idiot, John le Carre’s The Constant Gardener and Spanish Blood, a collection of short stories by Raymond Chandler.  So much of what I read at a given time is tied into my writing output of the moment.

  Your favorite book and why?

I could not pick an overall favorite book because so many have held such profound meaning to me for various reasons.  Some books I read in college helped motivate me toward specified areas of writing.  In fiction the aforementioned Fitzgerald work The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath helped develop my interest in fiction by the way they depicted with astute vividness the periods of American history in which they were set.  I was deeply moved as well by two books that developed my interest in history, Arthur M. Schlesinger’s The Politics of Upheaval and Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President: 1960.  I found William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich probably my most compelling single reading experience based on the graphic way that the Hitler era was depicted as well as how it came about culminating with its ultimate collapse.
 I can and will reveal my favorite movie and explain why it occupies that category.  I will tie this into a part of the discussion about my parental roots that I deferred, that of my Eastern Europe heritage on my mother’s side.  My favorite film is The Third Man.  Its setting is Vienna just after the end of World War Two.  Its genre is film noir, about which I would ultimately be writing a great deal.  One of the first major European cities I visited on my initial trip to that history rich continent was Vienna.  I arrived exhausted following an all-night train journey from Mainz, Germany.  When I arrived at Vienna Train Station and experienced this fascinating city that is a judicious blend of both Eastern and Western world cultures, I felt instantly at home.  In being transported to this fascinating new world my tiredness vanished.  I walked along the streets in a state of exhilaration.  I could not get over how much I felt at home there, as if I had lived in Vienna before.  While I knew about my family’s Eastern European roots, I did not find out until later that my grandparents had both been born in nearby suburbs of this historic city.  As for the film the screenplay by Graham Greene and direction of Carol Reed respectively were superb.  So was the acting.  Joseph Cotten arrives in Vienna expecting to go to work for his old friend from boyhood, Orson Welles.  Cotten eventually learns that Welles has become a dealer in a black market penicillin racket.  Welles has become such a selfish sociopath that he turns in the woman who loves him deeply, Alida Valli, to the Russians for repatriation in exchange for providing Welles with safe haven.  Meanwhile determined British army officer Trevor Howard is hell bent on capturing and imprisoning Welles.  This film is a masterpiece for the ages, brilliant from start to finish.

  Your favorite celebrity and why?

I have admired so many great celebrities that I could never single out a particular one as a favorite. 

 Your favorite food?

As someone who has traveled a lot I have eclectic international food tastes.  I could not boil matters down to a particular favorite food.  So much of great cooking resides in great sauces.  I love the way that premier chefs do this with French and Italian selections.  I love French onion soup.  I also love the great Spanish soup, gazpacho, in both traditional and Andalusian forms.  On the dessert front I show my sweet tooth with my longing for the French favorite,  chocolate mousse.  I also love cheesecake.  In the interest of calorie moderation I space out these tempting treats.

 Your favorite sports?

In my youth I had a passion for baseball.  To be a professional ballplayer was living life at the top of the mountain.  As someone who became a sportswriter I saw a lot of great physical talents in numerous sports.  I love the power combined with fast movements combined with raw power as seen in American football along with the grace and finesse of basketball.  There are two sports I love for their internationalism, soccer as it is called in America or international football.  A World Cup is an exciting adventure with flags flying and cheering thongs exhorting their nations to victory.  Flags fly as well in great international tennis competitions.  Wimbledon has been one of the great enduring traditions in the history of sports.

 What is the force that drives you?

I have never given any thought to this question.  I seek to motivate myself inwardly.  I suppose that as someone working independently that the force that drives me is that inner voice telling me to get to work since I do not punch a work schedule time clock.

 What comes to mind when you think of India?

This is another earlier question that I deferred.  I see India as an exciting, dynamic blend of the old with the new.  We have the Taj Mahal and the Gate of India.  I was privileged to visit Agra, see the Taj Mahal.  I watched the successors to those who built the Taj Mahl building souvenir replicas of that great wonder of the world.  I stayed across the street from the Gate of India.  I have been a longtime admirer of Gandhi and his successful freedom movement that resulted in independence from British rule.  His emphasis on change without violence had such a notable impact on Martin Luther King and the U.S. civil rights movement.   The Indian people place a strong emphasis on education.  In America I was constantly being reminded of this when I saw so many Indian doctors at top medical clinics.  One of the finest cardiologists I ever had assist me, I visited regularly in Fort Lauderdale.  I have also been deeply impressed by the major force India has become in the computer field.

Some quickies:

Sun or Moon:  Basically Sun as one who has spent most of his life living in sunny climates based in three separate continents.  The Moon has its place as well and I would love to visit there sometime.

Laughter or Smile:  Begin with a Smile and let it develop into Laughter.

Morning or Evening:  Morning is getting the day launched.  Evening is achieving proper and beneficial conclusion.

Coffee or Tea:  In Brazil definitely Coffee.  In Britain definitely Tea.  I split the difference in most other places.

Mountain or Sea:  In traveling the world you notice the most desirable living areas situated next to the Sea or an Ocean on the one hand and on or near the mountains on the other.  How nice if one can have a touch of each in one’s life depending on mood and circumstance.

Long Drive or Short Drive:  That all depends on whether I desire to get somewhere, meaning Short Drive, or get away from it all, meaning Long Drive.

Silence or Conversation:  Try a little Silence to meditate and your Conversation will be more meaningful because it has been thought out.

Water or Fire:  Try potent enough whiskey and you can get both at the same time.

Air or Earth:  How much of Earth would we experience without Air?

Mars or Jupiter:  Ask me for preferences, comparisons and contrasts after I have visited each planet.

Tulip or Rose:  Wrap up plenty of each for my garden.

Red or Blue:  With a little White thrown in as well you can feel very patriotic.

Left or Right:  Take one step each way and use the Center for balancing.

Glance or Stare:  Glances look a whole lot more relaxed and far more polite.

 What three words come to your mind for each?

Technology:  A mighty wave.
Life:  A mighty challenge.
God:  A mighty Force.
Humanity:  Surging ever forward.
Terrorism:  Destructive and negative.
Racism:  Destructive and ignorant.
Childhood Abuse:  Thwarting youthful hopes.
Love:  What world needs.
Parenting:  Vitally needed force.
Old Age:  Think young always.

 First thing you do in the morning after waking up?

Most frequently I begin thinking of how to tackle that day’s various challenges. 
  
 Last thing to do before sleep?

Unless I am very sleepy, I follow a process of analyzing all I did that day with a critical perspective.  The question I ask myself is how I can improve on my overall performance for that day with my direct focus being on eliminating mistakes.  This way I feel I am applying constructive self-criticism that can help achieve positive future results.

 If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to opposite, what will be your first reaction?

My first reaction would be shock over what had transpired.  After that my concentration would be focused on adjusting to what had transpired.

 State your signature line/tagline/best quote.

I have nothing falling into any of those categories.  Perhaps the reason is that with my professional eclecticism being what it is my work falls into so many different categories with new aspects emerging.

 The last line of your autobiography would be …

It would probably be something like ¨I would never believe all this could have happened had it not actually occurred with me personally able to verify everything.¨

 The title of your autobiography would be …

I would not know that until I had undertaken the effort.  From there, based on my writing, I would expect certain title possibilities to emerge.

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