We first heard Beth Thomas’s “Head,” which appears in the August issue, at the PANK reading at AWP. We both fell in love with the story and were thrilled when Beth sent it our way. Today she talks with us about stripteases, the exact location of what happens in Vegas, and statements about plastic surgery.
1. What would you replace on your head?
I actually like my head ok as it is. I might replace my hair with better-colored hair. I might give myself bangs. Actually, I’m going to do that–. OK I just called the salon. I’ll let you know how it goes.
2. Is Mrs. Potato Head a statement of America’s addiction to plastic surgery?
The woman in my story is more a statement of our need to change each other. We see an obvious problem and immediately want to fix it, whether we have the right tools and abilities or not. The legit Hasbro Mrs. Potato Head is a statement of America’s addiction to plastic surgery. For sure.
3. How does arts and crafts play a role in your writing?
At home, I have a closet where I keep things like paint, ribbons, feathers, hot glue guns, and glitter. When I need to make something (usually with or for my daughter), I go to the closet and take out what I need. You could say I have a craft closet of sorts for writing, as well, in the form of several documents full of bits and pieces of things. When I’m writing something new, I go to these documents and take out what I need, whether it be something structural or something shiny. Then I tape it all together and hope for the best.
4. What song would you do a striptease to?
Nina Simone, “Feeling Good” — that song would make anyone look good in tassels.
5. What are you willing to risk to gain something great?
I’m not a big risk-taker, when it comes to something like trading what’s behind Door Number 1 for whatever is behind Door Number 2. But I do like trying new things, and taking chances where the only real risk is that singular failure. I can live with that.
6. Does what really happen in Vegas, stay in Vegas?
No way. No one has ever been able to successfully stop a friend from talking about his or her awesome Vegas weekend. And thank goodness. I want you to take your “stuff” with you when you leave. That would be a lot of ickiness left in my back yard.