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#BookEndsSpotlight- Beth Campbell

  1. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

A cat, no question. I would like to be an extremely agile, graceful being who largely chooses to nap in the sun all day. Pretty ideal.


2. Which of your five full albums (not just a song here and there) get the most repeat play?

I pretty rarely buy full albums (I’m still a mixed CD gal, not gonna lie. All of my favorite “albums” are just playlists from my friends), but I have listened to these a LOT:

Lemonade- Beyonce
The Pinkprint- Nicki Minaj
The Sound of White- Missy Higgins

and if we’re counting soundtracks as albums (I am):



3. If you could sum up your life philosophy in under ten words, what would it be (and how did you get there?)

Tracy came up with this question and I’m calling her out because boiling a philosophy down to 10 words is hard.

I don’t know if it’s a philosophy so much as a mandate, but: Fight for happiness, surround yourself with kindness, and do good.

I believe we only have this one life, and unfortunately it has the propensity to suck for reasons that are entirely out of our hands. And I think we’re taught to strive for a particular goal (or goals) to the point where we sacrifice so much in the striving that we lose the majority of our lives to the stress and pain of Eventually Getting There. All in the assumption that Getting There—assuming you even can—will mean happiness.

Because I only think we have this one life, and I don’t want mine to be full of pain where I can minimize it, I work hard for happiness in the everyday. I don’t have time or energy to give to toxic people or people who can’t accept my full self. I don’t allow myself to stagnate in situations that diminish me (in as much as I can help it, anyway). I surround myself with a chosen family, I make conscious changes to my life to allow for greater peace and happiness now (not just that elusive some day), and I do what I can to make the world better—even on small, interpersonal levels. Try your damn best to be happy, and do good doing that. Leave the world better than how you found it.


4. What is your favorite reality tv show?

Great British Bake Off. It’s such a soothing and kind competition show. There’s no manufactured conflict between the contestants, the food looks amazing, and Mel and Sue crack me the hell up.


5. If you lead another life, not in publishing, what would you be doing instead?

Once upon a time I almost went to grad school to get a PhD and be a Professor of English. It’s been over five years but I still miss academia in all of its wonderful absurdity. If the economy had been different when I’d graduated college—ie: if new PhDs had a snowballs chance of getting hired to teach—I may have gone down that path.


6. What would surprise us about you?

I read Middle English (and can speak it a bit, though probably with a horrible accent). Shout out to Professor Reed at Dickinson College for teaching a class on Chaucer and NOT advertising in the course description that we would be learning a second language while reading the Canterbury Tales. There’s no way I would have signed up if I’d know, but the class was one of my all time favorites. I still have my Middle English copy of the Tales and take it out to read from time to time.


7. If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a gold medal for?

Napping. I can nap pretty much anywhere and fall asleep at the drop of a hat. My whole family is gifted in the napping department. We’d be an Olympic Dynasty.


8. If you could invite any three people (literary or not) to your dinner table who would it be and what would you serve (food and drink)?

I’m so bad at these questions. I get completely overwhelmed by choice. Let’s say:

-Lin Manuel Miranda because he is so brilliant and so full of light.

-Margaret Atwood. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing her speak when I was in college, and she seemed like such a joy. A wickedly smart, society-critiquing joy.

-Laverne Cox. Activist. Idol. Seems like an amazing conversationalist.

As for what I’d serve… I tend to get overly fancy and complicated when I have dinner guests. There would 100% be two main courses–meat and vegetarian (as I am a vegetarian myself)—and a variety of hors d’eouvres. And probably Jessica Faust’s famous Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte for desert. All with a variety of cocktails, and some bottles of wine.


9. If you could travel back in time to any single year or event then back again only once, what would you choose and why?

I’d go to very recent history. When same-sex marriage was legalized a couple of years ago—during Pride Weekend in NYC!!!!—I was very ill and also in the middle of a long road trip. I wasn’t able to go out and celebrate, and I’m still so sorry I missed that.

Category: BlogCampbell


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