1. In the time you've been on the net, what has come as the biggest surprise to you?
I actually expected the net to become what it is today back in 1980. The biggest surprise to me has been the way folks are becoming "net.celebrities" for the oddest things. Who the hell is this "Mahir" guy, for example, and how did he become so popular?
2. How do you go about writing filk songs? Do you have a routine, or do songs spring nearly-fully-formed from your brain, or what?
First I need inspiration. I'll have something on my mind, or more often two subjects that don't quite mesh will be thrown at me at the same time. With proper input, songs crystallize. I'll hear the entire thing in my head, including riffs, instrumental arrangements, vocal arrangements, and so forth. I like using musical notation to write down my songs because sometimes I can dictate the parts as well. Even parodies spew out really quickly.
Sometimes lyrics to parts of the song playing in my head will be hard to make out. I'll let it play over, and sometimes I'll hear a different part clearly each time. Other times I have to consciously fill in where I couldn't quite make out the lyrics.
3. Among places you've never been, where would you most like to visit?
Do I have to pick just one? I'm torn between the parts of the US I haven't yet seen and the European continent.
4. How do you think college-age Lynn would react to the Lynn of today? Would the two of you get along?
This is an odd question for me to answer because I went to college, stopped out, then went back many years later. I don't feel all that removed from "college-age Lynn" from either era. The younger one was a "country bumpkin" (to quote my paternal grandfather) who had lots of growing up to do, knew it, and was busy throwing herself into situations where she'd get exposed to lots of different things and people. Younger Lynn had been force-fed one set of dogma at school and another at home and was eager to determine what "reality" was. She, like me, always delighted in having stereotypes she was brought up with blown up to little bits.
The older one is much closer to me, as I only graduated in 1990 and was already a senior technical writer. I have maintained friendships with most of my friends from that era. Even when I see someone I haven't seen in years, our friendship comes alive again.
As for either Lynn's reaction to me, when either saw I'd gotten hired on-air to do radio news, they'd have both been relieved more than anything else. Both were more worried about how other folks saw them than how they saw other folks.
As for whether we'd get along, of course we would!
5. The time machine from the estate of your favorite eccentric professor is accompanied by the following note: "I wanted you to have this. I'm sorry I never got the 'forward' controls working, but everything else works fine. Remember to beware of squishing butterflies." Now what?
I'd be afraid to get in it for fear of getting trapped in the past, but if there was a way to send it back without being inside, I'd leave a note of advice for 17-year-old Lynn, just entering her senior year of high school, giving her advice, teaching her about money orders and how to trick her folks into sending her to the college of her choice instead of their choice, and reassuring her the future won't be bleak.
I've often felt if I had known what a money order was and how to obtain one, I'd have been able to manipulate my parents into sending me to the college of my choice instead of their manipulating me into their choices. I think I'd have been a happier person had I been allowed to go to college in Los Angeles as I had wanted. I finally got to see USC (my first choice) when I was 23, and it was all I could do to keep from breaking down into tears. It was exactly what I had wanted in a college when I was 17. I would have been forced to grow up and IMHO would have been a more self-reliant person.