These Questions Three

Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.

-Bridgekeeper, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

image via

Okay, so really it’s more like “these questions eleven” than “these questions three.”  And instead of a mystical bridgekeeper with wild hair and skin in desperate need of a soothing ointment, we have the delightful and always-pleasant Tami Clayton, who was kind enough to think of me when it was her turn to tag people for some sort of question-themed blog game.

But I couldn’t pass up a chance to deploy a Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference, now could I?

As the cosmos itself is governed by rules that orchestrate the spinning of worlds and the effects of time and gravity, so is the Game of Eleven Questions™:

  • Post the rules.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Pass the questions on to eleven people by tagging and linking to them.
  • Let them know you’ve tagged them.

Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.

-Lancelot, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

1.  If you could live in a fictional world, where would that be?

I would totally live in the fictional world where my work-in-progress is set.  Then I’d know more about what it’s like and what happens there, making it easier to finish my novel.  I’d be able to come back, right?  Maybe via an octopus-drawn chariot that travels between the worlds?

2.  Fiction or non-fiction?

I read mostly fiction, but lately I’ve been mixing in more non-fiction because learning more about Chinese history, mythology, and philosophy benefits my WIP.

3.  Do you read in noisy or quiet places?

Quiet places.  It’s hard to read where it’s noisy, such as inside an erupting Icelandic Volcano.  Apparently I should know because, according to Klout, I am somehow influential in the subject of Icelandic Volcano–perhaps because I might’ve once flown over one in a plane.

4.  Do reviews influence your choice of reads?

Not really, although when considering a new purchase, I like to skim reviews to see if a book is generally considered good.  Mostly the mood I’m in at the time influences what I read.

5.  Audio books or paperbacks?

If these are my only two choices, I’d have to choose paperbacks, but my preference is for ebooks.  Even better would be sitting in an oaken hall, warmed by flickering firelight while the northern winds howl outside, listening to the elder tell tales that were ancient even when he first heard them as a boy.  But ebooks are good too.

Frog and Toad Are Friends (image via Wikipedia)

6.  What was the first book you remember reading?

I suppose that would be Frog and Toad Are Friends, a collection of harrowing tales full of adventure and intrigue.

7.  Favorite author?

I actually don’t have a favorite–just different authors I enjoy reading at different times, for different reasons.  In recent months, I’ve enjoyed Jim Butcher and Lian Hearn.

8.  Classic or Modern Novels?

Modern novels, although I’ve been reading the Chinese classic, Journey to the West, because it feeds my WIP.

9.  Have you ever met your favorite author?

That would be the favorite author I don’t have, so no 😉

10.  Book groups or solitary reading?

Solitary reading.  I’ve never been in book group, so I have no sense of what such an experience would be like.  Is it like a gladiatorial combat?

11.  If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Tough one.  I suppose The Lord of the Rings.  In addition to being timeless, it’s dense reading material, so it should provide sufficient entertainment during a lengthy zombie apocalypse.

Bridgekeeper:  What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

King Arthur:  What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

Bridgekeeper:  Huh? I… I don’t know that.  Ahhhhhhhh!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Now I must choose those who will next confront the Bridge of Death and answer the questions three eleven, even though most everyone I know is probably tagged already:

  1. Sheila Pierson
  2. Lara Schiffbauer
  3. Gloria Richard
  4. Janice Heck
  5. Ellen Gregory
  6. Rabia Gale
  7. Sonia G Medeiros
  8. Kim Griffin
  9. Kirsten at Write a Book with Me
  10. Amber West
  11. the bridgekeeper

Thanks for the tag, Tami!

*     *     *

Would you like to answer the bridgekeeper’s challenge and answer some of “these questions three?”  Do you have a favorite Monty Python quote you’d like to share?

47 thoughts on “These Questions Three

  1. sheilapierson

    We have Frog and Toad are Friends 🙂 love that book. I can offer you no Monty Python quotes because I’ve never watched it…lol (I have heard of it though). And, last but not least, the ‘gladiatorial combat’ remark to the book group question – classic! Oh, and thanks for sending this on 🙂

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      My pleasure 🙂

      Yeah, I saw that Frog and Toad Are Friends is still in print. I remember feeling bad for Toad when he wouldn’t come out of the pond because of his bathing suit, and his friends promised they wouldn’t laugh, but then they laughed anyway.

      I wonder what a Frog and Toad Are Friends movie would be like if it starred Johnny Depp, with Tim Burton directing?

      1. sheilapierson

        I told my son to grab Frog and Toad, and we would read some tonight – he can’t find it. Of course, I never say no to books so we have a miniature library in this house – it’s bordering on the ridiculous 🙂 I’ll find it. And I cannot imagine a Tim Burton interpretation….lol but Johnny Depp I can ‘toadally’ see involved in it…

  2. Elaine Smothers

    This is truly classic, Mike! I laughed from one side of the bridge to the other. Book groups as gladiatorial combat is a priceless simile … and Forrest was equally impressed with your childhood choice of reading material. 😀

  3. Janice Heck

    Reminds me of the question: “Who’s that tripping over my bridge?” It’s only me, the littlest goat! (Three Bill Goats Gruff, from my childhood days)
    At any rate, Mike, thanks for the gift of these eleven questions. Turns out they came on a lucky day: “Almost Q Day in the A to Z Blog Challenge.” Therefore, I have been working on answers to questions that justjacqui2 sent my way. I’ll add yours to hers and be done with it. I’m not promising “real” answers…whatever that means!

  4. Kirsten

    Gosh, I haven’t watched Monty Python in a while, and reading this post I just realized how much I miss it! Great answers to these many questions.
    And since I will be answering them myself at some point in the future thanks to your gracious tagging, I will refrain from spoilage of my future post. 🙂
    One book though, for the rest of my life? That will require some thought. It’s a good thing I can write my own in a pinch. 😉
    Another great post!

  5. Tami Clayton

    Great answers, Mike – especially #’s 1, 3, & 5. And I love the introduction. My book group has never engaged in gladiatorial combat, but I think I’ll suggest it at our next meeting. Also, glad to see you got Iclandic Volcanoe in the post. Impressive. 🙂

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Thanks, Tami!

      Well, you know…they don’t hand out Icelandic Volcano cred for nothing. Except maybe they do, because like I’ve mentioned before, I have no idea how I got it to begin with 🙂

      Let me know how that gladiatorial combat goes 😉

  6. Gloria Richard Author

    Thanks for the tag, Mike! Is it okay if I cheat? Yes? GREAT! I also got tagged on eleven questions today by Nigel Blackwell, so here’s what I plan to do. Randomly pick from the two lists of questions to decide which I will answer.

    Oh. Okay. I am totally planning to toss the questions that give me heartburn and use an alternative. If you’re not cool with that, ask Qegu. If Qegu isn’t cool with that, don’t check my site for a week. Um. No. No reason.

    I love your answers and the Monty Python quotes. Priceless!

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      You’re welcome, Gloria…thanks for stopping by. You can totally answer the questions any way you like. I’m sure they’re intended to be one of those fun blog things, so have fun 🙂

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      I’m doing my best 🙂 Although, I hope my blog voice doesn’t create the expectation that I write humorous fiction. It’s actually pretty serious and dark with a lot of butt-kicking 🙂

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  8. Ellen Gregory

    Ah, the bridge of death – soooo enticing! Thanks for the tag, Mike. I’m drip-feedinug my answers over the next several weeks. I just posted my response to question 2.

    The monty python highlights are a great idea for dressing up one of the meme posts – good thinking! It’s great to read your answers.

  9. lwsapir

    An octopus-drawn chariot would be enough to make me want to live just about anywhere, Mike. Do they come in various colors? 🙂
    Great answers. As for picking a favorite Monty Python quote…that is a tough one, but I’ve always loved the dead parrot skit, and the euphemism “He’s rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible!”

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Well, since the octopus-drawn chariot is an imaginary construct, why, yes…they come in all possible colors 😉

      Would that be the skit with the “pining for the fjords?” I’ve been pining for the fjords, myself.

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  11. jodileastewart

    Mike, not much to add with all the great comments above. I want you to know I love your humor and colorful writing. Speaking of “colorful,” I first misread Laird Sapir’s comment above and thought she was asking if you (not octopus-drawn chariots) came in various colors!
    Actually, I think you come in Technicolor. Since Technicolor is a method of making movies in color in which films sensitive to different primary colors are exposed simultaneously and are later superimposed to produce the full-color print (person), what’s the debate? You’re a Technicoloroid!

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Hi, Jodi…thanks very much for dropping by, and for the wonderful comment.

      Actually, I wear a lot of tie-dye shirts, so one might say I actually do come in various colors 😉

  12. rabiagale

    Frog and Toad forever! Big fans here. Memorable quotes include, “Blah!” and “Drat!” and “Tomorrow! I’ll do it all–tomorrow!”

    Ahem. On the other end of the spectrum: Lian Hearn. I loved the Otori books until The Harsh Cry of the Heron–but I won’t go all sour lemons on your blog. 😀

    Thanks for the tag.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Hi, Rabia…thanks for visiting and leaving a comment 🙂

      Yeah, I didn’t really like The Harsh Cry of the Heron, either, although I don’t remember exactly why. But fortunately I read Heaven’s Net Is Wide last, which I enjoyed even more than the original trilogy, so I at least got to leave the books on a high note.

      1. rabiagale

        Ohhh? I will have to pick Heaven’s Net up, then. Maybe it will restore the series (slightly tarnished) to its original place on a pedestal. 😀

          1. rabiagale

            Will do! Though I first need to dig out my books from a medieval literature college class. Reasearch material for my newest novel idea!

            Do you have a blurb for your eastern-inspired fantasy yet? I love that setting, so you have piqued my interest.

          2. rabiagale

            I am! So that’s why your name is so familiar. You’re one of the HTRYN/HtTS group that signed up for WANA en masse. 😀

            If you need a beta reader for your novel once you’re done, think of me. It sounds like it would be right up my alley. 🙂

          3. Mike Schulenberg Post author

            Indeed I am 🙂

            And I will definitely think of you when I need beta readers. Sadly that won’t be as soon as I would like. It’s my first novel, so the learning curve is quite steep, as I’m sure you know. But I’m starting to see the shape of what it might become, so it’s a pretty exciting time.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      It doesn’t appear to be a duplicate. Thanks for your persistence 🙂

      Yeah, I have no idea why Klout thought that Icelandic Volcano was one of my specialties. I’ve actually known a person who can easily pronounce Eyjafjallajökull (the Icelandic Volcano that erupted in 2010), so…uh…maybe that’s why *shrug*

      Frog and Toad rocked. I should read it again and see how it withstands the Test of Time™.

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  14. Marianne

    After reading this, I want to read Lord of the Rings, alone, in a quiet room and then watch every Monty Python movie I can with a few Fawlty Towers episodes thrown in for good measure.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      I’m honored if my humble post helped inspire such an extravaganza 🙂

      I hadn’t heard of Fawlty Towers before. It sounds pretty entertaining. I’ll have to check it out sometime.

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  16. karenselliott

    “It IS the rabbit!!” I love this movie. I read in quiet places mostly. I’ll read in the airport if I’m forced to wait. Fictional place – my favorite fictional place would be where I just won a huge lottery AND I got to meet my favorite author. One book to read for the rest of my life? It would be my book, when I get it done.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      I normally enjoy layovers in airports just so I can read, although my recent experience in the Detroit airport was a bit much 😉

      Excellent choice of what book to read for the rest of your life. I know I’m looking forward to reading mine, when it’s done 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

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