My name is Meredith Annette Harper. Life is Tough. Pull up a chair.

"It's exactly like how Ring Lardner said: 'Life is tough. Three out of three people die. Shut up and deal.' Because this is the only game in town. You can't just get up and go sit at another table if you don't like this one. And it might not be poker. For all I know, it's like World of Warcraft and we're all actually just bits and bytes of circuitry. Well. Whatever.

"Bad stuff happens to everybody, but some are destroyed by it and some aren't. I'm fascinated by grace sometimes coming from the unlikeliest of directions, and what really inspires me is unexpected quirky bravery in people just as ordinary as I am. My fictional characters, accordingly, are neither glamorous nor perfect. Perfection requires no courage--and just about the only place it ever exists in real life is in the eyes of a lover. We're all just feeling our way along. Groping for meaning in the dark, sometimes in pairs. Sometimes alone.

"All of us experience the uncanny--premonitions, dreams, glimpses of what may be the future. Maybe we ignore it or explain it away. My characters try to do the same, but don't always succeed. That goes for me, too. But I'm not scared, I'm comforted. The only meaning we can detect in anything is what we choose to see, and a sense of humor helps. Not everybody's lucky enough to have one.

"I'm lucky."