Footloose and Fancy-free Friday Questions! — May 22, 2010

Footloose and Fancy-free Friday Questions!

OK, so Abby Annis tagged me with this a long time ago.  (Ok, by a long time ago I really mean last week and I just didn’t get to it.)

The point is that for each question you give 5 responses.  Then (I think) you’re supposed to tag 5 people for it.

Question 1: Where were you five years ago?

1- I was 20, need I say more?
2- I was insane and decided to push on straight through school: fall, winter, spring, summer, fall, winter.  Boy did I get burned out.
3- I was just about to have my heart truly broken for the first time (and only time so far).
4- I lived in an apartment with 5 roommates.  This I do not recommend for anyone.
5- I was soon to have a wisdom tooth removed.  Not. pleasant.

Question 2: Where would you like to be in five years?

1- Published.
2- Working in a dream job.
3- Done with school forever.
4- Sane.
5- Happy.

Question 3: What is on your to-do list today?

1- Survive work with enough brain cells left to write.
2- Write 1000 words.
3- Watch Say Yes to the Dress on TLC.  (I’m a junkie, what can I say?)
4- Maybe a little cogitating on the world-building for my next WiP.
5- Eating.

Question 4: What snacks do you enjoy?

1- Craisins.  I could down a package in one sitting.
2- Swedish fish.  They’re my weakness in life.
3- Caffeine free diet coke with anything, preferably potato chips
4- Vanilla ice cream drenched in chocolate syrup.
5- Wasa fiber crisp with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese spread on top.

Question 5: What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?

1- Travel.  Dream vacations include a Lord of the Rings tour in New Zealand, visiting Australia, Jamaica, more Hawaiian islands, London again, Paris, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Scotland, Wales, etc.
2- Get out of debt.  (I’ll have plenty of it after culinary school.)
3- Buy a little condo or townhome and own it outright.
4- Build myself a dark room/studio space (and/or a DSLR camera).
5- Pay off my sister-in-law’s medical bills.

OK, the victims…er…lucky taggees are…drumroll please!

Danyelle Leafty
Stephanie Thornton
Angie Lofthouse
Deb over at Ranch Girl Ramblings
Suzette and Bethany from Shooting Stars

And the absolute truth is: — February 24, 2010

And the absolute truth is:

Coming in a minute.  This was kind of fun to do.  You all had such widely varying opinions on what was true about me.  I’ll re-list them and explain them below.

1- I’m the next Phil Mickelsen.

I wish.  Except not because his spouse is going through cancer and that battle is nasty.  I’ve witnessed it twice and I don’t want to go for a third.  I do want to improve my golf game.

2- I’ve lived the same place my whole life.

Nope.  My parents moved about 11 or 12 times before my dad passed away and my mom has moved once since.  (Not to mention all the times I moved apartments while I was in school.)

3- I am ridiculously cool.

I wish.  But alas, tis not the truth.  You’re all ridiculously cool for thinking so but I’m not sure what I’ve done to give that impression.  Love you all.

4- I have a secret longing to open a bed and breakfast near a golf course.

And we have a winner.  I would love nothing more than to open a bed and breakfast.  And if I put it near a golf course, #1 could come true.  (Or I could at least met him.)

5- I’ve competed in rodeo my whole life.

While I have ridden horses, I’m too chicken for barrel racing.  (Which is about the only event women can compete in when it comes to professional rodeo.)

6- I’m secretly a world-famous author who is trying to write with a modicum of anonymity.

Yeah, no.  Some of you have met me and know that pretty much what you see is what you get.

7- I’ll be a presenter at the Oscars in 2 weeks.

Nope.  But I would love to meet Sandra Bullock someday.  And Meryl Streep.

Sorry I was so late with this.  Today’s not been a great day.  There’s a little black cloud hanging over me and I think I’m coming down with something.  And I have to work tonight.

Pseudonyms — October 22, 2009


Well, if you haven’t noticed, I came out from behind my old identity of Novice Writer Anonymous.  I’m now adopting a semi-new identity.

Wait, semi-new?  Can that be right?


My name is fairly boring.  And there’s this lingering worry that some might conjure up negativity when hearing my name because they don’t like a certain popular series by an author whose name I feel mine is kind of similar to.  Some have assured me that it’s not a worry, but it still nags.

So I added in a semi-arbitrary element to make my name stand out.

Which brings me to my discussion of pseudonyms.  After long debate, I settled on adding in the middle initial “L” to my name.  I don’t have a middle name.  And I’m not married so I don’t have a maiden name, I just have my name.  It’s my name and I can use it if I want to, right?

I did a lot of research on pseudonyms.  The general consensus was that there are only a handful of reasons to pick a pseudonym.

1- You wrote something somewhat controversial and want to keep that from employers
2- You’re genre-hopping and want to keep things separated
3- You think a pseudonym is cooler than your real name
4- You have an awful name that no one can spell, remember, or pronounce
5- You’re worried about your personal safety
6- You’re worried that your name is too similar to a NYT (an NYT?) bestseller
7- Your publisher is worried that a gender-specific name will alienate readers (a la J.K. Rowling)
8- You just hate your name and want to re-define yourself.
9- Your publisher decides on a pseudonym to place your title closer to a bestseller so traffic increases

For me, it was #6.  I thought about a wide variety of pseudonyms.  I have a long list of pseudonyms I could have used.  In the end, though, I just needed something that I felt could set me apart a little bit.  My mom reminded me that my dad used to call me “Stephanie Lee” just for fun.  So, I decided to incorporate that.  It just felt right and at least this way I don’t have to remember to answer to a different name.

Now, once an author selects a pseudonym, that author is supposed to become that person.  No more responding to your given name when at authorly events.  You must train yourself to be the new persona.  It can be a struggle.  And then there’s always the fact that in this day and age it’s nigh impossible to remain completely anonymous or pseudonymous.  So, if you’ve picked a pseudonym for the reason that you want separation between genres or you want your identity secret because you’re writing something controversial, it’s unlikely to remain that way forever.  After all, there is that pesky little thing called the government that needs to keep tabs on your income.  Among other things.

Side note:  November 17th is going to be a wonderful wondrous day!!!!   Squee!!!!!!

Websites for research:

I discuss music and ice cream! — October 15, 2009

I discuss music and ice cream!

Part 2!

OK, I’ll address the “hot” topic first.

Glam asked, “Why did you decide to come out of the anonymous closet?”
L.T. Host asked, “What made you decide to shed the anonymous?  Good decision, no matter the cause.”

There are two reasons for this.  The first is that it was starting to feel like it was time.  I’d already started revealing my identity to certain people via e-mails.  It just happened that way.  I’d met some blog friends in person already, too.  The other reason is that I entered Nathan’s first paragraph contest.  I always told myself that I’d shed the NWA identity when it was time to query.  Putting my work out there for a real live agent to look at felt too much like an informal query to keep with the old name.  It was time to own up to my work and myself instead of hiding behind a mask.

Roni asked, “What song do you think is best for the soundtrack of your new WiP?”

By new WiP, I assume you mean Lodestar. And as soon as you asked me this, I had an answer because it actually came to me in the car the other day. I was listening to the soundtrack for The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement. There’s this song on there, titled “Because You Live.” It’s sung by Jesse McCartney. There’s a line in the chorus that says, “Because you live, girl, my world has twice as many stars in the sky.” If this book ever gets finished, and it gets read by anyone other than myself, (i.e. published) you’ll get why the line is so perfect.

Elana asked, “What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?”

I’m ashamed to say that vanilla is what first comes to mind. I love to drown vanilla ice cream (especially vanilla bean ice cream) in Hershey’s syrup, eat a few bites then spend several minutes turning my vanilla into chocolate. But I don’t like chocolate ice cream. (Except a Frosty.) The other fave would have to be Coldstone’s Cheesecake ice cream with graham cracker crumbs and strawberries.

October Q&A Part 1 — October 13, 2009

October Q&A Part 1

OK, part 1!  Thanks for the questions.  And there’s still time to ask.  I’ll answer more on Thursday.  (So don’t panic if your question doesn’t end up in here today.)

Susan asked, “Which of all your writing projects do you feel most connected to and why?”

Oracles Promise, without question. I think there are many reasons for this; chief among them, however, is that I’ve lived with it the longest. I began work on this trilogy (which at the start was to be 4 books total) in high school. These characters have lived in my head space through the early years of grief after I lost my dad, through college, grad school, and a lot of life in between. I nearly abandoned my characters and plot lines until I had one of those great little lightning bolts and things came together to salvage the story. It still has a long way to go before it could ever be ready to face the wide open world, but it’s on the journey, and that’s what is important to me.

Julie Dao asked me 3 questions:

“How do you get into your writing zone?”

If I figure it out, I’ll let you know. I’ve been in a bit of a slump these last two weeks and haven’t written a word.  But when I switched over to Lodestar I just couldn’t get it out of my mind.  Little snippets kept coming to me so I just had to write.  It was the same when I started on Oracles Promise years ago.  On any given day, I just have to find a time when I feel awake and alert and there aren’t any distractions.  (Fairly easy since I lead a less than exciting life.)

“Do you have any favorite places to write or music you listen to/food you eat while working?”

I write down in my room, sitting on my bed. It’s the only space I have that I can work without getting distracted. I don’t have internet down there so there’s no temptation that way. As for music, I put my iPod on shuffle and just let it play. I’ve got a lot of music on it though the thing is nowhere near full. What’s really nice is that much of what’s on there is from musicals or movies so there isn’t really any problem with the lyrics ending up in my writing. I tend not to snack while I write, mainly because I’m as far from the kitchen as I can be in my house.

“Who will you dedicate your first book to and why?”

I don’t know. I’ll have to see what feels write if that time ever comes. There are lots of people that I could say, but it would feel all very pithy at the moment. It just depends on which project gets published first. Different people were influential and instrumental in each.

Tamika asked, “What has writing taught you about yourself? Are you better for sharing your gift, and is sharing your gift enough?”

Wow, digging deep here. Writing has taught me that I have a lot of insecurities that I need to overcome. I think it’s one reason that my projects have all stalled out. I don’t know that I’ve really shared my gift though. I’m just writing this blog for fun and networking and such. It was never really meant as a venue for getting my writing out there. It feels almost egotistical to say about myself that I have a gift for writing. Right now, just putting the words on paper seems to be enough for me though I would absolutely love to be published someday.

Another chance to play interviewer! — October 12, 2009

Another chance to play interviewer!

I’m working on some new posts, but it’s taking longer than I thought.  So I figured, now might be a fun time to go ahead with another Q&A.  I’ll be answering questions both Tuesday and Thursday so if you don’t get a question in before Tuesday’s post goes up, don’t worry, I’ll get to it on Thursday.

You can ask me anything you want, except what my real name is.  Be as creative as you can!

I’m thinking of making this a monthly feature.  It will ease some of the pressure to come up with fresh content related to writing all the time.  And it’s a fun way of getting to know you all because your questions tell me just as much about you as my answers do about me.  If you’d like to see this as a regular feature, let me know either here in the comments or via e-mail.

Thanks, Roni (AKA Fiction Groupie), for the link for the signature!

Notes from the Bandwagon — September 1, 2009

Notes from the Bandwagon

Hi all! Well, here it is, the place for me to answer your questions.

Hope you enjoy the brief glimpse into my weird ways.

OK, here it is. The answers to all your questions!

Liza and Tess both asked, “Why the anonymity?” (or roughly that).
This is an interesting one. There are really two reasons for it. 1- I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll publish under a pseudonym or use my real name. 2- Being anonymous lets me feel comfortable asking the TSTL questions. (Like asking what TSTL means. I know now, but I did have to ask.) Thanks girls!

Lazy Writer asked, “How do you manage to keep up with all those different writing projects? My head is spinning just looking at your progress bars.”
Really, I don’t keep up with all of them. If I write any poetry on any given day, I write it in bed before I turn out the lights, or it comes to me in the middle of the night. When I write during the day my focus is on Oracle’s Promise. The only reason that my poetry projects are so far is that I was working on them back in January through May, when I was still in school and not working on Oracle’s Promise. A Rose by Any Other Name was written earlier this year when I was still in school as well. Painted Silence was the class project for my poetry workshop so that one’s been complete for a few months. Hope that helps your head stop spinning!

Alissa asked, “What was the first story you ever wrote about?”
Honestly, the first story I ever wrote, that I can recall, was Truth or Dare, which I’m serializing on the blog for Fiction Friday. The first word of fiction I ever wrote was when I started working on Oracle’s Promise in high school. I did some research though, and the first “story” I ever wrote would have been two articles in my middle school’s newspaper when I was in 8th grade. That year I was a reporter, photographer, and did layout for the paper. The first creative thing of mine I could find was from 9th grade. It’s a collection of poetry, most of which is complete garbage, that we put together for ourselves in honors English.

Glynis asked, “When are you at your best, writing wise?”
Midday or early evening. My circadian rhythm dips drastically around 2 then picks up again around 4.

Elana asked, “What genres do you write? How many complete novels do you have?”
I write fantasy, romance, and poetry. I might be adding another genre someday. (More on that in WiP Wednesday.) As for the completed novels, I have one. A Rose by any Other Name I am told is a genre romance length. (Roughly 65,000 words at the moment.) Yes, I’m a failure for taking so many years to finish one stinking novel. Oh well.

Sarah Simas asked, “What is your penname? With so many WiPs one is bound to be pubbed soon—I wanna know who I can google to find the new release!”
You would think that, wouldn’t you? But sadly, the only thing close to release is Painted Silence and that is currently submitted to a contest. I won’t know the outcome of that until November. If I win y’all will definitely know. And it’s submitted under my real name so if I win y’all get to see me come out of hiding. As for penname, I haven’t decided on one yet. But I’ll let you all know if I decide to publish under a pseudonym and what that will be.

Tess asked, “Where do you fall in your family as far as oldest, youngest, middle child?”
I’m the youngest of 2. My brother and I are roughly 7 years apart for a number of reasons, which I won’t go into here.

Tess also asked, “pepperoni or tomato basil pizza?”
Ooh, good question. Definitely have to go with pepperoni on this one. I was the world’s pickiest eater growing up. I still am pretty picky. And I’m weird. I hate tomatoes because of their texture, but I’ll eat ketchup and pizza sauce (as long as it’s not overwhelmingly tomato-y). I hate onions, but I love onion rings. I dislike coconut, but I adore Red Lobster’s coconut shrimp bites. (Same goes for shrimp.)

Fiction Groupie asked, “If you could only listen to one CD for the rest of your life, which would it be?”
It would have to be the compilation CD I made in iTunes combining my faves from movie and TV soundtracks with a dash of country thrown in.

Strange Fiction asked me to define “horse property.”
Well, SF lives on a ranch so she has real horse property. But for living in the last rural vestige of the valley in which I live, horse property means that one can legally have four horses if they live on 1 acre of land. And the city I live in requires all lots to be a minimum of 1 acre. Horse property means to me that you can look out your window and see your horses or you can at least walk a little ways on your property and see horses. But everyone thinks of it differently.

Lady Glamis just asked me, “If you could live in one place where would it be? Would you have a big house or small?”

I’d have to answer New York. And I’d have a nice place in a good part of the city.

Thanks for playing everyone!

P.S. Check the comments section for amendment to my answer to Alissa’s question!

Slow down that bandwagon, I want on! — August 31, 2009

Slow down that bandwagon, I want on!

OK, so there’s a whole lot of Q&A going on in the blogosphere lately.

Natalie did it. Then Lady Glamis. And Weronika.

So, I’m giving you an opportunity to ask me whatever questions you want, with one caveat:

I won’t answer questions about my real name, or where I live.

Anything else is fair game.

Post them in the comments, or e-mail them to me at

I’ll answer the questions on September 1.

To make it easy on me, I won’t answer (in this installment anyways) any questions posted after 5 PM tomorrow night. That way I can write up the post.

Added bonus: I’ll link to your blog if I answer your question, so it could be a good way to drive traffic to your site.

So have fun with it and we’ll see you on the flipside!

About NWA — August 26, 2009

About NWA

So, there are the Top Ten Things you need to know about me.

And then there are the 7 things I revealed about me when I was awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award.

There are also those 10 things that I revealed about me and my writing process.

What else might you need to know about me?

My writing interests primarily reside in Fantasy.

I’ve been known to write romance, but it’s squeaky clean stuff that isn’t saleable.

I write poetry as well though it isn’t my first love.

I have a BA in Humanities and an MS in English.

I take inspiration from everywhere.

And I have a gazillion WiPs.