Internet Legend: Liebster Award Post — March 21, 2014

Internet Legend: Liebster Award Post

I haven’t seen one of these things in ages. Memes like this were all the rage when I started blogging. I was tagged in this by Natasha over at Thirty Nerdy Fabulous the other day. As I’m severely lacking for blogging motivation, this will serve as a nice kick in the pants to get a blog post written.

The questions (and my answers):

1) Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote? Whether it was a short story, poem, song lyrics, whatever? How old were you?

I wrote a kids’ picture book in 9th grade honors English. (I think. It may have been 8th grade English.) We had to write a story and put it together like a book somehow. Our “books” were donated to some hospital or charity or something. I wrote it and had my very art-talented brother illustrate it. Loads of extra credit. Just don’t ask me what the story was about. I have no idea.

In thinkinga bout it, though, this may not have been first. If it was 9th grade English, the poetry book we wrote may have come first. Awful poems.

2) What is your guilty pleasure in the writing world? That thing we know we shouldn’t want, but can’t seem to get enough of.


3) Star Trek or Star Wars?

I thought I’d blogged about this on here before. I’m firmly in the camp of liking what I want and as much as I want. So both. Both is good. They’re equally good for their own reasons. I don’t buy into the argument that you can only like one and not the other and if you like the “wrong” one you’re somehow less of a geek.

4) If there was one book/article/whatever you would suggest an aspiring author read – what would it be?

I’d recommend they find out what their learning style is and find something that helps them learn the way they learn best. I’m a visual learner, so I learn a lot about writing from watching television and movies.

5) What show/movie are you a fangirl of?

I know I’ve blogged my OTP lists and fandom lists before. (Probably on Tumblr.) But to recap the main ones: Once Upon a Time, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Star Trek (obviously), Star Wars (obviously), Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, The West Wing, Intelligence, Harry Potter, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. (Will also throw in Legend of Zelda here just for good measure.)

6) Are you for self publishing or traditional?

I’m for whatever fits your personality and your project. Me, I know I don’t have the personality for self-publishing so I’m going to stick it out on the traditional side. But I have friends who self-publish and I have friends who have started to mix both in their careers.

7) What is your one pet peeve that drives you mad in books?

Deus ex machina. (I’m looking at you Twilight). When something that should be a huge stumbling block for the main character isn’t. (Or the opposite.) It’s a mechanic dating back to Ancient Greece (or even earlier, perhaps) and it’s stuck around and persisted so long because it’s convenient. A writer paints themselves into a corner and throws the rule book out the window to solve the problem.

8) Do you have any rituals (ie turning around in a circle three times, a specific snack you must have, a blood sacrifice to the muses) that you perform before you sit down to write?

No. Sometimes I’ll turn on music while I write, other times not. Just depends on my mood and what I’m writing. Twitter’s usually up in the background and I might have a second browser window minimized for research purposes, but otherwise it’s just butt in chair (or bed) and fingers on the keyboard.

9) What are the top three songs on your writing playlist at this moment?

When I listen to music while writing I just put my entire iTunes library on shuffle. My library is on the songs setting and sorted by album so I guess that would make it “Mamma Mia!”, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” and “Super Trouper” from an A*Teens album. (Shut up.)

10) Which decade have you been displaced from? In other words, in another life were you possible a flapper in the 20s or a hippie in the 70s? Big hair in the 80s? Rockabilly in the 50s?

Um… Regency would be my guess. Except that I’m far too liberal minded for that era. But I like the clothes from that era and from 1770s-1780s England. Also from 1900s to 1910s England. So basically I just probably should have been born in England sometime.

11) List/show the five favorite things on your desk right now.

There’s nothing on my desk right now that would be anything special. But I do have a TARDIS cookie jar in my room alongside a teddy bear dressed like a guard from the Tower of London.

I’d tag people on this, but since no one reads this any more I’m not sure there’s a point. Thanks, Natasha, for asking the questions. It was interesting trying to answer them!

Blogiversary Q&A — November 2, 2010

Blogiversary Q&A


Look at that!  I’m actually posting on a Tuesday.  Albeit a little late.

Laura Maylene asked: “What would you say has been the biggest benefit of blogging?  What have you taken away from it in these two years?”

I’d have to say the number one benefit is the friendship and community.  There are times over these last two years that, especially as the blog grew and I posted more regularly, my friendships I made through this world carried me.  The sense of community is phenomenal and there’s a place for everyone in this blogging world, if they choose to seek it.

The other main benefit would definitely be the improvement to my own craft.  As I’ve looked to fulfill what I set out to do in this blog, exploring my voice, conversing with others like me, and chronicling my journey in this crazy publishing world, I’ve found myself increasingly focused on craft.  Sure at times I let loose, such as with every Friday, and I don’t always post serious conversations on the weighty issues, but I’ve learned and grown by blogging and by reading others’s blogs.  My takeaway is that I’m not alone, no matter how solitary this industry might seem at times, and that an old dog can learn new tricks. And new paths are always being forged and revealed to us as we go.

Natalie Aguirre asked, “How do you juggle working, school writing (and being so productive) and blogging?  Do you have any time management skills I might not have thought of?”

Um…time management?  Is that when I blog instead of putting on my makeup and drying my hair preparatory to the insanity that is the rest of my day?

The honest answer is that I don’t always juggle things so successfully.  And the ball that often gets dropped is blogging.  I have three blogs.  This one gets the most love and attention because it’s the easiest, it seems at times, and the one with the most instant gratification.  My photography blog has been woefully neglected, mainly because I’ve run out of printed photos to scan and I don’t know where to go locally to get negatives digitized and black and white film processed.  My food blog is my most recent addition.  As the quiet and peaceful newborn, never demanding attention by wailing or throwing a tantrum, it often gets neglected.

Work has been a little on the slow side of late so I will admit to having a bit more time to manage more carefully.

But that time, especially here as the term winds down (two days left in this class then one more 9-day class before Thanksgiving break!), goes to school when it’s not given to church.

I’ve made a conscious effort to make church and the Lord my priority.  School comes next.  Then work, when it’s there, and my writing.  Blogging, regrettably, is at the bottom of the pole.  I get to it when I can get to it.  And if that means no blogs get read or commented on until the weekend, that’s what happens.

Thanks, ladies, for such wonderful and thought-provoking questions!

There’s still time to ask me a question!  Put it in the comments and I’ll answer during Friday’s Footloose and Fancy-free post!

Happy Blogiversary to Me — October 31, 2010
Footloose and Fancy-free Friday Q&A Edition! — February 12, 2010

Footloose and Fancy-free Friday Q&A Edition!

You asked.  I answer.  Here we go!  (Said in best Mario Kart voice.)

Christine Danek asked, What is your writing process?

I’m a pantser-plotter.  I’ve got an outline with general ideas for what has to happen in the book.  The outline hits the main points, the big events, but the path from A to B to C is not laid out.  I just let things go where they will.  It’s rather organic and gets me tied in knots sometimes.  This current WiP will need major reconstructive surgery when I get to revisions.

Christine also asked, What are your favorite kind of characters to write?

Well, I think I’m still looking for that.  Without a doubt I write a lot of female characters.  Males are something I need to hone my skills in.  I’m not really sure of anything beyond that.  I’ve got a couple female characters who are writers, but not in this WiP.  I’ve got a female character in the works who definitely bucks “should be this way.”

Deb asked, Would love to hear more about the courses you are taking and do you think they’ll help or affect your writing process in any way?

Honestly, the biggest impact my courses will have is lessening the time I actually have to write or revise.  Which is a good thing, in its own way.  If I want to get anything done, I have to stay on top of everything and not procrastinate.  It’s truly a blessing.

As for the classes themselves, I’m taking beginning photography (LOVE), beginning drawing (like walking through the Inferno top to bottom every other day), 2D design (blech), art history (big grin), and graphic computer applications, in which I learn all about Adobe creative software (ADORE).  I think this degree will cause a massive rewire in my brain and general thought processes.  But I don’t know about that.  We’ll see what happens.

Elana asked, Have you ever been to Hawaii?  Why or why not?  Should we go next summer or something?

Not to brag or anything, but I’ve been twice.  We went as a family when I was in elementary school and I’m so happy to have those memories.  That was when my dad’s remissions still lasted a good while, when he was healthy, and we just decided to go on these big vacations.  We did Disney World one year, too.  It seems like it was only a year or so after the last of those two family vacations that everything spiraled slowly downhill with my dad’s health.

My mom and I went again just over 4 years ago, just for fun.  It was a nice getaway during the dreary Utah winter.

And, yes, we should go.  But not in summer.  Too hot.  Spring.  Or winter.  We’ll talk.

Sarah Simas asks, How do you structure your characters?  Worksheets?  Charts?  Or do you wing it?

I like to think I structure my characters, but they’re really not.  With Oracles Promise I have two or three pages on each character (for the most part) in a spiral notebook.  Things ranging from physical appearance to personal history (in as few paragraphs as possible).  Health history, where relevant or applicable.  But I don’t really reference the notebook much.  So I try to structure, but I end up winging it and letting the basic ideas I keep in my head guide the actions and character development.  Sometimes in Oracles Promise the characters piped up when I headed a direction they didn’t like.

Sarah also asks, What kind of writing goal do you set for yourself?  Word count or page count?  Something different?

I write by hand so setting page and word count goals gets a little tricky.  I try to set word count goals, but I usually end up failing miserably at those.  So I turned to just making it a goal to write daily.  I didn’t always succeed at it, but there was less pressure.  (I also tend to set highly unrealistic goals so I set myself up for glorious failure.)

Nisa asks, Any plans while the novel stews?

Yes.  Reading.  I’ve been afraid to read while in first draft mode lest I take too much inspiration from what I’m reading.  (Meaning my novel becoming derivative.)  So now that I’m totally done with the first draft I hope to make a good sized dent in my TBR list.  (Which stands at a whopping 21 books now that I’ve read the first on my list.)

Question and Answer time! — February 7, 2010