Friday, November 21, 2014

The Writing Life

I have a confession to make—I've been a horrible writer lately. I've been deep in the consuming phase of the process and not so interested in creating. From binge-watching various TV series on Netflix (Sons of Anarchy, The Killing, American Horror Story) to reading voraciously (recent genres include romance, witches and a few Stephen King titles for good measure), listening to podcasts (anyone else completely smitten with Serial!?) and new music (Rancid and the Foo Fighters!? It's like Christmas).

I have to believe that this is a time of regeneration. Consuming all of these various forms of media must be filling up the reserves. I've put my house in order (by which I mean my writing space, a dedicated desk in a quiet corner of the room where all the things go when I can't figure out where they should go), and I've prepped my 2015 planner. I've purged paper and prepared myself for greatness.

But instead of being compelled to write more words, I really would just rather chill and listen to some music while I try not to get withdrawls since the next episode of Serial won't be out for 2 weeks (sigh).

In the meantime, I'm still connected to all the amazing writer types I'm friends with—and lucky me. :) The glow from their creative fire keeps me warm and allows me to keep my own little flame burning.

I do have works in progress—I even started NANOWRIMO, unofficially of course, and true to form, I burned out on the writing long before I was halfway through. Eh, at least I started. But it gives me fodder to take part in the 10-question writing process blog hop.

This challenge gives me déjà vu. I’m sure I’ve done it before, but my friend Katie issued the challenge, and seeing as how I do love a challenge and usually need one to kick my get up and go into gear, here we are.

Here’s how it works: I was tagged to answer 10 questions (you can see Katie’s post back at the link, from which you can spiral back in time to more posts of a similar ilk), and that’s what I’m doing. Ready?

1. What is your WIP about?
Trolls. I wrote a short story (YA paranormal) a few years back, and those characters have stuck with me. Shameless self-promotion alert—you can find the original book on Amazon in Kindle and softcover, if you are interested. I also edited the anthology for the other writers, and I highly recommend it.

As I was saying—trolls, teens and revenge. Working on what happened before the short story happened.
2. What's your favorite line so far?
Great question but I’m still too early in the process to have one.
3. What happens in your favorite scene from your WIP?
The female protagonist from my previously-written short story gets many moments of foreshadowing, and there’s a major moment where characters and plot points are coming together, but it’s like a string art project, where the lines look like they bisect at one angle, but if you shift perspective, you can see that each line just passes by the next, completely unimpeded. She’s standing at that intersection and if she would just shift her perspective a little bit, she would catch it.
4. If you and your main character were in a coffee shop, what would you discuss?
Trusting your instincts.
5. How many revisions do you think you'll go through before you consider it complete?
Too many and also not enough. I get frustrated and compelled to keep changing the narrative and have to let it go at some point.
6. Do you find yourself putting past experiences in your book? Give an example!
Yes—a sibling relationship plays a big part in my story, so I pull from my own relationships, the relationship with my brother and I, the relationship between my kids and what I observe.
7. What song best fits your WIP? or what are you listening to as you write?
There are some fighting sequences, either alluded to or written, and I feel a very martial-arts vibe from my characters so I’ve been sort of singing “Kung Fu Fighting” in my head as I write.
8. Who is your author role model and why?
Stephen King. I’ve read several of his more recent works lately, and I can see how they all connect. In one story he might mention something in passing that could be a much bigger thing in the story, but it’s more of an unrelated tangent, a random thought the character has, so he lets that storyline just be a random thought and then drops the thread. Then you read another one of his stories and he’s picked up that thread and created a separate world from it. It’s brilliant—it’s connected but just barely.
9. What advice do you have for other writers?
Stop talking about being a writer and be a damn writer already. Trust your voice and own your voice—nobody else can do what you do.
10. What fictional character do you like the most and why?
The one that immediately comes to mind is Atticus Finch. He’s everything I want to be as a parent and a great role model. I admire his honesty, especially with his kids. They’ve got good parts and bad parts in their lives and he doesn’t sugar coat any of it, he’s honest and respectful.

More recently, I’ve read the first 2 books in the Witching Savannah series by J. D. Horn. The main character, Mercy, is a straight-up, no-nonsense kind of person.

I guess in a way that’s the trope that attracts me. Good people who don’t bullshit.
So, now whom do I tag? Well, if you’re reading this and you have a work in progress, you should consider yourself tagged. Unless you’ve already been granted the honor, in which case please link up your post in the comments so we can all go and read it.

And here are my questions, for you overachievers who want to play along (you know who you are).
  1. What genre is your favorite genre to write? 
  2. How many words in are you on your current WIP?
  3. Are any of your characters surprising you with their actions? 
  4. What’s your biggest writing roadblock? 
  5. How do you overcome said roadblock? 
  6. Do you belong to a writer’s group or critique group? Why or why not? 
  7. What music do you listen to while writing? 
  8. What is in your writing toolbox? Are you a word processor or a pen-and-paper sort of writer? 
  9. What is your least favorite thing about these types of questions? 
  10. What would your main character do if he/she found $50?


  1. I'm with you on #10 - those are the type of characters I'm most drawn to also. Which is probably why I got such a kick out of a recent read, "Don't Ever Get Old" (by Daniel Friedman) with an 88 year old retired officer protagonist - he felt he didn't have a lot of time left to waste on sugar coating anything!

    1. Shel, I think this stems from my desire to live in Pleasantville—where everyone is honest and upstanding.

  2. Great idea, once I finish painting the dining room wall, before Thanksgiving, I might sit down and do this.

    1. I encourage you to! It's a great way to get your creative juices flowing :)

  3. Trolls, you say? Have you seen the Troll Hunter movie on Netflix or read the Trylle series by Amanda Hocking? Lots of trolls! and not just the kind with jewels in their bellies!

    1. I have not. I'll have to check out both!