This is a day early, but, well, Sundays and Wednesdays are my usual posting schedule and this way it’ll be up earlier than it would be if I waited until tomorrow to post it.
Professionally, I’ve been a financial analyst and a visual basic programmer. I also have a paralegal certificate, although I’ve never worked in that field. It’s anybody’s guess what I’ll be when I grow up.
Imagining stories and writing have always been an important part of my life. It’s one I’ve finally gotten to spend a significant amount of time on while I care for my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease.
- Where do you write?
Currently, at my desk in one corner of my bedroom. I have plans eventually to set up a real office space, but can’t do it just yet.
- Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
Hah! I cleaned off my desk and actually dusted and polished it last week or the answer to this question would have been different. Right now, there’s a pewter unicorn figurine in that spot.
- Favorite time to write?
Hmm. I write on and off all day, but my most productive time is probably late afternoon or early evening.
- Drink of choice while writing?
Usually water or tea in the morning.
- When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Complete silence? Where do you find that? And would you want it if you could find it? I think complete silence is a little bit creepy. Usually, I have the tv on as a kind of general background noise. Sometimes, I’ll play instrumental music while doing revisions.
- What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
Ah, long story. Let’s see. About two and a half years ago, there was a trigger challenge on Hatrack River Writers Workshop. The trigger was “slave to the flame”. I wrote a fable about a little dragon who outmaneuvered his larger tormentors by learning to breathe fire, but then I didn’t quite know what to do with the fable. (It had an unhappy ending by the way, partly because I couldn’t do anything else in the space allowed for the challenge. Everybody hated that ending. And a lot of readers didn’t really like the fable quality, either.) So, I wrote a framing story about a girl who had the gift of telling the right story for any occasion. I submitted that to a few places without any success. Some readers thought it felt like the beginning of something (a common complaint about my short stories) and I had some ideas about what else might happen to that girl and how she came to be in that position in the first place. So, now I’m writing a young adult alternate history. That original story will be near the end, though. Not the beginning.
Interestingly, to me at least, the manuscript I’m about to revise (a middle grade fantasy) also grew out of a trigger challenge on Hatrack River. The trigger for that one was “Cinders of the Great War”. Maybe I should do more of the challenges.
- What’s your most valuable writing tip?
Never give up. Never surrender. There’s going to be plenty of rejection and disappointment along this road. You’ve got to believe in your own writing and your own stories, even when nobody else does. Perseverance is the only way to succeed.
Oh, and find a great critique group. (I have two.)