Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Q & A: Unleashed and Answered!

And here we are! Tuesday. Time for my answers to your most wonderful questions. I appreciate such an interest in me and my work. Perhaps I will do this again in the future. I had so much fun coming up with responses.

Natalie - If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
I suppose right off the bat I would list naughty, high in calories, junk foods. But when I really think about it, I could not see myself snacking on Dr. Pepper and Doritos for the rest of my life. So my choices would be taco salad, strawberries, and barbeque ribs. I didn’t add a drink because I could always puree the strawberries to make fruit smoothies.

What inspires you?
I could say that the voices inside my head push me to write. But they have better things to do with their lives. Hmm . . . I guess what inspires me is the fact that these stories are mine. Materialistic objects come and go. Yet the stories are the only things that remain no matter how much time passes. And I can make the characters do whatever I wish. I guess it is the egomaniac in me wanting to have control of my own life but cannot. So I create these exciting worlds in my writing as my own type of escape.

Stephen - Ask you anything? Anything at all?Okay, how many people critiqued that query letter before you sent it?
Critique groups? I thought those things were myths - like swashbuckling space ferrets and free healthcare. No one has read my query letter before I sent it. Yet I don’t throw out lots of letters at once. I send a few to see what reactions I get, then tweak when necessary. About all I can do.

How many critiqued the manuscript before you wrote the query letter?
As for having someone read my manuscript, I did allow one person to read it who enjoys my writing. Yet she is not a writer (as she has reminded me so often.) So the answer to this question is the same as the other. No critique. Am I pathetic or what? Sniff-sniff. *a tear slides down my face*

Buck - How DO you maintain your focus with so many works-in-progress? Are you one of those folks with six or more books on your nightstand, all in progress, as well?
Actually, I’m not one of those people who keep a lot of works-in-progress.This is the first time I had something in reserve(1 other project), and I can honestly say that I don’t like it. It leaves my mind with too many possibilities, avenues, to take. I guess this is the reason I feel scatterbrained right now. I can’t wait to just concentrate on one story. About the only thing I have a lot of are nifty titles that might come to me in a dream or an offhand suggestion made by someone.

Small Footprints - I wondered if you've ever taken your work to a critique workshop ... and if so ... what did you think of it?
No critique workshop. So I can’t say anything about those.

Laughingwolf - ok, ok... what writing software are you using and/or recommending?
I have WordPerfect 11 on my laptop. I like the ease of its use when formatting pages or other projects related to my wedding work. Also viewing two pages at once is easier on the eyes. I’ve only recently started using Microsoft Word. So I haven’t really established an opinion - good or bad.

Protege - I know writing is your passion, but what else after writing rocks your world?
Sketching is my other passion, although writing has taken up most of my time.

And what is your best and your worst character trait, according to yourself.
Character trait? That’s a hard question. Oftentimes we don’t see our own strengths and weaknesses because we look at the world through rose-colored glasses. If I had to choose something, I guess it would be my honesty as my strength. I don’t see any reason to resort to dishonest practices to gain any advantage in this world. For my weakness, I again would have to say it is my honesty, because I so often see people getting ahead in life and obtaining those things they desire through deception. I get envious sometimes.

Hilary - Thank you kindly for the link!
Angie - A question twofer: When did you start writing, and are there other writers in the family?
Oh! You asked a loaded question! Let’s see . . . I started writing in the fourth grade when several of my friends asked me to come up with a play to put on. It never panned out, what with cheating Ken dolls and consoling grief-stricken Barbies. The next time I got into it was in middle school, just little bits of stories, and I had the highschool kids give me advice. Then in ninth grade, my English teacher wrote ten words on the blackboard and told us we had fifteen minutes to write about anything (like what you did in a post recently.) I wrote a short fiction about a terrified boy running through the woods from a shape-shifting beast who ended up being the boy’s “supposed” uncle. My story impressed the teacher to the point where she wanted me to take extra classes in creative writing. But my parents weren’t into that. I didn’t write anything for the next seven years. Back in 1998, I had this story beating in my head. So I got into writing again. Three times I lost it in my old computer hard drive and I didn’t have the cash to buy a printer. Yet I kept working at the story. It was then when I realized I had a passion for this.

There are no other writers in my family. So I don’t really have anyone who can relate to what I am doing or have a passing interest in my stories.

BTW: You asked three questions, which I don't mind. I did say to ask away and never placed a question limit for this. Maybe start free writing longhand? That is dangerous for me. The last time I wrote freehand, I created a manuscript. 24 chapters - freehand. Then I had to type my writing into the computer. I found it long and tedious because I wanted to edit every sentence along the way and never allowed myself to stray from what I wrote. The story didn't evolve the way it should have to make it entertaining.

Brenda - If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Um . . . the Lincoln bedroom. Can you imagine the party I could have in the White House? Ha-ha! Okay. I'll be serious. I don't know if I really have a place in particular. Anywhere where there is great friends, fantastic food, and fine wine would be good with me. There are places I would like to visit: London, Japan, Brazil. But I guess the best option would be to travel everywhere until there is a certain place that has a strong calling for me to stay there.

What a great Q & A Day! Thanks everyone for stopping by! Hopefully, you've learned a little more about me in the process. Until the next time I post . . .


  1. That was fun ... thanks for your candid answers! It's nice getting to know another blogger!

    Have a good day!

    Small Footprints

  2. Am I pathetic or what?

    Yes. You need readers. Go find some. Today.

  3. Small Footprints: I'm glad to share! Have youself a wonderful Tuesday.

    Stephen: Ouch! That was a rhetorical question! But thanks for the input.

  4. Hi . . .

    Dropped by because we know some of the same folks in cyberspace. You know, I have a post today about critiques . . . personally, having spent years amongst slush piles, I really think it's important to hone your query and manuscript with some more feedback. Too many things cross too many editors' desks before they're ready . . . and they are so quick to toss things because your competition isn't the average person. Your competition is someone who has everything going for them as a writer AND did their homework and hard polishing prior to submitting.

    Just my half a cent. Or in this economy . . . quarter cent. ;-)


  5. Erica: Thanks for stopping by! I will definitely check out the post. And you can thank our mutual cyber buddy *wink-wink* for dropping you the hint *nudge-nudge* about my query struggles.

  6. And you can thank our mutual cyber buddy *wink-wink* for dropping you the hint *nudge-nudge* about my query struggles.

    I resent that. I didn't drop any hints. I asked her to bitch slap you.

  7. Wow, thanks for sharing your answers. I think you should post some of your sketches sometime. Have a wonderful day!

  8. Stephen: HA-HA! No wonder my cheek was so sore! I humbly lower my head to those with superior know-how in these pursuits. In essence, the advice will be taken to heart.

    Debbie/Cheffie-Mom: I have some of my sketches on the sidebar. Click on them and they will take you to my Picasa web album where they are posted in a larger format.

  9. Wonderful! You managed to answer all this with grace and humor, I am impressed.;)
    And by the way, I like your honesty.:)

  10. Protege: Thanks! This was definitely an interesting experience, although I'm surprised nobody asked me more personal questions. Most of these dealt with writing. :)

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  13. Whoa, everyone! I'm gone for 2 hours with a brother (who I'm practically strangers with) to pick up a truck and almost crash into 3 cars, 2 deer, and a pole in the garage only to find readers arguing on my blog. Be nice, people!

    Buck: I haven't forgotten you. Thanks for the questions!

  14. thx michelle... if you were a MAC user, i'd recommend SCRIVENER, a relatively inexpensive software that's FAB for all kinds of writing

    BUT, no matter which computer, do get a copy of: the first five pages, by noah lukeman [it's far from perfect in many ways, but a good place to start]

  15. great post! enjoyed your answers. must say... favorite foods is one of my most enjoyed topics. (personally, that is.) ;)

  16. Laughingwolf: No, I'm not a Mac user - yet. I take it SCRIVENER is not compatible with Windows? Too bad. I don't mind experimenting with new software because of the computer geek in me. I'll check out the Noah Lukeman pages. Thanks!

    Chris: I had to add the taco salad. I needed something with vegetables in it. lol! :)

  17. Enjoyed the peek between the book covers, so to speak. :)

  18. Angie: I'm glad to oblige. I normally keep the covers closed, for added warmth, but figured I would let a little draft through this time. :)

  19. it's MAC only, but check this out: http://www.softwareforwriting.com/pagefour.html

  20. laughingwolf: I checked it out, and also got the Noah Lukeman First five chapter.


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