Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Can I consider this a repost?

I'm not sure. This is actually a post I made on my other blog, and I'm sorta, kinda, showing it here too. Call it the lazy woman's way of getting back into the blog writing groove. And I have a few authors here who might be interested in reading it. As for the rest of you, well, try to enjoy my rambling below. I'll come up with something a bit better for you  later.

Here's some background information. I belong to a group called the Blog Chain. This involves a bunch of writers and published authors who get together and talk about writing. In essence, we ask a question and each of us takes turns answering the person's question. My turn is today. So I decided to share what I wrote here as well as on my writing blog (so for those who follow both in their readers, you can just pay attention to one on my blogs today--ignore the other one).

Here you go.

It's my turn! It's my turn!

Here we are with another round of the chain a'swinging, and it's my chance to ask (and answer) a question. I was thinking of making this a two-fer question. That's how excited I am. But I'll hold off and just ask one. I don't want to use up all my barely good material. Okay, here's my blogchain question:

If you could dine with any author, and I do mean any whether alive or dead (yes, we're going into the realms of time travel - but hey, we have science fiction writers on this chain so we can always ask for them to write up the time machine specs), who would you want to dine with? And if you can ask them for advice on one writing element you feel you might be struggling at, what would it be?

I wasn't sure how to answer this one myself. There are a lot of authors-- strangely, must of them are dead-- who I would love to have the pleasure to have a nice meal and a chat. The first author who pops into the mind  is J.R.R. Tolkien. I would find it fascinating to ask about his techniques on how to create such detailed worlds and scenes. But I'm not sure I could hold my tongue concerning some of his parts that seem... well, a bit fluffy--not so much as poor descriptions, just a bit long-winded and airy. Rather not spoil the dinner and find my meal in my lap as he storms out the room.

Another author who comes to mind involves Stephen King. I would love to ask him about his action scenes and how he can write with so many characters yet keep the plot flowing to a logical conclusion without any gaping plot holes or loose story lines leading into oblivion. But I'd be a bit nervous. He's probably ask for a midnight dinner on a stormy night in a haunted mansion, and I would be jumping at every shadow being stuck in a room with a master of horror writing. If the lights went out, I would run out the room screaming (especially if the maid named Annie Wilkes walks into the room holding a sledgehammer and talking about her pig and how I should write a story just for her-- loved King's "Misery" book).

But the one author I would love to dine and converse with would be Edgar Allan Poe. I would love to talk his ear off... perhaps that's not the best metaphor about having a conversation with someone who has been dead for awhile but deal with the mental image I implanted for a bit. I would want to talk about his unique style, his way of creating such descriptive scenes and character interactions in such a condensed way of short story fiction writing. I believe his voice is incredible, and learning to create such awe-inspiring short fiction can only relate into improving longer stories and plots that capture a reader's mind in ways I can only dream about.

So, while I scrub down the shovel and remove the muck from boots after my little hike into the cemetery, (no, I didn't write this as a primer for Halloween - it just happened that way, HONEST!) I would like to find out who you would dine and chat with for a night. Make sure to visit fellow blog chainer Kat for her answer to this topic.

If you will excuse me, I have a few leftover, decayed body parts I have to clean up from the dinner table.
And that's the blog chain post. For those who stayed awake, I hope you enjoyed it. For those who didn't, I'm glad you snored quietly for the other people to enjoy their reading.


  1. Hmmmmm. . . Interesting question, Michelle. . .

    I would certainly love to sit down with Tolkien. Not so much for writing tips, since I'm not much of a writer, but I think he'd be a fascinating guy just to share some philosophical conversation with, over a steak and a pint of ale. CS Lewis likewise. . .

    I'm not so much for Stephen King, but Poe, I'm right there with ya. Altho I wonder (decaying body parts aside) if I might not find him the least bit macabre in person. . .

    Or Mark Twain. . .

    Or heck, I'd love to sit and talk with Shakespeare, just to lay to rest once and for all, the whole question of just who the heck he really WAS. . .


  2. Michelle, there used to be a show on public TV (long before you were born, my child) that Steve Allen did with his wife Jayne Meadowes, in which they imagined dinner with several historical figures. I think each episode maybe had 3 or 4 people, but it was exactly along the lines you describe: dinner with Shakespeare and Ceasar Augustus and Josephine Bonaparte, for instance (though I made up that example, because I can't recall the specifics). Fascinating topic. I'd love to sit with Tolkien and Poe - King I know to be a real live person who often goes into stores and shops in Maine (and I know people who've spotted him). Not that he wouldn't be interesting, but he's so...I don't know...alive. :)
    My other favorites: Anthony Trollope, whose work I love, and Louisa Alcott, whose central work was my stand-in mother when I was young ("Little Women", of course), and my alltime favorite, the eccentric but brilliant T.H. White, author of "The Once and Future King", which you must read, if you haven't.
    Love, love!

  3. Michelle, it's good to see your blog active again. We were getting concerned about you, our fellow Pennsylvanian.

  4. i thinki'd have a dinner party with john steinbeck, dave barry, and willliam butler yeats, and dorothy parker.


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