Writing

Blog Hop!

I’m dropping by today to participate in a little thing called a “Blog Hop” which is going around the writerly world.  C. Bryan Brown, a fantastic author that you need to check out, tagged me into this adventure — for which I’m most grateful.  This Blog Hop thing is basically an opportunity to answer some fun questions, talk a bit more about writing and then tag more writers.

So here we go!

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Blog Hop: What are you working on right now?

Me: At the moment, I’m preparing for Story-a-Day May, which is only about a week away!  If you’re not familiar with the challenge, basically it’s a short story writer’s dream (or nightmare?).  Write 31 stories in the 31 days of May.  One each day, doesn’t matter how long, just as long as it’s finished.  I’ve participated for the past two years and absolutely can’t wait to get back in action this year.

Preparing involves collecting supplies (new, untouched notebook is a must), amassing as many writing prompts as possible (mostly photo prompts), and well, jumping up and down as I count the days until this thing kicks off!

Blog Hop: How does it differ from other works in its genre?

Me: Yeah, that question isn’t applicable so much in this respect!  So I guess I’ll answer by talking about the latest short story that I’m editing and trying to get submitted before May 1.  This story is a blend of Science Fiction (setting) and Fantasy (werewolves!).  I’m sure Sci-Fi Werewolves have been done before, but I went for more of a character driven angle — focusing on the troubles of a young werewolf who has recently miscarried and her connection with a slightly older woman aboard the ship.

Blog Hop: What experiences have influenced you?

Me: More and more, I’ve been drawing from personal experiences, moments and memories that get woven into my stories.  These are often tiny fragments, little things like the make and year of a car, or a letter from a Marine brother.  But they make each story even more special to me.

I’ve also been influenced a lot by some phenomenal short stories I’ve been reading over at Electric Velocipede — each one is so unique, so original and wonderful that it just inspires me to dig deep and find something new or different or twisted.  For me, a story has to be dark, beautiful or weird.  Preferably all three.

Blog Hop: Why do you write what you do?

Me: Mostly because I must.  When I don’t write for a long time, I get all itchy and restless.  It’s a need even more than it’s a desire.  Only after I’ve nailed out that first draft will I find any relief.  As far as genre, I like to write speculative fiction because it captures my imagination, because it fascinates me and transports me.  Because there’s almost no limit to what I can come up with.

Blog Hop: How does your writing process work?

Me: There’s two main types of stories I write — inspired and planned.  Inspired is when I’m feeling itchy and don’t have anything planned to write.  I grab a prompt (usually of my Pinterest board), mull it over for awhile until pieces begin to connect and then I start typing and just don’t stop until “the end”.  As for planned stories, these ones take me longer and require a lot more work, but often turn out to be deeper.  I’ll usually find a specific submission call I want to send something to, mull it over until I find my idea and then begin sketching out characters, writing up both an action plot arc and a character (internal) plot arc.  At last, and a bit nervously, I might add, I sit down and hope the words flow.  Most of the time they do. 🙂

Blog Hop: What is the hardest part about writing?

Me: I’d say for me, it’s revision.  I’m not talking about editing — that’s not too bad.  I’m talking about fixing plot-holes or weak points in the plot, or any larger revision that requires more work and rewriting.  I don’t rewrite well.  Mostly because when I sit down to write a story, I nail it all out at once.  When I return to it later to add a scene or change a scene drastically, I feel like I’m not in the same frame of mind and I can’t write in the same tone and style.  Okay, and I might be a bit lazy, too.

Blog Hop: What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

Me: I’d like to try writing a novella or even a novel.  Now, I’ve written one novel, technically.  That was during NaNoWriMo 2010 — I wrote a 58,000 word novel in less than 30 days.  Which was fun and exhilarating  but the end result was pure crap and would require a complete rewrite.  So I dropped it.

But now, two, almost three, years later, I’m interested in attempting a longer work again.  I think I’ve acquired quite a bit more skill, learned a lot and am more prepared to try writing a novel.  To be clear, I am not a novel writer. I’m a short story writer and dang proud of it.  But there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with new forms.

Blog Hop: Who are the authors you most admire?

Me:  I’d have to say Aliette de Bodard.  I first discovered her when reading Electric Velocipede, Issue 24.  She had a story in that issue, entitled “Heaven Under Earth“, that just completely blew me away.  Since then, I’ve been following her writing and continue to be impressed and inspired by her stories.

Blog Hop: Who are new authors to watch out for?

Me: There are quite a few.  I’ll stick to just pointing out two, for brevity’s sake.  Definitely look out for Jeff Suwak.  He’s been writing for quite awhile and is beginning to break into the speculative realm.  Jeff’s insight into characters constantly amazes me.  He’s extremely talented, intelligent and determined — I expect to see him climbing the ladder in no time at all.

Also, I really think George Wells is one of the authors you’ll want to keep an eye on.  This guy’s got great talent.  I’m not a huge fan of literary or “general” stories, but George always finds a way to hook my interest.  His characters are very authentic (what can I say, I have a thing for well-developed characters), which is another big draw for me.

Blog Hop: What scares you?

Big things, of course, like death.  But more present in my life are the tiny fears, stupid parts of my personality that are hard to eradicate — I’m almost always afraid of doing new things, even things like going to a different bank than I normally do.  I’m afraid of those awkward moments when I don’t know what to say or do, when I don’t know what’s expected of me.  If I know what’s expected of me, I’m completely at ease.

I also have a strange fear of looking into mirrors in the dark.  I actually wrote a story based on that fear, it appears in eHorror’s April issue.  It was a fun story to write — I really worked a lot of myself into that one.

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And that’s it!  The end of this Blog Hop!  I hope it wasn’t too boring.  It’s easy sometimes for a writer to go on and on about their own writing — or at least, it’s easy for me.

I’ve only found one person to tag so far, and that’s George Wells.  If I think of more, I may tag them in the comments. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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