25 January 2010

Monday Musings (and a blog tag from Willow)

"A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote." ~Mignon McLoughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Hello dear readers! I fear I have been neglecting my reading. There are so many posts on which I must catch up. Case in point. I wandered over to Willow's Manor and found that a week ago (a WEEK!) she posted some answers to a tag and then commented (quite sneakily) that it would be nice to read what my answers would be. A week. I shake my head in shame, dear friend.

However, all is not lost! I am posting the questions here, now, and I shall, a week late, answer them :) What fun, yes?

1) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?
I've been capturing some random thoughts in a notebook at work. It started last week. The last thing I wrote is in there, gathered up between parchment pages and tied with leather chord.
Ick. The first thing I wrote that I still have is a story I started when I was somewhere between 10 and 13. It was going to be a ghost story about a haunted china doll. It's dreadful!

2) Write poetry?
So I've been told. If I rhyme, however, it is completely by accident.

3) Angsty poetry?
Only if I'm feeling particularly angsty on a poetry day. It's never good and always crammed into a hidden crevice to be laughed at when I stumbled upon it at a later date.

4) Favorite genre of writing?
I write young adult/new adult fantasy/suspense. I also wield a mean supernatural suspense tale. At least, I think so. I scare myself writing sometimes. Does that count?

5) Most annoying character you've ever created?
Ha! I was thinking about this last night. A villain in my WIP is a whiny, paranoid cretin. I look forward to dishing out his come-uppance.

6) Best plot you've ever created?
Oh, I'm working on it. It's rather complicated and will take several books to tie up. Let's just say it has a lot to do with mythology. So much fun, those ancient myths. There's so much room to run and so many people to play with.

7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?
Oh dear. That's in my WIP as well. And I cannot, will not, simply won't tell. Trust me. If this is ever published, you'll thank me that I didn't :)

8) How often do you get writer's block?
How often can you say "now"? I guess I think of writer's block as a demon that perches between me and my latest big project. I will push out many little things: poems, hearts on strings, raven's nests and powder blue stars. Those come easily. If I listen. The novels, the world building, that's where the block camps out. Perhaps I could write a novel in the little things. Confuse that block real good. Hmmm, a challenge.

9) Write fan fiction?
heh. Actually yes. I have. And I have some of them up on a fan fiction website. How silly is that? Did I confess that out loud? Oh geez...

10) Do you type or write by hand?
Both. I eek out my initial ideas through pen, sweat and tears. Then I call in a translator in ancient Welsh, which is what my scribblings resemble. I pound that into the computer and then begin the piecing together of the tale that must be told.

11) Do you save everything you write?
No. Some rantings have mysteriously gone missing over the years. I think it's the bats in the belfry. They feed on old pains.

12) Do you ever go back to an abandoned idea?
Every new book I start is a once abandoned idea. My books are once and future things.

13) What's your favorite thing you've ever written?
My WIP. It's a tangled web of lies and mythology, of love and loss, of regret and anger, of bitterness and resolution. It also ends with the annoying inkling there could be more. There is. A lot more. But if I told you what, it would spoil the surprise :)

14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?
I have several people reading my WIP. So far they really like it. I'm flattered and heartened. I am humbled they read my scribblings.

15) Every written romance or angsty teen drama?
There are always elements of romance in what I write but out and out romance? I thought about it once and I laughed myself silly!

16) What's your favorite setting for your characters?
The thin line between Reality and the Otherworld. My characters almost always come from Here and cross over to There with the help of a motley band of Others. I am far more comfortable with the Otherworld than what most call reality. Makes one wonder, doesn't it? What IS real?

17) How many projects are you working on now?
At the risk of being berated, poked, prodded and thumped, I am working on finishing up my trilogy, I'm scratching out the beginnings of something that came to be prior to Christmas, I have a mystery outlined and on the back burner, two fantasies in the wings, and an outline for the continuation of my trilogy (yes...continuation) that is begging me to write right now. And my blogs as well as those little snippets I mentioned somewhere above. Whew. I'm tired.

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
I've been given numerous awards from my wonderful blog friends? Do those count?

19) What are you five favorite words?
Only five? Parsimonious, Ecclesiastical, Melodramatic, Persnickety, and Effervescent

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?
As frightening as it is, all my characters are a little bit of me. Even my villains. Especially my villains.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
I pluck them from the playground of my mind. They come to me, in the night, in the stillness, when I can't quite reach them. They hover in the corners, quietly waiting, sometimes tapping incessantly on the door frames of my brain. Sometimes they leap out of closets and grab me by the collar. Those moments are frightening but the immediacy they create are quite phenomenal. I have no choice but to write.

22) Do you favor happy endings?
I like closure. Sometimes happily ever after annoys me. No matter how fantastical the tale, I like it to hold a sense of reality for me. Real life has ups and downs. There are battles won and lost. I like that in a story too. Make me believe I was there. Make me hurt and laugh with the characters.

23) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Too much so.

24) Does music help you write?
Yes. If it's too quiet the voices get too loud.

25) Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head.
"You mean he's going to kill a deer and bring it back here?"
"Venison usually does require a deer, love."

That was fun. I'm terrible at the rules to these things. I just get so bogged down! So here's a few instructions for those of you who like those sorts of things. Wander over to Willow's (you'll find the link above). Her Manor is filled with wonder, woolly socks, and things that go bump in the night. Then, if you feel so inclined, answer these questions on your blog. Answer them all, answer none of them. Make up your own. It's a question free for all! Let me know if you do :)

Happy Monday,


Helen Ginger said...

Wonderful answers. Loved reading about you and your writing. I'm sort of the opposite when it comes to music. I like stone quiet. If there's music with lyrics, I end up listening to the song instead of the characters.

Straight From Hel

Anonymous said...

Love your answers and thank you for introducing me to another great blog. Time has a way of sneaking away, eh? =)

willow said...

I knew you would have some very interesting things to say! Ancient Welsh? Maybe that's what I've been writing all these years. Send your translator over to the manor when he's done at your place!


don't beat yourself up! i am often behind in comments, tags, awards, etc so in 2010 i have declined to do any of them. they're the dark side of blogging, hm?

Tamika: said...

Loved your answers! I can't wait to read your work, you have a magical way with words.

Michelle Gregory said...

i hopped on over from Book Dreaming. looking forward to reading more.

Bard Girl said...

Ended up getting a Google Alert which led me here. I'm the same way with poetry since it is a total accident if there's any actual rhyming. Of course I'm not sure if they qualify as poems but that's the story I'm sticking with.

Wow I got an actual word for the word verification.

Tiana Lei said...

Heh, I get behind on my blog reading all the time. And your answers here just made me want to read your WIP even more! I am especially curious about your whiny villain. :)

Terresa said...

You've written fan fiction? Where? (curious!)

Love Willow, her blog is a gem, she is one, too.

Elana Johnson said...

Yes, you definitely need music to drown out the other voices. And I love that quote at the top!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

That was a fun interview and persnickity is a great word.

Lin said...

Oh, that was an interesting insight to your writing, Jen. I liked your favorite words. :)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey, Friend! I enjoyed reading your answers! :0) Love you!

Ratty said...

Good idea. It gives a nice insight into the thoughts and methods of a writer.

Mountain Woman said...

What an interesting post and the chance to learn more about you and your writing. I admire the fact you can write poetry.

Jen Chandler said...

Helen, I'll do the same. Unless it's something in another language. I have no trouble writing to that! But I do find that Loreena McKennitt's music helps my writing flow. Even with lyrics, I'm able to tune out and write.

Annette, I'm so glad you found Willow's blog! I love visiting her place. It's a peaceful respite :)

Willow, I'm glad you suggested I answer them :) I enjoyed it. Yes, that's the language I see when I try to read my scribblings. The translator is on his way to the Manor :) You can pay him in soup and homemade bread.

Jen Chandler said...

SPEAKING, I am inclined to agree with you. The dark side :) I appreciate them all and I enjoy receiving and reading about them. just get so tied up with writing and working that I forget to repost or regive! I hate that.

Tamika, I can't wait until my work is out there to be read! Thank you for the compliments :) Your comments always make me smile. I file them all away for those days I really need a shot of confidence!

Hi Michelle! Thanks for stopping by :)

Jen Chandler said...

Bard Girl, A Google alert? Nice. I'm glad you stopped by! I admire those who can write what I call "real" poetry. My "poems" are really just stray thoughts that have no other label.

Tiana, I so understand. It's like I finally get caught up and POOF! there's two dozen more I missed! I'm so blessed to be surrounded by such understanding bloggers :)

Terresa, I was waiting for that question :) I'll pop by and let you in on that little "secret" ;)

Jen Chandler said...

Elana, if I don't have background music, I start to disappear inside my head and then it's a chore to get me back!

DG, glad you liked it. Yep, persnickety. I like using that one in public. It makes people think I'm smart :P

Lin, I just love words. I hated having to pick only five!

Kristen, glad you enjoyed them! I had more fun then I thought I would in answering them.

Jen Chandler said...

Hi Ratty, glad you enjoyed the interview.

Mountain Woman, don't admire my poetry yet! I haven't posted any in a long time. Funny how I've always been afriad if poetry. I consider poets to be on another level entirely and it's a level I do not have a tall enough ladder with which to reach!