Today marks the 1000th post my dear friend, Cassidy, has made on her blog – Wide Awake, but Dreaming. One full freaking thousand. Amazeballs!
She is an inspiration to me in many ways, but the most important way is that she is a writer. She writes.
Every day, come hell or high water, she posts a blog entry of some 500 to 1000 words. On top of that, she writes on her novel every single day. Every single day.
I consider myself a writer. I write every day – but I am not as disciplined as she is and I strive to be more like her.
My pride in my writing dwindles and rises in cycles. I write my personal blog every other day, I write 1000 words pretty much every day. But I haven’t finished a novel in over a year. And that’s because I “waste” (not really, but sort of) my writing time on things that aren’t really my novel.
Anyway – while I spend the day mulling over my progress on “Inferno” and some other stuff, go read her reflections on her Millennium!
Love & Rainbows,
So, I’m a total fun-killer because although I am totally going to fill-in the questions and post them… I don’t think I’ll be tagging 11 people just because… um… I’m lazy and I don’t want to admit that I probably don’t have 11 blogger-friends to tag.
This is what I know about the Liebster Blog Award
The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning: sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.
The rules are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who presented you with the award. Add the award logo to your blog.
2. Answer the eleven questions posted for the nominees.
3. Share eleven random facts about yourself.
4. Write eleven questions for your nominees and then…
5. Nominate eleven worthy blogs and contact those bloggers so they know about it! (No tag backs.)
Without further ado, here are my answers to the 11 questions the sassy, witty, sexy Ellie Mack sent me!
1. Which genres do you read and write? Why?
Technically, that’s two questions, but since I love Ellie so dearly, I’ll overlook her clever ploy.
I read fantasy, horror, thrillers, historical fiction, sci-fi, blah blah blah. Basically, anything I stumble upon and like. Despite my huge issue with infidelity, I am not a single-genre woman. I’m open to the world of words and will likely try anything once – literature-wise. Recent reads have been “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” by Seth Grahame-Smith, “What She Knew” by TL Burns & KR Hughes, and a re-read of “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo. I’ve got Catrina Taylor’s “Xarrok” coming up next, and a whole slew of other things after that.
I write fantasy. Usually, fantasy of a political/low magic/epic variety, though I have drifted toward standard high-fantasy (yes, I wrote about Elves) occasionally. Right now, I am writing modern-day fantasy, which is a major deviation for me. But let it not be said that I cannot or do not write in other genres. I have a sci-fi WIP simmering on a back burner, a historical fiction, and in the past I’ve written paranormal, crime, romance, erotica, comedy… I do it all! And some of it, very well.
Why? Because I love words, I love how other people put them together to create different feelings and moods. I read everything because I think that if you limit your writing to being ‘just’ fantasy or ‘just’ thriller – it will suffer. I like to think that even in a ‘fantasy’ novel, I can bring elements of romance or horror or comedy or tragedy. And the best way, in my experience, to write better (regardless of genre) is to read more. Thus, I have a book at hand at all times.
2. Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter”?
Ah, the eternal question!
“Incandescence” was begun on a whim, but in my determination to FINISH it, I decided I needed an Outline. It was rough, but it was definitely more than I had done for any of the dozen unfinished WIPs I began during the tumultuous Aughts (er… is that what we’re calling the decade between 2000-2009?).
I always do a lot of research, but historically, I have not always done a lot of plotting. I feel like, for me, a lot of the story just needs to come out organically. It will be sliced and diced and chopped and chipped in the edits and rewrite, but during the initial draft – I tend heavily toward “pantser”.
After the success of finishing “Incandescence” though (and with the addition of Scrivener to my daily life) I may have to start changing my game. Time will tell. I am definitely plotting the outline for “Inferno”.
3. Is there a writer who inspires you?
Several, really. Even though I believe I identified as a writer long before I read anything by the following authors, these names have inspired me to do more, do write better, to keep going.
- Timothy Fields
- Victor Hugo
- Melanie Rawn
- Raymond Frazee
4. If you could talk to any three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
In no particular order, and assuming language would not be a barrier:
- My Dad
- Naoko Takeuchi
- …um. I’ll get back to you on this one.
5. Describe your work space
Hmm. Presently, my work space doubles as my office cubicle. I have a small workstation on which rests my work laptop, monitor, keyboard, reference junk, et cetera. When I twist my chair to the left, I am facing the fold-out table Jack and I use as a computer desk.
Nothing fancy here. Just a worn-out old Dell, my external hard drive, a bottle of Jergens Ultra-Healing (for my über-dry hands), a lamp, an alarm clock with extra-big numbers so I can see the time without my glasses, a Himalayan Pink Salt grinder (why is it out here?), assorted nail polishes & products, vitamins, Clorox disinfectant wipes, my spare glasses, some junk mail…
I do a lot of my writing on the bed in a notebook these days, just because this is not the most creativity-enhancing spot in the world. When we move, Jack & I intend to really go all-out in putting together a writing space. I want red walls. I wrote some GREAT freaking stuff when I had a red office…
With handcuffs on the wall.
6. Who is your favorite author?
That’s pretty much impossible to qualify these days. In addition to those listed above, I adore or have been positively-influenced by so many writers (pubbed or no). Call this answer a cop-out if you must, but I simply cannot choose.
7. If your book were made into a movie, who would play your main character(s)?
Oh gosh. I have five characters for “Incandescence” whom I would call main. Can I dream up actors/faces for all of them? No wait! I hate to put faces to them now and color the reader’s imaginations.
I do have a couple ‘potential’ Hannahs picked-out, and a Luke. And an Alexander, in fact. But I never have found a face that really screams out Michael to me. I’d be more interested to read what the readers think about who should play who…
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Married. A baby. A dog. About seven more novels under my belt. Possibly published traditionally. Definitely published electronically. Writing and finding happiness in all the small things that I am blessed to have in my life.
9. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
10. What foods coax your muse into productivity?
Although I like to describe the food in my character’s world with detail and invisible drool on my chin, I don’t generally eat while I am writing (because I’m too busy eating to type). I do find that when my creativity seems drained, however, some lovely potato chips and a break to chomp on them while reading, tends to to get the muse jumping again.
It might have more to do with the reading than the food though.
Plus, I’m trying to avoid chips, so its best I don’t associate them with productivity. Tee-hee.
11. Coffee or Tea? What’s your favorite, how do you like it, and in what quantity?
Tea. I am drinking a lot of green tea, iced, lately. I’ve always preferred tea to coffee, though in the past year or so… I have found it pleasant to spend a chilly morning on the porch with Jack and a steaming mug o’ joe. We banter back and forth, talk about plots and characters and generally just be awesome.
Well, that’s done. I hope you know me a little better after this adventure into Liebster-dom. I hope I didn’t scare anyone away with that photo of mealworms. I would have directly placed it into the post, but alas – I’m getting paranoid about copyright law in the wake of this article.
So – what did you find out about me that you didn’t know before? Do you think I should try to tag 11 people? Should I tag YOU?
Love & Rainbows,
I’m considering doing a little redecorating here at PP.net.
The lovely layout that is presently in use is just a common, non-customized theme from the WordPress defaults. Its pretty clean and whatnot, but it doesn’t really scream Penelope Price or Incandescence to me. Heck, it doesn’t even murmur “this is a writer’s blog” or the like. Its generic, and though it features a lovely dark rainbow background there is really nothing “me” about the layout.
So I’m considering shaking things up.
This provides a problem for several reasons.
- No Money
- Little Time
- Vague Graphic Design Talent
- Out-of-Date Coding Skills
- Archaic Editing Suite
- Pickiness that Precludes Working Well with Others
I used to run a personal blog and I was always dressing up the domain with bits of code and artwork-tricks I had picked up around the interwebs. I changed the landing page less frequently (one-to-four times a year) and the blog itself every other month or so. I am afraid to start fiddling with the aesthetics of PP.net because – God knows – I will never be satisfied. I will start trolling the interwebs for artwork and photographs and then start burning the midnight hours trying to re-learn my former skills at Paint Shop Pro to make them look pretty and at HTML/CSS coding to get the layout just right. I will have to learn the coding behind Word Press so I can edit the layout to work with the Word Press engine. I will- oh my gosh, I’m giddy and terrified just THINKING of having a new task to take on.
After all, I am still not done with Draft Two of Incandescence, nor am I done with Draft One of Inferno and I am already fighting off like, four new story ideas…
Someone save me.
Still, I think the layout does matter and I won’t be happy sticking with this generic one forever. If I don’t start now… I’ll have to start eventually… right?
Love & Rainbows,
Its almost May, which means its season finale season (er…redundancy for the win) in the land of the Magical Moving Picture Box. Within a few weeks, as the temperatures rise and the layers of clothing are shed, the powers that be will begin regurgitating their, frankly, already primarily regurgitated programs. And for whatever reason, we will watch.
But that’s not going to be happening here on PP.net! Eff no!
Instead, because I’m cool like that, we’re going to be (hopefully!) bringing in some incredible guest bloggers as part of a Virtual Blog Tour (though, to be honest – aren’t all blog tours pretty much virtual? Hmm?). Celebrate good times, come on!
Yeah. That was pretty lame. But I am excited. I’ll get to share my crazy-nuttiness with some other writer’s readership in hopes of sparking my own fanbase and … some other poor schmuck will post here hoping to do the same. Too bad my audience numbers approximately…two. Well, hits-wise its somewhat larger, but only two people comment with any regularity. Myself and Raymond, that is.
As I said last week, I’m not going to stress over my numbers (or lack thereof) or comments or Re-Tweets. I’m saving all my stress and freak-outs for the actual novel.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it in any previous posts, but my current WIP, Incandescence is not my normal cup o’ tea. I’ve dipped my toes into a sub-genre that is sort of tangential to my favored type. Modern-Day Fantasy. Mages in America (or wherever). With all the differences in tone, in voice, in setting, et cetera – this book is a pretty big departure for me and so I do feel a little more stress about it than normal.
That, plus I am intending to actually let people read it. I haven’t always done that in the past. In fact…
I have not really done that since High School. Probably because my confidence was built-up fairly high about that novel and I, with my perpetual fear of failing, was too damned afraid of not living up to the previous heights that I just stopped sharing.
Plus, most of my novels are unfinished. They’re sitting around in various states of undress, waiting to be ravished and have their dirty sex tapes posted on the internet for everyone to view.
Wait – what?
You know what I mean. Don’t you?
Speaking of sex tapes – I was doing some research on Youtube last night (no, really!) and came across a song that I had never listened to but had heard about – Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass”. (My thoughts: Catchy. Awesome make-up. Awful wigs. Sexy build.) I just happened to glance down at the comments and noticed that the newest one said that Nicki Minaj had just released a sex tape.
I don’t know if that rumor has any truth to it. But it made me pretty glad that I don’t have young daughters, because I know many little girls who LOVE Nicki Minaj and until last night (sex tape aside) I didn’t realize how super-freaking-inappropriate her music is for young ones.
What does ‘beez in the trap’ really mean, any way? And why are all the other girls ‘stupid, stupid hoes’?
Sorry – that was an off-topic rant, wasn’t it?
To summarize: There will be no re-runs this summer on PP.net!
Love & Rainbows,
A friend-slash-fellow writer, Raymond Frazee recently noted that ‘smutporn’ was a popular search term to reach his blog. This is not (not by a long shot!) the strangest combination of words that have directed people to his blog, but it did get me thinking.
Keywords and search terms, all the back-end bits of blogging, are really important for driving up traffic and building a following. I get that. And there are tons of plug-ins and whatnot to help me optimize those options. I get that, as well. But I am not sure (exactly) the sort of things I should be promoting.
Its easy enough for people with well-established ‘brands’, or with really well-defined genres/intended audiences/et cetera. Or at least, I imagine it is easier. Smutporn, while awesome, is not necessarily what I would expect people to associate with PP.net or any of my novels. And while Incandescence is fantasy, it is a large deviation from my more typical fantasy. It may turn out to be a Young Adult novel, but most of my work (especially that in combination with Jack) is absolutely intended for mature audiences. So do I focus on more – YA centric audiences (for now) and change as my future works become available? What if Incandescence turns out to be non-YA? Then have I misdirected a whole slew of readers? Am I guilty of false advertising? AAH! The pressure!
Can you tell that I am not great with decisions?
Maybe, for the moment, it does not matter overmuch. My first ‘to be released’ novel is still being heavily edited/re-written and though I have a bunch on the horizon (and many in the drawer, begging to be revitalized and released in the future), until I am closer to a publication date, I think I will just continue to row my little boat and test the waters of the interwebs. Wow – that’s a mixed metaphor/cliché/whatever.
Now – since I have no smut or porn to offer just now – I hope that keyword isn’t the one that brought you to PP.net. If so – let me direct you back to Raymond’s page. Or maybe Jack’s. Either of those boys have more than enough twisted imagination to enthrall you.
I’ll stick to magic-flinging siblings, war, and violence.
Love & Rainbows,