A Tag From the Past: Every Good Word

There was a tag/quiz/link-up thingy going around that everyone seemed to be doing for awhile there, from Meghan over on Every Good Word.

Though I’m quite a bit late for this, I’m jumping on board anyway. Because these questions are far too fun not to answer. (I just hope I won’t ramble too much or be too spectacularly boring…)

  1. What was your first-ever piece of writing?

A story I started about a boy who went on an adventure and met some talking bears. It was written in pencil with horrible handwriting and atrocious spelling, in a pink composition notebook. I still look back at it fondly though (from a distance . . .) since it sparked The Chronicles of Starrellia, the 8-book fantasy series I’m working on. The story is still present in one of the books, though it has changed and expanded a good deal.

2. How old were you when you first began writing?

I was 8, and wandered randomly along with my scribbling for a few years. Then the week before I turned 12, while sitting in a bookstore and marking up my story with a pencil, I decided that I was going to restart and finish my story, and be a writer. And I did, and now I am.

   3. Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term.

Short term? At the moment, figure out the plot for my Nanowrimo novel this year. Long term? As so many others have said, get published. Someday . . . Somehow.

   4. Do you write fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction. There’s nothing like a new story to sweep us off our feet and carry us, pen in hand, into a world of adventure. If blogging and emails count as non-fiction, I suppose I enjoy those as well . . . But I’ve found that if there is a non-fiction subject I’m interested in exploring, it is better to I weave it into my fiction than to struggle with dry, personality-less words, that no one will ever read or be changed by. Many truths need to be told through fiction.

Fantasy   5. Bouncing off of question 4, what’s your favorite genre to write in?

Fantasy, without a doubt! Medieval, to be specific. There’s just something about slightly fantastic lands (slightly; I don’t really do magic) filled with forests and castles and swords and cloaks and heroes and princesses that has always delighted me more than any other genre. Plus, I am far too lazy daunted by research to write much else–I like to be able to “make up” (though I call it “discover”) new lands and peoples. I do dabble in other genres as well (contemporary, historical, sci-fi, etc.) but fantasy will always be the genre I enjoy the most.

   6. One writing lesson you’ve learned since 2013 began.

It may sound cliche, but keep going no matter what. Sometimes a story I’m writing (or a recent case for me, editing) just seems like it will never be done and will go on forever. But if you keep steadily going, it WILL get finished. Also, goals, deadlines, and rewards help. I told myself I could reorganize all the books on my bookshelves in my room when I finished, so I was very motivated. (I LOVE playing with my books. :)) Telling myself I could join Goodreads, take a couple weeks off writing, and reread Howl’s Moving Castle were also tricks I used this year to get me reaching some goals.

TolkienBooks  7. Favorite author, off the top of your head!

Tolkien! (That one wasn’t actually hard.)

   8. Three current favorite books.

I . . . [*whispered aside to the audience* Can they do that?] Um . . . I’m going to have to think about that for a moment. It’s rather impossible. At this moment in time I guess I’d have to say The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (since it’s always my favorite), The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall (because it is just so fantastically wonderful and everyone should read it), and The Court of the Stone Children by Eleanor Cameron (since it’s my favorite book I read this year). (But I so want to add the Chronicles of Narnia and like a dozen books by Lloyd Alexander to this list . . . There, I did. Shhh.)

  9. Biggest influence on your writing {person}:

I’m going to have to put two people here . . . My younger sister. I bounce my ideas off her, and every time I write something it always has to have her approval before anyone else sees it. She’s amazing and brilliant and supportive and practically always loves what I write. She’s the one who often makes something click so I can write the story–for instance, she gave me the title I used for my latest book, The Owl of Kedran’s Wood, which made the story come together and swept me away on a writing adventure like I’d never encountered before. I don’t know what I’d do without my fantastic sister. And then there’s my lovely friend Lauriloth who has to share this place. Her weekly encouragements always brighten my day, she motivates me to write more than I normally would–not to mention we sometimes seem to share a brain–and she’s the sweetest person ever. ❤

  10. What’s your go-to writing music?

Instrumental Celtic music. Something about it just inspires me to no end and is perfectly suited to my fantasy stories. Soundtracks often work also.

11. List three to five writing quirks of yours! Little habits, must-haves as you write, etc.

Quirks? I have those? Heehee, joking. Let’s see . . . I often act out scenes beforehand and make the facial expressions of my characters while I’m writing. Which leads us to quirk number two: that my door has to be closed when I write so nobody can see me pacing around making a fool of myself . . . I keep my phone by my bed for obsessively making notes when inspiration strikes in the middle of the night–as it always will. I also keep a dream journal, which is enormously useful (but I have to make sure no one else gets a-hold of it, in case they decide I’m insane . . . My mind is a weird place.)

12. What, in three sentences or less, does your writing mean to you?

Writing is my road to the stars (and I say that in a mystical faerie type way, as opposed to a sci-fi analogy). There’s nothing else like writing to enable us to discover worlds new and old and meet such an incredible variety of people and creatures and engage in such adventures. It is rewarding and challenging and there are stories that need telling that only I can tell–in short, I write because I can’t not.