cristal, who i've only met via her journal and who will be helping me through my next brain burning revision of assassin's, gave me these questions when i posted a comment agreeing to be "interviewed." if you want similar treatment (*wink*), then follow the instructions at the end of this entry. other than that, maybe someone out there will find these answers enlightening. ;) i doubt it though - the people who read my journal are generally people who have known me a long time and probably couldn't learn much new.
so, questions . . . .
1. if you could do anything, be anything (other than a writer), what would you choose?
i had to think about this because there are so many things i've tried in my life: home accessory designer, artist, acting, web design. at this point, i guess it would be a toss up between acting and artist.
i gave up on acting as a teenager when i heard of the "casting couch," but for a very long time it was a dream right up there with being a published novelist. perhaps that's why i like role playing so much - i can "act" as another character and get a hand in writing the script while i do. ;) but, truth be told, i'd probably be as much a starving actress as i am novelist at the moment, and with less of a chance to actually get paid for my work.
as for art, i gave that up a bit more recently, but i see all the digital stuff these days and wonder if i really should have. then again, art always was more of a hobby than a dream, and writing has demanded so much of my time that it really probably was the best choice for me.
2. how does teaching writing workshops affect your own style of writing?
i think it makes me more sensitive to my "flaws," at least initially. i've recently come to the conclusion that a lot that we're told "must" be done for good writing are stylistic preferences that their proponents insist must be followed for good writing, but aren't necessarily as required as they say. there are too many authors who do well (or more than well) without following all those "rules." that are shoved at us writers. that's not to say there aren't any rules, just that too often things which aren't really rules are treated as if they are, and it takes an experienced writer to figure out when a "rule" doesn't work for him or her.
what i am most enjoying about the teaching process is the learning. i don't yet have enough confidence in my writing and my teaching to say "this is how it is" the way many writers do, so i research a lot. i learn how other writers view various topics in writing, and then i get to pick and choose what i like. i am learning that my own writing style, my descriptiveness, my poeticness, and all that is okay. i'm slowly gaining confidence in my own writing and my own opinions about writing. and i think i'm getting to the point where i'm no longer trying to strip all that out because "everyone" says i should.
in other words, i think it's slowly helping me find my own voice by giving me all the opinions and why the writers feel that way. i am making informed decisions about my writing.
and i probably could have said that in a much less wordy way. going to have to work on that. ;)
3. what drew you to create such an extensive world for your alden series?
have you ever been so in love with a place that you never want to leave it? alden, which started off as a gaming world for ad&d is that place for me.
alden started off as my rpg world, the place where i was god and players listened. i cut my teeth on description with alden, and i learned and relearned world building with alden (it's been destroyed and remade 4 times). then came what will eventually be the "uncrowned" trilogy, but as a game campaign. the way it has been envisioned is a "crossover" game (which has been over done, but oh well) where people from earth are taken to alden to fulfill a prophecy. and these people ended up landing all over the place in alden, which required a lot more world than just a single nation.
if it had ended there, perhaps i wouldn't have such a . . . grand view of my world, but the uncrowned hasn't left me alone. much of the story comes from dreams. and the story won't leave me alone. i don't feel ready to tackle it yet as a writer, but i'm not worried about it, alden and uncrowned will always be there. somehow, the story, the main character, the world, have gotten in my blood. it's been mine for 10 years . . . well, closer to 11 or 12 now, i guess, it's my playground, it's a part of my heart. it's . . . mine. how can i even begin to explain that? it almost demands for me to make it more solid.
perhaps i should have stuck with being so in love with it i never want to leave? (yay, now i am neurotic: i'd rather stay in a place of my own mind's creation.)
4. which books do you pick up when you need comfort? which music do you listen to when you are happy? what type of movie do you prefer to watch?
and here i thought food was for comfort. ;)
for the longest time, the book i would pick up was a little book called encourage me by charles r, swindoll. his message of love and acceptance was what i needed. now days i feel better about myself. i haven't read that book for a long time (and it may be time to pass my copy on), and i don't tend to read for comfort or encouragement much any more. i get hugs from my husband and children. but when i need to get away from the pressure of real life, it's almost always a fantasy book that gets read.
music is easy, my top faves are creed and collective soul. music is a big part of my life, i listen to it almost all the time and much of it gets associated with my writing. so, i can be in a generally happy mood and play just about anything, but creed and collective soul can really get me going. pick and natasha's ghost are pretty good too. the one thing i can't do is play slow, quiet music for too long. when i do, i lose all energy, lose all motivation, and start to get depressed. so, as much as i love enya, she tends to not get played much.
movies . . . man, that's tough. i am really picky and no one particular type comes out on top. i'd say i like good movies, but i suppose that's subjective (although, i've been told that when i say a movie is good, my friends at least consider going to see it because there are so few movies i really do like, comparatively). and there are so many films that people say are good that i either don't like or don't understand all the hype over. example: "pulp fiction." really, what was the big deal? so, movies i like to watch. i guess they tend to be dramatic. i don't like cheesy lines, though humor is okay. i am not fond of campy. i like suspense, but not gratuitous violence, sex, blood. constant cussing is a big turn off. the acting needs to draw me into the story, which is incredibly tough to do.
my husband would make it so much simpler: "she likes movies that make her cry."
5. who, or what, has had the greatest impact on your life overall?
there is no way i could pick just one thing.
first was my acceptance of christ as my savior. i truly was a bitter kid before that, at the tender age of 15. suicidal, a user, manipulative, hated people, hated life, hated myself most of all. i wanted to be different and never could seem to actually make that change. i met christ and he made that change for me. i don't talk about this aspect of my life much, it seems . . . wrong when your relationship with god isn't everything it should be. there are enough hypocrites out there, why add one more, you know? but this experience, this relationship, saved my life and made me a better person.
my children have also been an incredible impact on my life, especially my oldest and my son. nothing grows a person up more than being responsible for another person, especially a person with disabilities. and someone like my son, whose disabilities can interfere with his interaction with the world, i can't even explain the impact, i don't think. with my oldest, i really grew up as an adult (although i am still a big kid inside as well). but my son . . . well, if you really want to read how he impacted my life, you can read it here (it's 3 pages, so make sure to read it all).
the day meghann said to me, "you're a wonderful graphics designer, but you're a better writer." little did we know that she would give back to me something that i let be taken away over 20 years ago. thanks, gal. it's a gift i'll never be able to repay.
1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.