It’s the day after I created my writer page on Facebook, so this is a good time for a blog tour! I was tagged*cough*forever ago*cough* by Andi Cumbo-Floyd, the mastermind behind Andilit. She leads our Online Writing Community and lives and works, along with her husband Philip, on God’s Whisper Farm (look at the goats!!!). She also wrote a fantastic book called The Slaves Have Names that everyone should buy and read.
One day, and already 51 likes. I feel like Sally Field:
Anyway…on to the tour…
Upon what are you working?
I have two major projects going right now, and I hope to have the manuscripts for both completed by the end of the year.
The first is a work of fiction called Fishbowl. Fishbowl was a NaNoWriMo project from a few years ago that was meant to just be a novella or a series of short stories. Then I fell in love with the main characters and couldn’t stop writing about them. I still can’t stop. I have most of the chapters mapped out (which is unusual for me – I’m a big ol’ pantser), and I should have at least a full first draft finished by late September.
The second is What Not to Say. It started as a series of rants when I was blogging on livejournal, and it has taken on a life of its own. Now it has its own blog, and I am hoping to eventually make it a community project, because my single life experience, vast as it might be, is still only one person’s experience, and there’s a lot more to say out there than what I can say. It might be a really big book. Maybe with several volumes.
I also have a couple of exciting things going on in this blog space, as well as another one on the horizon.
This summer, I have taken on a project called Getting It Together. I want to take advantage of the extra time I have with my lighter work schedule and get into some good habits, like cooking regularly (instead of driving through Whataburger five times a week) and keeping the apartment clean and organized (so that I can have company over without having to devote the entire day prior to the event feverishly making it presentable). I am on Week Three. It’s been both easier and harder than I imagined it would be.
I love good coffee – this surprises no one. I also love road trips. I don’t always get good coffee when I go on road trips, though. So I’m in cahoots with my good friend Stefanie from Coffee2Conversation to remedy this situation. We are both hosting a Coffee Shop Road Trip Series, so if you have a great local shop that you would love to highlight, send me a submission (your own blog space not required)! In September, I will be launching a similar series on restaurant/bars, because I love supporting local places, even when I’m traveling.
How does your work differ from others in the genre?
I’m not sure yet where Fishbowl fits into the general fiction genre. The main character is telling the story after his death, so I guess that’s unusual. I am fighting the urge to insert my own musings about what happens after one dies into it and trying to let Bob just figure it out as he goes. I think that makes the story stronger than it would be if I were trying to Get A Point Across. Marketing for the book will probably include a disclaimer and reminder that this is a work of fiction, so do not email me if Bob’s experience doesn’t fit your personal beliefs or philosophy. I’m very protective of Bob, and I am likely to respond accordingly. Also…fiction.
What Not To Say is different from what I’ve read in the rant/advice genre in that there is hope infused into the angst. It’s not a you’re-a-terrible-person/friend-and-this-is-why manifesto. Its purpose is to mend bridges rather than burn them. There’s a fine line between confrontation and condemnation, so I am being quite needy with my editors to make sure I stay on the confrontation side.
Why do you write what you write?
This blog is a place for me to use my own voice. I think it’s important to have a space to do that whenever one is writing fiction. It makes it easier to compare the two to see if it’s really my characters talking (good) or if I’m just using them to channel my own voice (not good). I will tell personal stories occasionally or respond to something going on in the news or on the Internet (although my mulling process usually takes so long it’s not really news anymore by the time I write about it). But mostly, I’m talking about my everyday life. I also participate in link-ups and synchroblogs, because one of my favorite things about blogging is the potential to interact with others in the blogosphere.
I write fiction because I love reading fiction. My most precious dream is that someday I will meet someone who tells me that Fishbowl is their favorite book. Okay, I’ll settle for being ONE of their favorites (but if we’re being real here – I really want to be THE favorite).
I write What Not to Say because of the time-honored advice to write what you know. I know being single. I know it way more than I would like to know it. I have things to say about it, and I want to hear what others from all levels of single experience have to say about it.
How does your writing process work?
I have to write every day, or I fall out of the habit. And then it’s a month later, and my works in progress are no longer than they were the previous month. I try to write for at least an hour a day. For a while, I tried to get up an hour early and write, but those hours started to look like a sad girl clutching a coffee cup and staring hopelessly into a blank screen with the cursor blinking mockery at her. Morning person, I am not.
So now I write in the evening. Most days, writing starts around 8:00 p.m., after I have had time to get home, eat supper, and take care of all the things that I “need” to do and that I would use as an excuse not to write. On teaching nights or nights when I have plans with friends, however, writing starts closer to 10:30 p.m. It makes for a late bedtime, but I’m willing to miss sleep for my craft. And really, I’m a night owl, so I don’t usually fall asleep before midnight anyway, whether I’m writing or not. Might as well be writing.
I write quickly, but I edit slowly. So I can churn out a first draft as fast as lightning. Then it will be a week before I’m satisfied enough with it to let anyone else see it. Editors are usually seeing – at minimum – a third draft.
Now the way this is supposed to work is that I am to tag other bloggers. But it took me so long to do it, I’m pretty sure most of them have already answered these questions. And some of them might not want to. So no pressure – just free press – but feel free to answer these questions if you want and comment with the link to your post. And go read Michelle Woodman, JoAnne Silvia, Jennifer Seay, Sharry Miller, and Stefanie Goodman.