#YouTube Tuesday: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Ever wondered what’s the story behind a song?

 

 

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Miranda Kate

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month

To get the bulk of my novels written – at least that is why I participate now. In the beginning it was to learn to write forward without editing as I go. I found that a revelation in terms of how much I could produce. And now I look forward to the word sprints and the community of it: all of us writing together – remotely.

I am a Brit living in the Netherlands, and I live in a small village where I haven’t managed to fully integrate, so this is one of the few ways to connect with others. I love opening the door to all the new writers and stepping into that world for the month – it’s like I’m where I belong for a while.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

Back in 2011, I arrived on Twitter at the end of July. I joined to follow a couple of friends, and then found lots of writers and flash fiction contests, and then as November approached I heard about the challenge and decided to give it a go, connecting to everyone through the hashtag. It was like stepping into a whole other universe.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

This is my seventh time. My first time was 2011. I was working for a company then and wasn’t able to complete 50K, but in more recent years I have succeeded. I try not to put too much pressure on. If I only get 25K or 30K that is still a lot for me to write in one go. I also tend to flag a bit a couple of weeks in, so this year I am taking it easy.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

I am finishing the sequel to a novella of mine called, The Game (currently published in my collection called Slipping Through). It’s a dark sci-fi time travel story. I began it last year for NaNoWriMo, so I am planning to complete it. I have sort of let it lie over the year as I have been busy publishing my first full novel, Sleep, which was released on the 1st of September.

Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what kind of music?

I need complete silence to write. Although I did enter a weekly flash contest which had a song prompt for a couple of years. That was interesting and produced some great stories, but it was difficult. I had to have the song on repeat to keep whatever story had popped into my head going. I can, however, write with a lot of people around me, as I started writing when I used to work in an office and I am used to that.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Often I will wake up with complete ideas or answers to things I am trying to solve in a story. I had to write an epilogue to my novel, Sleep, and I wasn’t sure what to write, but one morning I literally woke up with it mapped out in my head. It’s fabulous when that happens – although it is rare.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

Stephen King. He covers all the genres I love: Horror, Fantasy, and sometimes surreal stuff. I love how he writes. Whenever I return to his books I sort of sigh to myself as it feels like I’ve come home; it easy to read with such great flow and pace.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I think about how they speak to other people. I imagine dialogue first, and listen to that dialogue and sort of see them speaking in my mind’s eye.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

Just one? Not sure I can do that!

Actors: Tom Hardy is my biggest, I love his on-screen intensity. Others are Idris Elba, Johnny Miller, Cillian Murphy.

Music: I am a massive Prince fan, since I was 15, so that’s been a permanent crush. And despite his death, which devastated me, I still listen to his music daily.

Also Theo Hutchcraft, from a band called Hurts. He seems to be taking a break from social media and it’s killing me! He has such a great voice, and is wonderful eye candy.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

I like to write dark stuff mostly, can be horror, can be sci-fi, can be general fiction, but I like it to be dark and have an edge to it. I can do fantasy and surreal mixed in too. My novel, Sleep, is a psychological thriller, which was different for me, but was a story that had begun 28 years ago. I tend not to define genres in my writing, I write what comes.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I am also a freelance editor, and I see a lot of people worrying about what they could possibly produce in just a month and whether it would be any good. I have worked with several authors first drafts in December, helping them pull it into shape, and having something to work with is the key. It doesn’t matter how you get it down. Just keep writing forward through November, leave the rest for after.

Twitter: @PurpleQueenNL
****
Thank you so much, Miranda for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: David Joel Miller

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month.

Committing to finish something in one month gives me an extra incentive to write a few more words each day and to write something every day even if I only have a few minutes to write. Announcing my book commits me to keep writing even when the words don’t come.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

Back in 2011, I read about NaNoWriMo in one of the writing blogs. I don’t remember which blog it was now. I decided to give it a try. Even though I didn’t finish that first book, the experience made me a more productive writer. In 2016 I tried it again, and now, better prepared and was able to complete the first draft of a novel.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

A total of five times now.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

The Story Bureau. Greatness through truer news. Not propaganda – progress through better stories.

A deep recession and a prolonged war have left most people struggling for survival. Baldwin Ferapont wants to help his country. Once he is turned down by the military, Baldwin takes a job as an editor at the government-run Story Bureau.  Very quickly he comes to question whether the “True News” the government is dispensing is fabrications.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

David Joel Miller is a 71-year young man who has had a great many life experiences and currently divides his time between being a writer and blogger, a licensed counselor, and therapist, and teaching at the local college.

Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what kind of music?

Absolutely, I listen to music. When writing, or which for me means dictating, I wear headphones and primarily listen to relaxing instrumental music. The music helps keep me from being distracted by voices and sounds in my environment.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Not really. I think of my inspiration as a large barrel that needs to be filled. I read widely, both fiction and nonfiction, and once the barrel of thoughts gets full and begins to overflow, my muse yells at me to “quick get it all down.” My muse does not like to repeat herself, and if I don’t write it when the thought is in my head it’s likely to escape.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

There are several I can’t say any one of them is my absolute favorite author. I enjoy Jody Picoult, Aldus Huxley, Sinclair Lewis, and a great many other authors.

Favorite time of year?

I love spring, enjoy summer, look forward to the fall, my favorite season is any season except winter. Here in the central part of California, the seasons are more aptly referred to as wet and dry, and I like them both so long as there is no snowfall.

What’s your favorite television show?

I rarely watch television, or movies. Currently, the only TV show I watch on a regular basis is Big Bang Theory.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I’m not sure I do. I think my characters get into my mind. I try to get to know the character by wondering what they would do in a variety of situations.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

What’s a celebrity?

What is your preferred genre to write in?

When it comes to genre, I am incurably promiscuous. I suppose my preferred genre would be an internal family story-mystery-action-adventure-dystopian-romance.

How much does music/movies/TV shows influence your stories?

I try to keep that sort of thing from seeping into my subconscious.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

During my lifetime I’ve met a lot of people who said that they wanted to write a book. To the best of my knowledge, none of them ever did. In 2017, just before my 70th birthday, a friend asked me when I was going to finish “my book.” I told her I wasn’t sure. I was still working on it. She badgered me to promise I would finish that book by the end of 2017. I made her that promise, and as a result, I finished and published my first two books before my 70th birthday in 2018. Since then I’ve completed and self-published six books, one nonfiction self-help, and five novels. Don’t let that book you have in your go unwritten.

 

NaNoWriMo profile: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/david-joel-miller

****

Thank you so much, David for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for him please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Renee Scattergood

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month

Well, the biggest reason for me is the community. I don’t need inspiration to write because I write every week (unless something comes up that prevents me). I love having a common goal with other writers and being able to cheer each other on. And I love meeting other writers. It’s just a fun event for me. I don’t care if I even win. I just do it for the experience.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

The first year I heard of NaNoWriMo was back in 2009. I can’t even remember how I heard about it. I probably read about it on someone’s blog. I participated that year and won, but it was under a pen name I no longer use.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

Including this year, it’s a total of 5 years: 2009(W), 2014(W), 2016, 2017, 2019

I’ve participated in the camps every year since 2014.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

I’m going to be working on my dark fantasy novel series, A God’s Deception.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

They do on occasion. I have some pretty crazy dreams sometimes, but most often I don’t even remember them.

What’s your favorite television show?

Right now it’s Big Bang Theory. It cracks me up. I’ve been binge-watching it on Netflix.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I close my eyes and visualize the scene I’m writing. I try to feel and experience everything they’re feeling and experiencing, then I write it down.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

Fantasy, most definitely. I love creating new worlds.

Here’s the link to my NaNo profilehttps://nanowrimo.org/participants/rscatts

****

Thank you so much, Renee for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Ian Healy

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month

Originally, I did because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. That was more years ago than I care to count. Now I do it simply to get a jump start on a particular project. I try to release 2-3 books of my own every year, and getting a 50k boost in one month always helps me reach that.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

It was on a forum. Someone mentioned it and I asked what it was. The rest, as they say, is history.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

I’ve skipped a couple years here and there, but I am about to embark upon my 15th NaNo. I have never failed to reach the goal, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything!

Being a NaNo veteran, are there any advice you might offer for a newbie?

Sometimes it feels like you don’t have time to write. Don’t always feel like you have to carve out a 2-3 hour block of time to try to reach your goal. If you can write on your phone or tablet, knock out a paragraph or two at various times during the day. Handwrite a page that you can transfer into your manuscript later. Email yourself. Writing a couple thousand words can be a daunting task sometimes, but almost anyone can write a couple paragraphs without much effort. Do that a few times over the course of the day and suddenly you’ll be at your target without realizing it. Writing a NaNo book is like writing anything else: you do it one word at a time.

Also, give yourself permission to write shitty stuff. It’s okay if it sucks. It’s okay if it’s so bad you’re ashamed to ever show it to anyone. It’s okay if it doesn’t even make sense. That’s what rewrites are for. Spend November getting your word mileage down. Don’t go back and rewrite anything until December, or even later. Worried you might forget? Leave yourself a note in the manuscript, but then keep going.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

It’s a fantasy novel called Roast Wyvern and Other Recipes. Think Anthony Bourdain meets Lord of the Rings.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

“Hi, I’m Ian Thomas Healy, president, publisher, and chief bottle washer of Local Hero Press.” That’s actually my standard introduction at panels when I’m doing them at cons.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind of music?

I tend to create playlists for specific books. My Soldiers of Fortune WIP, for example, is set in the early 90s and is an homage to the hyperviolent comic books of the time. I’m listening to a list with lots of grunge in it right now (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Paw, Screaming Trees, etc.).

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Unfortunately, I almost never remember my dreams.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

My current favorite author is Becky Chambers. Her Wayfarers series is truly amazing.

Favorite time of year?

Summer. I’m a delicate flower and I hate being cold.

What’s your favorite television show?

Right now, I’d have to go with The Expanse. It’s just so good and written so well.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

With a bone saw, hammer, and chisel.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

Hmmm. I’m so bad at knowing celebrities. Pass.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

It’s pretty self-evident from my catalog that superheroes are my butter zone.

How much does music/movies/TV shows influence your stories?

Movies/shows with amazing set pieces, gorgeous visuals, etc. are always inspiring to me. Music of nearly all kinds is also inspirational. Although I prefer music without lyrics for writing, sometimes I still get lost in it and my fingers stop typing as I enjoy it.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m a sucker for giving away free ebooks and audiobooks to people who want to review them. Anyone who wants one can reach out to me anytime via my website, facebook pages, or on the twitters.

 

NaNoWriMo link: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/ian-thomas-healy/projects/the-queen-s-feast

Facebook: www.facebook.com/localheropress, www.facebook.com/authorianthomashealy

Twitter: twitter.com/localheropress, twitter.com/ianthealy

Website: www.localheropress.com, www.ianthealy.com

 

****

Thank you so much, Ian for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for him please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: E.S. Barrison

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month?

The challenge! I’m already motivated to write, so this month gives me added motivation with a firm deadline to at least hit 50,000 words (although last year I surpassed that, and hope to do so again this year).

It also has been a great way to make friends. Last year I built a close relationship with a few writers I met online…and honestly I can say, though we’ve never met, they’ve become some of my best friends. We help motivate each other and inspire, and without them I don’t think I’d be where I am in my projects now.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

I first learned about it in 2011. I was finishing high school at the time, and the school library was issuing a challenge for anyone who wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure what came out of it as I might have been one of the only ones to join, but I remember joining and winning NaNo! I still have that idea on standby to revisit one day.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

Let’s see…I participated in 2011, 2012, 2013, and then took a break for a couple years, only to pick it up again in 2017 and 2018. So this will be my sixth year participating!

Of the five previous years, I won three of them.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

This year I am working on Book 3 in my series, The Life & Death Cycle, titled The Towers of Knoll.

If all goes according to plan, I will be publishing the first book, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, next year. Last year for NaNo I worked on the backbone to Book 2, A Pool of Peony, which helped with rounding out the rough edges of the first book.

I’m hoping NaNo this year will help me the same way it did last year.  

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

This question is EXTREMELY relevant to my NaNoWriMo idea. Yes! They do!

Often they are little snippets. For instance, I had a dream that involved towers that moved in the water. It sounds weird, but since when aren’t dreams weird? Well, I’ve added an element like that to my story! I won’t go into details…but I think it’s an interesting addition.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

There are a few ways I get into the mind of my characters: driving, exercising, and brainstorming.

I have a 40 minute commute and often during that time I put myself in the mind of my characters and plot, daydream, etcetera. Usually this is when I work out my worst plot holes and define little things about my characters. I ask myself, oh hey, how would the protagonist react to this situation? Of course, it would help if I could write this down while driving!

Now, I know sometimes it’s hard to focus on anything but your lungs dying when you exercise, but for me it’s when I work out the biggest plot problems and really explore my characters! When I come back from a run, or from the gym, or from a swim I feel reenergized! It’s a good way to clear my head and refocus, since when I’m running…it’s just my characters and me.

Finally, by brainstorming, I don’t mean alone. I mean with others. With my writing buddies, I often toss ideas around or we ask questions like “oh hey, what would your main character do in this scenario?” or “how would they react to this?” and so forth. By working with them, I think I’ve fleshed out my characters…and helped them develop theirs as well!

What is your preferred genre to write in?

Fantasy, without a doubt! I love creating worlds and testing the limits of my imagination!

Anything else you’d like to share with us? 

As I mentioned, I plan to launch my first book, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, in 2020. For more information you can check out my website esbarrison-author.com.

If you’d like to add me on NaNoWriMo, you can here: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/elaynabwriting

*****

 

Thank you so much, E.S. for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

 

 

 

 

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone #Poetry #SpokenWord

Now that I’ve declared I was a poet (much more so than just a fiction writer), I decided to really put myself out there.

By recording poetry as “spoken word.”

This was a huge thing for me as I absolutely HATE the sound of my own voice. This mainly stem from a history of speech problems due to my hearing impairment.  So, after listening to other poets’ recording their poems, not to mention some hard-core loving encouragement from Susan Richardson, I took that leap.

Quiet was my very first attempt.  This poem was actually inspired by having listened to so many of Avi Kaplan’s music:

 

Once was a poem I wrote years ago, but it’s a story I feel is still very relevant today:

 

I may do more in the near future.

An Insecured Writer’s Rambles: Will My Writing Have Meaning?

 

*Note: Am participating in the #Write28Days (February) hosted by Anita Ojeda. Click here if you would like to participate.

 

Just celebrated a birthday last month. My 48th one. I’m finding it difficult to believe that I am almost the big 5-0 when most of the time my mind thinks I’m still in my 20’s.

Where on earth did the time go?

I can clearly remember my parents saying the same thing to me when they were in their 40’s.  The sad reality is, my father’s no longer with us. He passed away in 2014. He was only 67.

In my eyes, he was the true steward of God using his carpentry skills (he was so gifted with his hands especially in woodworking, crafting beautiful things) and his time for the church.  Those who knew my father always commented on how cheerful he was, all smiles and loved to whistle tunes from the 60’s as he worked.

Now, I’m looking at myself and wondering, what will people remember about me when I am gone from this earth? How have I used my talent/gift and time to reach others?

After a lifetime with disabilities (hearing and vision loss), I still struggle with my self-worth and whether my writing has any value (especially when most of what I write, both poetry and fiction, tend to be dark). It doesn’t help either when my husband and son think of my writing as just a “hobby” or “fantasy writing.”  And it also doesn’t help when my husband have discouraged me from ever publishing books since I am on disability benefits (there are other factors for his paranoia other than this one reason) when I have many, many stories and poetry within that I wish to share with the world.  So, I have resorted to having my short fiction and poetry published in non-paying zines a few times each year with the remaining items posted on this blog.

Is this me experiencing the dreaded “mid-life crisis?”  Is this me being vain as I worried if all that I’ve written will be lost forever once I am no longer here? How will people remember me? Just a woman who is so and so wife and mother?

I have been given this gift (writing) for a reason, and I don’t want to squander it.  So, no matter what, I will continue to write what’s on my heart and mind through whatever means I can find in the hope of reaching those who need reaching.

 

To Build Or Not To Build #Write28Days #Writerslife

 

*Note: Am participating in the #Write28Days (February) hosted by Anita Ojeda. Click here if you would like tp participate. 

 

Build

 

A writer is not just a creator,

she is a builder

of kingdoms and worlds

constructing and putting together

all the pieces that make up the story

giving life

to characters, large and small

painting, sculpting

to bring each setting to

its glorious and colorful

splendor

To build, create

is every writer’s hidden power

whether she choose

to give it life, or not

lies in her hands