Usually I only post once a month. However, I’m learning that “The Powers That Be” expect me to post once or twice a week and share more bits and pieces of myself. One of the ways my writing group decided to do that was to blog hop. So one tidbit about myself: this is a new concept for me. I am a total technoklutz. There is a reason I gave myself the handle “prebeginnertwit” on twitter.com.
So here we go for the next dance step in the blog hop. Once I’ve answered the “interview” questions, you can hop on over to another blog by a writer friend and read her answers to the same questions within a week or so.
What am I working on?
My answer will prove I’m a pantser (rhyme not intended.) And what’s weird is that in my alter career, teaching, I’m almost 100% plotter in my methods and lesson plans.
I’ve been continuously working on two books, two blogs a month and one news article per month since last fall. Following teaching and writing, my third major interest in life is music. As a member of a symphonic choir and as a writer, I make sure to submit an article to the local paper promoting each of our concerts. Writing blogs has been a great way to practice nonfiction writing. My2ndnature is usually a post on a spiritual metaphor of some sort gleaned from my journal entries. In the past year, nine of us formed a group blog, The Scriblerians (www.thescriblerians.wordpress.com) devoted to YA and middle grade literature, posting for both readers and writers.
Then there are my “babies.” Right now I’m concentrating on a fictionalized memoir of me and my little sister – the early years. She was born with several birth defects, and her overcomer’s attitude is inspiring. Have you ever read the Karen books? I want to have that kind of feel to the story.
The later years! I’m on the right. Mom in the middle. My sister’s on the left.
My other WIP, titled Backstitch for now, is a women’s lit saga, highly ambitious, scary to write, but I adore the characters.
How does my work differ from others in my genre?
All my writing so far has been realistic fiction, mostly character driven. I think I write in a manner reminiscent of the Peabody Kids Series by Jeri Massi, except I’m not as funny. I inject humor here and there, but my stories have a more serious atmosphere than many middle grade novels.
On the flip side, my novel for teens has serious themes but doesn’t delve into the angst of prom dresses and “does he like me?” histrionics. I may use those things as periphery, but I deal with the issues like racism or the age-old question of what matters in eternity.
Why do I write what I do?
Two reasons. One is under my control, sort of, and one not.
Whatever I write, I want it to glorify Jesus in some way, from Christlike behaviors in a character to out-and-out praise in an appropriate scene.
But the actual story? I have all kinds of stories in my head and not enough time to write them all down! So I pray and ask God which story He wants me to work on next. Hopefully, I have listened well.
How does your writing process work?
For fiction, actual writing starts with National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo). I’ve prayed, I’ve jotted down a page or two of outline, and on November first I start writing. It’s exciting, it’s surprising to see where the story goes, and it’s a challenge to get 50,000 words written in a month! I spend the rest of the year fixing holes in the plot, revising and polishing.
Since I teach two days a week, I try to write several hours a day for three days, which allows one day for chores and errands and the seventh day to rest from all “have-to’s.” If I write on the seventh day it’s because I want to create something new, not scrambling for a deadline.
So that’s me on the blog hop. Visit Leah Ness on her blog, Isaiah 43:1 (www.leahnessransomed.wordpress.com) , where she’ll add to the blog hop in a few days. We discovered each other’s blogs recently, and we each like how the other thinks.