Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beautiful People - It’s a Writer’s Life for Me {January 2015}

Greetings and salutations! (Wait, aren’t those the same things?) For a little over a week I’ve been off at lands afar, partaking in grand adventures. And by that I mean I’ve been out of town staying with my bestie, but it is always an adventure when we’re together. But all good things must come to an end; goodbyes were said and I have returned. Though the comfort of home is never unwelcome.

But I digress.

Now that I am back and settling into things once more, I’m excitedly (or excitedingly like I accidentally first typed up. . .I think I like that better) I’m excitedingly taking part of this month’s BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. *confetti* Yes, Beautiful People is back after its 3 month hiatus where our benevolent hosts, Sky and Cait, put up a NaNoWriMo themed linkup called Beautiful Books instead. (Which was FABULOUS. Thanks so much, you two!) Oh, but it gets better. This is a special edition of BP. Instead of answering questions about our choice of character, all questions are centered on. . .the AUTHOR. Yes, us. Pretty awesome, right? Obviously you don’t want to miss this one. I know you don’t. So head on over to Sky's post or Cait's, snag the questions, and link up. Our characters don’t always have to take the spotlight. . .even if they think they do.

Beautiful People Blog Button

So off we go to answer questions about. . .me. *winces* Scary thought, I know. Hopefully everyone’s sanity will still be intact by the end. (But is sanity all that important anyway?)

1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?
I first started writing 13 years ago when I was a wee thing of 9, with nary a clue of what I was doing. (Okay, I still don’t know. Living life obliviously is how I roll.) Since then I always claimed I loved to write, but I guess I didn’t really make it my life until after my first NaNoWriMo in 2010. That’s when I realized how passionate I really was about the writing life and from then on started taking it seriously.

2. How/why did you start writing?Tolkien Fantasy Quote
Stories have always been a part of me. I was reading books since I was four and imagined fairies dancing in the trees out my window every night. But it never occurred to me that I could write out my own stories until someone in my homeschool group passed out sheets for a contest to write a short story. I have no memory what that contest was for, but when I saw it I knew I wanted to write something.

I snagged a notebook and pencil, headed outside, settled barefoot in the grass, and started writing. What was supposed to be a short story became much longer, but I didn’t care. The contest went far from my mind. I had discovered something. I was creating. And I couldn’t stop, I didn’t want to. And so I didn’t.

A year later when I discovered the world of Tolkien, I knew that the life of a fantasy writer was the one for me. I’ve since delved into some other genres, but whatever I write always holds some element of the unrealistic. Whether it be fantasy, time travel, or people who can read memories or have wings—realistic fiction isn’t the one for me.

Because I still like to think fairies dance out my window each night.

3. What’s your favorite part of writing?
THE CHARACTERS. Without a doubt. And that covers all aspects of character. Whether it’s creating them, fleshing them out, writing about them, listening to them argue in my head (what? I know I’m not the only one), or anything in between. I write because there are people in my head demanding I tell their story. I love people. I love studying different personality types. Learning how people tick. Thinking up silly quirks. I just love the characters.

Why I Write

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?
Oh goodness, there’s just so many! XD I guess keeping my stories at an acceptable length. Good gravy, do I write ridiculously long novels! Condensing my stories is something I’m really trying to work on here lately. Short stories and I just never seem to get on. . .

5. Do you write best at night or day?
Definitely at night. Although I actually do most of my writing during the day. I like to have my nights to read or watch TV and just not worry about working on anything. But when I do take the time to write at night, I get my best stuff out. Which means I should do that more. . . There’s something about the darkness and the house being quiet that really gets my muse flowing.

6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)


Behold! My writing chair. It’s quite comfy actually and angled where I can prop my feet up on the edge of my bed. I also pull from the creative energy of my bookshelves behind me, and there’s another hanging on the wall. I feel so much more inspired being surrounded by books. If I write at night I’ll usually lounge in my bed. But the majority of my computer time is in that chair.

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?
That’s changed a lot through the years. Used to I’d take eternity (aka a few years) to finish anything. But ever since I began taking my writing seriously. . .erm. . .4 to 6 months maybe? But that’s why I love NaNoWriMo so much because it makes me finish something in just a month or two.

8. How many projects do you work on at once?
I usually can only focus on one thing at a time. If I try to do multiple things I end up favoring one and abandoning the other. I always have so many idea and things I want to work on, but I know if I just jumped from one project to the next I’d never finish any of them. It’s quite sad. So instead I force myself to finish one before I can start another. That way I get it done and it keeps me motivated to actually do it.

But I have worked on a couple of projects at once before. One year I was writing the first draft of one story while rewriting another. And this year I did NaNo while polishing up my Beauty and the Beast novella (that was a bit chaotic. . .). But for all other projects I kept them each my sole focus.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?
I’ve always been a firm believer in happy endings. You can torture characters left and right at beginnings and middles, but I want endings to make me smile. All that said though, I have become more open minded. I’d rather not super heartbreaking endings, but the bittersweet ones can really make an impact. After all, life isn’t all about happily ever afters. A touch of sadness can be laced into the ending as long as the reader is left with satisfaction for the most part. Overall, I love writing happy endings, but on occasion I’ll end it on a bittersweet note.

Happily Ever After
10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.
J.R.R. Tolkien is absolutely the biggest influence of writing I’ve ever had. I write what I do because of him. But there have definitely been countless others that have helped shape my style and stories. C. S. Lewis, Bryan Davis, Jill Williamson, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Donita K. Paul, Diana Wynne Jones—just to name a few.

Creative Enemy11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
For years and years and years I never let anyone take a peek at my writing. The idea terrified my beyond belief. I mean, someone seeing one of my silly stories? *crawls under blanket* The self-conscious problems were strong. Not to mention everything I had were first drafts, and my first drafts are akin to pigsties. But just a couple of years ago when I finally took the initiative to actually edit something and I befriended some wonderful writing buddies in the land of the internets, I tentatively allowed mortal eyes to see my creations. And. . .it wasn’t so bad. In fact, it was almost nice. I still get a bit nervous, but I’ve gotten more used to it and am learning to be brave. I also loooove having feedback because I’m always on a quest to make my stories better, so having suggestions is a wonderful thing!

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?
As any writer, it has always been my dream to have my stories out in the published world. But my ultimate goal is to use the gift and passion God has given me to glorify His kingdom. Whether that be by touching the lives of a few close friends or having my stories out in the world, I want it all for Him.

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?
Don’t. . .don’t write? *sputtering noises* Cannot. . .compute. I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. This is a joke, right?

All right, all right. I have always had a heart for troubled girls. Ever since I was pretty young, I had a longing to be a part of or found my own home for girls who need help and have nowhere else to go. Or even just on a smaller scale by lending an ear to those in need. I don’t know where God wants me to go with this longing really, but I’ve always felt as if He’s preparing me for something. It’s definitely something I want to pursue. Or who knows, maybe my stories can help me connect with girls in need. I don’t know. Basically I want to follow whatever is God’s plan for me.
Taking Time to Live
14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
I do have one story idea that I really love. It came to me probably a year ago and stays in the back of my mind. It’s an Arthurian Legend story that switches back and forth from King Arthur’s time to modern day, connecting the two stories. But I want it set in England, and to really have that England feel. To have real places and real streets and the real culture of England. But, ya know, I’ve never been in England. I know people write stories set in places they’ve never been to all the time, that’s what research (and Google maps) is for after all. But. . .I don’t know. It doesn’t feel like it’s the right time for this story. I’d love more than anything to visit England myself and then write the story. Who knows if that will ever happen, but happen or not, I just know now isn’t the time for this story. It’s going to be far bigger a project than anything I’ve ever written and I really want to make it right.

Someday, hopefully.

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
There’s a special place in my heart for every single story I’ve ever written. Each time I write one I think it’s my favorite story. Asking this is like asking a mother to choose a favorite of her children. With each story I’ve smiled, I’ve struggled. I’ve laughed and had the time of my life and learned something new. They’re each an adventure I’d never want to let go of or forget. Even the ones I’ll never revise. With each book I write I grow more and more. So, to answer your question, they all have my heart.

The Breatings of Your Heart


  1. Yay Beautiful People who are Authors! *twirl*

    All us night-owl writers. XD
    EEEEEEEEEEEE PICTURE OF YOUR ROOM. :D What a comfy chair for writing in. ^_^ Also TARDIS background! :D
    Ooh, that's an intriguing idea for a King Arthur/modern story! But I totally get you... some things just don't want to be written yet, and need research etc.... EEEEE going to England for book-research would be awesome!! XD

    I love seeing all your answers! ^_^ (I'm going to do this next week. :D FUNNN.)

    1. This month's edition was so much fun!

      CHARACTERS ARE ALWAYS THE BEST. Except when they're not... ;P
      *grins* I do love my chair. I mean, a recliner would be ideal but my room is way too cramped for that. So I'll take what I can get! Now you know where I'm sitting whenever I email you and such. ^_^
      TARDIS background, yesssh. I actually have multiple wallpapers that switch every 3 minutes, but plenty of them are Doctor Who ones. Hehe.
      I have this fantasy of visiting England for a while and writing the book while I'm there. Like sit in a park and write a scene in that exact park and such. Lol. I know it's ridiculous, but us writers can dream, right?

      Thank you! EEEEEEEEE!!! YOU ARE?? BP is my favoritest blog linkup EVER. I'M SO EXCITED YOU'RE PARTICIPATING. I cannot waaaait!

  2. Ah, I love how you describe the way you discovered that you love writing! Beautiful!
    I'd love to have a cozy chair like that in my own room, but I don't have the space. And heeeey, do I spy Bryan Davis books on the top shelf?
    Four to six months? *cough**hack* I wish! Well, I suppose I don't actually know anymore how long a first (novel length) draft would take me. I've been rewriting and editing things for so long; my Rooglewood entry was the first NEW thing I'd written in a while! So perhaps, when it comes time to draft again, I won't be as slow as I used to be or think I still am. If that makes sense. XD
    But it's nice to hear someone else has such a singular focus when it comes to writing. I've never been a "five projects at once" kind of gal either. :)
    CHRISTINE, THAT STORY. O_O That sounds fabulous. I would LOVE to see where your imagination takes that idea one day. But of course, I totally understand it being one of those things that needs to wait on the backburner first. Percolating, right?
    Great post, as always! This was fun. (Oh, and Deborah--looking forward to seeing your answers too!)

    1. D'awww, thank you. ^_^
      I understand. Walking space in my room is extremely limited. That's why my chair is literally sitting in front of a bookshelf. I have no more room on my walls. YES YOU DO. Every book but the last three on that shelf are Bryan Davis ones. My goal is to have that whole shelf dedicated to Bryan Davis. XD I'm almost there!
      That makes perfect sense. I was that way for a while as well. Well...more like I wasn't writing at all so it took ages to get anything done. But when I can get myself focused I can usually do it. But there's definitely still things that take me forever! And rewriting/editing is just as important (or more so) as writing first drafts, so keep it up! You're doing awesome!
      You as well? We are so alike! I'd love, love, love to be one of those people who can balance multiple projects because I just have so many I want to work on. But it never works out.
      *beams* Why thank you! I have nooo idea when I'll attempt it. Probably many years down the road, honestly. But I don't want to forget it because I really do like the idea. Percolating, yes! I love how you put that.
      I'm so glad you enjoyed it! <333

  3. Ooh! THAT. PICTURE. Of Tolkien. I just cannot.

    *ahem* Beautiful post! It was great reading all about your writing! And your WRITING CHAIR. ME LIKEY.

    Such a fun post!:)

    1. I KNOW RIGHT? I found it on Pinterest and just about died.

      Why thank you! Thank you for reading! ^_^
      Hehe. I like my chair too. I don't know what I'd do without it honestly... Much time is spent in it.

  4. I love your writing space! It looks comfy. :)

    Your Arthurian Legend story sounds so neat! You should definitely write.

    1. Thank you! It is quite comfy. I enjoy it a lot.

      D'awww. That means so much to me. Now I'm even more inspired to write it. One day I shall, one day...

  5. Marvelous, as always, dearie! I LOVE reading your posts! Well, I love reading anything you write! Keep it up!

    I really like hearing the confidence you have and your passion of writing. It mirrors my own, somewhat. I struggle ALL the time with that dreaded self-doubt (great quote on that, by the way!), but it's just that one step of getting away from it that's the hardest, right? I know exactly how you feel about sharing your writings. I am the SAME way. Still have a hard time. . . But it's getting easier to let my family read what I've written, especially with my poetry. :]

    You writing space is simply darling! That chair! I's jealous. xD

    Go get 'em, girl! I shall await the day when I see when your works on the shelves. :D

    1. Oh my, you just made my day! Sometimes I wonder if anyone is really interested in my random ramblings. You are too sweet! And I feel the same way about YOUR blog. I get thrilled every time a new post of yours pops up on my dashboard.

      Yes, exactly. I still definitely struggle with a whooooole lotta self doubt, but I'm trying to remember that it's all for the glory of God. If this is the path He wants me to take He'll equip me with the gifts I need. It's still a learning process though.
      I'm so glad it's getting easier for you. And your poems bless me every single time. You have a HUGE talent. You should absolutely share those beautiful things with the world!

      *grins* Thank you, milady! I'm quite fond of my little chair.

      YOU. <333 You are such an encouragement. You've totally made my day!


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