“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” — Albert Einstein

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Like Phone Tag Only More Fun

There’s this thing going around the blogosphere called Blog Tag and I’m it. Jean Oram tagged me before I could duck, and now I get to tell you a few things about myself. I’ve procrastinated long enough so here we go.

1) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?

The last thing I wrote was a short story which might be the foundation for a novel.

The first thing I wrote was a poem for children about farm animals; somewhat embarrassing now.

2) Write poetry?

Oh, yes, (see above) long before I started writing novels. I love structured poetry and had the most fun writing a villanelle for a college course . . ."She bought a sarong in Venice, where everyone is beautiful"

I like the power of haiku, the challenge of the sestina and the immortal sonnet but sometimes a subject calls for free verse.

3) Angsty poetry?

Oh, yeah. But hopefully it’s tucked away where no one will ever read it.

4) Favorite genre of writing?

I like to write about serious themes that inspire passion, layered with intrigue and sexual tension for emotional impact.

5) Most annoying character you've ever created?

The spoiled city girl who slept around and drove a Smart car.

6) Best plot you've ever created?

How a body is disposed of organically and the murder weapon is entombed under water.

7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?

When the bad guy surprisingly shows up in a place where a man can just disappear.

8) How often do you get writer's block?

I really don’t get writer's block. Lack of time is my block.

9) Write fan fiction?


10) Do you type or write by hand?

I type everything on my laptop unless I’m not at home, then it’s in a journal or on a bar napkin, or if a flash of inspiration strikes while driving, I write on a notepad or the palm of my hand while I steer with my knees. (I really do that. Don't you?)

11) Do you save everything you write?

Yes, I even have the first draft of my first novel. And early poems that make me cringe now. I’m funny about that. Boxes under my bed . . . in the closet. . .

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?

I haven't yet.

13) What's your favorite thing you've ever written?

My #1 novel which is in the final stage of revision.

14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?

The same.

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

I love a good sex scene but I’ve never written a strictly romance novel per se, but my stories always have a hint of romance. Angsty teen stuff? Maybe. I think most great novels have a romantic relationship at the core of the story and many times the climax is the romantic payoff.

16) What's your favorite setting for your characters?

In the bedroom! Seriously, it’s where they are most comfortable. It might be a ship at sea or a cabin in the woods in the north country, or night fishing with friends on the big lake, or skinny dipping in a pond.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?

Editing the #1 novel (getting the word count down) and finishing up the first draft on a second novel. And always poetry bubbling beneath the surface of every situation I encounter.

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?

Yes. I’ve received awards for my poetry.

19) What are your five favorite words?

Cozy. . . because it’s an onomatopoetic word. (The sound of it imitates its meaning.)

Melancholy . . . because it too unites sound with sense, plus it’s a downright beautiful word.

Chocolate . . . no reason necessary.

Comfortable . . . because I like the way if rolls off the tongue.

Frock . . . because it reminds me of my grandmother.

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?

I suppose the female protagonist in #1 novel shares some personality traits with me. But she is braver and more daring.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?

From my past and from my imagination.

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?


23) Do you favor happy endings?

Let’s just say I want some modicum of hope at the end. Ambiguity is okay. The Giver is a good example of that. A bad ending is so unsatisfying. As a reader it makes me feel cheated to have a novel end dismally after having invested so much time in it. I personally don't want to do that to my readers, and I try to be generous and empathetic with my characters. I don't want or expect happily-ever-after but one can only take so much Shakespearean tragedy.

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Absolutely. To do otherwise is lazy.

25) Does music help you write?

Yes, depending on what I’m writing, music can actually inspire. When I was writing my first novel, I bought every Doors CD I could get my hands on and cranked it up.

26) Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head.

“Everyone was afraid of him, but not her father, which made her proud but didn’t give her courage.”

OK, I've bared my soul. Nah, it wasn't that bad (nothing like running naked to the mailbox). Hope I didn’t bore you. I could’ve kept my answers shorter but that felt like cheating. Now it’s my turn to pass along this opportunity and I’m tagging Rebecca Bush. Rebecca has a beautiful blog that I've been following as long as I've been blogging. And one more, C.M. Jackson, another prolific writer who manages a great blog. If you haven't already done so, check them out. I think I'm supposed to tag three people so I might add another victim if I can catch them.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.


Jean said...

You've run naked to the mailbox? I hope yours is a lot closer than mine (over a block and a half away) and that there was something rewarding in there!

Simon C. Larter said...

No, good lady, you're not the only one who steers with their knees while writing or reading and driving. I've had days where I managed 200 pages' worth of reading in a long day of driving. Should I admit that in public? No? Okay, fine. I'm lying. Better?

Anyway, nicely done. You succeeded in succinctness much better than I. Applause all round! Oh, and happy holidays, too!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I can tell you took time to think these through. Really good answers (and useful--tuck them away for when you find yourself doing author interviews!)
I love the word melancholy, as well as melancholia.
Merry Christmas to you.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great answers :) And, no, I was definitely not bored! Merry Christmas!

Yvonne said...


You're so funny. Not in the wintertime....too cold:) That was a reference to an earlier post that I always assume everyone reads. OK, my ego is now deflated again. Seriously, Jean, thanks for tagging me. I enjoyed it.


Oh...I'm soooo glad. Sometimes I think I'm deranged. And you're much worse than I. 200 pages? Good God, man!

Anyway, thanks and happy holidays to you and yours as well.


Thank you! Author interviews? Ah, yes... hopefully some day or I shall forever be melancholy.

Merry Christmas!

Hi Jemi,

Thank you so much and Merry Christmas to you. I'm off now to make some cranberry daiquiris!


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Yvonne, I'm back to whisper that I've left something on my blog for you. ;)

Anonymous said...

Great answers. I can only hope your mailbox is not covered by snow or it might be a more embarassing trip than first anticipated!

I love your word choices. They do roll of the tongue and induce warm fuzzy feelings. Better grab a hot chocolate and start the fire. I feel a cozy evening coming on.

Yvonne said...


Thank you. Yes, it's a night for hot chocolate and warm fuzzy slippers. And lots of blogging friends!

Nishant said...

Applause all round! Oh, and happy holidays, too!

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