Happy LEAP Day!!! I have a friend whose birthday is today and for that reason alone, I think she is the coolest person (although she’s pretty great without the awesome birthday). What a fun day today is, an extra day, and I hope you do something extra fun, extra happy, and/or extra special. I probably won’t because I’m a very dull, boring person, but I’ll feel better if you do. :) Oh, and if you have any fun Leap Day traditions, let me know. I’m sure I could check Pinterest (couldn’t I?), but I’d rather just stick around here and ask you guys.
I might add that writing has been a huge LEAP in my life. In fact, the last leap year, I hadn’t even considered the possibility that I would be an author some day. Or that I’d have a website, or a blog, or twitter, or any of the other new leaps I’ve taken. Kind of makes me curious what the next four years will bring. Even now when old friends find out I’ve written a book they look at me a long minute and say as politely as possible, “Really? You? The music lady?” Big leap. That’s probably also why it’s been so fun.
(Reminder: it’s not too late to get a free, autographed copy of SADIE. There are over 160 entries on goodreads, but not that many on my blog. So if you want to up your chances, hop over to this blog post and drop me a note that you want to be considered.)
Today I’m going to take a little leap and talk about myself. Christine Tyler tagged me recently and asked me to answer 11 questions. I’m only now getting around to answering. Sorry Christine. I’m slow.
1. What do you eat when you write?
Anything and everything (okay, not everything. See #11). I’m a snacker, meaning I eat every hour or two, all day long. Bad habit I know, but it’s my body, not yours. :)
2. What do you do when you experience despair and crippling doubt?
Curl up in the fetal position and cry. Just kidding. I don’t know. I usually take a break, do something different like read a book, play the piano, or goof around with my kids. Sometimes I’ll read the nice notes people have sent me the last few months (big thank you, by the way!). When those feelings have lost their intensity, I get back to work. They always do–thankfully. One of the few benefits to having a short attention span.
3. How did you find your first critique partner, or what are you looking for in a future CP?
My family. Best place, right? I lucked out in that my sister-in-law Sarah was the first person to read SADIE and she’s encouraged me ever since. We swap manuscripts and bounce ideas off each other all the time. My dad has also been great in giving me writing tips and such. As far as what I look for in a CP, I appreciate someone who can tell me the brutal honest truth in a less-than-brutal way. I suppose we all do.
4. What is your biggest distraction when you write?
Kids. I should probably state that the other way around, though. Writing is the biggest distraction to my parenting. Sometimes I have to remind myself which is the hobby and which is the life-long dream (writing is the hobby in case you didn’t catch that). I’ve set time limits on when I write and blog because of the tunnel vision I acquire when I’m in the mode. In a year and a half they’ll all be in school full time and then I will write more.
5. What character in your writing are you most proud of development-wise? Why?
I would say the character I’m working on right now, Greg. He’s a real jerk to the main character and it was hard to let him be. Knowing the why behind him and seeing him pull out of that jerkiness has been very rewarding. He still can be a jerk at times and I struggle to rein him in (so does the MC), but if he was perfect, he wouldn’t be fun. Or real. Hopefully future readers will forgive him. I have.
6. What is the worst thing you have ever written?
Worst? No idea. I’m sure there’s plenty to choose from, but referencing question #2, I’d rather not search my memories for an example.
7. Do you talk to yourself, get up and act things out, or make faces when you’re writing? Tell us about one of these times :D
I definitely talk to myself. I don’t get up and act things out though. Hmmm, maybe I should. Nope. Too weird for me. Sorry. The first year when I was writing, one of the kids or my hubby would walk into the room and give me a “Who are you talking to?” look. Now they don’t bother. They know I’m crazy. It’s great!
8. Where do you go for inspiration?
9. What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Letting go of a good idea in pursuit of a better idea (I posted once about this dilemma here). I tend to hoard words. I need to work on letting go. It’s not like I’m writing in stone. Things can change and that’s okay. It’s okay. I can let go now. Let go…Take a deep breath. It’s fine.
10. If you were a world-famous author, what advice would you give aspiring authors?
World famous? Really? Wow. Ummmm…work hard and edit like crazy. Just when you think it’s done, it probably isn’t, so go back and tweak some more. And then some more. And then a little more.
11. Have you ever had Ketchup Chips?
Sadly yes. I was introduced to Ketchup chips by my Canadian brother-in-law. He also gave me Vinegar and Pickle chips. I think there was another heinous kind in there but my mind has mercifully wiped that night from my memory. Bleh. Nasty stuff. Does anybody really like Ketchup Chips? I mean really really?
So that’s a little bit about me. If you’d like to answer these same 11 questions, leave a comment for me and I’ll come check out your answers. However, if you say that you like Ketchup Chips, we just might have to chat.
Take a LEAP on something new today. Make it count because today only happens every four years.
related post: Rebecca Belliston interview