5 Miles of Country Road


220px-Flash_Sela

It was a normal day.  A day like any other day.   Typical  things to do: groceries, pay bills, post office, the gym.   I do the circuit, plotting my course to the most effective route, saving the groceries for last because  well, I didn’t want  my cold stuff going off.

The trip home is about 7 miles.  ( 6.78 if you want to be specific.)  I pass the office where I used to work, and traffic stops.    It’s not like a traffic jam in the city, no. We are still moving but at a snail’s pace of about 30 miles an hour.   A tractor was in the road about 5 cars ahead of me.  It’s a straight road, I could see all the cars lined up in front of me going down the hill.

Minding my own business, listening to my daughter recap her day at school – with a few minor extractions,  An idea struck!  I don’t mean popped in there, turned on like a light bulb I mean WHAM!  Like the impact of  when the Hulk smashes.

An idea, a twisted horrific idea  pops up from one of the dark recesses in my mind.  A terrifying scenario in a completely  different genre than I’ve ever attempted.   The bad thing is, I’ve got this full-blown evil  malevolence with  the power to deceive its prey, the power to absorb its  prey,  and the means to dispose of without detection. The problem is, how to  have someone figure it out before it’s too late and we are all alien bug food.

Is it not enough that I currently  have too many projects  that are unfinished?  Is it  too much to ask for ideas to  stay within the bounds of the current project?  NO!  Like a  piece of Johnston grass, this  thing pops in there and is invasive.  One little tiny spec   and it has taken over a good portion of my conscious thought.

I’ve jotted  some notes down, drawn out a few pictures, and even come up with the character for its first victim.  I’ll have to do some research don’t we always?

Horror would be a totally new direction for me.  Not being a fan of horror flicks,  or books I don’t know where it came from.  I suppose it could be a residual from the books I used to read back in  my college days.   ( Stephen King, Love craft, Poe, Anne Rice)

In the meantime, I jot down my  few notes and try to focus on the manuscript at hand.  Revisions: to add some depth to my story,  get out of my head the back-story  that helps with the world building and explains why my characters behave as they do.  It would be so much easier if I could just plug in a flash drive and download  the entire  story that’s in my brain.  But, if  that were possible I’m afraid some of those other ideas would download as well that aren’t even half-baked yet.  That wouldn’t be good.

What do you do when ideas strike you? I’d love to hear from  everyone on how and when your ideas  pop up and  how you handle them.

Write on my friends, write on!

Interview With Author Joseph Eastwood


You may have noticed I haven’t posted for a few days?  Anyone????  Computers are finicky things.  Temperamental beasts on their best day.  Hopefully now, we hae all previous issues resolved and  I think (fingers crossed here) we are back up and fully operational!

Today I have a special guest.  His just released book , hot off the press is flying off the shelves!   Joseph Eastwood shared a bit earlier on my blog about his work, check it out  HERE!

Let’s get right to it then.

Hey Joseph!  Glad you could make it.  Thank you for taking the time to let me interview you.

What’s your choice of beverage? That doesn’t count as a question, just making you comfy.

JE:  COFFEE! I love coffee!

Hernando and  Javier bring coffee and refreshments, setting a plate of light pastries, fresh fruit, and cheese in front of us.  My stomach growls, having not eaten yet.   Javier stands to the side, flexing his shirtless form for Josephs’s benefit.  I pour my cup, Javier has already poured Josephs. Hmmm, I can’t seem to get him motivated.

Welcome to Quotidiandose!  A place where you just never know what might happen.  Just when you think I’ve settled into a groove, ha fooled you!  LOL

Ready????

 You’re the eldest child of five.  Ironically, I’m the youngest of five.  Do you think there’s anything to that personality/birth order connection?

Definitely, as the eldest I’ve always been the first to do everything, high school, moving out, university etc. but as the eldest you also feel like you’re the guinea pig as parents might be seeing what kind of parent they are, or god forbid reading parenting books. Parents mollycoddle their youngest, and if there are middle children, then they are the ones to usually rebel. (That’s my theory anyway.)

Hmmm, I’d have to disagree.  As the youngest, my folks were done with any ‘mollycoddling ‘- never heard that term before.  I’m the rebel of the bunch.  

 I see you’re a student at UNI, what do you plan to do with your degree when you graduate?

I don’t want to do anything with it, maybe perhaps do my masters. But getting a degree in Eng and creative writing is what I do part time, it’s not all of my focus, my writing and self-publishing career is my real focus and my real goal in life.

  What do you do when you’re not writing or going to UNI?

I watch a lot of TV! Like, I am an actually a TV whore, but only the good stuff like Grimm, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, The Good Wife, Cupcake Wars, and some reality TV that I won’t mention as it’s embarrassing to speak about in public.

Javier refills Joseph’s cup.  He’s very attentive today.

 I had some really aggravating assignments when I was in college.  What was your worst writing assignment?  

The one I didn’t hand in I guess, but it the most simple of assignments I’ve ever had, all I had to do was write a 1,000 word essay and then annotate a poem and also write 500 words about that, but I didn’t hand it in. Eeek. 

You’ve said that you’re a TRUE BLOOD fan.  Who’s your favorite character and why? 

Jessica! She really doesn’t get enough attention. She was turned into a vampire after being taken from her strict Christian (don’t know which religion) family, and then she became some AH-MAZING vampire lady. I think she’s the only character that I actually like anymore. Oh, and Pam! Everyone else is just super weird, and Bill cannot act.

Pfft! Bill!  *rolls eyes* Give me Erik or Alcide anyday!!

 Have you read the Charlaine Harris books that are the inspiration for True Blood?

I haven’t, although I do have the first few books on my shelf… which I will one day get around to reading.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

A plotter. I’m a major plotter! I absolutely love plotting and I’ve actually plotted all of the books in my three series, which is around 11 novels and 2 novellas… and I’m writing them all… so my life is revolving around getting these stories out.

You’ve stated that you like to put your characters through hoops.  What is the most bizarre “hoop” you’ve made them (one?) jump through – without giving away your story?

Well, why don’t you read Lumen and see what hoops I’ve created for Daniel to jump through, or the characters that I’ve created to get in Daniel’s way.

 What qualifies a “writing session” for you?  Do you set a word count, a timer, or write until a scene is complete?  Describe.

To me, a writing session is when I hit the 500 mark and can’t stop writing, but a writing session becomes fulfilling when I hit 2,500 words. My sessions can go from 1,000 to 5,000 words, and it all depends on what I’m doing that day, or if I’ve planned the session or not.

What’s the most you’ve ever written in one sitting before?
Over 10,000 words.  It was the day the internet was down!
LOL

I wrote my first ever flash fiction for your blog.  It was surprisingly fun.  If I gave you a story prompt, how long would it take you to write a flash piece, a short story, or a scene?  Which would you choose and why?

I’d choose a piece of flash fiction as it only takes me around 30 minutes to go from plotting what’s going to happen in the 500+/- words to writing it.

Are you a neat freak, a scrunge, or somewhere in the middle of the road?  How about your writing area?  Does it tend to the sanitized surface, or a cluttered heap?

I think I’m in the middle of the road. I’m certainly not a neat freak though. I usually write in bed with laptop on my knees and a bunch of paper around me, so you could say that my writing area is just a cluttered mess.

Are there any characters that have given you complete fits?  Been difficult to work with, or refused to cooperate? 

Oh god no, if I can’t work with my characters I kick them out, they either work with me, or they hitch onto someone else’s imagination. I also love building huge character profiles up for my main characters so that I can get a feel for them and know how to work them with my writing.

Laughing here, because mine can be quite the divas at times.  I’ve had them show up, want their story told then play coy in how they want it told.  Trust me, dragons can be such divas!

When Lumen hits phenomenal status, and is contracted for a movie, what actor and actresses would you like to see play your characters?

Oh, if only this would happen to Lumen, although all the way through writing it, and then after so many rereads I always imagined it being played on the big screen inside my head. I’m not someone to go through a list of celebrities and pick out who I’d want to play it if I was turned into a film. But if I saw someone, I’d say. Nobody really stands out when I think about it being a film. I’d probably have some newbie actors with fresh faces.

One of the things I enjoy is playing video games.  My favorite is Tombraider, and Skyrim is becoming a huge favorite as well.  Do you play and what games do you enjoy?

SIMS! I absolutely love The Sims! That counts as a video game, right? Other than that I don’t really play anything else. I would probably play Skyrim if I had a PS3 or something, but I don’t.

LOL!  My kids love SIMS!

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Self-publish my book. It was crazy. I didn’t know what to do once I’d clicked the upload button. So, the craziest thing I’ve ever done is self-publishing… whoa, my life is boring.

My kids and I have this weird little thing we do, memorizing lines from movies then reciting full scenes with each other.  Do you ever memorize lines from movies, and “reenact them with your friends or siblings”?

HAHA! Awh, that sounds so cute! I wish I could see that. No, I don’t do anything like that. We sometimes quote films, like Mean Girls etc. but not full scenes, although that would be fun.

The Olympics were just in London.  Did you go?  Did you watch?  What was your favorite event?  How do you feel about the US smokin’ everyone on the medals?

Hehe, I know I live in the UK, but at the opposite end from London… like, the north. Ha! I watched a couple of events, and my fav would have to be the mens gymnastics… who wouldn’t like to watch muscly men in lycra and spandex doing flips around a room.

Javier moves closer, then gets an odd expression staring at Joseph.

Thank you so much for visitng me here in the midwest.  I know it’s a far cry from the UK.  We’ve had a drought recently,  it’s usually at least a little nicer here.  *clears throat, turns pale*

How do you feel about spiders?

NO. NEVER. GO AWAY! I’ll start crying. I mean it.

Hernando steps in and knocks spider off Joseph’s shoulder.  I’m sorry.  With all this dry heat, they’ve become a real problem. 

Javier escorts Joseph quickly  out the door while Hernando cleans up the spider guts.

Speaking of unexpected, take a look at Joseph’s book for his unexpected twist with Daniel.

About Joseph

Joseph Eastwood is the eldest of five siblings, and he lives and grew up in Lancaster, England.

He has always had a giant creative connection in his life, from drawing and writing to having an eclectic taste in music and reading a wide range of books, which he hopes reflects in his own writing. He also loves watching sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy based TV shows and films. Among some of his favourites are Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. As well as those he loves dramas, like The Good Wife and Desperate Housewives.

Joseph is either busy doing edits and writing, that, or he’s on his Facebook page being a professional procrastinator. He lives for creativity, striving to be different and thinking up new hoops for his characters to jump through.

Links

http://www.josepheastwood.com/ – Blog

https://www.facebook.com/josephswriting – Facebook page

https://twitter.com/#!/Joe_Eastwood – Twitter

Got any questions for Joseph?  Leave him a comment adn show your love!!

Write on my friends, write on!

Interview With Penelope Price


Are you enjoying my Wonderful Women Writers series?  There are just so many wonderful women out there; I could probably keep this going for a long time!  Today’s guest is Penelope Price, a friend from my online writing community.

There are some people who you meet or cyber meet that you are ok with, then there are those that you feel a kindred spirit with.  There is a kindred spirit I feel with Penelope.  Someday hopefully soon, when I can begin travelling – hopefully for a book tour or something (hey I’m allowed to dream!) that I would love to sit down for lunch with Penelope and have a real face to face!

Without any further delays, y’all came here to hear what Penelope has to say right?  So let’s welcome today’s guest!  (AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!)  Yeah, yeah, yeah!  *Men in back row stand up wearing body paint*

Alright, alright, settle down.   *Tall handsome man with  a sexy salt & pepper Van Dyke and dark curls stands up with large sign and yells:  “I LOVE YOU PENELOPE!”*

My guest turns ten shades of red, then whispers “Jack sit down!”

I lean over and nudge her arm, “He’s a hottie, I’d keep him!”

We exchange smiles.  “Shall we move on to the interview now that the men are settled?”

 

Tell me a little about yourself.

Greetings, I am the writer/dreamer/gamer/nerd affectionately known as Penelope Price. The vital statistics are as follows:

Age: 32

Sex: Please. *badum ching!*  (girly giggles)

Stale jokes aside, female.

Location: Pennsylvania, USA (though I’m a West Coast girl, born & raised)

Website: www.penelopeprice.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PP_TheWriter

Twitter: @PP_TheWriter

 

What genre do you write?

Genre is a weird subject for me. I find my own stuff pretty hard to classify beyond “fiction” and “fantasy”. There are so many sub-genres and niches! My current WIP (and its sequel) are modern-day fantasy set in a mostly rural region. It features several main characters, one of whom is a fifteen-year-old girl, but it isn’t exactly a “YA” novel… or maybe it is. Definitions have changed a lot since I was a “YA” reader exclusively. Anyway, generally, I would classify myself a fantasy writer.

Until “Incandescence” and “Inferno”, I had never really tried my hand at modern-day or real-ish world settings. Not since my very earliest novels (circa Middle School).

I think writing is one of those amazing things in life where you are not limited by labels. You can have a romance story set on a futuristic alien planet, or a mystery in the old west, supernatural happenings in a fictional world, or just about anything.  I like to think that in all my works, they are more than ‘just’ the genre. There’s romance (and even lusty erotic moments, in some cases) in my war-based epic fantasy. There are life lessons set amongst the modern-day mages and their fight against the apocalypse. There is chocolate in my peanut butter…. No wait, that one is another stale joke.

 

How did you get started?

I started writing pretty much the moment I could read. I started putting those short stories and character ideas into ‘novel’ form when we got our first computer, around Christmas 1990. I was 10. I started typing into the word processor of that Tandy 2000 and never looked back.

Words have always been important to me. I’m a… linguophile? Someone who loves languages and linguistics? (Works for me, we are writer’s.  We are allowed to make up words, right? Honestly I don’t know if it’s a word or not – let’s just go with it, it should be!)

Is that a word? Probably not. Anyway – whatever the term, I’m one of them. Words are life. Words are what separate us from (most) animals. Words are… dude, I can’t even express how important words are. To me, at any rate. I cannot express myself as well (or at all *cough* have you seen my artwork?) any other way.

My handwriting is terrible, but these days, I seem to do better when I’m scribbling into a notebook, old school-style. Probably because of the interwebs and their multitudes of shiny distractions.

 

Ooh Shiny!  (We both watch as the back row does a shirtless wave.)

Where were we? (fumbles through index cards)  Oh yes question 4.

Describe your writing routine.

My routine has been disrupted the past couple of months, due to my fiancé, Jack, and his whole ‘widow maker’ episode. People have joked that it’s a good thing we weren’t married yet, or he’d never have survived it (being that I can’t be a widow since we’re not yet legally joined on paper). Hah. (That had to be scary!)

Anyway – typically, I would get up a couple of hours before heading off to my day job and try to sneak in a solid 45-60 minutes of work. Then, snatch any downtime at work for quick bursts of writing time.  Then, after the day job ended (and while Jack was still at work), cram in a little more writing time.  It seems like a lot more time than it really amounted to, but I managed.

These days, I’m blessed to be working my day job from home, but there’s very little downtime so those 8 hours are pretty much writing-free.  Not having a commute (or taking the time to get dressed, hah!) saves me a few minutes daily, which is nice, but since Jack is always home, it seems like I have even less time than I used to have. Probably, because he (like a small child) requires much attention.

(We glance over, noticing Jack is chatting with one of the shirtless men with a stern expression, and nod to each other.)

And yes, because we play LoTRO (him daily, me – usually only on the weekends).

 

How do you manage writing with the rest of your life as wife, mother, grandmother, employee and/or any other hats you wear?

.This speaks a lot to the previous answer, but I don’t look good in hats. I think that’s why I have so much trouble wearing intangible, symbolic ones. I’m not yet a wife or mother, but I am an employee, a friend, a fiancée, a gamer… and I hope to add wife and mother and puppy-haver to that list one of these days.

( We ooh and aah over pictures of my puppy, Ginger.  OK, so she’s 5 yrs old but she’s still a cutie!)

I tend to move in cycles. One week, I am a great housekeeper, to the detriment of other roles. The next, I’m writing like a fiend and other things fall to the wayside. One weekend, I spend 12 hours watching a whole season of some TV program that I’ve never seen before, (*cough*Last Weekend. True Blood. Season One. *cough*), and not get any writing or anything done.

Finding balance is very difficult for me. I have an addictive personality and I do tend to get obsessed with things – single-minded, as it were. Which is great when it comes to pounding out words for a novel. But is bad when surprise guests arrive in the middle of a manic writing cycle and the toilet isn’t scrubbed and the floors aren’t mopped and AARRGGHHH!!

*ahem*

Moving on.

(Runs mental checklist of domestic responsibilities left unattended, hoping no one opens any closet doors!)

 

How long did it take you to have your first book published?

I sent my first query when I was eleven years old. I received the nicest rejection letter ever, encouraging me to keep writing and making up characters and to never stop dreaming.

I never did – but I have not tried again in the years since. Fortunately, the internet has taken over the world of publishing and there are many other options available to a writer today. A mere 20 years (twenty?!) later, I will make my mark on publishing by releasing my latest novel electronically. As it is in a stage of editing at the moment, I have not really begun to look for a small press or imprint to query – but I intend to do so over the summer.

So how long did it take me? I’ll let you know. Twenty years and counting, I guess.

 

What method will you choose and why?

I haven’t yet, to be honest. I would of course, adore to be traditionally published one day. Who wouldn’t? But I don’t think that getting my work out there requires that. Regardless of whether I choose to hire an editor and send my baby out into the world by uploading it to Amazon myself or I choose to seek out an indie press – I’m finally ready to open myself (and my work) up to the outside world. I will let the pieces fall where they may.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

. It seems a little impertinent to offer advice to other ‘aspiring authors’, being that I too am just a fledgling. But what I will say is something that another writer told me (and he was quoting Chuck Wendig from TerribleMinds.com).  DO NOT CALL YOURSELF AN ASPIRING ANYTHING!!! You either write and are a writer, or you don’t, and are not. Period. You may aspire to be published, aspire to make someone cry with your words… things like that. But you cannot be an aspiring author or writer. Either you get off your butt (or, if you write sitting down, on it) and author something… or don’t.

Here’s a link to Chuck’s article, entitled “25 Things I Want to Say to So-Called Aspiring Writers”: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/02/21/25-things-i-want-to-say-to-so-called-aspiring-writers/

 

Love reading Chuck!  He’s very in your face, get over yourself!  He has a way of putting things into perspective that jerk me right out of my little pity parties.  Ahem, moving on. . .

Who are your favorite authors?

I read pretty voraciously across genre-lines and the bounds of good taste. A smattering of my favorite authors: Shakespeare, George R.R. Martin, Victor Hugo, Melanie Rawn, Kathryn Anderson, Patricia Cornwell, JV Jones, Kate Elliot, David Gemmel, Dave Duncan, Paula Volsky, Kaya McClaren.  I could go on 🙂

 

 

You can find Penelope Price and info about her upcoming releases at:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/PenelopePriceWriter

Twitter: @PP_TheWriter

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/PenelopePrice/

www.penelopeprice.net

Thank you Penelope for stopping by Quotidiandose.  ( Jack stands applauding wildly, gives the row of shirtless men glare until they stand and applaud as well. We exchange glances giving the knowing nod.)

Do you have any questions for Penelope?  Please feel free to leave comments!

Thanks for stopping by and Write on my friends, write on!