Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tagged, bagged, and incorrectly labeled

My good friend, Meghan Gorecki has started the most nobby little affair I've ever seen: Every Good Word: a blog for writers by writers. One of the things I love about Meghan is her precision. She's a precise person and calls herself a perfectionist, but that has served her well on her personal blog and I am looking forward to her organization, vision, and sense on Every Good Word. To celebrate the launch of this new blog, Meghan has concocted a wonderful tag to help everyone get to know other writers! I thought I'd participate, so there you have it. Be sure to go take a wander on the blog; it's going to be a wonderful place.

What was your first-ever piece of writing? Poetry, I should think. As far as stories go, the story that is still somewhat nameless and that I refer to as Ella & Cornelia. Funnily enough, that story actually made it to full-novel status, albeit useless as far as content goes. I suppose that is peculiar for starting authors. I was only twelve at the time.
How old were you when you first began writing? Poetry began as soon as I realized rhymes existed - and it was terrible. Then it improved. Then it was rather good for an eight or nine-year-old. And as I said, my first story and, hence, my first novel was written at the sagacious age of twelve.
Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term. Short term goal: Finish The Baby by the end of the year. (copy-cat, I know.) Long term: be a realio-trulio published author and become trademarked for my charming, unique style in whatever the genre is. I want people to be able to read one of my books and not even see the name on the cover and think, "This sounds like Rachel Heffington", and then flip the book over and see that it is mine. 
Do you write fiction or non-fiction? Oh my. Well, I suppose you can say both since I do blog, but I consider myself almost exclusively a novelist.
Bouncing off question 4, what is your favorite genre to write in? This is a sticky and complex subject for me, as I don't style myself as any particular kind of author. I dabble in it all and enjoy it all. I have fantasy, historical fiction, inspiration-romance, children's fiction, YA and now mystery under my belt. Rather than being stylized by a genre, I prefer to bring my own twist to whatever genre I choose. I love diversity so I enjoy working in many different categories. 
One writing lesson you've learned since 2013 began? There is something to be said about plotting beforehand instead of pantsing, as I tend to do. (Fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-ing.) This lesson was learned only by coming to grief first, I warn you.
Favorite author off the top of your head! C.S. Lewis. Oh, that's boring because everyone chooses him. Oh well. I would still have to say Lewis is tops. He's just...argh. He's just him and if you don't know what that means, you're missing out on something immense.
Three current favorite books. (Remember what I said about precision? Thanks, Meghan, for choosing the word "current".) A book I just picked up at the library and have fallen in love with already: P.D. James Talking About Detective Fiction ; fascinating read. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy might be sensational, but that woman could write, by Jove! It's been a favorite since I first read it. Anddddd....I will go out on a flattery-limb here (because it's true) and say Jenny Freitag's mysterious novel, Plenilune, which isn't published yet but taunts me eternally with beautiful snippets. It's a favorite of mine before I've even read it. So there.
Biggest influence on your writing {person}. Hrm. This is difficult. There are so many people who have influenced my writing... Speaking of modern people, not deceased authors, I would have to begin way back at Diana Sharples (author of soon-to-be-released Running Lean), who have really tough critique but built me into stronger stuff than I had yet been. Jenny Freitag is always an inspiration to keep red blood flowing through the veins of my characters. Rachelle Rea has given me gentle but pointed critique as well. My grandmother, as well, who is a terribly well-read person and thus not a flatterer when it comes to reading my work. She is my Alpha-Beta-Reader.
What's your go-to writing music? I don't usually listen to music when I'm writing, actually. My characters demand center-stage and music can be distracting. I do, however, like to listen to Andrew Peterson or Kate Rusby if the volume is low. Their music soothes my soul.
List three to five writing quirks of yours. I have to be barefoot to write. I make faces in accordance with whatever dialog I am writing. I talk about my characters as if I had nothing to do with their creation. (Do I?) I always begin my stories on paper; the feel of the pen inspires me to no end.
What, in three sentences, does your writing mean to you? A chance to see the world the way I see it and to cause other people to look at it in a way they may never have before. A chance to give to literature what literature has given to me: beautiful, timeless, charming stories that cause one to yearn for the onward and upward. A chance to conduct words into a living, breathing current of whimsy no one has read in the exact same pattern before.


Jenny Freitag said...

"A chance to give to literature what literature has given to me." That perhaps best sums up my own feelings - there is a lot to sum up, but that pretty well encases much.

I am flattered, but also somewhat frightened, to know that I have inspired you. I hope that Adamantine and Plenilune, Gingerune, Ethandune, etc. all live up to your expectations and exceed them. When I read and write and think and plan, it occurs to me that I am doing all that for your sake as much as for my own - and that is sobering.

Well, old bean I am looking forward to the day I can pick up a novel by Rachel Heffington, turn back the front cover, and settle in for a rollicking read. ^.^

Anonymous said...

::Curtsies:: Thank you m'dear! For your words, your story of how you came to spin words, & for being YOU. <3

Anonymous said...

I can already tell you have a marvelously charming style of writing! I'm excited to someday read your books when you're all famous and stuff. :)

C.S. Lewis is a marvelous choice! I agree, he's just him. And it makes me happy. :)

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

Ooo, that P.D. James book sounds interesting. (As a sidenote, for anybody really interested in mystery-writing, I highly recommend this 1919 article by Anna Katharine Green: "Why Human Beings Are Interested in Crime." It's really fascinating—gives a fresh perspective, but one that entirely makes sense, on so many elements of the mystery.)

I wrote quite a bit of poetry as a kid that I can't even stand to look at now. Some of it may have fallen into the rather-good-for-a-child category, but it still makes me squirm if I come across it. :)

Rachel Heffington said...

I am glad my answers proved interesting, Meghan. Jenny, the fact that your writing is interesting in tiny pieces is probably a good enough bet for it on the whole. If not, then I will simply read it in two-sentence-snatches and be pleased. ;)
Beth, you are so sweet! Thank you.
And Elisabeth (bwaha! I have learned!)thanks for the link; I will check it out ASAP. You do need to read the P.D. James book - I copied out four and a half pages of quotes from it into my writing journal.

Unknown said...

Loved this, oh, loved this! :)