Maggie, over at The Zombies Ate My Brains was kind enough to introduce me to her readers and ask me to answer a few questions about myself. I think Maggie and I have a lot in common – for instance, take the name of her blog – it mentions Zombies! I have been preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse for years! She loves to play computer games. I also love computer games – in fact, back in the day, I would play Tetris in order to save the lives of my children. Maggie also loves minerals – and I’m a huge fan of emeralds (preferably of the crystal clear, deep green variety, in a pretty setting on one of my fingers). Maggie lives in Canada – and I often wish I could run away to Canada. You see? We are practically twins!
How this works is that I’ll answer the four questions Maggie asked, and then I’ll ask some incredibly interesting bloggers to participate (but only if they want – because I’m all about being less bossy and controlling these days).
1) What am I working on at the moment?
2) How does my work differ from others of this genre?
3) Why do I write what I do?
4) How does my writing process work?
What am I working on?
Right away I see there may be a problem here – this question is just not specific enough! The main thing I’m working on right now is surviving after my husband of over a quarter century left me. But I won’t dwell on that (because I’ve got plenty of posts where I do if you are so inclined to find out more), plus I really think this question is asking what of writing project am I working on.
Of course, I have my blog – I’m here almost daily, answering comments, tweaking the layout, or checking stats (I’m super needy like that). I write and post a few times a week – I’m kind of in awe of people who post daily – just the thought of trying to do that exhausts me. My friend, Maggie, just posted THREE times just yesterday — she is clearly an overachiever!
Of late, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book – or maybe a series of short stories – based on the situations and emotions surrounding my marriage and breakup. When I feel sad, I just sit down and write – my goal is just to get it all out on paper – raw and ugly – and then I’ll work on smoothing out the edges (or not) later on.
How does my work differ from others of this genre?
I don’t know that I have a particular “genre” in my writing. I just write about my life, my experiences, and how I am or was feeling at the time. I guess my writing is autobiographical – so that’s a genre. It only differs from others because I’m writing about my stuff, not theirs. But I’m influenced by other people’s writing and stories – because they are always jogging memories out of the deep crevices of my mind that otherwise would have remained forgotten.
Why do I write what I do?
Over twenty years ago, I wrote a novel – although that might be too pretentious of a label for the book I wrote – it was more of the Harlequin Romance variety. I sent it in and spent several weeks on pins and needles before finding my manuscript, and a bluntly written rejection letter, in my mailbox. My hopes and dreams of fame and fortune dashed, I gave up writing after that. However, I’ve always been a storyteller – and as I told my coworkers about my crazy life experiences, it occurred to me that I should write them down – and that maybe other people might enjoy them, too! And so, almost a year ago, my blog was born.
I’m also from a Mormon background – and they are very big on journaling your life history for posterity. So, I guess I’m doing a bit of that – because my kids can show my grandkids, and they can show their kids – and I’ll forever be known as “Crazy Nana Jana”.
Writing also soothes the savage beast, as it were. When I first started, my posts were lighthearted and humorous. Now that my life is not always so funny, I found that writing helps me sort through and make sense of the situation and my emotions – and the comments I get offer understanding and support, helping to keep me sane and giving me comfort.
How does my writing process work?
I attempt to post at least twice a week and, right now, that’s about all I can handle. Sometimes inspiration will strike and I’ll write more stories – I love when that happens! Occasionally, I’ll struggle to write even one decent post.
I have a list of possible stories on my computer at work and home – if something happens that I think would make a good post or if I remember a story from the past, I’ll jot it down on my list. If I’m on the go, I make a note on my phone and I transfer those thoughts to my list when I get back home. When I want to write, I’ll look over the list and usually something will pop out at me, demanding to be written. Occasionally, something will happen that I need to write about right away – those posts practically write themselves.
I normally don’t start writing and then put the post away to finish another day – it’s happened, but usually once I start writing I keep writing until I finish the post. My “book” is another matter – I write when inspiration hits – and then I’ll put it away until something triggers another session. I’m interested to see how that ends up when this is all done – I’m hoping it has a happy ending.
Here is that list of those remarkable bloggers I mentioned earlier:
If you haven’t discovered these gals yet, you owe it to yourself to check them out!