writing meme: days 5 & 6

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?

Let’s see. If we’re counting wip, then there are several babies still in utero. You can’t get much younger than that. My oldest character was 98 when he passed away. Now, if we’re going to talk about the Ancestors, those go way back. We’re talking pre-Norman Invasion …

In terms of when a character was created, that would be Samantha back in 1996 when I first thought of her. She sprang to life at the age of twenty-two.

6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol’ pen and paper?

I write better away from the computer – even with wi-fi turned off, I can manage to find something to do besides writing. Too, I can write much faster than I can type, even though I can type almost 80wpm. Dyslexia goes a long way with not being able to compose at the typewriter. I transpose words more than I do letters. When I’m trying to think and write and type, I invariably leave things out. My scenes and characters – the whole shebang – come out very flat and have to be reworked later. I’ve been writing with a clipboard, loose leaf paper, and an ink pen since I was thirteen.

I can get some pretty good steam rolling between 11am and 2pm. Then again from 4pm until about 8pm or so. Now if I were able to live on the schedule I’m most comfortable with, that would be a different story. If I could go to bed at 3am or 4am and sleep until noon, I’d cope with a lot of things so much better. Unfortunately, life is out there and won’t allow me to live on that schedule.

writing meme: days 3 & 4

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?

I have to be very careful with names. There are names you’ll never see used inside Harlan County. Although that’s changing somewhat, names there remain very traditional. Last names are a problem, too. They seem to be place specific. So I have an old (1997 I think) Harlan County telephone directory.

As for places, I do write fiction, but it’s set in my version of a real place – see my response to question one from yesterday. However, I try to keep my descriptions as close to the actual places as I’m able. I have extensive research and gods know how many photographs of Harlan County that I use for reference.

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

Oh this is fun. If you’ve read my biography, you know that I wrote my first book when I was six. It’s a tiny thing written and drawn on yellow memo paper. It’s about a princess and her dog who live on the bottom of a large body of water.

writing meme: days 1 & 2

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you’ve worked with and why.

With the exception of two short stories, my serious writing endeavors have all taken place in my own version of Harlan County, Kentucky. I lived in Loyall, Kentucky, from October 1995 through May 1999 and consider Harlan County my home. When I first got the idea for my vampires in 1996, I thought about setting the story here in Lexington or even in Richmond, but for events to unfold the way they did, for the main character to evolve the way she needed to, the isolation of Harlan was required.

I joke around that I know more about Harlan County than a lot of people. Thing is, it’s true. I wear my mother-in-law and husband out sitting around talking with my father-in-law about Harlan. He and I view this as a good thing. We give each other an outlet to discuss our passion. Too, it helps that we can call each other when we have a Harlan County question.

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?

How many? Gods above. To keep up with books three and four I had to create a family tree. This tree is almost twenty-five pages long. Granted, not all people in the tree rate as characters, but a good majority of them do.

Let’s see. I started a spreadsheet when I started rewriting Midnight a couple of years ago. As I come to a character, I chart him along with certain attributes. First and last name. Nickname. Order of appearance. Role. Description. Car. Residence.

Eventide (the prequel (i know. hush)) topped out at 26 – this book is still being written; this number could change. Midnight, 14. Midnight’s Heir is still being rewritten but was up to 46 at last count; that’s a full character list – major and minor characters all noted for my records. To Be Renamed I (and to be rewritten) has 20 main players listed on the character’s list I created for the book opening. To Be Renamed II (and to be rewritten) has 16 main players listed on its character list.

I’ve found that I can write both females and males equally well, but I prefer writing females. Male shoes are a bit difficult to step into – and it’s tiring.

and now for my next project …

I found this “writing meme” on LiveJournal over last weekend and decided, okay, anything that makes me think about what I’m writing or what I’ve written is a good thing. So I ganked it. And so here it is. Now, it’s rather long, and is supposed to occur over the course of thirty days. I’ll likely combine a day or three together. Because I can. And because some of the items seem to go together.

Here’s the whole thirty day “outline”. I ganked it from thunderpidgeon who tracked it’s origin (we think?) from erastes.

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you’ve worked with and why.
2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?
3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?
4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!
5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?
6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol’ pen and paper?
7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?
8. What’s your favorite genre to write? To read?
9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.
10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!
11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?
12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you’d like to share?
13. What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?
14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?
15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!
16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing? 😉
17. Favorite protagonist and why!
18. Favorite antagonist and why!
19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!
20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?
21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?
22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you’ve never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.
23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?
24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What’s the most interesting way you’ve killed someone?
25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.
26. Let’s talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!
27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.
28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there’s nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.
29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?
30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

just a list – meme

i’ve not done this one in a long time. so here it is:

just a list

[i drag this meme back out from time to time because it’s fun and appropriate and stuff]

Just a list …

I am …

… wearing: t-shirt and shorts and ankle socks

… wishing: the left side of my head would unclog so i can breathe and hear

… hoping: the pollen count drops soon

… wanting: something to give

… knowing: i have housework to do today and an appointment to get thomas to

poetic interlude

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!

[from Ode to a Nightingale, by Keats]

early mother’s day

Preston ran up to CVS earlier to get me some cold medicine and returned with not only that but an early Mother’s Day card. Of course, I didn’t know it was a Mother’s Day card until I opened it. I said, “But isn’t it awfully early for Mother’s Day?” and he said, “Just read it and what I wrote inside.” “But it’s pink,” I said. He said, “Just read it. Pink was all I could find that matched what I wanted to say and write. At least I found you a purple envelope to put it in.” So I opened it up.

From someone who thinks you’re doing an amazing job

and beneath that he wrote:

You sometimes think you are not doing enough for Thomas and Tayler. I need you to know that you are a GREAT mother. You do everything you can and more for them I know this is way early, but you need to KNOW this now and every day for the rest of your life. I love you so much.