Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beautiful People #5: Author Edition (Me!)


Beautiful People is BACK! You may remember that for the last three months, we've been doing Beautiful Books, but now it's back to characters!

And this month's character theme? Someone who actually exists: The Author.

Yup. Me.

1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a 'writer'?

I have been writing for... eleven-ish years. I've considered myself a writer since then. Seriously.

2. How/why did you start writing?

I started when I was eight and carpooling with my friend to a ballet class, and noticed a notebook in her car. My mind was blown: WAIT. I can actually WRITE those awesome books that I so love to read? This is AWESOME.

3. What's your favorite part of writing?

My favorite part must be the planning. I like to lie in bed and let the idea swirl around and think about how I am going to describe whatever scene.
I also like returning to a rough draft and realizing that - wait. I actually wrote that? Not bad.

4. What's your biggest writing struggle?

And actually writing. Because when I am confident and motivated, I generally have other priorities and responsibilities. And when I have time to write, the confidence and motivation is gone.
Hey, I'm feeling confident today. I should write.

5. Do you write best at night or day?

Both, really. I don't care.

6.What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)

So I have a few different writing spaces, depending on which computer is available. The desktop, clearly, is in a set position, in our piano room/library. Here are two different views (with my sister unconsciously modeling for you):

The laptop usually hangs around the dinner table, or occasionally in our sunny front room. This is the happiest room of the house (other than the kitchen of course, because FOOD):

But sometimes I take it out onto the porch in nice weather. (It's a barren Chibera right now, but usually there's a super comfy couch and a table out there. It's quite pleasant, 3/4 of the year.)

And occasionally I bring the laptop up to my own desk upstairs, where I have a wall for post-it plotting (excuse the mess).

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?

Oh gosh. This varies ever so much. My life schedules change so much that from year to year I have different amounts of writing time and different responsibilities outside of writing. I haven't gotten into a pattern yet.

8. How many projects do you work on at once?

I used to work on countless amounts. Then I reverted to only one. But now I've got three going, with another one on hold. I like this multiple project thing.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?

Like in my reading, I prefer hopeful endings in my writing. Ideally happy, but with a hint of sad. Bittersweet? I may even go full out tragedy, but it can never be utter despair. There must be a touch of hope.

10. List a few authors who've influenced your writing journey.
C.S. Lewis was the first. I wanted to write the next Chronicles of Narnia, and I loved the idea of doorways into another world.

Now, I aspire to have a unique descriptive style, explaining things in a way that makes readers think, "Oh, I wouldn't have thought of it that way, but it's totally true!" I want to write concisely yet expressively, and the authors I consider as masters of this are: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Erin Morgenstern, and Maggie Stiefvater.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?

I let people read it when I feel that it is mediocre. In other words, never first drafts. Usually third drafts. But I've rarely gotten to that position - only with a couple short stories.

12. What's your ultimate writing goal or dream?

To have people read my book and actually SEE what I'm describing. For them to become so engrossed in my writing that they forget that they are reading - they are simply experiencing.

But getting published would be nice too. :-)

13. If you didn't write, what would you want to do?

Considering I'm planning to both write and be a pediatrician, there's your answer. I will do both simultaneously, and if, for some reason, one fails, I'll do the other. Bam.

14. Do you have a book you'd like to write one day but don't feel you're ready to attempt it yet?

Hah, not really. I tend to dive in to my writing projects, thinking that if it comes up crap this time around, it'll be better next time. My Venice story is something like that. It's good, and I like it, but it needs some fermenting time. Perhaps next year, I'll be ready.

15. Which story has your heart and won't let go?

I don't know yet. I haven't found one.

Wow, I wrote this post super fast. I guess it's easy to write about yourself. :-)


If you are a writer - how did you start writing? What's your biggest writing struggle?
If you are not - would you like to write a book someday? Do you have a story in your heart?


  1. This was fabulous! Your writing space(s) are beautiful and waaay more organized than mine! You did ballet? That's marvelous, I'm going to try to get into Dance sometime this year.
    How's Jackaby? It's on my TBR, and it sounds very interesting.

    1. Why thank you! Though "organized" might be a stretch. :-P

      Dance is fun! I hope you can find something you like!

      Jackaby is spectacular, actually. Imagine a supernatural Sherlock Holmes, with a smart, female, Watson. Awesome, right?

  2. I love planning so much! I could plan my stories forever and ever and ever without actually writing them. C.S. Lewis definitely has inspired me and influenced my writing. Also, I want to write in just the descriptive style that you describe in this post because I love books that use fresh imagery and describe things in a unique way.

    1. It's sort of a curse, this love of planning, because then nothing ever gets written. :-(

      It is my DREAM to write like that. I can only hope someday I will.

  3. YOU HAVE SUCH NICE BOOKSHELVES. Seriously. I like your bookshelves. I wish we had more bookshelves upstairs, but ours tend to get banished downstairs which, I feel, is missing the point of bookshelves....They are meant to be admired. *nods*
    *hi fives for Maggie Stiefvater* OH AND ME TOO FOR CS LEWIS. I spent my first writing years ripping off Narnia rather badly. >.>

    1. The ones in the piano room are mostly homeschooling books, and are the ones everyone sees. They are the messy ones. I'm still working on getting the shelves to the left of my desk for all my fiction stuff. SOON...

      *accepts hi five with enthusiasm* Oh my second book was a total Narnia ripoff called The Magic Door. (My first was a ripoff of my friend's book. Yeah.)

  4. I like your sticky note plotter on your wall! It's pretty, and pink is nice. It's also really cool that you want to go in the medical field and write at the same time—I think that's awesome. Also, I feel you on plots. I'm editing now and I don't know how I thought I had it together two drafts ago. *sigh* Anyway, I enjoyed reading your writing stories, so thanks for putting them out there!

    1. My dad bought me a nice large pad of colorful post its, and pink is the first level. I'm slowly working through it - I think blue is next. :-)

      I'm glad you enjoyed it! Good luck with your editing and plotting - I hope it comes easily (or as easily as possible)!


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