Virgina, who is also a Pekin native and speech team an drama club vet and who writes not one but 2 wonderful blogs, tagged me for a really cool blog hop to write about my writing process. I love reading Virginia's blog Mea Cuppa, and I also faithfully follow her family blog, Elisablog. Virginia is younger than I am, so we were not in school at the same time, but I wish she lived down the street so we could bake and drink coffee together and exchange recipes and let our tornado third children play together while we had wine and surveyed the wreckage. Plus she totally has a middle school, which? BABYSITTER. Here's a link to Virginia's post.
(MINE IS 2 DAYS LATE. I AM TERRIBLE AT BEING TAGGED FOR THINGS).
Okay, so here's the hop:
What am I working on?
A few years a go, I would not have been able to answer this question without crying, so acute was my total sense of failure, but now I can tell you exactly what I am NOT working on. My dissertation. The book it was supposed to be. I just. It's just. Erm. Not right now. Instead? You guys. I am writing a novel. !!!!! Ben thinks I should write a memoir, but I can't figure out the exigence for that one-- if any of you have thoughts on an angle for an autobiography, lemmee know. I took a great auto biography class in undergrad from this guy, and as recently as 3 years ago, I would randomly run into people from this class, and they asked me if I published my book, which is flattering and sweet. Unfortunately, not only was I ignorant about how student loan repayment worked when I toiled through 4.5 years at my private university, but I was also completely unaware of the ephemeral nature of digital scholarship. And this was before the cloud. I have NOTHING that I wrote in college including an hilarious autobiographical essay about the time I broke my nose that got the only A+ the English department chair had ever given. Alas. So, anyway. A novel. I am writing it. I have a chapter on the page (only one, I know, so this is a bold declaration, but I also have an outline.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Erm. It doesn't. This story is fun, funny, conversational chick lit. My strengths as a writer are my voice and my ability write excellent dialog, so I am using am using them. I also used to be really good at the poignant ending, so I'll let you know in about 350 pages if I still got it.
Why do I create what I do?
I blog here to remember these days-- the happy golden years. Yesterday at the pool, it was a drink in the pool kind of day. The adults were sloshed and the kids were high on terrible concession stand food, and it was like we were all at a great party only no one had to clean their house. As I bobbed with my Lime-a-rita (snack shack out of beer), I was bowled over by an amazing sense of optimism. For a second, the years stretched out in front of me, and I was grateful for the monotony of the days that helps drag out this time when all of us are together, when the kids want simple things, when the pleasure of an unexpectedly easy time at a restaurant with real napkins is a rare treat, when we have bedtime routines and favorite blankies and they delight in the bedtime stories we read together. I feel like this is the life I will always want to remember.
How does my writing process work?
I remember writing a paper about this in college. It was a lovely, funny essay about cigarettes and ash trays and post-it notes. These days, I don't have the luxury of a process. I have abandoned pre-writing all together, and revision? HA! Ben and I have plans to look at the Google calendar and find me some hours outside of my work time to write. One thing that has always been consistent, though, is the feeling I get when my writing is good. It's hard to describe-- I just know that I have hit my stride and usually I make myself cry. I get really proud of myself, what can I say? (Yes, that makes me roll my eyes, too). I wrote my dissertation in Panera eating cinnamon rolls the size of my head, so if all else fails, I will head there for inspiration. I still have the playlists I made to drown out the sound of mayonnaise sucking all around me.
And now I am passing the hop to 2 of my very favorite bloggers.
Sarah writes at Mama Sarahndipity. I have been reading her blog since she was on bed-rest with her now-8-year-old. We got to hang out at Blog Her '09, and we have a girls' weekend trip in the works for later this year. Sarah is a former English teacher and a wonderful writer. We share a love for books, and I cannot wait to hear her take on these questions.
Brooke blogs at By The Brooke, and she is a mom, an English professor, and another sensational writer. I have been reading her blog for years as well, and I am always excited when a new post of hers pops up in my feed. Here is the short bio she wrote:
I am so excited to read what Sarah and Brooke have to say about their writing process and products!