Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Writer's Meme

The Writer’s Meme - I got this off of Kaye's Blog today. Jump over there to read her responses to the questions, and get TWO chances to enter her fabulous Five Hundredth Post Giveaway.

What’s the last thing you wrote?
A furball of a fight between my hero and heroine. :)

What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have? I wrote a story when I was 15 called Circus Summer...in pencil, in loopy cursive, in a blue spiral notebook.

Favorite genre of writing? Historical Romance.

Most fun character you ever wrote? Annie Fairfax, in the story I just finished and sent to my agent. She was a lot of fun.

Most annoying character you ever wrote? The Lighthouse Board Inspector, Jasper Dillon, who was henpecked at home and took it out on his employees, sucked air through his teeth and mauled toothpicks, and was an overall vindictive little man.

Best plot you ever wrote? I don't know if anyone else would think it was my best, but I loved the plot of Drums of the North Star. Most of it was taken from historical events, but the epiphany the heroine goes through is something dear to my heart.

Coolest plot twist you ever wrote? In my second novel, Before the Dawn, that the hero realizes how stupid he's been when he discovers his wife is going to have his baby (and she kept it hidden from him for a long time.)

How often do you get writer’s block? Not often. More often I suffer from either writer's doubt where fear keeps me from writing, or writer's laziness. I know what I'm supposed to do, and yet I don't do it.
How do you fix it? Plunk my patoot in my chair and write. I let the story brew, think about it all the time, talk about it to my daughter, hash out the implausible parts, occasionally brainstorm on the phone with a crit partner, or via email. Whatever it takes to break through and get it done.

Write fan fiction? I have. Enjoyed it too for awhile.

Do you type or write by hand? Type. I have horrible penmanship. And I can't keep up with my thoughts when using a pen.

Do you save everything you write? Not everything. Some stuff is tooooo bad to keep.
Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? I haven't yet, but you never know.
What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written? Recently, it would be the scene in Marriage Masquerade where Annie Fairfax absolutely massacres breakfast, but tries to pretend nothing went wrong. I do have a special fondness for my first novel, Beauty For Ashes.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? Fantasy/Allegory/Sci-fi. Blech.
How many writing projects are you working on right now? One. I am a linear writer, one project at a time, write straight through the book, then start the next project. Right after the conference last year I tried working on several things at once. All that did for me was stall my writing on anything at all. Through one thing and another, I lost about 4 months of writing time dithering over too many projects and suffering through some terrific writer's doubt. Not going to let that happen again.
What are your five favorite words? If you ask my crit partners, I have a different one for each book. I've clung to the following words: Leather, Sighed, Swirled, Bale, and the phrase 'bit her lip.'

What character that you’ve written most resembles you? I think many of my characters have some of me in them, but the one that has the most is probably Pam from Pam on Rye, a 'sandwich lit' I started (and that is a finalist in the Genesis contest this year.)

Do you ever write based on your dreams? Maybe. I tend to plot and meditate on my story in that twilight time just before I fall asleep, so...kinda, sorta.
Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write? Yes, though you wouldn't know it if you saw some of the crits I get back. LOL If there is one thing my crit partner, Kaye, dings me on consistently is slipping into second person POV when my character is talking to himself/herself. Kaye threatened to smack my hands with a ruler when we see each other in September. I caught myself slipping into second person POV this week and actually laughed out loud while I changed it.

Does music help you write? NO! I can't have music on while I write. Too distracting.

How do people react when they find out you write? They want to know when my book is going to be published...their guess is as good as mine.

Quote something you’ve written. Okay, this is a little long, but it is my favorite passage from Drums of the North Star. Abby McRae has been taken captive by the Dakota during the 1862 uprising. Her captor has been wounded in a battle and she must tend to him.
He brushed away her words. “Do not bother me with your religion. Your religion costs the Dakota too much.”
“What do you mean?”
“You say if we believe in your God, if we worship in the white church and sing your songs, we will go to heaven. But this is not all you say. You say we must put on white man’s clothes, we must stop hunting and work in the dirt like women. You say we must live in houses of wood and bricks and stop hunting buffalo or fighting with our sacred enemy, the Chippewa. You say we must do all this if we are to go to heaven.” He pressed his hand to his side and sucked in a breath.
Abby stared, startled by his vehemence. His words hit her so hard, she couldn’t think.
When the pain eased, he continued. “You say God made us all, but He won’t love us unless we are just like you. You say we must starve to death, and be robbed by the traders and the white settlers who take our land unless we do as you say. Yet, you are surprised when we resist. Have I not done this same thing to you? You have been forced to live like us, to dress like us, to eat and work and act like us. Have you not resisted this at every turn? Do you not resent us, hate us for what we are making you do? How is this different from what the whites have done to the Dakota?” He sneered. “So, no thank you, to your God and your ways. I am Dakota, and I am proud of it. I will not stop being Dakota to go to your heaven.”
He lay back, exhausted from his long speech. Abby pondered what he’d said. Though she hated to admit it, he was right. Weren’t she and other missionaries like her guilty of exactly what he had said? They had added to the Gospel until outward works shadowed it into obscurity. They had taught the Dakota that simple belief in the saving work of Christ wasn’t enough for salvation. Salvation lay in looking and acting like a white man.
Don't forget to stop by Kaye's blog and check out her answers and enter to win one of the fabulous prizes she's offering.


  1. I can't believe my threat was that effective!

    And I completely agree that Drums is definitely your strongest plot to date.

  2. I'm highly amused that "leather" and "bit her lip" are among your five most used words/phrases.

  3. So was I, actually. I didn't even notice it until Kaye and G pointed it out to me. Then I felt like a ninnyhammer (another favorite word of mine, though I don't tend to overuse it in my mss.)

    The leather one was pretty funny. Everything in the book was leather. Leather sofa, leather blotter, leather carriage seats, leather boots, tooled leather wall coverings in the dining room...When I saw them all highlighted, I began to wonder at myself!

  4. My favorite is Beauty for Ashes. I absotively loved Drums. Kudos to you because this Heathen understood the magnitude of the epiphany

  5. At least they're fairly harmless ways to constantly use leather. The combination of that and "bit her lip" both listed made me a little concerned you were taking the S&M approach to Christian romantic fiction. That would've been quite an odd pairing.

  6. Can't you imagine the gobsmacked look on an editor's face?

  7. LOL, leather!

    Jasper Dillon really was a little weasel =P