Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Abby tagged me and ran off to Idaho

I must be It. Abby Annis tagged me, and there appears to be a Santa-sized list of questions to answer. So here goes:

1) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?

Most recently I've been working on a YA novel--a contemporary supernatural/fantasy set largely in the sea.

I still have a chapbook from a writing course that includes some of my poetry, as well as some magazines that published my early haiku.

2) Write poetry?

Always. Have written sonnets, free verse, haiku.

3) Angsty poetry?

Oh, yeah. But that mostly stays buried in a drawer unless ritually burned.

4) Favorite genre of writing?

Fantasy--all forms.

5) Most annoying character you've ever created?

Was it the petulant princess or her bossy mother? Both are better off in the drawer.

6) Best plot you've ever created?

I'm still working on it.

7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?

It's got me tied up in knots.

8) How often do you get writer's block?

I don't get writer's block. I can write by demand. What I get is plot block when I get stopped because I'm not sure what I want to do next.

9) Write fan fiction?

No, my mind is too filled with its own creations.

10) Do you type or write by hand?

Type. But I will write by hand--if that is all that's handy. Ha.

11) Do you save everything you write?

Since some of my files have ancient parchment in them, I guess the answer is yes. Unless it was something I ritually burned.

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?

Oh, yeah.

13) What's your favorite thing you've ever written?

People should never be asked to choose between their babies.

14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?

My critique group seemed to be very fond of a YA fantasy I wrote last year about a girl whose magic stemmed from music.

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

Tried to write romance and never got past opening chapters. I guess it's not my genre, but I do toss romance in my stories. I think of it as seasoning, not the main course.

16) What's your favorite setting for your characters?

Where they are at home. Addendum: I don't mean the characters are in their houses. I mean I set the place to suit the characters. I usually send them to the ends of the earth, however.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?

Two novels, assorted short stories and the occasional poem. Mostly, it's the sea novel.

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?

Yes, I took third place in an online fiction contest, and I received an honorable mention at a SCBWI event. I also received runner-up in a haiku contest and some awards for non-fiction when I was a newspaper reporter.

19) What are your five favorite words?

I don't have favorite words, but I love the name, Daggett, a desert town. Let's see. Mangle and malicious are descriptive. Obfuscate is hilarious.

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?

I'm sure they would all argue they are nothing like me.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?

Synaptic connections?

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Yes but not as linear stories. I may get an idea or character from a dream.

23) Do you favor happy endings?

I don't want to be left miserable but neither do I think happily-ever-after is satisfying. It's somewhere in between--the place we all live where bad things happen but hope returns.

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

If I see a mistake I fix it, but I don't obsess over it.

25) Does music help you write?

Sometimes it really keeps me in the flow. It must be the right mood and nothing that makes me want to get up and dance or sing because then the song wins, the story loses.

26) Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head.

I posted this not long ago. The character is a twelve-year-old boy who responds to another character telling him "it's just a story."
"Never is just a story. Ma was always a'tellin' me, 'Samuel, remembers you that a story is the bones of the past, and worlds are built upon those as was and ever will be.' The stories be all around just waiting to come alive. Can't you see?"

And now. Drum roll. I must tag!

Bish Denham

Robyn Campbell

Victoria Saavedra

Search those writing souls. Have fun!


Shannon O'Donnell said...

This game of tag is truly a great way to know each other better as writers. I like your answer to #13: "People should never be asked to choose between their babies." :) Good answer!

Robyn Campbell said...

EW, EW, I get to play. *she rubs her hands* This should be verrry interesting. Verrry interesting indeed. :)

I love that quote. Cool writing my friend. I can't wait to buy your books. :)

Love obfuscate. Love the way it feels on my tongue when I say it. :-) Doesn't that mean like obscure? Dang I'm smart. NOT! Went racing to the dictionary.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I agree- syrupy happily-ever-after endings aren't terribly satisfying.

#13 is great! It reminds me of Solomon's court case- I've always loved that story.

V. S said...

I love your quote! My turn now :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Shannon: I took a deep breath when I saw how long the list was, but it was interesting to really think about the questions, which are about our approach to writing. Glad you liked it!

Robyn: Can't wait to read yours. No obfuscation tolerated! :D

Stephanie: Thanks! I'm glad, however, not to have to be in Solomon's shoes.

Vicky: Yay! Have fun with it.

Donna said...

Wow! That's a bare-your-writer's-soul list of questions. My favorite is #20. I can picture your characters stamping their feet and yelling "I'm nothing like her! I'm my own person."

BK Mattingly said...

Nice answers. :) I like a mix of happy and realistic endings, too!

Abby Annis said...

I love all the ritual burning. :) I do ritual shredding sometimes. Great way to relieve stress.

It was fun getting to know you better. Glad you played!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: They would, indeed!

Bethany: Thanks. I see you're tagged, too. I'll look forward to your answers.

Abby: Ritual burning, shredding. Yeah, that is magic.
It was fun, and interesting to consider the questions. Thanks for tagging!

* said...

I would love to read your haikus sometime. Congrats on the award; I loved your Santa sized list!

Bish Denham said...

Okay! Thanks (I think) for tagging me. It may take me a while to answer all these questions, but I'll give it a whirl and see where it takes me!

Linda Kage said...

Yep, the Tagging bug is definitely going around. I got tagged yesterday. I think I'll post tomorrow. This is fun. Loved hearing your answers!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Good Thursday morning to you, Tricia! I have a little Christmas cheer for you at my blog today! ;-)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Ummm, make that two awards! :)

Davin Malasarn said...

Thanks for doing this, Tricia! I liked your answer to question 16 a lot. :) I'm also excited to read a book that takes place in the sea!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Terresa: Thanks! You can peek at haiku I've posted by clicking haiku under labels, if you like.

Bish: Whirl away! It will be fabulous.

Linda: I'll be looking for yours, and thanks!

Oh, Shannon, thanks!

Davin: It's neat to see you picked #16. I even embellished it to be sure I said what I meant (it mattered to me). I sure hope I do the sea story right. I'm trying.

MG Higgins said...

So interesting, Tricia. I just finished these tag questions by way of Bish and then Lee McKenzie.

Daisy Whitney said...

Good luck with your YA novel!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Mel: Just read your tag post. Hilarious. You may have written the best one so far.

Daisy: Thanks! It's a pleasure to have you visit. I really like your blog and enjoyed your guest appearance on LiLa's blog.