Author Carol Preflatish tagged me from her blog with the questions below. Please take a few minutes to go visit Carol’s Food Bites.

1. What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?

“Leaving the Turtle”, a science fiction story I’ve submitted to Norilana Press’ WARRIOR WISEWOMAN anthology. Editor Roby James has not accepted it, but she’s given me some great editorial suggestions that have made it a much stronger story, even if she ends up returning it.

The first thing I wrote that I still have is a little piece called “Busman’s Holiday”, a science fiction mystery which I’ve been toying with reworking. I wrote it when I was in middle school or high school, I think. My mother loves it because it has a cute little alien animal in it. I can remember earlier things I wrote, but I had the wit to destroy them years ago. My mother would want me to take particular note of a mystery in which the villain poured a whole bottle of bath oil in the victim’s bath water and softened her to death. Oh, yes, I did write that down on actual paper and gave it to someone to read.

2. Write poetry?

Yup. I don’t count the doggerel I post here as poetry, but I do write poetry on occasion.

3. Angsty poetry?

Not often and not very. Sort of angst-ish, maybe.

4. Favorite genre of writing?

However the story comes out. I tend toward fantasy, but I enjoy writing anything that happens.

5. Most annoying character you’ve ever created?

The most annoying has got to be Packy from DOWN AND DIRTY DEATH, the mystery I racketed out for this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. The most get-away-from-me character is Darryl Moran from SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, one of the books soon to be reissued in various eBook versions by Echelon Press.

6. Best plot you’ve ever created?

Maybe FORCE OF HABIT, another of the Echelon re-releases. It’s a farce, with everybody thinking he/she/they know exactly what is going on and everybody mistaken, but all their wrong pursuits come together in the end. Mind you, they’re still wrong, but they’re all happy.

7. Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?

I’m partial to the twist at the end of EEL’S REVERENCE, the third of the Echelon re-releases. I like poetic justice.

8. How often do you get writer’s block?

Never. Any time I can’t get on with a story, it’s because I’ve done something wrong or haven’t thought something through well enough or have neglected something that needs to be there. That isn’t the same as that terrible feeling of knowing what you want to do and not being able to dig out the words and smear them on the paper.

9. Write fan fiction?

I haven’t written any for a long time, but that’s only because I’ve been too busy. I love fan fiction, and I love writing it. I believe in keeping as close as possible to the characters and relationships of the original, though, even though I might push that envelope to the point of silliness. I have some fan fiction stashed on my website, but only gettable-to from my blog. I was told having fanfic on my pro site wasn’t professional. BRRRRAAAAACKKKKK!

10. Do you type or write by hand?

Oh, Mr. Laptop is our friend! I do some writing by hand, and I make a lot of notes in the notebook I carry in my purse, and there is some rewriting that just HAS to be done on paper, but I do so much revision-as-I-go my paper used to be nearly illegible!

11. Do you save everything you write?

Pretty much. I have a binder of just bits. I even keep the results of writing exercises, even free-writes, if they have just one good line or phrase. You never know. I’ve gotten some good stuff out of bits.

12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?

OH, yes! Abandoned stories live in a folder called Working, although I’m thinking of changing the name to Bits and Bobs, because I keep coming across that term in English fiction and it tickles me.

13. What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?

Hmmm…. Maybe “The Dragon of North 24th Street”, which first appeared in the last issue of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s FANTASY Magazine. Some of the characters were very closely based on people I knew when I was growing up, and Pearl was definitely my Aunt Ruth. She really did threaten to kill a whore and only relented when the woman asked to go buy milk for her baby.

14. What’s everyone else’s favorite story that you’ve written?

“Lonnie, Me and The Hound of Hell”, currently looking for a home.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

There’s a bit of romance in many of the things I write, and I’ve written a couple of fanfic romances. I like people who like each other, romatically or platonically. I don’t think I’ve ever written angsty teen drama, unless you count the fanfic my high school friends and I used to write.

16. What’s your favorite setting for your characters?

Right now, it’s Spadena Street, the setting for DOWN AND DIRTY DEATH and “The Spirit of Spadena Street” in THE GIFT OF MURDER.

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

DOWN AND DIRTH DEATH, the NaNo project for last year, also set on Spadena Street, BAR SINISTER, a couple of stories I want to submit to anthologies in 2010.

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

Yup. Here is the list.

19. What are your five favorite words?

Chantilly, Liliokalani, mumbletypeg, goosefeather, whortleberry and harlequin

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

All of them, alas, even the stinky ones. Even Packy. Maybe not Darryl….

21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?

People I know, people I am or have been during my life, pictures in magazines, wondering about people in the news.

22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Not much, but some.

23. Do you favor happy endings?


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

More so as I rewrite.

25. Does music help you write?

No. I don’t want any music or talk while I’m writing.

26. Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops into your head.

Gah! Everything popped into my head at once! Since I’m thinking of using some backstory from EEL’S REVERENCE for my next short story, I’ll quote a little from that:

“Mind your own business,” said Guerrero.  “We’ve got a deal.”
“What deal?” asked Loach.  “She’s in danger and you’re not, she does all the work and you just stand around and look fierce? Some deal.”
“She agreed.”
“She’s backing out.  Muriel, stick with old Loach, will you? I’ve charged you first-class prices for second-class coral, and I’ve swiped your tips, but I’d never — ”
“You did what?” said Muriel.

Hmmm…who’s not been tagged yet? How about Joanna Foreman?


writing prompt: An oldie but goodie: Ask your character 10 questions you don’t know the answer to and have him/her answer in his/her own voice.