Saturday, December 19, 2009


MG Higgins tagged me in this post and Anita made the mistake of saying she wouldn't do it, so of course I'm totally tagging her. At 26 questions it's a little long, but here's the thing: the questions are all about me. And if there's one thing I like talking about, it's me.

1) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?
The last thing I wrote was an example paragraph for my students. It was about how people judge others on their hair and I wrote about a student I had who shaved his head. Everyone assumed it was because of lice. Turns out, he thought bald heads looked sweet. He's right.

I have lots of old stuff that I wrote. Mom saved everything.

2) Write poetry?
I doth. There's a reason Maya Angelou avoids poems about grandpa farts. I got that market cornered, sister.

3) Angsty poetry?
Not on purpose.

4) Favorite genre of writing?
Humorous Young Adult, such as Sophomore Undercover and the forthcoming Hourglass by Myra McEntire.*

5) Most annoying character you've ever created?
Probably the tax collector in a story that will never see the light of day. He was so annoying, I named him Gallagher.

6) Best plot you've ever created?
Actually, the plot in the story referenced above is probably the best, but everything else about the story sucks.

7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?
I have a Donald Sutherland-like mentor who is revealed to be working with the bad guys in one book.

8) How often do you get writer's block?
I don't think I do. I get lazy block, though.

9) Write fan fiction?
No. And I kind of think it's stupid. If you want to write, quit wasting your time with other people's characters. Make up your own.

10) Do you type or write by hand?
I plan by hand and I keep a journal the old-fashioned way, but novels and things I might submit are done on the laptop.

11) Do you save everything you write?
No, but I save quite a lot of it. I blame my mom for this.

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?
Sure. But it usually sucks just as much as I remembered it sucking.

13) What's your favorite thing you've ever written?
I wrote a paper on the Cuban Missile Crisis in college that is sheer tonnage of awesomeness.

14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?
I lot of my friends like the YA I'm getting ready to submit.

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
I've written a romantic scene or two. Here's a not very good one:

“It’s beautiful,” said Elly, and from this vantage point it was. Alonzo thought that as far as final resting places went, there wasn’t a more peaceful one above ground. He felt Elly standing next to him and in the cool, moist air he saw her breaths condense. They were coming in short, fast puffs. Alonzo glanced at his torch and saw that it had only a few minutes of flame left. And then he felt her fingers dance along the palm of his free hand and he squeezed, interlocking his fingers with hers. Without looking at her, he led her to the edge of the serene underground lake. Finally, he turned to look at her and in her eyes saw a mixture of excitement and fear. He let go of her hand and for a second, he could see hurt in her eyes, but his own look reassured her and he knelt at the water’s edge and dipped his hand into the cool water. Withdrawing it, he stood again and held out his fingers to Elly’s mouth. He touched her lips delicately and felt the warmth of her tongue licking the water from his fingers. And then his fingers were in her mouth and she used her tongue to caress and savor them. He moved his fingers then, exploring the roof of her mouth and running them along the edges of her teeth while her tongue lay still. Then, once again, she rolled her tongue over his fingers and he closed his eyes in ecstacy. Alonzo lowered his hand and soon felt Elly’s fingers at his own lips and the act was repeated. Alonzo licked and sucked lightly, tasting the water but also the flavor of her skin. As he nibbled at her finger, the light of his torch went out and they were left in total darkness. But while they would have been terrified in normal circumstances they found that on this morning, together, they were without concern.

Alonzo and Elly embraced, pushing their bodies into each other and stood holding one another in silence.

“Alonzo,” said Elly. The name somehow sounded different to Alonzo’s ears. “Oh, Alonzo, what’ll we do?”

16) What's your favorite setting for your characters?
My characters find themselves eating an awful lot.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Seriously, one. But there are others that are waiting to re-ensnare me when that one is out the door.

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
I wouldn't have accepted it if I had.

Not really. But that sounds better than saying no.

19) What are your five favorite words?
I don't know. I like lots of words. I especially like words that sound the way they ought to sound for what they mean. Words like sibilance, harsh, monotonous, glee, and crag. Conversely, there are some words that sound the opposite of how they should and at the top of that list is the word droll. I despise the word droll. You cannot convince me that droll should mean what it does. Droll sounds awful. I woke up feeling droll because it was Monday. That's what droll should mean.

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?
The main character in my YA is certainly based on me at moments in my life.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
From Fraggle Rock. Jim Henson's the master. I steal from masters.

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?
I don't dream very often, and when I do I rarely remember them... I think.

23) Do you favor happy endings?
I thought I did, but most of the things I write don't end happily. But they do end with hope and I think that's more realistic.

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes, and I defend my right to be. They are the rules of the road and can't just be set aside for convenience. Besides, you're going to have to deal with them anyway.

25) Does music help you write?
No. I sometimes use it to drown out other noises, but after the first song I don't even realize it's there. And I doubt it's affecting my subconscious.

26) Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head.
"Bologna sandwiches are awesome."

I tag Anita and Anita only.

*Hourglass is not actually a humorous YA. But it is YA, and I bet there's at least some funny stuff in it.


MG Higgins said...

Heh. Anita.

Grandpa Forts is my favorite of your fart poems. Although I doubt I've read them all--honestly, I may have skipped one or two on purpose. You're right, Maya Angelou is no competition for you.

Anita said...

Hah! You know what's so funny? When I read about the tag at MG's, I thought, "The only reason I'd consider it, is because it would be about me." Hmmm. I'll think about it.

Anita said...

P.S. Grandpa Forts is awesome.

Kelly Polark said...

I really do hope you publish your fort poems. My family would be reading them at the dinner table. The dinner talk always ends up with potty jokes anyway.
Also, as I read the Grandpa Forts poem again, I noticed your blips about your followers then. Did you refer to Big Plain V as Ben?

Unknown said...

Some elegant reformatting, PMM. Forts are cool, especially coming from petite two year-old girls.

Unknown said...

I did no such reformatting. Blogger's been tampering with my template and I'm not pleased about it.

Unknown said...

Whoa! What the hell happened?

Unknown said...

Don't know, but I just picked a new template. That oughta show 'em.

Anita said...

I don't know if I like this new look. Perhaps you should do a survey.

Unknown said...

I don't like it myself, but they jacked up my last template. Let's do this instead: send me a link to a decent template. I want something simple and wider. I got too much to say to be limited by these ridiculous borders.

Unknown said...

Fixed the header. Only took me 30 minutes.

Anita said...

This is much better. The other one looked girly. Ugly girly.