Blog Hop 2: Story a Day in May

Another blog hop, this time from Alexis Hunter.  This is a convenient way to keep up with the blog and survive Story a Day.

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Blog Hop: What are you working on right now?

Me: I’m on the fourth day of Story a Day in May, which is exactly what the name says.  You have to write a rough draft of a story every day in the month of May.  It’s my second year, and I might even make it through this time.  I only got 12 last year before I couldn’t go on, but I’m better prepared this time around.

Blog Hop: How does it differ from other works in its genre?

Me: Because it’s going to be a mix. I can’t answer for any one piece, but I will say that last year’s experience and the connections I’ve made by workshopping with other writers has expanded my horizons and allowed me to play a little more with the boundaries, to read and to write things that I might not have before.  I’m venturing a bit into speculative fiction, magical realism, genres that I didn’t know a lot about before sharing with these other writers.

Blog Hop: What experiences have influenced you?

Me: My own life, stories that people tell me, random things I see during the many hours a day I spend on the bus.  I also like TV shows like Taboo, Hoarders, My Strange Obsession, etc., for looking at lives that are very different from my own.

Blog Hop: Why do you write what you do?

Me: Psychology, mostly.  I love getting into these characters’ heads.  I saw a story on a man who froze his leg off in dry ice because his image of himself was that of an amputee.  That inspired a story about a man who does it to his hand, and then meets a woman who has also modified her body in a shocking manner.  I wrote it as a love story, though.  I didn’t want to make a joke out of them, because I know those characters as two people trying to find themselves in the world as we all do.  Some do it by collecting storage shelters full of discount knick-knacks, others by carrying around plaster saints, yet others by snacking on dryer sheets.  Then there’s sex, religion/philosophy, mind altering substances, and that’s all interesting as well.

Blog Hop: How does your writing process work?

Me: Always under some kind of time pressure.  On Scribophile, I’m a member of several groups with monthly goals that I have to reach by a certain date.  For Story a Day, I have to write a rough draft of one story every day during the month of May.  If I don’t make myself accountable to others, I don’t get things done.  I have to report progress every day.  I didn’t make it through last year, and on day 12 I had to admit defeat.  This year, I’m going to finish with my head high, not my tail between my legs.

Blog Hop: What is the hardest part about writing?

Me: Revision.  I try to get it as close to possible in rough draft, but then the critiques come in, and people point out awkward language or weak plot points, so I groan and drag myself back in.  Also, different people have distinct opinions on how to fix it, so I have to go point by point, and then wait for more crits to see if I get a better response.  It’s the most tedious part, but the truth is that getting it right the first time is rare.  Faulkner did it with  , but I’m no Faulkner.

Blog Hop: What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

Me: Understand poetry.  I read very little, mostly because I don’t get a lot of it.  I love music and song lyrics, but I almost never read poetry and can only name a couple of poems that really move me.  I’d like to increase my awareness of it, maybe write a little, in hopes that it will help my prose.

Blog Hop: Who are the authors you most admire?

Me:  Kurt Vonnegut, because his novels and stories seem so pessimistic, but I suspect it was a cover for optimism.  And Stephen King, because he works so damned hard and keeps to a daily work schedule.

Blog Hop: Who are new authors to watch out for?

Me: Scott Warrender is a favorite of mine.  When I first started writing a few years ago, I came across his stories on Scribophile and thought, “I want to write stories like these.”  ED Martin is another I try to keep up with. She’s got a book coming out later this year, I believe. Alexis Hunter is the odd one out here, since she writes a lot of dark fantasy/horror, or whatever it’s called, and a few years ago I wouldn’t have been interested in that, but she convinced me, and has had some influence in my own branching out into darker possibilities in my writing.

Blog Hop: What scares you?

Me: Spiders. Size and actual danger don’t matter. I can’t have them in the house, and usually ask others to kill them for me.

Clowns.  I don’t see what’s so funny or joy-inspiring.  They nauseate me, and that’s not hyperbole.  My stomach turns when I see one, and they’re very popular here in Mexico.  Some even perform on the bus, and it makes me very uncomfortable.

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God bless you if you made it through that rambling mess.

I’m tagging another emerging author, Katie Stephens.  I know she’s busy with Story a Day, too, but I hope she can find the time to talk to us.

Next week, I’ll post a few excerpts from Story a Day in May, and perhaps you can tell me if this little experiment is working.

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2 Responses to Blog Hop 2: Story a Day in May

  1. ED Martin says:

    While tilling and planting my garden this spring, I realized I’m okay with spiders but worms really skeeze me out. And thanks for the mention; I’m shooting for a book release at the end of the month.

  2. Excellent. I’m thinking of expanding a bit in June. In addition to my Saturday posts, I’d like to add a mid-week shout out to books and stories that are coming out. After I get your book, I’ll shoot you a review.

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