All Aboard the Blog Train!

Not one, not two, but three writers have asked me to hop on the blog train. I was invited by Rebecca Douglass, the wonderful talent behind The Ninja Librarian, Kat Glover, who blogs over at Your Mama’s All Write, and Victoria Sawyer, who runs the terrific Angst blog, to take part in a blog train. The way the blog train works is pretty simple: the blogger that “rode the train” the week before writes a post answering three questions, and at the end of the blog, features three of their favorite bloggers. The featured bloggers keep the train a-rollin’ by doing the same a week later.

All three blogs are favorites of mine, and I enjoy reading their work and their takes on the everyday things that make you smile and gnash your teeth. If you’re not familiar with any of these blogs, it’s high time you got yourself familiar with them right now.

It’s my pleasure to take a ride on the blog train. ALL ABOARD!

Here now…The Questions!

1. What are you working on now?

Several things, actually. This blog, for example; I’m taking part in the Daily Post’s Writing 101 monthly writing prompt blog, posting a blog a day based upon their writing prompts. This has been a fun writing exercise for me in that it helps me flex my writing muscles and keep them moving. Nothing like muscle memorization to help you along, don’t you think? I also have several other blog posts I’m writing for the month – my weekly Friday List blog, an upcoming primer on the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and definitely the random blog on what’s on my mind at the moment.

The work-in-progress that’s currently keeping me occupied is a full-length “upmarket fiction” (i.e. – a hybrid literary/commercial fiction work) novel about a suicidal woman who embarks on a road trip across 1990’s America with a fictional character. It’s pleasantly insane, which is why it’s kept my interest: there are always more layers of crazy to unpeel, and I’m having fun doing that.

I also have several pieces of short fiction that I’m polishing up and submitting either for competition or just to answer an open call for submissions.

Finally, I’m collaborating with fellow writers on judging entries for an anthology, and I’ve volunteered to copy edit another anthology.

 

2. How does your work differ from others of the genre?

My work differs not so much from others of the genre, but from other writers I’ve met so far. I don’t like the “genre” label because it implies limitations, so I much prefer to work without any preconceived confines. I do like the idea of “upmarket fiction,” which takes the best of both the literary and commercial fiction worlds, neither of which I have a preference for, but both whom feature very strong writing.

 

3. Why do I write what I do?

Because, honestly, no one else is writing this. I write what I want to read, simple as that.

 

4. How does your writing process work?

I wish I had an actual process, you know, where I wake up in the morning, fix myself a pot of coffee, sharpen about 10 pencils, and get to writing. But I have a demanding job that takes up more than 40 hours per week, and I’m a husband and a parent. So when I write, I often have to use pockets of time throughout the day and simply make the best of it. When work wasn’t as demanding, I had more time in the day to write.

The thing is, I’m constantly plotting, jotting notes down, keeping the fires going. So that’s a process, right?

 

Now, for the other three that are coming along for the ride…

1. Tracy Cembor and I share something in common: she too finds the time to write, whether it’s a few scribbles or a thousand words, while balancing the demands of a full-time job AND being a parent. She shares her insights, her triumphs and her setbacks, all with a great attitude, over at her blog site. She’s well-worth the discovery, people!

2. M.L. Swift is a riot. His “About” page is exactly the way an About Page should be written. He’s funny and incisive and extremely generous. I’ve been a big fan of his blog and have enjoyed bantering with him on all kinds of topics over the past couple of years.

3. Bud Smith…well, shit, if you don’t know him or his writing, it’s your loss, pal. Seriously. Your. Loss.

 

 

Guest Blog Post: “Addicted” by Victoria Sawyer

For the inaugural guest blog post, Victoria Sawyer has kindly shared her blog post entitled, “Addicted.” You can read more about Victoria Sawyer at her blog site, Angst, which, not so coincidentally, happens to be the name of the memoir she’s recently published.

Victoria blogs about her past and present struggles with anxiety and depression, and does with equal parts self-deprecation and blunt-force honesty. Her blog is a refreshing departure from the woe-is-me brand of depression-variety blogs that tend to exist in mass numbers in the blogosphere. And she’s damned funny, did I mention that? I’m currently reading her memoir – in flashes, admittedly (sorry, Victoria!) – and I’m struck by her honesty and how she places the reader front and center inside her mind.

In short, a read through her blog is like a read through her mind, a ride through a roller coaster. But she’s going to get you off the ride easy, dear reader. Trust me on this. Anyway, here’s her guest post, and thanks for sharing this one, Victoria.

(And if you want to do a guest post for this blog, just let me know, and we’ll work out the details. Thanks!)

________________________________________________________________

Addicted

You guys, I have a confession to make: The girl who stands before you, or wait…sits before you…types before you, the girl clacking on the keyboard really fast, no still not right, the girl who is hiding behind the computer monitor, yeah her, she is a blog addict. This is my brain on blog. It’s like PCP or something hallucinogenic, whereby I write really crazy stuff with no shame. Ab-so-freakin-lutely, no shame. Shame on me. Can someone please put out a PSA about this?! I had no idea the dangers associated with frequent blogging and now look at me, I’m 78 or so posts deep after only 5 months. FIVE MONTHS!! You people need to recognize how truly heart wrenching this situation is. It’s sad to see what’s happening to our nation’s youth, or those slightly older than the youth, but who still think they are young. They always used to say you can’t trust anyone over 30. Is that still true? I didn’t just say that dirty word, 30. Erase that from your brain.

See the staring eyes? That’s from squinting at the computer screen for hours on end!
Now, blogging is a problem for me. It’s like these words and thoughts just keep coming into my head and they are so freaking genius that I must share them. I’m not under my own free will here, the blog is controlling my mind. While I sleep, its in there crafting up crazy words and giving me delusions of grandeur. See that, I did it again, I said my posts are genius and we all know that’s not true. They are sad, sad ravings of a loud mouthed malcontent.

The thing is, I do kind of love it. I wish I had found this drug, I mean blogging business earlier in my life because it’s so cool! I get to write stuff and people sometimes read it and leave me with witty repartee. I love that! See, I can blame it on my readers for why I keep coming back. You can be my scapegoat! Why, by the by, are goats used for scaping? I don’t understand that one at all, but I feel cool saying it. So yea, the writer in me is loving to do blog. Shoot up blog. It’s like I can’t hold back. I’ll write a post or two or three and then I just want to publish them! I know, I’m going further and further down the rabbit hole now.

The thing is, I want to hold back because I’m terrified of blog burnout. I’m sure it’s right around the corner, that soon I will have nothing left to write about, that I would have exhausted every conceivable topic and my blog will truly be my word of the week, year, this word is stuck in my head, insipid. NOOOO!!! Anything but that!!! But I can’t stop! That’s the true definition of an addict right? Someone who can’t say no. That’s me. I just keep posting, day after day after day, when I should just stop!

Now the thing is, you guys will still be around when blog burnout inevitably rears its ugly head, right? No?! I knew you were fair weather friends! (colloquialism city! BAH) I can hear you now, “Look at that old blog burnout Victoria Sawyer! You new bloggers can take a lesson from her, she went too fast, posted too much, soared too high and now look at her, lost and alone. No one reads that blog anymore. It’s TRITE!” Sob…SOBBBB!! Is this my cry for help? I don’t know…I don’t know. It’s too much fun right now, it’s pulling me in and I don’t want to stop! If it’s wrong, I can’t be right! Don’t make me stop!

Now guys, don’t get used to this aside-style writing. This is gonna be over soon (at least for ONE post) because I have an awesome SERIOUS blog post coming soon whereby I am going to challenge you to a duel and if you are afraid or chicken or yellow (again two references I just don’t get) I’m gonna say, goodbye and eject you from my inner circle! haha! I kid, I kid. However I am going to challenge you. Me…yup, the girl who is hooked on blog, who needs a DARE program stat. Or in this case a BARE program. HAHA. Blogs Are Really Evil or maybe Blogs Are Really Epic. And guess what? My husband who is completely not cool at all and also older than me (haha honey!) told me that blogging is dead. Wrong! Wrong again! I love being right. Oh and did you know that blogging is a gateway drug to other harder drugs like Twitter? It’s all very true kids, don’t start blogging.

Ok, I’m gonna stop being cliche, after all nothing under the sun is new and I’m just reiterating a bunch of stuff you already knew. Oh and I swear to you, this is my last post for the week. I promise! (Can you really trust a blog addict’s promise?) Pretend I didn’t write that. Now…come back soon to see my challenge. It’s Truth or Dare!! (Gene Simmons tongue!)