I have MamaMickTerry to
blame thank for this leg of the Blog Tour landing temporarily in little ole’ Pigspittle, Ohio. As you’ll find in my “About this blog” page, Pigspittle is a small town in the middle of Ohio. We don’t have a Target but we do have WalMart. Your shopping choices are rather limited. There is a restaurant called Jake’s…it advertises itself as “a place for steak,” not a great place, mind you. But now that you’ve landed here, I’ll try to be a good host and share my writing process, which is what this blog tour is about.
Before I do, however, let me say a few words about the tour guide who invited me to join this trip. I first discovered MamaMick’s (aka Michelle) lively blog through the good folks who run the Yeah Write Moonshine grid (what the heck is that? click here). Her essay about flyover country, replete with funny asides and pictures, drew me in and I’ve been a fan ever since. I love Michelle’s breezy writing, and her eye for tender moments that reminds me why we’re here.
She is all about family and baseball and gardening and friends. I think we’ve known each other for three months (via the Internet) and I feel like we’ve been friends for years. If you’re looking for a blog that celebrates the simple things in life, and features a variety of voices (and music!) — because Michelle is the kind of person who welcomes friends to guest-blog on her site — please check out her main blog, as well as her other blogs, Ps and Qs (photography and fave poems) and Hidden Hummingbird Diaries, if you can find it (a site for exploring writing that she shares with two friends).
Thank you, Michelle, for your generous bloggy friendship.
So, what’s it all about, Alfie?
I’m supposed to answer four questions about writing and introduce you, dear reader, to other bloggers whose work I enjoy. Are you ready? OK.
- What am I working on? Writing. Just writing. I’ve been participating as often as I can in Yeah Write’s writing challenges, particularly the flash fiction (Speakeasy) and micro-fiction (Gargleblaster) weekly challenges. This summer, the editors offered a series of workshops, which I dove into. I love the writing, the prompts, the community, the editors. I also started seeking out other challenges, being obsessed, and discovered Thain in Vain‘s 2014 Flash Fiction Challenge, in which bloggers are given a prompt and invited to submit a weekly fiction piece under 500 words. I haven’t been as consistent as I would like, but I’m trying. (More about the wonderful Thain below.)
- How does my work differ from others in my genre? I don’t know if I even have a genre! Literary fiction sounds a bit too pretentious and I don’t think I’m worthy of it anyway. Some of my writing is magic-realism but most of it is just straight-up fiction and I honestly can’t say how it differs from other authors. Maybe I’m still too close to it all to define or differentiate it.
- Why do I write/create what I do? Because life is short. Up until I worked as a managing editor for literary magazine, I wrote regularly (and badly). Working for the litmag was great but destroyed my writing self-esteem. I am just now recovering from that experience and slowly building up my confidence. On days when I don’t write, I feel disconnected. I have this sense of urgency now. It isn’t about wanting to be published. It’s about some deeper need to create and become a better writer.
- How does my writing/creative process work? I don’t have to write in a particular place at a certain time. I’ve tried not to become too attached to specific rituals because they become excuses not to write when the stars aren’t aligned just right. I enjoy working with prompts to get me started. I also like to go hiking and imagine different characters or certain phrases that will jolt me with new energy. Gardening, especially the methodical, meditative weeding process, is also good for thinking about where a story should go next. I am a slow writer. I write and re-write and re-write and edit and re-write. It can take me an hour to finish a paragraph, or sometimes a half-hour to finish two pages. I never know. I don’t use outlines and I hardly ever know how a story is going to end until I get there. So, yeah, my process is as undisciplined and reckless as I am.
And now I’m pleased to introduce two bloggers whose work I enjoy reading. They are now officially included in this meandering blog tour and I’m excited to learn about their writing process. I hope you’ll check out these blogs.
Michael at Hypothetically Writing. Every time Yeah Write opens up the Speakeasy grid for flash fiction work, I look for one of Michael’s brilliantly funny, scifi serial segments. “Hadley’s Story” is the serial I’ve read the most. The quirky cast of characters includes detective/protagonist Hadley Baxendale, dangerous Bunnies, a woman named Rain who is the incarnation of death, and so many more. Somehow–I don’t know how–Michael writes these stories, using the same prompts we are all assigned through the Speakeasy, and manages to keep the serial continuity going. As I commented once, it’s like reading the transcript from an old timey radio program but better. Better because, well, it’s so damn funny.
Thain at Thain in Vain. In my desperate, voracious search for more writing challenge sites, I found myself at Thain in Vain. Thain invites writers to join her in a 52-week challenge based on (sometimes wacky) prompts and then links up the submissions on her site. It’s a generous and thankless job, especially when folks forget to include their links, links don’t work, sites don’t exist, yada, yada, yada. On top of managing this writing challenge, Thain also participates — from the hilarious, dialogue-only take on the prompt “do you notice anything different about me?” to a courtroom trial among woodland creatures. Her writing is inventive, surprising, and a joy to read.
That’s all from Pigspittle! Enjoy the tour as it picks up with Michael and Thain. Thanks for reading.