Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meme Virgin No Longer!

Thank you for this, Sally, I enjoyed doing it, it will count as a post on my blog, and I have learnt something else to put on Learning Curve!

I'm not sure I know anyone to tag, who won't already have been tagged, or if that matters?

(Blogging etiquette again!)

Oh dear! Really am in trouble now, one daughter home and hungry, the other texting to ask what we're having for tea (wots 4 t x luv u tb) and cupboards like Mrs. Hupboard's. Got engrossed in this while waiting for a friend who missed her train, I had no idea what time it was ...

Oh well, the best meals are often those concocted from whatever lies in an almost empty cupboard!

What's the last thing you wrote?

A post on my blog.

Was it any good?

As usual, it could do with some serious editing (it's too long), but I always manage to add more than I delete when i edit!

What's the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?

I'm not sure, I have notebooks and scraps of paper all over and often come across some random words from years ago. Nothing from as far as childhood though. I did write, but didn't cherish any of it, something I regret sometimes.

Write poetry?

You might disagree about the term 'poetry' but yes, sometimes. Usually when very happy or totally miserable (I find it cathartic), but I prefer prose, to read and to write.

Angsty poetry?

Always! When miserable. I don't do things by halves ... see for yourself on Student Mum! Although am probably most angsty when in romantic (unrequited love) mode.

Favourite genre of writing?

Non-fiction. I get ideas for a character or a plot that I cannot round out ... I don't seem to have the imagination to finish even a short story, never mind a novel.

So I can't answer the next four questions! But will leave them here for everyone else ...

Most fun character you ever wrote?

Most annoying character you ever wrote?

Best plot you ever wrote?

Coolest plot twist you ever wrote?

How often do you get Writers block?

Every time I sit down to write!

Doing something else usually helps. I got into gardening while writing my bachelors dissertation on Alice Walker and Gloria Naylor. Walker often writes about gardening, and the ??? of Naylor's Mama Day had a close relationship with her garden. I see it as a form of meditation, of living in the moment, and find my mind will work on something subconsciously, if I forget about it for a while.

Write fan fiction?

I don't know what this is!

Which not only shows I know very little about the writing world, but is probably a shameful admission for a Literature student. But it does show that I'm very honest.

Am now going to look it up ...

Do you type or write by hand?


But if I use the computer, I have to print drafts out and read them on paper every so often.

Do you save everything you write?

I do now, having lost hours of work on more than one occasion. I save it everywhere!

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?

Yes. I start things on paper, then lose them in the surrounding chaos, or use them as a bookmark in a book I set aside because I am reading too many. Or i write things on the computer and file them somewhere I rarely go.

When I find them again, I'm sometimes inspired to add something to them before they disappear on the cycle again!

What's your favourite thing that you've written?

My BA dissertation, because I loved doing it so much.

And an essay about Titus Andronicus that almost made me change my mind about my Masters thesis subject.

What's everyone else's favourite thing that you've written?

My Mum loves a poem I wrote for my daughters.

A friend raved about the first draft of the best attempt I ever made at completing a short story ... which I have since lost. I have tried to rewrite it, but somehow can't revisit the space i was in at the time. Perhaps i should try again.

Do you even show people your work?

Sometimes. I'm not precious about my writing, but neither would I want to impose it on someone! I enjoyed getting feedback for work at university and am always as happy with constructive criticism as I am with praise. I don't think I would submit something to a publisher (if I ever get that far!) without showing it to someone first.

Did you ever write a novel?

I wish!

Ever written romance or teen angsty drama?

No but my eldest daughter and I have talked about writing a book together about our own experiences of teenage angst.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?

Too many! I really must focus, I tend to scatter my energies after lots of interests. My priorities are: Write Here! / Student Mum / The Learning Curve (blogs), research into the family in the 21st century, articles for a student parent website (and hopefully magazines aimed at students/parents.) I wrote the first paragraph of a short story yesterday but this might not count as 'writing' but rather 'written' as I may never return to it!

Do you want to write for a living?

Do I want to get paid for doing one of the things I love best in the whole world ... are you kidding?!

Have you ever won an award for your writing?

Sadly, no. Unless you count a first class honours degree?

Ever written something in script or play format?

No. Please ... no more ideas for new things to try!

Do you ever write based on yourself?

I write about things, people, places I see. Most of my writing comes from a personal perspective.

What character that you've written most resembles yourself?

I can't answer this (yet!)

Where do you get ideas for your other characters?

I found a great website while researching Jung's archetypes and think might try and use it to build a character.

I guess if I wrote fiction, I would get characters from people I know or meet ... but this is why I don't write fiction, I don't know how to translate real life into fiction.

Do you ever write based on your dreams?

I rarely remember dreams.

Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?

As a reader, I prefer happy endings to sad (although they make me cry more!) but I most like an ending that leaves me thinking, or makes me want to read the book again.

Have you ever written based on an artwork you've seen?

No. What a great idea, I'm going to try that.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Yes, very. Although I'm not sure it's possible to make sure everything is perfect, I do try my best, and can agonise for ages about whether something is right, in a grammatical sense, both before and after I write it (erm, this is a really bad sentence!), if I'm submitting it academically, or if I were to submit anything for publication.

(Take a breath!)

I use my dictionary every day, but as much when am reading as when am writing. Tend to use a lazy style of writing when writing informally. Use far too many exclamation marks!

I noticed an increasing tendency to use exclamation marks while writing anything personal, during my time at university, and put it down to exuberance at being free of academic restraints. But it seems I am growing increasingly phobic about full stops, using elipses, commas, colons, dashes, in fact almost any other punctuation mark instead. (Am itching to change that to an exclamation mark!)

Write something entirely in chatspeak? (How r u?)

I can't!

Honestly, I just can't bring myself to do it (though it makes me laugh out loud to get a text from my mum, who uses it!) I rarely text, as i always have too much to say, but when I do, I use full spellings (apart from the occasional u or 2 ... oh and I like b4!) I can't even miss out apsotrophes.

Very Orwellian ... fascinating subject, though, the effect of textspeak on our language.

Apparently it commonly appears in GCSE exams!

And I often struggle to decode texts from my daughters!

Entirely in L337?

Erm ...

Was that question completely appalling and un-writer like?

I have no idea! (Glad I'm not the only one Sally.)

Another one to look up. I like having things to look up, all possible posts for the Learning Curve!

Does music help you write?

Sometimes. Sometimes it irritates me. It all depends what mood I'm in and what the music is. There's rarely no music on in this house and often more than one kind at the same time.

Quote something you've written. The first thing to pop into your mind.

We should never tolerate difference. We should celebrate it.


SallyQ said...

They're really good answers, Moondreamer! It's interesting to read about your writing from a non-fiction standpoint. Most of the writers I know write fiction, so it's great to get a different perspective.

Fan Fiction is not really literary. Fan Fiction is/are stories based on favourite books and television programmes. In the past I've written fanfiction based in the Harry Potter and Star Trek The Next Generation universes. Basically you take the characters and situations from them and create your own plots.

But it's not something you can make money from as a writer unless you're lucky enough to write a book that ties in with the Star Trek brand. But you need Paramount's permission to do that. Otherwise you just write fanfiction for yourself or a few other fans. The best fanfiction site on the net is

Fanfiction is a very good way to hone one's fiction writing skills and it's how I started.

I don't know what L337 is either. No one invited me to that group ;-)

Moondreamer said...

Thank you, Sally!

Fan Fiction sounds great, and I am off to hunt out a couple of books I bought from the second hand shop ages ago, that I think might be Star Trek Fan Fiction (if I remember rightly, they are about the characters from Deep Space Nine, but the 'shadow' versions.) Am going to check out too!

It sounds like a good idea for someone like me who struggles to imagine everything needed for a story, I could concentrate on just imagining a plot!

Re. L337:

Wikipedia has it as:

"Leet (written 31337, 1337, and l33t), or Leetspeak, is a written argot used primarily on the Internet, which uses various combinations of alphanumerics to replace Latinate letters. The term is derived from the word "elite", and the usage it describes is a specialized form of shorthand."

Erm ... none the wiser!

Am I allowed to do that, quote from Wikipedia, should I include a reference ... beyond blogging etiquette here, and into plagiarism, possibly even criminal acts!


Lane said...

I had to google L337 too! Who'd have thought it:-)

SallyQ said...

Well done on tracking down the meaning of L337! I think you're fine quoting as long as you do give a reference and say where the quote came from. I've quoted wikipedia on my blog before now, along with extracts from books. I think it comes under 'fair usage'.

Annieye said...

I loved, this Moondreamer. I enjoyed Karen Clarke's too.

Tag me if you want. Hey - it's the weekend and, guess what, it's going to rain AGAIN!

aliqot said...

Hi Moondreamer,

Great quote from you at the end.
this made an interesting read - always good to see how other people function as writers.

I enjoyed browsing your blog too.


Moondreamer said...

Lane, I still don't really understand what L337 is, but I learnt enough to know I don't need to know! Google is fab, can't remember what it was like before I had access to such instant information! :o)

Sally, thank you, that's good to know! As a non-fiction writer, i often refer to the writing of other people :o)

Annieye, thank you, am going to check out Karen's too. And am going to tag you (thank you!) Yes very wet and windy here too, there was an amazing storm on Friday night, I love falling asleep to the sound of a storm outside :o)

Alison, thank you for the lovely compliments! I too love browsing the blogs on here, I learn something every day, and smile a lot! (And when I can't get on here for some reason and miss a day or two, I have serious withdrawal symptons!) :o)


You really learn quite a lot about people from these answers, and all of it very interesting! I started out writing non-fiction as part of a home-based writing course I did a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have to force myself to focus too, as I tend to veer off in all sorts of directions otherwise :) (Note how I do smiley faces now instead of exclamation marks - I'm trying to wean myself off them! oops).

Pacha said...

Loved reading this meme. It does tell so much about being the drive and need to write. I think.

Oh Moondreamer. Your enthusiasm is contagious! I've been having a whirl around your blogs and been having fun!

Isn't angsty poetry the only sort?

Moondreamer said...

I agree, Karen ...

I have really enjoyed reading the different answers to this meme:o)

And hey:o)

A smiley face does work (well, mostly:o)

Thank you for the tip! (Ooops, couldn't resist that one, but I did deliberate for almost 5 minutes before I decided it could stay ...:o)

Moondreamer said...

Pacha, what a lovely thing to say, thank you!

Yes, I agree about angst and poetry, they go so well together!