OK, here is another set of answers! All of these were posed by Instagram users over there. One thing that I find really interesting about social media is the way there is some overlap, but it’s definitely not 100 percent. There are people who read this blog and with whom I’m Facebook friends, there are those with whom I’m FB friends and whom I follow on Twitter, there are those whom I follow on Twitter and Instagram…and there are those I only know on one particular platform. It’s neat to see the interplay and the different “feels” of each particular arena…but generally, people tend to be nice and open-minded and of good cheer everywhere.
And now, the questions:
Thoughts on Abe Lincoln?
One of the greatest Presidents, quite clearly…and I wonder what he might have accomplished had he not been put in a position where the only real thing he was asked to accomplish was to keep things from falling apart completely. On the one hand, it took a man that great to keep things from utter collapse, but what might have happened had he not been tasked with preventing the most negative outcome? And more, what might he have accomplished had John Wilkes Booth not killed him?
I actually don’t know a great deal about Lincoln, beyond the standard “American mythology” stuff. I suppose one day I should do some reading on him, because as with all things, the truth is more complicated than the myth. However, there’s really no getting around the fact that he was in all likelihood the exact right man on the scene for the job he had to do.
Van Halen: Hagar or Roth?
It’s been said many times that you can only be one or the other…but not by me, because I love both. In all honesty, I love both eras of the band, both the harder-rocking DLR era and the more poetic sound of the Sammy period. Now, if I choose to listen to Van Halen, I’m probably going to select something from the Sammy period, because song for song, my favorites tend to come from that time. But that preference is nowhere near strong enough for me to claim an overall preference for Sammy over DLR. They’re both different. To me, it’s like making PB&J with grape jelly, versus PB&J with strawberry jam. Different experiences with a lot in common…and both favorites of mine!
Heart: Ann or Nancy?
I can’t pick one. Seriously, I can’t. I see them as an inseparable unit. The two of them together accomplish something like alchemy. I don’t think you can really have Heart without either one of them!
When did you start writing?
This is a great question, because I can read it a number of different ways. For instance, “When did I start writing” can mean, “When did I first get the sense that I might be good at telling stories?” For that version of the question, I’d say, very early on…maybe even as early as preschool. I honestly do not recall a time when I didn’t like making up tales in my own head.
There are a lot of ways to tell stories, though, so when did I start to gravitate toward this thing called writing? Sometime in grade school, I suppose. The realization that I could take those letters and numbers that I knew and use them to spin tales came quickly, and I remember writing stories as early as first grade. My favorite assignments were “write your own story” assignments, and eventually I got to the point where I enjoyed writing stuff as a hobby.
So when, then, did I start thinking that writing might be a realistic career goal? Probably the late 1990s, when I started trying to write better and when I started earlier novels. None of those works went anywhere, although I did start piling up a stack of rejection slips for my short fiction, occasionally getting a “This is really good but I still can’t use it right now” note scrawled by some editor in the margin. I’ve kept at it pretty much ever since, sometimes on an “off-and-on” basis. There were a couple of years in the mid-2000s when I barely wrote anything at all. Some of those years are a complete fog to me now, and I don’t really miss that decade.
The final way to look at this question is, “When did I realize that writing was my calling/mission in life/the thing I’m best at doing and I should really just get about the business of doing it?” That was just a few years ago, actually, when I finally decided that it was time to actually write that story I’d been kicking around in my head for over ten years, the one about two sisters who happen to be Princesses and who happen to go out into space and have some adventures. I don’t know if all writerly-types do this, but I certainly have been known to sit on story ideas for a long time, whether out of fear or some notion that maybe one day I’ll be good enough to write that idea. I finally realized I was taking the utterly wrong approach, and all the nifty story ideas in the world are no good to anyone if they’re still in my head when my own curtain comes down. I started writing Princesses In SPACE!!! (not the actual title) in 2011, I think, so I might have “started writing” right about then. Or fifteen years earlier. Or ten to twenty years before that…or even earlier.
I think I’ve started writing a whole lot of times, to tell the truth.
More answers to come!
(And you know what? As of October 1, I won’t have to refer to Princesses In SPACE!!! (not the actual title) in that way anymore. I can’t wait!)