from just outside the bleep-bloop room

The last time people gave me questions to answer in a blog post, you guys (you know who you are) delivered seven questions ranging from easy-peasy to tough as nails. That was about a year ago, so I’m feeling brave again…and also, these looked easier.

from just outside the bleep-bloop room: behind the screen at Copperlight Wood

Here goes. Each blogger asks a few blogging friends to share their answers to the following four questions in a blog post.

1) What am I working on/writing?

Right now, an eBook version of the Upside Down series. I hoped to have it out in May or June-ish, but stalled because of trying (or, to be honest, not trying) to figure out how to make it easily downloadable from the website. Turns out it’s pretty simple, but technology makes me nervous and I didn’t want to go into the cyber back room of the website, where the walls are covered with dials, buttons, and lights flashing. The bleep-bloop room scares me.

It’s probably because I can barely work an iPod. I do like electricity – I use a flat iron on my hair. It has two buttons, easy. Coffee pot? One button, perfect. But the TV/VCR/DVD nightmare with three separate remotes? You’ve got to be kidding. Completely hopeless, don’t even ask me how to turn it on. I think it needs plugged in first.

After Upside Down is launched, there are a couple of other, bigger projects that will quickly move from the backburner to the front burner. More on those later…

2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

Ten minutes of typing and deleting and I still don’t have a good answer for this. Unless there’s a specific class for non-fiction adoptive homeschooling bookish Alaskan slightly-crafty increasingly-crunchy mommy devotional blogs, I guess I’m not organized enough to focus on a genre. So I cheated and asked Vince. He said, “You show humor in the details of everyday life that most people don’t think of, and you reveal honest pain at a level that most people would be afraid of writing about.” He’s completely biased and doesn’t read any other blogs by women. Love him.

Aside from abusing sentence fragments, one thing that might really be considered different in my writing is that I think and write in analogies. He speaks to me in symbolism, and I love writing about what He teaches me when life’s minutiae means more than it seems to on the surface.

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3) Why do I write what I do?

(cough) Because it’s cheaper than bail?

Besides that, the details of motherhood are worth having their moment of glory. The reality of post-adoption life deserves even more awareness and compassion than the dramatic adoption process that occurs before the kids even come home. Jesus speaks into the mundane minutes of our workday instead of just the pews for an hour on Sunday, and when I neglect writing them down (here or wherever), I feel like I’ve lost something that I should have kept.

When I am feeling unsure about my writing, it is not because I am worried about the difference between adult and juvenile fiction, but because I am worrying that I am neglecting other responsibilities, and so misusing my freedom; I’ve gone through periods of confusion and downright stupidity. It was our eldest child, with her remarkable ability to see accept what is, who said to me a good many years ago, “Mother, you’ve been getting cross and edgy with us and you haven’t been doing much writing. We wish you’d get back to the typewriter.”

– Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle Of Quiet

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4) How does my writing process work?

Throughout the day I scribble illegible words and thoughts in my planner or notebooks, but most real writing happens late at night until the hour hand is pointing at single digits. When I’m at the computer, I look at those notes and a theme emerges. I’d love to say it all just flows out, but it almost never does (this post did, though). Regular blog posts and articles are never completely thought out, figured out, or planned beforehand, and more than once I’ve gotten to the end of a piece thinking I was about finished and then realized with great vexation and gnashing of teeth that it needed to go an entirely different direction.

A writer is someone for whom writing is much more difficult than it is for other people.

– Thomas Mann

I get stuck and give it more time, more tea, more space…in other words, procrastinate…or I’ll take a shower, which is sure to produce an amazing solution because it is the only place I have nothing to write with.

With the exception of the 31 Days series from last October, I spend several nights and rewrites on every piece, and the final message usually feels like it’s just snuck up on me. If He doesn’t surprise me, it’s probably a lame post.

To be an artist means to approach the light, and that means to let go our control, to allow our whole selves to be placed with absolute faith in that which is greater than we are. The novel we sit down to write and the one we end up writing may be very different, just as the Jesus we grasp and the Jesus who grasps us may also differ.

– Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water

Let me introduce you to three friends of mine, fellow artists approaching the light:

patty

Patty is married to her beloved surfer husband and she educates her two sons at home. Her writing is transparent and heartfelt, chatty and beautiful. She writes at Hearts Homeward.

kathy

Kathy is a full-time artist in Arizona, and her blog is a lovely tour of watercolors, ranch living, desert wildlife, and honest thoughts. She is also an awesome adoptive grandma. Kathy writes (and paints) at Tapestry 316.

cynthia

Cynthia is a fellow homeschooling, business-owning adoptive mama. She is fiesty, funny, and also the reason that my friend Kathy (above) is an adoptive grandma, because she is her daughter. I think somehow I must be related to them, though we haven’t been able to prove it yet. Cynthia writes at Cultivated Graftings.

I hope you love perusing their blogs. I’m going to storm the bleep-bloop room, armed with coffee, and wrest an eBook out of it.

Comments

from just outside the bleep-bloop room — 8 Comments

  1. Thank you for the peek into your process! I always love a glimpse into the lives of writers. It’s weirdly reassuring, wildly inspiring and occasionally challenging, as we’re all so similar in some ways and so different in others (I, for example, am an early morning writer). Also, you made that peek into a beautiful post, so thank you for that, too.

    • Thanks, Thea – I totally agree with you about reading the process of other writers – “weirdly reassuring” is a perfect assessment. ;)

  2. Awwww! Thank you! And, yes… I am totally sure we are related! Love and hugs!!!

  3. Lovely :) thanks Shannon. I don’t get time to meet up with, but when you write I get know your heart. Thank you!