Writing Blog Tour

July 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

So my troublemaking friend Adrienne Nunez went and tagged me in this writing blog tour thing where I’m supposed to talk about my writing process and what kind of things I am working on at the moment and it is nerve-wracking because I don’t know any of the answers because I didn’t study because I didn’t know there was going to be a quiz. But since I’m going to be a famous astronaut I don’t see why I should care about my GPA, so here goes nothing.

What am I working on?

Short stories are pretty much the only thing I write. For what little chance I have had to write this summer, I have been trying to revisit a couple of pieces that need work in order to get them ready for submission by fall. Two of them are stories that I workshopped in the Barrelhouse Online Fiction Workshop last summer.

Once in a while I entertain thoughts of writing a novel. They don’t entertain me back. If I do write a novel, I suspect it will be about a father and a son, because fathers and sons have been on my mind lately and I think there are a lot of fathers out there who need to have their stories told.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s awesome, obviously.

More seriously: I don’t know. Is it really a writer’s job to know? If you worry from the beginning what your work achieves that others’ work does not, it cripples you rather quickly, I suspect. If there is anything distinctive, I guess I try to bring a little humor to the darker side of things, and bring the reader safely through a journey of the confusing and the heartbreaking and the absurd.

Why do I write what I do?

I have asked this question to myself, wondering if there are any overarching themes to my work, something emerging that would unify my stories were I to arrange them into a collection. What interests me about these people? Most of them are lonely to some degree. They are trying to figure themselves out, where they fit. They haven’t caught on to the rules of society and perhaps are prone to embarrassing themselves a bit, for better or for worse. And I particularly think about people and the disparities between how they perceive themselves and how others perceive them.

How does my writing process work? 

When you work full-time you have to scrape to find any useful time to write, and the lack of a set schedule makes it difficult. You cannot just sit down at the computer and expect to focus off the bat and pick up from where you left off. On good days I might come up with material during my idle time—in the shower, during the commute on Interstate 91—and hopefully write it down when I get the chance and bring it back to the computer later. This is also useful when I need to break out of the framework of a story, not let its logical progressions dictate the scenes I want to write. Sometimes the scenes that work best are scenes that hadn’t been part of the plan.

Did I bore you with all this? 

Nah. I just hope my responses weren’t boring, either. It’s tough to worry about such things when you’re training to be an astronaut.

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