Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Friday, January 09, 2009

About Me—But Not All

(wherein I shed a bit of light into my life)

Yesterday's sunset. Chestnut Mountain is on the left.

Today, literary agent Rachelle Gardner, on her Rants and Ramblings blog, posted these questions (“It’s All About You”) for writers to answer. While many bloggers answered a few of her questions as comments, I figured I’d post my answers here.

So here goes. Her questions are in bold; my answers aren’t.

_If you’re a writer, what do you write? what do you do when you’re not writing?
Currently, I’m writing children’s lit. Specifically, I’m trying to find a publisher for my Appalachian folktale, “Ferradiddledumday”; querying agents for my middle-grade novel, Stuck; and working on a YA paranormal. For 10 years, I wrote a redneck advice humor column; I’ve also written a lot of short stories, most of which won money in contests. Then there’s the Bulwer-Lytton stuff.

When I’m not writing, I read and look after two old horses, four dogs, and five cats. When I’m able, I walk my farms with Maggie (border collie) and Hubert (beagle). I’m also in a couple of writers groups as well as a Pen Women branch and I mentor some young writers. I also think about what I’d like to write.

_Are you published? Agented? Hopeful? Stalking me?
I’ve been published in several regional magazines and wrote a column for 10 years. My story appears in A Cup of Comfort for Writers and a few of my dreadful sentences appear in the Bulwer-Lytton anthology, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night. I’m in search of an agent, so that makes me hopeful. (Not stalking you, Rachelle; I don't think you represent what I write.)

_What do you love about books? What drives you crazy about books?
What’s not to love? OK, they’re portable, they entertain me, they inspire me, they teach me stuff. . . . Nothing about them really “drives me crazy” except maybe that my name isn’t on the cover of a best-seller.

_Starbucks, Peets, or Folger’s Crystals?
House blend. Or the coffee my husband brews every morning (usually whatever was on special at Kroger)

_The beach, the mountains, or completely lost and without a map?
The woods on my own land. I’m lucky enough to own a couple of farms. And one of them is one the side of a mountain, if that counts.

_Running, walking, working out at the gym, or lying on the couch with a bag of Cheetos?
Walking—definitely with dogs. Although riding a horse is better.

_Are you excited about the new seasons of “Lost” and “American Idol”? If not, what’s wrong with you?
No. I've never watched Lost and only watched a few minutes of American Idol. I’m not much of a TV watcher. I’d rather read.

_If you were a color, what color would you…just kidding.
Blue in all its hues. Seriously.

_Here’s a $25,000 advance. How will you spend it? (This is not a trick question. Don’t try to impress me. I’m off in the mountains right now, not even reading your answers.)
New computer. A late model used pick-up truck.

_Twitter: Fun social media tool or harbinger of the literary apocalypse?
Don’t know. I don’t twitter. Am I missing something?

_Kindle: Useful reading device or harbinger of the literary apocalypse?
Probably useful reading device. If someone gave me one, I’d be delighted to try it.

_If a picture paints a thousand words, how many pictures do 80,000 words paint?
Depends on the quality of the words and the size of the picture, maybe.

_What book do you wish you had written? Why didn’t you?
To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee did it first.

_What part of the world do you live in? And how bothered are you by sentences that end in a preposition?
Rural Virginia. (What do you want to know for? And why is it important where I’m at?)

_Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Waldo? J. D. Salinger?
Could be anywhere.

_Name your favorite author of all time.
Robert Frost. Because his poems really do “begin in delight and end in wisdom.”

_If your writer-life were a reality show, what would it be called?
Sitting at the eMac with Cats on the Desk and a Camera Stuck in my Face?

If Dylan is using the computer to watch YouTube, I have to wait for my turn.

_Why are you still reading these questions?
They made me think. And I could answer them fast.

OK, Dylan's done—my turn for the eMac. Better get to work.

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Blogger Amy Hanek said...

Thanks for the writing break. There are somedays I'd rather be reading and deadlines get in my way. Today is one of those days.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Oh that sounds like fun. But you answered them fast? Wow.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Wolf said...

thank you for stopping by! i love that your cat is by the computer. mine does the exact same thing...and in fact, looks a lot like your cat!

5:34 PM  

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