The “Blog” Blog Tour

Hello and happy Monday! I’m actually writing this on the previous Friday, but am imagining it’s Monday for the sake of timing. Let’s visualize Monday together: start of the week, five days till another mini two-day vacation, hung over from all that grocery shopping and cleaning you did on the weekend. I can see it now in my mind’s eye. To be honest, I work all day Saturday, so my conception of the weekend is blown to bits. However, for those working normal weeks, hopefully this Monday post provides a little distraction from that load of post-weekend emails you’re working through one-by-one. Take a long sip on your hot-pick-me-up-drink, and tuck into the reading!

This week I get the privilege of receiving the baton from Philippa over at A Feisty Blue Gecko. I’ve been a fan of her blog for quite some time. She takes such wonderful pictures and shares such touching stories. I think she and I have a similarity in our writing, in that we wear our hearts on our sleeves. It’s so much better that way.

Anyhow, I get this email from Philippa asking if I want to be part of a blog tour. Not a book tour (which I’m very slowly trying to arrange) but a “blog” blog tour, where a set of questions develop a life of their own, and jump blog to blog for writers to answer. It’s basically a chain letter except I get to talk about myself before passing it on to two other talented writers. (more on them to come!) So, here is a small interview between me and this travelling blog. It’s about writing, so we should get along very well.

Hey Catherine, I’m the Blog Blog Tour. Here’s my first question for you: What are you working on?

Nice to meet you, Blog Tour. What am I working on? Honestly, I’m mostly working on my book launch party at the moment. That’s a funny thing since The Adventures of Claire Never-Ending has been out since last December in 2013, BUT, back then I’d promised myself not to back out of having a party. Therefore, even thought it feels like it’s coming outta nowhere, I’m throwing myself a book launch. Working on that means arranging the event. I truly detest readings at book launches, and am figuring out alternative ways to introduce people to the book. We’ll have a slide show, fortune teller (my mom), book launch bingo, and a silent auction of very Canadiana artwork by Lise Landry to raise money for A Fresh Chapter.

But I have other projects that I play with on Mondays (truth!) between appointments, and would like to develop more over the summer. My big ambition is to write a book for my husband. That would have some Little Zsolti stories, photographs mixed together, the story of how we first met, plus random stories and memories. Back when we first got together I would make him scrapbooks. Over the years I feel out of that kind of storytelling. But recently I picked up a book called “Chopsticks” and it brought on big-time inspiration on how to piece our story together. So I’d love to do that for him and for us.

Also, I have an unlisted writing blog where I post the first few threads of my fiction writing. It’s a space to just play with ideas, and keep them accessible while also seeing what random likes they attract. So far I’m playing with three stories on that website – one about this world where the heroine ends up challenging the author (i.e. me the writer), another that is the Wizard of Oz meets Red Dwarf, and another that is my take on Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde but with vampires and witches.

I used to write extremely serious stuff, and still do sometime. But in terms of long-term projects, it has to make me laugh and smile and love all the way through. Otherwise what’s the point?

2) Woah, that answer was way too long, Catherine. Let’s trim it back a bit, eh? Now, next question: How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Ahh. Hmm. ? (I’m thinking it over)

 

pow

My women’s fiction writing certainly differs in that I don’t play upon romance. But that’s not totally true, actually, because many of my characters are in love, or are finding love, or are running away from love. But for me it’s always more about their growth as individuals rather than chasing after a date. And then I just forget to have that make-out scene, or sex scene, or whatever. Mind you, I would certainly write it if the story went that way . . .but so many of life’s pivitol moments (after the teenage years) aren’t all about whether a guy will call back, and so at least with The Adventures of Claire Never-Ending, that stuff all happens off of the page. I enjoy reading romantic chick lit and women’s fiction, yet my writing just don’t gravitate that way. At least not yet; If I actually go through with that Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde story, that will change. :)

3) Why do you write what you do?

I blog what I do because it needs to get out, and because I feel like having a conversation. You see, Blog Blog Tour, you are not the first blog I’m spoken with before. I talk to Bumpyboobs all the time, and she’s a good listener :)

As for creative writing, it makes me happy and can be a good challenge. There’s something so brilliant in creating a text that is beautiful. I step back and think, “I did that?” When you are writing, you create a world – and it’s a powerful experience. I love creating those worlds, meeting those people, following their stories. They become reality as they are written. It’s a big deal to me – there’s something freeing in that creation, and it’s such a good feeling to play in that space.

4) How does my writing process work?

The less thought I give it the better, at least to begin with. Ideas percolate in my mind during monotonous activities (like cleaning the bathroom, for instance) and then I’m rewarded for completing those activities by sitting at the computer and letting my fingers tell a story. (Or by eating cookies.) One word after another, that’s how it works.

So far so good. Not efficient, not planned, but it works.

*

End of Blog Blog Tour!

NOW! I get to introduce to you two writers who will be picking up the blogging baton from me next week.

kevinMeet Kevin T Johns:

Kevin is an Ottawa-based writer of YA paranormal fiction. His debut novel is The Page Turners, and as I’ve said before, it’s Freaks and Geeks meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kevin has published an excellent book, and I’d love to see it explode across the YA scene. I really enjoyed reading it because along with the monster side of things there’s a KICK-ASS young woman who is totally super cool and capable of saving the day, and the actual core issues in his writing canter upon bullying, loss, divorce and just the hard bits of being a teenager.

Check out Kevin’s blog on writing here – it’s full of great tips and ideas.

His book is here, too, and not to be missed.

 

Another wonderful writer picking up the Baton is AnneMarie Ciccarella of Chemobrain: In the Fog.To know AnneMarie is to be impressed by AnneMarie. This lady GETS IT DONE, and is another blogger wearing her heart on her sleeve. Plus, she’s taking on the conversation of sexuality and cancer with her project, Share Those Moments. Here’s her bio:

Diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2006, AnneMarie Ciccarella embarked on a path of patient advocacy in 2011. She is passionate about the importance of evidence-based care and seeks to share her knowledge with others. AnneMarie’s greatest passion is providing support to others. She recently extended her advocacy into the area of mental illness. She is currently working on a project about the effects of cancer on sexuality where she will bring the voices of many to the conversation. She is the author of the blog, Chemobrain: In The Fog.

Check out her blog photo crophere.

This blog tour has now been across North America, Asia, Europe, Australia and back again!

And that’s it from me up in Canada. May the blog be with you.

P.S. When Philippa passed me this challenge, she also passed it to Marie over at Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer. Go and see what Marie is up to by clicking here. :)

Memories of Chat Rooms

Hi, I just saw my blog now has different format options for posts. This is apparently “Chat Mode!” Do you remember those chat rooms from back in the day? It was one of the first things I ever did on the internet. There was this website that looked like a house, and you could move room to room chatting with people. I was way too innocent to realize that when people asked “what colour is your hair” it wasn’t just out of curiosity. For me, back then, “chat rooms” and “chatting” was just about saying hello to this new world at my finger tips. Actually, that applies to today as well.

Hello!

Now, how does the actual CHAT work here? No questions about hair, etc, please :)

Hmm, the post preview doesn’t actually look any different from a normal post. I’m going to hit publish anyhow and see what happens.

Running Nowhere Fast

Have you ever had that dream where the bad guy is chasing you, so you want to run away – but you’re getting absolutely nowhere? That’s how I feel sometimes. Mostly when I have a hot flash, but sometimes it simply happens without any hot flashes at all.

Like today. Today I feel like I’m trying to run somewhere and not actually moving. Admittedly, in the literal world you’d never catch me running. I’m allergic to running . . . well, if a person could be allergic to exercise, I’d be allergic to running and baseball. But in the metaphorical sense I want to run as in move forward with life. I love those moments of success and celebration, I also love those moments of rest and reflection, and give me a bit of time to write to make it all totally lovely – but to get to those moment, I apparently require these moments of taking the metaphorical lego pieces and building a life one tiny block after another tiny block, and my face is so close to the construction that I can’t even see what I’m building.

Oops. I jumped metaphors.

Running really hard but going absolutely nowhere.

Today that is how I feel.

Tomorrow may be different.

Probably I just need more chocolate. I will now test that hypothesis and go make myself some low-sugar cookies. Cause a girl needs her cookies .