The Round Robin Blog Tour: An Interview with Cara
My seriously cool in-real-life friend Nicole Sheets, invited me to be part of this blog tour, in which I get to talk about myself and my writing (which I haven't done to this extent, at least in writing, since college). In the process, it is an honor to introduce you to (possibly) new people, all of whom I like very much. Let's start with Nicole.
Nicole Sheets is an assistant professor of English at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. She blogs about style for Wanderlust & Lipstick, a women’s travel company based in Seattle. She’s the web editor for Rock & Sling and the editor of How To Pack For Church Camp, an online anthology of creative nonfiction. You can find her blog at Wanderlust and Lipstick.
Here are the questions (and my answers). I hope you enjoy hearing more about my writing process and such.
1. What Are You Working On?
Let's get right down to it, shall we?
Other than this blog, which is a great love of mine, and even a spiritual discipline for me, I am also working, painfully slowly, on a memoir about being an anxious cook (who is also a food writer) and how tied up food is in the most important (and minute) details of my life and faith.
2. How Does Your Work Differ From Others of it's Genre?
While I devour food memoirs, I have always been scared to write one. Mostly this is because my idea of a recipe involves hard alcohol, but also because it is scary to admit to the world that even though I am compensated, in part, because of my discerning palate, I am really only very good at cooking dried pasta (which I then top with sauce from a jar), or scrambled eggs.
Still, food wouldn't let go of me as I started to write another book completely. Before I knew it, that book had become this book, and suddenly it all made a lot more sense.
As I've talked with people, I've realized that what I thought was a great detriment, might actually be the biggest strength of my story. Apparently, there are lots of other people who are anxious about cooking, and have conflicted feelings about food.
It's nice to feel less alone.
3. Why Do You Write What You Do?
Honestly, there are a lot of reasons for why I write. It's rarely simple, linear, or easy to follow. Usually, I write because I am captured by an idea which will not let go of me. Along the way, I often find healing, or a way to resolve events in my past. Sometimes I write to make myself laugh, or someone else smile. Often, it's the best way for me to discover what I think.
For the most part, I write what I do because it is what is in front of me, and I can describe the curves as no one else can, because of my vantage.
4. How Does Your Writing Process Work?
Honestly, I start by thinking about an idea for a while. It will catch me, perhaps as I'm on my way to work, or just about to fall asleep and I will write it down, record a voice memo or type it into an electronic device or other. Then, I let it stew, rolling around in my mind until I've figured out if it's worth pursuing, or just an optical illusion, a trick of the light.
When I sit down to write a piece, it will often flow fairly quickly, since I've been writing it in my head, usually for many hours.
This sometimes frightens people.
Other times, my writing process looks something like this:
Open a new document and possibly type in a title.
Run to the restroom.
Return to computer. Delete title.
Get up and light a calming/energizing/simply nice-smelling candle.
Return to computer. Type the beginning of a sentence.
Notice a Twitter notification. Go to Twitter. Start scrolling through timeline. Click on the blog of a friend.
Recollect that I am writing.
Return to document. Type the second half of a sentence.
Get up to get a snack, usually chocolate.
Return to computer. Settle in and write for a bit.
Rinse and repeat.
Working full-time has made me more disciplined than I have ever been in my writing, and though the above still happens, I also have gotten much better about getting myself to sit still and just write.
Next, I'd like to introduce you to three lovely writers (and people) to whom I am handing the blog tour baton. You will want to check out all of their blogs, and probably become their friends (and stay tuned for their upcoming contributions to my de(tales) series!) They will be posting their answers to the questions above on their own blogs by May 23rd.
Aaron J. Housholder is an Assistant Professor of English at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he has taught creative writing and literature since 2007. He resides in Anderson, Indiana with his wife, Suahil, and their two children, Scottie and Alivia. You can read his work on parenting, faith, real life, and whatever else he happens to be thinking about on his blog Being Still. You can also find him on Twitter.
Bethany Suckrow is a writer and blogger at www.bethanysuckrow.com, where she shares both prose and poetry on faith, grace, grief and hope. She is currently working on her first book, a memoir about losing her mother to cancer. She and her musician-husband, Matt, live in the Chicago suburbs.
Christie Purifoy earned a PhD in English literature from the University of Chicago before trading the classroom for a vegetable garden and a henhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. When the noise of her four young children makes writing impossible, she tends zucchini and tomatoes her children will later refuse to eat. The zucchini-loving chickens are perfectly happy with this arrangement. The chickens move fast and the baby even faster, but Christie is always watching for the beauty, mystery and wonder that lie beneath it all. When she finds it, she writes about it at www.christiepurifoy.com.
I hope you've enjoyed this break from the usual blog rhythm.
Happy Friday, friends.