My fellow Art Commune Reading Circle member JLBDreamer nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award! Thanks, Dreamer! Dreamer is the author of Dreaming Sims, which contains so many stories that I love–I tend to fall in love with her Sims, too.
Here are my answers to Dreamer’s questions:
- Is writing just a hobby or do you want to make it a career?
Writing actually is my career! I have two jobs: a web editor and literature/writing instructor. In both, I write daily and writing is an integral part of both. I love that my professional life consists of expressing ideas, information, inspiration, and insights through words.
- Which writers inspire you?
I’m really inspired by you, Dreamer. I love the ways that your plots weave through your stories and the depth of emotion in them. I’m continually inspired by members of the SimLit community. I receive inspiration each time I read a work of SimLit. My students really inspire me, too. Many of them have returned to college after difficult spans in their lives; others are motivated by their own curiosity and love of learning. Seeing writers find the joy of expressing their thoughts, dreams, and insights through writing provides lasting inspiration. Currently, I’m working on a lifelong reading project of reading all of Shakespeare, and I find, especially, his metered lines to be inspiring.
- So, what have you written?
Oh, lots. I have an MFA in creative writing, so I’ve got scores of short stories and a few novels.
- What genre do you like writing the most? What draws you to this genre?
I love short fiction. I especially love what John Keeble (one of my mentors in grad school) calls “sprung fiction,” which are short stories that are interconnected, like many of Faulkner’s stories and Louise Erdrich’s stories/chapters in Love Medicine. My Thirty Sims in Three Rivers is written in this genre. I’m drawn to this genre because I love the perspective it shows of individuals within a community. We get to experience each character’s viewpoint, and the composite views provide insight into the world in which they live.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Yeah, I’m always reading. Jane Austen is my all-time favorite. I love some of Dickens. And I love some of George Eliot. I read a ton of SimLit, too. You can find my favorites on my What I’m Reading page.
- For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Right now, I prefer ebooks. There’s something about the immediacy of the electronic pulse that connects directly to brain pulses, and I feel, quite literally, plugged in to what I’m reading.
- What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m reading Henry the VI, pt. 1. So sad!
- What is your favourite movie and why?
I really love the film “Fly Away Home” because of the bond it shows between a girl and geese.
- When do you write?
I write anytime. I love morning writing sessions, but, due to schedules and obligations, those are usually only an option during winter. I also really love to write before bed, when I’m sleepy and my mind slips out of its usual grooves so I come out with different cadences and ideas.
- Who is your favorite Simlit Author and why?
Too hard! I really can’t choose. Marialein is one of my current enthusiasms because her story “Angel in the Darkness” presents a mystery from the viewpoints of the main characters in an engaging way. I love all the writers in the reading circles I belong to because their work is deep, thought-provoking, touching, and funny. I also love everything written by Raerei because her stories are written in an authentic voice and provide so much for me to think about. I have so many favorites!
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers of Simlit?
I’ve noticed that most of us who write SimLit have been inspired by others. We read someone’s Sim story, and we love it so much! Then, it inspires us to try. While we may start writing with a similar style or approach to the writers who inspired us, at some point, we’ll probably need to make the writing our own. So my first piece of advice is to find what works for you. Don’t feel you need to write the way that the writers who inspire you write. Feel free to experiment with style, schedule, plot, story, screenshots, game-play, and approach so that your stories satisfy you.My next piece of advice is to get involved with the SimLit community. Stop by the Writers’ Lounge, participate in Book Club, enter one of the monthly Short Story Challenges, join or form a reading circle. You’ll find a group of writers who are encouraging, understanding, and supportive–and you’ll always have plenty to read!
My final piece of advice is not to get discouraged when the number of your readers fluctuates or if it takes awhile for readers to find your blog. Popularity can come and go. Even the most faithful of readers sometimes need to take a break or read something else. That happens. If you’re able to maintain your own engagement with your stories, then you’ll be able to keep writing and keep enjoying your writing, while your readers come and go. And this way, when they do come around, they’ll have something interesting to read!