Interview Questions from Vanessa

Because I got so many questions, I’m breaking up my answers into separate blog posts. I’m not complaining. I like getting all these questions. In fact, if anyone wants to just keep asking questions, I say bring them on, whether I post a special “interview me” blog or not.

In this post, all questions come from Vanessa, who you can find at Butterfly Reflections. She asks…

If you could have one natural characteristic, e.g. empathy, eloquent oral/verbal skills, etc., that you do not currently possess, what would you choose and why? This is not to say that one cannot work on character traits, but I’m asking about something inborn, for clarification. And for the record, I picked those traits at random- I’m not suggesting those are what you need to work on.

Sure, sure… We all know I’m not the best at empathizing because I don’t do emotion. And I’m pretty sure I just admitted in one of my answers in the previous post that I have trouble using the spoken word, but that’s usually only when I’m face to face with a cute girl. Really, though, my answer to this would have to be self-motivation. Is there a better word for that? What’s the opposite of procrastination? I want that.

If you knew you could have a book published but the circumstances were such that it would be, in your eyes at the very least, a piece of crap, would you still do it so you could say you published a book?

No. That feels like it would be a hollow victory. If I ever have a book published, I want to believe that it’s the best I could have done at the time. Whether the public likes it or not, at least I would feel like it’s a job well done. If I’ve written complete crap that the public would gobble up (I’m looking at you, Stephenie Meyer) just so I could pocket some cash, well, then I’d just have to question my own integrity.

If you could ride only one roller coaster for the rest of your life, for free and anytime you wanted, but it was a jarring wooden one, would you be done with roller coasters forever?

Yes. If I can’t enjoy the ride, there’s no way I’m riding it multiple times. And if that’s my only option, I guess I’d have to take up skydiving.

What do you think constitutes a hero? Following that, who do you feel is the greatest hero in real life? (Superman and other comic book creations does not count, sorry I’m not sorry.)

According to the Sunday morning curriculum we used throughout the summer with the kids at church, a hero is simply someone with conviction; someone who stands up for what they believe in. To me, a hero isn’t necessarily someone who is tough or puts themselves in harms way (although that looks good on TV), but a hero must always exhibit bravery as a characteristic. Because one has to be brave to stand up for what’s right, especially if it flies in the face of what’s already the accepted norm. And I don’t know about identifying a hero in the world at large, but in my personal life, I consider my friend Nicole to be a hero. She’s someone who has fought the good fight with integrity and conviction. She’s the kind of person who owns the mistakes she’s made and leans on God for her strength. She’s a hero in my book.

When in a bad or sad mood, do you listen to music of the same feeling to help move through emotions and maybe feel like the songwriter/someone else understands, or do you pick something upbeat to get you through the funk sooner?

What is word “emotions” you use? I have a very wide range of musical genres on my 2nd generation iPod. And when I’m driving around aimlessly and feel like listening to music as a personal vent session, I just let the thing randomly choose songs. I don’t look for sad, bluesy music when I’m feeling depressed. I don’t look for angry, hardcore music when I’ve had a bad day at work. I just let the artificial intelligence pick songs and, by the time I’m done driving, I feel better.

Do you think the real reason you haven’t completed and attempted to publish a book might be because you are afraid of it being rejected, or do you truly find you don’t have the time or inclination to complete one? (There’s no judgment or psychoanalysis here, I’m just curious. Ok, maybe a little psychoanalysis. 😉

Sure, fear of rejection is a real thing. And so is a lack of time to actually sit down and write the things I want to write. I’m sure that I could make time if it really came down to it. I just don’t. As I’ve examined my life from time to time, I’ve reached points where I really want to finish a book and just haven’t. Most of the problem is that I’m my own worst critic. I’ll read something I’ve written, decide that it sucks, and then start all over again. And, from what I understand, writing something the size of a novel is difficult and requires a lot of planning, and that’s not something I’m very good at. I don’t like outlines. I just like to sit and stare at a blank page and put words on it. That’s probably another downfall. Soon enough, though, I’ll let people here decide if I’m good with writing fiction. I’ll be posting some things that I’ve written and you guys can let me know what you think. Some of it I read and think, “Man, that’s pretty good. I’d read that book.” Other stuff I’ll look at and wonder what I was smoking when I wrote it. The answer is nothing, because I’ve never smoked anything.

Regardless of what society and horticulturalists say, do you consider a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

It has seeds in it. It’s a fruit. But I wouldn’t put it in a fruit salad.

Sorry, last one if it’s not too late to ask. Once you publish a book, will you: read it, not read it because you know the story so well, avoid reading it because you might think of a new way to write parts of it and that would frustrate you, or some other option?

I would probably not read it. I imagine that I would get to read the thing plenty of times throughout the endless editing process. And, as I mentioned above, I already have that problem of going back, reading what I’ve written, deciding it’s not good enough and starting all over again. If something I’ve written manages to get to the published category, there’s no way I’ll want to read it, get seven chapters in and think, “Aww… That shouldn’t have happened like that!”

Stay tuned for more answers later today!

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