Some writing would be nice. Posting things I never got around publishing. But I need some drive to get me going. So…
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Few days back, when we got talking, Katja suggested doing something random. When I asked, what, she said she’ll give me ten questions and she expects full answers. Sort of an literary interview on random things. For no good reason. Why not? This morning she brought me a page with this:
1. Questions can be about everything. You can’t change the questions.
2. Answer must be at least 3 lines long and must be answered truthfully.
3. Don’t like the question? Look at Rule nr 1.
Only then may you assign the next blogger to answer your ten questions.
3 Questions from Katja, 7 from Malle-Liisa, in total 10 questions:
- How do you feel about characters names hinting something about them?
By this question I should first understand what exactly is meant by it. I don’t like if the character is left with names referring to what they are good at. We had a comic series, where characters all carried names like that and you could read from there about Captain Kraps (Sharp, military perfectionist), Munapea (EggHead, genius of the punch) or Noonius (Vernier Scale – mechanical inventor). It makes them seem less developed, as if the writer was simply trying together the basic ideas of the story, but left the characters right there, on the first level of development.
I don’t mind nicknames, but with them it has to make sense, too or has to be well explained. In Doom, for (bad) example, the character’s name is John “Reaper” Grimm. His explanation to his nickname is simple: “They are soldiers, not poets.” That’s all that’s actually needed, because everybody, who can read the unwritten, understands that he also represents the last thing those monsters will see. So it’s not always a bad thing. It is in its right place if you read children’s stories, but if written for grownups, then I think it should be less obvious. Unless we’re talking about comedies or comic books, the reader might accept it, but mostly I have seen it as criticism showing low quality writing.
- Aaron Cross.
This is shameless way to get me explain, why I liked that character while the rest of the world does not. The reason is simple – he had a goal that he followed and very hearty reason for doing so. He feared loosing his intelligence. One of the basic fears of most humans. There are many, who have said that if they should end up as vegetables, they prefer to die. So you can relate with that on deeper level than simple “must have those drugs”. He has tasted the freedom intelligence gives to him and he is not willing to give it up again and be a dumb brute, who is only good for massacres. Isn’t that what the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is about? Or Hulk? Such primal fear of degenerating stirs you up enough to do something about it. And that’s why I love him – he win his battle and got best of both of the worlds.
- What book did your breakfast remind to you?
Silvia Rannamaa “Kasuema” (“Stepmother”). It’s a book about Kadri Yalaks, who is a teenage girl, who considers herself very unfortunate. And this is true, because she lives very poorly with her old grandmother in the basement in a one room flat without any modern conveniences. She knows nothing about her father, her mother died years ago and classmates avoid her. But that was before the accident(car crash), which changed her life. Kadri gets to hospital. There, she decides to keep a personal diary in which she writes down the history of her life before the accident and what occurs to her since then. The milk soup reminded me of the chapter that described how she was in the boarding school and how they had just had lunch. It’s very harsh book, but one of my favorites.
- Talk of a Rabbit.
Rabbits are plot bunnies. Plot bunnies you hop with a ferret and catch with a carrot. Plot bunnies are things that don’t make sense or facts got wrong that one needs to find and fix before your un-expecting reader finds them for you.
- What difference is between a wannabe and a writer?
Finishing your work – that’s the main difference. Also, not waiting for someone to discover you, but working yourself up and offering your work. I know this, because it is quite a pressure to get published in order to be recognized as a writer. I have finished some of the manuscripts, but haven’t got any published yet, so I do consider myself a writer. Even if I don’t have a published book to prove it. But that’s not my main goal.
- If you would be one word, then which and from which novel would it be from?
I’d say the book would Stendhal’s The Red and The Black, but I’m not sure what word it would be. I keep going for the “harsh truth” presented in front or the word cave. Yes, I think the “cave” is the better choice. I don’t remember exactly, where it was, but the instance he arrives to the cave for the first time and when he remembers it again later – it is just beautiful.
- Which book should have never been written?
There are lists of books that are considered evil for one reason or another. Mein Kampf tends to lead that list. I actually don’t agree, I would more put the blame on Thule Society works.
One book I would have preferred never had seen the light, is Sleeping Beauty by Ann Rice. Out of all the books I’ve read there have been few that have disturbed me as much as this one did. I usually love twisted fairy tales, but this one was just horrible. Doesn’t make the book itself bad, but I simply didn’t like it.
- What makes world laugh?
It’s interesting that if you put the same sentence in the search engines, the first responses are researches on what makes Arab world laugh? I’m guessing that’s because our usual humor seems to be only insults to them? I would actually say the only thing that truly brings smile to any human’s face would be animals and their mishaps.
- How does the Sun rise?
The Sun actually rises, because Earth falls, if I now think of it. We simple fall pass the point that would otherwise take us straight to the Sun, so with that in mind, we basically fall? Think of Sputnik and the theories that keep that thing up in the sky… I honestly would like to say that Sun stays up in the sky simple because it is one of the few things humans have no power over. Yet. Let’s hope they never get that power.
- At what point does moment become eternity?
When going for a dentist appointment. Seriously – have you ever had your tooth removed? It goes on forever! I would prefer walking on fire than have another tooth taken out.
10 questions for Erin M. Hartshorn are:
- What is the strangest thing you’ve written on?
- Who label the books with genres? We as writers do or the publishers do?
- How do you feel about killing off main characters?
- Do you avoid certain topics in your writing?
- Why does water that has sat in a bottle taste so foul after a year? It’s the same water, isn’t it?
- Do you prefer working on one thing at the time or do you work on multiple ideas at the same time?
- Do you have favorite character?
- What if paper wasn’t invented? What would you, as a writer, use instead?
- Tell something about keeping your unused ideas.
- How personal is writing?
A dream of any good anthropologist. To play a village fool in era they are researching. This was what Noah came to do here and the only reason why he kept his sister’s whereabouts secret. It took him close to a year to convince others he wasn’t putting them in danger, that he’d only play his part and then leave, allowing them to use the excuses fit to their purpose to seal his disappearing.
That until his heart watched the child grow and place unseen chains around him. Blind little Ivy Walker had been mere toddler when they arrived, a simple child and thus knew nothing of his real age – none of the younger ones did. Twenty four candles instead of thirty six – who wouldn’t want to become a decade younger?
He made the mistake once, allowing her smoothing words caress his taunting mood and that was it. From that day forward he was dog to her, followed her around and kept keen watch over every move she made, only to pull back his own scary acting should she even whisper the word “Enough!”.
That seemed sufficient for a while, but then she bloomed like honey clover and seemed just as fragile in her ways, yet there was nothing timid about her. Blindness had given her strength and wisdom, prudence that would never allow her to choose jester over a knight.
Thinking so he knew his banter days were close to an end. He was old enough to know why his heart ached when he longed to be with her. She had always considered him a good friend and as the custom went – no fool had ever recovered from their illness before and he planned to be no exception.
The door flew open and he almost fell off his chair. He used the quiet room to hide and be himself, but now Ivy was standing on the door, eyes fixed on the distance.
“You are free to leave now, Noah Percy!”
He held his breath for a moment, but rose quickly. He thought of acting up and replying with his usual show, but instead fell quiet.
He shook his head, forgetting she couldn’t see.
“Then what is it?”
He took two steps to her and said without thinking: “Jam on your lip.”
Her eyes flew up and she frowned, trying to see through his mischief.
He knew he’d gone too far. It was too late to play it around, it had sounded just as normal as any other man on the village. He thought of capturing her and closing the door, demand she’d listen and force her silent, but he didn’t move a muscle.
“Noah?” Her breathing changed, echoing his low flow of air coming from his dry lips. “You sound so odd!”
He’d probably never have the chance, he decided then and sized for her middle before brushing his mouth gently over her cheek. She froze between his hands, but he knew better than to let her go and fall on her ragged feet. The woman had no proper experience with anyone yet and he knew already then he wasn’t taking advantage of it. He only wanted to seal a pack for silence, steal her first kiss, which he never wanted to give to her first and real suitor.
He felt her warming up, heat rousing aromas of lily soap she used to wash her neck every evening.
“What is this?” she demanded to know, “What are you playing?”
Oh, he had no plans for games tonight, he grinned, and instead of an answer he pushed another kiss against her skin, closer to the mouth. She didn’t insist him to stop, so he placed next one on her nose, before drifting down and biting down her flesh. She gasped, opening her mouth enough for him to make his move and he took every advantage of it.
Ivy’s hands sought place to rest. At first they tried to come between them, force him away, but that ceased the moment his lips took over hers. Now they stopped on his arms, grasping tightly around his slender muscles, but couldn’t find rest there and slid between his chest and arms on his back.
The chill that followed wasn’t unknown to his mind, but he couldn’t stop and went with it.
He gently pulled her to step away from the door and nudged the door close. It did with silent fizz and gave him enough time to push her against the wall.
She reached her hands out and searched out for his face. He immediately stopped.
“You shine like sun in my eyes. Why?”
He didn’t think the question was meant for him.
“Who are you?”
“Noah Percy.” He said quietly, not trying to play his part. She’d give him a slap should he even try.
“That’s what you say, but you’re not the Noah I know!”
“Who are you?”
“I am Noah, I just…” He wet his lips. He’d feared the question in the past. How would he explain this without risking their cover?
“Play a fool?” she helped with the words. “For how long?”
“Few years.” It wasn’t really a lie.
“Why haven’t you said anything?” she insisted, “You could be treated differently!”
“I didn’t want to.” He confessed, doubting his own words. He wanted so much to be like others, so she’d choose the knight he believed himself to be over the jester he was playing.
“Noah Percy, you’re keeping secrets from me!” she started with her usual teasing tone, but the sweetness was nearly gone.
“I keep many secrets,” he replied quietly and looked down on his twitching hand. It tend to go over the edge whenever he felt nervous and right now he had every right to feel the stretch on his personal pet project.
“And what is your purpose on this one?”
He couldn’t decide if his mind was simply blank or he couldn’t decide between all the reasons he’d made up for such occasion. Instead he lowered his face to her level and nearly kissed her again, but he stopped only an inch away. He had to thrust his hand past her against the wall to stop himself and pushed away.
She frowned, like sensing his movement, but being agitated that he hadn’t finished. She thrust forward and forced him away from her path. She went straight for the door and nearly hitting it.
She came to a halt and turned, slowly reaching for the knob.
“Then I think you’ll need another hour here, Noah Percy, figure out what is your purpose deceiving me!” she said seriously and disappeared between the narrow doorway.
He sat down against the same wall where Ivy had just been, feeling the knots in his stomach tangle up. She hadn’t locked the door, but he had no intentions to leave. He had to think.
An hour later he left. It was late afternoon and he first headed home and put his jacket on. Then he went to search for her. She couldn’t be far; she never went for long walks or distant searches. Small hill was the most probable place and that’s where he took his first trip.
She was there, snapping pieces from a straw, deep in her thoughts.
He sneaked closer like he loved to do and sat next to her, being back to his crazy self.
He placed his head on her shoulder and whispered sheepishly the three little words and placed unnoticeably to anyone who’d walked pass, a kiss on her ear.
Her eyes didn’t move, but she smiled, just like before and he smiled too, shyly closing his.
He felt tired. Yes, one day someone else would claim her, but that didn’t stop his affection or their friendship.
There were some interesting articles today that made me think on biographies. One was in local newspaper on how in today’s writing world in Estonia led by people, who come from criminal background. Basically – if you don’t work out as a criminal, become a writer and you will make good money. Best even – write a biography!
Biography seems to be the hottest of hottest right now – I keep hearing that word everywhere! People, who claim to have no writing skills, write biographies and they are adored for it. There was one writer, who was interviewed, who openly admitted that he wrote poems before, but that sort of didn’t make it, so he wrote biography of his own life instead. Nice turn-up, I say. The sad side of his entire interview was that he is 20, criminal on parole and couldn’t get two words after each to make a complete sentence.
It wasn’t me, who changed the radio station, it was my brother. His only comment was: “I bet life looks pretty full by the time you hit twenty.”
I agree. I’m half a decade older and it irritates me as if I was some 80-year-old. Which I am not. Still, at the age of 20, surely, if you wait just few more years, you’d get an interesting few years to add to your biography.
Biographies to me are still something that should come after your death. When you’ve got the beginning, middle and the end. Also, I see no good reason, why to shun half of your kin and friends by pushing them through your odd worldview.