My writer-friend Lisa Peers invited me to participate in a blog hop. Lisa is a novelist who released her first novel, Love and Other B-Sides, back in December and is working on a sequel. She also writes about rock music over on her cleverly titled blog, LP on 45.
At the end, I was to list three other bloggers who agreed to participate after me. However, I recruited only one. Normally, I might cite my poor powers of persuasion, but I think this blog hop has been going ’round and ’round on the Internet for a while. So instead, I added a few homegrown blogs to show support for writers from the Motor City. In addition to the one good sport I recruited.
There are four questions for this blog hop. So here goes.
1) What am I working on?
I am currently working on a freelance project profiling 25 alumni, parents and students of a private school in Detroit. These profiles will be used in literature and video material for the school’s marketing/advertising campaign. The aim is to increase enrollment and solicit donations.
I also have a feature story, “Success at Any Age: Nurturing Passions for the 50+ Crowd,” that appears the May 2014 edition of Michigan Prime, a monthly magazine distributed with the Sunday Detroit Free Press.
I am also writing a brochure about a Bachelor of Science degree in embedded software engineering for a local university.
Though I haven’t written many lately, my first published pieces were personal essays that appeared in Metro Parent, Strut and Christian Science Monitor.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This question seems aimed at fiction writers, which I am not. However, one writer described my work as “accessible” so maybe that just means people can relate easily to my writing style.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I love writing feature stories – even those aforementioned profiles – because I really like to interview people, gather their insights and share their thoughts with others. I’m lucky to interview people who are way smarter than I am. So I often hear that ‘ding-ding-ding’ sound in my head. Maybe they’re little epiphanies. It’s like free therapy.
4) How does my writing process work?
When I’m not torturing myself, deadlines help. If it’s a piece that requires tying together the thoughts and insights of several different people, then it’s a matter of finding an overall theme, and finding three or four different ways the theme can be supported through their experiences.
But it’s also a matter of finding the best quotes that will also engage the reader. I like to use quotes that sound real. I don’t try and whitewash the experience for the reader. I try and present the obstacles, too. But I also make sure I don’t present the person in a bad light.
The longer the story, the more drafts I produce because it takes a long time to produce a concise final version. And just before I turn a story in, I go over the story again and again to trim extra words and clean up clunky phrases. It’s like when a hairdresser cuts your hair, blows it dry, then takes a careful look at her work and snips hair she didn’t catch the first time. The final product is never perfect but you try and get it as close to perfect as you can.
So that’s it. I’m done. That wasn’t so painful!
Onto my one and only blog hop participant. Thanks, Vernie, for being a sport!
Veronica Dale – her friends call her Vernie – has a background in pastoral ministry and writes fantasy fiction. Her short stories have been published online and in St. Anthony Messenger magazine, and have received recognition from Writers’ Digest and Writers of the Future. She is currently revising Coin of Rulve, a four-book fantasy; serves on the executive committee of the Detroit Working Writers; and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Here is her blog, At-Wysher.
Here are a few other blogs from writers who reside in suburban Detroit.