A Continuation of the Inquisition
In the past months, I have been receiving a build-up of 'Tag' questions from other bloggers, and have been kind of storing them for a 'rainy day' :). It isn't rainy today, to be precise, but my days of late are extremely busy with comings and goings and doings, and it makes it a challenge sometimes to find the time and energy to sit down and write down my more in-depth and philosophical thoughts with the due attention and perspective they require. Also, I have noticed some wonderful new faces on the blog lately, which is simply delightful (welcome!), and I suppose that a tag post with a few interesting 'inquisitions' about my interests, writing, reading, etc would not go amiss with you all.
It probably is good to here mention as well, that I have not forgotten the blog-birthday questions sent to me last year, around this time, which I have not yet responded to. Wait a minute - did I mention that before? Okay, I did, but I easily forget, so I like to remind myself now and again so it stays in the forefront of my mind too :). In the next couple of days/weeks I shall work on responding to those questions, Lord willing, as well as some of those piling-up tags. Like this one below, which is a combination of two tags given me last year from Katie of Whisperings of the Pen and Gabrielle from The Ink Stained Parchment. Thanks, lovely ladies! :)
In other news, I have finally acquired a Learner's Driving Licence; I am also officially hooked to the Scarlet Pimpernel.
"Odds fish, my dear, the man can't even tie his own cravat."
Questions From Katelyn :)
1. Peeta or Gale? (This has everything to do with everything.)
Peeta sounds like Peeta Bread - is that a chance thing? Pun aside, I have not watched the movies or read 'The Hunger Games' series from which I suppose these two characters 'Peeta and Gale' come from, so I wouldn't know how it has 'everything to do with everything'. Sorry! I have to quickly say though, to set the record straight, that while many of my friends are quite into The Hunger Games I am not generally very keen on the whole of the dystopian genre in general (my family still raise a brow when I allude to the genre, it is quite untraversed by us!). I will not say that The Hunger Games has not passed my attention or interest, since I have an interest and respect for my friends' opinions/tastes and there seems to be some thought-provoking and wholesome material to the Hunger Games stories. But with all the cons I have gathered through reviews and the like on both the books and movies (the violence, the romance and some of the topics at hand) I think I would not attempt delving into them at this stage of my life.
2. Do you force yourself to finish a writing project before starting on a new one?
On most occasions I do. I am not very much of a multi-tasked person and I have tried to maintain a rule that I can't keep starting new writing projects, and then jump to another one as soon as it strikes my fancy when my old ones aren't finished yet. There is something called perseverance in writing and it is very vital if we want to succeed, folks! That's been my general way of thinking. H-o-w-e-v-e-r, I have now once broken my rule, and in this case, I feel I was quite justified. For more than four years, I worked on 'The Crown of Life', my novel that is set in Ancient Rome, without stopping or turning to new projects which I had longed to write. But then early on in 2012 I had a feeling I had to take a break and start afresh - sometimes one can grind at a work for too long! I started out with writing the WW2 short story 'A Love that Never Fails' for a competition and that was good and well, but then I saw that I could extend it into a novel and work on it side-by-side with 'The Crown of Life' as a lighter story. Finally, after praying about it and thinking it through, I chose to put 'The Crown of Life' aside for a season and focus writing singularly on 'A Love that Never Fails' as I felt A Love that Never Fails to be the best novel I could work on at this stage of my life and literary-career. In a way though, these two stories have been with me and are still with me as I work on each of the stories, and my heart is constantly on the one even when my attention is focused on the other.
3. Do you people-watch? Do you find this inspires you to create more relatable, three-dimensional characters based on your observations?
Yes, I do. At least I do when I myself am not wholly immersed in a conversation with a person or group of persons. When I am quiet I do tend to find myself observing the little quirks of people, the facial expressions and spit-fire of debate and dialogue between humans and keep it stored in my brain for later use. Also the behavior of people in real life is a wonderful inspiration to realizing the dimension and depth (or superficiality) of the characters in the tales I spin. And then there is observance of appearance of people--that's fun but rather cheeky!
4. Do you write best when warm and cozy indoors, or outdoors with the sun in your face and the wind in your hair?
I will find inspiration for glory and splendor and beauty and meditation best outdoors with the sun in my face and the wind in my hair, but I will most definitely be able to write better in a warm and cozy nook indoors in complete quiet and peace.
1. Twilight or Harry Potter or neither?
My answer is neither Twilight or Harry Potter. I have neither read nor watched any of them, but from what I know about and heard from others/reviews, etc, I have no interest in them, am extremely wary of them and --to put it bluntly and with no care of offending anybody-- think them downright evil. Both have un-Biblical worldviews and Harry Potter has a serious danger of not having a clear distinction between what is good and what is evil and besides being immersed in witchcraft and wizardry. I know even less of Twilight but anything with vampires and queer romance and goodness knows what else makes me want to stay as far away from it as possible (besides, it is known to have very little literary merit!). You will also note, that unlike The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, the authors of such fantasies are not Christian and from what I've heard have embraced ungodly worldviews such as New Age etc. They do not encourage or beautify the biblical virtues of fidelity, faithfulness, resisting temptation, repentance, mercy, courage and enduring suffering nor do they present any Christian message of redemption or hope as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien for instance did. This is rather a large topic and I shall try to address it further in a post sometime, Lord willing.
3. Author(s) that has inspired/influenced your writing the most?
Truthfully, I stand on the mere tip, an ice-burg of a world of literature unexplored, where lies an ocean of works that I long to one day read and discover and be inspired by. Yet I would honestly not be where I am now without the inspiration and influence of particular authors who have so far taught me what it is to write and write well the sort of stories that inspire and touch the things deep in our hearts, stirs our hopes and imaginations and feelings to sagas of greatness, beauty, faith and the greatness of our God. J.R.R. Tolkien taught me that, and so did C.S. Lewis. Their stories and words have influenced me in ways I cannot begin to imagine! Other authors who have touched a vein of my heart one way or another and thus my writing are authors such as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskall, John Bunyan, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rosemary Sutcliff, Patricia St. John, Elizabeth Elliot, Edith Nesbit, Ethel Turner, Louisa May Alcott, Eleanor H. Porter, Elizabeth George Speare, and John and Elizabeth Sherril (authors of classic biographies such as The Hiding Place, God's Smuggler, and The Happiest People on Earth). There are others who through one single novel of theirs have worked volumes in gripping me and wrangling my emotions into shreds; of them, Lew Wallace's novel, Ben Hur, Lloyd C. Douglas' The Robe and A. J. Cronin's The Keys of Kingdom rank chief. I have few modern authors that I have read and can attribute the inspiration for my writing for, but I do appreciate Chuck Black's writings to a great degree, as well as authors Janette Oke, Jill Stengl, Anna Schmidt and Davis Bunn for select novels they've written. My favourite modern fantasy author is undoubtedly Anne Elisabeth Stengl! Lastly, two modern and relatively young authors who have inspired and challenged my writing immensely and to whom I am deeply grateful for the material they write are Jennifer Freitag and Abigail J. Hartman.
4. If you could hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The British Isles, Europe and New Zealand are in my dream-list of visiting one day; and simply for the sake of seeing some of my friends and some special sights, maybe America too =).
5. If you were given the chance of having your book turned into a movie, would you say yes or no? If no, why? If yes, did you agree to it with certain conditions in mind?
You know this is rather a hypothetical question, considering that neither of my two books are even complete yet! But both 'The Crown of Life' and 'A Love that Never Fails' can have potential for movies, if I do say so myself! Nonetheless I would feel somewhat disappointed if it was taken up by a small/amateur movie cooperation who would be unable to bring the story to justice through casting, script, props and technology. I would not say no, I don't think, (who could resist?) but I'd be prone to a wistful feeling of regret that it could not be brought to the standard of one's imagination; besides, if taken up by a Christian movie cooperation there is a likelihood of the Christian message will be stressed in a somewhat 'forced' and 'artificial' way; I see this especially in 'The Crown of Life'. If I were left to my daydreams, it would be amazing if my books could be turned into movies by someone like Peter Jackson or Andrew Adamson, Tom Hooper or Steven Spieling -crazy I know! But they would do the story justice I think. My biggest concern would be that they mess up with the romance in my stories (changing it to be more 'Hollywood style') and in straying from the true characters of my story, and too stripping the stories of all faith-related themes. I would not mind it too much if they deviated a little from the story-line and added or deleted characters and scenes etc. My biggest prerequisite to a book of mine being turned into a movie would be that the movie-makers remain true to the spirit and message and heart of the book.
6. What time of day do you write the most?
The most time I ever get to write is generally in the evenings, from around 8pm till 10pm. And on Saturdays when I have free-time to write, I write the most in the few hours before dinner (3:00-5:30pm). I generally do very little writing in the morning, but that is usually because I have schoolwork and chores then.
7. Do you listen to music while you write? If so what genre?
It generally depends on the mood I am in while I am writing. Sometimes it can prove an inspiration (especially putting on the music I have on Spotify), and at other times, when I am struggling or nose-high in the emotions of a scene I'd rather be in complete quiet. The genre of music I prefer to listen to while writing would be instrumental music--mainly movie soundtracks or classical music--or quiet hymns, gentle pop-songs and church-music.
8. Have you ever gotten inspiration for a novel while watching one of your favorite TV shows/movies?
Yes, oh yes I have! I actually draw inspiration from all sorts of facets in life. That would include inspiration from a tv show sometimes and most definitely from a movie!