Writing Habits: A Questionnaire

My Reader here on WordPress has some interesting things. Lots of Doggie stuff (well DUH!), Weight Loss Journeys, things that make me laugh, some photography and loads and loads of writing and author blogs. One of such blogs is Jodie Llewellyn’s “Ramblings of an Aspiring YA Author” blog. If you’re a writer, I highly suggest that you follow her.

This morning she posted a list of questions she found on The YA League (another blog worth following if you’re a YA author).  Somehow along the way they got lost in my Reader, so I never saw this post.

Anyways, the questions. Here they are with my answers.

Writing Habits 

1. Typed or Handwritten?

Typed. I can type so much faster than I can write anything down. I recently had a typing test done and I can type between 60-80 words a minute depending on the text. There is no way my fingers are going to be able to keep up with how squirrely my brain is either. By the time I’ve written a sentence out my brain is 5 scenes away from that point.

Case and point. Last night I woke up with a story idea that wouldn’t leave me be to go back to dreamland, so what did I do? I grabbed my notebook and pen and jotted down the ideas. This is what it looks like.


It is major scribble scratch. Well it was also done in the middle of the night, so that does have something to do with it.

So I do hand write when I’m jotting ideas down or brainstorming in some way shape or form.

2. Cursive or Printed?

Well my handwriting has become a mix of the two really. I have always hated cursive capital letters. I’m sorry, but in what universe should a capital Q look like a 2? I never understood that.

Cursive is an art. It is also an art that is losing focus in this world. I have visions of our future that could be much like in the book series Matched where handwriting is something that is lost in a world where you don’t need to write anything because  computers are where everything is. I love technology, and when it works, it is the best thing ever. It is my addiction too, however, cursive isn’t being taught in some schools anymore, and writing in general is being lost.

I remember a few years ago when the daughter unit was in 5th grade, her book reports were required to be typed out. While I don’t so much as have a problem with that her handwriting resembles my Daddy’s and my brothers ( though if you put them next to each other you have to question who wrote what ). While it’s legible, it certainly isn’t super neat. ( Sorry honey. )

Anyways, I digress.

3. Show us your favourite pen.

First of all… its favorite. What is it with the rest of the world using all those unnecessary u’s. /snicker.

Yea ok… fine. There is English and then there is American.

Favorite pen…


The RSVP Purple pens, I can’t find anymore. I’m so sad. I’ve looked and looked. They have always been my favorite. I think this is my lone survivor. However, I do like my green Foray ballpoint. The only downside to them is they are a bold point, and I much prefer the fine tip of the RSVP purple one.

4. Where do you like to write?

I usually write in my office at my computer. I have double monitors, which allows me to have reference (websites, notes, etc. ) on one screen with my main work on the screen you see below.

Please excuse the mess. I probably should have cleaned it up first.
Please excuse the mess. I probably should have cleaned it up first.

I also have a laptop that I take with me on days I stay late after work to meet up with a friend for dinner. I have been known to write at Starbucks sipping on a Chai Tea, or down at the beach, or just in the parking lot in my car.

5. Who are your five favorite authors in terms of authorial style?

Well JK Rowling has to be there for me because I do find her books very descriptive, and as cliché as it sounds, the Harry Potter series reignited a love for reading in me. Those books taught me that if I find the right genre, you can read for fun again.

I also really enjoy Robin LaFevers ( His Fair Assassin Trilogy ) style. Again, I think it is her description and the time she takes to adequately express how characters are feeling, yet she has the ability to keep moving the story along in a very complex world.

Veronica Roth (Divergent Series).  Yes, I realize there is only that series out there for her, but I love how she stays true to the characters. Yes, I know there is a whole debate over what occurs in Allegiant, however, she stays true to who the characters are, no matter what the outcome, no matter who that character is. Whether it is Tris, Four, Uriah, Christina, Will, Al, whomever, you can see why a character does what they do because she has great character development, and she doesn’t sacrifice who that character is and have them do something that isn’t true to who they are. I’m not sure if what I’m saying is making sense or if it just seems like babble. Short answer: Her Character development.

I also enjoy Edgar Allan Poe and Kelley Armstrong for some of the same reasons.

6. What are you your three favourite books on writing?

Again with that extra U!

I don’t have a favorite book on writing. I used to have quite a few books that I had obtained from the various English classes I’ve taken, but they ended up in storage, or donated, or something.

I used to have an Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus on my desk all the time, but when we moved it went into a box, and I seem to be missing that box. It is probably deep in storage somewhere. Note to self: Purchase new ones.  I’ve been using the ones that are built into Microsoft Word and use http://www.merriam-webster.com/ very very often. I also have the Merriam – Webster app on my phone so that when I mess up a word so horribly that even spell check can’t decipher it, I can just use the little voice look up and it will usually send me on the correct path.

7. Have you ever competed in NaNoWriMo?

Yes! I competed in NaNoWriMo for the first time this last November, and I LOVED IT! I was in a great writing space at the time and really soaked up the experience.

8. Have you ever won NaNoWriMo?

I did! It wasn’t easy though. I basically locked myself in my office and any free second I had, I  spent writing. Yes, that includes my “lunch breaks” at work.

9. Have you ever had anything published?

Sadly, no not yet. I do hope to find representation and to have something “on the shelves” sometime “soon”.

10. What projects are you working on now?

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I’ve been working on my YA fantasy trilogy called The Five Angels. I’ve started sending some queries out to YA Agents, and am starting to get into the 2nd book, which was drafted during NaNoWriMo in November. I also have the 3rd book roughly outlined (meaning I have a written idea of where the story needs to go and have the main points outlined out.).

11. What is your soundtrack to writing?

Well, that sort of depends on my mood, and what I am writing. I tend to block out the world when I ‘m writing,  however, quite often when I’m trying to brainstorm or think of the right words to string together for a particular mood, I will throw music on.

If I am writing something dark and dreary, I tend to put on the score from The Harry Potter Deathly Hallows, Part 2. My two favorite pieces of music from that score is Statues and Severus and Lily.


Severus and Lily:

I also have a Lindsey Stirling playlist that I play on my phone or I’ll put on the play list of her covers on YouTube. I love her covers for Assassin’s Creed, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, etc. She’s an exceptionally talented artist. SERIOUSLY! Check her out. ( http://www.youtube.com/user/lindseystomp )

12. Do you have a writing pump-up song?

I don’t actually. Writing is something that even though I can have all that music on that I listed above, if an idea is in my head, I kind of tune it out.

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