Twice now I’ve been asked to participate in a Blog Hop. They’re fun, because not only do I get to share what motivates me as a writer, but I get to hear the same from other writers. Peter Mallett over at Writing in Color asked me and two other writers to participate. Peter shared our answers on his blog, but I’d like to include Cate McCabe and Jillian Lisa Pearl here, simply because the nature of blog hops means you share and promote other writers. I’ll start with Cate, and in a few days’ time, I’ll share Lisa’s answers.
Cate developed a love of reading early on – it was the perfect escape for a shy and introverted child. Reading led naturally to writing and creating her own worlds, but she never thought to pursue a writing career until mid-life. During those intervening years, she served in the military, raised four children, and studied computer programming and accounting. Then a story about a family marooned on a desert planet formed in her mind and brought her back to her first love.
Fantasy and science fiction are the genres she enjoys writing the most (as KL Wagoner). There is something exciting about having a strange world spill out of one’s brain and onto paper, and then grow into a very real place with a history of its own. Some of these tales fit perfectly into short stories or novellas, and others stretch out to fill novels or a whole series of them.
In a departure from speculative fiction, she wrote the memoir This New Mountain for private investigator and grandmother, AJ Jackson. Cate first met AJ when they both worked for the same attorney. The stories she told as she paused in her rush through the office were so remarkable, it wasn’t long before Cate offered to write her memoir – and so began a twelve-year journey culminating in the publication of This New Mountain(Casa de Snapdragon Publishing, 2012).
When Cate isn’t reading or writing, she goes on Lego adventures with her nine-year-old granddaughter, takes long hikes in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico, and enjoys spending time with her newly-retired husband.
These are the four questions I was asked to answer.
4 writing Questions
What are you currently working on?
My most recent accomplishments is a devotional published with Upper Room (July/August). A scan of the printed copy is here. I was also asked to contribute a corresponding blog post which you can access here.
I’ve written devotions, short stories, articles, blog posts and even sold an idea for a greeting card. I recently submitted a story to Glimmer Train, which is a great resource for anyone writing short stories. I go through cycles of writing and researching writer markets. I have set a goal for submissions by the end of the year, but I’m saving this for a later post.
How does my work differ from other genres?
Unlike many others on the writing process blog hop, I’m not working on a book. There may be a point in the future when I compile stories, or even write something instructional. My writing often makes unusual connections or looks at common concepts in a surprising way. So, it shouldn’t shock you that Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury were some of my early influences.
Why do I write what I do?
That’s simple. I believe in people and in the power of words. I think all people can benefit from the process of writing, whether or not they consider themselves a writer. Writing helps creativity, relaxation and problem solving. Writing helps you express gratefulness in good times and assists you in navigating dark times.
How does your writing process work?
First, my process requires coffee and something chocolate. OK, neither one is a requirement, but they do help it along. I’m usually a planner. For articles, I outline at least the basic points I want to cover. I then flesh them out and work on the openings, and theclosings.
With stories, it is usually a similar process. There are times that I simply sit down and write. I make a mess on the page and then go back, clean up, and organize after I have it out of my system; but I’d rather organize and edit some as I go along. This usually ends up being less work. And although I can write just for pleasure or practice, I usually like to know what I am going to do with the work before I start doing it.