Curiosity, Minus the Cat

Writers, by nature, are curious people.

We are always searching for the who and the where and the what, digging up answers from our psyche – or the psyche of an imagined character – to create story after story.

We question other writers, too, asking How do you do it? How do you survive the absence of your muse? What do you say to someone who doesn’t write, who rolls their eyes to find you hiding in the basement – again – huddled over your laptop?

How do you spend your days? We want to know. To answer this very question, Cynthia Newberry Martin hosts a guest author once a month. Every bit of detail I read in those posts either inspires me or connects with me in such a way that I find the confidence I need (yet again) to call myself a Writer.

So, it should be no surprise that writers get tagged now and then with three questions or twenty-five or (this time) eight. Suzanne Conboy-Hill and Ann M. Lynn both tagged me, and it’s taken me way too long to respond. I can whip out a flash fiction story in half a day. But, ask me something about myself, something I should be able to answer easy enough, and the first response you’ll hear are crickets.

“Me?” *nervous laughter*

SO, here are eight tidbits of information about me, along with links to three other writers whom you might want to check out for yourself. No formal tagging here – I took too long, game’s over I’m sure – just simple recognition.

And, thanks Suzanne and Ann, for the questions!

1. If you could have any superpower, what would you have?

Telepathy. There, I said it.

I won’t lie. I obsess about every submission I send out. Wouldn’t it be lovely to know the second an agent or an editor picks up my submission with their very own hands?

Yes or No. Yes or No. One flash of a thought in their minds, and I’m on my way – to strangle my muse or to celebrate. No wait times, no checking and re-checking the inbox, no more stalking the postman.

2. Who is your style icon?

If we’re talking wardrobes, then I’m in trouble.

For fashion guidance, I depend on the goodness of my friends. Friends with money and with taste. I accept hand-me-downs without hesitation, because – left to my own devices – I am a fashion disaster. So, if you see me wearing something sassy and in style, you can assume I got it from a friend.

3. What is your favorite quote?

It’s difficult for me to choose a favorite quote. There are so many great ones that I love about life and about writing. I latch on to one quote that strikes me on a particular day, but the same quote might not mean as much to me the next day. So, here’s one I’m holding onto this week from Mary McNamara’s recent article in the Los Angeles Times:

…[I]f you’re a writer, you don’t write for money or fame or a chance to dish with Oprah Winfrey. Basically, you write because when you’re not writing, you’re even more cranky than when you are writing.


4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

“Ever?” I have a terrible memory. That’s one reason why I write — because I forget the things I insist on remembering. Recently, though, my favorite compliment came from my daughter who’s almost four.

“You look beautiful,” she said. Her eyes traced my outfit from head to toe.

She ignored the three blemishes on my face that might suggest I’m fifteen and not forty. Then, she stopped at my feet and gave me the eye.

“Except for your shoes,” she said.

She’s anti-Birkenstocks, and her comment reinforces my answer to number two above. Left to my own devices….

5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?

Every year, Fall throws me into a melancholy mood. One of the ways I survive that mood is to play lilting music that rises and falls and lifts and carries. Ingrid Michaelson has been on my mind a lot. But the other day, this song struck my fancy:

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

A night owl. Late night hours are the most quiet times at my house. Plus, I’m just lazy before the sun comes up.

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

To this I say Achoo!” and “Pass the Claritin.” I love them both — from a distance.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

I am forever running out of time. When I decided I wanted to pursue my writing for real, I knew I would have to do it during those moments in between — moments that are fleeting as soon as they start some days. And, I like hard and fast deadlines.

There you have it, more than you wanted to know. Now, along with Suzanne and Ann, here are three more writers whose blogs I read and tweets I follow — for inspiration, for lessons in the craft, and/or for a good laugh:

I’m off now, to practice my telepathy.

I’m sending you messages right now to leave a comment and retweet this post (stack those stats).

Just kidding.

(Sort of.)


59 responses to “Curiosity, Minus the Cat

  1. I enjoy reading this post. Quite entertaining the way you answer the questions. The video eye candy helps too. πŸ˜‰

  2. Your telepathy worked! Now if I could just get that nose-twitching thing working on my house.

    First, I love the title of this post, given your relationship to cats. Second, I notice a slight trend with writers and our fashion sense. Third, I like the name of your blog and the meaning behind it. Every time you blog, you’re reminded of your commitment — that’s awesome.

    I’ll stop there (were you afraid I’d do eight??)

    • Thanks, Cathryn. And if you do figure out that nose-twitch to clean house business, I want to know. I’d have a lot more writing time if I didn’t have to dust. Wait, who am I kidding…I don’t dust.

  3. love the posts when I get tidbits of YOU.

    Vida does give the best compliments. so honest. and sassy. (wonder where she gets it from?)

    sad that we have to communicate via blogs. let’s do coffee. πŸ™‚

  4. With one foot in the real world and one in the imaginary, you have answered the questions in true writer fashion, creative with just enough information to whet the appetite.

  5. This is wonderful post with great links!!! Thank you for sharing. I particularly like the quote. I ask myself all the time, “Why do you keep writing? There are a million other things I could be doing.” I think that may be the best answer I’ve ever heard.

    Best of luck with your writing. If this blog is any example, you’re on the right track. πŸ™‚

  6. I really enjoyed this. Especially your little girl’s compliment:) Thanks for sharing!

  7. I do like that quote. πŸ˜‰

  8. You kept my attention by answering the questions in a down to earth way. I agree with your statement about a writer. It is so true.

  9. I’ll tell you what I’m thinking right now. We don’t have to re-tweet this because you’ve been freshly pressed. Jerk. I mean, congratulations.


  10. Love your answers! Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed! πŸ˜€

  11. Good answers and Love the quote! You’re little doll is so fashion forward, maybe she’ll be giving you the Hand me ups πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for the mention, but, uh, do I have to answer these questions now? Ok, ok, I’ll play.

    • I’m looking forward to her hand-me-ups…as long as tube tops aren’t back in by then..that could mean more trouble.

      I hope you do spin the eight questions. I can’t wait to read your answers πŸ™‚

  12. Great post! Such a fun read. Although my superpower would be teleportation so I could pop to France/Italy and other places when I’m bored.

  13. Ah yes, telepathy…that would be my choice, too, for the VERY same reason!

    I recently submitted an assignment to a national publication, receiving a “looks good” response. I stewed for days: What could I have done to make it better? Where did I go wrong? Why was it “good” and not “great”?

    And then I received an email from a friend on the proofing side, who forwarded me an email from said editor who indicated she had “tears of joy” after reading the story, because it was that good.

    Um. Yeah. If you cry tears of joy, can you not communicate that to me, the writer of the material inspiring said tears? πŸ˜‰

    Telepathy. Yes, that would be a wonderful thing!

  14. My choice is always telepathy, too! And for basically the same reasons! I have a terrible memory, too….or maybe no one has ever either of us a compliment so great that we would remember it forever. Anywho…

    Great post! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  15. Phew! Who knew eight little questions and the Plain White T’s would catch the attention of the Higher-Ups at WordPress. I love that people are leaving comments, not only because I get to read about your answers and experiences, too, but because I have a host of more websites to check out. Thanks everyone!

  16. Wow! So you were freshly pressed! I haven’t seen your posts lately. I wonder why. I think something went wrong. There a are a few others that went off my radar screen for some reason. Congratulations! Nice post, Christi.

  17. I think the telepathy is working. You know, I might even have commented if you hadn’t said it – would that mean my telepathy was working too?
    I’m pleased to see that your blog was freshly pressed without leaving you feeling too hard pressed and hope it helped to relieve the autumnal blues.

  18. This is great! I love it I might use it in my own blog I will tag you in it πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing!


  19. mountainofbooks

    Great Post! I’m currently thinking about singing up for the November 50,000 word challenge. I’m crazy, right?

    • Crazy? No! I signed on for NaNoWriMo two years in a row – finished the first year but not the second. I learned a ton about my writing style, my writing process, and I met a few favorite online friends. Make it a fun experience (as all writing should be), and it’s worth it. Good luck!

  20. And what a great song. It just put me in a really bouncy mood.

  21. loved the quote, the song and of course, your candour πŸ™‚

  22. hiGreetings to the Flag

  23. Christi this was such a fun read, congrats on being freshly pressed! Telepathy is a great superpower, but as a mom,
    I have to go with every time! (Invisibility) Keeping the kids confused and on their toes is a far better parenting strategy than good old fashioned discipline πŸ™‚

  24. There should be a large space in this sentence… I have to go with _______ every time! Get it? Invisible word…..? Yeah, me neither! A feeble attempt at writing…should leave the difficult stuff to the professionals, like you.

  25. So agree with #3. Here is one of my favorite quotes.
    The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean.
    – Robert Louis Stevenson
    Sometimes we do not know our true gifts. Pay attention so you can identify them. Enjoyed your blog

  26. Haza! Keep up the awesome work. Enjoyed the read and sometimes find myself in the same place as you with wrestling with the clock and never getting to cooperate enough.

    Being lazy is relaxing and nice to take time for yourself to sleep in or spy on the neighborhood cat that keeps haunting your doorstep.

    As for super powers flying totally conquers traffic most days of the week, just don’t hang out with someone from the FFA as they will be onto you when you go from house to restaurant that would normally take a 30 minute drive.

    Never worry about style as whatever is comfortable, is comfortable. Even if it seems a bit dated its still good and clothes are best when already broken in so there is no awkward period of having to do it yourself.

    • Glad you stopped by. Thanks for the compliment. And, I love the title of your most recent post: Everything that is old…is still old. That’s exactly how I feel some days πŸ™‚

  27. i love the video sweet song great for my wedding more layed back music !!!!!

  28. i LOVE the Plain White T’s!!! lol! Thanks for sharing that video!!! πŸ™‚

  29. I loved this post ! Thanks. Like you, I find all quotes speak differently depending on what time of day/week. But I especially loved your mention of this one:

    …[I]f you’re a writer, you don’t write for money or fame or a chance to dish with Oprah Winfrey. Basically, you write because when you’re not writing, you’re even more cranky than when you are writing.

    Guess we’re always cranky.

  30. congrats on getting freshly pressed! Love the quote, love the title of your blog. This is my first visit and I plan to come back and read more…keep it up…and umm, listen to your daughter about the shoes lol (she sounds precious).

  31. Holy smokes. I was wondering why I was getting so many hits from your blog. I’m honored, Christi. Thank you!

    As for your fashion choices…*shifty*…are Crocs much worse on the fashion sliding scale than Birkenstocks? If so, I’m in trouble. I have two pairs.

  32. I love to hear about other writers, and I found myself agreeing to a lot of what you said.
    Except I think we get enough stimuli from the world, so for superpowers, I’d rather have teleportation. Though I’d probably just take that into account and end up late anyway.
    Really enjoyed the post! Keep it up. And I hope my little cat doesn’t bother you too much.

  33. Thanks, Christi! Thinking and reading about writing and writers is about as far as I get most of the time. Writing happens when I’m a bit lost and my brain isn’t too “ordered” – enslaved to the gotta do’s. I’m happy to read about what makes real writers tick tock. Enjoyed your thoughts…and your writing.

  34. Telepathy? Come on. Take the mystery out of life. Telepathy would be cheating at every social interaction, love and friendship could never be true. You’d miss out on a greater part of the experience that is life, knowing before you could wonder, knowing truths as opposed to having faith in them.

  35. yeah – telepathy – bring it on – No, wait. Stop. Stop.

  36. Great post Christi,

    Good luck with the novel, I wrote one ten years ago but sadly for me it never got published.

    My favourite quote is: “Victory comes to the most determined” – Napoleon.

    It’s definitely cats for me. We have two, one moggy (Gizmo) and one blue Persian (Furby) whose the cutest thing on four legs. I could go on about cats all day but I wont!


  37. Can I just say wow? You’re a such a talented writer, and if i’d just be half of the writer you are, i’d be happy for the rest of my life.

    Don’t be afriad to compliment yourself


  38. What a wonderful heading! I usually insist on a cat, as does any civilised human being, yet you managed to keep my attention without one. I really enjoyed this – and congratulations on being freshly-pressed.

  39. This is a fantastic post! In fact, it’s one of my all-time favorites that you’ve written.

    My favorite quote is from Illusions by Richard Bach, “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”

  40. Sooo glad I saw this before meeting you IRL later today! Your answers are delightful, candid, warm… perfect.
    I want to hug your daughter.
    ~ Lisa

  41. What a cute Plain White T’s song!!!

  42. i loved this post. and the song πŸ™‚

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