Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Writing Process

Happy spring everyone! I love this season, don’t you? It is the season of rebirth, and I like to watch the nature wipe the sleepy-dust out of its eyes and wake up with a yawn. That yawn has happened several days ago, when we had a number of earthquakes. Not big ones, although the 5.1 one can seem like it. Everyone is all right. The birds are singing in the trees of my backyard. Poe (my dog) is barking at the squirrels. And my husband finally planted grass. It looks like it’s going to be a good year. And so I’m sitting here with my coffee, ready to spill. No, not my coffee. The answers to the four questions that have been circulating the blogs of wonderful authors. I’ve been tagged by the talented Anna Katmore whose Grove Beach Series is a read you don’t want to miss. It’s available HERE. She tagged me in this blog hop to elaborate a little on my writing process and allow you the peek into my head. So, here I go.

What am I working on?

At the moment, I’m finishing up the first draft of a memoir for which I haven’t yet chosen the title. It is a series of short stories and vignettes between the years 1987 to 1997 that depict Communist Czechoslovakia, the Velvet Revolution, the collapse of the regime, and the influence the Western culture had on the countries of the Eastern Bloc. It’ll either be called Behind the Iron Curtain or Children of the Iron Curtain. What do you think? Wanna take a vote?

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This particular genre differs for every writer not only because everyone’s memories are a subjective matter but also because in retrospective, they are tainted with knowledge of adulthood. I approached writing this memoir from a child’s perspective. It has a quality that is innocent, and the slow revelation that educates the child about the status quo of the country and its falling apart makes for a touching, humorous, and ever wondering narrator whose understanding of her surroundings goes only as far as the purity of her experiences.

Why do I write what I do?

There are three genres I love to write.

  A.    Fairytales

  B.     Paranormal Fiction

  C.     New Adult novels – also with some form of mythology or supernatural

I grew up on fire breathing dragons, monsters, ghosts, and hellions. How can that not translate into my adult life? I love to explore beyond the limits of what I’ve read as a child, and each story that plays out in my head makes me question how far the characters would go to achieve what they truly desire?  I like to test the human nature, the human will, and discover what makes us who we are. And here I have another question for you. Do you think I should come up with a pen name for each genre I write? Or should I keep true to myself and pen each story, each genre as Aneta Cruz?

How does my writing process work?

Quite honestly, I haven’t got a clue! I would love to take credit for everything I write, but I can’t. I don’t even choose the story; it chooses me. I feel like I’m merely a vessel, a medium that uses its inner eye and fingertips to let the world that plays out within me come to life on the pages. Usually, within a split second, an entire story, with its characters, settings, dialogue, and ending, manifests itself in my mind, and I have to quickly scribble the jest of it down, lest I forget a single detail. That is when the story is conceived. But I don’t start writing yet. I wait, think, sleep, dream, imagine myself standing in the scenes just so I can hear, feel the emotions, and see the facial expressions of the characters. I let the story take its form, solidify in my mind like an embryo in the uterus, and when I can no longer stand the pressure in my head, the labor begins. Word by word, page by page, I give birth to the story that has chosen me to be its keeper.

 For the next blog, I tag PAULA STINSON, a wonderful playwright and spiritualist who always knows how to lift me up. KELLEY BYRD, a genius in children’s tales, who has been my friend and critique partner for many, many years and whom I love to death. And finally, JEFFREY JOHNSTON, my MFA co-graduate and author of brilliant short stories.