The Newest Inkling

27 August 2013

Friends and fellow wordsmiths, please join me in welcoming Meghan Gorecki to the ranks of author-bloggers! She's newly unveiled her lovely blog, Every Good Word, and as a means of getting acquainted, has opened up the floor with a tag of her own creation. I've decided to join in and highly recommend that you do the same. In addition to this questionnaire, Meghan has a giveaway, several guest posts, and lots of other exciting things in the works at Every Good Word that you won't want to miss. Do take the time to stop by!

What was your first-ever piece of writing?

A horrid thing scribbled on copy paper about a man named Sir Carnivore, his daughter Pauline, her suitor Ferdinand, and many other odd characters. It was called Knights and Ladies, and the four-page sequel (a hefty accomplishment for me at age eight) was even worse. Both were published in brief installments in our personal edition of The Pickwick Portfolio.

How old were you when you first began writing?

I've journaled from age six, written snatches of poetry and drama since age eight, and began my first novel, then-titled The Story of Rose, around age eleven. 

Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term. 

My short term goal is to finish Rifles in the South Field and segue into editing before the year is out. As for long term, I'd like to expand my outlines for my future works, begin writing them, and see Rifles eventually published.

Do you write fiction or non-fiction? 

My writing is often inspired by real-life events, but it is, for all intents and purposes, fictional.

Bouncing off of question 4, what's your favorite genre to write in? 

Historical fiction. History's annals have taught me of warfare and siege, fierce pride in one's homeland and people, heroes and traitors, all-encompassing love and bitter hate, martyrs, peasants, and kings . . . and that's enough to keep me going for years.

One writing lesson you've learned since 2013 began. 

Good writing has less to do with lightning bolts of inspiration and more to do with steady diligence.

Favorite author, off the top of your head!

I'm going to steal Bree's answer and say C.S. Lewis. Hearing my father read The Magician's Nephew aloud with my younger brother each morning has been reminding me of just how much I love his work. Lewis dwells in the beautiful, unspeakable, eternal things, and reading his writing feels like coming home.

"My son, my son," said Aslan. "I know. Grief is great."

Three current favorite books.

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, which is positively hilarious; The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis, for the reasons mentioned above; and Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy Sayers, which is so rich it must be taken in small bites in order to be properly appreciated.

Biggest influence on your writing (person).

Undoubtedly my father, who is a gifted writer in his own right, though he pens mostly nonfiction. We're cut from the same cloth in nearly every way, we love discussing history and theology, and we're normally up reading later than anyone else in the house. He has been both my greatest encourager and my harshest critic, and I wouldn't be where I am today without his guidance.

What's your go-to writing music? 

Film scores. Braveheart (haven't seen the film, and thus cannot recommend it), The Young Victoria, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Little Women are my usual choices, but I also love the James Horner station on Pandora, which pulls up some obscure, but inspiring pieces.

List three to five writing quirks of yours! Little habits, must-haves as you write, etc.

1. When I'm writing during the day, I have to be dressed nicely with my hair fixed and my makeup applied, or else I find it harder to be productive.
2. I'm picky about music — I can't write without it, but it has to be instrumental, or it distracts me.
3. Even though I've tried to write early in the morning, I end up getting most of my writing done in the evening when my other work is completed.
4. I don't write well in notebooks. Flashes of inspiration get scribbled down, but I save my full scenes for my Word document.
5. Deadlines and I don't mix. If I know I have to finish something by a certain date, I tend to dig my heels in and stubbornly refuse to go further. I blame it on all the red in my hair.

What, in three sentences or less, does your writing mean to you?

Learning about all the quirks and habits of human nature on a grander scale. Studying man's inherent flaws and God's infinite wisdom and grace with my pen as the brush and a blank document as the canvas. Satisfaction in painting a replica of the world God created out of nothing.

I tag anyone who shudders at the thought of sharing their earliest excerpts. 

13 epistles:

  1. Your first writing reminds me of one of mine that I found recently, a play also written on copy paper (in blue ink!) called The Princess and the Painter. Most of my early stuff just makes me cringe, but that one had the advantage of being purely hilarious (not what I intended when I wrote it!).

    Your description of why you love historical fiction is perfect. And with the number of people who've named The Grand Sophy as a current favorite, I've got to read it...

    I'm a film-score person too! I wonder what the difference is between film scores and other classical compositions—perhaps it's because we know it was intended to underscore stories and action, so we subconsciously listen to it a different way. (Though I have had the occasional classical piece inspire a story too.)

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    1. Knights and Ladies was written in blue ink as well! What irony. And yes, it's hilarious to look back and re-read those old yarns. Sir Carnivore's name alone made our father crack up at the time. You should see the play into which we converted the story . . . on second thought, perhaps you shouldn't. :P I'll say only that it involved a square-shaped shield (cutting an oval was rather out of our sphere — no pun intended) and nearly a whole roll of tinfoil.

      Yes, do read The Grand Sophy! It's just the sort of light reading to break up the heavier subjects, but it's still worthwhile. And as for film scores, I believe you hit the nail on the head. They inspire me like no other music, and I think it's because of the sense we get while listening to them that a greater story burns underneath. It's exciting and terrifying all at once.

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  2. Well, so much for my using that photography in a blog post.

    It amazes me how alike you and Bree and Abigail and I are. Bree and I share many traits - you and Abigail are much alike: both you and Abigail are heavily invested in history and historical fiction, both of you depend heavily on your fathers' input and are greatly influenced by them. Like you, Abigail has difficulty writing while there is music with lyrics playing. I think this must be why the four of us rattle along so well together.

    I am well on my way to making everyone of my acquaintance read The Grand Sophy and Dorothy Sayers! One needs both, I think: a sensible plug-away at Sayers' intelligent non-fiction balanced by a rip-roaring cataclysm in the form of a young Regency lady. It's good for the brain.

    I notice a lot of people are indebted to C.S. Lewis. I also notice there is a kind of C.S. Lewis cult, from which I had the fortune of escaping, but the fact remains: C.S. Lewis is a treasure to humanity and many young writers owe their blooming of inspiration and their first determined steps to the man's literature. I know I do. I wouldn't say I had "out-grown" him, but while I have moved up from the elementary courses of his fiction I still adore his work and get much enjoyment and refreshment from going back and reading his works. I do highly recommend his book The Discarded Image, which is a non-fiction about the medieval view of the universe. Not well known, but an excellent read. I very much enjoyed it and it definitely influenced my own writing.

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    1. Yes, I think I found it on one of your Pinterest boards. It was just too pretty to resist!

      Bree and I have mentioned many a time how splendid it would be to find a way to meet you and Abigail in person some time. We're in the south as well and not too far from Greenville, so it could work . . . All the same, I agree wholeheartedly about the four of us rattling along well together. Bree just mentioned that she hopes it's not the sort of rattling Lydia and Kitty do on the journey home to Longbourn.

      "Kitty, you're squashing my bag!"

      C.S. Lewis has become something of a cliche in homeschool blogging circles ("You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough . . ."), but that doesn't keep me from giving him credit as one of my favorite authors. I wouldn't consider myself a member of the cult, but so rarely do I find an author whom I can wholeheartedly recommend in every genre that I find myself falling back on him regularly. Also, as I mentioned in the post, his works are just so wonderfully warm and relateable and still spiritually provoking. Strangely enough, I was looking at The Discarded Image on Amazon just the other day and thinking what a great read it would be. I believe I've added it to my to-read list on Goodreads, which isn't saying a lot, but it does make one feel productive and organized. ^.^ I'm afraid much of said list comes from The Penslayer, so if you stop reading, we're all lost.

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  3. I love "The Magicians Nephew", it is probably my favorite book in the Narnia series! About the up late reading, same here. I'm the one who gets in bed around eleven, and then still reads. :) l

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    1. Yes, but then you fall asleep with the light on and leave me or someone else to turn it off. :P

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  4. Ah, Lewis. :) Narnia will forever be my escape. The Horse and His Boy is my favorite, but The Magician's Nephew is a very close second!
    www.radiant-joy.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh, The Horse and His Boy! Another one of my favorites. I always use the plural with Lewis, since I can never pick just one.

      “Father! Can I box him? Please!”

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  5. Thanks for linking up! I am blown away by all the unique answers to #12--yours reads like a poem. <3 Lovely, just lovely!

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    1. It was my pleasure, Meghan! Thank you for writing the tag — I enjoyed answering the questions!

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  6. Historical fiction. History's annals have taught me of warfare and siege, fierce pride in one's homeland and people, heroes and traitors, all-encompassing love and bitter hate, martyrs, peasants, and kings . . . and that's enough to keep me going for years. THAT, my dear Elizabeth, is a perfect expression of why I love to write historical fiction so much as well!! :D
    I should like to read Dorothy Sayers sometime soon - and the Grand Sophy sounds positively hilarious!! I love that C.S. Lewis quote... <3

    I do believe movie soundtrack are little gifts for writers... ^_^
    "I tag anyone who shudders at the thought of sharing their earliest excerpts." - I'll definitely join the tag!!! *laughs*, though life's been so busy lately, one can't help joining up something this fun!!

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    1. You must read Dorothy Sayers, and if you still have any doubts, I have Abigail and Jenny to back me up on that. :) Truly, her articles and sermons are rich with spiritual truth. I can't read more than a chapter at a time, since she gives you so much to ponder throughout the day. It's a wonderful way to start your morning!

      Please do join the tag; I'd love to read your answers. :) Thank you for commenting, dear!

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"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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