How I met Jim and Crafty Questions
Jim, Jim, Jim.
Jim sent me a few questions yesterday. A whole slew of them. Craft questions. How do I and what's my process. I was on my Motorola Q and I didn't want to get Q finger, but I promised him I'd answer them. Then it occurred to me that other people might be interested too, especially sicne I can't recall the last time I blogged about anything like that.
But before I answer, let me tell you how I met Jim.
The first time I saw him, it was before my naked escape. In Heathrow airport in London. I was confused because I'd been told to meet my group at the Meeting Point. Being an American, I thought the Meeting Point would be a lounge or something very obvious, not an actual point. Heathrow is huge, so I walked miles and miles and was on yet another escalator, when a voice behind me says, "You're Nina Foxx."
Writer's don't get recognized, so I was a little discombobulated. I was, indeed, Nina Foxx, but how could I fly to the other side of the seas and someone know I was Nina Foxx?
It was Cheryl. Pronounced CH-eryl. She'd also come to the UK to work on the craft. She too was looking for this "meeting Point".
Cheryl and I chatted and meandered through that dang airport looking for this infamous point, only to discover that the British are very literal. The point was really a point. Just a point. As in an arrow pointing to a a dot on the ground.
We were afraid we'd be left behind so we stood under the point so our group would know who we were. We were terrified that maybe, just maybe, we might have to get to The Shire by ourselves.
How does one do that exactly? Is there a bus? Do you run through a train wall to get to middle earth? And how does one do this when you have been cut off from technology? Our phones didin't work and no one even remembered what a pay phone looked like much less how one worked. And what would it cost? The cost didn't matter anyway because we coudln't count the money. We'd been raped of our American dollars and been given roughly half that amount in British pounds. Heaven knows they were all the wrong color, shaped funny and they didn't even say 'In God We Trust", so how did we know if they even worked for real?
So we stood at the point. And then there was Jim.
He looked like everyone else. He wasn't standing under the point, but sitting in the yucky looking airport chairs, playing with this thing.
Not his thing, this thing. A gadget.
And being the gadget guru that I am, we tried to look over and see what it was without drawing attention to the fact that were were very nosey. You all have done it. You stand there, looking but not looking, talking about someone without moving your lips.
"Look at that?" What do you think it is?"
"Did you see the way he pressed that button?"
We were stalking the man for his technology.
Oogling his ebook reader.
I was only embarrassed for a hot minute when he got on our bus and we struck up a conversation.
Turns out that Jim was going to be a Lord of the Manor, working on his craft, too.
And he was the perfect gentleman. When he discovered my dilemma, that I would be in the penthouse suite with no elevator and bellman, in the Rapunzel wing, he carried my big ass bag all the way to the top of the steps without breaking a sweat. I'm sticking in a picture of the Abbey so you can get that all important visual.
See that point over on the left, top, that was my room. The one where Igor hangs out with the Hunchback. In fact, its where the Hunchback summers when he's not at Notre Dame.
Jim was very cool. He's multilingual. I have never heard so many accents come from one person in my life. And he's from Texas. When I got out of hand, he got black on me, for real, though. I had to consult my glossary to translate what he was saying.
I enjoyed meeting Jim. We had fun.
There was wine every day at dinner, and sometimes, Jim would play the out of tune antique piano and sing Billy Joel or Stevie Wonder. And someone would dance in the Great Hall or sing duets with him. (We won't say who. Just know that she didn't lay on top of the piano like a lounge singer even though it is a secret fantasy of hers).
So now that you know all about Jim, I can answer his questions. Let's just say Jim is interviewing me here.
J: So, what's your process like?
J:Do you have a routine?
N: I suppose. It depends on whether I have a deadline or not. I can be pretty hard on myself. Its my job. Usually after I drop the kids off, I come straight back to the office.
J:Do you write all day?
N: I can't say that. I come back to the office, but I don't immediately work. First I check email. Then I blog sometimes or write in my journal.
J: Do people still keep those?
N: Absolutley. There's something soothing about pen and paper. After that, I work out.
J: Every day?
N:Now that Depends on how fat I'm feeling.
J; (laughs) I see.
N:Then I write for a bit. Sometimes a few hours, sometimes not. I generally have a page count. No deadline or deadline far away, 3 pages. Imminent deadline, ten pages. Those are the days I end up very exhausted.
J: I would say so.
N: Sometimes its less, sometimes more. Sometimes I'm on a roll. I dont' want to stop in the
middle of a thought or chapter or scene--
N: Yup. I'm writing a moviecast.
J: Is that some kind of Nina-ism? What the hell is a movecast?
N: (laughs) An experimental thing I'm working on. A movie/series for the web featuring characters from my books. Sort of Between the Book kind of thing. People will be able to stream it or download it for their media players.
J: I see. Is that next for you? You will be a web movie maker?
N: Maybe. I have a lot to learn though. And the characters are already doing things I didn't intend, so it might be my next book.
J: Back to craft. How do you get your ideas?
N: Jim, my mind is a strange and uncharted territory. Things happen to me and I twist and bend the truth and explore the possibilities until--
J:Just hold that thought. Let's save it for the next interview.
This might leave an obvious question inyour mind. Jim never did let me play with his thing, the ebook reader. I feel the need to make that clear for those of you whose minds are down in the gutter. After I come down off my MAC high, I will be checking them out, that's for sure. It'll be awhile though since I just added speakers and a wireless mouse.
I wrote a small piece on AvonFanLit For The Daily blog on craft. It is was called The Yoga of Writing. You can check that out here http://avonforum.fanlit.com/blogs/the_fanlit_blog/default.aspx
What about you? What is your daily routine in your creative life?