In Which I Arrive at Fame and the Big Four-Double-Oh

Today’s post, ladies and gentlemen and assorted rogues, is my 400th on the Ever On Word blog! A very special occasion! …for which I had no special event planned. (I mean, I have a giveaway going on that you should totally enter because it’s awesome, but that’s incidental.) So I thought this would be a fine time to tell you about an even more special event that took place a few weeks back: My first ever live, in-home author interview with two young girls named Mira and Caroline.

It’s Not What You Know. It’s Who the People Who Know People You Know…Know.

Gotta love having friends in high places – or in high fashion, in the case of a designer friend o’ the family who was fantastic enough to talk me up to some folks who work at a local bookstore. And those folks, in turn, somehow ended up giving my name to a school with a couple of girls looking for an author to interview.

Once I was done dancing giddily around the house to a little song that went “AAAAAAUGH, bookstore people are recommending me to schools! Children have been conned into thinking I’m famous! Shiny new levels of legitimacy, unlocked!” (sing along if you know this one), I e-mailed the school to express my eager delight at the prospect of accommodating the girls in their pursuit of firsthand authorial info.

Be the Awesomeness You Want to See in the World.

Upon receipt of my number, Mira phoned me on behalf of herself and her colleague to arrange a date and time suitable to come a-calling. (Don’t tell her I said so, but she was so adorable, it turned my voice to sugar. I will never sound nicer than when talking to children innocent by virtue of having yet to be proved guilty of obnoxiousness.)

I was a little nervous about letting the kids and whoever ferried them hither into my house (i.e., my bubble of protection against agonizing social situations). But, Come on, I told myself, think of the Awesome Points it would have added to your childhood if you’d gotten to sit down for a chat with a not-entirely-unfamous author in his/her home! Put that way, I saw no compelling reason to say no.

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and a Little Bit of Fiction Thrown In. (Also, Hair.)

My interviewers, aged 9 and 8, were relentless in their interrogation, frequently throwing out questions so fast, I could scarcely spit out half an answer! But among the questions I was able to address were…

“When did you start writing?” (Since I was younger than you, kiddos.)

“When did you decide to be an author?” (Not ‘til age 16 or so.)

“When you were a kid, what did you want to be?” (All sorts of things. Farmer, librarian, actress…)

“How many books have you written?” (I lost count ages ago.)

“How long did it take you to publish your first book?” (Somewhere around 8 years.)

“What is your favorite book you’ve written?” (Let’s pretend my upcoming “Outlaws of Avalon ” trilogy counts as one and say that.)

“What is your favorite book to read?” (Robin McKinley’s “Outlaws of Sherwood”. Mad love for the outlaws!)

“Do you like having curly hair?” (So long as it’s dry. Can’t do a thing with it, when wet.)

“Do you live here?” (Yeah, seemed easier to meet you in my own home than to kick somebody else out of theirs to use as our interview space for the morning.)

“What was your sister’s name, again?” (Dianne. *we all wave at Dianne, who’s fiddling with some electronic device in the next room*)

The gorgeous headshot that inspired the unforeseen line of questioning.
The gorgeous headshot that inspired the unforeseen line of questioning.

“Why did she shave her head?” (I don’t know. Dianne, why did you shave your head? *Dianne mumbles her hair’s journey over the years – blonde, shaved, Mohawk, the works*)

“When she dyed her hair blonde, did it grow blonde, or grow black?” (*Dianne and I guide the girls toward a greater understanding of hair dye*)

“How tall was her Mohawk?” (*Dianne holds her hand above her head for visual reference*)

“Is she wearing a hat?” (You’re looking right at her, Mira dear. You tell me. *we agree she is wearing a hat*)

“Why is she wearing a hat?” (*Dianne is bewildered past the point of surety*)

Along the way, I also learned much about Caroline’s reading tastes (she particularly enjoys mysteries and Roald Dahl’s “Matilda”), writing goals (among other things, there’s a mystery story of her own in the works), where she keeps what she calls “documentation” on her family (in her backpack pocket next to the forks, of course), and the perils of hiring very tall boys to play Peter Pan (harness issues).

But probably the moment that touched my heart most was when the girls shared their early concern that an author celebrity like myself might have been too important and busy to reply to an e-mail request for an interview with a couple of kids.

No, little dear ones. I am not (and hope I never shall be) too important and busy for the likes of you.

You Know You’ve Arrived When…

You Know You've Arrived When...

…Or actually, maybe you never do. I used to think there was a single line separating here from there, ambition from success, me from the famous author I intend to be. But where is that line? When you’ve written your first book? When an agent or publisher accepts it? When it’s bound between covers and available for sale? When a stranger buys a copy? When two little strangers, curious and precocious, come to your house looking to you for some answers on the recommendation of friends of a friend?

Looking backward and ahead from where I stand, there is no one line. There’s a whole sidewalk of them, marking out a trail of irregular squares, with exciting landmarks and milestones along the way I hadn’t even known to look for.

I have arrived, and am arriving, and shall someday arrive, this 400th blog post just one more line crossed along the way.

Thank You Note from Caroline and Mira

“Motley” or “A Little Bit of This and That. …Mostly That, Really”

I chose today’s main title for a variety of reasons – which is only appropriate, given the word’s first meaning: “Having elements of great variety or incongruity; heterogeneous.”

A motley minstrel boy!"Air of Attraction" by Michael Cheval.
A motley minstrel boy!
“Air of Attraction” by Michael Cheval.

It likewise means “having many colors; variegated; parti-colored”, which I like for no better reason than that I like the idea of colors. This adjective can also be a noun meaning “the parti-colored attire of a court jester”, which I like mainly because court jesters often have a minstrel-like role, and if you don’t know I love minstrels, than you haven’t been reading this blog for very long.

Say, does this happen to be the first time you’re reading this blog? If “yes”, hello! Welcome to Ever On Word! Don’t be a stranger. ^-^ If “no,” things around here may still look new to you because, for the second time since this blog’s beginning, I have changed its visual theme.

That’s one of the motley things I wish to mention today. Goodbye, “Connections”, hello, “Rusty Grunge”! Like the background? It’s custom-made. More details on that in a future post.

I also thought it was high time I verbally celebrated my 200th post! It’s a bit past due, I realize; post 200 went up on Christmas. But I’d call late better than never, in this case. So here’s a huzzah for my little milestone. When I hit my first hundred, I celebrated with some personal blog-related stats. In the name of tradition, let’s do it again! In the past hundred posts…

8 were related to publication of short stories of mine. Those short stories include fairytale-based “Mercy Denied” and “Tale as Old as Time”, mythology-inspired “Shadow Lights”, and, what I guess could both be categorized as somewhat supernatural, “Superpower Outage” and “Train of Thought”. 2012 was a good year, Deshipley-short-story-publication-wise. I’ll have to restock my supply of short fiction and keep an eye out for more places to submit!

– (Speaking of fiction, as I usually do), 18 were episodes of two serial stories: The first eight a fairytale comedy, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”, the latter ten a whodunit inspired by my summer employment at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

– (Speaking of the Faire, which I also do a lot), 4 were dedicated to my real-life experience at Bristol, chronicling everything from my audition and the original monologue I performed to the development of my character and Rennie skills, and what a grand impact the summer has made on my life.

– Another 4 included pieces of non-serial original short fiction: The five-minute flash, “The Great Fountain of Dummar”; the spontaneous blog anniversary gift to myself, “The Mysterious Affair of Pansy’s Pearls”; modern parable “Belief or Truth”; and in the form of a poetic parody, my Christmas gift to my readers, “A Visit to Avalon Faire”.

– Another 8 included reviews: Seven book reviews (type “review” in the little search box if you wish to see them; there’s no elegant way to link to all that!), and one review of the latest (*cough* FREE *cough*) album from my favorite Christian rapper, t.Jay.

7 were “HYSRT!” (“Hey, You Should Read This!”) posts in accordance with my 2012 blog resolution to share posts by other bloggers that I felt, hey, you should read. I mean to continue such features throughout 2013, though I think I’ll back off the pressure of trying to find one for every time my posting day falls on a Saturday. Just whenever I randomly happen to find a gem I want to share will be often enough.

3 were guest posts by some of my characters, Bruno, Allyn-a-Dale, and Gant-o’-the-Lute. I’ll definitely have more characters do the talking for me in the future – one, because it’s fun to write in other voices; two, because now that I’ve let a few of the folks in my head have their say, I’ve got others who will be (and have been, Scarlet) clamoring for their turn.

So, that’s pretty much everything I wanted to say, and then some. To the readers who have joined me over the past year, thanks for coming along for the ride. To 2013, let’s do this thing!

“Hundred” or “A Centi-Celebration”

We’ve reached a marvelous milestone, readers: Today’s is Ever On Word’s 100th blog post!

            I briefly considered marking the occasion by following that opening announcement with one “cardinal number equal to 10 × 10 or 10 [to the second power]” exclamation points, but ultimately decided that might come over as a little excessive to the eye. Going in a slightly different centi-centric direction, then, I’ve compiled a fun list of statistics pertaining to all of my posts up to this point. And because there have been one hundred posts, it’ll be a breeze to convert the data into percentages!

            Since the dawn of Ever On Word’s posts…

4% were dedicated to the ceremonial acceptance of blog awards – one Liebster, one Sunshine, and a staggering three Versatile Bloggers. Still an honor, even in hindsight.

23% have included the word “minstrel”.

            “What, only that?” says Gant-o’-the-Lute. “You could do better.”

            Considering how few of my posts actually have much to do with minstrels? I’m doing all right.

3% redirect to guest posts kindly hosted on blogs belonging to Andrea S. Michaels, Emerald Barnes, and Ariel K. Price. Thanks again for the invitations, ladies! (And I’m still available to write for those who desire it, folks, so feel free to ask if ever the fancy strikes.)

34% feature original poetry (the lion’s share of that being my PerGoSeeMo Psalms, and 3% contain original fiction.

3% were centered around happy publication news. (Today short story acceptances, tomorrow a “yes” to a novel – or such do I continue to hope!)

20% went up above and beyond my official blogging schedule, due to various timing whims o’ mine.

            I’d list the 10% of posts that have gotten the most views, but I don’t know of any quick way to access that data, so how ‘bout I just come up with 10 of my personal favorites (in alphabetical order):

Carols

Homeschool

Imagination

Modify” or “When Word(smith)s Fail

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 29

Reminiscence

Sequel 2

Spoof

Tirzah

Typo

            And all together, that comes to – (wait for it…) – 100%! (Because the data was selectively chosen, like that.) Big thanks to those of you who’ve been around since post one, to everyone to jumped onboard along the way, and to anyone who woke up bound, gagged and groggily reading this piece in an abandoned cabin somewhere (you know who you are). Here’s to the next hundred posts!

            Join the celebration! What are your fondest memories made here at Ever On Word so far? (: