Interview with Writer, Published Author, and Blogger: Lynn Love #interview #nonfiction


Welcome to another writer/blogger interview. I’m so pleased to share with you an interview with Lynn Love the talented and published writer, author, and blogger. Her Blog is called: World Shamble: Exploring Fictional Worlds in a Blast.


Lynn Love
Credit: Lynn Love

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself Lynn: 


Lynn Love, I live in Bristol in the South West of the U.K. If you want to conjure the accent, imagine a pirate speaking and you won’t be far off.  I’ve lived in all four corners of England, though, so my accent is truly mongrel. I blog at Word Shamble: Exploring Fictional Worlds in a Blast.

I’ve also worked as a florist for most of my adult life, so if you need a bridal bouquet — I’m your woman. I’ve been married for twenty-five years this year – which gives you an idea of how old I am! And, also I have one cheeky, funny teenage son. Last summer we moved into a 1930’s terraced house. There is a primary school in the street behind us and a family of six live next door, so I can always hear children laughing – or crying!


2.  Can You Tell Us More About Your Writing Experiences and How You Began Blogging? 


I’ve won writing competitions and had my short stories published in magazines, but my ultimate goal is to leave floristry and write.  I’d love to be a full-time novelist but realistically, there is only a tiny percentage of authors who accomplish that hallowed goal. I’m also taking a copywriting course at the moment, as a way to achieve a more reliable income stream.

For years I kept reading how writers needed an online presence but it was something I never got around to doing. I didn’t know what to write about, and how to pitch the tone of the site. I began one site that was soon abandoned for precisely those reasons.

Then in 2015, after I’d had some short stories published in a writing group anthology, I thought it was time to try blogging again. This time, my approach was to be less self-consciously ‘writerly,’ and more light-hearted. Perhaps, I’d developed my writing style by then.

I love blogging and have met wonderful people from all over the world online – people who love reading and writing as much as I do. But also I think blogging has helped me as a writer.

I’ve produced over 750 blog posts – that’s at least 225,000 words and a lot of writing practice. I’ve written in a range of styles, from book reviews and opinion pieces to flash fiction and a serialized novella. Word Shamble is my online home, my space.


“I love blogging and have met wonderful people from all over the world online – people who love reading and writing as much as I do. But also I think blogging has helped me as a writer.” – Lynn Love


Nick Morrison Unsplash
Credit: Nick Morrison via Unsplash.

3. What Motivates You to Write? 


Motivation is easy – I love the process of writing. I love sitting at a keyboard, plucking an idea from the air and spinning a plot and characters from it. When I was a child, I disappeared into books and into my fantasy world for hours. Now, I create the worlds for myself.

Inspiration comes from everywhere – from dreams, from misheard song lyrics, from picture prompts online, from watching people on the bus, wondering what their story is, and how they’ve become who they are. Sometimes I begin with a setting, sometimes with a character, quirk or a plotline.


4. Where Do You Prefer to Write on Your Blog and as an Author? 


I can write almost anywhere – cafes, public transport, at work on my lunch break – but my most productive times come at home in front of my laptop on my days off. I can write from very early morning until mid-evening if I get the chance. Sometimes in the evening as my brain shuts down as the sun sets!

Moreover, I love disappearing into a world, creating places and people so that they live in my head. A YA novel I wrote was largely set at my local museum and for a while each time I passed it, I wondered about my character — what she was doing (etc.). I just love how characters in books can become so real. 

Also, I take part in a couple of writing prompts a week particularly Friday Fictioneers and What Pegman Saw. Both writing communities are talented and have taught me so much. We are all terrifically supportive of each other. Away from the blog, I’m rewriting my Urban Fantasy novel after feedback from my Alpha Readers. Right now my brain is filled with ghosts and demons and Hell mouths.


“Moreover, I love disappearing into a world, creating places and people so that they live in my head. A YA novel I wrote was largely set at my local museum and for a while each time I passed it, I wondered about my character — what she was doing (etc.). I just love how characters in books can become so real.” – Lynn Love


Tyler Nix via Unsplash
Credit: Tyler Nix via Unsplash. 

5. What kinds of Connections Have Helped You As a Writer and Blogger? What Inspires You to Write?


I was lucky enough to be involved in a very proactive writing group early on and we had an anthology of short stories and poetry published a few years ago. I’ve been published online many times, won and been shortlisted in magazine competitions and this year had my first serial publication in a British magazine called The People’s Friend, which was terrific. I hope to have more published through them and to have my novels published eventually. Writing is my passion and earning money through it just means I get the chance to do more.

Sometimes I’m inspired by a photograph, sometimes people-watching, and other times by filling in someone’s fictional backstory. Sometimes inspiration comes from a ‘what if’ – ‘What if that alleyway isn’t only filled with rubbish and bad smells, but opens to something wondrous?’ ‘What if I could use this Tudor sixpence to take me back in time?’ Then my imagination sparks off and I’m away, trying to hammer a plot, characters, and arcs (etc.).


6. Please Share with Us Your Experiences Publishing Your Serial in a Magazine?


For my recent serial publication, I entered a competition the magazine was running to discover new writers. I developed a plot, wrote the first part, and sent it off. I didn’t win and chalked the whole lost-effort up to experience.

Almost two years later, I was about to delete the story from my hard drive when I got an email from one of the fiction staff at the magazine asking if I would still be interested in writing the story for them. Usually, rejection means just that, but sometimes magazines and publishers can throw you an unexpected lifeline.


“Usually, rejection means just that, but sometimes magazines and publishers can throw you an unexpected lifeline.” – Lynn Love


Mattias Diesel Reading Magazine via Unsplash
Credit: Mattias Diesel via Unsplash

7. Do You Have Preferred Reading/Writing Genre? What is the Best Advice You Can Give New Writers and Bloggers? 


I read the same genres as the ones I read as a child including historical fiction and fantasy, though I’m more drawn to Urban than High Fantasy. These genres are also what I write. In fact, if I can read or write an amalgamation of the two, then I’m most happy, which probably explains my YA time-travel novel and the Urban Fantasy peopled with ghosts from all eras of history.

As for good advice, an old piece of advice but a good one I follow is to write, write, and keep writing. Only practice will get you where you want to be as a writer. Well, that and robust feedback from fellow writers who love your work and want you to succeed.

Oh, also don’t let rejection letters/emails send you scurrying back to your study, swearing never to venture out. Every single number one author has been rejected more times than you can count. It’s people who bounce back from multiple rejections who become writers.

Also, you just have to love writing or it will become a chore. Let it become part of who you are in a quiet way. You don’t need to tell people what you’re writing and how great it is. Just be quietly satisfied with what you do when you’re alone with a keyboard or your notebook and pen.


8. Who or on What Sites Are Your Favorite Bloggers and/or Prompt Sites Found? 


There are far too many wonderful blogs to mention – can I do five? I’ve taken part in the Friday Fictioneers prompt most weeks for two-years and it feels like a home away from home. Also, the flash fiction prompt What Pegman Saw comes a close second for providing me with inspiration.

As well, I love Joy Pixley’s Tales from Eneana, a fantasy blog with a rich mythology and depth-of-story. Also, I recommend Jane Basil’s Making it Write for her wonderful poetry and blistering honesty. Lastly, Bill Pearse at Pinklightsabre  is a sight I love because of Bill’s skillful life-like writing. As a whole, bloggers are the most inspirational and supportive group of people I know. 


“Also, you just have to love writing or it will become a chore. Let it become part of who you are in a quiet way. You don’t need to tell people what you’re writing and how great it is. Just be quietly satisfied with what you do when you’re alone with a keyboard or your notebook and pen.” – Lynn Love


Ana Tavares via Unsplash Writing


9. Lynn, Can You Share with Us A Most Loved Blog Post? 


 

Friday Fictioneers: One Amber Night.

By Lynn Love

February 27, 2018.

*****

J Hardy Carroll
Credit: J. Hardy Carroll for Friday Fictioneers

*****

There’d been a fresh dusting of snow in the night, coating the grimy icebergs of the last fall, the one before that.

Sid edged along the sidewalk,  past the boarded-up liquor store and Cal’s Gym, ‘Waterloo’s Oldest Boxing Establishment’ until the receivers came in last October. He and Cal had sunk a bottle of Macallan that night, glass after amber glass till they were snoring on the folding bed, overcoats as blankets. Cal left for Kansas the next day to live in his sister’s garage apartment.

All his old friends were gone now. Just him and the cold left.

*****

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers.  As the great Russell Gayer said: ‘The key to building an audience is reading and commenting on others’ work’.


I write a lot of flash fiction. Some short pieces open themselves to a longer write, such as Gideon keeps a secret, The fate of the flower seller, The scarlet net, and A single man who can sew. One recent flash fiction I wrote is from the Three Lines Tales prompt, called The Midas Touch.

Although it felt onerous at times, last year I completed a Gothic Horror SerialThe Devil of Moravia. It includes devils, demons, and blood-soaked London streets, and drew quite a following. I hope to develop this serial into a novella in the near future.


Thank you to Lynn for filling out the writer/blogger interview questions and my apologies the interview took so long to post. Here’s the link to Lynn Love’s blog one more time: Word Shamble.

It’s been a busy year, but there are more interviews to come shortly. If you wish to be interviewed as a writer/blogger or because you blog for a cause, you can reach me on my Contact Page. 


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: No Piano Mom.


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

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http://www.pixebay.com

———

Mom, I don’t want to play piano, 

But you force me every week, no! 

You say “it can’t be that hard,”

My piano playing, will never go far.

You think I’ll get better when you make me play, 

I practice, fumbling the wrong keys — you say:

“My boy he’s going to be a musician,

My Alex is going to go far, be a physician;

Playing the piano helps with math and science skills, 

Playing these notes, he learns to read music: I’ve chills, 

One day he’ll be a musician and a doctor, 

How could a mother want anything more.” 

So I pound out the notes, keeping my hand like a ball,

Ignoring your wince when my fingers stumble and fall.

I want to do something fun, 

I want to play soccer and run.

I want to be an astronaut, or maybe a fireman, 

A hero who saves people, maybe Spider-Man?

I’m not sure yet what I want to be, 

I don’t like math or piano you see. 

But my printing is good; I handwrite well,

My typing is fast; in my stories, witches cast spells.

I like to read; I’m quicker than other children.

Are you listening to me? Or yelling certain —

I should be practicing piano, something you decided for me.

Never asking how I felt as years passed by and I still played off key.

I couldn’t memorize the music; it was tedious, 

I preferred writing stories, characters mischievous. 

How your face dropped, 

Now you never talk to me; you stopped.

Because I didn’t become a musician or a doctor,

I used my talents and your boy Alex plays professional soccer.

Writing stories in the paper about sports and other topics, I glean.

I didn’t meet your standards; I lived my own dreams.

——

© Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Literary Lion: Fierce


http://www.pinterest.com

There was no girls volleyball team in high school after grade ten. Jenna went to the couch of the boy’s team and asked if she could practice volleyball with them. The couch reminded her it might be difficult but Jenna was fierce. She ran every set of lines the boys team did and she learned to take passes which left dark purple bruises on her forearms. She learned to do a jumping serve, with the ball landing over the net and neatly down the line. Jenna was passionate about volleyball and improving her skills. Despite her lack of reach, she passed or set every ball in her zone. Jenna’s hitting was powerful and her knowledge of plays and positions detailed. Finally, Jenna went to University and played with a girls team which went on to win Nationals four-years in a row — each year Jenna was a force on the team. They boys in high school had called her a panther: “Though she be little she was fierce.”

—–

Thanks to Laura from I Smith Words for the prompt panther in a story of 150 words or less.

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Of Art and Architecture


Learning or relearning to draw can be a difficult thing. One must learn line, shade, mediums, design, placement of subject on the page, choosing a good subject, and most importantly, one must learn (or relearn) to be talented. For me, drawing is a skill ( well art in general) that has flowed from my hands as if I were Harry Potter and it was some magic I possessed. But such as magic with Harry Potter, drawing and art must be practiced and refined to be kept up. When I was 23 taking a drawing course at the U of A that magic still flowed from my veins, it circulated through out my body as blood and what was left behind by my hands was beautiful. Art was relaxing and after 3 full days of work I would spend Wednesday nights easily learning and relearning drawing techniques.

Flash forward 4 years later. I have suffered from a psychotic episode 4 years earlier that has effected the right side of my brain because I became too Depressed. I have slowly recovered my artistic skills starting with a pepper I painted when I first started to recover, followed by an attempt to paint some sunflowers in between; then a year ago, my drawing really began to improve drawing interior design textures for a class spent mostly drafting. My first real art class though since 4 years ago has been an option for my Interior Design Certification called Architectural Drawing.

And truly, from that class I have restarted the magic, from some awful sketches to some drawings that have actually been quite decent. And the girl who got the top Art 20 and 30 awards in high school has begun to return. It is true what they say practice, practice, practice. But can I guarantee that I will keep up the practice drawing after this class is done? I am not sure; the hectic pace of homework including three large drawings a week plus sketch book work is a bit of a gruelling routine when one has other work that must also be done. And art, it is not the relaxing hobby it used to be; rather, I must squeeze my drawing into the little time my mind has to concentrate and put to paper what I imagine, or what is in front of me. I still love art but I have found now that it comes with exhaustion and often, frustration. What used to flow so silkily from my hands sometimes becomes lost in translation. Three dementional prospective drawing is giving me that issue; capturing the birds eye view or worms eye view has been hard. I am waiting for that moment of ‘a ha,’ that moment of understanding, but it has yet to come.

But I have been quite happy with a lot of my other drawings. I have been ecstatic to draw with charcoal again, to feel its black smoothness coat my fingers and palms as I work. I have also loved to work with just the charcoal pencils, which give me more control when I draw and are excellent for adding line to the shading and blending common in a charcoal drawing. I like to work quite dark and I am learning to leave the paper as the lightest places on the drawing, rather than just erasing or adding in chalk or conte in white. But those methods still have merit. I also enjoy these markers that come in various colors made with Indian ink, which in itself is an interesting drawing tool. But these markers create soft wet colors that blend so brightly together, the ends as little paint brushes; beats Crayola markers any day!

For our final project in this class we need to come up with two things: an architectural statement of belief and a fully rendered, multi – medium drawing of some type of architectural building. Thank goodness, I can do two point perspective! I think I will research some classical architecture from my old Jansen’s Art History text book and draw one of those type of buildings. Or perhaps, some early Byzantine or early Gothic buildings; I do not know yet. What I do know is that I need something beautiful and artistic, something that will stand out in my own style. I can get more than a B in this course, which has been par for the course for Interior Design, so the rendering must be excellent.

What is of more interest to me currently is my architectural statement. What is the purpose of the architecture and why is it so important? Does architecture serve it’s program, its functionality? Is it aesthetic enough, how’s its structure, is it safe? Who is architecture for, for the architect, for the builder, for the people who live and use it? What style of architecture is right – should it be ornate or should it be simple or organic? All these things are important when I consider my statement.

So I start with simple statements: Architecture is the creation of buildings for people to shelter ( live), store, work, shop, entertain, eat, play, and appreciate culture in. Buildings of architecture can be ornate, plane and functionally built, or organic. I believe that architectural buildings should have a program and functionality for people ( and their animals)that is fulfilled in its design but that that design should have some sort of aesthetic quality to it for the architect and/or the people going to be using the building inside and out. There is no use in designing something simply for functionality ( although it is extremely important) as when nature was designed it was not created simply to be functional but to be aesthetically pleasing as part of it’s purpose; so should architecture be. I also think that it is important to be environmentally responsible when we are building and deconstructing are buildings. That we should focus on reuse, recycling, and using strong but environmentally friendly materials to build our architecture and dispose of it.

There is the beginning of my statement. A first draft if you will. As for me I will continue to practice my drawing skills, to finish the unfinished drawings for my portfolio, and to work on my final project. Maybe you can think of what architecture is to you, what design is to you, and how you can be an artist of your own in this world we live in.