Tuesday, April 28, 2020

An eXploration of John #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

The team decided our theme for this month's posts here would be a take "2020 visions of blogging." This set of weekday posts focuses on:
A 2020 Look at the A to Z Team

12 Writing Questions for 12 years of A to Z:

1.      Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Sometimes it energizes me, sometimes it exhausts me. A lot will depend on my mood when I'm writing. If I'm in a bad mood when I'm writing, it exhausts me. If I'm in a good mood, I can go all day.

2.      If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

You don't have to get it right the first time. Leave yourself enough time to edit it.

3.      What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I'm not sure I've ever spent money as a writer.

4.      What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

"Flowers For Algernon" by Daniel Keyes. I don't remember how many times I read it when I was in high school, and I can't remember why I did, either.

5.      How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None. I'm not an author per se. All my writing is done for the blog.

6.      What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a blog?

The posts that I do the most research for are the music ones. I may look up some interesting facts about a particular artist or song from Wikipedia (The Blogger's Best Friend), Allmusic, Discogs and artists' web pages. I'd say probably no more than an hour.

7.      What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Getting it right. It's why I don't do it anymore...

8.      How many hours a day do you write?

Typically about two hours. If it's going well, three to four.

9.      Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

I don't especially care for fiction, in all honesty. I think the last novel I attempted to read was Janet Evanovich's most recent Stephanie Plum novel. I read a few chapters, put it down and haven't picked it up again. That was when I realized I was burned out on fiction.

10.   How do you select the names of your characters?

I don't have characters per se. when I'm writing a memory I'll use real names. If I need to give someone an alias, I might just use their first initial. When I'm telling stories on my brothers, I just refer to them as "my brother." They know when I'm talking about them, because they'll know the story. There have been one or two situations when I've used a full name as an alias, in which case I just pull it out of thin air.

11.   Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

One of the beauties of not having written a book is not having to cope with reviews. I'll get comments on my blog, of course, and respond to as many as I can.

12.   What is your favorite childhood book?

There were several, but the one that immediately comes to mind is a collection of the works of Wilhelm Busch, author of "Max und Moritz" and other stories that were about evil children and how they get their comeuppance from adults. Busch wrote poetry in German, and the translation was beside the original text.

8 More Questions to round out to 20 (for 2020):

13.   Do you Google yourself?

I don't Google anything: I use DuckDuckGo as my search engine. ;) Having said that, I very occasionally will look myself up, just for a laugh.

14.   Are you usually early or late?

Since I'm handicapped, Mary does all the driving, and she is an inveterate early bird, so I'm almost always early.

15.   How often do you people watch?

Not as often as I used to. I spent so much time people watching in airports that I kind of burned out on it.

16.   What do you hope never changes?

My relationship with Mary. We've been married 42 years.

17.   What job would you be terrible at?

Given the troubles I have with my arm, paper hanger.

18.   What skill would you like to master?

Playing the chromatic harmonica.

19.   What takes up too much of your time?

Reading blogs. I think I follow too many.

20.   What’s the best way to start the day?

Waking up.

Do any of these answers resonate with you? Feel free to share in the comments!

Find John's blog here

  ~Jayden R. Vincente (adult fiction writer)

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Dr Genevive Angela said...

Inspiring post I have not spent any money for writing, and also not written any books. I write when i feel like and enjoy doing so.. thanks for sharing:)

Gonz said...

X marks the spot! I personally think that "eXploration" is cheating on the X, but who cares! Do you know where else there is an X marking the spot? In Xoriat. Embrace yourselves for a journey into madness!

ladyleemanila said...

Happy Tuesday!

Pradeep Nair said...

Interesting post!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Xtremely great interview ;) Long life with Mary, and see you later John!
X is for…

Susan Sanderson said...

Oh, yes, reading too many blogs! And not having a book to my name (yet!).
I took the eX option this time (first time ever for me)

Arti said...

Thank you for the work you put in to run this challenge John. My writing and I are grateful:)

kaykuala said...

X for Xylophone


The mommy blogger said...

I have published my first e-book last year and this year i will do it again. plus one of my poems was selected to be published in a anthology. good to know you John.
-Ujjwal Mishra

Charan Deep Singh said...

I second this. I also write when I enjoy writing.
Today's post is a fun take on why men are more susceptible to Covid19?
X is for XY Chromosome in danger. Get the SWOT analysis for Men in this epidemic.

Cathy Kennedy said...


Waking up is the best way to start any day, isn't it? lol It was fun reading your responses to these questions. It's always neat to learn more about my good bloggy buds. I'm so with you on what you don't want to change regarding your relationship status. DH and I will celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary in June. He's the purrfect match for me. God knew precisely what He was doing when He brought us together. Have a good day. I hope everyone is doing well today.

Cathy's Pinup Girl Art Sketch Series 'X'

Wendy said...

Love the answer to the last question. So you!

Operation Awesome said...

I get the feeling of being burned out on fiction - sometimes it's better to spend some time with nonfiction and reading about the real world. Getting into a fictional version of the world can be tiring...
Operation Awesome

Operation Awesome said...

I get the feeling of being burned out on fiction - sometimes I just want some good nonfiction about the real world!
Operation Awesome

Sharon E. Cathcart said...

Facts About Pompeii: X is for Decem

Joy Weese Moll said...

X is always a fun letter -- I enjoyed this eXploration.

I went with <a href=">X is for Xenophilia</a>

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Love the answer to question 20 :-)

An A-Z of Faerie: Fates

KatyTrailCreations said...

Hope you learn that harmonica! Music soothes the soul.

asha said...

X is always the toughest of the alphabets. We are all reminded of just one word – Xylophone! So, I decided to Google to find out some words starting with the letter X.