Talking About Myself for Fun and (Maybe) Profit

I may not be an overnight success (by a long shot), but interviews are a thing that can happen quite easily and often on the internet, and I’m more than happy to oblige. Interested to see what I had to say about my writing process, the self-publishing process, and my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide? Check out my interview with the fine folks over at Self-Publisher’s Showcase.

26 Questions No One Should Answer

A little while ago a fellow blogger over at Write Accountable, came across an interesting little list called, “26 Questions No One Should Answer”. So, of course, she decided to answer the questions. I thought that some of her answers were pretty interesting so, logically, I decided to answer the “forbidden” questions myself. Honestly, several of the questions actually seem quite benign to me, but there are definitely a couple that are difficult to answer without coming off as an asshole. So, without further ado:

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That's right, sweetie. You plug your ears and remain innocent.

1. If you could get away with one murder in your lifetime without any legal, social, or emotional repurcussions, would you kill someone?

I had to think about this one for a while because my first reaction was to say no, since I don’t think I could emotionally handle such a thing, but then the question does specifically state “no emotional repurcussions”. So I thought about it some more, and the answer is going to be yes, because there are genuinely evil people in the world, and if I could remove one of them from society without any kind of consequence to myself I would definitely sieze that opportunity.

2. What is your first thought when you recieve a message; are you excited for the idea of someone from (potentially) the other side of the world wanting to take to you, or fearful that someone will criticize you?

I’m always excited. There are always going to be the surprise criticisms that pop up and ruin your day, but my default position is a little jolt of excitement every time a message or a comment pops up on one of my forms of media.

3. Have you ever looked down on someone because you thought your religious views were superior?

My religious views are actually a lack thereof, so strictly speaking, the answer is no. But in a broader sense of the question, yes. I consider myself to be a very tolerant person, but I can’t tolerate religious beliefs that spit on human rights (such as, for instance, religiously-backed hate toward gay people, or religious control over women’s basic rights). When I talk to people who hold strong to such beliefs I find that I absolutely feel superior to them because it’s my belief that the basic right not to be abused is infinitely more important than a person’s religious faith. I generally feel that people have a right to believe whatever the heck they want, but when those beliefs turn into an excuse to abuse people for not thinking, feeling, or acting the “right” way, then hell yeah I feel “superior”.

4. Would you rather know everything the Universe has to offer, but in exchange lose all emotion, or just remain the way you are right now?

Absolutely stay the way I am. What’s the use in knowing all the secrets of the Universe without any emotion to enjoy it? Besides, part of the wonder of living is not knowing, and trying to work it all out on your own.

5. If you could live and be healthy without sleeping or eating/drinking, which would you cut out of your life?

100% definitely sleeping. I would miss the crazy-ass dreams that my brain comes up with nightly, but for the most part the need for sleep is the absolute bane of my existence. I can never seem to get enough of it, and it cuts dramatically into my time to get things done. If I had an average of eight hours a day more to work with, the world would be a hell of a lot brighter for me.

6. If you could take on the exact body and form of anyone on Earth, who would it be?

You know, I’ve been thinking about it, and I really don’t know. If the opportunity arose I would probably do some major research and choose an attractive female athlete who is in great shape with no health issues.

7. Would you rather burn or freeze to death?

I’m with Otaku Lady on this one… Why the hell would you choose burning over freezing? Freezing starts out painful but winds up with you basically falling asleep. Burning would be outrageously painful right up until the very last second.

8. If it meant it would solve all world hunger, war, disease, and bigotry, would you spend the rest of eternity in hell?

This is kind of a moot question for me since I don’t believe in hell, but let’s pretend for a moment that I did. Yes, I would do it, not for the world as a whole – because there are a heck of a lot of people out there who I wouldn’t suffer through a papercut for – but I could condemn myself to eternal torment if I knew that my daughter and my further descendants would be living in a peaceful, healthy, happy world.

9. Was the first crush in your life something you had, or something someone had on you?

Are you kidding? I can’t remember that! If I had to take a guess I’d probably say that it was me having a crush on someone else, but I couldn’t begin to tell you who it was.

10. Could you live without ever having sex (again) in exchange for eternal youth?

I probably could, but I wouldn’t want to. The idea of eternal youth is not appealing to me at all. In fact, it’s equally as frightening to me as the idea of growing old and dying. It might seem awesome at first and for a little while, but once your loved ones started dying and leaving you behind…*shudder*

11. Have you ever watched a full-length pornographic movie?

Full-length? All the way from start to finish? Um…no. Has anyone?

12. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

What is the purpose of this question, seriously? I like both, but if I had to choose I’d probably say that I like more Beatles songs than Rolling Stones ones.

13. If you could have the ability to manipulate matter or energy, which would you choose?

I’m going to go with energy, because by manipulating energy you can, in turn, manipulate matter. For instance, by manipulating heat you could reshape metal, or by manipulating air currents you could move water. So you’d technically be getting both, you see?

14. What was the worst nightmare you ever had?

It’s a bit of a tie. If we’re talking about sheer fright, I had a dream as a kid that scared the crap out of me. In it my aunt was giving me this evil smile as all her teeth were falling out of her head, and for some reason at the time that totally terrified me. But then, the fear faded fairly quickly for that one. Alternatively, not that long ago I had a dream that my husband nonchalantly left me for another woman, and when I woke up I felt genuinely depressed for a long time afterward. It was stupid, but it was as though all the chemicals in my brain had turned against me. That was pretty rough.

15. Would you rather spend one year with your one true love just to never see them again, or the rest of your life with second best?

This is actually a genuinely difficult one. They say that it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, but I’ve always felt that people who say that have obviously never actually had to go through such a situation. Then again, how sad would it be to spend your entire life with someone who you knew wasn’t the one you truly wanted to be with? In the end I think I’d probably choose the first option and I’d dedicate myself to making it one hell of a year.

16. All the sequels/remakes/adaptations/rip-offs in movies nowadays; good or bad?

It depends on the movie. I’ve seen remakes that I loved, and ones that I thought were utter crap. Mostly I tend to find that sequels fail to stand up, but occasionally there comes one that’s actually better than the first movie. I try to judge each movie based on its own merits and not on what came before it.

17. Would you rather be dirt poor and emotionally fulfilled in life, or be rich beyond imagination and emotionally dissatisfied for life?

Tough choice. I tend to want to choose emotional fulfillment, but I keep thinking about all the people whose lives I could change with that kind of money. Probably, I think I would go with the money.

18. Do you have any (secret) feelings of bigotry to any group of people?

I hate to admit it, but yes. I try my best to base each individual on their own actions and merits, but there is one particular group of people who have shown me time and time again that they’re lazy, ignorant, opportunist bums. I won’t outright say that this particular group are worthless wastes of space, but I’ve only met a tiny handful of them who were actually worth their own salt. It’s difficult not to be bigoted when a particular group consistently gives you good reasons to hate them.

19. Would you rather be the only person in the world who can read minds, or have everyone else be able to read minds except your own?

I definitely let everyone else read each other’s minds and just leave me out of it. Reading minds sounds awesome at first, but it would be stressful and depressing as hell in reality. Can you imagine constantly listening to the thoughts of the coworker who hates your guts, or the family member who thinks you’re a worthless disappointment, or the spouse who thinks you’ve been getting fat and isn’t really attracted to you anymore? I’m not saying that all the people in your life are constantly thinking bad things about you, but statistically speaking, if you could hear everyone’s thoughts you’d be regularly hearing stuff that you’d really rather not know.

20. If everyone in the world would automatically know one language, which language would you choose?

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter, but I would probably choose any language other than English, because seriously…English is a pretty screwed up language.

21. If you were old enough and not in a situation where it would be inappropriate, would you sleep with one of your (past) schoolteachers/professors?

I genuinely cannot think of a single one of my teachers or professors who I even had an innocent crush on, so I’m gonna have to go ahead and say no.

22. A world without religion; good, bad, or neutral?

Good, but don’t bring out the pitchforks yet. My main thought here is that without religion, people would likely be a lot more open-minded, using their own brains and guts to decide what is right, wrong, and important in life, and I truly believe that – most of the time – it’s much better to come up with your own conclusions than to just accept the ones that have been decided for you.

23. The men’s rights movement; legitimate cause or laughable, and why?

I won’t say laughable because there are definitely real concerns when it comes to men’s rights, but I can’t say legitimate because there are too many lunatics out there using “men’s rights” as an excuse to hate on women and do some pretty awful things. Then again, there are also plenty of feminists out there who are lunatics using “women’s rights” as an excuse to hate on men and do some pretty awful things. I think that what we have to move toward is the realization that both men and women are humans and that what we should really be concerned about is human rights.

24. You can eliminate one of your five senses to substantially strengthen the others. Which one and would you do it?

I don’t think that I would want to give up a sense, but if I was going to lose one anyway I’d choose smell. I’d miss sight, sound, and taste too much, and touch is kinda important for a lot of things, so yeah, definitely smell.

25. Do looks mean anything to you? Don’t lie; could you fall in love with someone you thought was ugly?

Aside from the obvious exceptions (like blind people), I don’t believe anyone who says that looks mean nothing to them. I do believe that physical attraction can evolve as the result of mental and emotional attraction (someone you just thought was “kinda cute” before becomes “smoking hot” as you begin to fall for them in other ways), but I don’t believe that a complete lack of physical attraction can just be overlooked in a relationship that involves any kind of sexual feelings. Make no mistake, physical attraction is an important part of a healthy relationship that involves sex. So I guess what I’m saying is that I could feel strong mental and emotional bonds to a person who I thought was “ugly”, but I don’t think I could love them in a manogamous sense. And I truly believe that if they were being totally honest, the vast majority of people would agree with me.

26. Can you understand the mindset and logic used by the opposite spiritual opinion?

If I’m being 100% honest, no. I understand why people want to have spiritual faith and beliefs, but I don’t really understand how they can. Everyone has the right to their own beliefs, but I personally don’t understand how people can truly believe in concepts like God, and heaven and hell, and angels and demons, and stuff like that. To me it’s like a child refusing to believe that a cartoon isn’t real. I don’t mean for that to sound condescending, but to me saying that you truly believe that God created the world in seven days just a few thousand years ago is like saying that you believe that there are leprechauns at the end of a rainbow, or that thunder is the sound of angels bowling in heaven. Spiritual beliefs were conjured up by less-civilized man who had to come up with a reason for why things were the way they were, because it is in man’s nature to need an explanation for things. But times have progressed, theories have been proven, and we have learned so much. We know now that many of the things that used to be widely believed were actually quite laughable, and yet people still cling to relgious belief like it’s the last life preserver after a flood, and that genuinely flummoxes me. Being told that something is a certain way for your entire life doesn’t make it true, and I feel that this is something that many relgious folks need to seriously consider.

But that’s just my opinion.

Interview with a Vampi-…Uh, I mean, Character

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

94. Interview a character

For the purposes of this post, I did a quick Google search and found some good character questionnaires here. I’m going to use the first set of questions on the page, and since it’s supposed to be an ‘interview’, I’ll reword them a bit an answer them as though I am the character. Fun, yes? If the responses seem a bit vague or odd, it’s because it would ruin the actual story if I answered them in a straight-forward manner. 🙂

What is your name, and do you have any nicknames?

“My full name is Victoria Ann MacKinnon, but everyone calls me Tori.”

What is you hair color? What about your eyes?

“My hair is strawberry blond and falls just below my shoulders. I usually wear it up in a ponytail. My eyes are very bright blue; sometimes it freaks people out that they’re so bright…I always have people thinking that I’m wearing special contacts.”

Do you have any distinguishing features, such as a birthmark, or scars, and if so, how did you get them?

“Nothing major, really. I have a faint scar on my knee from when I wiped out on my bike when I was a kid, and one across my left index finger from the first time I tried to cook for myself. I’m…not good with knives.”

Describe your friends and family. Who do you surround yourself with? Who are you closest to and who do you wish you were closer to?

“My family is just my parents, Katherine and Robert. I have a few aunts and uncles, and three of my grandparents are still alive, but they live far enough away that I never see them. I used to have quite a few friends…before…but I haven’t seen many of them lately. The only one I ever really hang out with is Jacen, but that’s only because he won’t leave me alone. Not to say that I don’t like Jacen, but I really wish he’d mind his own business and let me…let me just be. My problems aren’t his.”

Where do you go when you’re angry?

“The nearest bar. That’s a bit of a cop-out though, because lately that’s the only place I go besides work.”

What is your biggest fear? Who have you told this to, and who would you never tell? Why?

“My biggest fear? Probably having to face the truth about my…condition. The only one who knows is…well I won’t talk about him. I would never tell anyone else,  because it’s hard enough dealing with it on my own without having to deal with the pity I’d see in other people’s eyes.”

Do you have a secret?

“You hadn’t figured that out from the last question? Yes, I have a secret. No, I won’t share.”

What makes you laugh out loud?

“Not much, these days. I used to really enjoy crappy old b-movies, but I can’t seem to get into them anymore.”

Have you ever been in love, had your heart broken?

“Okay, that’s it, this interview is over. Goodbye.”

No, but they’re really supportive, I swear! :P

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

34. An interview of your significant other about your writing habits

I have two issues with this entry. One is that I waited until I was halfway through my trip across the country to start writing it. The other is that if I asked my significant other if I could interview him about my writing habits he’d probably give me a strange look and ask me if I was cracking up. So for the sake of argument I’m going to write what I think my significant other (my husband) would say about my writing habits:

“Haven’t you finished that story yet? Is this the same one or a different one? Are you even listening to me? Goddammit, is it NaNo time again?”

Heh…that made me chuckle a little. 🙂

As an added bonus, here’s what my daughter thinks about my writing habits:

*sees me typing on my laptop, walks over and pushes the laptop cover closed* “All gone!”

Can Someone Please Invent a 36-hour Day?

Because time seems to be slipping away from me at an ever-increasing rate and I’ve been completely unable to find the time for any decent posts over my recent days off, here are a couple of drabbles for you. They’re fanfic drabbles based on the Harry Potter universe:
The Godfather

Sirius couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt so happy. Not that he was unhappy on a regular basis – on the contrary, he was a very cheerful person. Nevertheless, at this particular moment he was what he would have described as ecstatic.

“You….you’re sure?” he asked, nervousness in his voice, “You’re both absolutely positive?”

Lily and James smiled at him, her from her hospital bed, and he from her side. “Yes, you idiot,” James insisted, “Of course we’re sure!”

Sirius couldn’t keep the grin off his face as he looked down at the newborn baby in Lily’s arms.

“Hello, Godson!”

Hired

Sybil shook her head a little. The headache had come on suddenly, a most unwelcome distraction from her interview with Headmaster Dumbledore.

“Excuse me, I just…” she started, but before she could pardon herself she found the pain had intensified tenfold and she clutched her temples.

If you told her afterwards that she’d been speaking in a most disturbing voice, she’d never believe you. To her, mere seconds passed before she looked back up to the Headmaster and apologized for her transgression. However, as she did, Dumbledore was staring at her with a thoughtful and calculating gaze.

“Congratulations. You’re hired.”