Monday, February 9, 2015

Interview a Notebook: The Red One

Welcome back to another edition of Interview a Notebook! Last week we talked about my first three-subject notebook. This one came along later…

Tell a little bit about this notebook. Where did you get this notebook? Why did you start writing in it?

I suppose I got this notebook from our school supply stock, because my best friend gave me Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine for my birthday some years ago. Levine offered a lot of writing exercises and I wanted to have a place to put them, which worked until it didn’t.

How long did it take you to fill all the pages?

A few years. Back in the day, I wanted to have a different notebook for each and every little thing—unplotted novel ideas were given their own books because I just assumed I’d follow through with them. This one kind of went away, until I realized that there’s hope for every fallen notebook and I needed the paper.

Summarize the things you’ve written in the notebook. 

Writing exercises, Greek Mythology fan fiction, more writing exercises, H.I.V.E. fan fiction, a story about Vikings, various notes about writing and more H.I.V.E. fan fiction… Dear me, I write a lot of fan fiction.

Paste a snippet from within the story, as is. No editing allowed!

A silver eye peers upon the masses
With patience and soft demeanor
Ever present in case danger falls
And voices are choked by the raging tiger’s black stripes
Its battle cry prevails
Keening for the safety denied by red talons
Commanding escape and still calling for life to resume
It waits

What’s the best doodle/brain bubble in the margins?

This sideways tornado. Because it makes me laugh.

Are you still working on anything originally written in this notebook?

There’s an idea I once put on my writing wish list about a fantasy spy story, and this notebook is where that started. I feel like I’ve got a good handle on the idea, but it’s going to take a while yet before I’m confident enough to write it. It deals with mixed race (in color and in species) and while I really like the general issue, I don’t really have a plot or enough experience to write that kind of diversity just yet. Maybe someday.

Do you think you would go back to anything written in this notebook?

The Viking story intrigues me because it’s about a girl and the man who kidnaps her. She’s a teen when her family is captured—her sister, her mother, and herself—and she starts out hating this guy. When her mother gets deathly ill he slits her throat and throws her into the sea. He sells her sister at first port. And he would sell her, too, but she ends up proving incredibly useful and saving his life. He decides to keep her as a slave for his wives. She hates everything he’s done to her, but she never manages to escape.

As she stays, she grows accustomed to that way of life. It’s hard, but they aren’t cruel, and she’s typically treated like one of the family. She struggles, though, because there are situations where she can’t help but notice that she doesn’t truly own herself—especially when she sees the horrible life her sister has been sold into. She’s furious all over again, but unless she makes her servitude valuable to herself she will live a wasted life.

Eventually she gets put in a life-threatening situation and it’s the Viking who has to save her. And they’re cute as a father/daughter duo in the end.

Are you mostly embarrassed by this notebook, or mostly proud?

Um, mostly embarrassed. Like, I feel like it’s better if I don’t explain why, but let’s just say that my brain goes to weird places and occasionally that is an unfortunate thing to read later.

What is your favorite thing about this notebook?

If I’m honest, my favorite thing is the fan fiction. I love rereading my own fan fiction because I get to relish in the unrealisticness of my own scenarios and feel good about myself that I don’t write that way anymore. Also, my fan fiction is the outlet for my emotions, so I like seeing what I was feeling based on what I was writing about.

Just for fun, edit the snippet from before—do you think you’ve grown?

A silver eye to watch, to wait
Peer with patience, blinding fate
Danger rages on and on
In tiger stripes of ash and poise
Voices choked by crackling noise

Battle cry above the war
Beg for safety, wanting more
Talons red rip through the night
Pealing on behalf of life
Silver eye calls silver knife

Fun fact, I really don’t know how to edit poems. Can you guess what it was about? (Hint: it’s probably something you see all the time if you live in an industrialized country; they aren’t that color at my house but we’re required by law to make sure they are installed with batteries.) Also, what have you been writing?


  1. "unplotted novel ideas were given their own books because I just assumed I’d follow through with them"

    *drop-jaw* I was the same!! I don't do that any more, I give each notebook two novels now XD but I used to feel frustrated when I didn't/couldn't follow through with that story. Greek Mythology fan fiction sounds awesome! I really like Greek mythology. Hehe love the sideways tornado.

    Your Viking story is BRILLIANT. It's sad that she never escapes, but sometimes I like it when the story doesn't end the way you expect (/desperately want) it to. Do you think you'll continue?! =D I'm very intrigued. Great post! This Interviewing Notebooks post is really unusual, never read anything like it before.

    1. :O *high fives* That's funny! But it is incredibly frustrating when you have a lot of notebooks but don't want to use them because you don't want to ruin the stories in them... Until you give in and they simply become all-purpose. Greek Myth fan fiction makes me happy too, and tornadoes. :)

      Thanks! I don't know if I'll continue or not—vikings are a lot of research and I don't really read about vikings, but I'd still love to see what the details of the stories are, when I get there. Thanks for the encouragement—and I'm glad you're looking at something new! :)

  2. This is such a cute idea xD I've had my fair share of trying to organize notebooks and have specific notebooks for specific things, and well, that never works, does it? *sigh* You have such gloriously depressing story ideas, too, and I love it.

    1. XD I'm glad you like it. And no, it doesn't work, at all. *shakes head* You just have to roll with the punches. Thanks, by the way. :) I like depressing story ideas as well.

  3. I've tried keeping different notebooks for separate things, but like you, it has never worked. I've come to terms with that, though, and I kind of enjoy it. My notebooks are a mess of novel plotting, short stories, poems, random ideas and just words, words and more words. It's like a tangled jumble of creativity, and I love that.

    1. The thing is, I don't know why it doesn't work, either. :/ Am I just lazy or do notebooks not work that way? But, I agree, it's better to come to terms with it and just enjoy the plethora or brain bursts that ensue. No matter what form our creativity takes, it's awesome, no?

  4. I'm guessing your poem is about smoke detectors (am I right?) Anyway, your Viking story sounds amazing! I hope you get to finish it eventually. I, too, keep a lot of notebooks that are half empty, so you're not alone there. :P

    Precious @ Clockwork Desires

    1. Yes, you are right! :) Nice deduction. And yes, I like the Viking story, too—I definitely look forward to its completion someday. Hey—notebooks don't have to be empty forever. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Ha, I love your sideways tornadoooooo. I used to underline key points with tornadoooooos. Argh, I have no clue what the poem is about. Tellll meeee.

    Also, on hope for every fallen notebook: I have this similar problem where I can't bear to deface a new notebook. It's okay if I've already written in one page -- then I can go crazy -- but I can't bear to write the first few lines. What if it's the WRONG thing and I've ruined the notebook forever? *sobs*

    1. Thank you! Tornadoooooooes are always better with more oooooos. XD And I can bet tornadoooes would definitely make key points easier to find! Like Precious O. guessed up above, the poem is about a fire alarm. :)

      My friend R.R. has the same problem; like, he loves fancy notebooks and then he won't write in them, forever. He was flipping out about his Moleskine this one time. *shakes head* JUST DON'T BUY FANCY NOTEBOOKS, DUDE. But I have faith in you: you can write something terrible and you will rise from the ashes of your own writing! :)

  6. Sounds like you have some great story ideas in there. My personal favorite is the one about Vikings; it sounds like it could be very dark and adventurous but also heartwarming. I hope you'll come back to it some day!

    1. That's a good way to describe it: dark, adventurous, and heartwarming. That's what happens when you're in a family with Vikings. :) Thanks for reading!

  7. Cool post! And lol, yes! If there's anything old fanfic is good for, it's being glad that you don't write that way anymore :p
    And the poems about smoke alarms? I thought it was, but then I was like "No, it can't be." And then I read in the comments and you said it was. So I don't know if I'm smart or not. lol But it is an awesome poem! :)

    Alexa S. Winters

    1. XD Also, feels. It's good for feeling better about yourself and memories of feels. *nods head*

      Yes, it is! Perhaps you're more perceptive than you know! :) Thanks for reading it!


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