Well hello again, friends and followers. Let’s get this year’s Nanowrimo spotlight season started! First off, I’m happy to shine the spotlight on Fiona Kat, who blogs at Streams & Desolations, and has a Redbubble art portfolio! So here’s Fiona:
This year will mark my third Nanowrimo in a row. I first heard about it in 2013 on a writers’ forum and decided to take the plunge. I love the craziness of it. I mean, it’s utterly absurd to make the commitment to write 50,000+ words in a mere 30 days. But I did it, I managed it, and here I am. Probably my favourite memories are the small things: those little victories over the word count goals; and the fact that afterwards I could look at my work and say, “I just wrote a 50,000 word manuscript and survived to tell the tale.” I was able to connect with other in-real-life friends who also love writing. I love getting the ideas out of my head and onto paper. After my first Nanowrimo I felt that I could really openly take myself seriously as someone who writes, and enabled me to talk to friends and family about it, which is positive.
What are you writing about this year?
This year I’m writing a fantasy story that’s been brewing in the back of my mind for several years. The central character is a young woman who has secret telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Up until now she planned to live a quiet life as a hermit within the confines of a religious order. However, when the religious elders need to find a pawn they can use to play their political power games, she is chosen as someone they mistakenly think will obey their instructions and is reluctantly thrown into the spotlight. The story picks up where she is suddenly given a whole lot of influence and power – and to the dismay of the elders, she intends to use it to her own advantage. I’m really excited to finally give life to this story. I’ve only really felt ready to tackle it now. I hope I do my imagination justice.
What is your favorite movie – you have to pick just one!
That would have to be Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. I vividly remember the night I first saw that film. It’s in no way an exaggeration to say that it changed the course of my life. I was twelve years old, they were showing the Original Trilogy on tv, and it really opened up my imagination and sparked a lifelong love for sci-fi. As a complete geek of a kid who struggled to make friends, Star Wars gave me the sense I could be part of something bigger and far more exciting than the mundane routine of being a high school kid in a small rural town. I really related to Luke Skywalker, being a bored and frustrated country kid always looking up at the skies and hoping to be out there seeking adventure. Unfortunately, in my reality interstellar travel just isn’t practical. Maybe when the kids are older.
What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
If I have anything it’s simply to remind yourself that in the end, while 50,000+ words is the Nano benchmark, even if all you write is 1,000 words, or 10,000, or whatever – you’ve still accomplished something, and that’s worth celebrating. Let it motivate you to incorporate writing on a more frequent basis in your life the rest of the year. One thing that’s worked for me is to deliberately set aside time to look after my physical health – setting limits on the caffeine intake, for example, or taking a walk in the fresh air and outdoors. My mind becomes fuzzy and uncreative if I don’t get enough exercise. I also make it a discipline to throw a load of underwear in the washing machine ahead of writing time. That alone increases the sense of peace in the household so that I can more easily get onto the serious business of bolstering my word count.
Sneaky Ninja question! What superpower would you want to have?
I’ve always not-so-secretly had leanings towards being a Sith – so if anything it’d be the ability to wield the Dark Side of the Force. And then Darth Maul would finally fall in love with me. I’m sure of it.
I’m an Australian, born and raised in the hilly farming region of South Gippsland in the state of Victoria, but for the last decade have lived on the outskirts of the sprawling city of Melbourne. There is so much beauty and creativity here, with all kinds of visual and performance arts, museums, galleries, and food. It’s inspiring. When I’m not writing, I can be found painting, drawing, reading, gardening, playing bass guitar, studying mystic and contemplative spirituality, or listening to heavy music. I have a degree in Arts (Sociology) from Monash University. My sociological interests include environmentalism, rurality, multiculturalism and cults. I’m mother to two kids and two cats and happily married to a nerd – I mean – mechatronics engineer. I have super eclectic interests, ranging from 19th Century Russian literature to astronomy to Scandinavian folk metal music. I love nature and animals and am happiest when I’m outdoors, notebook and pen in hand, badly failing in my attempts to emulate the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. My favourite authors include Anne Rice, Dostoyevsky and Tolkien. I greatly appreciate new readers at my blog Streams & Desolations, so please, check it out!
Thanks so much for dropping by, Fiona!