Feb 20, 2010

SAMS : Something About Me (and my hometown) Saturday

Thanks to everyone that left thought provoking, harsh, and honest comments this week. You helped me (and others) a tremendous amount! To those shy, busy, or non-commenty types, I say thanks to you too. It's with your support that we continue to build a network of like-minded writer folk. We are romance, YA, fantasy, SciFi, kidlit, adult, poety, gosh, so many different genres. The categories overlap, too! We may not have the same goals. We are certainly not on the same route. But we are neighbors in an online community. Its your hands that have been pitching in and helping everyone that's willing to be helped.
(SAMS Q&A below, if you'd rather skip this next...blurb of insanity)
I cannot believe what this blog has come to mean for me in the last month and a half. It's slightly disturbing that you like me, well, so says my family. Have you thought seriously about why you started your blog? I hadn't really until today. I know that I had time on my hands. I know that I had a need to improve my writing skills, a dire need. I know that I enjoy reading and sharing my opinion on writer's works that are helping to pave the way for me. I know these things, but are they reasons to start a blog? Sure, but they are not the reason.

I started a blog because I imagined one person giving me advice one day. Video game style, I would improve my skill level by one point. Then a few days later, two people give their two cents. My skill level goes up. I had no reason to imagine that within a few weeks thirty people would be filling my head with ideas and possibilities and reasons...to keep on blogging. When I told Heather that I was an artist the other day, she said I am, "...chock full of talents." And I, never gracious when it comes to compliments, it's a major flaw, said this, "Yes, but incomplete ones." A few lame statements by me later, she said, "I think that everyone starts stuff without finishing until they find their true passion." (I hope she doesn't mind my sharing that) I am not about to tell you that blogging is my passion. Sorry, if that's what you thought. My passion, I believe, is trying different things and roping others into trying them with me. And viola! 82 followers. I am a talented Trial and Errorist and I actually feel happy about it! Thanks guys for keeping this outspoken, melodramatic Leo on a leash, but letting me out to feed and explore. Two months from now, who knows where I'll be, but right here, right now...it's SAMS. Heather, naturally has the first question...oh, and it's about talents!

Heather asked (in reference to Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore):
*SPOILER ALERT for both books!*

1. What would your Grace be, if you had one (a reflection of who you are)
Hmm, even though I love this question, I just don't know. Okay, I think I'd have the ability to suppress or heighten someone's senses and emotions, but in keeping with reflecting me, I'd have little control over my own.

2. What would you want you Grace to be, if you could pick one (a reflection of who you want to become, I think.)
I would love Katsa's Grace, the innate ability to survive. How amazing would that be? I honestly think some people have that. I would hate Po's Grace and I'd be afraid to have Leck's. I also think being able to change the physical qualities of objects, both living and inanimate would be cool. On a whim, change a weeping willow to a sorrow-filled blue. You could be such a poet. But, imagine what it would look like when you involuntarily used your Grace or you cannot control it. A sick person becomes an unfortunate shade of green, causing them to get sick and your reaction to the vomit changes its color, causing the vomiter to spew even more profusely. Or a ridiculed regent's rotund face reddens beyond what you can handle, brightening and lightening the shade of garnet to match your tickled state, the court goes wild. Wow. What Grace would you choose?

Anita asked:

Say you have an agent ask to represent you...you resist screaming "YES!" for a few minutes and look at a few of the agent's blog posts. On one of his posts, he mentions a blog friend of yours...he says the blog friend is an idiot because she complained about not getting any kind of query response from the agent. Would you still want to be represented by the agent? If so, how do you justify your actions to yourself?
Wow. I'd have to say yes, I would accept. I think agent bashing is dumb. No, I think agent bashing is beyond idiotic. I don't see any of my friends doing that anyway. If it were to happen, I'd have no qualms about signing, if that agent were right for me, which is really the one and only parameter, yes? Chances are, I will never have the same agent as a close friend anyway. Just doesn't happen. Make sense? Some may argue that the agent shouldn't have responded on his blog, but it's his blog and truthfully, some writers need to here that spiel from agents, just as a refreshing reminder.

Those were all the SAMS questions from the week, don't forget, if you ever think of a brilliant (like Heather's), smart (Like Anita's), or plain quirky (Like Kelly's Beatles question from last week) question anytime during the week, just add a SAMS Question headline to the bottom of your comment followed by the question. Since I had only two and a half questions, I've decided to bore you with facts about the town in which I live. Each Saturday lacking SAMS questions, I'll provide the need-to-know info.

And please, answer these same questions in the comments below, I'd love to hear all about you.

Ludington, Michigan population: 8,324 or less
Nearest IKEA: Detroit 3:04
Chicago-Bolingbrook 4:21
Chicago-Schaumburg 4:30
Nearest airport worth anything to me: Grand Rapids 2 hrs
Travel time to by car (I'd say to add two hours to Google's numbers):
Toronto 7 hrs
Minneapolis 10 hrs (although there is a ferry (Shhh, don't tell other Ludvillains that I told you about this one, it's the rival of our home-port hero, picure below.) that crosses Lake Mich that could cut that by 2 hrs.)
Washington DC 11 hrs
New York City 13 hrs
Boston 15 hrs
Miami 24 hrs
Los Angeles 35 hrs
Vancouver 39 hrs
According to the Official Michigan State Travel Guide, we have the number one lighthouse to visit in the state. Apparently, we also have the state's number one State Park, which also has one of the other top lighthouses to visit. Here's a photo of our beloved carferry, the SS Badger. (The photo links are to our local celebrity photographers, father and son team, Todd and Brad Reed. They are quite extraordinary people, even beyond their remarkable photos.)
Also, ss you can see by these graphs, we get a lots of snow and little sunshine.

Hm...I have to think. What's left for next Tuesday?


  1. I like your answer to why you blog. It resonates.

    And congratulations on your 83.

  2. Um... wow, those facts at the bottom are... um... really factual. Thanks :)

    I'm thinking I need to get Graceling ASAP, cuz I'm obviously out of the loop!

  3. OG - Thanks!

    Marisa - Now you know how I feel regarding my town. It's beautiful, but boring. And, yes, you must read GRACELING, so that you can read FIRE, which I think is even better.

  4. I have not read Graceling nor Fire, so will wait til I do and I then will ponder my graces.
    I've been to the Schaumburg Ikea by the way! It's HUGE!
    Great answers and loved your answer on why you blog. The writing community is so very supportive and just plain awesome!

  5. I love your answer about why you blog! And I'm still amazed that you have so many followers in such a short amount of time. You are very talented!

  6. OK, I had to skip the Graceling questions because I didn't want to spoil anything. I haven't read it yet. I know! What is wrong with me? Here it sits along with the sequel. Soon...

  7. Wow--it's looking spiffy around your blog these days!

    Jon, I'm so glad that you started blogging, and so glad that it exceeds your expectations. It is wonderful community. Thanks for sharing your blogging purpose!

    And, no, I don't mind you sharing my words on this blog post--I'm flattered. And I'm so glad that you are one of those people who grab on to new experiences and run with them for as long as they will carry you. Your enthusiasm is palpable. It's brightened up my blogging life considerably. Glitter, anyone? I hope that blogging and writing hold your interest for the long haul.

    If I must answer my own question, my grace would be a mirror effect, that shows other people themselves. I think that when I couldn't control it, I would lose myself within the reflection of others.

    The grace I would want, is one that lessens the pain of those I come into contact with.

    To answer Anita's question--I guess it would depend on how professional the agent was being at the time. I think that agents (and writers) need to maintain a decorum of professional behavior in the public sphere. If an agent had been rude on their blog, I would probably avoid that agent. Not specifically because it was toward a friend, but because I don't think that I would mesh well with that personality type. Hopefully, they would not be the only agent wanting me. ;-) There are certain agents that I have pushed lower on my querying list because I have read their blogs, and don't think that we would mesh. (Not due to rudeness, though.)

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post today--on a Saturday, no less! And thanks again for the kind words!

    WIBIJ looks amazing, btw!

  8. Thank you for thanking me for doing nothing more than lurking. Yes, it's been my positive vibes that have made your blog the success it is. :)

  9. Kelly - I hope you get to the books soon, they are amazing. The Schaumberg IKEA was my first IKEA experience. We always get the Swedish meatball mix there and Swedish fish, yum! Thanks for liking the reason for my blogging. Who knew I;d be writing that last night? It was totally off the cuff.

  10. Melissa - Thanks for the support and for calling me talented. I'll try to prove you right.

    Anissa - I added a spoiler alert, I'm sorry if you were caught off guard. Yes, you must get to them. What's wrong with you...it's called life. I understand, so does Kristin Cashore. i can tell you that life will be a little brighter after reading her debut and follow up novels.

  11. Heather - I'm numbering my responses to correspond to each of your paragraphs.
    1. Thanks. The green I had before was to help calm me. The red and blue are reflecting the rejuvenation I now feel.
    2. Thanks for being a part of my blogging purpose.
    3. I do believe writing and blogging will hold my interest for the long haul because it feels different. Holding a pastel or colored pencil feels good, but not satisfying. I have gone passed interested all the way to obsessed with writing. Oddly enough, I feel challenged beyond what I have ever before, but I love the challenge. Never have I found myself in the middle of a community like this, it's nothing but meant to be.
    4 & 5. That's not your Grace, that's who you are right now, this very moment. You have been showing me things about myself from our very first encounter and I can feel the changes you have helped me to make. You also lessen people's pain everyday. It's soooo true.
    6. I definitely see what you are saying about ride agents and I would amend my answer, but I have yet to really see that happen. I have not been vehemently following agents blogs yet.
    7. YW for the post, it just sort of happened.
    8. I think so too!! Thanks for noticing, another by accident for the day.

  12. MG - You know, you may be a lurker, but you've been around for quite a while her at Jon's Life and I appreciate that!

  13. I swear I posted here earlier...maybe I did the verification wrong and just left? Ugh...just want you to know: 1. great answer, 2. had no idea your town is soooo small...wow!

  14. You think 8thou is small, we are the biggest city for an hour...

  15. Just started reading your blog! Love your honesty, it's so refreshing!