Friday, May 02, 2008

Serials and Scenarios - Jenny B. Jones' Big Picture

Jenny B. Jones popped in with some excellent answers to the Dregs. By the way, Jenny has been nominated for a Christy Award for her novel In Between. Pretty stinking huge. Congratulations, Jenny and thanks for dropping by.

Check out Jenny's blog and click on her book cover to learn more about Jenny. Read chapter one, here.

I'm really tempted to post one of the hilarious Jenny from the past pictures that she posted on her blog. But I'll be nice and post the provided regulation author pic.

If you could ask any person, living or dead, a random question -- what question would you ask of whom?

I would ask Jackie O. what she really knows about JFK’s death. You KNOW she had to know at least something.

Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.

Go to computer. Open Word doc. Check email. Check phone for any texts. Think about my book for a few seconds. Check email again. Stare at blank Word doc. Phone has yet to beep, check battery. Check ETonline for latest news. Check CNN in case I have to act smart later in the day. Check email again. Check some blogs. Put my fingers on the keyboard. Repeat process—especially the emailing part.

If you could change something in any novel, what would you change about it and why?

I’d totally rewrite the movies (and books where applicable) to Fox and the Hound, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Old Yeller. Those movies scarred me FOR LIFE.

What crayon in the box describes you on a good day? Bad day? Which one do you aspire to be?

I would love to be the sharpest one…just once.

Pick one…..Pink iguana, purple cow, periwinkle giraffe. Which one and why? Can be negative or positive.

I would love to be a periwinkle giraffe and see what it’s like to be tall. But then again, giraffes eat a lot of leaves, and I do that already, so I would probably rather be the animal that doesn’t eat a lot of salads.

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

Pretty much anything that Rick Bragg has ever written. Makes you die a little inside and think “I’m not worthy!”

If you were assured of writing a best-seller, what genre would it be? Give us a sliver of information, a characteristic or glimpse of a scene.

I don’t know, but one day I’d love to write a YA princessy story along the lines of Enchanted or Ever After. I’ve never outgrown that phase.

What period of history intrigues you the most?

I love history, so any of it. Love reading about royalty and such. The WWII era is really fascinating to me.

What would you write if there were no rules or barriers? (epic novels about characters in the Bible, poetry, greeting cards, plays, movies, instruction manuals, etc.)

I would write emails. And somehow get paid for it. When that gig opens up, I am first in line. Actually I have a friend who is a published composer. We have talked for a few years about putting our heads together and writing a campy musical. I would love to actually sit down and do that. Who has time? (Not me, I’m too busy emailing…)

What makes you feel alive?

The sun. I’m the palest thing ever and live in sunscreen, but I still love to be outside and see/feel the sun. I teach all day in a room with no windows, and it’s KILLING me. I KNOW it’s mood altering. My intake of chocolate has increased dramatically. Also music. LOVE it. Any of it.

How does something worm its way into your heart? Through tears, truth, humor or other?

Definitely humor. My students know that if they can get me to laugh, they can have pretty much anything. (It rarely happens..) I love to laugh and make others laugh. Things that also get into my heart usually involve some story of triumph—especially when it involves children.

Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip.

CD—the Broadway soundtrack to Wicked. Or just my ipod so I could listen to a bunch of things. Food? Mike and Ikes and chocolate covered raisins.

Where would you most like to travel ----- moon, north pole, deep seas, deserted island, the holy land or back to a place from your childhood, somewhere else? – and why.

I would love to go to the Holy Land. My church just took a group and their stories and pics were amazing. They say it’s an experience of a lifetime. Next summer I hope to travel to my dream destinations Ireland and Scotland. I think it’s gonna be beautiful! (like my credit card bill!)

Favorite season and why?

I love them all. By the time I get sick of one, it’s time for a new one! But as for winter—I am obsessed with snow days. School closing-snow is like nirvana. I spend a million hours a week tracking the weather during this time. It’s really time well spent, I’m sure. ; )

Favorite book setting and why?

In terms of writing—the south. Because I know it and love it. We are people who know how to cook, know what a front porch is for, and that sometimes the dog just needs to sleep in the house. Just kidding. I love to focus on small town life and the culture of the south. As a reader, I love to read about England (historical) and NYC (contemporary).

Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

When people tell me that the characters were real to them. Yesterday I got a message from a reader who said while reading the end of The Big Picture she had to collect herself from a crying jag before she went into church. It’s an honor that a reader has invested herself so fully into your fictional world and given up their time and attention and just jumped in.

What criticism has cut the deepest and why?

So far, so good…but I know my day is coming.

What would you do today if you knew you had only a week to live?

Eat. A lot. And hang out with my family. Maybe skydive. Try to think of who I need to apologize to. Write some letters. Check ETonline. Kidding.

What is your favorite word?

Redeemed. Not just for the meaning—I love the sound of that word.

What word annoys you more than any other?

LOL. I KNOW I’m in the minority, but I really can’t stand LOL. Wowsers is up there to. I read that word in books, but…don’t really know anyone who says it. (Have I managed to offend everyone now?)

Superhero you most admire and why?

My mom. She was a single parent and did an amazing job with two kids who weren’t the easiest. She was one of those parents who gave up everything for her kids.

Super power you'd love to borrow for awhile?

Super Memory Skills. Oh, to be able to remember birthdays, deadlines, where I put my shoes.

Favorite chore

None. Absolutely none. I hate anything that has to do with cleaning. When I was 16 I worked in a grocery store and got some strange thrill out of mopping the store by myself at night. I think the Clorox fumes did something to my brain.

Grammatical pet peeve…sound off.

I’m the opposite—overly correct drives me nuts. If someone asks me how I’m doing, and I say, “good,” I mean it! I’m not well. If I was well, I’d give you my temp and vital stats. I don’t care how grammatically correct it is! I’m GOOD! ; )

Societal pet peeve…sound off.

People who are too lazy to put their carts up and leave them in store parking lots. Next to my car. Where the new scratch is.

CREATIVE CORNER: Pick any of the following and have fun with it.

Swirling leaves riding the icy wind, danced up Liesel's skirt.
The leaves weren't the only things stirred up by the breeze which now carried the cloying scent of death.

I followed the trail into my house, trying not to wretch. My heart thudding with regret and fear, I opened the refrigerator door. And saw last month’s leftovers. Again.

I'm not so interested in boxers or briefs. I'm just looking for a good man to fill them. Heck, I find a good man and he can wear banana peels as far as I'm concerned.

Did you make that last one up? If so, take that off! That belongs in one of your books! That’s awesome!