Dabo Swinney is the Dumbest Name I’ve Ever Heard

The blog has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Swinney, so forget about football. Carol, one of my new (and very talented) writing pals, tagged me on this writing interview.

What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?

Last thing: I just wrapped up a spur-of-the-moment short story for the Literary Lab’s Genre Wars fiction contest. Yeah, and I don’t “do” fiction. Probably an epic fail but I’m cool with failure. It’s my speciality.
First thing: OK, so in Japanese Film class, I wrote an, um, erotic story. I was bored, a’ight? And I was 21, undersexed, and… I was bored, a’ight? Yes, I still have it. No, you can’t read it.

Write poetry?

I have, but it wasn’t stellar. And I totally don’t get form or rhyme, so I just jotted prose and called it “free verse.” I’m still not sure what “free verse” means. Yes, I still have it. Sure, you can read it.

Angsty poetry?

Is there any other type?

Favorite genre of writing?

My favorite to read? Really warped memoir, ala James Frey. Favorite to write? Really warped memoir. 😉 Although, to my utter shock, I’ve enjoyed a recent foray into the wild realm of literary fiction. And let’s just be honest – if everyone else hadn’t beat the decaying horse to a bloody mess, I’d write about vampires.

Most annoying character you’ve ever created?

I don’t know that any of my characters are annoying. Do they have personality defects? Sure. Too annoying and I think the character loses some credibility, the roundness that makes a story believable.

Best plot you’ve ever created?

RAISING THE KAISER’s plot is pretty darn compelling. I don’t really know. Right now, I’m toying with a new concept based on traveling-circus folk. Carnies. But it has no plot yet so I don’t know why I told you that.

Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?


How often do you get writer’s block?

See above. Every single day. It’s a struggle to get started, keep my ass on the chair and just write. Serious writer’s block comes when I’m feeling self-doubt, which happens at least once a month. It comes, I wait for the “you suck at life” demon to pass, and then I write again.

Write fan fiction?

I haven’t, and it doesn’t really appeal to me.

Do you type or write by hand?

I rarely write by hand. My handwriting is illegible, and I type far faster than I scrawl.

Do you save everything you write?

I save stuff, but not obsessively. Much of what I’m doing now is more about process than product.

Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?

Sometimes. Generally if I let things simmer for a few days, I can come back and make something fun happen. That said, I’ve had a simmering story about a kite on the back burner for two weeks. When nothing comes, nothing comes.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve written?

I detest most everything I write. How’s that for angst? It’s true. There are a couple of light-hearted blogs I dig, but it makes me uncomfortable even to commit to that.

What’s everyone else’s favourite story that you’ve written?

Mmm. My friends like the KAISER manuscript. Some like the shorter, wicked blog entries.

Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

I’ve never written either and I’m not certain I have the sensibility for either. Romance kinda grosses me out (I’m sorry!), although I’m sure that’s from an overdose of Danielle Steele during my pre-teen years. I might give angsty teen drama a shot. OhOH! Listen to this. So I was in the car last week and Michelle Norris was on NPR. First, she pronounces her name Mee-shell. Secondly, she says angst like “ahhhngst.” Ahhhngst? Are you fuckin’ SURE, Meeshell?

What’s your favorite setting for your characters?

The south.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?

RAISING THE KAISER is not complete, but the proposal is. I’m working on that, here and there, as I query. While I’m playing around with fiction and short stories now, I’m not taking on  anything new.

Have you ever won an award for your writing?

I don’t think I’ve ever entered a contest, ‘til last night. So no.

What are your five favorite words?

  1. Fuck Tempest
  2. Murmur
  3. Nemesis
  4. Talisman
  5. Wherewithal

What character have you created that is most like yourself?

Other than RAISING THE KAISER’s momma (um, me), I haven’t written anyone like myself.

Where do you get ideas for your characters?

From those around me. Yeah, I’m watching you. The way you hold your pen, the tone of voice you use, how you cackle. I write it down. I use it.

Do you ever write based on your dreams?

I had a dream about triangles and a vampire – wanted to write about it. Not gotten happen.

Do you favor happy endings, sad endings or cliff-hangers?

No cliff hangers.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

On the first draft, absolutely not. This means I often have to close my eyes and type, to avoid back spacing to fix nits throughout the text.

Does music help you write?

I find most music annoying if I’m writing. Exceptions: Bach and Jack’s Mannequin.

Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops into your head.

I show her three fingers. I’d rather show her just one.



Filed under writing

8 responses to “Dabo Swinney is the Dumbest Name I’ve Ever Heard

  1. “I’d rather show her one.” Ha! I like it. I think those two lines captured about six different scenes in my mind. Nice!

    And don’t be so hard on yourself. You write very well. Show the inner critic that finger, huh?

  2. I’m very curious abour Raising the Kaiser! Nonfiction, right? And please be sure to post some of your angsty poetry. I’m guessing it’s brilliant. Haven’t read much of your work, but what I’ve read on your blog and your tweets have definitely intrigued me.

    Out of curiosity, who exactly are you showing 3 fingers-wish-it-were-one???

    • sarafraser

      Hahaha. No angsty poetry. Last time I posted something, my sister thought I was on the verge of suicide. I was not.

      My mother. 😉

  3. I’m curious about Raising the Kaiser too!!

    And I often use the three fingers – all you have to add are the words “read between the lines”. haha

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