Albuquerque Annie

Q: Have you had anything published before?
A: Yes. I’ve had poetry published in odds and ends of places. My biggest publishing venture was when 50 copies of my book, "Ballad of the New Mexican" were published two days after my twenty-first birthday.

Q: What is your writing technique?
A: I don’t have a standard writing technique. Whenever I feel I have something to say, I just write it down. If I have a bad case of the blues, am under a lot of pressure, or whatever, I can’t write. Those times, I don’t have anything to say and no writing technique can get me through. As someone once told me, "You will write when you have something to say." That’s always explained me the best.

Q: What time of day do you write?
A: Any time, really, though I prefer to write at night. When I’m tired, words don’t come so easily, but I find tht I’m particularly insightfuul as if my subconscious mind were mingling a little with my conscious mind and bringing stuff up, kind of like a cat and a hairball relationship.

Q: What kind of stuff do you write?
A: There’s a joke around my house that I’ve written everything except greeting cards. That’s almost true. The three main things I write are poetry, short stories, and songs. I find my songwriting so interesting because I’m pretty much self-taught in everything musical and I’ve had a few college-level writing workshops so far, so I’m not trained in music, but I am trained in everything else.

Q: What do you feel you’re best at writing?
A: Probably songs, at least that’s the best way for me to touch people. There were times in high school where I read poetry and got a long silence before people applauded. I could tell that they were thinking about what they just heard. That seems to be all I do with my poetry or short stories, just make people think. However, when I played at the annual 4th of July block party last year, I played one of my songs and actually made someone cry. It wasn’t a particularly sad song, and I’m nothing special as a singer/player, but it touched someone! None of my poems or short stories (that I know of) ever made anyone cry. Songs are harder to write because they have 2 dimensions; words and sound. Songwriters have to weave them together. Plus, it’s a risky business. If one of the dimensions is mediocre, chances are the whole song will end up mediocre, no matter how good the other dimension is.

Q: What inspires you to write?
A: I don’t know. Various things, common things such as weirdly beautiful Albuquerque sunsets, will catch my attention like they never have before.

Q: What’s your favorite topic to write about and why?
A: I like to write about friendship because I know the ups and downs of it. I’ve had lots of great times with my closest friends. On the downside of that, I’m in my early twenties and most of my closest friends are already dead, including my best friend. That thought stuns and pains me. Through the combination of both joy and sorrow, however, I’ve learned to appreciate friendship and closeness. On a quick sidenote, I feel I could better write "A Second Chance." The first time I wrote it, I used part past experience and part imagination. My mom should’ve died this year, so I better understand the anxiety and everything else that comes with that sort of event.

Q: How has the show affected you or your writing?
A: I don’t think there’s much I could say that hasn’t already been said about that subject, so I won’t answer in detail. Let me just say this; I’m a very sensitive person and this past semester, I took a big Music Appreciation II test when I thought my mom was going to die and did an extremely good job. Because of that, I fooled my grandmother into thinking I’m as tough as nails! <laughing> "Tough as nails"? Doesn’t that sound like someone we know? <laughing harder>

Q: What are some of the differences you’ve found between writing short stories and writing poetry?
A: There are some fairly obvious differences such as length of the work, et cetera. Poetry is easier to write because not only is it shorter, but it’s more straightforward. It’s a collection of imagery and raw emotions with no plot necessary. Just write it and get it over with. Plus, even if it’s jibberish, to could still be considered a poem. Short stories have to be set up. The writer has to establish a place, time, scene, and action (plot) which the story revolves around. The short story writer definitely has to write clearly and make herself or himself understood by the readers otherwise the story won’t work. Moreover, because it’s a longer work, it requires more thought, and if the story is about a particularly difficult subject for the writer to deal with, it can become absolutely agonizing in both the planning stages and the actual writing. For example, "Will You Remember Me?" hit too close to home for me and I had to take several breaks during the final scene or two because I came dangerously close to making myself cry. <laughing> Short stories have become about the hardest thing for me to write because I haven’t written any in such a long time. "Will You Remember Me?" was the first short story I’ve tried to write in about 3 years. It felt really awkward to me and I kind of had to give myself a good kick to get started. I used the first half of the story to try to get rid of the rust.

Q: Is there any advice you could give to wannabe fanfic writers?
A: I’ve learned so much from my writing workshops and my own mistakes that I can’t give all the advice I’d like to. That, and even most textbooks I’ve seen don’t cover everything, either. I do have one major piece of advice for every kind of writer (fanfic, personal letters, etc.): GOOD GRAMMAR AND GOOD SPELLING ARE ESSENTIAL!!!!!!!!!! If readers have to re-read sections of a work to figure out what a writer is trying to say, the "spell" is broken and the work is easily laid aside. That’s a great piece of advice, kiddoes! That’s one few people will ever tell you or even think to tell you, so consider yourselves lucky that I care! <smiling> Finally, if you want to write, WRITE! You don’t have to share with anyone if you don’t want to, and if you don’t try, you will never know your potential!

Albuquerque Annie

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