9 Bridges is proud to introduce “9 Questions with…”
A biweekly blog where we ask writers to answer 9 burning questions people do not even realize they want to know, including the most important question of all; Rock, paper or scissors?
Elisabeth Flaum began writing because of Doctor Who and hasn’t yet been able to stop. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works in accounting, races dragonboats, and writes short sci fi and poems about volcanoes. Recent publications include The Comet’s Tail: Bits and Pieces available at lulu.com and Ghosts available on Smashwords.
9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?
Elisabeth: Definitely driven. I have a lot of ‘what am I doing and why am I doing it?’ moments.
9: Tell us about the space where you write best and why that space works for you.
EF: I have written great stuff on my work computer after hours; on my home desktop in the middle of the night; on my laptop in the back yard; in my notebook on the bus; occasionally on loose paper on a bench outside the Convention Center. I have also written crap in most of those places. The important thing is having something to write with.
9: If you were alone on a desert isle with no tinder for a fire handy what book would you most want to have with you and why would you chose that book to burn?
EF: I would happily burn Mists of Avalon if it meant I could get all those hours of my life back.
9: If you were alone on a desert isle with plenty of tinder for a fire handy what book would you want most to have with you and why?
EF: Dune. I could read it over and over, and it makes sand appealing.
9: What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?
EF: Neil Gaiman said, “Write.” That pretty much covers it.
9: Have you ever entered a writing contest? Did you win?
EF: I once wrote a poem about Portland food carts that won tickets to the Northwest Food and Wine Festival worth $180. At the time I didn’t consider myself a writer and entered mostly as a joke. The response – not just the win, but what I heard from people – convinced me to take my writing a little bit more seriously.
9: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution.
EF: Just write. Write garbage, write fluff, write a list, write anything, just write. The longer I go without writing, the harder it is to start again, and the crappier my writing when I do start. It’s like sports that way; take two weeks off at the gym, regret it for months.
9: Most writers I have talked to have at least one story about a loony teacher they knew who somehow inspired them. What is yours?
EF: I had a music theory teacher in college who regularly distributed handouts with titles like “A plethora of major seventh chords.” He wore such a smile on his face as he did it. I think of him whenever I come across a really great word.
9: Rock, Paper or Scissors?
EF: Paper. Lots and lots of paper.