Posted on 25 August 2009. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
WriteWords talks to Oonah V Joslin, aka WW member V'yonne
Where did it all begin?
In bed like most things. My sisters gave me a subject, and I'd come up with a story. I loved English homework: Write a story or poem about. My teacher put my poem, The Scarecrow, on the wall when I was 11 and that got me hooked. I've already told how I got started in EDF's blog if anybody wants to read that:
I joined Writewords to find out whether anybody would want to read anything I wrote. I had no ambitions beyond that. Now I've over 150 stories and poems on line or in print. Colour me amazed!
Writers I like?
Asimov had the temerity to write Mars say yes. He can make you laugh and horrify you at the same time, be so tongue in cheek and so human. Everything he wrote lives.
Arthur C Clarke
Robert Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila - un-put-downable. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings and Leaf by Niggle.
Oscar Wilde: De Profundis in particular. The Happy Prince makes me cry.
C.S. Lewis - fellow Ulsterman. A Sunday school teacher gave me Prince Caspian and I read everything Lewis. I love his portrayal of the state of grace (or lack of it) in The Great Divorce and the thought that the whole of Hell can fit down within a crack of Heaven. I love his sense of the divine and the smallness of the human spirit without that.
Virginia Woolf: The Waves especially.
Jeannette Winterson: Art and Lies
Biography and non fiction.
Lytton Srachey: Eminent Victorians - try reading about Florence Nightingale without seeing Margaret Thatcher.
Vita by Victoria Glendinning
Wilfred Owen by Dominic Hibberd
Gilbert & Sullivan by Michael Ainger
Bill Bryson; Notes on a Small Island is perfect.
Michael Bywaters: Lost Worlds should be on everybodys coffee table. It's stuffed full of things that should not have been forgotten Baby's Bottom, Five Boys Chocolate. The Mumbles Train.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
quite a few people on this site I won't embarrass them but most are in EDP somewhere already
What's your biggest influence?
My biggest influence has been Writewords.
Having people respond to what you write is crucial. I'd be the first to admit I don't like to be criticised but when I put up my first effort and got a Wow! It made a difference. And when someone told me my dialogue for, A Trip to Tangier sucked, I didníŽt like it but I rewrote it - and rewrote it - and rewrote it and now it's one of my favourite pieces. I've learned to listen - I might cry a bit, suck my thumb and pout - but I listen. And, when I get depressed and want to pack in, I hear Prospero's (John Ritchie's) voice in my head saying: Don't Diss Yourself Girl. I'd say, the most valuable lessons you can learn are to listen and keep trying. Never forget that child who wanted to be a poet/novelist/writer or what it took to get to where you are.
They are all breakthrough moments!
I had a most read story at EDF.
The Micro Horror Competition in 2007 - I'd never written a horror story before. Then I won! Then last year I won again! (Two wonderful prizes, by the way.)
I was incredibly honoured to be a judge in the 2008 Shine Journal Poetry Contest.
I've had work chosen by the editors of Bewildering Stories for their Reviews.
I'm in 3 anthologies and just got commissioned for a horror one.
One of my poems just got honoree at The Binnacle Ultra Shorts competition. Every time I get one of those e-mails
BwS has agreed to publish my Genie in Jam series (face aches)
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