Interview With Eden Mabee

I came, I saw, I made typos…

then hack \ and burn (well, not really, the burner is broken).  I make bad jokes that few others seem to get, dabble in photography with a mediocre camera and write speculative fiction that involves learning almost as much history as as a Masters of the Arts.

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1.       Have you always considered yourself to be a writer, or was there a time in your life when you decided that is what you were?

I always told stories.  Usually I was more interested in trying to create cartoons (or comics) as a kid.  I would try to draw the same silly picture over and over with just the smallest change (my vain attempts at animation, I guess) and get frustrated when things didn’t work out the way I wanted (or worse, I would see them get torn up by my parents who wanted me to be more involved in school work….  it ALWAYS hurts worse when someone else devalues your work, but it’s always most destructive when you do it).  I actually didn’t think I could write at all until I was well into 10th grade when, mostly out of a need to compete with my best friend and prove I was more than just the “math girl”, I tried handing in some of my more creative stories in for English class (translate:  things that just *barely* fit into the parameters of each assignment, stuff like chapters of Doctor Who novels in place of vocabulary sentences, comparisons of Shakespeare and Star Trek…  lots of Doctor Who and Start Trek).  And our teacher (THANK YOU, Mrs. Kinowski!) encouraged it from both of us.

Thus two writers were born, and many many spiral bound notebooks suffered for our vanity.  Shan and I traded stories back and forth, creating something that might qualify as collaborative slash fiction, but really was our way of trying to one up each other.  As horrible as the stories were, they kept us writing and improving our craft ( though only Shan went on to be an English major. After high school;  I hadn’t been convinced yet that it was anything more than a fun hobby).

2.       How did you get the name “Mouse?”

In college….  I hid a lot.  It’s not so much a shy thing.  I tend to enjoy watching from the side-lines.  And it had something to do with a former boy friend…  Bad question.  Can I have another?  (Now why I became “the mouse that roared” is kind of fun, but you didn’t ask that…  😉 )

3.       How did you get your twitter handle “Kymele?”

Oh, easy one…  I made it up.  Here’s a link to a note on Facebook that explains it (https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=308624236430)

.  It’s my own personal vanity, but it also seems very honest since I did create these stories.  (And because I used to sing semi-professionally)

4.       Just how many monikers do you go by?

Hopefully just Kymele or Eden, these days…  Mouse really hasn’t fit for years.  I just keep it around because I hate changing things and it’s cool to have that email address.  (there is what my father still calls me…  “Pickle”  it’s as silly as it sounds.  I really love pickles.)

5.       Do you ever play off the words “Garden” and “Eden?”

One of my blogs is named the Garden of Delights (http://edenmabee.wordpress.com), so I guess that answer would be yes, though I am thinking of combining my present blogs into one and calling it Mabee Paradise.

6.       Tell me about “A Garden of Delights.”

Well, it is this really awesome painting done as a triptych by a man called Hieronymus Bosch.  The layout…

Oh, that’s not what you meant!  Well, it’s a blog, mostly a place where I try to share things that inspire me and hopefully others will enjoy.  It’s more personal than Many Worlds.   On Many Worlds I try to keep the posts related to writing and storytelling or the creative process.  On A Garden of Delights, it’s really no holds barred.  At the moment, the biggest thing I’m trying to work on in creating a bi-monthly column called “Your Inspirations” where I post pieces by others along the theme of “what inspires me (the author)”.  I posted a piece by my first guest Elaine Stock this Monday, and loved watching the interplay (actually,  Elaine is the reason I considered this project; her blog (http://elainestock.blogspot.com) is almost all guest posts, and I can see why… There is something addictive about connecting two people who have never met before through your common interests).

7.       What is a fractal? Can they be beautiful?

Fractals are visual representations of mathematical equations that repeat themselves over and over ad infinitum, and not only can they be beautiful, but many of them are stunning.   If you do a Google Search for something like “Mandelbrot” and click on images, you will find countless examples.  But if you want something closer to home…  look at your broccoli someday.  Seriously.

8.       How would you describe your style of photography?

Amateurish…  No, really, I mean that.  I’m still toying with my camera (it’s a Canon G5 and big and clunky and not very upgradable).  It was only this past December that I made the jump to brave any of the Manual settings.  Until then, everything was Auto focus in some form or another.  I’ve never had a photography class, only partly paid attention to my father when he tried to teach me how to take pictures…  I love looking at photographs and trying to figure out how the photographer achieved the effect s/he did, but most of the attempts I make hit the recycling bin before I even hook the camera up to the computer.

9.       How long have you been doing A Round of Words in Eighty Days?

This is my first ROW.  It’s been amazing.  I even signed up as a sponsor for the next round, since I love visiting the blogs of other ROWers and seeing all the great projects they are working on.

10.   Have you been meeting your goals? Have you changed them?

Oh, I’ve changed them, a  couple of times actually.  At first I didn’t know what my limits really were.  Probably a lot of newbies have the same experience.  I think changing my goals actually helped me realize some truths about myself that I wouldn’t have been able to admit otherwise.  And it allowed me the ability to forgive myself enough to actually find something that works for me.

11.   We both love the David R. Palmer novel Emergence! What do you like best about this story?

I’d have to ask what’s not to like?  Palmer pushes his readers.  He does give them treats (recognizable details such as the statue of “Ashington”), but he also pushes us emotionally and intellectually.  And he makes use feel more capable than we are, not just individually, but as a species.  It’s a very hopeful book, despite its bleak opening.  It’s also brutal…  It’s about growing up too young, about not being able to trust those you need to depend on, and it’s about real friendship.

Again…  What’s not to like?

12.   Does being the granddaughter of farmers influence your writing and photography?

I take more pictures of nature and old decrepit buildings than anything else for one.  As for my writing?  I don’t know if it “influenced” my writing, though it did give me more time to explore stories and world-building.  You can ponder a lot of conflicting plot points when you are picking ten bushels of beans or hoeing a 1/2 acre of squash.

Who these farmers were as people ended up influencing my writing more than the fact they were farmers.  My grandfather was a WWII vet who’d been been literally dragged from under the porch of his father’s house when he’d been drafted; he operated radios in the Battle of the Bulge, helped relieve the camp at Dachau…  Though he never spoke about the war (we only learned these things about him when he had to request his military record for pension issues), he talked a lot about politics and the actions of world governments.   He read (still reads) several papers and history/science/news magazines daily.   Discussing politics with him still leaves me feeling as if I’ve been living under a rock.  The man is amazing.

And his counter, my grandmother (not his wife, my other grandmother) who also farmed and worked and…  She is the activist’s activist still.

I don’t think farming had anything to do with it, except giving me time to explore my own thoughts somewhat.

13.   What kind of world building have you done in your own writing?

Well, that’s several blog posts in one question.  I’ve created several distinct religious structures (with sub-cults); tiered class structures for four races of beings,  I’ve established geological changes over several centuries, both encouraged by the actions of the people in my stories and by systematic changes such as decay, weather, etc.  I’ve included changes in language over this same time period, as well as physical changes among races due to interbreeding and the effects of war and famine as well as cultural changes.  I’ve created separate creation myths for each race.

And then I’ve drawn maps, created pictures to try capturing the types of architecture these races would use…  I have about twenty notebooks filled with scribblings about this detail of language or that building’s orientation to the rest of the town square or how the women in this family are kept in the dark about their future husbands while the girls in that family may have lovers before they marry…

14.   What’s the difference between Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction?

Science.  Both are speculative, but science fiction demands a higher “science” element that I don’t feel qualified to write.  I do use futuristic elements in my writing, and science does come into play, but I try to keep it limited to what I can verify without devoting my life to a new study.  I already spend far more time research than actually writing new fiction these days.

15.   What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?

Scrivener.

16.   What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?

Yummy Zebra F-401 pens and these notebooks my husband bought me at Cafepress: http://www.cafepress.com/+journals

17.   What is the most persistent distraction from writing?

The internet.  That and my son or my cat (usually they play tag-team distractions by watcjing around the corner and then saying something JUST as I start typing).

18.   Is getting published one of your goals?

Yes, someday.  I’m not there yet, and I know it though less and less because I feel the need to write the “perfect story”, but more because I would like to write more than one story in this story-verse I’ve created and I would like them all to work together plausibly.

19.   What is your position on the self -vs traditional publishing debate?

Both have their virtues.  However, I’m not big of “selling” or self-promotion, so I will try the traditional route first.  I do realize that still means trying to do promotions and things myself.  But I can deal with that, because I’m even worse at paperwork and keeping track of legal fine print. (which is extra funny, because I originally  applied to college for pre-law not environment science and forestry)

20.   Who shot first, Han or Greedo?

Trick question.  Obviously you haven’t been made aware that Han was tricked into believing he shot first (a device planted under the table by Greedo had neutralized his weapon temporarily).  However (though it is not common knowledge) Han had his own fair share of midi-chlorians and a wild power, which he used unconsciously (his wild flying and sense of danger of course being manifestations of this), and he used the Force, without meaning, to force Greedo’s shot away from him.  And ricochet is a bitch (yes, I know… lasers don’t ricochet, but in this case it did!)And of course you can tell people…  Untrained users of the Force are a danger to everyone.  😉

The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1qnT4-F2

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About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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3 Responses to Interview With Eden Mabee

  1. Ellen Smith says:

    Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

  2. Pingback: One Week to Go | AmyBeth Inverness

  3. Pingback: Rowing to the Next Big Liebster | Under Loch & Key

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