The Writer’s Tag: Take Two

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Writer, writing, am writing
Photo by Judit Peter on Pexels.com

It’s been a while since I posted a tag, and I thought it would be fun to revisit an old one and see if anything has changed. If you’re curious about what I (or writers in general) do, this post is for you…

What Type of Writing Do You Do?

Novels are still my favourite way to express myself, although short fiction is growing on me. I also enjoy getting poetic when the mood strikes. For non fiction, I love being able to share my thoughts and passions in a blog post.

What genres/topics do you write about?

It’s funny because for the longest time I read either horror or literary/classic fiction almost exclusively, and that was what I tended to write. But in recent years I’ve been increasingly drawn to fantasy, especially anything involving magic or non-human characters. I’m not sure what that says about me as a person (maybe just that I’m a recovering English Major), but I think it’s safe to say my writing from now on will mostly be in the realm of dark/urban fantasy.

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Writer, writing, am writing urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, magic, magical
Photo by Athena on Pexels.com

How long have you been writing?

Most of my life, although I’ve taken a few long breaks. Even before I ever wrote anything down, I would tell myself stories to help me fall asleep (something I still do), or just to pass the time.

Are you published?

Since you asked…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

What was the first story you ever wrote?

Although it’s not the first story I wrote, it’s the first one I remember that made an impression. In grade 6, we were given an assignment to write a modern re-telling of a fairy tale. I went with Red Riding Hood. I’ve forgotten most of it now, but it had something to do with Red smuggling drugs in her basket (I believe the wolf was a cop). I didn’t think it was anything special, but my teacher did. He came to see my parents and told them to never let me stop writing. I wasn’t exactly planning my career at that age, but I’m pretty sure that was the moment when some part of me decided that I would be a writer. Thanks, Mr. Coyne!

Why do you write?

To quote my answer from the last time I did this tag: I don’t feel I have much of a choice. That’s what I love, it’s what I’m good at, and it’s what I feel I was meant to do.

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Writer, writing, am writing. Quote: There is no greater agony than bearing an untiod story inside you by Maya Angelou

How do you find time to write?

How does anyone find the time to work, or to do anything else that matters to them?

When and where is the best time/place to write?

Morning or early afternoon, somewhere comfortable, quiet, and without distraction (she said, staring pointedly at her cats).

Favorite foods/drinks while writing?

I don’t eat while writing, and if I drink anything, it’s usually water or tea. And people say writing isn’t exciting.

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com.
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Your writing playlist?

Silence. See above re: the excitement of being a writer. But seriously, music interferes with the rhythm of your writing, and the lyrics get into your head, and probably onto the page without you even realizing it. The people who can work with music or the TV on have some kind of super power.

What do friends/family think of you writing?

I think most of them wonder what I do all day. But the rest are encouraging/supportive, and that’s what matters.

What parts of writing do you enjoy the most?

My answer from last time hasn’t changed: I love it when the words come together and flow out of you. Best feeling in the world. (It’s also pretty satisfying when you’re stuck and finally figure out the perfect solution).

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com.
Photo by Aleksandr Neplokhov on Pexels.com

Parts of writing you find challenging?

Writing quickly is impossible for me, and we live in a world where people expect endless new content. If anything ever makes me quit, it’ll be that.

What do you write with/on?

I used to write first drafts by hand, and I’d love to get back to that– but I’m slow enough as it is. Now everything goes straight onto my laptop, unless I get some unexpected inspiration– then I use my phone to get it down before I forget.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Lately this isn’t as much of a problem as lack of focus. But when I do get stuck, I’ll think about it, or push it to the back of my mind, while I do other things. That usually gets results. Talking about it with my partner also helps a lot. I think the worst thing to do for writers block is to stress over it and try to force a solution.

How do you motivate yourself to write?

A combination of deadlines and anxiety can be extremely motivating! But the truth is, if you’re not into it, nothing will motivate you. The best motivation is passion.

Writer's Tag: Take Two, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com.
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Author(s) who inspired you to become a writer?

I don’t think there was any one specific author who inspired me to become a writer, but there were a few who inspired my love of stories, reading, and books, so thank you to Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Lewis Carroll, and L. Frank Baum.

Writing goals this year?

This year is almost over, but my goal for 2022 is to publish my next novel! Watch this space…

Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?

Keep going, don’t give up, and it’s never too late (now I just have to keep following that advice…)

Do you have any questions, comments, or thoughts on writing? Share in the comments…

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

PS: Happy World Kindness Day! Much ♥ to everyone online and off who has shown me so much kindness and support. You guys rock!

Writers and Cats

Writers and Cats, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. TS Eliot, Jorge Luis Borges, Patricia Highsmith, Stephen King, Ann M. Martin, Ernest Hemingway, Colette, Neil Gaiman. Ursula K Le Guin, Haruki Murakami
Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

Writers are well known to have an affinity for cats (multiple books have been written on the subject)! As a cat lover, I get the appeal. Cats are good company, generally unobtrusive, frequently entertaining, and the perfect distraction when you need a few minutes away from the keyboard. If you’re lucky enough to have a lap cat, they’ll make sure you get work done by helpfully pinning you in place for hours (and they keep you warm too). My home would feel pretty sad and empty without my three kitties.

Cats can also provide literary inspiration, especially to poets. T.S. Eliot wrote an entire book about them (which then inspired a musical and, unfortunately, a movie). Jorge Luis Borges wrote these words:

Mirrors are not more silent
nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
in the moonlight, you are that panther
we catch sight of from afar.
By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
we look for you in vain;
More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
Your haunch allows the lingering
caress of my hand. You have accepted,
since that long forgotten past,
the love of the distrustful hand.
You belong to another time. You are lord
of a place bounded like a dream.

-“To a Cat” by Jorge Luis Borges

It seems that what the ancient Egyptians started, writers are happy to carry on. I know I am.

Writers and Cats, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com, Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley
Patricia Highsmith apparently preferred cats to people (relatable)
s king cats
Stephen King
ann m martin cats
Ann M. Martin
hemingway cats
Ernest Hemingway, whose Key West home is now a cat sanctuary.
colette cats
Colette
n gaiman cats
Neil Gaiman
le guin cats
Ursula K. Le Guin
murakani cats
Haruki Murakani

Do you have cats (or other pets)? Tell us in the comments…

Don’t forget to take advantage of the July Summer/Winter E-Book Sale and get Love Lies Bleeding at 25% Off (there are no cats in the story, but there are plenty of fanged predators…)

July Summer/Winter E-Book Sale at Smashwords! Get Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas for 25% Off...

Further Reading:

Iconic Writers and Their Cats

10 Writers and Their Cats

Famous Writers and Their Cats

16 Famous Writers and Their Cats

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Happy International Haiku Day

Happy International Haiku Day, blog post and poems by Aspasia s. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Bob Ward on Pexels.com

Haiku by Aspasia S. Bissas

Darkness unfurling 

Weary, bruised, the sun retreats 

Rest for tomorrow

It’s International Haiku Day today! You might remember being taught in English class that a haiku is a poem consisting of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Traditional haiku are about nature or “ephemeral beauty,” but not every writer follows tradition.

My first poem (above) was inspired by a challenge to write a haiku about “unfurling” (I wrote it before I realized we weren’t supposed to use the word “unfurling” in it– oops). The next poem was inspired by a friendly dog that used to show up in our yard, looking to play. It turned out he belonged to the neighbours (he and they have since moved).

Happy International Haiku Day, blog post and poems by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Haiku 2 by Aspasia S. Bissas

Sad dog in our yard,

Barking an invitation.

Where do you belong?

Poetry not your thing? I’ve got you covered– download my novel and short stories:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords (all formats), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords (all formats), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords (all formats), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Find out more about International Haiku Day here.

Find out more about haiku poetry here.

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Happy World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, featuring poem "To Kore," aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Pham Khoai on Pexels.com

It’s World Poetry Day today! Coming on the heels of the Spring Equinox, I was inspired by the myth of Persephone/Kore’s yearly return after her sojourn in the Underworld.

To Kore by Aspasía S. Bissas

Daughter, rise;

leave cold melancholy behind.

Reclaim your place in the sun.

Daffodils grow where you walk, and ivy.

And a crown of asphodel wheat, to remind you.

Daughter, rise;

leave cruel longing aside.

Ignore the echoes and run.

It smells of honey here, and daisies,

and a faint tang of pomegranate to remind you.

Have you been inspired to write any poetry lately? Share in the comments…

Poetry not your thing? I’ve got you covered– download my novel and short stories:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas