HEIDI'S PICK SIX welcomes the Greater Portland Scribists: Cynthia Ravinski, Lee Patterson, Richard Veysey, and Jamie Belanger.
Let's meet Cynthia first!
HEIDI'S PICK SIX
1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.
I love traveling. And I’ve been meaning to do some more lately. When I was still in high school I had the fortune to travel to England, Scotland (during the international festival of the arts in August), Italy and Greece. As a resident of New England, I can hardly count Canada as a foreign country, but I did travel to Montreal for a couple of softball tournaments. Being a tourist in these countries made me want to see and feel different cultures in the world. So I took a semester in France in college. Living in a foreign country for four months may not seem like a long time, but it was. And then it was over in a flash. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (up there with my first to pitch to an editor), and I probably wouldn’t have done it if I’d known how hard it would be. But I’m very glad to have done it, and encourage everyone to try it at some point.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Oooh tough call. I’ve been obsessed with tea since I was a kid. I’d love drinking herbal tea, or “horrible tea” as my dad called it. In high school I pretty much drank nothing but straight green tea. And then I discovered the English teas. My parents drank their instant coffee black, so I didn’t really discover that until college, and then I drank about four cups a day, in addition to a few cups of tea. I’ve had to scale back due to the strong affects of caffeine on me. But either way, now I drink both with no sugar and enough milk to make it just the right color.
4. What else can you do besides write?
I make jewelry. Mostly I create wire wrapped stones and my own findings (the metal hardware that holds jewelry together), and some bead stringing for necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Getting a store started on Etsy is my next project for this year. But for now you can see some of my work on my website www.cynthiaravinski.com. What you won’t find on my website are my sad attempts to solder...
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
When I come across a word with a really interesting meaning, sometimes part of a story springs up around it. Often, reading books about writing inspire me to write by offering inspired solutions to stylistic issues that are hindering my progress. A more grounded inspiration is rocks. That’s right, rocks. I’m no geologist, but the ground and everything under it and how it works fascinates me. And how can I forget my fellow human beings? Just look around and you’ll see what I mean. Everyone’s got a story.
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
Six of one, half dozen of the other. No matter which I try it never comes out the way I thought it would. When I try outlining, it goes to pieces. When I write without structure… it goes nowhere. So I’ve come up with a hybrid. I keep a three point arc “feel” in mind and drive my story that way. I guess writing down my plot ahead of time just jinxes the poor thing. But when my first draft is done I always create an outline so I can see exactly what I’ve just written.
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
It was Tamora Pierce who first got me addicted to fantasy and the thrills of adventuring in a created world. This was when I was still young, so my imagination went rampant. I began reading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books and wanted to create a world with just as many if not more adventures. I had post-its stuck all over my bedroom walls with ideas I’d dreamed up for my worlds. I later moved onto the elegance of Michael Moorecock and the mythological Robert Holdstock. More recently I’d have to point to K. J. Bishop as someone whose writing I’m trying to figure out.
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
I love watching cartoons. In fact, lately most of the programming I’ve enjoyed have been cartoons. I love South Park and a few things on Adult Swim, especially Venture Brothers. It seems that the folks who make them remember that many adults grew up watching cartoons and have continued to provide animated entertainment for us still.
Cynthia Ravinski just wants to create. Residing in a coastal northern New England setting she crafts stories in other worlds and otherworldly gemstone jewelry. Folklore and mythology fuel that which emerges from her mind and hands. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from UMaine Farmington and an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. To say she is obsessed with drinking tea is an understatement. Find Cynthia and the other Greater Portland Scribists at their blog (http://scribists.blogspot.com) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/GreaterPortlandScribists). And buy their new book Scribings at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65295).