Inkpop Blog

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inkpopper of the Week: HealedMyWings

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 7, 2010

“I tend to think of myself rather like many would think of a trapped insect – that is, partly disgusting, partly fascinating, and partly amusing. It’s rather a disturbing mixture, especially when you consider that I am not fond of insects in the least. At sixteen, I am the eldest of four children. The other three are my twin brothers and two-year-old sister, the latter of which I tend to lump with my massive golden retriever and the friendly little toad that lives in our garden. I’m not in any particular grade (I’m homeschooled, so I can be in three grades at once and no one thinks twice about it), but I suspect I will be a senior this coming school year.

“I have an unhealthy love of words, to the point of keeping a little journal in my purse for the sole purpose of recording new words I come across. When I am not writing, you can find me walking in the woods thinking about writing, drawing scenes and characters from my writing, talking about writing, or taking pictures of people, places, and things that remind me of my writing. I would love to say that I swim against the current, but that is not true. But then again, neither can I say that I go with the flow. I’m rather the one swimming across the current, blundering through traffic and other fish as I go about my happy little agenda.”

It is Tori’s (aka HealedMyWings) slightly offbeat way of thinking that has made her such an asset to the world of inkpop. Since joining the site back in February, she has taken on the task of rewriting a fairytale for the fairytale anthology being put together by LA Knight; participated in a variety of writing contests right here on inkpop; and, most importantly, reached a Rank of 24 with her adventure, science fiction/fantasy novel The Game of War, which is as unique as Tori herself is.

Your book The Game of War is currently ranked at # 24. While it is a fantasy/science fiction piece, you introduce ideas and scenarios that have never been done before (i.e. medieval valley girls, battles with teakettles for weapons, etc.). Where did these ideas stem from?

HealedMyWings: Medieval valley girls, teakettle battles, and useless dragons all spring from my love of anything bizarre, quirky, or contradictory. Because I write mainly high fantasy, I have an obsessive fear of falling into the stereotypes associated with that particular genre. So I look at what is usually done in my genre and ask myself, “How can I set this on its head?” My favorite way to answer this question is to look for the worst possible fit for a particular role. Most fantasies have a wicked king or evil sorcerer intent on destroying or ruling the world. Instead, I create a “villain” who is noble and means the best for his people, although his ideals tend to be skewed because he views himself as their god. On the other hand, the “good guys” are willing to cheat and lie to bring him down. And instead of the typical farm boy or orphan who rises to become their leader via some revered magical talent or particular leadership ability, I choose the worst possible character to stumble into the middle of a war: A naive Medieval valley girl who can get in the way and screw everything up for both factions as she pursues her own little agenda, as opposed to saving the day. In this way, I can come up with all sorts of bizarre – and sometimes even unheard-of – ideas for my stories.

As for the teakettles, that is entirely the main character’s fault. She had to defend herself somehow, and a teakettle happened to be the only thing on hand. I’m not nearly clever enough (or shallow enough, perhaps?) to invent such a preposterous weapon out of kitchenware.

Based upon your work, it seems that you have a very creative way of thinking. How would you describe your imagination?

HealedMyWings: Whimsical, hyperactive, and altogether impractical, I would say. Have you ever seen a ridiculously energetic little kid pumped full of sugar, running around a playground with a plastic sword screaming their head off? That’s me. I am, in essence, a young, female, modern-day Don Quixote seeking adventure in an ordinary world with very little to offer in means of fantastical endeavors. At times, I think I take the imaginary more seriously than reality. After all, when all this world has to offer bores you to the point of near-insanity, your only option is to pretend with all your might that life is a whimsical adventure, and then live it as if it truly is. That, and vent all the wild adventures you wish you could go on into a story and have your characters live them in your stead.

You are a member of inkpop’s Teakettle Clan, which was discussed a few weeks back when Cara Ruegg was inkpopper of the week; however, you also use teakettles as a focal point in your work (a la their appearance as weapons in The Game of War). Do teakettles have some sort of special meaning for you?

HealedMyWings: Before I joined inkpop, teakettles meant very little to me – no more than any other kitchen appliance, that is. The beginning of all this teakettle craziness actually began with a particular chapter in The Game of War involving said teakettle weapons. Some of the fans (and a few others) decided to become “cheerleaders” for The Game of War. They decided they would dress up like the main character, and instead of using pompoms they would use teakettles in honor of that particular scene. After that, the Teakettle Clan sprang up, and then a variety of inside jokes involving teakettles. I’ve taken to using it as my author’s signature of sorts – most of my projects, if not all, now contain something about tea and teakettles. So if you ever read something of mine aside from The Game of War, keep an eye out for those signature teakettles.

How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any tips for beating out writer’s block that you’d like to share with us?

HealedMyWings: To be frank, I’m a pathetic wimp when it comes to writer’s block. But I fight anyway, of course (fr the sake of my sanity and my characters, more than anything else). What seems to work best for me is having multiple projects going at once. That way, when I get stuck on one, I can work on another until I know where I’m going with the first. For example, I have four separate novels and three short stories going right now, and it’s working quite well. As for actually getting ideas to help me get unstuck, it helps to create a web chart. I put the current predicament in a bubble at the center of the page, then branch off with all sorts of absurd (and often unworkable) paths until I find something my characters would actually do that I actually like. I just keep branching and branching, and then pick the best path and unleash the characters to wreak their havoc.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite cartoon character? Raven from Teen Titans. One can’t help but adore a heroine struggling with her fate to bring about the end of the universe. I love a character with depth and a story of his or her own, and Raven certainly has more than her fair share of both.
What’s on your iPod? I’m a nerd. I have mostly classical pieces on my iPod, such as Beethoven’s 5th and a variety of flute concertos by everyone from Chaminade to Mozart.
If you were granted three wishes from a genie, what would you ask for? 1) A pet dragon, please. Preferably in black or white, if possible. 2) Writer’s block would die and never bother me again. 3) More time!!!
Favorite movie? Either Coraline or Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland.
Oreo cookies or cookie dough ice cream? Oreo cookies, definitely. Cookie dough ice cream is nice, but nothing beats slowly licking the cream out of an Oreo.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

10 Responses to “inkpopper of the Week: HealedMyWings”

  1. Laney said

    Aww! Tori that was awesome!! Great job on being inkpopper of the week! 🙂

    ~Laney

  2. Ash said

    Woo go Tori =D It’s always nice to have an insight into your mind =P

  3. Nella said

    Congrats, moonelf! You’re near-insane like the rest of us 😀 Yay!

  4. Cara said

    awww snuggle bear I love you 🙂 congrats on being IotW I’m surprised it took them this long lol. I loved all your answers. It was so much fun to read. go shoot for the stars and remember I’m beside you every step of the way.

  5. FeatherW said

    I had so much fun reading this. Congrats on Inkpopper of the Week!

  6. LA Knight said

    OMG! YOU ARE SO PRETTY!!!! THAT BLUE DRESS IS AMAZING!!!!!

    ahem
    Congratulations on Inkie of the Week! Yay, Tori!
    You are so awesome and you so deserve this. =D

  7. Dana said

    GO TORI!!!!

    Awesome interview, I really enjoyed it. Ah, those teakettles -tsks at Tristah-

  8. Megan (Angel of the Forgotten) said

    AHHHH!! Congrats Tori! You deserved this 🙂 Most of the time I don’t pay attention to the blog ( yes I know kinda shameful ) but when I saw your name I was so excited!! I loved your interview and I agree with everyone else you are sooo pretty!! Yay for Inkpopper of the week 😀

  9. Jade said

    Congratulations Tori!!! Awesome article–and LA’s right, that dress is awesome. xD

  10. Redhead said

    Shirley R. Kleiner should be the next inkie of the week, she started the CGC =]

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