Inkpop Blog

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inkpopper of the Week: Shirley R. Kleiner

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 28, 2010

“Hi ya’ll! It’s Renee from a little tiny town in South Carolina (which explains the ya’ll, I hope). Would you like to visit my little town real quick? Okay so here we go. Churches are on every corner. Main street holds all kinds of shops and country meat ‘n’ threes and home cookin’ restaurants (where the cooking is either amazing or…not so great). We have a whopping two grocery stores, some fast food, zero nice restaurants, and well that might be it! The biggest thing is our Flea Market that’s open every Wednesday, and has just opened on Saturday. Best form of transportation: old pick-up trucks blaring country music with the windows rolled down (their A.C. quit working decades ago, or just never was installed :D) The driver is a red-neck, pretty common here, and is a typical half-naked male with no shirt, a pair of cargo shorts, and of course, his trusty cowboy boots caked in mud….okay, enough about my small town 🙂

”Just a blurb about me, my name is Renee, as stated above. I’m 15 and going to be a junior in high school. My username, Shirley R. Kleiner, is just a pen name 🙂 Shirley stands for my Gram’s name, who passed away a little over five years ago. We were pretty close. The ‘R.’ is a bit of myself, and stands for Renee. The Kleiner, well, it was just a last name I liked…and it means little. I’ve always been called short, so I thought it fit. Outside of inkpop and writing, I’m a Christian, which many of you who have read my book-in-progress, The Mercy Seat, have probably guessed. My faith is very important to me. In addition to writing, I also love music and spend a lot of time playing the trumpet, hence my profile picture 🙂 It’s something that will always stick with me, but more on that later.”

As evident from her brief bio, it is obvious that Renee is a very proactive person, dabbling in a variety of different activities to keep herself busy – from music to writing and a little humor in regards to her hometown. Perhaps that’s why it is no surprise to see that she is the brainchild behind inkpop’s Certified Good Critter; a title which many inkpopper’s have already labeled themselves with given their outstanding critiques right here on inkpop!

You recently created inkpop’s CGC (Certified Good Critter)…can you please give us more information on what the CGC is? How did you come up with the CGC? What inspired the name – CGC?

Shirley R. Kleiner: Certified Good Critters is all about recognizing people who have shown that they give great critiques. If a person is going to spend a lot of time writing out a good critique in the interest of helping the author, in addition to reading the set amount, they should receive notice for it. This will also provide a list of people that inkpop knows they can swap with in order to get good feedback.

When I was thinking of all the other groups that had been started with a goal similar to this, groups I had joined and tried to help, I realized that the key difference was that in those groups, anyone could join. If there was no process to see if the people joining the group followed what it had in mind, then the group would fall flat. That is why CGC has a reviewing process. To become a member of the CGC you must submit your comments for review by our Staff. The Staff have devised a rubric (props to Fairytaled for that idea) on which to rate the comments that we review.

The purpose of CGC is not to form an exclusive group, but merely to recognize hard work. If anyone is not quite ready to become a member, we encourage them to re-submit their comments again and give them pointers for improvement. Our sole purpose is to help inkpoppers receive better feedback on their work.

So how did I come up with the idea and the name? The idea had been rolling around in the back of my mind for a while, as a group /just/ for critiques, and where people would need to be reviewed. The name took a bit more thought, as I wanted it to be fun, and now we are Certified Good Critters, yay, we’re like little animals, but at least we’re Certified 😀

What are your crazy writing quirks? What do you need in order to get inspired and kick yourself into the mood to write?

Shirley R. Kleiner: Sometimes I just start writing, at my laptop in my room with the overhead light off, and only lamps for light. If I really need to get into the mood, or am about to try and crank out a rather difficult section, I add music. The music must NOT have words, and must fit the mood of what I’m about to write. If it’s dark, I’m going for the Dark Knight Soundtrack in a heartbeat (and I haven’t even seen the movie xD) if it’s light and fun, or just carefree, I’m going for Azucar: Magic of Spanish Guitar (don’t laugh, I listen to interesting music when I write) and if I want something peaceful and in the background, I go for A Flavor for Every Taste: Jazz Meets Hymns (again, don’t laugh). Last but not least, if I want loud and in your face, it’s Big Band Favorites (3 Disc Set! I love my Jazz!) Okay, now that I’ve embarrassed myself, moving on 🙂

What’s on your summer reading list?

Shirley R. Kleiner: Lots of Nichols Sparks:
1. Message in a Bottle
2. The Last Song (before I see the movie)
3. Dear John (before I see the movie)
Oh, I would love to be able to make it through Walden by Henry David Thoreau, but haven’t done it yet 🙂
…and other for fun ones as they come along 🙂 I’ll be reading a lot, and am open to recommendations 🙂

For school:
1. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

You have an amazing amount of poems, shorts stories, books, and essays posted here on inkpop. What piece is your favorite and why? In general, what format do you prefer writing in – poems, short stories, books, or essays?

Shirley R. Kleiner: Oh wow, tough question. Okay, so right now, my favorite project is The Mercy Seat. I am finally actually working on a book! I’ve tried and failed to start/work on/finish them so many times and I’m now actually doing it! I have reached Chapter 13 in my Word Document, the farthest I’ve ever come by a long shot on any book, and just can’t believe it. I just love the story this time, feel so into it, and love writing it. I only felt a teensy bit of writer’s block once, but I knew what was holding me back 🙂

Form to write in? That’s easy, poetry 🙂 If I need to vent, reflect, or am just sitting to randomly write, it’s going to be in poem form, I don’t even have to try. I find that I just can’t write in any other form at this point 🙂 That being said, Short Stories are difficult for me. It’s so hard for me to keep a story so short, to complete it like that, and also I just…I don’t know, I don’t think of stories that way, I think of book ideas, not short story ideas. The only reason I have one up (the only one I’ve ever written) is because it was a true story that was so unbelievable it /had/ to be written down 🙂 So back to the thing I was talking about, Poetry is my preferred form, it’s stream lined, you can express so much, people are encouraged to read between the lines, and will even read a hidden message you didn’t know was there. I found this to be true when I did a bit of an experiment, writing a horribly abstract poem an asking people to figure out the meaning 🙂 (see Grave of Water if you feel like it, though the comments are more interesting than the poem :D)

Anything else you’d like to add?

Shirley R. Kleiner: I’ve thought long and hard about what I could help people with, what I understand the most. And I finally realized that I am a big supporter of books in Short Story form. I know it isn’t the most convenient, but while we have it, we have to look at the bright side: the author has an early exposure to amazing help from us at inkpop if we’d only give it! So I’d just like to say, if you have a book in Short Story format, please message me and let me know, I’d love to swap with you and see if I can help you out. The more you get your draft edited before it is in book format, the better off you will be 🙂

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite ice cream topping? Cookie dough!
What’s on your iPod? Uhh! You’re asking a music freak to pick a FEW!? Chris Botti and Wynton Marsalis (trumpet players), Chicago, lot’s of Christian (love Barlow Girl and Kutless, oooh and Switchfoot too, and Casting Crowns) this is horrible 😦 I also love Phantom of the Opera, the ones mentioned above ^^ and Canadian Brass? Okay, I’ll stop, but that’s barely making a dent…
Hidden talent? Trumpet player 🙂
Favorite cartoon character? Daffy Duck! *secret fact* I know one of the animators who drew a lot of the Looney Tunes and created Gumby 🙂
Favorite vacation spot? That I’ve been to? Jekyll Island, GA That I haven’t: Italy! Always wanted to go 🙂

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

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

4 Responses to “inkpopper of the Week: Shirley R. Kleiner”

  1. Megan (Angel of the Forgotten) said

    Ahhhh!!! CONGRATULATIONS RENEE!! WOOO! 😀 I finally get to see what you look like! Haha well I loved your interview and you really deserved to be an inkpopper of the week! I’m so happy for you 🙂 I also like all you smiley faces in your interview! Woo! Congrats again! Go CGC!

  2. Redhead said

    Woot! Congrats!
    CGC rocks 😉

  3. […] the original here: inkpopper of the Week: Shirley R. Kleiner « Inkpop Blog tags: a-rather-difficult, add-music-, crank-out, difficult, fast food, flea, going-for, […]

  4. Shirley R. Kleiner said

    Aww thanks you guys 🙂 *big huggles* And, boy if I had known all my smileys would be big and yellow, I might have went through and edited, I don’t know…50, out xD

    Or done them backwards….I love my smileys!

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