inkpopper of the Week: Jelsa Mepsey
Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on September 6, 2010
“I have moved four times. I currently live in Texas, where you can experience all four seasons in one week and it snows on the first day of spring. I am a junior and am clueless as to what to do when I leave high school, although right now I am probably going to go into psychology and music as either my double major or a minor. I may double minor with music and writing, but music does come first. Which leads us to…
“Hobbies. Obviously, writing. Reading is one of them; I read more on inkpop now than I do published material. Writing music is another one of them; and of course, music. (Piano, violin, guitar, singing, and I’m learning drums right now.) And although sometimes I complain about it, I do love editing. We have to blame my dad for that one. He threw his 400-page, 50-bibliography dissertation at me three times and made me edit it. I never looked at literature the same after that. At least I got paid a quarter for each mistake I found, but then I got an iPod touch instead because we lost track of how many quarters he owed me. Still, I got ripped off. Dissertation editors apparently get fifteen bucks an hour! Oh well, I did it out of the goodness of my heart. Now, however, I edit about 30 different projects that are not my own; goodness knows when I last had the luxury of that. But I learn from editing, so that’s still good.
“I am pet-less. We had 50 fish or so over the last few years, but they are sadly all in fish heaven. Yeah. We are not good with pets…
“I’m taking two AP classes, two IB classes, and a music IB class. Therefore, I am pretty busy with school. But I love my classes so far. I’m really excited for the year. I know; what a nerd. But hey.”
Jelsa Mepsey’s lax, “but hey” attitude and positive outlook is one of the very things that has made her such an asset to inkpop’s community. Not only is her project Love at First Sight currently ranked at Number 8; but she is also a Certified Good Critter, adheres to The Evolution Revolution, and is one of the inkpoppers behind the creation The November Revolution – a pledge which states “Read for fun. Don’t swap as much. Let your project stand on its own.”
★ What exactly is the November Revolution?
Jelsa Mepsey: Basically, it’s my way to try to make Inkpop a better place. Not everyone will agree, but I stand up for what I believe in. And so far, even if we are a minority at 68 members, we are the fourth longest thread on inkpop (and the only top 10 thread that isn’t a character chat) so I am still proud of my generals and NevRev members.
★ What gave you the idea to create the November Revolution?
Jelsa Mepsey: The November Revolution wasn’t my idea, actually. I was happy because I got picks after I stopped swapping and moved up five places. So while bragging about it, Nella-Rosmarino (who is a dear and I love her so!) told me about the November Revolution she had tried to start (if I correctly remember) and since she said she ‘wasn’t the leader type,’ I ended up starting it instead. But again, it wasn’t my idea! I wish it was though.
However, I was getting really sick of swaps because I feel guilty when I leave people anything less than a 300-word comment but I kept getting one-liners back, so now I prefer to find random projects and feed them comments. I’ve needed things to read anyway, and what better place than inkpop? And thus I decided to swap less and have found I still get lots of comments on my book, so I think if enough people read for free like they did in November (when I wasn’t around) and there was less swapping, people would get more helpful comments overall. The reason I came to inkpop was entirely to become a better writer. And after sticking around for about six months now, I know I have indeed improved more than I ever could have on my own.
★ Your project Love at First Sight is currently ranked as # 8. How does it feel to know that your project is on the verge of breaking the Top 5? What is going through your mind?
Jelsa Mepsey: I am scared. I know there are honestly a lot of crummy things about LAFS. I have a lot to fix. Also, I know I have lots of stuff to edit, chapters to take out, other lovely things. But I have to admit I’m a bit excited that I’m finally close to breaking the top 5. I’d love to make it to the first page on the all-time chart, but my main goal when I came to inkpop was to improve as a writer, and so I will not be disappointed too much if I don’t end up reaching that area.
Jelsa Mepsey: When I wrote it, there was initially no meaning in it, it was just me getting rid of voices in my head. That, and I was stranded in the chapel of the military academy in Colorado (therefore, LAFS is set in Colorado) and I had a pen and napkins from the bathroom. (And Stride gum, which was why it was originally in the first draft!) That was where I came up with all the boys’ names. Then I wrote the first chapter (which sadly no longer exists) and that was how it all really started.
In the end, however, LAFS is a story of two broken people that learn to perfectly love imperfect people. I do not endorse teenage romance; in fact, I have never been in a relationship. I have held hands with a few people, so I have a little experience, but we won’t get into that. I am sweet sixteen and have never been kissed. Why I write romance, I don’t know. But I do endorse the power of love, and that’s the message I want to send across, which comes out more towards the end.
★ 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?
Jelsa Mepsey: I don’t write my stories. I will say that up front. My characters write it for me. I come up with the skeleton, but they are the meat, fat, blood, sweat, tears, and everything else. Besides, right now, I have 6 stories, so it’s hard to get writer’s block. Also, by the time I’m at chapter 2, I have an outline for the whole story. It always changes because a character will do this or do that, but it hasn’t been a huge problem since I finished the eight-book series and I got Second Book Syndrome. I’d say taking a break is a good thing to do though, I do that without consciously thinking of it.
★ What are your crazy writing quirks? What do you need in order to get inspired and kick yourself into the mood to write?
Jelsa Mepsey: It’s changed over the years. When I first started out, I carried around a binder, threw paper into it, and carried a Pokémon pencil-case of about twenty pens and pencils in it. Then we ran out of what I call “pretty paper” (the paper with the really dark blue lines) so I started using spirals when I was about a fourth of the way through my sixth novel. As of today, I have 60 spirals, and there is an order of colors (nine of them) in which I write in. Also, I keep exactly 100 pages in each spiral (with some exceptions) and I tear out the others to make them into another novel. Right now, two novels receive that honor; one is a 365-day challenge and one is a love triangle.
“I have been using this spiral method for just over two years now, and I love it. I used to only write one story at a time until I finished the series; now I have a purple binder with 50 ideas that still want to come out. As of now I have 30 projects, 24 completed. You do the math, I am currently writing 6. I also try to make sure every story has a meaning behind it, although it takes some work to see that sometimes.
“Another quirk of mine is that I love to write from practically every perspective possible. My 365-day challenge is from the antagonist’s point of view for my first series of eight books (also my first ‘successful’ novels) and is extremely interesting for me to view things from his brain. Although I cannot wait to kill him (again) on December 31, 2010, I will be a lot happier come 2011.
“The strangest and biggest quirk is that every single story is connected. There are four main series right now, but through steps and exes and other lovely ways, everyone did get connected in the end. I have about 200 characters total; I plan to make each of them important in some way eventually. I’m pretty sure most people don’t connect all their characters though; it’s a lot of work. I connected Singapore and at least five or six different states. Yup. That was fun.
“As for where I write, I prefer lying on my stomach on my bed and scribbling away with music playing at random. I cannot write on a computer. However, it makes me paranoid of fires…
★ Favorite ice cream topping? GUMMY BEARS! I love sugar!
★ What’s on your iPod? Brandon Heath, Taylor Swift, Vanessa Hudgens, Chris Tomlin, Hawk Nelson!
★ Hidden talent? Weird animal noises.
★ Favorite cartoon character? Jerry from Tom and Jerry.
★ Favorite vacation spot? Europe, even though I haven’t been there.
Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?
Erika (aka inkpoperika)