inkpopper of the Week: ariwriter
Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 2, 2011
“I’m Ari, a wacky, friendly, musical sixteen year old from Pennsylvania. I live here with my mom and dad and my dog, Bengal, who is a Catahoula Leopard dog (ten brownie points if you actually know what that is! Haha!).
“I come from an extremely musical (and awesome) family so I definitely have a lot of music in my life. I’m technically in eleventh grade at the moment but I’m currently on medical leave from school because of my fibromyalgia. Even though things are kind of tough for me at the moment, I keep my spirits up with my writing, spending as much time as I can with my friends, reading, and making so many amazing friends on this site! I find comfort, joy, and support in writing and I hope to pass that out to everyone else.
“I’ve gone through some really rough times in my short lifetime and most of those times I felt so alone, like no one could relate to me, as I’m sure many people feel. It is an awful feeling and I don’t want others to have to experience it. That is why I try to make my writing provide some comfort, something to relate to, or just something to enjoy, for everyone out there and I open myself up to anyone who ever needs to talk about anything. I really want to help people and make a difference in their lives while pursuing a career that makes me happy and is everything I’ve ever dreamed of.
“Along with writing and singing, I also enjoy acting, reading and anything to do with electronics (I am a tech geek!). Oh yeah, and I’m insanely wacky and I love to have fun with my friends and family!”
Rough times or not, Ari (aka ariwriter) has championed through them all – only growing stronger with each triumph. And luckily for inkpoppers, she has channeled all of these moments into her writing – creating one story after another that lives on with readers long after the last pages have been read!
★ Your project Roses By the Lake was an inkpop Top Pick back in February of 2011. How did it feel to, after spending so much time working on one project, see it garner so much success? Though Roses By the Lake is no longer posted on inkpop, many are curious…is it still a work in project, or have you completed it?
ariwriter: It was extremely exciting to see it up there especially since it was my first novel. I never expected it to go so far but I’m so glad that people enjoyed it so much and gave me so much helpful feedback that will help me in the future. It was also exciting to get advice from a professional editor and I think it will help me and my writing grow immensely. I’ve completed the actual writing portion of the project but it is still a work in progress because of editing. It’s on private now for that reason and because I want to focus on Unfamiliar right now but I’ll be posting the completed story again very soon!
★ You have two other projects on inkpop at the moment – Unfamiliar and 365 Days, 365 Poems. Unfamiliar is currently ranked as # 40 on the Charts. How does it feel to be so close to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind? Since you have already made it into the Top 5 in the past, do you feel differently about it this time?
ariwriter: I’m so excited to be so close! And pretty stunned! This is really my main focus at the moment so it’s going to be great to get advice from the editor on it, especially because it helped so much last time. Currently what’s going through my mind is “Ah! I need to get the first part finished and edited soon!” and “I’m so glad people are enjoying the story.” I definitely do think I feel a bit different. I’m no less ecstatic but I am slightly calmer maybe. I was a bit nervous last time because I was pretty new and didn’t really know what to expect out of the review. I was also a little insecure about my work at that point because it was my first ever novel and I wasn’t sure where I wanted the writing to be at the point of the review. But now I feel much more confident and I know what to expect and where exactly I want my story to be when I get the review!
★ 365 Days, 365 Poems is a very unique project in that it is a self-created challenge. What inspired this project? Do you hope others take a cue from you, and try the 365 Days, 365 Poems challenge, as well? Do you feel that this particular project has helped your writing? If so, in what ways?
ariwriter: The main thing that inspired this project was the movie Julie and Julia in which the main character, Julie, created a blog and decides to complete an entire Julia Childs cookbook in a year and blog about each recipe. I absolutely love this movie and one day when I was writing a poem, I thought of the idea to try to do a poem a day for a year.
Poetry has always been a way that I’ve been able to express myself and the feelings I try to push down so I thought this project would help me in many different ways. I really do hope others will take a cue from this and try some kind of year project (this was another reason for its creation). I really doubted myself a lot throughout this but as I began to get further into it, I realized it wasn’t an unattainable goal as I had thought before. So I hope people will try a project, whether it is poems or something else, because it shows that we all have the power to do anything if we set our minds to it. You get such an amazing feeling of accomplishment throughout it and when you finish because you stuck with it the whole time.
It definitely helped my writing a lot in a few ways. I met other writers through this and learn many different tips that bettered my writing; I got a ton of practice writing poetry and working with a deadline. This was a very good way to begin to get my writing out there and recognized and began to teach me about the writing world. I also taught myself that I have the ability write and the ability to focus on a project for so long and give it my all. I think this will really help me in my future with writing.
★ Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for Unfamiliar?
ariwriter: The creative process for Unfamiliar has been a lot different than my usual process. Unfamiliar actually started out as solely a short story which I wrote for a contest here on inkpop. While I had it posted, every single comment I got mentioned something about wanting me to make it into a full story which I hadn’t even considered. Even Jeff Sampson, who picked my project in the contest and reviewed it, expressed that it would make a good full story (which was an incredible moment for me because I really admire his writing). So I gave it a try and without planning out a whole lot of the story, I wrote the next three chapters, just to see if I liked where it was going. I noticed that the story really began to fall into place and write itself as I went along and the ideas for it began to flow naturally into my mind as I was typing. Once I got those written and posted and they were met with another amazing reception, I knew that I really wanted to continue this story and began to draw my outline for the rest of it. Before I knew it, this short story that I swore would stay in that format became a full blown book with plans for a sequel as well!
★ If you had the chance to star as a character in any book what book would it be and why? Would you be a character that has already been created, or a new one?
ariwriter: There are so many wonderful characters that I would love to be but I think one that would be really fun to be would Holiday Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I love that story and she seems like she would be a really fun character to play; kind of quirky and different just like me! Also, if they ever made a movie about Katherine Hepburn’s life, I would love to star as Katherine because she is my favorite actress and has been a huge influence and inspiration to me.
★ Who was your favorite childhood author and why?
ariwriter: My favorite childhood author was A.A. Milne because I used to love reading the Winnie the Pooh stories and watching the movies with my parents and grandparents. My family and I have been huge Winnie the Pooh fans for many years. One of the only memories I have of my grandpa before he passed away was watching a one of the movies with him over at my grandparents’ house when I was about three years old.
★ Anything else you’d like to add?
ariwriter: I am so thankful that inkpop has come into my life, especially during this hard time I’m going through. I’ve learned so much and improved my writing greatly and it’s giving me a wonderful chance to interact with other writers. I’ve also met so many amazing people who keep on encouraging and inspiring me every day and help me to keep my head up and continue on when I’m prepared to fall off the path and let everything drag me down. Thank you all so much!
★ Food you could eat every day? Mac and Cheese.
★ What’s on your iPod? So many different things! Some favorites: Maroon 5, Adam Lambert, The Downtown Fiction, Artist vs. Poet, Lady Gaga.
★ Favorite vacation spot? Ocean City, New Jersey.
★ Cake or ice cream? Definitely cake!
★ You’re stranded on a desert island, what five books do you take with you? The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Go Ask Alice, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?
Erika (aka inkpoperika)