“Well, the name is Lithia, for starters. I was named after a park –– my mom’s favorite place in the world. I recently turned seventeen years old and I’m wrapping up my junior year of high school, as well as my cultural exchange program in France. That’s right, I’m an American in Paris the South of France. No worries though, I’ll be back on home turf July 11th. 😉
“My official pets: My cats, Cleopatra (Cleo), Hero (Coffee face), and Slyvia; and my dog, Desdemona (Dessie). They’re all named after Shakespearean characters because my mom is Shakespeare’s number one fangirl.
“My nonofficial pets: Ted, the possum who visits to munch on cat food every once in a while; the multitude of Ghost Cows who live in the woods around my bus stop; the hundreds of Peepers (tree frogs) who talk to me 24/7 all summer long; and Bob, a Stork who likes to drop by for sushi (my parents claim he’s a Heron but I know better –– how else would we get new little baby fishies each year?).
“I play the alto saxophone in my school’s band, marching band, and jazz band, and over the summer I play in a community band. I’ve been in love with it since I started, wayyyy back in the fourth grade.
“I also love theater –– I took my first drama class my freshman year and when it became an option, I immediately signed up to do the school musical (Crazy for You) too. That summer I went to a three week acting camp in Brooklyn, New York and had the best time of my life, and my sophomore year I took Advanced Drama and played the idiotic doctor in Oliver! Improv games and monologues are two of my favorite activities ever, I never get tired of ‘em.”
Another thing Lithia (aka Lithiawood) never gets tired of? Editing! Though the projects Lithia has posted here on inkpop show that she loves to put pen to paper to churn out short stories and poems; her one true love is actually editing the work of others.
★ According to your profile, on June 25, 2011, you will be posting a nonfiction project on inkpop about “writing mistakes you’re making, an educational self-helper based on the largest mistakes I’ve seen fellow teen writers making (and how to fix them, of course).” Is this something that inkpoppers have requested that you write, or was it something you decided to do on your own? Can you give us any extra information about this project?
Lithiawood: I first got the idea within a week of being on inkpop, just because I looked at the essay section and saw no one had done it before. One crazy fit of writing later and I had it posted. It got really positive reviews, so I’m excited to bring the new and improved version to inkpop and see how well it’s received this time. It’s something near and dear to me, mostly because I’m an editor at heart and I hate seeing new writers making the same silly mistakes. While it most certainly isn’t going to baby walk you through the process of creating a hit, it does outline easy things you can do to make your journey that much easier.
★ Your profile states that you love to edit people’s work…where did this passion come from?
Lithiawood: I guess it has to be in the genes. My dad’s side of the family consists almost entirely of professors and when I used to let him read over my essays for school he’d mark them up so much I’d have to re-write the entire thing. Three or four times. And my mother is a grammar freak like I am, so…there you go. Baby, I was born this way. 😄
★ Currently, you have six projects posted on inkpop, all of which fall into the poem and/or short story category. Have you ever written a fiction book? If not, is this something you would contemplate doing in the future – why or why not?
Lithiawood: I have started writing several fiction books, but finished none. There’s one I’m working on right now, either called I’m Too Sane For That or just Sane, depending on what day you ask me, about a girl who decides to blame a crying binge in the school bathroom on her absent alcoholic mother. I also have a science fiction book running around in my head, based on my short story, [Erase], about a world where scientists perform experiments years long on brainwashed humans and then wipe their brains before they re-enter society.
★ You write, you edit…which do you feel embodies you more – writing fiction of your own or editing the work of others? Why?
Lithiawood: Now, don’t go calling me a cheat for not choosing, but I like to think of the two as my ying and yang. You know how people usually use their left brain or their right brain more? The creative and logical sides of a person. But I don’t think I use one more than the other; I’ve always been this balanced creative-and-yet-also-academic mixture. The fact that I am so engrossed in both the creative and technical aspects of writing embodies that.
★ What do you feel influences your writing and why?
Lithiawood: Life influences me (what else could?). I draw a lot from my own life, or bigger issues in the world that bug me. The double-standards of homophobia inspired my poem, Gold, and my personal realization of the importance of religious tolerance is the basis for I’d Thought I Was Right, my other poem. The basic journalist dilemma inspired the moral crisis in [Erase], and aspects of my own life are where Sane’s plot comes from. I could go on and on…but I think you see the point. 😉
I think I write about those things because they’re the most important to me, and a lot of the time I need a good venue to get rid of excess frustration from me worrying so much about them. Writing is that venue; it’s brilliant therapy.
★ Do you hope to see your nonfiction project make it into the Top 5?
Lithiawood: I hope. Who knows if it will happen. But it would be amazing, yes. I’d love to see what an editor would make of it, not to mention that means a lot more people would read it. And my book can’t help people unless they read it!
★ If you were to sit down at this very moment, and write a fiction novel, what genre would it be and why?
Lithiawood: The genre would probably be humor, because I think that’s an under-appreciated genre at the moment. All these melodramatic paranormal epic prophecies and demons from hell and long, hard roads ahead…seriously authors, a good book can be one that makes people laugh too (if Akajar can do it so can you)! Oh, and it’d be science fiction as well, because I love social relations science fiction more than anything (can I hear an Ender’s Game woot woot?!).
★ As someone who has been bitten by the editing bug…what is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to writing? What will turn you off to a project immediately?
Lithiawood: My biggest pet peeve is when I see a project that has not undergone basic proofreading. If you haven’t run your story through a spell-checker or re-read it for silly typos, it’s really obvious, and it shows the reader you don’t respect them enough to at least try and present something…presentable. No, you do not have to catch every single mistake in your writing (the hard stuff is what inkie critics are there for), but you do have to take out some time to look it over and fix whatever glaring errors there are. That part at the very least is not my job. 😉
★ On a scale of 1 to 10, how helpful do you think your nonfiction project will be to inkies and why?
Lithiawood: It will vary person to person, but I think the key is that it should be able to help everyone with something. Say you know everything there is to know about writing a good plot, that just means that while the plot chapter might not help, maybe the grammar chapter will. Or maybe you know everything there is about writing –– you can help me out and let me know what I’ve missed (and I’m an inkie so that counts)!
★ Anything else you’d like to add?
Lithiawood: Six tidbits of randomness:
1 – The word for someone who critiques is a critic. The whole “critiquers” thing? No.
2 – (Lexie Pooh, don’t read this one) I’m going to see a legit bullfight in June. I’m excited. It should be cool. 🙂
3 – Guys, Lydia’s SPLENDIFEROUS WEEK OF UPDATES or something is coming up! Y’alls better be ready! Message Lydia Bloomfield for more details!
4 – Go listen to Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap. DO IT. *mind powers, enforces yoda*
5 – To be added to the updates list for Writing Mistakes You’re Making message meh.
6 – The reason my photos are all funky looking is because I’m obsessed with Picnik.com right now. 😛
Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:
★ Favorite TV show? Of all time? Gilmore Girls. Currently? Misfits.
★ What’s on your iPod? SO MANY! (*brain melt*) Classic Disney, OneRepublic, The Fray, Taylor Swift, Mika.
★ Lucky number? 9
★ The Hunger Games…Peeta or Gale? Peeta, bien sûr! Frosting + hot guy is always okay in my book. 😉
★ You’re stranded on a desert island, what five books do you take with you? The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Ulysses, The Neverending Story, The Hobbit, and How To Get Un-stranded On A Desert Island With Only Five Books To Keep You Company (or if that one’s unavailable, East).
Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?
Erika (aka inkpoperika)