Artist and writer Christine Mason Miller is one of those individuals whom I did not discover because I was hobnobbing with bloggers, but because I was in genuine awe of her work. Obviously, one only needs to take a quick gander at her online space to fall for it. I find that, amongst a plethora of copy-cat offerings, it is Christine's site I always, invariably, return to, because for me she is the original artist who demonstrated how art can pay, and how resilience and business savvy can take those of us who have stamina as well as great talent to sublime places.
It took me an absolute age to summon the courage to ask her whether I could be a Book Fairy. I think that, at least at the back of my mind, I thought I was a bit 'small' and 'insignificant' in the grand scheme of online things for her even to take notice. But in fact I was silly; as you will recall, I have been a Book Fairy rather successfully, thank you very much, and deposited Christine's precious Ordinary Sparkling Moments at Tatton Park, where I often walk my dogs.
Now Christine has published a wonderful new book, Desire to Inspire, where she collated the experiences and wisdom of twenty women who have harnessed the power of their creativity in order to make an impact on the world. This drool-worthy book (check out the inside!) is released on Wednesday this week and I am thrilled out of my wits to have Christine answer my questions about her writing life. And one more thing: take a look at a raft of 60 second-interviews with the girls featured in book over at Christine's digs.
I have a copy to give away dear reader! I'm enabling comments so that you can place your entry. Please do so by Wednesday 14 December at 8 pm UK time. YAY! And thank you Christine!
What is your idea of perfect writing?
At the beginning of this year, my ex-husband had a baby. While this wasn’t necessarily a huge surprise, it was still weird, and for many weeks I walked around thinking to myself, “I need to be writing about this now, because eventually I’ll lose interest and I won’t be able to capture these feelings again.”
That is the kind of writing I love – stories that have a force of their own, and that take me places I never expected.
What is your greatest writing fear?
What do you consider your greatest writing achievement?
What is the writing tendency you most deplore in yourself?
Which living writer do you most admire?
What is your greatest writing extravagance?
What is the quality you most admire in somebody else's writing?
I think there is a fine line between honesty and sensationalism, and I admire writers who are able to balance the two gracefully – to tell the truth of their experiences without dipping too far into over-exposure.
What or who is your greatest writing love?
When and where were you happiest with your writing?
The weekend I was working on the piece I discussed in my answer to the first question. I was obsessed with the story, and loved feeling completely taken over by it.
If you could easily modify one of your writing tendencies, what would it be?
What is the most marked characteristic of your writing?
I would say it offers a solid expression of the entire truth of my experiences – the ups and the downs, the honey and the thorns – while still being ultimately positive and inspiring.
Who are your writing heroes?
David Sedaris – for his humor
John O’Donohue – for his spiritual beauty
May Sarton – for being willing to share her personal explorations
Chris Bohjalian – for his ability to tell extraordinary stories
Alice Walker – for her passion
What is your writing motto?
Don't write to please everyone or to appeal to the masses. Just tell the truth.