Earlier this year as part of this blog’s launch, I ran a Q&A post. It’s been a good while since then and, now that I’m feeling like I’ve gotten my footing in the blogging world and on social media, I thought it was time to do another one.
I recently put forth the invitation on Twitter to ask me anything, whether it be about writing or otherwise.
Without further ado, let’s get to it!
“What is your tiniest dream? Like… one day draw the outline of a star perfectly with no lines in the middle.”
~ Jennifer, Twitter
This is a question that actually took me a few days to answer.
Everyone has dreams.
Some may revolve around finding one’s purpose in life, like being able to establish themselves in a certain career path or achieve a certain position in the field. For others, this might mean settling down and raising a family, white picket fence and all.
There are dreams that revolve around experiences, like visiting exotic islands or touring Europe.
And there are even dreams we might be tempted to label as fantasies, things that would be awesome to have happen even though they may not be as realistic as others (though I say “realistic” loosely here because anything is possible).
However, kind of like I mentioned about perfectionism sometimes making it difficult to notice our progress as we learn and grow, we’re not always able to pick out the tinier dreams along the way as we’re working towards the larger ones.
At twenty-three years old, I have a lot of dreams. I’ve managed to check off some of them.
• I earned my bachelor’s in English and Communications with a concentration in Creative Writing, and was the first member on my mom’s side of the family to attend a four-year college
• I was able to host a radio show for those four years
• My high school choir got to sing America the Beautiful on the ice before a hockey game and got to be on the jumbotron
• I got to see Derek Hough live (who had been my celebrity crush since I was roughly ten years old)
• I MET my other major celebrity crush Aaron Tveit after seeing him in a production of Company
• I have seen 5 Seconds of Summer in concert three times and I’m going again when they go on tour with The Chainsmokers this coming fall
• I’ve gone to London, England, which included managing to come face-to-face with the portrait of Jane Austen drawn by her sister and coming across one of her notebooks on display, walking through Hyde Park, visiting Hatchards, going to a tea room, and attending a cèilidh.
• I’ve also picked up enough knowledge on bookbinding to craft a book by hand, which is something I would love to do for myself with each novel I publish (right now, Bound to the Heart‘s first draft is the only one I’ve done, as it was part of my research project for the London travel course I participated in).
And of course, there so many other things that could take up about a dozen more blog posts.
But there’s also so much that I still want to do.
I have several novels to publish and even more to write, with an ever-growing list of topics to explore and characters to introduce.
There are so many places I haven’t traveled to all over the world. Visiting Estonia ranks highly, especially Tallinn where my grandfather lived before coming to America as a WWII refugee with his mother and aunt.
I would love to visit areas of England I haven’t been to like Derbyshire where my oldest WIP Guises to Keep is set, and Cornwall where my favorite television program Poldark takes place. Also on the list include Ireland, Scotland, the French countryside, Spain, Greece, and Italy, as well as India (especially during Diwali).
Heck, there are even places within the United States I’ve not yet visited.
And, yes, I do have fantasies I would love to live out, most notably DJing the cast wrap party if any of my works were to be adapted for film (bonus points if Toby Regbo is in the role of James in Guises to Keep and I got a slow dance with him at said party).
On a more realistic level of bucket lists, I haven’t gotten to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a shadow cast. I would love the chance to meet 5 Seconds of Summer. I’m interested in learning to make blancmange and other popular dishes from the Regency Era. I’ve wanted pet goats for a while. I’m slowly working towards playing the piano.
But on an even smaller scale, what Jennifer means by my tiniest dream, that one’s a little harder for me to pin down.
So what is my tiniest wish?
I’m always looking for ways to step further into my research of the Regency and Georgian periods. I have a sewing pattern for a gown I can’t wait to get started on. I have a list of recipes I want to make and songs I want to learn for piano when I get there.
But one thing really stands out to me and is also the answer to Jennifer’s question:
I would say that my tiniest dream, at the moment, is to learn to write with a quill and ink.
I actually own a set already, which I purchased at the Tower of London, but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet.
When I was writing Bound to the Heart, I also learned the art of bookbinding, going as far as to create an actual bound version of it as the culmination of the research portion of the travel course I participated in during college and present it to the class.
Trying my hand at my character’s trades or hobbies is one of my favorite ways to explore the world I’m creating on the page as I’m writing. So many of my characters are seen writing with quills, and I myself would love to improve my hand. I love the look of calligraphy, even though I’m not the best at it. I think my greatest issue at present is not being able to determine how much ink is too much or too little, and how much pressure is too much when writing. It often ends up a splotchy, illegible mess.
To be fair, my quill does have a metal nib much like a fountain pen which saves me from having to trim the tip with a penknife every so often, but I think that also is something I would like to learn as well. It’s all part of it.
I’m not saying I’ll be able to write an entire novel with a quill and ink, but at the very least it would be cool to sign one like that someday!
So there you have it!
Thank you to Jennifer for sending in a question participating in this Q&A post.
Find me on Twitter @AvrilMAalund to stay updated on future posts.