Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interview: Ellen Gregory

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Today's interviewee is fantasy fiction writer Ellen Gregory.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

silvereye chicks

A few weeks ago, when rigorously pruning in my garden, I chopped down a branch that held a birds’ nest (which I initially didn’t realize) and two tiny recently hatched chicks tumbled out. Improvising madly, I got the nest back into the tree and spent the next several days avidly watching the two parent birds (Australian silver eyes) feed their chicks. I watched those little chicks grow stronger and larger, develop feathers — felt amazingly protective, fascinated and definitely wonderstruck by them. Unfortunately they disappeared from the nest when I went away for a few days, so I like to believe they found their wings and flew away.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I suspect my answer here will not be unique — I just can’t go past my first coffee of the morning! Sometimes I want to weep when it ends. My preference is to drink it at my dayjob desk, and the best mornings are when my coffee has been delivered just before I arrive at the office. I’m not really human until the first sip of that coffee — a skim milk cafe latte — and only once I have it in hand am I ready to function. Weekends are similar, only I get to enjoy that coffee in one of my favourite cafes instead.

What part of the day is tough? How do you move through it?

Sigh. Getting out of bed in the morning. I need two alarms going in tandem on the other side of the room and sometimes that doesn’t even work. The only way I can get through the first part of the morning is by having a set routine. Activities. Tick boxes. Timeframes. Not a physical list, but a mental one. I’m generally in a zombie state until my first coffee (see answer to previous question).

What do you wish you were more conscious of?

I’m finding this a tricky question, but my mind keeps bouncing back to ‘other people’s feelings’. I think I wish I was better able to read people, to understand how differently they might be perceiving a situation compared with how I perceive it. I tend to take people at face value, and that of course is often naive.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

There are two answers to this question. When I want to do or experience something and I’m feeling confident, then nothing will stop me. I can stay very focused and driven so long as I have that self-belief. I am rather prone to taking on challenges, such as NaNoWriMo this year (writing) or the Oxfam Trailwalker (an endurance charity event) I completed a few years ago. I make lists, I set schedules, I blog about them, I hold myself accountable. But it’s possible to lose that self-belief and confidence from time to time (like when I decide I’ll never make it as an author!) and those are the times I have to dig deep. There’s a lot of self talk, eating of chocolate, and small achievable goals set. I’m then able to inch forward, one step at a time, until I can rediscover that self-belief.

Ellen Gregory

About Ellen Gregory:

Ellen Gregory lives with her devilcat in Melbourne, Australia. She mainly writes fantasy fiction and is currently working on a novel. One day she would love to publish her work. Her vices include ye olde favourites of coffee, red wine and chocolate — but she is also fond of carnivorous plants and mismatched furniture.

Website: http://ellenvgregory.com/
Twitter: @ellenvgreg

10 comments:

  1. I am so with you on wanting to weep when my morning coffee ends. I think that's why I've unconsciously chosen to have my morning coffee cup be the largest one in the house. :)

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  2. Oh, Ellen, what a gift, to watch those baby birds grow. Being more conscious of people's feelings... count me in.

    Sherri, these interviews are great.

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  3. Yeah, and then there are those days when you go to put your cup down after that frst sip... and you can't! You just have to keep clinging onto it, like it's a lifeline. Sad but true.

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  4. It really was a gift, Sherry. One I will treasure a long time. I was so gutted to return from a short break to find them gone. I really wanted to watch them find their wings.

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  5. I have to agree with you, Ellen, about the coffee. I lo-o-ove my coffee in the morning and hate when I've finished my second cup (my limit or I get heart palpatations).

    Sherri, this is a really nice feature, the Live Wonderstruck interviews. They encourages me to look around and smell the roses and take in those wonderstruck moments that come along. It is too easy to become busy and fail to take note of them

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  6. Coffee really is the most important food group :-) I try to limit myself to three a day, but it's not easy!

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  7. Ellen, it's fun to get to know you better.

    Mornings seem to be hard for so many of us. I wonder if electric lights and computer/TV screens have totally disrupted our natural body rhythms.

    I'm really bad about short-term kinds of goals (like, oh, say... NaNo) but I do well with the long-term (I'm still writing! yay!). I admire people who get all focused and intent and buckle down (hmm, I think that may have been me, too... before kids!).

    Nice interview. :)

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  8. Hi Rabia - I think mornings are hard for me because I stay up too late cramming everything in!

    It's funny, but I can buckle down really intensely for short spurts... and as far as l-o-o-o-o-ng term goals go I keep plugging away for ever... but I do tend to get a bit lost along the way ;-)

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  9. Sherri - I've suddenly realised I've been TERRIBLY remiss and neglected to thank you publicly for having me here on your blog. I do love this series of interviews you're running -- it's great to hear about other people's inspirations, trials and strategies. So thank you so much for including me in your interview series. I look forward to reading many more in the future.

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  10. […] through an online writers forum and she has deigned this week to interview me. Please click through to read my responses to the following […]

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