Just a couple of writers on a road trip through life. Hop in, hold on, and don’t forget your rain boots.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Freaks on Parade

Stephanie  D. Birch has been stuck in the world of make believe since she was knee high to a grasshopper. Not that creepy kind of stuck in make believe that involves the Neverland Ranch or endless hours of of video games wearing a diaper while pounding energy drinks. No, the kind of stuck in make-believe where the blank page is her canvas and the pen (or keyboard) her paintbrush. Stephanie wrote her first dramatic and dark, albeit short book at the age of eleven. It is titled, In the Years of the Ox, Rat, Dragon and Stephanie. She was aiming to mimic the title, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. She even wrote an author's bio. It reads. "My name is Stephanie. I was born in 1981. I enjoy creative writing and writing about other people."  Well, not much has changed. She still writes on darker topics, still enjoys creative writing and writing about other people. As she grew up she had many a different career. She once worked for the McNaughton News Service as a writer for a number of their news publications including the longest running newspaper west of the Mississippi. Journalism is great, but not when you want to write fiction. 

Currently Stephanie offers her expertise as an editor to self published authors and as a freelance copy editor for small businesses while she eagerly awaits her big break. What she really wants is to write not just one, but several great American novels and although they aren't published YET, she has already written two. If she has to live off Ramen noodles and watered down Kool-Aid, she will because she has all these ideas, stories, characters, and things and MUST write them down or else she might go insane and really, if you think she is a freak now, which she is, an insane freak might not be an ideal thing to be.  But that is a story in an of itself. 

Julie K.M. Simmons-Wixom (yep, it takes a long time for her to sign autographs) has been making up stories for as long as anyone can remember. When she was a kid it was sometimes mistaken for lying, like the time she told her fourth grade teacher about the menagerie, including giraffes and aardvarks, that her family kept on their large ranch. Parent-teacher conferences were confusing that year, mostly because her mother was baffled about what animals the teacher was referring to, since the only family pet, a hamster named Brownie, was recently (tragically) deceased.  Julie sees herself as girl outside of the world. She not like other people, and she's actually really happy about that. In her mind, something intangible connects all writers to each other. Writers are bound together by imagination, by all the stories swirling around them, and the compulsion to get them down on paper. And that's why writers are freaks. Julie considers herself part of that freakish kinship of writers compelled to write by the magic inside their heads. She writes because she must. She writes fiction. And she's a Writer Freak.

There was a time when she wrote down facts for people. Mostly news organizations like the Associated Press, McNaughton News Service, a college newspaper that shall remain unnamed, and she's also written marketing copy for several company websites. She has published several pieces at Shortbread Stories, an online publication. She admits disliking facts, preferring stories that can involve magical powers, telepathy, psychic abilities, and ninjas. All right, so she hasn't actually written any stories about ninjas yet. She's just obsessed with them. She likes being silly and making people laugh so hard that they spit coffee on their computer screen. Sometimes she just writes to amuse herself. She's currently seeking publication for one novel, several short stories, and a series of children's books.  
A Conversation with Stephanulie
Stephanie: Let me just start this by saying I have a prejudice against ponies. Yes. Ponies. They look like old horses and aren't very cute to me.You know how some people buy miniature dogs in the hopes that they will always look like a puppy, but they never stay that way and then you have a small, old dog on your hands? Yes, ponies have that affect on me. They freak me out, as I am a freak and am easily freaked out. But, I am so freaking excited about starting this freaky weird writer blog together. I think that we writers have to stick together, much like how bumble bees stick together in large groups when they swarm. Well, writers don't really swarm (how scary would that be). We like to think of ourselves as a refined group of people set apart from others, but the truth is we are set apart from others not because of refinement, but because we let our inner freak comeout in black and white. Kind of like a that guy that sings that Gangnam Style song. You know, the one about dressing sharp, but dancing tacky. He is freaky, he is wildly popular and he is successful because of the support he receives and becasue his dance moves are super fly.

Julie: I love this video, because it encompasses all sorts of awesome. It is fabulous. I want a yellow pleather suit only with a skirt instead of pants on the bottom half, and knee high yellow pleather boots. I have many fears and phobias, but mostly you'll notice my freaky-ness coming to light in the form of very specific neuroses. I like to hand write and I always have several notebooks going at once. But I can only write in colored ink. Black freaks me out, as does red. I prefer blue fine tip Sharpies. Or sparkly metallic colored pens. I make lists of everything. This is where my writing gets to the people around them and makes them crazy. I write to do lists, wish lists, gift lists, pro/con lists, lists about things I like, lists about things I don't like, budget lists, writing task lists, lists about lists. I have a problem with lists. I also have a freaky dramatic side and I like to make up little skits and plays and act things out. I started out making my brothers be in them, but then they got old enough to run away from me, so now I use my kids, sometimes people from church, and if I can't find any live people, I use puppets. Okay that's a lie. Puppets freak me out. They are on my list of phobias. Perhaps writer freaks as a general rule are neurotic as well as being freaky. Hmm. Ponderous thoughts.

So you like what you see and are interested in boycotting pony rides or wearing yellow pleather suits or would just plain like to see more from the collective genius that is our craft? Contact a freak at twowriterfreaks@gmail.com
© 2012 Writer Freaks


  1. Yowza, hell YES!! Julie's back on the market, ninja style! You go girls! I can't wait to pour over every little morsel and devour properly. With ramen noodles.

    Now when you're done writing this insanity today come over to www.theFFword.com (Fearlessly Female) and bring your game face. And whatever left over dark Chocolate crumbs you left in the box.

    Holy crap, I see what you've done there. You've linked me on the side bar. It's love at first link. Ok, I'm sold. Where do I sign up?

  2. Tiffany-- You'll always be number one on my Must Read list :-) I think it's kismet because I know today is also a big day FF-wise-- and picking 10/11/12 is a stroke of great minds thinking brilliantly alike :-) Thanks for checking us out. Can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve for Awectober :-)