Favorite things are back! (or, what I love about people)

As many of you who were here last year remember, June is Blog Your Favorites Month over here at the Dancing with Dragons blog. This month I'm going to be blogging about all my favorite things, and asking you about all YOUR favorite things.

Everybody ready?


To kick us off, I'm reposting a post I did quite a while ago on my obsession. Hereby retitiled, My Favorite Thing to Talk about is People.

My Favorite Thing to Talk about is People

It's a dangerous thing to ask someone about their passions. For one thing, passionate people can talk your ear off! But the editors at Redroom did just that when they asked us to blog about our obsessions.

Believe it or not, I didn't really think much about this until early this year. If you'd asked me before then, I would have said, "I'm passionate about writing, period."

But is being passionate about an art form--in and of itself--really enough? What is it that I'm actually trying to SAY in my writing?

I know I love books, language, and good storytelling. But I discovered this year that there's one overwhelming passion that informs what I write.

I love people.

People FASCINATE me. What they do, why they do it, their loves and hates and hurts. I'm intrigued by why people lie, and the way they lie, by how they can try to do the right thing and still screw everything up.

And I'm consistently blown away by the uniqueness of people. Sometimes I feel like an etymologist who has just discovered that there are six billion new species of butterfly in the world. And no two of them eat exactly the same thing, look exactly the same or behave exactly the same.

I want to study ALL of them! I have so many questions.


What motivates a young girl who gets drawn into drugs and alcohol and partying?

How can two people love each other and still have a misunderstanding that leaves them estranged for years?

What does it feel like to be elderly and have the world change so rapidly around you?

What would it be like to be raised in a refugee camp?

To be the unsatisfactory child of wealthy parents?

To know only one other person with your color skin?

To be so afraid of something that you become bitter and hate-filled?

To live on the edge of starvation?

To struggle with obesity your whole life?

To have a history and a heritage that goes back thousands of years?

To not know who your father or your mother or your grandparents were?

*stops and takes a deep breath* (See, I told you this was a dangerous question.)

So I write, and I love writing. But I love writing primarily because it allows me to study people and say things about what it's like to be human and create characters that can be known, in a way that few real people can.

That's what fascinates me.

What fascinates you?


  1. One of the things that fascinates me is music, particularly live music. The reach of it, the communication of it, the possibility of it, the story of it, and especially the creation of it, on the stage, in the moment. I'm drawn right in.

  2. You gave a very good answer that made me take a new perspective on writing. One of the things I love about writing is living in the character's head.

    Straight From Hel

  3. "I feel like an etymologist who has just discovered that there are six billion new species of butterfly in the world. And no two of them eat exactly the same thing, look exactly the same or behave exactly the same."

    I just said the same thing to someone yeterday. Well, without the great etymologist/butterfly metaphor.

  4. A lot of things have fascinated me over the years. That is why my brain is like a huge bin, with thousands of little drawers, full of useless trivia. There are two things, however, that continue to fascinate me; puzzles and the darker side of human behavior. Puzzles drew me into reading mysteries and their examination of the dark side of humanity keeps me reading them. Mystery writer Karin Slaughter said, and I am paraphrasing, that she uses violence as a fulcrum to pull the scab off the human condition. So in a way you can say that people fascinate me too, just take out all the saccharine, puppies, kittens (unless a sociopath is killing them) and butterflies.

  5. Joanne- My husband and I have had fascinating conversations about music as a community art form, and debated which part of music is actually "the art object itself" Is it the written score, the most popular interpretation, or what?

    It's an endlessly interesting topic...

    Helen- Living inside your character's head can be so much fun, can't it? Especially someone who's much different than you.:)

    Missed- Heehee. That example didn't come to me until the third time I tried explaining to my husband why I found people so interesting. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who feels that way!

    DR- Ew, scabs! *grin* I see what you're saying though. It is intriguing to think about what makes a person that way, especially evil violent people. Just don't go doing any experiments to get inside your character's heads, okay? :)

  6. I'm fascinated with ideas and with the rearrangement of existing ideas into new syntheses.

  7. Mohamed- I agree, that is fascinating. As a writer, I rearrange ideas all the time. :)


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