WIPterview with Shan Jeniah Burton

Happy Monday WIPpeteers, fans of WIPpeteers, and wayward readers who have no idea what a WIPpeteer is! All are welcome to this crazy place known as My Random Muse.

Okay, so by now all those who have been here before know I am not writing this Monday morning. I never greet Monday in such a manner. No, I’m writing this on a rainy, ice-laden Saturday morning. But, never mind, let’s get on with it. Today, I welcome…


…the outstanding Shan Jeniah Burton.

*hands Shan some ice cleats* You might want to slide these on. The walk up the drive is a bit treacherous at the moment. Wouldn’t want you to slip and fall. Come on in and have a seat on the ice bench. I know, everything is so glittery and sparkly, but please resist the temptation to lick anything. I admit, I stuck my tongue to the monkey bars when I was a kid. Ouch! Yeah, that hurt.

So, moving on, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you?

SJB: Sure, ask me that right off when I desperately want to update my bio! Umm, well, I guess that just saying I’m me won’t cut it if you don’t know me.

kls:  No, but nice try.

SJB: I am a 44 year old wife of 16 mostly fantastic years, and the mother of three. I  grieve the child who never grew up while reveling in the two who are here, now 9 and 12.  As a homeschooling mom, I get to spend nearly all my time with my family, as we each pursue our own passions and learning.  I live a life of lovely chaos which delights and fascinates me all but about 48 hours a month…and chocolate, coffee, and writing help there.

Oh, I also have this thing for listing stuff with bulleted points; **Editorial Note: There were a lot of bullet points. The monkeys thought they were fascinating and made off with them.**  weaving; em dashes and semicolons; starships and pointed ears, Shakespeare, Paul Simon, and writing through the night.  And Robert Jordan. And Van Gogh.  And the next shiny idea to pop into my head, and.and and..

kls: Right, then. *politely holds up hand* That’s good. We don’t want to be here all day. *smiles* So, let’s talk WIPpeteers for a moment. What drew you to the WIPpeteers?

SJB: Eden Mabee. That’s nothing new; many of the things on the list above are things she dragged me into lovingly suggested.  When we were schoolgirls together, I used to be drug kicking and screaming…now I have better sense and manners, and I go with the flow…resistance is futile, except for Babylon 5, but that’s another story!

More seriously, I had been looking for a way to share excerpts that felt alive and left me time to actually, you know, write stuff to share.  WIPpet Wednesday seemed to fit, and after I read for a week or two, I decided to join in.  It’s been worth it every week, and I have met some really cool people – and even been threatened with flying monkeys!

kls: *laughs nervously* I don’t know what you mean. The monkeys have never threatened anyone. I believe what they make are promises. Mwahahahaha…ha…*cough* So, what WIP(s) have you been sharing with our readers?

SJB: I’ve been sharing from my Trueborn double series.  One half, the Warp Series, is Star Trek fan fiction I’ll eventually post on a free public forum TBA.  The other half, the Weft Series, is original fiction, and will be offered for publication once I have done a small mountain range worth’s of revision.  The stories can each stand alone, but a richer experience is available for those who wish to explore both sides of an epic love story. I’ve shared from five WIPs, so far…

Warp Series:

ñ      Bounded by a Nutshell

ñ      Perchance to Dream

ñ      King of Shreds and Patches

Weft Series:

ñ      Chameleon’s Dish

ñ      The Stars are Fire

kls: Wow. Awesome. I have to say, you capture the Star Trek characters very well. Can you share with us what your favorite part of WIPpet Wednesday is?

SJB: I love reading – others’ posts (A 2014 goal will be to read and comment on them all each week), and the comments I receive for my posts.  It’s especially gratifying when folks take my Trek posts as seriously as I do. I love being surprised by someone’s WIPpet, or a comment that I didn’t expect – who knew so many readers would find my main character’s eating habits revolting?! Guess I just got used to them…

Not only is it fun to get positive feedback, the less than glowing responses often come for the pieces I wasn’t so sure about.

There’s something about repeatedly putting pieces out there that makes submitting seem not quite as much like walking off the side of the Grand Canyon (which I did almost fall into once, but that’s another story, too!).

kls: That sounds like an exciting tale. I’m quite sure falling into the Grand Canyon would not be something I’d want to try. But, yes, as a writer, putting our work out there is a lot like that. Outside of WW, what project(s) are you currently working on?

SJB: Homeschool reports (because it’s the law where I live).  Hometending, because these kids are growing and changing, and winter is a good time to shift things in our little house to suit us better. Blogging, ROW80, and allowing various plot tribbles the resources to reproduce.  Editing prep for two novels, and planning for 2014.  Learning better conflict resolution skills.  And thinking.  Lots and lots of thinking.

kls: Time for some horn-blowing. *hands over shiny, metal, icy horn* Hope this doesn’t stick to your tongue. Toot away! Tell our readers what you have out there, where to find it, what’s coming next, and where to connect with you.

SJB:  “Sometimes There Is No Right Way” – essay at Tiny Buddha.

I blog in three places:

ñ      shanjeniah’s Lovely Chaos – General life; ROW80 Updates; essays; fiction; and poetry.

ñ       Trueborn Jottings: The Lovely Chaos… of Creation! WIPpet Wednesday posts; inspiration, and  experimentation with the Trueborn double series.

ñ      The Unfettered Life:Love+Laughter+Learning+Living=Lovely Chaos!: Wordless Wednesday posts, photography, essays, and accounts of our family life, with an unschooling and partnership parenting prespective.

Other social media:

ñ      Facebook

ñ      Twitter

ñ      Flickr

ñ      WANA Tribe

ñ      ROW80

kls: Fantabulous! Okay, are you ready, here comes the much touted Lightning Round!

Coffee or tea? Both.  Usually coffee hot and sweet, sometimes chai or other sweet-spicy teas.

Rock or country? It depends.  I grew up on classic country, and I still love it.  A lot of today’s country is less interesting to me than a good deal of modern rock.  I love 50s and 60s rock…but folk music and Irish music are up there on my list, too.  Lately, the kids have been listening to Minecraft Parodies, and I’ve developed a taste for those.  I still sing Sesame Street songs I loved when my kids were babies!

kls: Um…Lightning round, Shan. You know, quick. Short. A bolt out of the blue.

City, country, or seaside? It depends – and have you noticed yet that I’m not a big fan of either/or choices?  I live in the country, and am most at home there – some of my back yards have been the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the Everglades.  I adore the coast…so far, I’ve enjoyed the American Atlantic and Pacific coasts at various locations, and have canoed in the Gulf of Mexico and the mangrove swamps.  I like to do things in cities on occasion -they have museums and theatre and bigger thrift shops and sidewalks! – but I am often overwhelmed by noise and commotion and emotions and people and the bigness of them all.

kls: *shakes head*

Favorite color? Any and all blues. Particularly turquoise and the exact blue of each of my children’s eyes.

Favorite pastime besides penning fantastic tales? Learning, reading, blogging, being in nature and with my beloveds, laughing, photography, playing, singing, talking, seeking beauty and truth, being.


kls: Whew! That was some…lightning round. I’m pretty sure that’s all I have. Thanks so much for stopping by and for joining in the craziness that is WIPpet Wednesdays. Anything else you’d like to share? Any final thoughts?

SJB: I am so happy that WIPpet Wednesday exists, and that I have gotten to meet and know other writers and the worlds in their heads!

kls: And we’re glad that you’ve opened up your world to us.


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  1. Glad you didn’t fall into the Grand Canyon! 🙂

  2. Love the non-lightning round! And the fact that you and Eden have been buddies since you were schoolgirls. 🙂

    Another fab WIPterview, Kathi, but how silly to have stuck your tongue to icy monkey bars when you were a kid… *shakes head in despair*

    • Hey, even then I had a problem avoiding Bright Shiny. And dang if those monkey bars weren’t the brightest, shiniest, gotta lick ’em things I ever saw! Not wanting to be found out, I jerked my dang tongue off the bars instead of sending for help. Which got my found out anyhow because when you walk back in the classroom with a mouthful of blood you get noticed. *sigh* I was a strange child.

    • Kate,

      We met when I was four (my birhday’s at the end of July, so Eden may still have been three). It was at a Ladies’ Auxillary Penny Sale).

      It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses (or anything like that, although there were old churches, horse pictures, response folders, and many demons, inner and outer, to be slayed).

      Now, I can’t imagine who I’d be without the constant of my Syster. I have a biological sister, but Eden is the person I think of in that role, the one I would have picked, myself.

      I’m like frozen lightning, I guess! 😉

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  4. This is most definitely “you”, Shan. (Dang WordPress isn’t letting me “like” posts again… bleh!)

    Yeah, according to Mom, I was three at the time. I miss those Penny Sales. Mostly because I’d really love to go back to the firehouse and see that grandfather clock again, just to see if it still scares me the way it used to. So many of my early stories are based on that clock….

    Thanks for the kind words, Sys!

    • I have issues like that with WordPress, too! I have worse issues with blogspot. It won’t let me post comments.

      • I only have those issues when I’m using my laptop. It’s a permissions thing (I figured out that much, but not how to fix it so the permissions stay permanent). Ditto with Blogspot! In order to comment on Christina’s and Alana’s blogs I have to use Internet Explorer to access their posts…. *shudders*

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