The Mystic Princesses arrived in Hawaii last week, after finishing their trip to Alaska. They are staying at Breanna’s house in Volcano’s National Park on the Big Island. Today, they’ve gone to the see the black sand beach and are talking about PJ LaRue as they wade along the shoreline enjoying the blue-green waters.
“I think she’s crazy,” Catie blurted as she scooped up a handful of black sand and let the grains slip between her fingers.
“Do you know what it’s like being inside her head, waiting to get out?” Coral asked.
“Yeah. We all do,” Janna replied.
“Shush, she’ll hear us,” Breanna said.
“Imaginative is a kinder word,” Harmonie said, looking toward the beach chairs where PJ had been sitting. “Uh oh. She’s not in her chair, but she left her laptop. We better watch it, so it doesn’t get stolen.”
“Or, we could look and see what she’s writing now,” Janna replied grinning mischievously.
“No! That’s just wrong,” Harmonie said as she walked over to guard the computer against their prying eyes.
Catie turned Harmonie into a dove so that they could look at the computer. Harmonie sat perched on the edge of the chair pecking the girls’ arms in protest. They saw a message from their friend, Stephanie Neighbour, which said she’d mentioned PJ and the princesses on her blog. Stephanie was asked to write a blog about her writing process. She then told her followers that PJ would write a post discussing PJ’s writing style. The princesses decided to answer Stephanie’s questions for PJ. So with Harmonie flying over to keep an eye out for PJ, Janna started with the first question.
My Writing Process:
“Okay, let me think for a minute about PJ’s writing process,” Janna replied. “She can’t just sit down at her desk and write. She has to make a cup of tea, check her emails, her social media links, book reviews and sales at in the morning and evening. Once she settles in and opens her mind our words spill out.”
“And, I saw her cleaning out her purse,” Breanna added. “She has notes on everything, scrap paper, the back of store receipts and on her phone. But she’s not completely disorganized. She takes all of these notes and puts them into her computer, categorized by potential project titles. She currently has five books planned for us and has notes in each of our files about possible locations and story lines. And get this. She has an Excel file that lists all of our descriptions, personality traits, the powers we inherited from our god and goddess parents, and our favorite colors.” While she spoke, she idly tossed a fireball into the water.
“Yes,” Coral added. “She’s so busy. I’m getting worried about her. I think she’s has become obsessive about this writing thing. We started out as a hobby, but now we’ve become real to her. She even talks to us while she writes. We’re supposed to talk to her so we can help her tell our stories, but is she really supposed to answer us and have complete conversations?”
“Yeah, that just isn’t right,” Breanna chimed in. “I’m worried about her, too. Once PJ gets an idea, she wants to finish the project immediately. She’s so impatient. It’s when she’s between projects that she indulges in social media, reading and helping us write book reviews.”
What am I working on now?
“Let me answer this one,” Coral begged. “PJ is nearly ready to release our first book for the second time, with all new pictures. It is still called The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool. We were brought together, because the God of War, Ares, has trained his five other children to kidnap Princess Harmonie. She makes people feel peaceful and they want to fight and cause wars. The rest of us inherited powers from our parents which we use to protect Harmonie.”
“Invite them to look around our house, err, website, so they can get to know about each of our powers and download our line drawings to color,” Breanna said.
“And ask them whether they’ve ever eaten beignets. Yum!” Janna added as she licked her lips.
“I’d like to tell them about our second book, if you will all give me a chance,” Catie said. “It is called The Mystic Princesses and the Magic Show and it is set in my hometown of New Orleans. We hold a magic show to raise funds to help clean the oil from birds when an oil ship runs aground in Alaska. And we were even allowed to go to Alaska to help! PJ told me the book is finished, but is waiting for our wonderful new illustrator, Aristides Rodriguez, to draw the pictures.”
“But, Catie, you haven’t told them we’ve been doing since we arrived in Hawaii last week,” Breanna added. “We’ve been playing hide and seek in the lava tubes near my house at Volcanos National Park. PJ is not a very good seeker. It takes her hours to find us. I wonder why? By the way, PJ told me she thinks the third book in the series will be called The Mystic Princesses and the Volcano. She isn’t very far along with this story. But I hope she will be ready to write this new story soon. I’ve got so much to tell her.”
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
“Ooh. I like this question,” Janna said. “PJ lets us talk to each other. All. The. Time. She tends to write in dialogue, along with some narrative, because she is easily bored. All of our talking keeps her mind from drifting.”
“I think she writes that way, because she was shy and quiet when she was young,” Coral added. “She didn’t talk much. Now she’s making up for it by letting us all talk.”
“I’m still sticking with crazy,” Catie said, as she painted a rainbow across the blue sky. “Anyone who hears this many voices and admits it, has to be coo coo.”
Why do I write what I do?
“PJ primarily writes family-friendly books,” Janna said. “PJ told me that sometimes her childhood was bad. So she wants kids to be happy. She also tries to find ways to subtly introduce child safety tips for parents and kids to talk about. Because of this, she writes stories that make people think and smile.” While she talked, she turned Catie into a butterfly.
“PJ told me she doesn’t like fairy tales that make the princesses wait for a prince to come and rescue them,” Breanna said. “She understands that little girls like princesses and pretty rainbows, flowers, birds and butterflies. So she decided to write our stories about princesses that have their own powers and solve their own problems.”
“Oh, speaking of powers, please turn Harmonie and Catie back into their human forms,” Coral said. So, Janna brought Catie back, and then Catie brought Harmonie back.
Harmonie looked at Catie and said, “That was mean. You hurt my feelings. I was just trying to protect PJ’s privacy.”
“I’m sorry,” Catie said. “We’re just having a little fun and picking on PJ. Besides, we are helping PJ by doing some of her work for her.”
“It’s okay, I turned Catie into a butterfly for you to get even with her for turning you into a bird,” Janna told Harmonie.
“I saw something else PJ is writing the other day,” Coral said. “It was a book about marriage advice. I guess she might know what she’s talking about, since she’s been happily married to the same guy over thirty-one years.”
“I saw that, too,” Breanna said. “I think she’s going to name it After I Do! A Pocket Guide. It should be published this summer. I hope it isn’t boring since we aren’t in it.”
“Let’s make Harmonie answer the last question,” Janna said grinning at Catie. “That way, if PJ catches us, Harmonie contributed, too.”
How does your writing process work?
“I don’t want to,” Harmonie said because she didn’t want to get into trouble.
“Well, we were just joking and didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” Catie said again. “But we think it would be fun for you to help answer this last question.”
“What if I don’t answer it?”
“Then we will and we’ll put your name on it,” Breanna teased.
“Okay. Let me think for a minute,” Harmonie finally understanding it was just playful humor and not hurting anyone. “PJ is very busy with her day job, her husband and keeping us out of trouble. So she values what little time she gets to write. She tends to write and edit at the same time, even though most writers and editors advise against that. But, she can’t help herself, because she is a recovering perfectionist, so she can’t stand to see a mistake on the page and not correct it. But she edits the documents many times before posting blogs. And she has a professional editor for her books.”
“Of course, we tell her what to say, so how could it not be perfect?” Janna joked.
Harmonie continued sharing her thoughts with the others. “Sometimes PJ will go a very long time without writing but once she’s inspired, the whole story will come out within a week or two. She has written several short stories. But, she doesn’t have enough time, words or patience to create a story arc to write a novel.”
The princesses were so engrossed with answering the questions, that they didn’t hear PJ walk up behind them. “You’re all busted. Get away from my laptop,” PJ said. But as she read the princesses comments, she was impressed that they knew her as well as she knew them.
“Well, aren’t you all the creative ones today? Since you are having so much fun writing, go write that thank you note to Stephanie that you mentioned. And, for your lack of respect for my privacy you are grounded for a week. You aren’t to use your powers, at all.”